Welcome to the CCHPC website! You’ll find many features including a photo gallery, calendar of upcoming events, and numerous resources to restore your home no matter when it was built. Feel free to explore the site and if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.
The Coolest Restored and Adapted Fire Station in Houston, Texas

"Fire Station No. 6 is a beacon for historic adaptation done right," writes David Garber. Tom Hair, founder of communications and marketing firm Axiom, found the fire station perfect for housing his growing company; it "reflected Axiom's creativity and energy." Check out additional pictures of the 1903 fire house's restoration and Garber's full article.

Vacation at a Historic Hotel

Enjoy historic sites and historic hotels before your summer fun comes to an end. Read Elizabeth McNamara's article about her stay at the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport or read about other Historic Hotels of America where you can get away!

Throwaway Economy Headed for Junk Heap of History

American architect William McDonough states, “Pollution is a symbol of design failure.” McDonough and German chemist Michael Braungart conclude that waste and pollution are to be avoided entirely, and have written about it in their book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.

There are many ways that people can stop this design failure: Using public transportation, recycling, and drinking tap (instead of bottled) water can make significant differences.

Read Lester R. Brown's full article about necessary and overdue changes or download his book World on the Edge as a free PDF.

Auto Dealer Retrofitting for Zero-Net-Energy

The oldest running auto dealership in Los Angeles recently announced plans to become California's first dealer to reach a Zero Net Energy status. For its 90th anniversary, Felix Chevrolet is getting its own tune-up with a servicing by Alpine Green Solutions, which scrutinized the facility with an energy audit. The iconic vintage sign may be a historic-cultural monument that can't be touched but just like its cartoon cat namesake: "whenever he gets in a fix/ he reaches into his bag of tricks," there's a batch of simple and complex ways to improve the energy efficiency of the site and make it more sustainable.

Read the rest of the article at TreeHugger.com

On-Demand Escalators Can Cut Energy Use By Up To 52%

Escalators can be a tricky topic. On the one hand, they're huge energy sucks when no one is using them and they're endlessly looping without a passenger, or when stairs are a perfectly useful option. On the other hand, escalators are a big resource in places like airports or for those of us who aren't able to get up a flight of stairs, so it's not like we could or would want to get rid of them. The solution seems to be escalators that run only when needed - and that solution can save a ton of electricity.

Read the rest of the article at TreeHugger.com

Mapping the Direction of Right-Sizing in Saginaw

There has been much hype in the media and buzz in urban planning circles about right-sizing but to see the term explicitly defined is a rarity. Popularly, the term is used to refer to the process of bringing a city’s infrastructure and housing stock in line with current needs and declining population trends. It is largely hailed, by the multitude of politicians, government officials and business owners who invoke its rhetorical power, as a rational response to the productive collapse of the Middle-American city. Right-sizing, we are told, represents an effort to impose order on what appears to be a largely chaotic process. Right-sizing also involves a determination of what’s valuable and what has the greatest potential to rise from the ashes, once economic conditions have stabilized. Preservation professionals may play an increasingly important role in this aspect of right-sizing and planning.

Read the rest of the article at PreservationNation.com

Nuclear Plant to Revive Ghost Town

After sitting abandoned for more than three decades, the historic village of Frick's Lock in East Coventry Township, Pa., soon will show signs of life. Last month, Exelon Nuclear, the current owners of the empty village, signed an agreement with the township to stabilize, rehabilitate, and protect several of Chester County's oldest buildings.

Founded more than 250 years ago, Frick's Lock was a key stop along the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Schuylkill Canal. Most of the village's 10 existing buildings were built c. 1825, and one—built c.1757—predates the canal. Frick's Lock was a functioning village until the early 1980s, when Limerick Nuclear Power Plant moved in just across the river.

Read the rest of the article at PreservationNation.com

Raising the Barn

Can a place that houses equipment to work the land be kind to its surroundings as well? De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop provides a simple, low-tech approach. Although they met as graduate students at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Roberto de Leon, AIA, and Ross Primmer, AIA, decided to practice in Louisville, Ky. Inevitably, the barn typology of the region has influenced the work of De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop, including its design for the Mason Lane Farm Operations Facility. This facility, which provides space for servicing and storing farm equipment, as well as seasonal storage for grain and hay, is a contradiction in the countryside: agricultural structures that house equipment used to work prime farmland but that also have a reduced environmental impact.

Read the rest of the article at Eco-Structure.com

Renew, Restore, Recycle

In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, The Allison Inn & Spa aims to cultivate the well-being of its guests and its land. Just outside Portland, Ore., the highway spills between rounded hillsides of vineyards and farms that until recently were rife with visitors and low on lodging. Roots run deep herenot only in terms of grapes, orchards, and generations of other agriculture, but also in pride for stewardship of the land. When Joan Austin, owner of the Allison Inn & Spa, decided to build an 85-room hotel, spa, event facility, and restaurant in the small suburb of Newberg, she brought environmental and contextual sensitivity to the table. Delivering a consummate guest experience remained a vital priority, however, and the resulting combination allows visitors to relax in luxury while treading lightly on the earth.

Read the rest of the article at Eco-Structure.com

Step Inside the House of the Future: Passivhaus

Canadians helped invent a house so efficient you could heat it with a hair dryer. Then we forgot about it. First of three parts.

The home of the future was built 34 years ago in Regina. It was called the Saskatchewan Conservation House. It used less than a fifth of the energy consumed by comparable homes. More than 30,000 people came to see it. But Canadian homebuilders ignored the ideas it offered, and the Canadian public forgot about it.

The world would have forgotten the Saskatchewan house, too, were it not for a quirky German physicist interested in energy-saving buildings. After studying the Saskatchewan house and a handful of similar buildings, Dr. Wolfgang Feist wrote a mathematically precise - and elegantly simple - criterion for designing buildings that require less than a tenth of the energy of average buildings. He called it the Passivhaus standard.

Read the rest of the article at theTyee.ca.

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