NEMA's promoted retrofitting standard buildings into high performance buildings for several years now, to create substantially better energy, environmental and economic performances.

Now we have the mother of all retrofits — the Empire State Building. The $20 million overhaul announced yesterday will save the building owners $4.4 million per year (or 40%) in their annual energy costs.  A team of organizations — including the Clinton Climate Initiative, Rocky Mountain Institute, Johnson Controls and Jones Lang LaSalle — is undertaking this King Kong-size effort. They expect to complete the project in 2010.

Among the changes expected over the next year-and-a-half: Improved lighting designs, daylighting controls, and plug load occupancy sensors that are expected to reduce electricity costs and cooling loads.  Other changes include an upgraded building control system to optimize heating and cooling operations, the addition of 6,500 thermopane glass windows, a chiller plant retrofit (including the introduction of variable frequency drives), ventilation control, and tenant energy management systems (which are individualized, web-based power-usage systems for offices).

You can learn more about how the team plans to retrofit the Empire State Building on this website.


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