Partners in the endeavor include the Empire State Building Company, the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Rocky Mountain Institute, Johnson Controls Inc. and Jones Lang LaSalle.
Adopted as core elements of the $500 million upgrade program now underway at the world's most famous office building, the program is the first comprehensive approach that integrates many steps to use energy more productively.
The Empire State Building (Photo by Ian Britton courtesy FreeFoto.com)
The program is expected to reduce energy consumption by up to 38 percent in the 102-story building at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street and will provide a replicable model for similar projects around the world. Work has already begun, and building systems work is scheduled for completion by year-end 2010.
"Commercial and residential buildings account for the majority of the total carbon footprint of cities around the world – over 70 percent in New York City" said Anthony Malkin of building owner of the Empire State Building Company. "Beginning in February 2008, the Empire State Building has been used as a test bench to create a replicable process to reduce energy consumption and environmental impacts.
"Most new buildings are built with the environment in mind, but the real key to substantial progress is reducing existing building energy consumption and carbon footprint," he said.
The project partners used existing and newly created modeling, measurement and projection tools in a new and repeatable process to analyze the Empire State Building and establish a full understanding of its energy use as well as its functional efficiencies and deficiencies.
In reviewing more than 60 possible actions, the team identified eight economically viable projects in building-wide renovations, electrical and ventilation system upgrades and tenant space overhauls that will provide a significant return on investment, both environmentally and financially.
"This innovative process, which has developed new techniques for modeling and organizing an integrated program, offers a clear path to adoption around the world, leading to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions," said Malkin.
Anthony Malkin announces retrofit for the Empire State Building. (Photo courtesy Office of the Mayor)
"Along with other steps taken, in recycling waste and construction debris, use of recycled materials, and green cleaning and pest control products, the model built at the Empire State Building will meaningfully speed the reduction in energy consumption and environmental impact and allow more sustainable operations – while simultaneously enhancing profitability and tenant comfort," Malkin said. "This is a real program, happening in real time, creating real green jobs."
With an initial estimated project cost of $20 million, additional savings and redirection of expenditures originally planned in the building's upgrade program, and additional alternative spending in tenant installations, the Empire State Building will save $4.4 million in annual energy savings costs, reduce its energy consumption by close to 40 percent, repay its net extra cost in about three years, and cut its overall carbon output.
Work that is scheduled to be completed within 18 months will result in over 50 percent of the projected energy savings. The balance of the work in tenant spaces and the balance of energy savings should be complete by the end of 2013.
The project will prove the viability for energy efficiency retrofit projects to increase building energy efficiency and reduce its overall carbon output with sensible payback periods and enhanced profitability.
At the end of the project definition process, the team analyzed the steps to be taken in conjunction with other steps towards sustainability as part of the Empire State ReBuilding program within the framework of the existing U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system.
Internal calculations show that the Empire State Building will be able to qualify for LEED GOLD certification for Existing Buildings, and the owners intend to pursue this certification.
President Bill Clinton explains the role of the Clinton Climate Initiative. (Photo courtesy Office of the Mayor)
"In this distressed economic climate, there is a tremendous opportunity for cities and building owners to retrofit existing buildings to save money and save energy," said former President Bill Clinton. "I'm proud of the work my foundation's climate initiative has done with 40 of the world's largest cities, including New York where we played a central role in convening a unique set of partners that are working to make the Empire State Building retrofit project possible. It is this kind of innovative collaboration that is crucial to protecting our planet and getting our economy up and running again."
"This project brings to bear every bit of experience, research and innovation we've accumulated in our 125 years in this business," said Iain Campbell, vice president, Johnson Controls, which serves as the energy services company for the program. "It's gratifying to know that just as we point to this building as one of the greatest achievements of our grandparents' generation, so can our grandchildren point to us."
"Not only will this project dramatically reduce the Empire State Building's environmental impact, but now we're able to do it in a way that provides meaningful cost savings to the building as well as its tenants," said Raymond Quartararo, international director, Jones Lang LaSalle.
"To make cities cleaner and more energy efficient, we urgently need a replicable model for retrofitting existing major buildings. This visionary example will help inform and inspire initiatives that can cut carbon emissions, save energy, save money, make jobs, and provide better workplaces in buildings all over the world," said Amory Lovins, chairman and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute.
The full analysis process is available online as open-source materials for public use at www.esbsustainability.com and www.esbnyc.com.
The eight key initiatives are:
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