Rehabilitation and Historic Preservation

A common saying in green building circles is that “the greenest building is the one that's already built.” We look at an existing building for opportunities for adaptive reuse, rehabilitation, or historic preservation to reveal its full potential, while enhancing its environmental features and celebrating existing historic character. The Studio engages in restoration services, adaptive reuse, and renewal strategies to bring new purpose and function to existing and historic buildings. We also offer in-depth knowledge of state and federal tax credit programs that can improve a project’s economic viability in its community.

From an environmental perspective, rehabilitation and reuse projects minimize the input of new construction materials and allow for an opportunity to be more efficient with space through design and new green design technologies and practices. Adaptive reuse is also an important element in land conservation and the reduction of urban blight. The Design Studio has worked with municipalities to orchestrate and design the adaptive reuse of many structures into attractive affordable housing – including a historic high school, hotel, hospital, and hardware store -- which allowed us to preserve and maintain their historic integrity throughout the rehabilitation process.

Hazardous Materials
Often encountered in older building renovations, hazardous materials have successfsully been abated by CHP Design Studio on multiple projects. The Studio also provides related training opportunities to its staff, and one our architects is a Certified Lead Risk Assessor.

Historic Preservation
Using architectural preservation and conservation planning, historic building technology, and historical research, we have transformed a number historic structures, including:

  • The Warwick: Formerly a hotel and the center of downtown activity in Newport News, Virginia, CHP repurposed the historic brick structure into 88 units of single-room occupancy (SRO) rental housing for very low-income formerly homeless and disabled individuals in 1995. In 2013, CHP Design Studio and CHP Construction completed another extensive rehabilitation financed by Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, and support from the Newport News Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
  • Bluegrass Apartments: In Pulaski, Virginia, CHP purchased a historic brick structure in the Historic Commercial District that had once been a local hardware store dating back to the 1910s. CHP renovated the building into Bluegrass Apartments in 2000 using designs by architect Colin Arnold, who would later join CHP's staff as our Vice President of Architecture. The historic building provides 39 one-bedroom units of high-quality housing for low-income residents.
  • Armstrong Place: The facility is an adaptive reuse of a 1954 elementary school school into 28 units for disabled individuals in Lynchburg, Virginia. The project utilizes Universal Design to allow for 100% accessibility and follows EARTHCRAFT certification guidelines for green buildings.
  • Sally’s House: Once a local hospital in the historic Cambria section of Christiansburg, Virginia, CHP renovated the building to provide retail space at street-level and four subsidized two-bedroom units above.