We’re not the first to point out that historic preservation and sustainability go hand in hand, but here in Austin – home of the nation’s first green building rating system - we have an incredible opportunity to fulfill that relationship’s promise. To that end, our sustainability programming has focused on education and outreach:
Resources: We've gathered important local case studies and resources on how to sustainably retrofit your home. Check them out HERE.
Homeowner Workshops: PA held its first How to Green Your Historic Home workshop in 2009, covering everything from energy efficiency and historic windows to sustainable updates to mechanical and electrical systems. The program resumed in 2014, with two workshops focused on water harvesting and conservation as well as improving thermal envelops. Three Greening Your Vintage Home workshops in July 2015 featured a dozen experts from across the fields of architecture, preservation, energy efficiency, sustainable design, and landscape to discuss solar panels, moisture prevention, xeriscaping, and more.
Preservation Merit Awards: PA introduced Sustainability as a Preservation Merit Awards nomination category in 2012. By doing so, we seek to honor projects, programs, and initiatives which respect historic properties and landscapes and which can be used as models for others.
The Greenest Building: PA partnered with Austin Energy Green Building, AIA Austin, the Texas Historical Commission, and the Paramount Theatre to present a 2011 screening of The Greenest Building, a documentary which questions the practice of demolishing historic buildings for replacement by new, more "sustainable" buildings.
It’s Easy Being Green: In 2015 PA presented “Preservation Myths and Strategies,” a seminar combating misconceptions that prevent building owners from pursuing preservation over new construction. Executive Director Kate Singleton, along with PA board members Ken Johnson, Project Architect at Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, and John Rosato, Principal at Southwest Strategies Group, led the program.