GSA Technical Preservation Guidelines

Our illustrated technical guidelines profile innovative preservation design solutions developed for GSA historic projects. All are available in the online historic preservation library as PDFs.

Fire Safety Retrofit [PDF - 2 MB]: This guideline focuses on innovative design practices and recent advances in fire separation, detection, and suppression technologies that are solving some of the greatest code compliance challenges affecting monumental buildings with ornamental interiors.

First Impressions at Historic Buildings [PDF - 372 KB]: A federal initiative to improve the architectural integrity of visitor and tenant gateways into federal buildings.

Interior Signage for Historic Buildings [PDF - 370 KB]: Guidance to GSA building managers, tenants, contractors, and lessors, in partnership with the regional historic preservation officer, for making good preservation choices regarding signage.

Perimeter Security for Historic Buildings [PDF - 2 MB]: Describes and illustrates our prototype perimeter security kit of parts for integrating vehicle barriers into historic building sites as seamlessly as possible. The kit of parts offers a variety of elements that can be combined in different ways in response to differing streetscape conditions. Vehicle barrier elements in the basic prototype are designed to blend with a classically inspired, monumental courthouse constructed in the early 20th century. Two variations on the basic prototype use alternative architectural vocabularies to blend with a 1960s modernist concrete building and a Victorian brick building.

U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, New Bern, NC

Upgrading Historic Building Windows [PDF - 784 KB]: Preservation-appropriate solutions for window security and energy reduction retrofitting and replacement. Includes a Window Project Matrix for Historic Buildings.

Upgrading Historic Building Lighting [PDF - 724 KB]: Illustrates solutions for retrofitting existing historic lights, adapting replica fixtures, and appropriately supplementing historic lighting to meet energy reduction goals and tenant needs.

HVAC Upgrades in Historic Buildings [PDF - 560 KB]: Techniques for selecting, routing and detailing HVAC systems and units to preserve and restore historic spaces.

Historic Building Roofing [PDF - 425 KB]: Design resources and tips for repairing and replicating historic roofing materials.

Last Reviewed: 2022-12-05