Sustainability—climate change and historic preservation

The New York headquarters of the United Nations, completed in 1952, was designed by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Neimeyer with an international design board comprising a literal who’s who of mid-century modern architecture. The resulting iconic structural complex and looms large on the east side of Manhattan Island.

As the building reached 50 years old, plans were developed to renovate the structure in an environmentally sustainable manner. In the previous 20+ years, the preservation of historic structures through renovation, adaptive reuse, tax credits and other means has become a popular way to preserve the historic character, style, and scale of neighborhoods and serve as a catalyst for economic development, particularly in inner city neighborhoods that had largely become run-down and even deserted.

Now the popularity of mid-century modern architecture and the many campaigns to save prime architectural examples has been combined with sustainability goals built around the issue of climate change. When the UN renovation project was completed in 2015, a study commissioned by the UN supports the idea that historic preservation can be an effective tool to help reduce our global carbon footprint.


Study Reinforces Carbon Benefit of Renovation

By James Wilson

Building Green

May 25, 2017

Recent Posts
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

Contact the International Heritage News Network at info The Privacy Policy for the International Heritage News Network has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their 'Personally Identifiable Information' (PII) is being used online. Go to IHN Network Privacy Policy >

© 2016-2018  by the International Heritage News Network. All photos are the property of the

International Heritage News Network, unless otherwise noted.  Proudly created with and grateful for the assistance of Christopher C. Celauro (see About the IHN Network).