New York City Buildings Go Green

The Big Apple is raising the bar on environmental standards, as a growing number of businesses make conscious efforts to go green. As new buildings are developed, construction workers and business owners can work together to ensure buildings are LEED certified. However, even among existing buildings, owners are working with contractors to change existing measures and become LEED certified as well.

The Empire State Building is one such project, headed by Anthony Malkin. Two years ago, the building went through a $20 million renovation, which reduced energy usage by over 35 percent, and saved roughly $4.4 million per year. Now more than ever, building owners are able to see going green as a business imperative—something that can provide a competitive advantage that helps the company’s bottom line and is socially responsible as well.

In the city that never sleeps, buildings account for an astronomical portion of the city’s energy consumption. Simple acts, like installing automated timers, controlling moisture levels, and fixing leaks can have significant reduce the amount of energy consumed. Since April 2012, over 320 buildings in New York City have obtained LEED certification.

LEED is a program which promotes green buildings by awarding LEED certification to properties that embrace growing green. Commercial buildings must earn at least 40 points on the 110 point LEED rating scale, and meet all prerequisites in order to obtain certification. According to the U.S. Green Building Council website, LEED buildings are designed to lower operating costs, reduce waste and greenhouse emissions, and conserve water, among other benefits. LEED certified buildings often qualify for special tax breaks, and have an easier time attracting tenants, making going green an economically viable project.

Sources: U.S. Green Building Council