Kentucky Heritage Council
National Window Preservation Summit July 26-28 seeks to document energy efficiency and establish historic wood window repair standards
FRANKFORT, Ky. – According to the national nonprofit membership organization Preservation Trades Network (PTN), the replacement window industry is actively destroying hundreds of thousands of original and perfectly functional historic windows every month. Based on the $8 billion spent every year on replacement windows, as many as 32 million classic, old growth, wood window sashes end up in landfills each year.
To combat misperceptions about the true value of replacement windows, a National Window Preservation Summit will take place July 26-28 at Pine Mountain Settlement School (PMSS), a National Historic Landmark in Harlan County. The summit is being sponsored by PTN, the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office and the Window Preservation Standards Collaborative (WPSC), a consortium of nationally recognized window preservation specialists whose goal is to develop national standards for the repair and weatherization of old and historic windows.
The summit is intended as a critical research effort to provide definitive energy testing data comparing the energy efficiency of replacement windows to that of preserved wood windows, and establish industry guidelines for the sustainable repair, restoration and weatherization of historic wood windows, according to Bob Yapp, one of the founders of the collaborative. Yapp is president of Preservation Resources Inc. based in Hannibal, MO, and former host of the national weekly PBS program About Your House with Bob Yapp, sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
"Those of us in the field know that window repair can often be cheaper and just as energy efficient as replacement, and our goal is to prove that – as well as expand training opportunities so more individuals will have the skills to properly assist owners of historic buildings," Yapp said.
Sponsors are seeking observers, advisors and stakeholders to participate in the summit and contribute to the research process. These include independent tradespeople who perform window restoration work, contractors, architects, facilities managers, and owners of historic homes and commercial buildings. Anyone interested in serving in one of these capacities is asked to contact the collaborative and introduce yourself via an online form, at www.ptnresource.org/WPSC_forum/viewforum.php?f=11. Complete registration information is available at www.ptnresource.org/WPSC/summit/.
Hands-on preservation programs with an emphasis on window preservation have become a priority of many state historic preservation offices, and the Kentucky Heritage Council has been partnering with PMSS since 2002 to present training workshops with actual work demonstrated and performed on historic buildings located on the campus.
According to the WPSC, architects and property developers are often interested in specifying the weatherization and repair of historic windows but have little information on standards they can use to do so. While many tradespeople and contractors are starting to do this work, they may not always know the best methods and materials, according to Patrick Kennedy, Heritage Council restoration project manager.
Findings from the summit are scheduled to be released in October as the National Window Preservation Standards book, which will be published by the WPSC and available for purchase. The book will document energy efficiency standards and catalog specific methods for the assessment, maintenance, repair, preservation and weatherization of older and historic windows.
For updates, visit the Kentucky Heritage Council website at www.heritage.ky.gov.
NOTE: Window replacement has become such an issue in older homes that the statewide advocacy organization Preservation Kentucky Inc. is planning a press conference at 2 p.m. Monday, July 25 at Pine Mountain Settlement School to name historic wood windows to its 2011 “most endangered” list. Speakers will include Yapp, Patrick Kennedy, Karen Nickless of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Rachel Kennedy, Preservation Kentucky executive director.
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An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens. This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life. www.heritage.ky.gov