Energy Efficiency for Historic Homes

Sep 2, 2014


We love our little bungalow. Built in 1926, we revel in the hand-wrought iron work, the hand-crafted joinery, the built-in fireplace flanked by inglenooks, the hipped covered porch, and the “elaborated” rafter ends.

But after all these years of loving, a piece of us is also sapped, longing to tap out. Uncle, uncle.

How is it possible that living in temperate Southern California we need to adorn a turtleneck and sweater during the winter months just to stay warm inside our own home? Warming up means taking a walk in the neighborhood, wretchedly seeking the weak rays of the winter sun. How’s the summer, you wonder? Our dear beloved bungalow does manage to keep things cool in the morning hours—only to become a sauna once the big hand passes noon. And we’re not talking the traditional sauna with health benefits (i.e., the Fins), but rather pore clogging, dust and dirt-attracting sauna-type sweat accompanied by heat that melts the mind.

If these experiences seem uncomfortably familiar, Pasadena Heritage‘s “Energy Efficiency in Historic Homes” seminar may be for you.

A panel of architects, contractors, and energy consultants will address common questions, real-world examples, financial incentives, and preservation challenges at this half-day seminar on energy efficiency measures for historic homes. (Pasadena Heritage)

One of the panelists scheduled is John Lesak of Page & Turnbull. P&T was the preservation architect for the Ferry Building in San Francisco, the Royal Presidio Chapel in Monterey, and the Leland Stanford Mansion. “We routinely follow the Presidio of San Francisco’s Green Design Guidelines and are at the forefront of lecturing about the compatibility of preservation and sustainability.”

Also speaking are John Hoffner of Pasadena Water & Power, Kevin Johnson of the City of Pasadena Planning Department, and Tony Ward of TWARD Energy Surveys and Solutions.


Bungalow Heaven home; photo by David/ExperienceLA

Bungalow Heaven home; photo by David/ExperienceLA



“Energy Efficiency in Historic Homes”
Saturday, Sept. 20th, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Polytechnic School, Founders Hall, 1030 E. California Blvd., Pasadena 91106
Free underground parking; enter off of Wilson Ave.
Tickets: $25, PH members; $30, non-members
Purchase tickets here
For more information, please visit

Seminar Schedule
Questions and answers will follow each session
Refreshments will be served during the breaks between sessions

9 a.m. – First Session
Traditional climate control features in historic homes
Energy audits and understanding energy usage
Quick fix: lighting measures

11 a.m. – Second Session
Weatherization measures: insulation, windows & doors
Heating and cooling systems, old & new
Landscaping for shade and water conservation

1 p.m. – Additional info available in the outdoor courtyard


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