Thursday, January 4, 2024

UTSA's Center for Cultural Sustainability honored with national preservation award

UTSA's Center for Cultural Sustainability honored with national preservation award

NOVEMBER 16, 2023 — UTSA’s dedication to preserving the structural and spiritual integrity of historic religious sites has garnered national acclaim. The National Trust for Historic Preservation honored the UTSA Center for Cultural Sustainability (CCS) with the prestigious Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award for 2023.

William Dupont, San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professor and CCS director, spearheaded the acclaimed project, titled “Historic Houses of Worship and Disaster Aftermath, a Toolkit to Increase Resilience.” The study offers comprehensive strategies for safeguarding heritage buildings, particularly houses of worship, against the escalating threats of climate change and other disasters.

“Dr. Dupont and the Center for Cultural Sustainability are committed to supporting people and communities,” said Eric Brey, interim dean of the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design at UTSA. “This award and their work on the preservation of historic religious sites is a testament to their respect for heritage and understanding of the values that bind our communities together.”


“The imperative for resilience against increasingly frequent and intense natural disasters is one of the great challenges for architects and planners in the 21st century.”


William Dupont spearheaded the acclaimed project, titled “Historic Houses of Worship and Disaster Aftermath, a Toolkit to Increase Resilience.”


The Toolkit to Increase Resilience is a multipurpose guide that helps people evaluate the resilience of every aspect of a building — from structural components like roofs and foundations to movable cultural artifacts such as artwork and manuscripts. The CCS has a people-centered approach to research, so the toolkit provides guidance on ways to enhance resilience without spending money on physical alterations — instead focusing on increasing the capacity of congregations to prepare and respond.

It outlines practical steps for enhancing disaster resilience, distinguishing between tasks manageable by community members and those requiring professional intervention.

The toolkit includes a Resilience Roadmap, which provides a procedural manual for faith communities, guiding them in fortifying their buildings against the adverse effects of climate events. This roadmap offers a prioritization framework for interventions and includes practical tips on essential maintenance and helpful advice for engaging professionals. Even potential funding sources are reviewed, including state and federal preservation tax incentives.

Dupont accepted the Driehaus Award on behalf of UTSA’s 14-person research team at an award ceremony, which opened the 2023 PastForward National Preservation Conference this month. Described by the National Trust as a celebration of the "best of the best in preservation projects across the country," the Driehaus Award recognizes the transformative impact of the UTSA School of Architecture and Planning's work on communities and their cultural legacies.


EXPLORE FURTHER
⇒ See the full list of Best in Preservation for 2023 Winners

“The imperative for resilience against increasingly frequent and intense natural disasters is one of the great challenges for architects and planners in the 21st century,” Dupont said. “We need tools to address the resilience of heritage, especially the heritage of sacred places treasured by their communities, because resilience has little meaning without the inclusion of people.”

Sean M. Wood



UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu.


UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


Spotlight

Spotlight

dtc-utsa-sign_680.png
University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.