Empire State Building Retrofit

Empire State Building Retrofit

Location: New York City, NY
LEED: LEED Gold Certified

Integral Group was involved in early stage design and energy modeling for this $500M modernization project, which allowed the building owner to offer state-of-the-art office amenities in a historic building while greatly reducing both energy use and carbon emissions. The project serves as a template for other sustainable multi-tenant, multi-story retrofits, and is a model of integrated design and whole-system thinking. Based upon team recommendations, the contractor removed the building’s sashes and glass from 6,514 windows to clean the panes, and add a low emissivity (low-E) film and gas mixture between the reused panes. The lower SHGC and increased r-value of the windows led to an increase in energy savings.

The chiller plant was retrofitted and downsized instead of replaced and upsized, saving considerable capital and operating costs. The team also recommended upgrading or replacing major building systems and identified seven more economically viable projects that provide an overall 3-year payback and a 38% energy use reduction. The recommended measures also reduce cooling load requirements by 33% (1,600 tons) and peak electrical demand by 3.5 megawatts, benefitting both the building and the utility. The measures taken include actions related to: Window Retrofits; Direct Digital Controls (DDC); Tenant Lighting, Daylighting, and Plug Loads; Variable Air Volume (VAV) Air-Handling Units (AHUs); Retrofit Chiller Plant; Tenant Energy Management Program; Radiative Barrier; and Tenant Demand Control Ventilation (DCV).