Developing a Framework for Historic Restoration Projects: A Case Study of the Catawba Farm Dairy Barn

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Virginia Tech

As the national building stock ages and society needs for public facilities evolve, communities undertake revitalization projects to restore or repurpose existing structures to suit current needs. Community-based restoration projects involve a variety of stakeholders: owners, community members, and visitors to the community. Because some restoration projects involve derelict or at-risk structures, communities need a framework for prioritizing construction tasks and undertaking short term rehabilitation procedures in order to save the building in the short term while the community negotiates its appropriate use. Several frameworks exist to help communities prioritize tasks in terms of the building's structure or the long term energy efficiency of the building, but communities need a framework that provides the additional construct of allowing project stakeholders to begin baseline restoration tasks to prolong the immediate life of the facility.This research aims to develop a multi-step, straightforward framework for communities to approach restoration projects, conduct analyses, identify potential future use alternatives, and prioritize tasks for reconstruction. The paper first details the methodology used to develop the framework by presenting a case study of a historic dairy barn facility in Catawba, Virginia. The research uses the case study approach as a baseline for developing the framework, and then applies the framework back to the dairy barn restoration project in order to prioritize construction tasks and develop a path forward for the facility. In addition to the case study framework development, the research offers procedures and estimates specifically for the case study facility restoration. Finally, the paper offers recommendations for application and testing of the framework and offers areas for future examination.

historic restoration, prioritization, framework, community restoration