Aligning Historic Preservation and Sustainable Design
In a recent debate at the National Building Museum, architect Maria Casarella, Brendan Owens of LEED, and Eleni Reed at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) explored the "historic preservation vs. sustainable building" battle and emphasized that it sets up a false choice.
There is still tension between these two goals. LEED doesn't yet incorporate historic building criteria, and developers sometimes need to juggle competing priorities. But in some cases historic buildings are actually outperforming new ones (as in energy use), which many developers haven't realized, and a few key building elements (like new windows or geothermal heating) could make old buildings even greener.