The owners of the Empire State Building are investing $20 million in an effort to reduce the building’s energy use by 38 percent. All of the landmark’s 6,514 windows are being remanufactured, on site, to be reused as energy efficient replacements on the 79 year-old structure. All in all, this retrofit of an American icon is easily the most visible effort to “go green” in present memory. Darius Dixon, How to Get Prompt Payback From an Aging Icon That Guzzles Energy.
Amazingly, the Empire State Building consumes as much electricity as 40,000 single family homes each day. Given the number of high rise office buildings in New York City, and the estimation that 85% of its current buildings will be standing in 25 years, there is plenty of reason to focus on retrofits. And New York City is not alone in that respect – I would venture to guess that a substantial number of existing buildings in most major cities and a lot of smaller cities will be standing for many years to come.