<photo> Detail of interior wood feature; Link to National Park Service
Introduction to Standards and Guidelines: Historical Overview
<photo>detail of historic fire escape

Work that must be done to meet accessibility requirements, health and safety requirements or retrofitting to improve energy efficiency is usually not part of the overall process of protecting historic buildings; rather, this work is assessed for its potential impact on the historic building.

In undertaking work on historic buildings, it is necessary to consider the impact that meeting current health and safety codes (public health, occupational health, life safety, fire safety, electrical, seismic, structural, and building codes) will have on character-defining spaces, features, and finishes. Special coordination with the responsible code officials at the state, county, or municipal level may be required. Securing required building permits and occupancy licenses is best accomplished early in work project planning. It is often necessary to look beyond the "letter" of code requirements to their underlying purpose; most modern codes allow for alterative approaches and reasonable variance to achieve compliance.

Some historic building materials (insulation, lead paint, etc.) contain toxic substances that are potentially hazardous to building occupants. Following careful investigation and analysis, some form of abatement may be required. All workers involved in the encapsulation, repair, or removal of known toxic materials should be adequately trained and should wear proper personal protective gear. Finally, preventive and routine maintenance for historic structures known to contain such materials should also be developed to include proper warnings and precautions.


Choosing Treatment

Using the Standards + Guidelines

-Historical Overview-

Exterior Materials
Architectural Metals

Exterior Features
Entrances + Porches

Interior Features
Structural System Spaces/Features/Finishes
Mechanical Systems



Special Requirements
Energy Efficiency
Health + Safety
New Additions




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