Empire State Building to Get a Green Retrofit


The owners of the Empire State Building have unveiled plans to improve it’s energy efficiency by turning it into a green building.

Malkin Holdings have invested $13 million this year into the structure with the aim of putting it ‘back on the map’.

According to the Guardian, the makeover is expected to cut the building’s energy use by almost 40%, which in turn, will reduce bills by more than $4m.The owners are planning on retrofitting the windows along with repositioning office furniture in a way that minimizes excessive energy use.

President of the Company, Anthony Malkin said:

“We’re showing what’s possible without even installing a single solar panel, or a wind turbine or a geothermal unit, and you don’t need additional grid capacity or any new power plants.”

“This is low-hanging fruit that can be plucked easily and we should be getting on with it as quickly as possible.”

The Empire State Building’s retrofit will cut its carbon footprint by more than 100,000 metric tonnes over the next 15 years. Such a cut is equivalent to taking 20,000 cars off the road.

Article by Kate R., appearing courtesy Celsias.

photo: Francisco Diez

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.


  1. Its great seeing landmarks go green! The sustainable practices of a skyscraper like the Empire State Building are likely to inspire others to do the same!

  2. And if they were to swap all their light fixtures with LEDs, they could probably save another 20% worth of electricity. Don’t stop at just rearranging office furniture, folks!

  3. It is indeed nice to see major buildings like the Empire State Building cut their energy consumption but we shouldn’t forget that nearly all buildings could achieve such results.

    When this was announced last year I noted on my blog that the payback period is of five years. This is ridiculously low.

    What if all buildings in New York, Paris and other major cities underwent such retrofittings ? We would create US / French / other nations’ jobs and cut our dependency to foreign oil. Not exactly what I would call a dark prospect.

  4. The Willis (Sears) Tower here in Chicago is doing the same thing. The energy reduction of the building will help offset the energy usage of a new 41-story hotel adjacent to the tower.