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Mother of All Retrofit High Performance Buildings

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.

Posted 04-07-2009 8:20 AM by Stephen Gold
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John E Turner, EE, ASHRAE Member wrote re: Mother of All Retrofit High Performance Buildings
on 04-07-2009 5:18 PM

It is very encouraging to see such large scale investigation to effectively reuse energy for one of National Treasures, an older building.   Net-Zero improvments should be considerer, with alternate remote power sources, with modern daylighting and even solar photovoltaic.  Best of luck to the HVAC and engineers to make it work, the results would be helpful to all of us in the sustainable energy field!

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