Efficiency in Action, Does it Get Any Better Than This?

Owner Tony Malkin worked with experts from organizations ranging from Johnson Controls to Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to develop a retrofit that would save 38 percent of the building's energy and $4.4 million each year. Oh -- and add about 250 jobs as well.

The building's retrofit was a grand experiment, really. RMI describes Malkin as saying, "We knew that by retrofitting the Empire State Building, we would catch the world's attention. Through this project, we set out to prove or disprove energy efficiency retrofits' economic viability. The program is designed to be open source, free, and widely available -- so please rip us off."

First-year savings alone added up to $4,393,796. As RMI buildings practice analyst Eric Harrington says, "Until now, the energy savings were all theoretical and all based on careful energy modeling. Now that we have a year of utility data, the Empire State Building deep energy retrofit story is proven to work."

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Tags: Building, Empire, State, Story!, Sucess

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Comment by Tom Delconte on January 31, 2013 at 12:29pm

JIm: Great post! A five year payback period of 5 years is reasonable: Emp St. . Not to be fatalistic, but such a project would have been unthinkable until the federal government learned how to keep us safe. I've worked in buildings like these, and believe me, you never want to be in one!

Comment by Ryan Schuchler on July 23, 2012 at 10:15am

Jim, thank you for posting this information. This is the first time I've seen such concrete data to support and confirm energy savings claims. I know that the US Department of Energy supports a computer simulation called RESFEN, which currently provides the most-accurate estimates available for home improvement energy savings. It's great to see chronological data that proves the effectiveness of some of these programs and simulations. Thanks again for the intriguing article!

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