Why We Like Working With Old Buildings

While we are always excited about new construction projects, there is a special place in our hearts for the renovation of existing buildings. There are several reasons for this.

  • One is that many existing buildings have great bones, meaning there are structure and other materials that are still within their functional lifespan. The reuse of these materials precludes the need for new ones, which would add to the embodied energy footprint of the building.
  • Another reason we like reuse is that many existing buildings in the New England area express the unique history and character of this place. We believe in maintaining that fabric when possible, and enhancing it with complimentary or supportively contrasting new buildings when it isn’t.
  • A third reason we at C&H love updating old buildings is the challenge. New Construction certainly has its complexities, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as making a building stretch beyond its original design into an entirely new realm of sustainability, all while making sure the corners line up and the proportions are beautiful. It takes a lot to make a vintage building perform up to contemporary standards, let alone at the level of our best practices. We think our blend of expertise and experience is uniquely suited to these projects, and we relish the chance to exercise it.

Innovation through Cooperation

We believe in the creative potential of a well-coordinated, mutually respectful team. Though we are a small office, our reach is wide. Our network of consultants includes some of the most accomplished systems designers and building analysts in North America. We are active members of a community of architects, constructors, and engineers who regularly discuss and dissect issues at the cutting edge of sustainable architecture.

These relationships keep C&H flexible and innovative. When we tackle a problem, we don’t do it in a vacuum. We have access to a breath and depth of knowledge that far exceed the boundaries of a small firm.

Visit our collaborators page to see a list of some of our favorite colleagues.