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APT Victoria: Sustainable Preservation and Conference

In the 30 years since I arrived in Seattle, I”ve enjoyed watching Kenmore Air float planes take off and land from Lake Union. Last month, I finally took the occasion of the APT (Association for Preservation Technology) Conference in Victoria to fly from Lake Union into Victoria”s Inner Harbor and back. I”ve always loved flying but never as much as this!

The conference was preceded by a symposium on Sustainable Preservation assembling about 75 architects, conservators and engineers from North and Central America, Europe and Asia to discuss the technical challenges of resource conservation in heritage buildings. Beyond the commonplace of embodied energy as significant in conserving resources, the issues confronting moisture migration within and through walls that were never insulated are quite real: analysis of Scottish stone buildings and the Canadian Parliament. Fortunately, in Seattle, we don”t have to contend with issues like ice lensing.

After Mark Hammond”s keynote address, sessions ranged from sustainable strategies from the past to maritime heritage and lighthouses, seismic remediation, and mortars and materials reacting to water. Laura Lenss, CBE lecturer and associate SHKS Architects, presented the adaptive reuse of the Eddon Boat Shop in Gig Harbor (where the Thunderbird sailboat was first built) to the Gig Harbor Boat Shop, a non-profit wooden boat workshop.

The seismic upgrade of a historic synagogue dgfev online casino in San Francisco challenges prescriptive methods, strengthening walls locally and stabilizing the dome using a tension ring made of nitinol (nickel titanium) whose elastic qualities allow the restraint to return slowly to pre-quake geometry before yielding as steel would.

The technical minutiae of work on existing buildings are no more exhilaratingly described than at the APT Conference. Buildings are rendered more like bodies (or organisms) in consideration of their pathologies and prosthetic remedies.

Food: The Polish restaurant in Victoria has about the best borscht I”ve had.

David Strauss, Ph.D. is a practicing architect, a partner at SHKS Architects and an affiliate assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington.


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