“The bottom line is if you approach energy savings, you approach virtually everything: You approach the energy tax, you approach national security, you approach reducing costs, you approach increasing profits, you approach increasing competitiveness and you start to do some really interesting things in the workspace. You start making a more productive and healthier workspace,” says Malkin.
While Malkin feels that Energy Star ratings for measuring energy consumption on a relative basis are one of the best, they are based on an entire building. One thing he learned, he said, is that 50 to 65 percent, depending on the building construction and systems, of energy consumption in buildings actually occurs in tenant spaces. “You’ve got plug-load, you’ve got heating and cooling and you have lighting,” says Malkin.
The team started looking at energy and lighting controls as part of their overall metrics.
“When we start working at the Empire State Building, we are continually trying to dig further and deeper in what we can accomplish a profitable investment toward [sustainable] energy efficiency, Malkin says. “Lighting controls became a huge issue. For us it is very clear that one of the biggest wastes — literally wastes — is lighting. People leave lights on when they’re not present, people get headaches because there’s too much light, on a dark day you turn on the lights and on a bright day you don’t turn off the lights.”
The Empire State Building has a 600,000 square-foot tenant but also has many 3,500 to 15,000 square-foot tenants. “We started confronting this issue of how do we wire all of this stuff and how do we tie all of these systems together,” said Malkin. Because of the challenges of wiring an existing building and the expense of installation, wireless thermostats were chosen.
“We were very fortunate to attract the attention of Lutron and to begin to work with Lutron towards our needs for lighting solutions. We found Lutron, really to be the person, the party, the company that understood what we were trying to accomplish,” said Malkin. Lutron put together a series with wireless solutions that made good economic sense for the Empire State Building.
“We are looking for integrated solutions. We want to touch things as little as possible because