Empire State Building green retrofit

NYC Empire State Building
NYC Empire State Building. Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NYC_Empire_State_Building.jpg

Photo credit: Daniel Schwen

The Empire State Building is undergoing a green retrofit to convert into an “eco-friendly” skyscraper.

Many older tall city buildings have poor energy and sustainability ratings; it is hoped that this retrofit will provide a template for others to follow.

The Clinton Climate Initiative is a partner in the project

Summary of retrofits

  • US$20 million upgrade budget
  • planned completion date is December 2010.
  • estimated to reduce energy consumption by up to 38 percent
  • Carbon emissions will be decreased by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years
  • The 1,454-foot building’s current energy costs are about $11 million per year. Under the program, energy costs will be slashed to $4.4 million annually.
  • 6,000 windows will be replaced with better-insulated ones
  • high-efficiency cooling systems will be added
  • energy efficient lighting will be installed.

“Every person on Earth knows about the Empire State Building,” Clinton said. “I hope the innovative systems here . . . will become a model of how to do big buildings.”

Anthony Malkin, president of the Empire State Building Co., said although new buildings are being constructed with the environment in mind, converting existing buildings greatly reduces carbon emissions.

“This New York icon is sending really a strong signal to the rest of the world that going green even in the current economic crisis is an economic and environmental imperative,” he said.[1]


  1. Empire State Building going green