Posted by: wadahp | April 21, 2010


DAHP is pleased to give you a sneak peek at the 2010 Historic Preservation Month Poster for 2010 (I promise that it’s not neon green!).  In following along with the National Trust’s theme for Preservation Month, “Old is the New Green,”  we opted to focus on historic windows.  The poster attempts to give preservationists ammunition against the argument that vinyl replacement windows are the “green” option for home owners.  We give lots of facts and figures to dispel the myth that historic windows cannot be energy efficient.  We also have some articles and papers on our website that illustrate how historic windows can be maintained and weatherized for the future!

If you haven’t received a poster from us in the past and would like to have one sent, please let Zee Hill ( know, and please include your mailing address!  Posters will be mailed during the first week of May. 



  1. Another fabulous poster! Thanks so much!

    • Much appreciated, Holly! We hope that it will be helpful for the local preservation folks out there!

  2. As a certified green real estate broker, I can’t tell you how useful this information is and it’s all on one delightful page – huge compliments to the designers! I’m sending it to my friends in the sustainable building industry. Many thanks.

  3. Wow, Valerie – what a great compliment! Appreciate you taking the time to let us know that you find it useful!

  4. Happy Earth Day! What a great poster. Since we recognize that the Washington State Energy Code is the main legal hurdle for keeping and restoring traditional, original windows & doors, and we recognize that Embodied Energy & Life Cycle costs of traditional wood windows & doors outweigh the difference in energy efficiency of most replacement windows & doors. It is time we challenge the Washington State Energy Code and the local town & city codes to allow an easy path for restoring our traditional windows & doors without the punitive requirements to increase insulation levels and other trade offs within the structure. Properly restored, tuned, traditional, repairable, windows & doors, are energy efficient in their own right.

    • The Washington State Energy Code does not currently (or ever has) required that windows in historic structures meet any efficiency requirements. Historic Buildings: The building official may modify the specific requirements of this Code for historic buildings and require in lieu thereof alternate requirements which will result in a reasonable degree of energy efficiency. This modification may be allowed for those buildings which have been specifically designated as historically significant by the state or local governing body, or listed in The National Register of Historic Places or which have been determined to be eligible for listing.

      • That’s great, and the section you cite is correct as the code relates to historic & landmarked structures. This section takes into account that windows & doors are significant defining elements of most historic structures & that they should be preserved. This argument also follows for structures that are not & will not be on the historic register or landmarked, although these structures may still reflect the original design & integrity intended when the structure was designed.

        But that misses the point I was making. The energy code reasoning for replacement of windows & doors is energy efficiency. When you consider the ‘Embodied Energy’ of an existing traditional window or door, and then also add in the ‘Life Cycle Costs’ of removing & then continuing the cycle of removal and replacement, instead of a cycle of repair for the traditional window or door, over the long run you don’t end up with energy savings. There are option paths like Seattle DPD’s Target-UA calculation form in the Seattle Energy Code that help calculate the current approved trade offs, the question is, are the trade offs reasonable? As I wrote above – Properly restored & tuned, traditional, repairable, windows & doors are energy efficient in their own right. Do we sacrifice all of the other benefits of traditional windows & doors, just for perceived energy efficiency?

        For more information, below is a link to the transcript of a lecture by Donovan Rypkema that goes into more detail on the topics of Embodied Energy & Life Cycle Costs.

  5. Fantastic poster!

    We are starting to see recognition in New England that vinyl isn’t a great replacement for old-growth timber windows, but seeing something so succinct and catchy is great.

  6. Is that Mrs. Cleaver?
    Did you know that if little Beaver had chewed on vinyl windows instead of lead pained wood ones he’d be dead?
    The Vinyl(PVC,polyvinyl chloride) most replacement windows are made of cannot be recycled, it contaminates materials around it and converts to a highly toxic gas in a fire. It take energy, petrolium and chloride to make and even though its cheap to buy it comes at a very high cost to the environment. Today Eddie Haskle is selling vinyl windows and sideing. Like Mrs. Cleaver I’m not buying.
    Check it out at:

  7. Amazing, Government funds spent to compete against other government funds. Tax credits for energy efficient windows against posters and advertising against replacement of windows. 1) you can’t just keep increasing attic insulation to stop heat loss. 2). Properly maintained wood windows might last 200 years, but the majority of wood windows I have seen have not been properly maintained, are rotting and need replacement to prevent further damage to the structure. To spend tax dollars on an advertising campaign like this is a waste of money and pointless. Don’t campaign to the population, talk with the other government agencies you are disageeing with. “Old is the new green” seriously, our government is spending billions of dollars on “green” projects and now you decide you can spend money on a poster and go against the wave. Good thinking, wise use of tax funds.

  8. yeah! I do agree that “old is the new green”. good post and thanks a lot for such helpful information about the month preservation for this year 2010. keep it going!

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