By Akul Modi, Bregenzer Brothers Company Incorporated (BBCI)
In the world of higher education, the preservation of historic campus buildings stands as a testament to the academic legacy of an institution. However, the desire for high levels of technology and sustainability presents a unique challenge: how do you seamlessly merge modern innovation with the timeless charm of historical structures? At Bregenzer Brothers Company Incorporated (BBCI), we have undertaken the task of integrating tradition, technology, and sustainability in countless campus restoration projects that preserve the past while embracing a forward-looking future.
Honoring the Legacy of Tradition
Colleges and universities are architectural repositories of history. While technological advancements have become pivotal in modern education, the historic charm of these institutions is non-negotiable. Our approach is rooted in a deep respect for the architectural heritage of these campuses. By leveraging modern techniques such as 3D scanning and Building Information Modeling (BIM) we aim to be on the cutting edge for all facets of installing and restoring historical slate roofs, copper standing/flat seam roofs, custom copper gutters, decorative metals, leader heads, and other integral components of older structures.
Preserving Campus Identity Through Sustainability
Colleges and universities are embracing sustainability as a core value, and their buildings are no exception. Restoration work is driven by an understanding that sustainable architecture doesn't merely belong to the future – it's integral to preserving the legacy of the past. Copper and slate are two of the most environmentally friendly roofing materials you can choose, because of their longevity and durability, and the fact that they are benign and chemical free. Additionally, sourcing materials locally can further improve sustainability.
In order to ensure sustainable practices are followed, it is imperative that the institution and contractor work closely together to select eco-friendly materials that align their sustainability goals and meet their aesthetic expectations. This collaboration, coupled with enhanced craftmanship in each historic element of the building is an essential part of sustainability. Ultimately, it takes each of these elements to ensure that historic buildings contribute to a greener campus environment.
Fostering Educational Legacy Through Restoration
Colleges and universities are more than just buildings; they're beacons of knowledge and community. Restoration efforts must extend beyond architectural preservation. By seamlessly integrating technology and sustainability into campus restoration projects, we contribute to an environment that mirrors the institutions' core values. Restored buildings serve as living examples of harmonious coexistence between history and progress, inspiring students, and faculty alike. By utilizing the best in modern-day technology, we can ensure that students and faculty enjoy the conveniences of the 21st Century, while still appreciating the long history of those who came before them. This can be done by utilizing advanced materials that are engineered for energy efficiency, and in turn, ensures the seamless integration of modern technologies without compromising the authenticity of the structures.
As the academic world evolves, so too must its architectural landscape. The fusion of technology and sustainability within historic campus buildings is not just a task but a responsibility – to uphold the past while forging a sustainable future. At BBCI, we see this as a journey of transformation, where tradition, technology, and sustainability converge to create spaces that inspire, educate, and honor the multifaceted identity of colleges and universities. The legacy of higher education is etched not only in the pages of books but also within the structures that stand as testaments to the power of innovation and the enduring spirit of knowledge.
Akul Modi is project estimator/assistant project manager at Bregenzer Brothers Co. Inc.