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Empire State Building: Model for Sustainability, Historic Preservation

 Empire State Building: Model for Sustainability, Histor..  Empire State Building: Model for Sustainability, Histor..

Built the last time the economy was in the toilet, the Empire State Building is the iconic building of New York City. Over the last two years, much has been made of the historic renovation of the building to improve its energy efficiency and sustainability as well as restore its interior.

Energy efficiency leaders Johnson Controls worked with the Empire State Building Company, Jones Lang LaSalle, Clinton Climate Initiative and the Rocky Mountain Institute to bring the 81 year-old building into the new millennium in terms of sustainability with a green retrofit. The $20 million green retrofit project included the refurbishment of windows, improving the building’s insulation, the installation of a brand new energy management control system to track energy consumption and rebuilding and replacing HVAC equipment with high efficiency models. Additionally, tenants will now be able to view, track and manage their energy usage through an online management system.

These common sense energy efficiency measures will reduce energy usage by 38 percent and energy costs by $4.4 million each year. Measurements will continue to be taken until 2025.

Overall, NYC’s most notable landmark will become a landmark for sustainability, with the project team creating a fully replicable model for other office buildings and landmarks to follow suit.

This week, the final phase of the $550 million historic lobby restoration project is complete. The icing on the cake is “Circle In,” an illuminated etched-glass installation designed by Brooklyn-based artist Denise Amses. Located behind the Visitor Reception Desk, “Circle In” complements the recreated 23-karat gold and aluminum leaf ceiling mural. The piece features 15,000 starts and 5,000 circles through 16 panels of transparent glass, which are lit from within using cold cathode tubes.

"It was always part of our conception of the lobby to place this specially commissioned art installation at the focal point of tenant reception of the recreated lobby,” said Anthony E. Malkin of Empire State Building Company in a statement. “Now, it is finally in place as the final touch of the Empire State Building's historic lobby restoration project. The three-dimensional work of art compliments and enhances the world's most famous office building and will be seen by every one of our visitors to our tenants-only lobby at the concierge/visitor welcome desk. While it has taken a good deal longer to finish the restoration, recreation, and modernization of our lobby than it took the build the entire building, it has been well worth the effort and wait."

Source and Photos: Empire State Building Company
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