If you can make it there – Empire State Building gets sustainable

2 May 2011

I blogged previously about a new building in New York achieving LEED status; now comes word that the Empire State Building’s owners were not to be outdone.  

After spending $13.2 million, the building’s owners boast that they are saving up to $4.4 million a year (a 38% energy savings with a payback of some 4 years). After vetting 60 different ideas, the buidling implemented 8 new programs aimed at: (a) dramatically reducing energy use; (b) demonstrating savings in a transparent and verifiable way; (c) improving tenant comfort and reducing tenant energy use; and (d) improving the building’s marketability.

They’ve created a whole sustainability exhibit which talks about the improvements and some of the original “environmental genius” that was part of the 1931 building’s design.   The owners of the Empire State also recently announced that they were buying all of the building’s power from a supplier of sustainable and renewable power.  Clearly, they are determined to stake out a spot in the market as the green place to be.  If the ESB’s owners can verifiably show prospective tenants that it is both a healthier and less expensive green alternative to other buildings, does this give the building a competitive leg up?

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