It seems instinctive that reusing an existing building would be more environmentally friendly and than building from scratch. Are our instincts right? A report presented earlier this year by Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation takes an in-depth look at the question of reuse versus new build. According to the group’s report the findings do indeed support the fact that “when comparing buildings of equivalent size and function, building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction”.
The research gives architects, builders and communities ammunition for supporting historic preservation and building reuse. Some of the highlights of the report are:
- Retrofitting a building has significant environmental benefits over demolishing and rebuilding.
- The amount of new materials used for the remodel needs to curtailed in order to maximize efficiencies. If an excessive amount of materials are used for a remodel the positive effects of a reuse are negated.
- It can take between 10 and 80 years for a new energy efficient new building to overcome the negative climate change impacts that were created during construction.
- Reuse of buildings with average energy consumption offers immediate climate change impact reductions compared to new construction.
You can view the report in its entirety here.
TMS Architects has extensive experience renovating historic buildings. We have made our mark on the Wentworth By The Sea Hotel, Discover Portsmouth Center, The Music Hall and many other buildings throughout New England. Please give us a call at 603-436-4274 to schedule an appointment with one of our architects if you have an historic home or commercial building you would like to renovate.