Historic Buildings for a Modern Day Purpose

Historic buildings dot the skylines and line the streets of cities around the world. Each building has a unique story to tell, and the history of civilization is illustrated beautifully by this rich architectural timeline.

As owners and operators of historic buildings struggle with the challenges of rising energy costs and tighter operating budgets, how should they balance the need for improved building performance with historic preservation?

Trane provides high performance buildings solutions to operators of historic buildings across the globe, from ornate archeological treasures like the Prague Castle in the Czech Republic and the Kremlin in Moscow, to landmark buildings that scrape the sky like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

The High Performance Buildings approach to historic preservation protects these treasures and the irreplaceable artifacts within while improving building performance. Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort systems and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, works with historic building owners to reduce operating costs and ensure that historic buildings continue to achieve the underlying organizational mission and remain a viable alternative to new construction.

Whether safeguarding priceless art in the Guggenheim or keeping passengers comfortable in the historic Grand Central Station, the high performance buildings approach gives building operators the tools they need to preserve historic buildings for years to come.
Historic Buildings for a Modern Day Purpose
Historic buildings pre-date the relatively cheap electricity and modern mechanical systems we take for granted today. Instead, historic buildings were often designed with features such as natural lighting, ventilation and water cisterns that were intended to be inherently sustainable. However, as these buildings age, the original building systems can fall into disrepair and lose efficiency. In many cases, the original building systems can't keep up with the demands of the building's modern day use, such as housing heat-producing office equipment and computer servers, or hosting high levels of foot traffic, etc.

In such cases, experts may need to replace original building systems with modern heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and controls to improve the comfort and indoor air quality of historic buildings.
Trane works with building owners to ensure that new and old systems work together to maintain a comfortable and safe environment for building occupants without damaging the building. Experts from Trane also help building operators to analyze system performance and identify potential tradeoffs associated with energy conservation measures (ECM).
Example: The Historic Oxford Hotel, Denver
First opening its doors in 1891, the 80-room Oxford Hotel in Denver, Colo., needed improvements to replace its aging building systems. In addition to improving guest comfort, the hotel sought to better control temperature and humidity to provide the stable environmental conditions required to preserve the hotel’s extensive collection of 19th and 20th century paintings of the American West.

Located in the historic LoDo district (lower downtown) in Denver, the luxury boutique hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The infrastructure systems needed to be upgraded without compromising the hotel’s originality and charm while providing system redundancy and increasing energy efficiency.

Working with experts from Trane, improvements to the hotel were made as part of an extensive energy efficiency, conservation and sustainability program undertaken by Sage Hospitality Resources, which owns and operates The Oxford Hotel. The upgrades improved energy efficiency while decreasing average monthly utility costs by 47 percent. In addition, Sage Hospitality Resources also received a $34,000 rebate from its utility provider.