Vancouver Heritage Foundation

February 13, 2009 – For some great stories about how heritage buildings can retain their historic character, while renovating for the “green” future, check out the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

They have released a new Green Guide to Heritage Conservation called “New Life Old Buildings” that offers tips and resources to renovating for the future while paying tribute to the past.

Read the following background information, taken from their website

“New Life” and “Old Buildings” appear as contradicting philosophies. Why would a heritage organization that deals with historic buildings be interested in modern green-building techniques?

In the words of American architect, Carl Elefante, “Even if every new building from this day hence has a vegetative roof, is powered only with renewable energy sources, and is built entirely of environmentally appropriate materials, sustainability would still be far from fully realized. We cannot build our way to sustainability; we must conserve our way to sustainability.” We must make wiser use of what we have already built.

With generous funding from the Vancouver Foundation and the Province of BC Heritage Branch, the VHF has spent the last 6 months researching the topic of heritage & sustainability. The goal was to produce a document that would not only convey the important message of “The greenest building is the one that is already built” but also be a practical guide with useful tips and suggestions for “greening” old buildings.

Containing 5 local case studies and plenty of tips & tools, the VHF’s innovative

New Life Old Buildings: Your Green Guide to Heritage Conservation
is now available to pick up at the VHF office Mon- Fri 9am – 5 pm. To view the electronic pdf file, simply click on the image of the guide above.


One thought on “Vancouver Heritage Foundation

  1. I’d like to congratulate the Vancouver Heritage Foundation for creating this excellent guide that I hope will help people recognize the important role of heritage and existing building rehabilitation in sustainable development.
    Not only do heritage buildings help retain the cultural identity of a community; they revitalize downtown areas (with the benefits of higher density, less commuting, etc.), help keep urban sprawl under control, save tons of energy and resources when compared to demolition and new construction, and many more.
    It’s about time that people made this link between sustainable development and rehabilitation; the need to recycle our buildings in the same way we do so many other things. New ‘green’ constructions and technologies are all very well, but more people need to push for a greater effort to adapt those buildings that are already there. It should be a top priority in everybody’s green agenda!


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