A recent piece published by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) highlighted certain clean energy improvements made in New York City's celebrated Empire State Building. These retrofits, which are slated to be complete within the next few years, are meant to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required to run the tower's enormous HVAC system as well as cut down on the carbon dioxide produced in the process of making all that power.
According to the NRDC article, the modifications are expected to save Malkin Holdings, the current owner of the Empire State Building, an estimated $2.4 million in the first year of operations, a figure which should rise to roughly $4 million after the changes are complete. In addition to this, the landmark's energy expenditure should drop by at least 40 percent once the various energy-saving technologies are fully operational.
Most notable is the reworking of the tower's 6,514 windows. Rather than spend an enormous amount of money replacing each one, the owners of the Empire State Building decided to employ an insulating film inside the existing windows. This action saved the group approximately $15 million and reused the same glass panes as before. Thanks to the modifications, an additional $410,000 will be saved annually by tenants on their utility bills.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the project has been the inclusion of renters in the process. Discussions were reportedly held with businesses that occupy the building, which ended with some changes to the original plan. By doing so, Malkin Holdings avoided any problems with tenants related to the ongoing construction efforts.
Thanks to these retrofits, the Empire State Building will become a symbol of commercial real estate that is energy-efficient, in addition to remaining a New York City icon. Hopefully, before the changes are complete, other buildings in the Big Apple will receive their own clean power makeover.