Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Advisor

Ward, Jim

Committee Member

Stiefel, Dr. Barry

Committee Member

King, Kristopher

Abstract

Preservation and sustainability have long shared fundamental goals. Historic structures are inherently sustainable and will continue to be if their sound construction and superior materials are preserved properly. Despite this fact, historic buildings have gained a stigma for being inefficient and therefore unsustainable in the face of modern, energy efficient structures. Historic structures are and can be energy efficient when retrofitted properly. This study tested and analyzed the efficiency of historic structures in the context of a warm, wet, coastal climate in order to determine how they could be improved without damage to their historic fabric. With this aim, the study performed energy audits on five historic buildings in Charleston, South Carolina to determine their current efficiencies and used energy modeling software to demonstrate the ease with which they could be retrofitted to decrease energy losses. These retrofitting measures were based on guidelines laid out in the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and are consistent with good preservation practice. The information revealed through this analysis proves that historic structures can be both sustainable and energy efficient while maintaining their historic integrity.

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