Everybody and everything is “going green”. I’d be surprised if there’s anyone out there who is not aware of the phrase or who has not been exposed to the concept during the last year. You’d have to have been living in a cave to have not been bombarded with the environmentalist messages (living in a cave, by the way, would be a very green thing to do).
My mailbox has been the recipient of great reading material on the topic, especially related to the connection between preservation and environmentalism. It couldn’t be more obvious – reusing existing building stock is as green as you can get. Every built structure represents an energy expenditure. Lose a structure and you lose the embodied energy stored in it.
Below are links to some great reading on the topic.
As architect Carl Elefante pointed out in an essay written for the Forum Journal last summer, we can’t build our way to sustainability. The role of preservation will need to expand in scope. Make sure you read, “The Greenest Building Is…One That is Already Built”.
The January 2008 Preservation Magazine (the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation) has been dedicated the Green Issue. Point, click and read.