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Historic Preservation = Sustainability

Older and historic buildings comprise more than half of the existing buildings in the United States. Retention and adaptive reuse of these buildings preserves the materials, embodied energy, and human capital already expended in their construction. The reuse of historic buildings is one of the most beneficial “green” practices, and stresses the importance and value of historic preservation in the overall promotion of sustainability.

The State Historic Preservation Office believes energy and resource conservation in historic buildings can be accomplished responsibly without compromising the qualities that define their intrinsic historic character.

National Park Service - Sustainability includes many informative resources on energy efficiency and new technologies as well as case studies and research.  

National Park Service - Weatherizing and Improving the Energy Efficiency of Historic Buildings

National Park Service - Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (PDF, 2.1 MB) 

National Park Service - Preservation Brief 3 - Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation - Sustainability and Historic Preservation Links

National Trust for Historic Preservation - Sustainable Communities
Provides additional links on creating sustainable communities, the Trust's Preservation Green Lab, as well as Green Home Tips. The Trust's 2011 report The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse (PDF) provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the potential environmental benefit of building reuse 

National Trust for Historic Preservation - Weatherization Guide for Older and Historic Buildings
Offers homeowners a one-stop resource with the latest information about how to make their home energy-efficient without compromising the historic character of their home

Whole Building Design Guide – Sustainable Historic Preservation
Provides extensive information and links on a wide range of preservation, sustainability, and building-related guidance, criteria, and technology

"What Replacement Windows Can't Replace: The Real Cost of Removing Historic Windows" (PDF)
Walter Sedovic & Jill H. Gotthelf, APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology, Volume 36, April 2005

"How Changes to LEED Will Benefit Existing and Historic Buildings" 
Barbara A. Campagna, AIA, LEED AP

"That Old Building May Be the Greenest on the Block"
AIArchitect, February 8, 2008

"Sustainability, Smart Growth, and Historic Preservation"
Speech by Donovan D. Rypkema, Principal of PlaceEconomics, 2007

Green Recommendations for Historic Rehabilitation and Urban Infill (PDF)
Wabash Valley Trust for Historic Preservation (Indiana)

The Environmental and Energy Conservation Benefits of the Maryland Historic Tax Credit Program (PDF)
This 2009 report quantifies the environmental impacts resulting from historic preservation tax credit projects

The 2007 National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers's (NCSHPO) Annual Meeting included a squaretable discussion on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). PowerPoint presentations addressing preservation and sustainability are accessible below:
Sustainability and Historic Preservation: Lessons Learned (PPT-PDF)
National Park Service, Technical Preservation Services

The Sustainable Preservation Coalition: Determining a Joint "Green Strategy" (PPT-PDF)

USGBC/LEED and Historic Buildings (PPT-PDF)
US Green Building Council