Why Old is Green: January Program Series

Posted by Jenny on December 8, 2020

 

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This January, we are hosting a program series about old homes and sustainability. Each week will focus on a different subject, but if you live in an old home and are looking for guidance on things like fixing old windows, weatherizing to save money on your bills, keeping your home architecturally significant, or even adding solar panels, join us for this program series to hear from experts on how to find resources to help you out.

The first week will simply be an introduction to the concept of why "Old is Green," and will give you an overview of why historic preservation is good for the environment--a concept that is important in our community when approximately 2 million pounds of demolition waste is added to our local landfills each year.

To prepare for the program, you can follow this guide on how to research the history of your house, a resource that was written by our Archives Staff, who have completed hundreds of property histories.


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Register here, on the Library's event page.

Natalie Heneghan will break down the how and why of sustainability in homes. Her presentation will open a discussion about sustainability as it relates to materials, community, and quality of life. You’ll learn how old homes can adapt to change and reduce cost of living, and you’ll get a thorough introduction to traditional building materials, good design, and energy efficiency.

Natalie is the Education Manager at Rethos, a nonprofit that works nationwide to reuse buildings and promote community vitality. She develops workshops that teach homeowners and DIYers about building rehab and maintenance. Driven by a commitment to making rehab more accessible and less daunting, Natalie creates experiences that help people take care of the places they love.

 

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Register here, on the Library's event page.

Pete Gruendeman will give a presentation on what he has learned through his experience of weatherizing old homes in La Crosse. He'll give you some tips and tricks on how to weatherize your own home, save money on your heating bill, and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Pete is handy and values the efficient use of materials and energy. He has his own thermal image equipment, which he uses to find where heat is lost in homes. He has imaged some thirty homes in the La Crosse area. This imaging allows him to educate homeowners on how to use materials around the house (e.g. plastic bags) to weatherize for the winter. His own home is a ranch style house, built in 1983, and has been fine-tuned many times with the aid of thermal images. The only energy used on the property is solar, propane and grid electricity, the sum total of which costs $850 per year.

 

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Register here, on the Library's event page.

This panel will focus on helping you find resources so you can complete your house projects. Whether you are a new homeowner, renting an apartment in an old home, or have had a project sitting in your home for ten years, you are welcome to come and learn from this panel of experienced professionals. Each presenter will give a short talk on their personal expertise, and then it will open up to a Q & A for audience members to get their questions directly answered.

Speakers:

  • Natalie Heneghan: Natalie is the Education Manager at Rethos, a nonprofit that works nationwide to reuse buildings and promote community vitality. She develops workshops that teach homeowners and DIYers about building rehab and maintenance. Driven by a commitment to making rehab more accessible and less daunting, Natalie creates experiences that help people take care of the places they love.
  • Andy DeRocher: Andy is a design and consulting engineer with HGA, where he specializes in life-cycle sustainability and energy solutions in commercial buildings. His past experience includes designing and installing hydronic heating, plumbing, and renewable energy systems. In his spare time, he and his wife have been attempting to incorporate high performance building strategies while restoring their 1926 bungalow in Madison.
  • Marc Zettler: Marc is a historic preservation architect and developer who focuses on rehabilitating historic buildings. His firm, Zettler Design Studio, specializes in historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and preservation consulting. One of his most recently completed rehabilitation projects was the Masonic Temple/Exchange State Bank Building (Buzz's Bikes) on La Crosse's North Side. He serves on the board of directors for many local and state preservation commissions.

 

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Register here, on the Library's event page.

This tour will explore the ties between the development of land during settler colonialism in the mid-1800s, the Urban Renewal period in the 1970s, and today while making a case for a future of historic preservation. Downtown revitalization projects should include more sustainable practices and acknowledge the need to preserve our community's cultural heritage.

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