Traditional Building Conference

Previous Events: Baltimore 2009

Traditional Building by the Bay: TBEC Takes Baltimore

Baltimore 2009 Conference Schedule:
Wednesday, October 21
Thursday, October 22
Friday, October 23
Saturday, October 24
Schedule by Track

More than 3,500 architects, interior designers, contractors, builders, developers, craftspeople and old-house enthusiasts descended upon Baltimore for the recent Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference (TBEC), held October 21-24 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Attendees took advantage of 65 seminars, workshops and tours, over 100 exhibits of historic products and the opportunity to earn up to 24 CEUs.

The TBEC's two keynote addresses were particularly popular. On Thursday, Traditional Building, Period Homes and Old-House Journal founder Clem Labine gave a visual history of the preservation movement and advocated modifying today's preservation vocabulary in order to make the movement more politically relevant. On Friday, Architectural Record editor-in-chief Robert Ivy explored the connection between historic preservation and sustainability, arguing that preservation will be crucial to economic vitality going forward.

"Clem made an eloquent case for choosing our vocabulary carefully when advocating for historic preservation," says Judy Hayward, TBEC education director. "He encouraged us to use heritage conservation – a phrasing that is recognized internationally and links us to the conservation of natural heritage too. He stressed that we must highlight the links between sustainable building practices and recycling – if we don't make the case with the right words we may lose more buildings.

"Both keynote presentations got me to thinking about finding ways to 'play well with others.' I know I will spend some time rethinking by own words and actions as a result of both programs."

At the conclusion of the first keynote, Labine presented the inaugural Clem Labine Award to Alvin Holm, principal of Alvin Holm A.I.A. Architects of Philadelphia, PA. Established to honor an individual who has fostered humane values in the built environment, the award recognizes Holm's contributions to the rebirth of Classicism through his work as a teacher and a designer – as well as his tireless devotion to organizations like the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America.

TBEC seminar highlights included: "Installing Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Systems in Historic Public Spaces within Historic Buildings"; "Classicism and Urban Infill in a Historic Setting"; "Period Kitchen Design"; "Green Architectural Practice and Historic Preservation in the 21st Century"; and "The Secretary of the Interior's Standards & LEED: Where They Work Together and Where They Diverge." Tours included "Baltimore Building Crafts" and "Latrobe in Baltimore."

"We got a lot of praise for the number and quality of sessions that demonstrated the synergy and possibilities between sustainability and heritage conservation," says Hayward. "Attendees really enjoyed the tours and field sessions. Baltimore is a great city with incredible historic resources and a wonderful community of architects, engineers, craftspeople and preservation professionals. The recent designation of the Baltimore National Heritage Area is well deserved. The mayor and her team are doing a great job promoting the resources of the city."

On the exhibit floor, manufacturers and suppliers showcased the latest traditional building products and craftspeople demonstrated restoration and repair techniques. "Live in the Exhibit Hall" seminars included "Maintenance is Preservation," "Designing a Greene & Greene Inspired House" and "A Kitchen Case Study: Tudor Place."

The next Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference is scheduled for October 21-23, 2010, in Chicago.


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