Heritage conservation and adaptive re-use of existing buildings are key strategies for sustainable architecture. Restoring existing heritage structures extends the life of cultural assets and conserves the resources used in the original construction. Adaptive reuse of buildings, gives important community landmarks new purpose while conserving the energy and materials that would be required for their replacement.
Reducing operating costs is an important heritage conservation strategy. As the true cost of energy rises, thermal upgrades of heritage structures will become increasingly important to reduce the cost of long term heritage preservation. Upgrading the thermal performance of historic buildings must be done with care, to avoid causing long term damage to building assemblies. However, done properly, heritage buildings can be upgraded to be more energy efficient without altering their heritage character.
Heritage buildings often define the character of communities. Retaining and building on history gives communities continuity with the past. Careful stewardship of heritage buildings is key to ever evolving community identity.
The Carriage House
Bettye Hyde Day Care, has operated for over 40 years in Ottawa’s Sandy Hill community. When Betty Hyde needed to relocate its premises, the community group formed to purchase a unique heritage building in the heart of their neighbourhood. Originally, the building had been a carriage house for a large estate. Before it was transformed into its current use, the carriage house had been converted into a single family home. The Sandy Hill community has recently come under pressure from infill development to meet the demand for student housing. Many historic properties are losing their stately grounds to development. This modest project preserves the original yard conserving a pocket of green space in the community. The use of the Carriage House has changed over the years, the historic character of the building and its site remain intact.