Historic New England owns and/or manages historic properties scattered throughout five states, with the goals of preserving and presenting New England heritage, and educating the public. They have consulted Building Science Corporation on multiple projects, typically looking at the goal of reducing energy consumption while without the use of irreversible methods on the historic fabric of the building, as well as not compromising durability. All of these projects involved a field evaluation of the building, followed by analysis and recommendations.
One project was the Pierce House, which was built circa 1683 and is located in Dorchester, MA. Historic New England has asked BSC to use this house as a study example, to determine potential energy efficiency retrofits that are available on this house as well as similar properties. Some limiting factors included the lack of a drainage plane at the exterior walls; however, significant savings could be gained by improving basement/crawl space conditions, as well as air sealing the attic. Guidance was provided on non-adhering / non-permanent air sealing materials.
The Lyman Estate, located in Waltham, MA is a building built over time, including initial construction in 1793, with additional renovations and wings added in 1882 and 1917. The house is currently used as office space for Historic New England, as well as for rental event space. BSC's guidance included recommendations on better defining boundaries between conditioned and unconditioned space, and recommendations for air sealing, duct sealing, and attic insulation.