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Why restore historic buildings?

Our friends at The Railyards in Sacramento shared this recently:


The renovation of a historic building is often the starting point for the redevelopment of a street, block, or district. Historic preservation is a smart growth approach that can revitalize communities, and it’s one of the smart growth strategies you’ll find at The Sacramento Railyards.


Historic buildings and districts can be a symbol of a community’s heritage, character, and sense of place.


Rehabilitating and repurposing historic properties can be a critical part of promoting energy efficiency and reducing resource consumption.

  • Historic preservation can attract investment and revitalize neighborhoods.

  • Historic Preservation Celebrates Heritage

  • Historic buildings, districts, and neighborhoods embody the lives of those who built, worked, and lived in them. They tell stories about what a place was and connect us to our past.

Preserving those stories can be an important part of building a healthy community.


Renovating historic properties preserves the historic, architectural, and aesthetic character and heritage of a community or area, and helps to provide a sense of place and continuity.


As suburban sprawl and roadside development make more and more places look the same, it becomes important for communities to keep their identities intact. Even one or two striking historic buildings can help to define a community.


An Energy Efficient Building Solution


Rehabilitating historic properties can be a critical part of promoting energy efficiency.


Embodied energy is a term that represents the total energy required to create a building, from mining and processing of raw materials through to manufacturing and transport. Embodied energy is the front-end component of a building’s life cycle.


Historic preservation utilizes the energy that already exists in historic buildings, rather than expending additional energy for new construction from the ground up.


According to the EPA, even when building a new, green, energy-efficient office structure that includes as much as 40% recycled materials it would take approximately 65 years to recover the energy lost by demolishing a comparable existing building.


Historic Preservation Reduces Resource Consumption


Historic preservation is an efficient use of resources.


Repurposing old buildings—particularly those that are vacant—reduces the need for construction of new buildings and the consumption of land, energy, materials, and financial resources that they require.


Reusing a historic structure versus tearing it down and building with new materials helps to greatly reduce the carbon footprint of a building.


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