New York’s Sustainability Icon
Since its construction, the Empire State Building has been a symbol of technology, imagination, and ambition. Today, we are the leader in Sustainability. We are the best, and we wrote the play book by proving the economic viability of investing in energy efficiency and sustainability.
Our energy efficiency project isn’t just to benefit the Empire State Building. It’s to show to the world what is possible today – even for a building close to 90 years old. In transforming one of New York’s most beloved landmarks, the project is a model for other organizations taking on the daunting task of an efficiency overhaul.
So far, we’ve dramatically reduced the building’s energy usage and have saved millions of dollars in energy costs. We continue to play our part as a leader in sustainable operations and make a point to share with the world the key lessons we learn along the way.
Over the last 10 years, the Empire State Building has undergone a ground-breaking energy and efficiency retrofit as part of the $550 million Empire State ReBuilding restoration program. Our team partnered with global leaders to implement the practices and technology necessary to become an icon of energy efficiency.
A Sustainable Transformation
Innovation, engineering, and experience powered our energy efficiency retrofit, which transformed the Empire State Building into one of today’s most efficient historic landmarks. Despite being 90 years old, the building is in the top 20% or better of all Class A commercial assets in the nation.
With efficiency as a top priority, our systems infrastructure saw a major overhaul to optimize energy use. Everything, from our elevators, which recapture energy that would be lost as heat, to our radiators, which use reflective barriers to reduce heat loss into the air, is designed to reduce our total carbon footprint.
One of the innovations is the transformation of the building's lighting system, which included an adaptive dimming system that adjusts according to light coming in from the outside. In addition, much of the building’s original lighting was replaced with energy efficient fixtures.
The Empire State Building has an incredible 6,514 windows. During the retrofit, we retrofitted every single one of them, quadrupling the energy performance while reusing over 96% of existing materials all onsite.
After nearly a year of extensive studying and evaluation at the Empire State Building, development of a replicable process and the tools to support the process, the project team implemented one of the most successful deep energy retrofits of existing buildings in the world, proving a payback of 3 years for a guaranteed energy reduction of 38%, which has been validated and exceeded every year since 2010 implementation.
Our work has been the source of New York City, New York State and federal programs to drive energy reduction and economic growth across the U.S. and globally.
The US EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager program is used to measure and track energy and water consumption and greenhouses gas emissions. Billions of square feet of all types, sizes and ages of buildings are tracked, with only the most efficient buildings in the nation achieving Energy Star certification.
The Empire State Building has earned Energy Star certification every year since 2010.
Health, Indoor Environmental Quality and Wellness
- No/low VOC materials only
- No Red List materials allowed
- MERV 13 filters
- Regular IEQ testing for the whole building
- Access to daylight and views on every tenant floor
- Green cleaning
- Integrated pest management
- Private Fitness Center discounted for all occupants
Sustainability in the News
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