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Historic Buildings not energy “hogs,” but as efficient as most newer buildings

March 5, 2008

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Data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency indicates that buildings constructed before 1920 are actually more energy efficient than buildings built at any time afterward – except for many built after 2000. And the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) examined its building inventory and found that utility costs for historic buildings were 27% lower than for more modern buildings.

The thick, solid walls that create greater thermal mass reduce the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling. Transoms, high ceilings, large windows and other features of older buildings allow more natural light and ventilation, and shaded porches and deep roof overhangs reduce solar gain.

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