If you’re like us, you’ll often hear “sustainable design” described as if it’s a certain category of architecture separate from others. At Selser Schaefer Architects, we believe sustainability is an inherent principle of good design that is consciously woven into everything we do. Nowhere is this more evident than in our many historic preservation and adaptive reuse projects.
Think about it: preserving a building and giving it new life so that it can be “re-used” is recycling on a grand scale. It saves the embodied energy of the materials originally used to construct the building, keeps demolition materials out of landfills and saves the energy, resources and transportation otherwise necessary to source new materials. It’s the original “green” choice.
But historic preservation is good for so much more than our environment. Our communities benefit, too, from a celebrated sense of place. Preserving historic buildings lets us collectively respect those who came before us – and those who will come after. And there’s the economic impact of promoting revitalization, cultural tourism and the use of skilled labor. Property values stabilize as well, and owners can take advantage of available historic and new-market tax credits.
It’s no wonder anticipation and excitement build when we see a historic structure given new life – because it breathes a little new life into all of us as well.