- Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
- Windows and Roofs
- Disaster Relief
- Battlefield Identification and Civil War Sites Advisory Commission
Building Treatment and MaintenanceSecretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties Developed by the United States Secretary of the Interior, there are four treatment approaches (preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction) for historic buildings, each one intended to promote responsible preservation practices. Established in 1976, there are ten “Standards” under each approach. Each Standard is purposely vague and intended as general guidance, not technical assistance. DHR uses the Standards for Rehabilitation in most cases when reviewing projects under the Code of Virginia, because these Standards acknowledge the need to alter or add to a historic property to meet continuing or changing uses. These Standards emphasize repair instead of replacement, but offer guidelines if replacement is warranted. DHR uses the Standards for review purposes but also encourages the use of them outside of review processes.
- Follow this link for the ten Standards for Rehabilitation, or you can print this PDF.
- All four treatment approaches can be found online here at the National Park Service’s website.
- The NPS publication Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings offers more specific recommendations and advice on how to apply the Standards. But please keep in mind, only the ten Standards are mandated when it comes to review pursuant to state law.
- The Preservation Briefs are also published by the NPS to recommend even more specific methods and approaches for rehabilitating historic buildings with respect to the Standards. There are 47 Briefs and they range in topics from water repellent treatments for historic masonry to preserving ornamental plaster to ADA accessibility.
- Properly weatherized windows with storm units can reduce heat loss through windows by 50 percent, resulting in performance and energy savings comparable to or even better than new windows.
- Replacement windows typically fail 10-to-20 years after installation, usually after the warranty period has ended and before their cost has been recouped through energy savings.
- Repairing historic windows avoids the wasteful cycle of repeatedly manufacturing, replacing, and discarding windows, and for those reasons, is less costly to the environment.
Green PreservationEnergy efficiency and the “greening” of historic properties have become popular initiatives among state governments looking for ways to enhance their properties in an environmentally friendly method. Former Governor Bob McDonnell’s Executive Order No. 19 requires new or renovated buildings to meet “Virginia’s Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards” for energy performance, in addition to conforming to LEED silver. But how do you balance green building practices and historic preservation? The Standards emphasize maintaining historic character (visually distinctive materials, features and spaces) and integrity (whether the building still retains its historic character) in its guidelines, which are central to historic preservation. Green Building practices, LEED is the most popular, promotes the production of buildings that are sustainable and economically feasible and that will not harm the health of their occupants. The LEED rating system awards points when sustainable practices are incorporated into construction projects, and the higher the points, the higher the certification level achieved. It is important to know that both movements share a related origin that can be summed up generally in one term: conservation. It is important to keep in mind, green rating systems
- Do not account for historical significance
- Were developed for new construction
- Undervalue the reuse of buildings versus other actions.
- Windows, windows, windows
- Weatherization and Insulation
- Solar Technology
- Wind Power
- Roofs, both Green and Cool
- Site Features and Water Efficiency
ArchaeologyFrom the prehistoric stone tool debris left by present-day Virginia’s earliest people to the remains of Cold War military training facilities, the depth and breadth of Virginia’s archaeological heritage is truly remarkable. Virginia is home to more battlefields and battle-related archaeological sites than any other state. Virginia’s archaeological sites belong to its citizens, and DHR is committed to preserving archaeological sites on behalf of the public. Sites of archaeological significance—those that are listed or eligible for listing in the Virginia Landmarks Register—should be left in place, if at all possible. Protection can fall under a range of measures known as “preservation in place”:
- Recording the location on land and planning maps, designing projects to avoid sites, or placing land containing sites under deed restriction; or
- Installing fencing or locked gates, or burying the site to prevent disturbance.
- Identify known cemeteries, burial sites, and cemetery boundaries; and
- Develop avoidance and protection plans; and
- Guide cemetery restoration, headstone repair, and other activities.
BattlefieldsThere is often little to visually distinguish a battlefield from a pasture, forest, or hillside, and its significance can be difficult to recognize. In some instances, battlefields and battle-related properties can contain earthen fortifications and buildings used as makeshift headquarters or field hospitals. In others, battlefields can include evidence of encampments and battlefield engagements and, most importantly, the graves of fallen soldiers. A battlefield’s historic significance is largely archaeological, but it may be easier to think of battlefields as open-space landscapes that afford a sense of what soldiers saw during the battle itself. Virginia holds 122 Civil War battlefields, as defined by the federally-appointed Civil War Sites Advisory Commission (CWSAC). These battlefields represent all phases of the war, from early Confederate victories in the Shenandoah Valley to General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. The battlefields are often large and encompass large swaths of land, but depending on the events that occurred there, certain areas may hold more significance than others. Should your property fall within a battlefield, we suggest the following:
- Talk to DHR. We can help an agency identify both a battlefield and any known resources (fortifications, trenches, historic buildings, etc) that may be associated with it. We can also provide technical assistance for the larger landscape as well as for any associated resources.
- Identify battlefield resources. DHR can help your agency ensure that management maps and documents accurately identify battlefield resources. Staff should be aware of these resources and the responsibility to protect them.
- Protect battlefield resources. Any identified battlefield resources (earthworks, burials or cemeteries, etc.) should be protected from damage and vandalism as much as possible. This should include acknowledging and accounting for battlefield landscapes and archaeological sites when planning for new construction or other projects.
- Involve staff: Agency staff—especially rangers, foresters, and others who spend time outdoors— can be the best sources for protecting battlefield resources. Providing staff with information about battlefields and other historic resources on state property will encourage staff to be alert for illegal activities, such as relic hunting.
Updated November 14, 2022