Energy Efficiency and Historic Preservation – Webinar

This session is part of a two-part series on Preservation Technology. Owners and designers often want to upgrade an historic building's energy performance, but can struggle with what are the best choices with regard to invasiveness, long term performance, payback, etc. Using common examples, this presentation examines the impact and effectiveness of a variety of upgrades. Relatively simple interventions, such as installing window weather-stripping and sealing other air leakage paths, or expanding mechanical systems’ setpoints, can reduce energy consumption with little building fabric impact. Other more extensive interventions, such as retrofitting wall or roof insulation, or installing new mechanical systems, may be needed depending on the building’s use or goals.


SusanKnackBrownSusan Knack-Brown, Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. Susan has been with SGH for 13 years and has worked on a range of building enclosure investigations and designs involving both contemporary structures, such as the Fisher Center for Performing Arts at Bard College, and historic landmarks, such as Boston's Quincy Market. Susan specializes in large-scale preservation projects where she applies emerging technologies to restoring landmark buildings. Some of Susan's signature projects include the multi-phase, multi-year roof rehabilitation and skylight restoration on the New York State Capitol and the roof replacement on the Massachusetts State House. She has also worked with The First Church of Christ, Scientist to assist them with condition assessments, interim repairs, long-range strategic planning, and restoration designs for the plaza and five buildings on their Boston campus.

Documents and Downloads

Learning Objectives

  1. List simple intervention options to improve the energy performance of an existing building.
  2. List options, possible benefits, and possible pitfalls of more invasive options for changing the energy performance of buildings.
  3. Understand the benefits of energy modeling in understanding the potential benefits of more invasive energy options and potential payback for these options.
  4. Understand how upgrades can change the hygrothermal performance of the enclosure.