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.”
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.
“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.”
Come celebrate the doctoral students graduating this commencement season.H-E-B Student Union Ballrooms, UTSA Main Campus
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the College for Health, Community and Policy, College of Liberal and Fine Arts and College of Sciences.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, College of Education and Human Development, Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design and University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
First Friday Stargazing gives anyone free access to the night sky using university telescopes and teaching equipment. Weather permitting, experienced astronomers will provide a handful of telescopes of varying designs, give training on how each operates, and point to various astronomical objects that may appear in the sky for that given time of the year. If you have a telescope and do not know how to operate it, feel free to bring it and get instructions on its use.4th Floor of Flawn Science Building, Main Campus
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