The Empire State Building is celebrating a collective $4.7 million in energy savings over the past two years since it received a $500 million energy efficiency retrofit. Five years ago, the famous landmark set out to cut its carbon emissions by installing a series of upgrades that included energy-efficient lighting, a modern boiler system, upgraded windows and radiator insulation. In 2011, the building even earned LEED Gold Certification, and it exceeded its energy reduction goals by 4 percent in 2011 and 5 percent in 2012. The retrofitting project is set to be completed over the next four years and it’s expected to save the building $4.4 million in annual energy costs—an energy reduction of about 38 percent which will save a minimum of 105,000 metric tons of CO2 over the next 15 years.
Malkin Properties, which manages the Empire State Building, is proudly passing on the savings (and toting their new green credentials) to the new tenants they are attracting, including high profile companies like LinkedIn and Shutterstock. If other New York-area commercial properties followed in the Empire State Building’s footsteps, annual greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by four million tons.
“Deep retrofits yield significant energy cost savings but their benefits don’t stop there,” said Mr. Victor Olgyay, Principal of the Rocky Mountain Institute, in an email to Crain’s New York. “A growing body of evidence shows that super-efficient buildings boast higher occupancy rates, increased rental and sales prices, better employee retention and decreased risk.”
Rocky Mountain Institute served as the design partner and peer reviewer of the retrofitting project and is one of five partners involved in the project development process for making the Empire State Building greener. Other partners include the Clinton Climate Initiative (project advisor), Jones Lang LaSalle (project manager), Johnson Controls (energy service company) and Empire State Building Operations (operations reviewer).
According to Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, large commercial buildings currently account for 80 percent of New York’s carbon emissions. A comprehensive effort by the city called the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan has enacted a series of regulatory laws and code requirements from larger buildings in the area that will help to reduce green house gas emissions by five percent over the course of ten years through a series of benchmarking, auditing and retro-commissioning.
Via Crain’s New York
Images via Empire State Building’s Facebook