1910 Oats/Comstock Residence- Brainerd Jones (1897-1945) Architect

To understand the appropriate treatment of Historic Architecture, one must consider its foundational efficiencies. The true value of historic architecture is in preservation of its original conditions; it is then it most serves the environment and can continue to provide effective service, retaining its unique style and character, thereby being used and enjoyed for even more generations.

The  “embodied energy” savings and inherent character of historic materials is what is most valuable.  Their continued use and service, maximizes the value  when combined with current technologies or upgrades to the building systems. This of course must be selective and a studied approach as some systems may need replacing. But more often than not it is system upgrades or improvements that is most effective. The whole sale replacement often the inclination of the untrained is unfortunate. More often than not, the greatest value is in adding new efficiencies to the building envelope while preserving the best of the old materials or systems.

2012 Comstock Residence. Wm. Mark Parry aia,csi,sah Preservation Architect

So many times I have read of some whiz kid publishing their marvelously current and up to date, latest and greatest green, energy efficient, low carbon foot print, construction marvel!  As soon as I hear of the demolition and removal of that older” inefficient” building, all those carbon savings disappear and it is just another monument to ignorance, vanity, or technological – currency, and our cultural and many environmental resources are permanently lost.

It is in careful preservation and thoughtful application of energy efficient systems and selective up-grades to systems based on current advances in building science that environmental value is achieved.  The application of building sciences must be selective as historic materials are unique conditions and must be analyzed and  “improvements” modeled, tested or proven effective.

Consider the inherent value of a 100 year old home, in continuous use, with its embodied energy savings in the first growth timbers, finishes and materials still in place, not sent to a land fill to be replaced with particle board, plastics, fiberglass or composite materials.

Consider it then being moved carefully and thoughtfully into the next 100 years with efficient energy systems, high levels of insulation and sealants, and sensitive additions and upgrades to the utility function, beauty and longevity of the building.

The net result of these efforts was that the 5,000 sq. ft. Comstock House has a 30% lower monthly heating bills than a 1,600 sq. ft much newer neighbor. This due to an upgrade to the zoned, oil based radiant heating system into a high efficiency hydronic system. Also provided where lateral and base shear element re-engineering and stabilization work.  Improvements in insulation, envelop, weather striping, window repair- pointing, flashing and some glazing where provided. The siding and roof where re shingled in the original historic system as it was simply better than current technologies, this took a master shingle-er and special ordered shingles in conformance to Brainerd Jones’s original specification set still in the house.   Of course the kitchens, baths and utilities where also addressed but all these sensitively to the Landmark historic design. For more insights see: Comstock House

The ideals of the premier French restoration architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) best sums up the proper treatment of historic materials.

 ” It is better to preserve than restore, better to restore than repair,

better to repair than replace”.

 Yours in thoughtful historic preservation and rehabilitation.              Wm. Mark Parry AIA, CSI, SAH

 

Original oil boiler had been abandoned. Replaced in 2012 with High efficiency water boiler.

Oil boiler replaced with high efficiency water boiler & insulation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Radiator re-purposed for H2O

 

 

Entry Hall

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest News

  • press add 1906

    Energy Efficiency in Historic Architecture

    To understand the appropriate treatment of Historic Architecture, one must consider its foundational efficiencies. The true value of historic …

  • Entry

    Then and Now; One

      Francisco Terrace by Frank Lloyd Wright 1895 While cleaning out some of my bookshelves I came across The Life and Works of Frank Lloyd Wright …

  • downtownmap18672

    2018 S.R.J.C Walking Tour Guide.

    Historical Walking Tours April  24, May- 1,8,15,22  Thursday Evenings 4:30-6:30 Presented by Mark Parry of Idea Studios (544-4344)   …

  • 20180119_123631 (002)

    A Heroic Family

    Cal Fireman  Dominik Schwab and his parent’s Leo & Mira Schwab received Santa Rosa’s sixth and seventh fire reconstruction permit …

  • 01 cityexhibit notice

    Lawrence Simons FAIA – Retires

    Larry Simmons FAIA  turned 80 in May of 2017 and liquidated his extensive real-estate holdings. He retired from architectural practice and …

  • architecure mirror of the times

    Architecture Mirror of the Times 2018

      Architecture: Mirror of the Times (Canceled)2/13-3/13 2018 SRJC Community Education Historic and Contemporary Architecture from 1637-2018 A …

 

Articles

  • Press Democrat 1906Energy Efficiency in Historic Architecture

    To understand the appropriate treatment of Historic Architecture, one must consider its foundational efficiencies. The true value of historic arch…

  • EntryThen and Now; One

     

    Francisco Terrace by Frank Lloyd Wright 1895

    While cleaning out some of my bookshelves I came across The Life and Works of Frank Llo…

  • 01 cityexhibit noticeLawrence Simons FAIA – Retires

    Larry Simmons FAIA  turned 80 in May of 2017 and liquidated his extensive real-estate holdings. He retired from architectural practice and develo…

  • F.P. Ghery Louis Vuitton Foundation 2014Frank Gehry and the power of encouragement.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This is a story about the influence and power of mentors on our live…

  • zaha-hadid-the-opus-dubai-designboom-04Zaha Hadid enters history….

    We lost Zaha Hadid: Thursday March 24 2016 she was 65.  You can read more here.

    She considered herself one who “pushes boundaries” yet as one who…

  • StraubCalvin C. Straub FAIA (1920-1998)

    Calvin Chester Straub FAIA (1920–1998) was an American born architect who made a significant impact on architecture through design and educa…

 

Copyright © 2013 Artisan Architecture