Conference Editor

Jianshun Zhang; Edward Bogucz; Cliff Davidson; Elizabeth Krietmeyer

Keywords:

Blower Door; Vernacular; Historic Buildings; New England; Building Conservation

Location

Syracuse, NY

Event Website

http://ibpc2018.org/

Start Date

25-9-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

25-9-2018 12:00 PM

Description

As a location of early European settlement, New England enjoys a wealth of historic buildings, which represent a rich cultural heritage and insight into New England life. Their longevity also offers the opportunity to identify the characteristics of long-lasting buildings, and to guide design for the historic buildings of the future. Old buildings are inherently sustainable; both because of abstract ideas like “embodied energy” but also by sustaining history and culture over time. This study combines field methods from vernacular architecture (a branch of material culture studies) and building science (which exists between architecture and engineering) to conduct detailed investigations buildings representing four centuries of New England residential construction. Methods include detailed physical measurements of each building, interior and exterior photography, as well as air leakage measurement with a blower door. Buildings are contextualized from the historical literature, and scientific measurements are compared to the literature of both contemporary and other past buildings. Applying these methods to everyday buildings reconnects the study of building performance to its material, technical and cultural context, as well as the behavior of the occupants whose shelter and comfort it is meant to provide. At the same time, the information about the environment created by the building adds depth and nuance to the understanding of the cultural attitudes and activities of generations of occupants and supports the continued stewardship of these shared cultural resources. This research enriches the narrative of historic human and building interaction: infusing scientific questions of how buildings work with the cultural context and human intentions that dictate why. Understanding and preserving old buildings includes environmental as well as cultural conservation, prompts us to think of reversible interventions, and militates against the hubris of present thinking that assumes current knowledge and approaches are optimal, and therefore eternal.

Comments

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.14305/ibpc.2018.hf-2.01

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

COinS
 
Sep 25th, 10:30 AM Sep 25th, 12:00 PM

Conserving Energy, Conserving Buildings: Airtightness Testing in Historic New England Homes

Syracuse, NY

As a location of early European settlement, New England enjoys a wealth of historic buildings, which represent a rich cultural heritage and insight into New England life. Their longevity also offers the opportunity to identify the characteristics of long-lasting buildings, and to guide design for the historic buildings of the future. Old buildings are inherently sustainable; both because of abstract ideas like “embodied energy” but also by sustaining history and culture over time. This study combines field methods from vernacular architecture (a branch of material culture studies) and building science (which exists between architecture and engineering) to conduct detailed investigations buildings representing four centuries of New England residential construction. Methods include detailed physical measurements of each building, interior and exterior photography, as well as air leakage measurement with a blower door. Buildings are contextualized from the historical literature, and scientific measurements are compared to the literature of both contemporary and other past buildings. Applying these methods to everyday buildings reconnects the study of building performance to its material, technical and cultural context, as well as the behavior of the occupants whose shelter and comfort it is meant to provide. At the same time, the information about the environment created by the building adds depth and nuance to the understanding of the cultural attitudes and activities of generations of occupants and supports the continued stewardship of these shared cultural resources. This research enriches the narrative of historic human and building interaction: infusing scientific questions of how buildings work with the cultural context and human intentions that dictate why. Understanding and preserving old buildings includes environmental as well as cultural conservation, prompts us to think of reversible interventions, and militates against the hubris of present thinking that assumes current knowledge and approaches are optimal, and therefore eternal.

https://surface.syr.edu/ibpc/2018/HF2/1

 

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