The Empire State Building in New York is leading the way in retrofitting old buildings by taking advantage of green technologies to reduce emissions. $20 million will be spent, beginning in the summer, to reduce energy usage by 38% a year by 2013. The building was constructed in 1913 and although renovation work has been carried out over the years, the efficiency of the building has been rather low compared to newer buildings in and around the New York area.
This project is set to show that eco retrofitting very large buildings can be cost efficient. The Empire State Building could recoup the costs incurred in as little as 3 – 4 years, and because large buildings account for a significant proportion of emissions in large cities such as New York, renovating them with green technologies would save them many millions of dollars in wasted energy costs.
The money invested in the project will go towards replacing 6500 of the building’s massive windows with more efficient versions, as well as upgrading the electrical, heating and ventilation systems so that they save as much energy as possible. Much of the work will be carried out on site to reduce costs and emissions from transportation.
New York’s finest building will show the rest of the world that upgrading large buildings to be energy efficient does not mean expense and compromise.