Old buildings are essentially part of our nation’s heritage. But we try to preserve and recycle old buildings not just to protect existing cultural resources. It is also because it is the environmentally responsible thing to do. If we simply destroy every old building in hopes of constructing new and modern buildings, we will be creating tons of waste.
Since existing buildings are often durable and energy-efficient enough, preserving them allows us to make use of these existing resources for longer.
Why Recycling Historic Buildings Make Sense
Retain Cultural Authenticity and History
We can learn so much from the past depending on the year the buildings were constructed. The style used to erect historic buildings help us appreciate our nation’s heritage. We can enjoy true craftsmanship unique from a specific era. Having historic buildings in the community also makes it richer in terms of culture.
Enjoy Economic and Educational Benefits
Protecting these buildings help increase property values, this, in turn, builds tax credits and revenue. When you have historic buildings all around the community, this serves as a focal point for both locals and tourists seeking cultural opportunities to learn more about the history of the place. This, in turn, helps boost the economy by giving local businesses more customers to cater to.
Old buildings are often constructed with durable and energy-efficient materials. Reusing readily available buildings allow quicker occupancy and energy savings. We get to leverage on materials that are no longer readily available or affordable, thus helping to save money and resources in the process.
More new businesses like bookstores, pubs, and other startup brands actually prefer historic buildings. This is since the building makes up for a great conversation started among local patrons. Old buildings help bring a sense of community and many businesses long for the instant connection among the locals.
Preserving and saving historic buildings is more eco-friendly than demolishing the existing building. We get to reduce construction and demolition debris which can contain hazardous materials. We can save ourselves the energy and investment needed to demolish, get rid of wastes, and erect a new construction.
How Do We Preserve Old Buildings
Historic buildings can have a new life through preservation. These need to undergo building commissioning to ensure the systems will function efficiently for the long term. But then, there are many things that happen when saving a building. There’ are often four methods used to save historic buildings.
This focuses on repairing existing materials in an attempt to retain the property’s original form. The priority is to save as many original materials as possible.
Restoration is essentially returning the state of the building as it was in a certain time or period. Experts will rely on photographs and the building’s original blueprint while using original techniques and materials.
This is when proper repairs and alterations are made to ensure the usefulness and functionality of the building. The goal is to save the areas of the property that has historical value while allowing upgrades and additions as needed.
Reconstruction is the process of recreating vanished sites of the property. The aim is to replicate the original appearance in the best possible way.
Why Not All Countries Are Preserving Historic Buildings
Despite the importance of historic building preservation, many countries are not preserving their old buildings. The first reason is due to their lack of budget. Saving an old building and preserving it is nowhere cheap and many countries and governments can’t afford the rehabilitation.
The other reason is lack of awareness. Many people don’t realize the importance of preserving their culture and heritage through old buildings. There is also not much done in determining which old buildings are historic or not.
This is why raising awareness and gaining enough funds is important in historic building preservation. One needs to raise funds for the preservation to happen. Note that this is a continuous process as buildings require regular maintenance to last long.
It can also be difficult to find the right partners to save historic properties. Private entities need the help of contractors, the local government, community organizations, historic preservation officers of the state as well as historical groups to ensure the preservation will become a success.
We have lots of historic buildings both here and abroad that we can preserve and find another use for. Some we can transform these for different purposes like private residences, apartments, schools, or even office spaces and businesses. All it takes is to improve awareness of the importance of these properties, acquire the right support and funding, and our patronage to help more historic buildings and bring these back to life.