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It’s not every day you find $4.4 million lying around at the Empire State Building. But that’s how much former President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today said they expect the Empire State Building Co. to find in annual energy savings after the […]

It’s not every day you find $4.4 million lying around at the Empire State Building. But that’s how much former President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today said they expect the Empire State Building Co. to find in annual energy savings after the skyscraper undergoes a green retrofit, slashing energy needs by an estimated 38 percent. Scheduled for completion by the end of next year, the $20 million upgrade rests in the hands of Milwaukee, Wisc.-based Johnson Controls.

If a $20 million investment can deliver savings of this magnitude, why has it taken so long to start plugging the energy drains in the 78-year-old building? Clearly this will do a lot more on the climate and environment front than turning on green-colored lights does.

Part of it has to do with technology. Working with the Clinton Climate Initiative, Jones Lang LaSalle and the Rocky Mountain Institute, Johnson Controls used some new modeling and measurement tools in what the group envisions as a road map for future commercial building retrofits, the Milwaukee Business Journal reports. The team considered more than 60 upgrades for the skyscraper, and ultimately chose eight projects (detailed here on the Johnson Controls site), including window upgrades, daylighting and web-based energy management systems for each of the 302 office tenants.

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By Josie Garthwaite

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  1. Hope this is just the begining of retrofitting all the skycraper in New York, and subsequently all buildings in all major cities in the world …

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  2. Sounds like a great plan. Also, with new building integrated photovoltaics, any new skyscrapers can be using all that glass to make electricity.

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  3. [...] Leading off is the greening of what might be the world’s most famous building, the Empire State Building. There are articles all over the web on this one, but the two best are at CleanTechnica (http://cleantechnica.com/2009/04/06/empire-state-building-begins-huge-energy-efficiency-retrofit/) and Earth2Tech (http://earth2tech.com/2009/04/06/empire-state-building-to-get-green-makeover-saving-44m-per-year/). [...]

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  4. [...] three years, in the NYT. Which raises the question—If greening old buildings like that is so easy, why has it taken so long? at [...]

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  5. A 4.5 year simple (no interest on the $20 million investment) payback is not usually an atractive investment for commercial real estate owners.

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  6. [...] via Earth2Tech [...]

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