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Posted: 04/06/2016

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Preservation Green Lab

Sustainable Community Internship
Internship Opportunity
Seattle, WA

This position will support the technical and business-model analysis of America Saves, a DOE-funded research and development project to substantially lower the cost of delivering energy efficiency to small businesses in Main Street type businesses districts.


Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is currently working with a national team of experts to test a program for pinpointing long-term energy cost savings in existing buildings. The innovative America Saves pilot gathers and analyzes energy and facility information from small commercial buildings and businesses located in Main Street communities and traditional business districts across at least five climate zones. The project brings together regional utilities with a national team of research, technology and implementation experts to design retrofit strategies that demonstrate the financial attractiveness of money- and energy-saving building improvements. 


America Saves is designed to reduce carbon emissions from the built environment while enhancing economic sustainability in Main Street communities and other small-scale commercial districts, which have been largely overlooked in the energy efficiency marketplace. The program will help achieve these benefits by lowering energy costs, stimulating employment growth and improving the efficiency of small businesses through no hassle energy retrofits. A recent Preservation Green Lab report on the energy efficiency potential of small, existing buildings indicates that aligning the interests of small buildings and business owners with a delivery mechanism for energy retrofits could result in more than $240 billion in capital investment and 580,000 permanent jobs nationwide by 2050.



Preferred scheudles are :

10+ hrs/wk for a 12+ week period between 3/15/16 and 6/15/16, or

24+ hrs/wk for a 12+ week period between 6/1/16 and 10/1/16

National Trust internships are temporary, volunteer experiential learning opportunities with no expectation of employment at the conclusion of the internship.


For this internship, the National Trust is offering a $2,000 stipend to help offset expenses. 





The selected intern will work with the America Saves Project Manager in one or more of the activities listed below. The work will support the team of national research, technology and implementation experts as they to design retrofit strategies targeted to smaller, older buildings and small businesses.


  • Support the warehousing and automating of data (i.e. energy use, building attribute, financial options, retrofit measures) in 5 regional pilot communities;
  • Support the creation of technical communication of energy efficiency opportunities and benefits; and/or
  • Support the evaluation pilot results and national best practices to determine strategies to improve market access, operational efficiency, and savings achievement.

The results of the internship will support the planned expansion of the pilot program. In addition, the intern will be asked to produce a file that documents the select methods and findings from the technical and/or business model analysis.


There is flexibility in the scope of the internship to include additional activities that meet the educational goals of the selected intern (provided the activities align with the projects goal of advancing energy efficiency in small buildings within business districts).




  • Interest in the intersection of sustainability, economic development, and historic preservation.
  • Experience working with regional or national preservation, volunteer, or energy efficiency/sustainability program; Basic analytical and problem solving skills, including  issue identification and prioritization. Basic project-organization skills. 
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Ability to collaborate and achieve results with supervision, including ability to interact professionally with key internal and external stakeholders as needed.
  • Strong organizational skills required, with ability to prioritize, multi-task efficiently, and meet deadlines in a timely fashion.
  • Ability to adapt and be flexible in a dynamic work environment.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills. Friendly and professional demeanor on the phone and in writing, with ability to speak and write clearly in English.  Bi-lingual language skills a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively with culturally diverse colleagues; connections to or experience helping to engage culturally diverse audiences and partners a plus.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products required, including Outlook, Word, and Excel. Familiarity with other software, including financial software and databases, a plus.
  • Bachelor's degree (or comparable work experience) preferred in business, design, engineering, construction, computer science, or the technical aspects of historic preservation.


Educational Value to the Intern


The intern will gain experience under the mentorship of respected preservation and sustainability professionals, in an educational setting at one of the nations leading non-profit advocacy organizations.  The intern will also have the opportunity to participate in educational programming offered via the National Trust for Historic Preservations Washington Office internship program.  Students may also be eligible for college or graduate school academic credit at the discretion of their institution. 


Specifically, this project will allow the intern to investigate and optimize the relationship between energy efficiency, community economic development, and building reuse,  and will provide:


  • Experience working on a nationwide energy efficiency program in an underserved market;
  • Experience communicating technical information to non-technical audiences;
  • Experience working on a national preservation program;
  • An opportunity to develop project management skills.


At the end of the project the intern will have  produced documents and work products which can be added to their professional portfolio in support of their future career pursuits.

OPen until
Until Filled

How to apply
To apply, please include a cover letter in the body of a message and email your resume as a Word, PDF or Text document to 362751-CS-1121@nthp.hrmdirect.com.

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