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News release

MELBOURNE

6,500 windows in the iconic Empire State Building to be remanufactured to increase the building’s sustainability performance

Empire State Building Sustainability program the focus of the 7th Annual Green Buildings Conference in Melbourne


MELBOURNE, 27 AUGUST 2009 - Work is about to start on 6,500 windows in the Empire State Building to insert a third pane of glass and add a layer of glazing to help the building save millions in energy costs.
 
The work is part of major greening program underway on the iconic New York skyscraper to reduce energy and carbon by 38%.
 
The window replacement works commence this month and all windows are scheduled to be replaced by the end of 2013.
 
Jones Lang LaSalle is the program manager of a highly collaborative team under the direction of Anthony E. Malkin of Empire State Building Company to develop the first comprehensive approach to model steps for the reduction of energy consumption and to share details of the process for owners around the world to replicate.
 
Speaking about the project at the 7th Annual Green Buildings Conference in Melbourne, International Director for Jones Lang LaSalle, Raymond Quartararo said the project is already  serving as a model for several owners of U.S. and international portfolios.
 
“The building owner, Empire State Building Company wants to demonstrate how to cost-effectively retrofit a large multi-tenant office building to inspire others to embark on whole-building retrofits,” Mr Quartararo said.
 
“The window refurbishment is one of several projects now under way that, when complete, will save approximately $4.4 million in annual energy costs.”
 
Mr. Quartararo noted that the window refurbishment alone will reduce energy usage at the building by about  5%. The analytical process led by Jones Lang LaSalle with team members Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Controls and Rocky Mountain Institute showed a clear financial advantage to window refurbishment compared to doing nothing, and compared to replacing the windows entirely.
 
“For a 2.5 million square-foot office building to upgrade 6,500 windows solely for the energy benefit is extremely rare.  For a project management team to refurbish the existing windows by adding extra panes and glazing, with all work done on-site, is unheard of,” Mr. Quartararo said.
 
“Windows are a weak link for buildings when it comes to heat transfer.  A U.S. Department of Energy study concluded that as much as 30% of a commercial building’s energy loss occurs through its windows.
 
“Doing the work on site will also reduce the time, cost and vehicle emissions associated with transporting the windows to an off-site location.  Another environmental benefit to reusing the windows and frames is the reduction of building waste being sent to landfill,” said Mr Quartararo.
 
The Empire State Building’s retrofit program carries an initial cost of approximately $20 million and will result in annual energy savings of $4.4 million once implementation is complete, with the majority of work expected to take place within two years.
 
The program will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years.
 
Mr Quartararo said for retrofit strategies to work, they must have a fairly short payback period.
 
“The Empire State Building team demonstrated a strong business case for energy efficient retrofits with positive environmental results,” he said. “By pursuing these strategies, owners can save millions of dollars and enhance asset values while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  That’s a win-win for owners, tenants and the global environment.
 
“Buildings are responsible for 38% of CO2 emissions in the United States and with nearly 75% of US commercial buildings over 20 years old, retrofitting existing buildings must be part of the solution,” Mr Quartararo continued.
 
Details of the building team’s progress are posted on www.esbsustainability.com that was developed during the analytical phase.  The purpose of the site is to provide a wide range of information about the analysis and implementation process, so that the Empire State Building might become a catalyst for hundreds or thousands of buildings worldwide to consider similar large-scale energy retrofits.
 
While giving the keynote address at the 7th Annual Green Buildings Conference in Melbourne, Mr Quartararo outlined the eight major projects being implemented as part of the Empire State Building’s retrofit program.
 
These include: the 6,500 window light retrofit, the introduction of radiator insulation, improved tenant lighting, daylighting and plug upgrades, air handler replacements, a chiller plant retrofit, a whole-building control system upgrade, ventilation control upgrades and new web-based tenant energy management systems.
 
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