Dr. Lynne Lochhead has generously provided us with a copy of her “Economic reasons for saving heritage (listed and unlisted)” note, submitted to Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee, in support of the “PROTECT OUR REMAINING HERITAGE: STOP THE DESTRUCTION” Petition.
Economic reasons for saving heritage (listed and unlisted)
International studies on the economics of heritage restoration and the adaptive reuse of buildings show that it creates more jobs and contributes more to the economy than new construction. Heritage restoration is characterised by labour intensity as opposed to material intensity for new construction – numerous studies showing it creates more jobs both direct and indirect than new construction
International experience shows that city revitalization seldom succeeds where heritage is destroyed. Heritage provides a point of difference, attracts entrepreneurs as well as small businesses. A range of buildings of diverse sizes, ages and characters provides the mix of rental structures that attracts the wide variety of interdependent commercial operations that characterise successful urban centres. Heritage buildings are an essential part of this mix they are natural incubators for small business because usually relatively affordable
Retaining and reusing existing built stock reduces our carbon footprint and extends the economic life of buildings. eg Donovan Rypkema international expert on the economics of heritage points out that demolishing a typical North America commercial building – 7.5 meters wide and 36 meters feet deep wipes out the entire environmental benefit from the last 1,344,000 aluminum cans that were recycled.. And that calculation only considers the impact on the landfill.
Razing historic buildings results in a triple hit on scarce resources.
- loss of thousands of dollars of embodied energy.
- replacing it with materials which generally consume vastly more energy
- loss of the recurring embodied energy savings which increase dramatically as a building life stretches over fifty years.