When it was built in 1931, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world. But it was also, by modern standards, an energy hog, with 6,514 windows, radiator heat, inefficient cooling and lighting.
To remedy things, the iconic New York skyscraper is now undergoing a whole-building retrofit
, aimed at reducing energy use by 38% and bills by $4.4 million annually and preventing 105,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years.
As part of the project, launched in 2009, the Empire State Building Company recently contracted with Lutron Electronics
, based in Coopersburg, Lehigh County, to provide sustainable lighting control solutions in pre-built tenant spaces throughout the building.
Lutron will provide occupancy/vacancy sensors that turn lights off when spaces are unoccupied, daylight-dimming controls that adjust light levels based on available daylight and wireless components for easy retrofit and minimal disruption.
The work is expected to save up to 65 percent on total lighting energy costs -- critical because lighting typically uses the majority of electricity in commercial buildings -- and pay for itself in two-and-three-quarters years, Lutron said.
The solutions developed in collaboration with Jones Lang LaSalle, the Empire State's property manager, are replicable in other whole-building retrofit, says Lutron President Michael Pessina.
Lutron would not release details on the size of the contract or whether it would create jobs, but last year Newsweek
calculated that the retrofit would create 252 jobs, 70 coming from the manufacture and installation of lighting and air flow controls.
Source: Lutron Electronics
Writer: Elise Vider