Empire State Building cuts $7.5M in energy costs over three years with JLL’s help

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The Empire State Building (ESB) has surpassed the energy savings guaranteed through its innovative energy-efficiency program – developed by a team including JLL – for the third consecutive year.

This year, the iconic property beat its energy-efficiency guarantee by 15.9 percent, saving $2.8 million.

ESBOver the past three years, the program has generated a total of approximately $7.5 million in energy savings. These savings are the result of continued enhancement of the iconic building’s new systems and the addition of many new tenants occupying hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space retrofitted according to program guidelines.

In 2009, Empire State Realty Trust and the Clinton Climate Initiative Cities program, an aligned partner of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, assembled a coalition of leading organizations focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. The team, comprised of the ESB, JLL, Johnson Controls (JCI), and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), developed the now-implemented ESB energy-efficiency program, designed to reduce costs, increase real estate value and protect the environment. The comprehensive retrofit was launched by the ESB, President Bill Clinton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the same year.

In 2011, the ESB beat its year-one energy-efficiency guarantee by 5 percent, saving $2.4 million. In year two, the iconic property surpassed its guarantee by nearly 4 percent, saving $2.3 million.

“The Empire State Building retrofit project has dramatically exceeded projected energy savings for the third straight year, reducing costs by millions of dollars,” said Anthony E. Malkin, Empire State Realty Trust Chairman, President and CEO.

“As we continue our energy efficient installations for incoming tenants, we are confident we will meet and exceed our completed project goal of saving $4.4 million dollars each year. As for now, we are ahead of our projections and that means more savings and more returns on our investments to date.”

President Bill Clinton also commented on the success of the program.

“Five years into the retrofit of the Empire State Building, we have seen carbon emission reductions and cost savings that show this is a model for the rest of the country,” said President Clinton.

“Not only do investments like this help protect the environment and put people back to work, they pay for the cost of the improvements and generate additional savings into the future.”

The retrofit project focused on eight innovative improvement measures addressing core building infrastructure, common spaces and tenant suites. Improvement measures performed by JCI and JLL included the refurbishment of all 6,514 windows, installation of insulation behind all radiators, a chiller plant retrofit, new building management systems controls, new revenue-grade meters serving the entire building, and a web-based tenant energy management system.

The core base building retrofit is complete, with the balance of the project to be finished as new tenants build out high-performance workspaces. Once all tenant spaces are upgraded, the building is expected to save at least $4.4 million a year, at least a 38 percent reduction of energy use.

RMI’s pioneering, whole-systems approach to the ESB project helped identify how a “deep” energy retrofit could be achieved using a similar capital expenditure to a traditional retrofit. By incorporating elements beyond just energy cost savings, the retrofit achieved a Class-A rating and the increased rents that come with it and provided a replicable example of how other buildings can be both energy efficient and profitable—and healthier, more productive and more lucrative workplaces.

Over the past three years, the energy retrofit model has been replicated throughout the U.S. JCI and JLL jointly implemented the program at all 13 properties in Empire State Realty Trust’s New York metropolitan-area commercial portfolio, as well as One Worldwide Plaza in New York. JLL has also instituted the model at more than 50 other properties across the nation, including The Moscone Center in San Francisco and Chicago Union Station, doubling the number of projects it has worked on in the past year alone.

The retrofit has been a key differentiator for the ESB and helped attract game changing tenants, including LinkedIn, Skanska, LF USA, Coty Inc., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and Shutterstock. These tenants sought space that reflected their sustainability values, provided more comfort for employees, and allowed them to monitor and control their energy use.

“This past year, the project partners were able to significantly boost energy savings at the Empire State Building,” said Raymond Quartararo, international director at JLL.

“We were able to implement some of the automation capabilities of the new equipment and building management system. In addition, hundreds of thousands of square feet of tenant spaces were built out to meet the building’s high-performance environmental guidelines.”

 

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