This blog is designed to highlight the diversity of views and news stories on urban energy topics that appear daily in the media. They are intended to provoke discussions on how cultural, geographic, political, and institutional influences shape the way energy markets operate and energy policies are made in cities around the world.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Empire State Building to strike green gold
City's tallest spire set for recognition as one of its greenest; $550 million renovation to draw LEED certification as well as 38% energy savings.
By THERESA AGOVINO
The Empire State Building is applying for gold LEED status.
The Empire State Building, which is in the midst of a $550 million renovation that includes numerous improvements designed to improve its sustainability, is on track to receive its LEED certification from the U.S. Buildings Council this month.
Upgrades at the 2.9 million-square-foot landmark include green features such as better-insulated windows and an upgraded air-conditioning system—changes that the management said lower energy consumption by 38%. Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings, an owner of the Empire State Building and its asset manager, said the changes were motivated by a desire to save energy. However, he said that once he realized the work would qualify for a certification, he opted to pursue it.
“We did the work,” Mr. Malkin said. “Why not?”
Mr. Malkin said the building would merit a gold rating. A U.S. Buildings Council spokeswoman said the organization doesn't disclose which rating a building will receive ahead of time.
LEED, which is named for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was launched in March 2000. It measures various metrics that contribute to sustainability, including carbon emissions, water efficiency, energy savings and building materials.
In the decade since LEED was introduced, many developers have constructed or renovated their buildings to earn certification, both to help the environment and lure tenants.
However, in recent years other standards have also emerged, especially to measure energy efficiency. Additionally, later this year, New York City will begin requiring building to report their energy use, and those results will be posted publicly. The city hopes the postings will shame energy hogs into making changes that will put them more in line with their peers.