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Case Studies in Carbon Reduction for Modern Heritage Buildings
This panel discussion explores exemplary architectural projects at the intersection of modern heritage and sustainability that have used a mix of Passive House strategies, new technology, and creativity to drive their retrofit process. Buildings featured include Habitat 67, the Pirelli Building, and the Guggenheim. In the quest for Net Zero, the preservation community is well positioned as a key player based on the overall embodied carbon savings of working with existing buildings. However, many challenges are present as retrofitting can potentially affect the historic character of irreplaceable heritage buildings. In this event, architects working with iconic modern heritage buildings talk about the complications of preservation in the age of sustainability.
Scott Henson, FAIA, CPHD, Principal at Scott Henson Architect
Lois Arena, PE Director, Passive House Services, Steven Winter Associates
Bruce Becker, FAIA, AICP, Principal at Becker and Becker
Angel Ayon, AIA, LEED AP Principal at AYON Studio
Ghislain Belanger, OAQ, MRAIC, LEED AP Principal at C012 Architecture
About the speakers:
Scott Henson, Founding Principal of Scott Henson Architect, has over 30 years of experience in design and construction, with a focus on historic preservation and sustainably retrofitting historic and existing buildings, and his buildings include those on the National Historic Register, individual Landmarked Buildings, and those located in Historic Districts. Henson has used his design expertise, evolved from years of study with master craftsmen, and now as a Passive House designer, to devise intricate restoration techniques, and orchestrate unique strategies to restore previously derelict and abandoned historic structures to meaningful use, demonstrating the traditional, cultural and sustainable stewardship of historic preservation. Having founded Scott Henson Architect in 2003, and as an active member of the AIANY Committee on the Environment, the Historic Buildings Committee, APTI’s Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation and Co-Chair of the Zero Net Carbon Collaboration, Henson cultivates the exchange of knowledge throughout the international community, specifically related to the realities and challenges of retrofitting historic and existing buildings and the reduction of their overall carbon output.
Lois Arena, Director of Passive House Services at Steven Winter Associates, Inc., possesses over 25 years experience in the building science field and has extensive experience with new and existing buildings. Arena holds both US and international Passive House consultant certifications and is currently consulting on some of the largest and most difficult Passive House projects in the world. She has co-authored and presented training programs about energy efficient building practices to professionals in all sectors of the building industry and is regularly invited to present at conferences and private firms around the world to discuss the benefits of and road blocks to PH adoption.
Bruce Becker uses a fully integrated approach to sustainable design, planning, financing and development of buildings to meet the social, economic and environmental needs of communities. His firm focuses on green supportive, affordable, and mixed-income housing, community centers, child and senior day care, and urban and historic revitalization projects. Becker + Becker has planned designed and developed over 10,000 units of multi-family rental housing, and a wide variety of commercial, retail, educational and mixed-use facilities. Becker founded two non-profit housing organizations to sponsor innovative mixed-use affordable housing projects, Common Ground HDFC and Under One Roof. He has served as development consultant and architect to dozens of not-for-profit organizations and municipalities to create supportive and affordable housing and educational and community facilities. He initiated the 2004 “Energy Efficient Housing Technical Correction Act” with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney which modified FHA multifamily underwriting standards to include financing of energy efficiency technologies, and designed and initiated the Connecticut State Green Buildings Tax Credit program.
Angel Ayón is both an Architect and Preservationist and has more than twenty years of experience working with historic buildings. Trained in his native Havana, Cuba, Washington, D.C., and New York City, his expertise ranges from building-envelope evaluation and repair to full-scale rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of commercial and residential properties, as well as cultural and educational institutions. Ayón believes it is the responsibility of the current generation to save and secure our built heritage as a cultural asset. He currently serves as Vice-President of Save Harlem Now! and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Historic Districts Council, the Historic Preservation Committee of The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), and the Preservation League of the NY State’s Board of Trustees. He is also an active member of Columbia University’s Preservation Alumni, as well as the AIA, NCARB, USGBC, APTi, APT NE, US/ICOMOS, and Docomomo. Ayón holds a professional degree in Architecture and a Master of Science in Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Built Heritage from Havana’s Higher Polytechnic Institute, as well as a Post-Graduate Certificate in Conservation of Historic Buildings and Archaeological Sites from Columbia University in New York.
Ghislain Bélanger has practiced over 27 years and worked as Design Architect and Project Manager on numerous projects of varying scales, complexities and scope, in a variety of domains, including Hospitals, Long term Care, Schools, Research facilities, Housing and Heritage conservation. His Montreal based firm CO12 Architecture was founded in 2015 and offers services from Architectural Design to Technical studies and Building Science. He is also currently teaching Design, materials and construction technologies at the UQAM’s School of Environmental Design, and has been guest critic at the University of Montreal School of Architecture and Azrieli School of Architecture in Ottawa. Some of his recent works on Heritage buildings and projects in the Canadian Arctic regions brought Bélanger to elaborate on conceptual and construction strategies involving research and technical solutions to deal with both heavy environmental challenges related to climate, and acute cultural significance. Particular interests in the state of Modern Heritage and the political debate attached to its preservation lead him to further investigate the complex rules and approval processes that are regulating the course of all conservation efforts.