The Greening of the Empire State Building
By Margaret Foster | Online Only | Apr. 14, 2009
One of the most famous buildings in the world is going green.
Last week the manager of the Empire State Building, Chicago-based real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, announced that it has begun a $20 million retrofit of the Empire State Building to make the historic building more sustainable. The group predicts that when the project is completed at the end of 2010, it will save $4.4 million in annual energy costs.
"It's wonderful that a landmark as famous as the Empire State Building is demonstrating that older buildings are green—and can get even greener," Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, said in an e-mail. "We hope it inspires the owners of other older commercial properties. Green is definitely not only for new construction."
All 6,500 of the building's windows will be replaced with insulated glass, lighting will be improved, and several air-controller systems will be upgraded, among other tasks.
The 102-story Art Deco tower opened in 1931 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Because its exterior and street-level interior are city landmarks, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission will review the retrofit plans.
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