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. 

ReBuilding for Good

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 almost a century 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.

Empire State Building lit in Green

Our Commitment

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.

sustainability Kiosk

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 a New York icon for nearly 100 years, the building is in the top 20% or better of all Class A commercial assets in the nation.

Empowered by Technology

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.

Empire State Building Technology
Lightbulb Moments

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.

ESB Lights
Out the Window

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.

window Retrofit ESB
Blazing the Trail

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.

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Proudly Energy Star Certified Since 2010

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.

ESB Energy Star White Lights

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

Featured Videos

Greening the Empire State Building
Greening the Empire State Building
Empire State Building Gets Green Makeover
Empire State Building Gets Green Makeover
Empire State Building: Leadership in American Progress in Sustainability
Empire State Building: Leadership in American Progress in Sustainability

Sustainability in the News

Empire State Building Retrofit on Discovery Channel's Green Room
Empire State Building Retrofit on Discovery Channel's Green Room
President Obama Praises the Empire State Building Retrofit
President Obama Praises the Empire State Building Retrofit


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