empire state building retrofit

One of the most iconic structures in NYC is about to get a makeover. When it was built, it was a model for engineering ingenuity. Now, it’s going to serve as a model for energy efficiency. A retrofit is in order. It’s estimated that the building’s energy consumption will be reduced by 40%.

Video and blurb from Rocky Mountain Institute, one of the partners in the project, below.

In February 2008, project partners Rocky Mountain Institute, the Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Controls, Inc., and Jones Lang LaSalle began working with existing and newly created modeling, measurement, and projection tools to fully analyze the Empire State Building’s energy use. RMI’s Built Environment Team then provided realistic recommendations that would help increase the building’s energy efficiency without harming bottom-line performance.

According to RMI’s Chief Scientist Amory Lovins, “In order to make cities cleaner and more energy efficient, there is a real need for a replicable model for retrofitting existing buildings. This visionary example will help to significantly reduce carbon emissions and conserve energy in buildings all over the world through these initiatives.”

The Empire State Building team will undertake improvements, including window retrofits, daylighting, a radiator insulation retrofit, and a whole-building control system upgrade that will achieve a projected $4.4 million in annual energy savings while reducing energy consumption by close to 40 percent and cutting the building’s overall carbon output.

Beyond the numbers, the process that the partners used made this project unique and the improvements possible. The program currently underway at the Empire State Building is the first to provide a comprehensive modeling approach to help capture energy savings on existing buildings. Over time, these breakthrough methods will make the Empire State one of the most efficient pre-war buildings in the world.


Learn more about the retrofit

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