What Local Historic District DOES NOT do: · Does not regulate paint colors · Does not require repairs or renovations to be made · Does not increase taxes beyond normal increases for the City or County · Does not prevent additions · Does not prevent non-contributing homes from being demolished · Does not require use of historic materials or historic building methods · Does not require that you open you home to the public · Does not restrict routine maintenance of properties
What Local Historic District DOES do: · Recognizes that Oakhurst has a distinctive historic character important to the overall character of the City of Decatur · Encourages creative and compatible development with historic areas · Requires that a Certificate of Appropriateness be obtained for exterior changes to contributing properties, demolition of buildings, and new construction. · Applies only to major renovations to the exterior of your home. Interior renovations are not restricted.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Economics, Sustainability and Historic Preservation

I recommend reading the this article by Donovan Rykema. It is an interesting argument on the environmental issue on local historic district. Here are some of the highlights. Sorry for the length.

From an environmental perspective:
1. The vast majority of heat loss in homes is through the attic or uninsulated walls, not windows.
2. Adding just 3 1/2 inches of fiberglass insulation in the attic has three times the R
factor impact as replacing a single pane window with no storm window with the most energy efficient window.
3. Properly repaired historic windows have an R factor nearly indistinguishable from new, so-called, “weatherized” windows.
4. Regardless of the manufacturers’ “lifetime warranties”, thirty percent of the windows being replaced each year are less than 10 years old.
5. One Indiana study showed that the payback period through energy savings by replacing historic wood windows is 400 years.
6. The Boulder [preserved house in the article]house was built over a hundred years ago, meaning those windows were built from hardwood timber from old growth forests. Environmentalists go nuts about cutting trees in old growth forests, but what’s the difference?
Destroying those windows represents the destruction of the same scarce resource.
7. Finally, the diesel fuel to power the bulldozer consumed more fossil fuel that
would be saved over the lifetime of the replacement windows.


Mark Haggerty said...

WOW Joy, This guy is great! Whether you are for or against historic preservation, everyone should read this in its entirety.