Empire State of Energy

The iconic Empire State Building just took a gigantic green leap with building renovations that do more than scrape the surface of energy efficiency.

You’ve seen the benefits of weatherization, but New York City’s trademark skyscraper takes it to a whole new level. (104 levels up to be precise.) The Empire State building has successfully completed a window retrofit, the first phase of its major energy efficiency remodeling plan. This renovation was a big step in a larger sustainability program that anticipates a 38% reduction in energy consumption, with savings around 4.4 million per year in energy bills.

Serious Materials, originally from Sunnyvale California, successfully converted all 6,514 of the buildings dual-pane windows into super insulated windows. Energy efficient windows reduce solar heat gain of the building by over 50%, which translates into less energy needed to cool the building. Reports note this initiative promises to reduce energy bills by over $400,000 annually.

For Anthony E. Malkin, the owner of the Empire State Building Company, the sky is the limit.

He calls this enormous step a “key milestone” in revamping the infamous structure. He hopes the tower will serve as a prime example for other commercial buildings throughout the world on how to be energy efficient.

Scott Bittle, co-author of “Who Turned Out The Lights,” claims that commercial buildings in the US account for 18% of total energy consumption. According to Pike Research done in July of 2010, retrofitting each commercial building cross-country would result in 41.1 billion dollars saving in energy bills per year. Green building is a promising frontier for the future of energy savings.

New York’s prestigious landmark is now an iconic example of the huge and pressing importance of energy efficiency. Surely this empire state of save is just the beginning of an epic road of commercial energy conservation and innovation.

Man, am I proud to be a New Yorker today.

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