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A year ago the Empire State Building started to undergo an innovative building retrofit plan designed to improve its energy efficiency levels. It has just recently reported savings of $2.4 million, surpassing its year one targets by five percent.
Anthony Malkin, from the Empire State Building Company, had the idea to make the landmark a more energy efficient structure, and a leading example to other buildings around the world. “First and foremost, making the Empire State Building energy efficient was a sound business decision that saved us millions of dollars in the first year. We have a proven model that shows building owners and operators how to cut costs and improve the value of their buildings by integrating energy efficiency into building upgrades.”
The Empire State Building Company joined with LLC, Johnson Control Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle, and the Rocky Mountain Institute to design and install the retrofit.
Dave Myers, president of Johnson Controls, said that “Mr. Malkin had a vision of bringing innovation to this historical landmark. The results are just beginning to pay off while at the same time creating a new model for the world to follow. It is critical that we tackle the billions of square feet of inefficient office buildings around the world to meet our growing energy needs, save money, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
So far the majority of the retrofit has been completed, with the rest to be carried out as new tenants move in. the energy saved by the new efficient layout is calculated to have also saved 4,000 metric tons of carbon. Once the whole building has been upgraded it will be expected to save 105,000 metric tons of carbon emissions over the next 15 years, and reduce its energy bill by $4.4 million.
Amory Lovins, chairman and chief cientist at the Rocky Mountian Istitute, said that “The saving achieved by the deep retrofit was due in large part to three factors: Tony Malkin's vision and leadership, a team that could test traditional assumptions, and integrative design, which made bigger savings cheaper than incremental savings.”
As part of the retrofit Johnson Control Inc. refurbished all 6,500 windows, installed a chiller plant, and created new building controls, and a web-based tenant energy management system.
According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, about 40 percent of energy in the US is consumed by buildings, and this figure increases to as much as 75 percent in urban settings such as New York City. If every commercial building in New York were to follow the blueprint used at the Empire State Building, carbon emissions could be cut by 4 million tons.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com