Cincinnati Preservation Association to host first-ever sustainability program

Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) is sponsoring Cincinnati's first-ever program on energy efficiency and sustainability for old-house owners.  'Old House, Green House' will take place on Saturday, January 23 from 9:30am to noon at the Art Academy of Cincinnati (map) in historic Over-the-Rhine.

CPA officials say that while much of the green building movement is about new construction, older existing buildings also play a significant role.

"One of our country's most urgent tasks is to "green" the buildings we already have - including historic buildings," according to the CPA.

In addition to the many inherently green features built into older structures like natural materials and natural ventilation, older structures also boast a built-in green advantage over new structures with the energy and labor that has already been invested into the structures.

"Preservation and sustainability go hand in hand," says CPA.  "According to economist Donovan Rypkema, when you preserve a historic building, instead of building a new one on a greenfield site, you are preserving land. When you rehabilitate a historic building instead of carting it to a landfill, you are reducing waste generation. When you reuse a historic building, you extend the life of the "embodied" energy used to build it: a wise use of resources. And by revitalizing an in-town neighborhood, instead of building a new subdivision miles from the city, you promote a more sustainable, more transit-friendly, less-car-dependent way of life."

CPA goes on to say that by building on an old house's good qualities, owners can improve efficiency and comfort levels, without sacrificing historic character or making costly upgrades, and that many features of new "green" homes can be duplicated in older buildings, including efficient lighting, water-saving plumbing fixtures, and high-value insulation.

'Old House, Green House' will cover a variety of topics including how to properly insulate older homes, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, geothermal energy options, appropriate storm windows, and how to green your home renovation project.  Admission for the program is $7 for CPA members and $12 for non-members.  Tickets can be purchased online or by calling CPA at (513) 721-4506.  Reservations are required due to space constraints.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
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