The U.S. Custom House, located in Portland, Maine, is a three story, 139-year-old building that has been placed on the National Historical Register. Oak Point Associates was commissioned to undertake several historic restoration projects at this 18,300sf building, including exterior masonry repair, roof repair, and interior plaster repair and window restoration as well as code compliance upgrades. The goal of the project was to improve energy efficiency and perform necessary repairs and alterations that would provide the GSA with leasable commercial office space. All of the projects were conducted with the review and approval of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.
The building’s mechanical and electrical systems were upgraded – a new electrical distribution system, an 80-ton geothermal system with three 1,500 foot wells and a ventilation system with energy recovery. This successful project reduced yearly energy costs by 30 percent.
The exterior masonry repair project included re-pointing and restoration of the entire building. The original mortar composition and color were matched as closely as possible. The roof repair project included the installation of a self-flashing roof membrane to maintain the architectural integrity of the building while maintaining its historic appearance.
The interior plaster repair project required that the existing decorative plaster work either be repaired or replaced. The window restoration project involved off -site restoration of every window on the exterior of the building and replacement of the glass with laminated, single-pane glazing (to fit within the existing window section).
The building underwent several accessibility upgrades including a new elevator and lobby to provide greater access to upper levels. The elevator was incorporated to match the historical context to the greatest extent possible.
Historically sensitive restoration of the building’s interior and exterior
State of the art mechanical and electrical systems were incorporated
Life safety and accessibility upgrades, including a new elevator
Energy recovery system
Energy consumption was reduced by 30 percent