Empire State Building Getting a Makeover

One of the icons of New York is sprucing up its sustainable image. (Photo: WorldIslandInfo.com [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

People all over the world know the Empire State Building, one of the most prominent buildings in the New York City skyline. The building is getting ready to undergo a massive $500 million+ makeover with an expected 38 percent energy reduction at the end of the project.

Work on the first phase of the project has already begun and should be finished by the end of 2010. The second phase involves the tenant spaces and should be completed in late 2013.

“At the end of the project definition process, the team analyzed the steps to be taken in conjunction with other steps towards sustainability as part of the Empire State ReBuilding program within the framework of the existing USGBC LEED rating system. Internal calculations show that the Empire State Building will be able to qualify for GOLD certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings, and ownership intends to pursue such certification.” Source: PR Newswire

A variety of projects are scheduled including an upgrade to the tenant lighting systems, the glass windows will be refurbished, and tenants will have individual energy management systems.

Although the project won’t be finished for nearly five years, I am excited to watch the progress of this upgrade. The Empire State Building isn’t the only structure undergoing a grand scale energy retrofit in the United States right now. The Sears Tower, in Chicago, is also in the midst of an energy efficient upgrade.

Photo by paulaloe