Energy Efficiency

Historic buildings can be energy efficient. Per square foot, historic commercial properties rank among the best in terms of energy consumption. However, there is always room to improve a building’s energy performance.

Weatherizing or otherwise improving the energy efficiency of historic buildings should be undertaken carefully to preserve a building’s historic character. Because energy retrofitting is continuously evolving, products or solutions that are popular today may fall out of favor in the future. So it is important to select products and treatments that are reversible and do not require major structural or material changes.

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Source: Energy Information Administration, 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey

Weatherizing Historic Buildings

With heightened concern for the environment and rising fuel costs, many owners are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption in their historic properties. Technical Preservation Services has created a guide to improve the energy efficiency of historic buildings.

Historic Features Conserve Energy

Many historic properties were built before the invention of mechanical heating and cooling systems. Generally, buildings constructed before the 1920s included energy-conserving features in the original design. These features often still exist in historic buildings but may have been altered over time. Energy Conserving Features Inherent In Older Homes helps identify historic features that have the potential to conserve energy use once again.

Learn More »

Many groups and organizations are conducting studies and producing guidance about historic properties and energy efficiency. We are compiling useful references on our Sustainability Research and Resources pages.