Empire State Building
Empire State Building becomes a more marketable and energy-efficient commercial building that saves money
At a Glance
- 38% — Expected energy reduction.
- 105,000 — Metric tons of carbon emissions reduced over a 15-year period.
- $4.4 million — Projected annual energy cost savings for the building owners.
- 3.1 years — Payback based on incremental cost of $13.2 million.
The challenge: Prove that a multi-tenant commercial office building can be profitably retrofitted for best-in-class energy use and carbon footprint – and, as a result, become more profitable
In dense urban cities like New York, nearly 80 percent of energy consumption and 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from commercial buildings. So retrofitting commercial buildings with more energy-efficient equipment and systems can make a massive, positive environmental impact. The challenge for building owners has been to prove that such an investment also makes good business sense. The owners of the Empire State Building are demonstrating that it can be done, and that there is a strong economic argument for doing so. Not an easy task, given this international icon contains over 2.85 million rentable square feet of offices, retail space, and one of the largest broadcast facilities in the world; welcomes nearly four million visitors annually to its observatory; and was completed in 1930.
A team effort to make it happen
A world-class team of energy efficiency experts, from organizations including Johnson Controls, Clinton Climate Change Initiative, Rocky Mountain Institute, Jones Lang LaSalle, and building owners Empire State Building Company, assembled to create and implement a replicable program to reduce substantially energy usage and operating costs. The goal of the project is to make the Empire State Building nearly 40 percent more energy-efficient and significantly reduce its carbon footprint while providing an economic justification through return on investment. Johnson Controls, as the energy services company, has executed a broad range of renovations and retrofits to achieve these goals, including:
- refurbishing on site approximately 6,500 windows with new components that will substantially reduce summer cooling load and winter heat loss.
- adding insulation behind radiators to reduce winter heat loss and summer heat gain.
- upgrading tenant and common area lighting with controls and sensors to lower electricity costs and cooling loads.
- retrofitting chiller plants to improve efficiency.
- introducing individualized web-based power usage systems so tenants can manage their power consumption more efficiently.
- installing one of the world’s largest digitally controlled wireless networks, enabling 24/7 monitoring and control of every steam valve, pump, louver, fan, and other elements of the building’s HVAC system.
- integrating the Johnson Controls Metasys® building management system to monitor and optimize HVAC, lighting, and other building systems.
To help ensure these efforts achieve the project’s goals, Johnson Controls and the Empire State Building’s owners have entered into a performance contract which guarantees the projected energy savings over the life of the project.
Empire State Building
Does the Empire State Building’s comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit program make good business sense? Learn from the people making it happen.
Results and benefits
When the project is complete in 2013, the Empire State Building will be more than 38 percent more energy efficient, placing it among the top 25 percent of all office buildings in the United States for energy efficiency of any age. More than 50% of the work will be completed by summer 2011. These improvements will also reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years.
The building owners calculate their energy savings to be $4.4 million a year with payback on their incremental investment in just 3 years. After that, savings will continue to flow right to their bottom line, year after year. By lowering operating costs and improving comfort, the Empire State Building becomes more marketable and more profitable. What’s more, this project and the processes involved can be replicated for almost any multi-tenant building.
In other words, what works for the Empire State Building can work anywhere.
The success of the Empire State Building is not just our millions in annual savings and short term payback, but that any building owner can now follow this process and reduce its energy costs with advance knowledge about costs and economic return. High performance buildings like the Empire State Building provide no compromise paths to reduced costs of occupancy, protection against energy price increases, and fulfillment of corporate mandates to reduce carbon footprint, reduce energy consumption, and be more sustainable. When it makes economic sense, preserving our environment is so much easier.
– Anthony E. Malkin, Empire State Building Company
Find out how to achieve your goals for office energy efficiency and improved operational performance.
Contact us to learn more about how we can make your building work more efficiently, sustainably and profitably, or try our building efficiency and energy savings calculator today.