I was reading an article (Everything Old is Green Again) in Conservation Magazine the other day which confirmed something I have suspected for quite a while – older buildings are often more energy-efficient than any built today.
The story uses the example of the Monadnock Building in Chicago, once the largest office building in the world. Completed in 1893, Monadnock had very thick brick walls (around 2m wide) to keep heat in during winter and out during summer, transoms and bay windows to allow natural light in, and windows were usually positioned to allow cross-breezes.
These features were very common to most commercial buildings of that period, before we decided that quicker, cheaper construction meant more cash to go around the table. Continue reading