The Empire State Building, built in 1931 and the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan until 1973 and since 2001, is undergoing a $100 million overhaul to make it greener and more efficient, with the program being a partnership between the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Clinton Climate Initiative and several other entities. The goal is to reduce the ESB’s energy consumption by 38%, which translates to a $4.4 million annual savings. This will be accomplished by a renovation of the HVAC system (no small feat in a 102-story building), replacement of windows with more energy efficient designs, and installation of monitors for energy usage by building tenants. It’s an ambitious project, but the ESB is thought to be worth it because of its iconic status and the capacity to demonstrate the importance of retrofitting old buildings to be more environmentally responsible.
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