With historic buildings, the envelope is often where the action is. You start with the fact that it is common for the envelope of historic buildings to not be functioning adequately. Add in the fact the envelope systems may be materially different from those commonly used today.  If the building is an historic landmark, typically the requirements and restrictions of that designation are focused on the building exterior. Finally, modern requirements for sustainability and energy efficiency dictate approaches that may not play well with preservation techniques.

Historic buildings and renovation projects are not harder, but they can be very different. This program looks at the 3 primary building envelope systems, roofing, exterior walls and windows/doors, and examines specialized needs and occasional contradictions commonly found in older structures. In discussing the most common materials and systems found in historic buildings, we will touch on a variety of do’s and don’ts that can help any practitioner navigate the renovation of an historic building.

PRESENTER:  Norman Alston, AIA

Norman Alston, AIA, has more than 37 years of professional experience in architecture, planning, historic preservation and cultural resource management. After 10 years of doing what he refers to as “normal” architecture, he founded Norman Alston Architects and has devoted the rest of his career to the protection, preservation and restoration of Texas’ rich architectural heritage. His award-winning projects span across his beloved Texas. He is particularly proud to have been recently selected to assist with current renovations and restoration at the Alamo. Norman Alston is also a frequent speaker and sometimes writer/blogger on architecture and historic preservation issues.

When he is not at work saving historic architecture, he is spending his free time saving historic architecture. He has been twice appointed by City Council to the Dallas Landmark Commission and over the past 20 years has chaired multiple committees and task forces for the Commission. This includes serving on the Commission’s Preservation Incentives Task Force which received a Spirit of Preservation Award from Preservation Dallas. An active member of the American Institute of Architects, he was asked to lead the Historic Preservation Task Force and is now the chair of the newly-revived Historic Resources Committee. He also serves on the Historic Resources Committee of the Texas Society of Architects. He also serves on the Antiquities Advisory Board of the Texas Historical Commission and the City of Dallas’ Urban Design Peer Review Panel.