Empire State Building achieves efficiency

One year after an innovative building retrofit project, the Empire State Building is ahead of plan and has exceeded its year one energy efficiency guarantee by 5%, saving $2.4 million (£1.5 million GBP) and establishing a commercial real estate model for reducing costs, maximising return on investment, increasing real estate value, and protecting the environment.

“First and foremost, making the Empire State Building energy efficient was a sound business decision that saved us millions of dollars in the first year,” said Anthony Malkin of the Empire State Building Company. “We have a proven model that shows building owners and operators how to cut costs and improve the value of their buildings by integrating energy efficiency into building upgrades.”

Mr Malkin and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities program, an aligned partner of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, assembled a coalition of leading organisations focused on energy efficiency and sustainability.  The team was comprised of the Empire State Building Company, LLC; Johnson Controls, Inc.; Jones Lang LaSalle; and Rocky Mountain Institute.

“Mr Malkin had a vision of bringing innovation to his historical landmark. The results are just beginning to pay off while at the same time creating a new model for the world to follow,” said Dave Myers, President of Johnson Controls Building Efficiency. “It is critical that we tackle the billions of square feet of inefficient office buildings around the world to meet our growing energy needs, save money, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The core energy efficiency retrofit at the Empire State Building is complete, with the balance of the project to be finished as new tenants fit out high performance workspaces.  Not only is the Empire State Building more energy efficient, but it is also estimated to have saved 4,000 metric tons of carbon, the equivalent of that offset by 750 acres of pine forests. Once all tenant spaces are upgraded, the building will save $4.4 million (£2.8 million GBP) a year, a 38% reduction of energy use that will cut carbon emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years.

Improvement measures

The retrofit project focused on eight innovative improvement measures addressing core building infrastructure, common spaces and tenant suites. Improvement measures performed by Johnson Controls and Jones Lang LaSalle included the refurbishment of all 6,500 windows, a chiller plant retrofit, new building controls, and a web-based tenant energy management system. The project partners developed a detailed engineering design and Johnson Controls guaranteed the energy savings through a $20 million (£13 million GBP) performance contract.  With performance contracting, savings in energy consumption from facility upgrades pay for the project over the term of the contract. If the savings are not realised, Johnson Controls pays the difference between the value of the measured and verified consumption and the guaranteed consumption under the contract.

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