Historic buildings don’t have to remain in the past when it comes to energy efficiency. Instead, such structures can maintain their historical characteristics and take advantage of new technologies and products that will improve their energy use. A briefing for Congressional staff on turning older structures into high-performing historic buildings will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 15 in Washington, DC.

The briefing is sponsored by the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition, which works to heighten awareness and inform policymakers about the major impact buildings have on health, safety, and welfare. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) serves as the coalition’s secretariat and is a leading sponsor of the briefing with the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“As the saying goes, ‘the most sustainable building is one you never have to build,’” Doug Read, ASHRAE program director of government affairs, said. “Historic buildings already have a significant amount of embodied resources in the bricks and mortar, so it only makes sense to maintain the historic nature of the structure while improving its energy efficiency.”

Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., and Rep. Mike Turner, R-OH, will provide welcome remarks.

Speakers will be:
• Emily Wadhams, vice president of public policy at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who will be giving an introduction to historic buildings.
• Patrick Lally, director of congressional affairs for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who will be speaking on opportunities for high-performance policies and technologies.
• Ralph DiNola, Assoc. AIA, principal with Green Building Services, who will provide examples of high-performance historic buildings.