The Empire State Building, One of New York City's tallest buildings, is getting a $500 million energy efficiency retrofit intended to make the building more energy efficient and lower its carbon emissions, owners of the skyscraper announced on Monday.
Owners of the building are hoping to cut energy use by 38 percent a year by 2013, at an annual savings of US$4.4 million. The retrofit project will add $20 million to the $500 million building renovation all ready under way.
"Commercial and residential buildings account for the majority of the total carbon footprint of cities around the world - over 70 percent in New York City," said Anthony Malkin, building owner, Empire State Building Company in a press release. "Most new buildings are built with the environment in mind, but the real key to substantial progress is reducing existing building energy consumption and carbon footprint."
At a press conference attended by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the owners of the building said they hope the retrofit of the Empire State Building, built in 1931, will set an example to other historic building owners looking to reduce energy consumption and environmental impacts.
"This innovative process, which has developed new techniques for modeling and organizing an integrated program, offers a clear path to adoption around the world, leading to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions," said Malkin.
(With files from the New York Times)