NAPC Forum 2012

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The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC) is coming to Norfolk to share historic preservation lessons and insights through its conference, Forum 2012 this July 18-22 at the Marriott Waterside.

“Conference” may not be the best word for this event, which will include much more than traditional educational sessions but also workshops, roundtable discussions, tours and hands-on opportunities for preservation enthusiasts, realtors and local and statewide preservation professionals, government officials and community leaders.     

Environmental sustainability is a reoccurring theme throughout the conference with sessions on using energy audits to reduce utility costs and “greening” old buildings.  Learn how to take part in the Section 106 process associated with federally funded and licensed projects such as road building in your neighborhood or a cell tower near your home.  “Get Dirty at Fort Norfolk” is an opportunity for some hands-on education.  Even if you are not a DIYer, understanding the questions you need to ask of a contractor or craftsman can save money and heartache.   Sessions on how to read building plans and the secrets to a successful application will be of interest to anyone living in a local historic district or just planning an addition or rehabilitation.  No one will want to miss renowned economist Donovan Rypkema discuss the importance of preservation to our economy.

The conference has a special treat for locals, a free screening of The Greenest Building on Saturday, July 21, 3 p.m. at the Marriott Waterside.  You will not need to register for the conference to see the film and take part in a panel discussion that will include producer, Jane Turville.

The idea behind a “forum” is to be a platform to share new ideas, tackle issues and network; as well as provide basic education.  This will be accomplished at the NAPC Forum 2012 through roundtable discussions, thematic mixers at local restaurants, and learning from Norfolk’s challenges and successes through tours and traditional informational sessions.

Forum 2012 is incredibly affordable.  The rate for non-members is $190 and includes most of the informational sessions, a ticket to the opening reception and a year membership with the NAPC.   (Student scholarships are also available.) Two of the most popular benefits to NAPC membership is the newsletter and the listserv where people can post issues or concerns they may have with anything from how to remove paint from old brick to questions on how to save an old building slated for demolition.  

To see a preliminary program or register for the event, visit  To keep up to date, “like” the NAPC on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.