Empire State Building Saves Millions of Dollars in First Year of Energy-Efficiency Plan

One year after a retrofit project, the Empire State Building has exceeded its year-one energy-efficiency guarantee by 5 percent, saving $2.4 million. The commercial real estate industry has kept a watchful eye on the world-famous structure and may look to it as a model for renovations and improvements.

“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 Co. “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.”

The core energy-efficiency retrofit is complete, with the balance of the project to be finished as new tenants build out high-performance work spaces. Once all tenant spaces are upgraded, the edifice is projected to save $4.4 million per year, a 38 percent energy-use reduction.

“As we continue to work with new and existing tenants, we find that the overwhelming majority of people want to do their part to reduce energy usage while delivering economic returns and occupying an environmentally responsible building,” said Ray Quartararo, international director at Jones Lang LaSalle, the commercial real estate firm managing the project.

The retrofit project focused on eight improvement measures, including the refurbishment of all 6,500 windows, a chiller plant retrofit, new building controls, and a web-based tenant energy management system. Through a $20 million performance contract, Johnson Controls will pay the difference if the building does not realize its projected savings.

According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, if every commercial building in New York City followed this blueprint, carbon emissions would be reduced by 4 million tons.

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