2014-03

2014-03

Can a historic building improve its resource efficiency while protecting its historic features? The Lee H. Nelson Hall, built in 1923 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 has undertaken a sustainability management plan with that as its primary objective. NCPTT was founded in 1994 “to coordinate research, disseminate information, and provide training about new technologies for preservation.” As the architecture and preservation fields mature, and green building practices become the norm, NCPTT has expanded its purview to integrate sustainability and preservation research. Using their own headquarters building, Lee H. Nelson Hall, they will show that preservation values and sustainability practices are complementary and can improve the use and longevity of all buildings.

Setting up the 2nd floor doors for the whole building air leakage test.

Setting up the 2nd floor doors for the whole building air leakage test.

Following in the footsteps of many other historic buildings achieving LEED certification, such as the President Lincoln’s Cottage Visitor Education Center (Washington, DC), the Colorado State Capitol (Denver, CO), National Geographic Headquarters (Washington, DC) and even the Empire State Building (New York, NY) and Chrysler Building (New York, NY), NCPTT is seeking to use the Lee H. Nelson Hall as the platform for remaking and greening historic buildings, and as a laboratory for sustainable preservation and stewardship. With planned maintenance improvements and potential capital improvement projects such as heating and cooling system upgrades, the organization is well positioned to rethink preservation practices without losing its meaning or “heritage.”

The purpose of this sustainability management plan is to develop a road map for greening the maintenance and operations procedures at Lee H. Nelson Hall, which can be used as a model for other existing and historic buildings. All work will be sympathetic to and respect the historic significance and character- defining features of this historic place.

Front Elevation, Lee H. Nelson Hall

Front Elevation, Lee H. Nelson Hall

As Kurt Vonnegut has been quoted as saying, “Another flaw in the human character is that everyone wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.” NCPTT acknowledges the importance of a strong maintenance program and this sustainability management plan is one way forward.

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119