Empire State Building to Feature 6,500 Recycled Windows

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When the environmentally friendly retrofit of the Empire State Building is complete, people will still gaze out of the same glass in the building’s thousands of windows. That’s because the glass in the building’s 6,500 windows will be reused even as the windows are strengthened.

The Empire State Building will undergo an eco-friendly retrofit that is set to be complete by 2013. Photo: Skyscraperlife.com

The Empire State Building will undergo an eco-friendly retrofit that will be completed by 2013. Photo: Skyscraperlife.com

While the Empire State Building renovation drew media buzz this week for its energy-saving components, recycling will also be featured in the retrofit.

The green renovation, which will cost $20 million, is the brainchild of Clinton Climate Initiative, Jones Lang LaSalle, Johnson Controls Inc. and the Rocky Mountain Institute. A savings of $4.4 million each year for the building will result from the green restructuring, according to the project’s organizers.

A $500 million refurbishment effort – separate from the green renovation – is now taking place at the building.

Glass in the building’s windows will be reused as the windows are renovated into triple-glazed insulated panels, says Dana Schneider, a senior manager for projects at Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate company working on the project.

“This work will be done on-site to reduce energy use associated with transportation,” Schneider explains to Earth911.

The remodel aims to achieve a 38 percent energy reduction. The project’s team is keeping recycling in mind as it revamps the building.

“In retrofitting the Empire State Building for energy efficiency, we are looking for all opportunities to reuse or recycle existing materials, as well as to use recycled materials wherever possible,” Schneider says.

Anthony E. Malkin, who represents the Empire State Building Company, says in a news release that the project could be used as a template for building renovations worldwide.

The entire project is scheduled to be ready in 2013.

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