Best for NYC: Best Practices

by Don Friedman on October 1, 2015

In a previous Best for NYC Challenge post I mentioned in passing that preserving old buildings helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste from demolition and the amount of materials and energy required for new construction. For those of us in the field, this is a common idea, hardly worthy of discussion. Of course, that is not necessarily true outside of our circle, so we have to explain the issues to building owners, contractors, and other professionals.

In other words, part of job is to advocate for preservation on technical grounds rather than social ones, even though we believe in both the technical and social goals. We point out where saving a building (or part of a building during a renovation) is less expensive than a replacement, or will perform better, or is part of an overall system in the building and therefore not easily removed. Where possible, we try to work the education into the ordinary descriptions in reports rather than as a stand-alone discussion, to make it seem to the reader the way it seems to us: an integral part of the discussion.

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