Nearly 3 years ago we published a story about the Empire State Building, it's inefficiency and our desire to see it use renewable energy. (see energy articles in http://www.bootheglobalperspectives.com).
Cheers to you. But considering the iconic appeal of the building, wouldn't it be something to see the reflection of a thousand solar water heating and PV panels on the roof and exterior walls of the Empire State Building. The concept is simple. A building can save energy in 3 ways.
1. Conserve energy through electrical appliances and lighting.
2. Use symbolic energy credit, such as the Renewable Energy Credits.
3. The other, is to actually make your own energy on the spot.
The Empire State Building uses a lot of hot water and a solar water heating system could save from 15% to 20% of it's total energy bill. Combine this with PV solar panels, and the facility could produce another 15 to 25% if it's electric consumption. And these systems do not require a large investment in a "grid", in "transmission lines" and in state or federal permits. The "hot water" and the "electricity" is made on the spot, and consumed on the spot. Plus, the federal government will reimburse the owners 30% of everything they spend.
The combined impact, including the benefits of the renewable energy purchase credits, actually, would make the Empire State Building on of the most efficient buildings in the City.
Plus, the building would serve as a good example to the rest of the world, and this, in our opinion would go a long way in offsetting the inefficiencies caused by the buildings unique design, and "usable area" penalty because of the area utilized for elevators and operations of the building, in relation to the the net usable net leasable tenant area of the building.
What a positive public message to tenants;
"Not only to we purchase renewable energy credits, and conserve electricity by our design and refurbishments with more efficient materials, we now are making our own energy".
Our congratulations to the ownership group of the Empire State Building. We now challenge you as we did 3 years ago, to do more. Do something to tangibly actually produce electricity and hot water. The three largest expenses your building has, are the expense to cool the air. The expense to heat your water and to heat the air. And the expense for lighting and electric motors. A solar water system that Wind Inc. (http://www.wind-inc.com) offers can heat water to 350 degrees and the water lines from the solar panels to the hot water tanks can be installed around floors, ceilings and window walls to create "free" radiant heat, that continually circulates throughout the building. These systems are 6.7 times more efficient than PV panels. PV solar panels create electricity from the sun, and simply turn your electric meter backward or reduce consumption of electricity of your building. But of course, these are easy solutions. Our favorite has not yet been mentioned.
The design of the Empire State Building is such, that it is possible to put several vertical axis wind turbines near the observation deck. They can be attached to the building, and with the constant winds will only utilize 20 ft high poles. These are cost effective quiet, and would be a dynamic visible "sign" to the entire world.
We combine our congratulations with a challenge to make some energy of your own, and show the world what an "Iconic inefficient building" can truly become. We love the building, and like any "fan" want it to be a shining star. It is within your grasp.