An article recently argued the value of historic reuse, and reuse in general, as a strong sustainability strategy. This is sort of taken for granted and had never really been investigated on the myriad ways in which this can be proven true. There is definitely some great information out there to support this claim. KAOD has been involved in a successful number of projects where historic reuse has been the objective. Many of these have been the result of a decision making process that looked at the costs of building new versus the costs of renovating and reclaiming existing structures. Hating to say this, but there are two types of “green” and one often outweighs the other when it comes to the possibility of conducting a project. These two types of green to which are being referred here are the “green” of the environmental and sustainable world and the “green” of the financial and feasibility world.

KAOD IS intrigued by the notion that the choice to reuse a client’s current asset in a new way could also be an educated intentional choice to benefit the environment and reduce a client’s energy demand. In many cases, the inherent lower costs of renovating have often driven a client in the direction of reusing even a marginally salvageable building. KAOD has been inspired to look at future renovation and reuse projects as opportunities to show the client how their reuse project could benefit them operationally in the long run and also give them the satisfaction of participating in a sustainable project. As KAOD looks back at how projects have been conducted in the past, we can see how we could have obtained information related to energy use in the initial state of a building and easily compared it to post-renovation information. This seems to be the most immediate and simple method of illustrating efficiency related accomplishment. KAOD is curious to find other simple and yet strong methods to support this argument.

In the meantime, if you are interested, the May T. Watts Appreciation Society has put together a simple website http://www.thegreenestbuilding.org/waste.html with a calculator that helps determine how much energy it takes to create a new building versus renovating an old one. The information is very compelling. Should you be looking to make smart and practical decisions about a project with an existing facility in the upcoming year, please give us a call. We are eager to use our experience in challenging projects of this type to help you move your organization in a direction that promotes your continued success.