Old Buildings and Old Energy

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Guest Post by Lisa Mroszczyk

Think of all the energy it has taken over generations to build the County’s existing building stock. This expenditure is embodied energy—the energy already invested to process materials, transport them, and finally construct a building.  Demolition wastes embodied energy.  When that waste is factored in with the energy needed to transport demolished building materials to a landfill and the energy needed to construct a new building on the site, any net energy savings typically doesn’t kick in for three or four decades.

Reusing existing buildings conserves energy and reduces construction and demolition debris in landfills. During National Preservation Month, we are reminded of historic preservation’s role in sustainability.

The Brookings Institution predicts that by … Continue reading

Old is the New Green

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Guest blogger: Lisa Mroszczyk

Yes, you read that right.  Many older buildings, particularly those constructed prior to 1920, are green. May is National Preservation Month and the National Trust for Historic Preservation is using the month-long celebration to highlight the important role that older and historic buildings play in environmentally and economically sustainable communities.

Often, older buildings were designed and built to work with the environment. Buildings with operable windows provide natural ventilation and daylight. Covered porches, awnings and shutters reduce solar heat gain in the warmer months. Thoughtful orientation of the building on its site maximizes wind and sun patterns.  In fact, U.S. Energy Information Agency research establishes that buildings built prior to 1920 are more energy efficient … Continue reading