Consider them the "10 Commandments of Rehabilitation." The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation are the litmus by which all historic tax credit projects are tested before they are approved. If you have used an HTC program, you are probably well aware of their allowances and limitations for sensitively rehabilitating an historic building.
Note: The avoidance of words like preservation, restoration and reconstruction in describing them is intentional. Those each have their own set of standards. Rehabilitation is the only treatment that allows for alterations and the construction of a new addition.
Just this week, the National Park Service released revised Guidelines. While the Standards themselves remain the same, guidance on specific treatments have been updated to include 20th-century building types, materials, and systems that are now 50 years old. Advances in technology have also been taken into consideration for the Guidelines as well. In particular, the new version includes additional entries on glass, paint and other coatings, composite materials, imitative materials, and curtain walls. Rehabilitation Guidelines are also broadened for related new construction on a building site.
Another change to the Standards includes the removal of the Energy Efficiency section (see the Illustrated Guidelines below) and the inclusion of Guidance on Resilience to Natural Hazards.
Here are a few more helpful links to guidance from the Technical Preservation Services division of the Nation Park Service:
- Preservation Briefs | These 49 whitepapers help to shed light on some of the more specific questions that might arise in historic rehabilitations from cleaning, repair, and substitute materials to seismic retrofits, lead-paint hazards, and graffiti removal.
- Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings | Last updated in 1997, the pictures may be old but so are the buildings they discuss. This guide for rehabilitation treatments includes, among other things, a chapter on Energy Conservation.
- Sustainability | The National Park Service has a whole webpage dedicated to preservation and sustainability. Check it out for subjects like energy efficiency in historic buildings, new technology and historic properties, sustainable prerservation in practice, and an interactive web feature on sustainability guidelines.
For guidance on how to apply the Standards to a specific project, contact our expert team.