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How the Process Worked

A Landmark Sustainability Program for the Empire State Building

By Jones Lang Lasalle

Efforts to make buildings more environmentally sustainable have produced hundreds of millions of square feet of greener office space. But tens of billions of square feet remain in office buildings worldwide for which owners have made little or no progress in the area of energy and sustainability.

Owners of multi-tenant buildings, which comprise the bulk of office space, are motivated by return on investment. To justify the costs associated with retrofitting buildings to support sustainability, owners must be convinced that the investment will be repaid by some combination of higher rental rates and greater occpancy levels. The percentage of tenants willing to pay higher overall occupancy costs for green space is not large, and tenants that greatly value sustainability gravitate towards newer buildings that have been designed and built to high energy and environmental standards. In general, retrofits of older buildings are more expensive and, therefore, more difficult to justify financially.

This context underscores the extraordinary nature of the commitment that Anthony E Malkin of Empire state Building Company has made to establish the Empire State Building as one of the most energy efficient buildings in New York City, and arguably the world's most environmentally conscious office tower built before World War II.

Read more on the process undertaken by the design, construction, and consulting team partners: A Landmark Sustainability Program for the Empire State Building

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