Going green one window at a time

29 July 2010
Buyers in construction and building services may have noticed a chance both to save money and boost their green credentials after it was reported this week that by the end of the year the Empire State Building will have completed its $20 million (£12.8 million) makeover as part of an effort to become certifiably green. New York’s Art Deco landmark built in 1931 will get new windows, insulation and other upgrades to cut energy use by 38 per cent and save about $4.4 million (£2.8 million) a year. The work mainly involves replacing each of its 6,514 dual-pane windows. On a rather frank note, Tony Malkin, president of the company that runs the tower, said that they’re not doing it because it’s the “right thing” but because it makes “good business sense.” However, in addition to cutting costs and making the building more attractive to green-minded tenants, Malkin has highlighted his aim is to give other office building owners a model to follow. So is it time to start rebuilding the companies and offices that we all currently work in? Also involved in the project is the Clinton Climate Initiative which says buildings account for three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas. Unsustainable architecture from the past is a critical part of the climate change problem – and it seems a no-expense spared face-lift for these old buildings is the solution. The money spent on this eco-makeover is a good thing whether you’re doing it to save the Earth or like Malkin just to achieve a better bottom line. However, how many other landmark buildings around the world may also need to go green now or in the future one window at a time?
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