Empire State Building Gets A Shiny Green Star

Perhaps you’ve been following the massive green renovation at the Empire State Building in New York City — a.k.a., the  $550 million Empire State ReBuilding program.  All that hard work has now paid off, not just in massively reduced energy bills for the iconic high-rise’s tenants, but in the form of LEED Gold for Existing Buildings certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

This 2.85 million-square-foot building, currently nearing completion of its retrofit and repurposing, just happens to be celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, proving that an old building really can learn new tricks. What’s more, the process by which this retrofit was planned and implemented is now available to the general public through what building managers believe is a “game-changing analytical model,” designed to reveal economically justified retrofit measures for existing buildings.

Empire State Building

image via Empire State Building

This “new replicable, transparent, quantifiable process” for energy efficient retrofits was created by a team composed of members of the Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Controls, Jones Lang LaSalle and the Rocky Mountain Institute. It is non-proprietary and open-source, and is currently being used by other properties in other parts of the world.

The Empire State retrofit is being conducted by Johnson Controls and Jones Lang LaSalle, and is guaranteed to reduce the Empire State Building’s energy consumption by more than 38 percent. It is expected tosave $4.4 million in energy costs annually, resulting in a payback on the cost of implementation in approximately three years.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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