Sustainable Preservation

The APT Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation was formed in 2004 to provide an arena for discussion, review, and information sharing. It aims to educate APT members on the relationship between historic preservation and environmental sustainability.

The Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation not only affords APT members a forum for discussing sustainability issues but also serves as a network to other preservation and green building stakeholders. The committee's areas of interest include sustainability-rating systems, life-cycle management, embodied energy, envelope performance, durability of materials and assemblies, construction and demolition waste management, contaminated-sites mitigation, water and energy conservation, and the role of historic properties in sustainable cultures and communities.

The current focus on energy efficiency and the increasing stringency of International Energy Codes has led to a misrepresentation and often in response a corruption of our heritage buildings.  In response the TCSP has set its focus on overcoming common misconceptions that heritage buildings are not or can not be energy efficient; educating practitioners in appropriate heritage evaluations; and guiding the decision making process for sustainable preservation.

The TCSP is developing an On-line Sustainable Conservation Assistance Resource (OSCAR). OSCAR will be an interactive technical resource that establishes a clear process to make the decisions necessary for the sustainable understanding and treatment of historic buildings.  The tool will address the associated challenges of different families of buildings, climate conditions, and governing policies and codes to manage change while protecting heritage value.

Focus groups within the TCSP address myriad issues related to Sustainable Preservation including: Climate Change, Education, Publications & Outreach, Rating Systems and Policy through case studies, development of educational materials and learning modules, writing articles, reports and peer review for the Bulletin, assessing current policies, guidelines and rating systems as well as serving on various adjunct green building committees to represent the Preservation Community.

Membership is open to all APT members who have an interest in environmental sustainability and its relationship to the protection of historic buildings and their cultural significance.

The committee meets at the annual APT conference and communicates regularly via focus group conference calls. For more information contact the committee chairs. 

Mark Brandt, Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation Co-chair

Nancy Rankin, Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation Co-chair

More on Sustainable Preservation Subcommittee Focus Groups (PDF)

Committee Brochure for 2013 (PDF)

Bibliography of Resources for Sustainable Preservation, with Links