The Greening of Historic Preservation

illustration of a gas can that looks like an historic building
I spent this past weekend back at my alma mater, Goucher College in Baltimore, for the conference “A Critical Look at Sustainability and Historic Preservation.” Sustainability is a hot button issue for preservation, especially when it comes to LEED standards for green building and whether they really give historic buildings credit where credit is due. More than just a catchphrase, “The greenest building is one that’s already built” is a sustainability mantra that conveys the massive amount of embodied energy in old buildings. You can even figure out how much energy is lost in the demolition of a building using this handy embodied energy caluculator.

Of all the great presentations, I was most impressed by the “accidental preservationists” — speakers from two Philly-based nonprofit organizations whose missions represented a holy trinity of environmental, social, and preservation goals.
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