Gold Star for Empire State Building
The Empire State Building has achieved LEED Gold for its impressive multi-million dollar transformation into a leaner, greener and more energy efficient office building.
The Empire State Building is now LEED Gold certified.
Earlier this year we reported that the 2.85m sq ft Empire State Building is undergoing a complete retrofit to turn it into a more sustainable part of the Manhattan skyline.
$550 million later, the iconic property has now reached its target of LEED Gold for Existing Buildings, making it one of the most famous structures to receive the coveted certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC).
The building is now guaranteed to reduce its energy consumption by a massive 38% and energy bills are expected to drop by $4.4 million annually. It is also estimated that over the next 15 years, up to 105,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be saved.
"By earning LEED Gold, the Empire State Building has sent a powerful message that green buildings don't have to be new," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC.
"Even the most iconic, historic buildings, as grand in scale as in reputation, can be among the most high-performing, energy-efficient green buildings," he added.
Many different measures were introduced to the Empire State Building as part of its retrofit, which included large-scale improvements such as on-site refurbishment of the building's 6,500 windows to create triple-glazed panels, modernizing the 68 elevators - so they can now send regenerated energy back into the building grid (reducing elevator energy use by 30%), and installing low-flow fixtures in the restrooms.
Other measures that were introduced include mandatory green requirements in lease agreements, recycling of tenant waste and construction debris, use of green cleaning supplies and pest control products, and insulation behind radiators to reduce heat loss.
A Tenant Energy Management System has also been introduced on every floor to educate and engage tenants in energy conservation.
In addition, carbon offsets totalling 55 million kilowatt hours per year of wind energy were purchased by the building owners earlier this year, which means the Empire State Building is now carbon-neutral.
Commenting on the announcement of the building's LEED certification, David Bragdon, Director of the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, said:
"When it was built, the Empire State Building instantly became an icon of its era. Now, due to this remarkable investment in energy efficiency, the Empire State Building will be an icon of the 21st century as well, leading our current era in the retrofitting and upgrading of existing buildings to meet modern energy conditions."
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