Briefs: Empire State Building

Once the world's tallest building, the Empire State Building is addressing a new challenge: it's going green. Chillers in the cooling plant will be rebuilt, and with insulation will generate roughly half the savings. The owners of the landmark expect to reduce the skyscraper's energy use by 38%/year by 2013, representing annual savings of USD 4.4 million. The building has 102 storeys, 242 000 m², 6500 windows (which will be insulated on site at a rate of 50/windows per day) and 73 lifts, and the energy-efficiency improvements are expected to serve as a model for other office buildings worldwide. The energy savings for the Empire State Building, built in 1931, are expected to pay back those costs within about three years. The largest share of New York City's greenhouse gas emissions, 78%, comes from the city's buildings.