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Research Qs - Disasters & Secretary's Standards

  • 1.  Research Qs - Disasters & Secretary's Standards

    Posted 04-14-2020 14:03

    Taking Peter Byrne's cue!, I thought I'd ask the Forum for help on two research projects, book chapters due this spring.  They are mostly written, but I was hoping for a couple more examples for each.  Would love to know if you had documentation* for either of the following situations:

    (1) State heritage protection planning / procedures during (physical) disaster 
    Does your state have particularly good or forward-looking disaster management plans or procedures?  In the chapter draft, I think I've covered federal laws (106, NHPA, and the Stafford Act), and local planning in Annapolis/Philly/Charleston/New Orleans.  But for state highlights, I only have CT and LA so far, and it's been hard for me to identify other states that stand out.  There are 32 states that have at least paid lip service to preservation in disaster planning (via hazard mitigation plans or historic preservation plans).   Would love some help sifting through that list.

    (2) The Secretary's Standards conflicting with climate change goals  
    Have you encountered situations where strict application or interpretation of the Secretary's Standards has conflicted with climate change goals?  Example situations might have involved energy-efficient windows/door/insulation/renewable energy installations, chemical treatments to slow wildfires/reduce water damage, raising buildings to alleviate flood impacts, etc.  This conflict might have played out in:
    * Conservation and preservation restrictions that reference the Standards
    * Tax credit projects (federal or state) that require compliance with the Standards
    * Building code and zoning code applications in historic districts subject to the Standards

    Happy to get responses privately!

    Take care,
    Sara Bronin

    * Somehow in writing - e.g., a lawsuit, a white paper, a city plan, a blog post...!

    Sara C. Bronin
    Thomas F. Gallivan Chair of Real Property Law
    Faculty Director, Center for Energy & Environmental Law
    UConn Law School
    Chair, Preservation Connecticut (formerly Connecticut Trust Historic Preservation)
    Twitter: @sarabronin

  • 2.  RE: Research Qs - Disasters & Secretary's Standards

    Posted 04-15-2020 10:19
    As background, I'm sure you know that the National Park Service issued the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings in 2013 and this past fall Guidelines on Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings to provide guidance on these topics. 

    There are several case studies on our website of sustainable projects, but I will tell you these examples are several years old now. Currently, both in the Federal and State tax credit programs, we routinely approve projects meeting LEED and other Green Building standards and certifications to improve energy efficiency and performance. 

    An illustrated version of the Flooding Guidelines is to be issued by late fall 2020 and will include photos of different flood adaptation treatments, including elevating buildings. The NPS also developed a workshop on flooding adaptation that we have been presenting around the country -- we were scheduled to present it several times this spring and summer (cancelled now), and again at the National Preservation Conference in the fall -- which  includes several examples, including elevating buildings.

    Brian Goeken, AICP
    Chief, Technical Preservation Services

    National Park Service
    Technical Preservation Services
    1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 7243
    Washington, DC 20240

    202-354-2033 phone

    Information about Public Law No: 115-97 (Pub L. 115-97) and changes to the tax code that modify the 20% Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and repeal the 10% Rehabilitation Tax Credit   

  • 3.  RE: Research Qs - Disasters & Secretary's Standards

    Posted 04-17-2020 10:47

    Minnesota was ahead of its time when it prepared a disaster plan for historic properties 20 years ago. Although it could certainly use an update now, (including easier web accessibility--I don't think the full document is available online), it might be helpful to consider how statewide disaster response has changed.

    I believe the Minnesota plan was written on the heels of flooding and tornado damage. Given the way natural disasters have evolved with climate change, it's certainly important to consider all types of disasters. Today, Minnesota might look more at different types of severe storm events, including flash flooding and ice storms.

    And, as I noted in a separate thread, disaster planning really needs to begin looking beyond physical disasters to consider things like our current situation. I'm happy to see a few webinars out there about caring for collections and facilities from the perspective of this pandemic. Disaster plans should also integrate that sort of guidance for historic property and collections stewards.

    Best of luck finishing your chapters!


    Barbara Howard
    Stonebridge Learning, LLC
    Minneapolis MN