The Empire State Building is already the world's most famous office building. Now the New York icon is getting a $20 million green makeover (part of a $500 million overhaul), led by backers including Johnson Controls, the Clinton Climate Initiative, and the Rocky Mountain Institute. When finished, the Empire State Building will likely qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status.
The building's upgrade—under the aegis of the "Empire State Building Leadership in American Progress in Sustainability" project—will include refurbished windows, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, improved insulation, and better ventilation control. The upgrade will take two years. When complete, the building's energy use will be cut by 38%, with energy costs reduced by $4.4 million each year—so the $20 million investment will be recouped in under five years.
The template for the Empire State Building's upgrade is available at the initiative's Web site for anyone to copy. Not everyone works in a 103-story building, of course, but even the smallest spaces can benefit from good ventilation and efficient heating and cooling.
[Via ESB Sustainability]