Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Greening the Empire State Building

Alex Padalka at GreenSource has an interesting article here about how the Empire State Building retrofit was selected by the Clinton Climate Initiative as the first, symbollic project for its retrofit division, and the economic goals of this project:

In practice, the revolutionary green projects in New York, such as the New York Times tower and the Bank of America building at One Bryant Park, went beyond the call of duty or LEED points to analyze every possible option in reducing energy costs. The Times building team spent a year analyzing sun movement to perfect the combination of heat-deflecting ceramic rods and window types for optimal heating and cooling. Similarly, the Bank of America team tested wind turbines for a year to see if they would generate enough electricity and experimented with photovoltaics, before settling on even more effective methods of cutting down on energy use. Both are iconic projects, having pushed the envelope at significant research and development costs that others still try to replicate.

The key difference between these earlier projects and what’s happening at the Empire State Building is precisely that – cost. Experts interviewed for this magazine as late as 2008 have cited discrepancies in LEED points, fluctuating materials costs, and other factors for the lack of consensus among them on how much exactly it actually costs to build green. To that end, the Empire State Building team started with the numbers.

Commercial and residential buildings account for an estimated 70 percent of the carbon footprint in New York City. By 2030, buildings that already exist today will account for around 85 percent of them. The Empire State Building was found to be America’s No. 1 favorite building in a poll by the American Institute of Architects. Its visibility is total. Its almost 40-percent energy reduction model is available here.

No comments:

Post a Comment