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2013 Mayor's Sustainability Award Winner
Dumbarton House serves as headquarters for The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America [NSCDA] as well as a historic house museum. A major tenet of both the NSCDA mission and the Dumbarton House mission is preservation. Preservation, in and of itself, is “green”—maintaining a structure rather than tearing it down to build something new models sustainability. Dumbarton House strives to be a leader in preserving our city’s history and conserving its resources today and for the future.
Back Row: Chris Heidenrich, Jerry Foust, Jan Scherer, Adam Frost
With this in mind, and recognizing that the operation of buildings contributes to 41% of the United States’ energy consumption (2010 Department of Energy Study), Dumbarton House has begun to “go green” in its operations in order to do its part to help the environment. Our journey began with individual staff and board members interested in operating the headquarters and museum in an environmentally friendly way, and in pursuing options for lowering operational costs. During this time, the national green museum movement has continued to take shape and influence the way that museums operate. Dumbarton House leadership decided to solidify its standing as a leader in the green museums movement by institutionalizing green practices into polices of sustainability.
As a non-profit, we want as much of our income as possible to go directly toward our preservation and education mission, rather than toward administrative and operational costs. Some of the sustainable initiatives we’ve pursued include: