Sustainable architectural design seeks to maximize a building’s functional performance while reducing the negative environmental effect of greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings account for almost 40% of all CO2 emissions in the United States, far more than the emissions from either the transportation or industrial sectors. As preservation architects, we believe that it is imperative to educate the public that the reuse of historic buildings is inherently sustainable and that they can perform as well or better than newly constructed buildings with innovative design solutions. Through the continued or adaptive reuse of existing building stock, preservation architecture can be a powerful tool for sustainable stewardship.
New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act outlines a comprehensive effort to address the issue of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the city. The policy mandates that the city’s largest commercial and residential buildings comply with stringent emissions limits. Through a focused approach on building or modifying buildings with sustainable initiatives, Henson Architecture is working to balance the interests of carbon reduction while remaining sensitive to our city’s past.