Hello, I am Edvard Bruun and am a new addition to the LeadingLEED blogging team. I am a 2nd year University of Toronto Civil Engineering student, interested in sustainability and the urban environment. The Empire State Building earning LEED Platinum certification marks a necessary landmark in the battle for urban sustainability. Since its completion in 1931, the 102-story tower has dominated the New York skyline, becoming an internationally recognized and admired structure. It appears fitting that a building that is so infused with ingenuity and originality should just as before blaze a path throughout the nation to follow.
The The thought for this green retrofit, the largest in the United States to date, was born mostly from economic reasoning. Anthony Malkin, who supervises the Empire State Building Company, stated in an interview:
“Everything that we’re doing at the Empire State Building concerns business and, bottom line, that’s the first and most important thing”
Although not inline with an environmentalist’s perspective, his plan still benefits both the economic and natural spheres of society. The energy budget of the building is reduced by $4.4 million annually, carbon emissions are cut by 105,000 tons over a 15-year period, and all this results in a project payback period of time less than 3 years. The retrofit included refurbishing all 6514 windows, a brand new chiller plant, new building management controls, insulation behind radiators, web-based tenant submetering system and 30% more energy efficient elevators. The retrofit and of course the ancillary benefits that come alongside it really has actually attracted new tenants into the building including LinkedIN and Coty Inc.
For me personally, of this news goes past the accomplishment of achieving LEED platinum standards. This event also marks a general change in corporate sentiment regarding sustainability. Profitability and sustainability have often incorrectly been thought to be opposite sides of the economic spectrum, you can have one or the other, but never both. Through Anthony Malkin’s vision, the Empire State Building now stands in defiance of this naivety. As the Empire State Building reaps the benefits from environmental and economic synergy, the rest of the world is poised to follow.