Day: June 8, 2016

Radical Common Sense

“Radical common sense” is a term used by some preservationists to describe a mindset that values repair over replacement. Writing in the Fall 2015 issue of Architecture Boston, architects Jean Carroon, FAIA and Ben Carlson explore why this may be seen as radical.   Carroon and Carlson note at the top of their article that “while reuse of water bottles and grocery bags is rapidly gaining ground, reuse of buildings and building components is not.” The authors note that it is “almost always less expensive and easier to replace a whole building and almost any of its elements — doors, windows, light fixtures — than to repair and reuse. Replacement also can offer measurable and consistent quality with product certifications and warranties not available for repaired items. Theoretically, a new building can ensure “high performance” and significantly reduce the environmental impact of building operations while creating healthier spaces. What’s not to like?” But if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  And in the course of their essay, they make the case that in chasing new solutions, …