The Empire State Building in New York City has been awarded LEED Gold certification following a two-year retrofit that is expected to cut energy use in the landmark building by 38 percent by 2013. Two years
ago, the owners of the 102-story building began renovations they say will cut energy costs by $4.4 million a year, including a retrofit of windows, improved insulation, and renovations to the cooling plant located in the basement. Malkin Holdings, which supervises the building, also agreed to buy 55 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually from Green Mountain Energy, a renewable energy and carbon offset retailer. Over 15 years, the renovations are expected to reduce the building’s carbon emissions by 105,000 metric tons. The green upgrades are part of a $550 million initiative known as the Empire State ReBuilding Program, which includes a litany of sustainable practices, from the use of eco-friendly cleaning and pest control supplies to installation of meters that allow tenants to manage their own energy use. The tower is now the tallest building in the U.S. to receive LEED certification.