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 resources on energy efficiency, new technologies, case studies and research, and the Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings
Sustainability and Historic Preservation: Lessons Learned (PPT-PDF) by the National Park Service, Technical Preservation Services
National Trust for Historic Preservation - Sustainability 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 provides comprehensive analysis of the potential environmental benefit of building reuse. See also the Trust's 2012 report Saving Windows, Saving Money: Evaluating the Energy Performance of Window Retrofit and Replacement
Charleston Green Plan
See the Appendix for recommendations regarding Historic Structures and Sustainability
The Sustainability Institute and the Historic Charleston Foundation produced the following 2 PDF publications:
Case Study: Energy Efficiency in Historic Residences
Brochure: How to Make Your Historic House More Energy Efficient