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Historic Preservation

New Film: “The Greenest Building”

Poster for today's premiere of "The Greenest Building."

Amid better weather than here, tonight Portland, Oregon hosts the premiere of The Greenest Building, a documentary that examines the problems inherent in the anticipated demolition of over one-third of the United States’ building stock over the next 20 years. Produced by Jane Turville, The Greenest Building examines the ecological reason for preservation.

The argument is one of the most direct, compelling moral calls for preservation, and cuts through academic and aesthetic mystification of the very simple and very necessary ethic of preserving the built environment. “We need to realize that buildings are consumer products on a grand scale,” wrote Turville in a blog post in 2009. The consequences of consumption of buildings are far greater and more dangerous than any other, as this new film makes clear.

Hopefully the film makes it way to St. Louis soon. Meanwhile, here are some clips.

One reply on “New Film: “The Greenest Building””

I’m baffled as to why Jean Carroon doesn’t know the answer to her own question. I remember a developer in Portlandia talking about renovating a building there. They look for a crumbling building, since it’s cheaper, and gut it, leaving only the facade. You can see examples of this downtime with steel beams supporting a hollow center, while they rebuild it. Trying to reuse costs more than leveling and building with never techniques.

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