Groundbreaking energy efficiency project underway at Empire State Building

Famous office building undergoes $500 million+ upgrade program to incorporate comprehensive project with goal to reduce energy use by nearly 40%.


New York – It may not be a manufacturing example, but this is great case study in what's possible in terms of energy savings for a facility of any size. Using the Empire State Building as a test case and model, world-class environmental consulting, non-profit, design and construction partners – includingthe Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) and Jones Lang LaSalle
Adopted as core elements of the more than $500 million upgrade program presently

Empire State Building

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.uded by end of 2013. Work that is scheduled to be completed within 18 months will result in over 50 percent of the projected energy savings.  The balance will be an additional 36 months completed by 2013.
The project will prove the viability for energy efficiency retrofit projects to dramatically 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 (USGBC) LEED rating system.
“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,” according to Anthony E. Malkin of building owner, Empire State Building Company.ore sustainable operations – while simultaneously enhancing profitability and tenant comfort.  This is a real program, happening in real time, creating real green jobs.” 
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.ventilation system upgrades and tenant space overhauls that will provide a significant return on investment, both environmentally and financially. 
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%, repay its net extra cost in about three years, and cut its overall carbon output through eight key initiatives, including:
1. Window Light Retrofit:
2. Radiator Insulation Retrofit:
3. Tenant Lighting, Daylighting and Plug Upgrades: Introduction of improved lighting designs, daylighting controls, and plug load occupancy sensors in common areas and tenant spaces to reduce electricity costs and cooling loads.
4. Air Handler Replacements: Replacement of air handling units with variable frequency drive fans to allow increased energy efficiency in operation while improving comfort for individual tenants.
5. Chiller Plant Retrofit: Reuse of existing chiller shells while removing and replacing “guts” to improve chiller efficiency and controllability, including the introduction of variable frequency drives.
6. Whole-Building Control System Upgrade: Upgrade of existing building control system to optimize HVAC operation as well as provide more detailed sub-metering information.
7. Ventilation Control Upgrade: Introduction of demand control ventilation in occupied spaces to improve air quality and reduce energy required to condition outside air.
8. Tenant Energy Management Systems:
The full analysis process is available online as open-source materials for public use at .
– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director

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