By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
Jones Lang LaSalle announced in an official statement this week that the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded a LEED Gold certification to the Empire State Building, as further recognition from the $550 million Empire State ReBuilding program initiated in September 2009. The 80-year-old, 2.85 million-square-foot building is now the tallest and most well-known building in the United States to receive a LEED certification . It is also one the few National Historic Landmarks to earn this designation.
Johnson Controls and Jones Lang LaSalle conducted the retrofit plans, which are expected to reduce the building’s energy consumption by more than 38 percent and save $4.4 million in energy costs annually. Other improvements include reduced carbon emissions by an estimated 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years.
Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the USGBC, declared that by earning LEED Gold, the Empire State Building has sent out a powerful message: green buildings don’t necessarily have to be newly built – even the most iconic, historic buildings can have a place among the most high-performing, energy-efficient buildings.
Some of the most important green improvements at the Empire State Building that helped it to achieve LEED Gold certification include installation of ultra low-flow fixtures in the building’s restrooms; use of green cleaning supplies and pest control products; recycling of tenant waste and construction debris; use of recycled paper products and recycled-content carpets; low off-gassing wall coverings, paints, and adhesives; and the implementation of a program of tenant engagement and mandatory green requirements in lease agreements.