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ERIC Number: EJ973532
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0736-0983
Saving Energy in Historic Buildings: Balancing Efficiency and Value
Cluver, John H.; Randall, Brad
Planning for Higher Education, v40 n2 p13-24 Jan-Mar 2012
By now the slogan of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that "the greenest building is the one already built" is widely known. In an era of increased environmental awareness and rising fuel prices, however, the question is how can historic building stock be made more energy efficient in a manner respectful of its historic integrity and character. The other challenge is to find those improvements that, in the quest to save energy (and, by extension, money), do not in the long run cost more than they save. As illustrated in the case study presented in this article, it is entirely possible to meet the goals of improved energy efficiency in a manner that is both cost-effective and sensitive to the historic character of the building. By using energy modeling, it is possible to better understand the inherent properties of a particular historic resource that cause it to perform differently from new construction and thereby to design improvements that use those features to their best advantage. It also allows the designer to use life-cycle costing to better understand the cost implications of a particular intervention over the long term, which will help in decision making if the loss of historic material or character cannot be justified by improvements in energy performance. Combined with other considerations, such as the aesthetic, historical, environmental, and functional impacts of any chosen course of action, these tools can help the conscientious building owner, architect, engineer, or preservationist make the argument that sometimes using the newest materials or technology is not the most appropriate course of action in a rehabilitation project and that maintaining and restoring historic buildings is often the most sustainable step to take. (Contains 6 figures and 11 notes.)
Society for College and University Planning. 339 East Liberty Street Suite 300, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Tel: 734-998-7832; Fax: 734-998-6532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York