The Empire State Building is retrofitting in an ambitious energy efficiency plan, in partnership with the design firm Hornall Anderson and sustainability partners Clinton Climate Initiative and Rocky Mountain Institute, Johnson Controls Inc. and Jones Lang LaSalle.
Empire State Building owner Anthony Malkin said that he wanted to go beyond putting a reusable water bottle on everybody's desk -- he wanted to do something that would make real financial and environmental sense. So in April 2009, Malkin and other team members began planning to retrofit the building.
The retrofitting will allegedly reduce the Empire State Building's energy use by nearly 40%, saving $4.4 million every year. To increase energy efficiency, all 6,514 windows will be refurbished (on site to avoid transportation and factory emissions), the heating, cooling and ventilation systems will be wirelessly monitored and controlled, offices will be organized to maximize use of natural lighting and tenants will be able to monitor their individual energy consumption. Renovations are half done and are expected to be finished next year.
Malkin told The Daily Green that by saving energy, it will be as if the building were producing green energy. Malkin added that he and the other project partners hope to educate people about energy efficiency and inspire other big buildings to follow suit. Malkin will be speaking to Congress about giving tax breaks to energy-efficient building owners, similar to breaks given to those using alternative energy.
An exhibit on the second floor of the Empire State Building highlights the structure's new efficient features, using video and graphic displays. Visitors can even download a mobile application for more information after they visit the exhibit. Nearly 4 million people come through the Empire State Building every year. Visitors purchase tickets and wait for tours on the second floor, so now they have a chance to learn something about green building when they're in line.
Other big buildings in the New York City area are expected to announce similar plans to become energy efficient in September. Mayor Bloomberg has been working on incentives and regulations for some time.
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