Print 31 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Oct 20 at 11:35 AM

Empire State Building retrofit project could cut energy costs by $4.4 million per year

New York City has put some greener updates in its tallest skyscraper, the Empire State Building, in the form of refurbished windows that will reduce solar heat gain and decrease the building's energy costs.

These updated windows were installed as part of the Empire State Building retrofit project, which is funded by the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Rocky Mountain Institute, Jones Lang LaSalle and Johnson Controls. The entire project costs $20 million, and aims to cut CO2 emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years. It is also expected to decrease energy consumption by 38 percent, and reduce energy costs by $4.4 million per year. 

The project has recently completed the refurbishing of the windows, which will decrease the building's energy costs by $400,000 per year alone. These 6,514 triple-glazed insulated windows panels, which contained 96 percent of the original glass and frames, will also cut solar heat gain by more than 50 percent.

But this project doesn't stop at making the windows more thermally efficient. In addition, the plan is to add insulation to radiators to avoid heat loss, introduce improved lighting, replace air handling units with variable frequency drive fans, improve controllability and efficiency by reusing chiller shells and "replacing the guts," upgrade building control system to improve HVAC operation, upgrade ventilation control system and introduce web-based power systems available to each individual tenant for better management of power usage.

With these updates, the Empire State Building could become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified, which means it meets green criteria according to the U.S. Green Building Council

The project is expected to be completed by 2013, and upon completion, will become a model for other greener updates throughout New York City as well as other major cities. 

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RE: ROI...
By MGSsancho on 10/18/2010 2:18:13 PM , Rating: 3
Assuming that most of the stuff will not need replacing (outside of maintenance) for the next 30 years it sounds like a good idea.

RE: ROI...
By solarrocker on 10/18/2010 2:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
An article of Tiffany that does not overly push global warming or something along the line of it.. Hold the presses!

RE: ROI...
By corduroygt on 10/18/2010 3:18:25 PM , Rating: 5
Anything that mentions CO2 reduction pushes global warming...
I'm all for saving energy since it's a precious and finite resource, and they should have just said "we've done it to save energy and money" and not mentioned anything about CO2.

RE: ROI...
By Murloc on 10/19/2010 6:32:59 AM , Rating: 2
it's trendy and most people think of it as something good.
I personally dislike it like you do because the point of this operation isn't reducing co2, but I'd be ready to write how much CO2 my new project spares just for marketing purposes.

RE: ROI...
By RivuxGamma on 10/19/2010 2:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
Also, I kinda doubt that the building itself "generates" much CO2.

RE: ROI...
By The Raven on 10/19/2010 11:51:55 AM , Rating: 2
Energy is finite? Unless you are talking about a certain type of fuel or are counting on the Sun fizzling out in the near future, the supply of energy is not finite.

Then again if the Sun fizzled out, it wouldn't matter if we had any energy ;-)

RE: ROI...
By corduroygt on 10/20/2010 9:14:11 AM , Rating: 2
What I meant was that cheap energy is finite as of now, since oil is finite until we can find a cheaper way to get as much energy in a portable form. Also, in the end, the energy in the universe is also finite aka heat death, not that this is any concern for any of us or our great-great-great-great-grandchildren.

RE: ROI...
By sviola on 10/18/2010 2:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
I was just looking at the period for when the investment will be recouped, which are 5 years (and when maintenance costs will be very small). After that, they will have a $4.4 million gain, which, considering a $1 million/year maintenance cost for these parts may represent a $3 million gain for the building administration (which I don't see the savings being repassed for the tenants and can be put into the pockets of the owning party(ies) ).

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