Should "Green Building Standards" consider the value or carbon footprint of historic buildings?
This week NPR featured a story about green building standards and how they are not adequately taking into account the existing carbon footprint of historic buildings. So preserving a historic structure is given little credit in the green standards systems. This is despite the fact that carbon is stored quite nicely in all these old buildings, it isn't widely understood that Historic Buildings are inherently "green", because destroying them and dumping the pieces in a land fill is a colossal waste and it takes many, many years to make up for that destruction in the carbon
In Shoreline we have many unrecognized historic treasures, such as the Ronald School which houses the Shoreline Historical Museum, and many others. We can make progress on Landmarking, preserving and appreciating them if we put our minds to it. We can also do well at preserving our carbon footprint if we are careful about not throwing away old buildings unnecessarily.
And, preserving our history is good for our quality of life, our sense of place and even economic development, if we do it well.
Photo Credits - Shoreline Historical Museum, Janet Way (National Historic Trust Bldg, DC),
MAin2 Blog, National Public Radio