Historic Preservation

Goal:

Cooperation with Main Street Middletown and Frederick County Public Schools to help educate the public, schools, professional associates, business and industry about creating a sustainable community and to establish sustainable policies for all commercial and County buildings and operations in the Town.

Summary:

Historic preservation is an inherently sustainable practice. An immediate advantage of older and historic buildings is that the structure already exists. No energy or waste is necessary for its demolition and far fewer resources are needed for its reuse because much of the materials and infrastructure may already be in place. The repair and retrofitting of existing buildings can be considered the ultimate recycling project, but it also adds value to the community by protecting our neighborhood character and architectural heritage. After all, the greenest building is the one that is already built. EPA promotes downtown revitalization as a tool for improving air quality, more walkable, more dense concentration of uses.

The greenest building is the one that is already built.

The adaptive use of older buildings for a new purpose is a sustainable alternative to new construction. It conserves land, maximizes the use of existing materials and infrastructure and reduces waste and consumption while also preserving local historic character. Also, according to the US Energy Information Agency, buildings constructed before 1920 are more energy efficient than buildings built between 1920 and 2000. Generally, buildings constructed before the advent of mechanical heating and cooling systems include energy-conserving features in the original design, such as transoms, high ceilings, and large windows for natural light and ventilation. Minor modifications can be made to existing buildings to accommodate their new use and systems can be upgraded to meet modern building codes. Often, these types of projects are subject to local review and are potentially eligible for local, state and federal funding.

Resources