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Empire State Building Achieves LEED Gold

Published on Posted in Media

Craig Bloomfield, Jones Lang LaSalle
312-228-2774, [email protected]

Empire State Building Company, Jones Lang LaSalle and U.S. Green Building Council announce milestone achievement for World's Most Famous Office Building

NEW YORK CITY, September 13, 2011—The Empire State Building has been awarded LEED® Gold for Existing Buildings certification as further recognition from the $550 million Empire State ReBuilding program. The Empire State Building is the tallest and most well known building in the U.S. to receive LEED certification.

The 2.85 million-square-foot building is celebrating its 80th anniversary while nearing completion of its renewal and repurposing to meet the needs of 21st Century businesses. It is one of a small number of National Historic Landmarks to earn the designation, which was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

The announcement was made jointly by Anthony Malkin, Empire State Building Company; Dana Robbins Schneider, vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle, program manager of the energy retrofit, LEED feasibility assessment and application process; and Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC.

The LEED Gold certification follows the ground-breaking creation and implementation of a new replicable, transparent, quantifiable process for economically justified energy efficient retrofits in the existing built environment created a team of the Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Controls, Jones Lang LaSalle and the Rocky Mountain Institute. The game-changing analytical model is non-proprietary and open-source and is being replicated at other properties around the world. There is a new focus by government and the real estate industry on investment and return in energy efficiency retrofits driven from the well-documented success of the Empire State Building.

The retrofit conducted by Johnson Controls and Jones Lang LaSalle is guaranteed to reduce the building's energy consumption by more than 38 percent and should save $4.4 million in energy costs annually, representing an approximate three-year payback of the cost of implementation. The building gained ENERGY STAR certification in 2010 and has maintained ENERGY STAR certification in 2011. For more on the analytical model, visit www.esbsustainability.com.

The improvements also reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 105,000 metric tons over 15 years. In January 2011, Malkin agreed to buy carbon offsets totalling 55 million kilowatt hours per year of renewable energy, making the Empire State Building carbon-neutral.

"When it was built, the Empire State Building instantly became an icon of its era. Now, due to this remarkable investment in energy efficiency, the Empire State Building will be an icon of the 21st century as well, leading our current era in the retrofitting and upgrading of existing buildings to meet modern energy conditions," said David Bragdon, Director of the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability.

"LEED Gold certification is another win for us following our ground-breaking energy efficiency retrofit work. It is my hope that all future LEED certifications for existing building projects will require demonstrable, quantifiable improvements in energy efficiency, delivering economic returns for building owners, tenants, and the communities in which they are located," Malkin said. "I thank Dana Schneider, our Empire State Building team, and the professionals at the U.S. Green Building Council for their hard work in this huge undertaking. I hope USGBC will be incorporating documented energy efficiency improvements into LEED 2012, which is now in public comment."

"LEED certification is one of the top criteria for many tenants today, and it reinforces the strong business case we have made for a cost-effective energy retrofit that lowers tenant occupancy costs," Schneider said. "We have continued our work with building ownership with LEED-level new tenant installations and tenant-based energy efficiency programs, which are now being documented in a new program with the Center for Market Innovation of the Natural Resources Defense Council, funded by a grant from the Goldman Sachs Foundation."

"By earning LEED Gold, the Empire State Building has sent a powerful message that green buildings don't have to be new – even the most iconic, historic buildings, as grand in scale as in reputation, can be among the most high-performing, energy-efficient, green buildings," Fedrizzi said. "The leadership exhibited by Tony Malkin, and everyone involved in this project is monumental and should be applauded."

The USGBC will also recognize Malkin with its 2011 Leadership Award, bestowed on "organizations and individuals who signify vision, leadership and commitment to the evolution of green building design and construction." Malkin is recognized for this prestigious award based on his commitment and guidance to the team throughout the retrofit process, his promotion of the replicable model and his strong advocacy of energy efficiency before Congress, with U.S. mayors and other government and business leaders.

The energy retrofit and other actions leading to LEED certification also helped New York's economy by creating jobs for 250 people, Schneider noted.

The Empire State Building ownership directed that sustainable practices be at the center of new operations and upgrades as part of the Empire State ReBuilding program. Low environmental impact operations procedures were put in place immediately following the transition of the day-to-day operations of the building from Helmsley-Spear to Malkin Holdings, supervisor of building owner Empire State Building Company. After the energy efficiency retrofit program was developed and its implementation was underway, Jones Lang LaSalle led a separate study of the feasibility of LEED certification. This feasibility study showed that LEED Gold certification was within reach at an incremental cost of about $0.25 per square foot.

Beyond energy efficiency, activities at the Empire State Building which helped achieve LEED Gold certification include:

  • Installation of ultra low-flow fixtures in the building's restrooms
  • Use of green cleaning supplies and pest control products
  • Recycling of tenant waste and construction debris
  • Use of recycled paper products
  • Use of recycled content carpets, low off-gassing wall coverings, paints, and adhesives
  • A program of tenant engagement, including submetering, a newly created Tenant Energy Management System, and mandatory green requirements in lease agreements.

In addition to the Empire State Building receiving LEED Gold certification, the USGBC has notified Empire State Building Company and Jones Lang LaSalle that a 3,500-square-foot pre-built space on the 42nd floor has been certified Platinum under the LEED for Commercial Interiors rating system. Jones Lang LaSalle built out the space in accordance with the building's interior design guidelines in order to demonstrate the cost and energy savings to tenants and prospects. The northward-facing space with views to the east and west is a key stop on leasing tours of the building, and is also available for lease to a tenant with immediate move-in needs.

About Empire State Building
Soaring 1,454 feet (from base to antenna) above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the "World's Most Famous Office Building." With new investments in infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper's robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America's favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects. The Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world's most beloved attractions and is the region's #1 tourist destination. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit www.esbnyc.com, www.facebook.com/EmpireStateBuilding, or @ESBObservatory.

About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2010 global revenue of more than $2.9 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide, including 200 corporate offices. The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.8 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company's investment management business, is one of the world's largest and most diverse in real estate with $45.3 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit our website, www.joneslanglasalle.com.

About U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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