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Empire State undergoing lighting controls overhaul

Empire State undergoing lighting controls overhaul
Sunset view of New York. The Empire State Building is lit up red.

The Empire State Building is undertaking a wide array of renovations to enhance the energy efficiency measures across its 102-storey tenant spaces – including lighting controls improvement.

Empire State will upgrade its lighting system with the installation of occupancy/vacancy sensors that switch the lights off when spaces are disused; daylight dimming controls that adjust light levels according to the available daylight; and wireless components that offer manageable retrofit and minimal interruptions.

Lighting accounts for a large amount of building peak loads, or about 30 percent, and consumes the majority of power in a conventional commercial building with 39 percent of annual electricity use. When completed, the Empire State Building will generate 65 percent of total lighting savings.

Empire State is working with lighting control manufacturer Lutron Electronics for the project.

The lighting efficiency project, along with other initiatives, is estimated to help the Empire State cut its energy consumption by 38 percent and prevent 105,000 metric tons of carbon emissions over the next 15 years, while saving $4.4 million energy costs per year.

Other plans under the retrofit plan include on-site upgrades of its 6,500 windows, new cooling and heating systems that adapt to the temperature, insulation of the building space, improvement of the existing building control system, and installation of Internet-based system for tenants' energy monitoring.

The iconic Empire State Building started its efforts to become a "green" skyscraper in 2001. It has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council, a nonprofit promoting sustainable buildings.

A year after kicking off its initiatives, the Empire State is way ahead of its sustainable goals as it surpassed its energy efficiency target by five percent and saved $2.4 million energy costs. – EcoSeed Staff

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