Pushing the Green Envelope: Improving the Performance of Preservation

The State Historic Building Code exempts historic buildings from Title 24 energy requirements. But is that exemption good for the environment or preservation? This workshop will include the perspectives of policymakers on the direction of building codes and environmental policy, and then present detailed case studies showing how we can move historic buildings towards net zero by incorporating innovative methods, renewable energy and enhancing the performance of the building envelop, all while maintaining historic character.

Learning Objectives

  1. Evaluate, based on case study examples and policy interpretations, which energy enhancement measures are most appropriate for historic properties.
  2. Incorporate innovative systems and renewable energy into historic properties while maintaining historic character.
  3. Using case study examples, examine ways to enhance the performance of the building envelop of historic properties while maintaining historic character.
  4. Discuss and examine the impacts of future code or policy changes on the environmental performance of historic buildings.

Documents and Downloads

  1. Marc L'Italien - Exploratorium Project
  2. Peter Rumsey - Exploratorium Windows and Envelope
  3. Sean deCourcy - Library and Courts
  4. Matthew Piner - Residential Roof


  • Sean de Courcy, State Historian II, Office of Historic Preservation
  • Marc L’Italien, FAIA, LEED® AP, BD+C , EHDD
  • Matthew Piner, PinerWorks Architecture
  • Peter Rumsey, PE, Energy 2.0
  • Ali Youssefi, Vice President, CFY Development, Inc.
  • Christopher Olvera, California Energy Commission