Last month, San Francisco hosted the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) and, in doing so, took center stage in the conversation surrounding climate change, the role that we play in it, and how we might move forward to uphold the historic Paris Agreement, despite a federal government that has officially withdrawn the United States from the agreement. The main goal of the summit was to inspire a global commitment on regional and local levels to cut carbon emissions and it came right on the heels of California Governor Jerry Brown committing California to total carbon neutrality by 2045 as well as for 100 percent of the state’s electricity to come from carbon-free sources by that same year.
Restoring and preserving the Old Mint is important to CHS because we believe that historic preservation is about more than just keeping old buildings around—it saves the physical places that tell stories about what happened in the past. These places connect us to the events and diverse peoples that came before us and help create modern communities that thrive with meaning and purpose. Historic preservation helps to keep these buildings and sites vibrant, in use, and relevant to the communities that they exist within; it’s also good for the environment.
|Construction of U.S. Mint, taken from roof of Lincoln School looking S.W., San Francisco, 1873|
The greenest building is the one that’s already built. A recent study from National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Research & Policy Labconcluded that building reuse almost always offers environmental savings (between 4 and 46 percent) over demolition and new construction, regardless of the building type and climate. It takes energy and resources to construct a new building – it saves energy and resources to preserve an old one. In addition, old buildings can be retrofitted to make them more energy efficient and sustainable than they might have been in their original form.