Thursday, January 6, 2011

Energy Efficiency In The Big Apple

Since the beginning of this blog’s run, I have talked a lot about alternative energy and all the promising things it has to offer. It is an area that is constantly seeing new growth, and I hope to work within one day (hire me).

However, many of the big changes in alternative energy are still off in the distance meaning that in order to make an impact on energy consumption and carbon emissions people will have to attack on different avenues.

One of these avenues is energy efficiency.

By creating more efficient energy consuming products and implementing more efficient means of using these products, energy consumption can be greatly reduced without actually have to sacrifice functionality.

A very large-scale example of efficiency can be seen with the renovations being planned for the Empire State Building in New York City:
The New York Times gushes:
Owners of the New York City landmark announced on Monday that they will be beginning a renovation this summer expected to reduce the skyscraper’s energy use by 38 percent a year by 2013, at an annual savings of $4.4 million. The retrofit project will add $20 million to the $500 million building makeover already under way that aims to attract larger corporate occupants at higher rents.
The main areas of focus for these renovations will be the lighting, heating, and water systems that haven’t really changed since the buildings original construction in 1931.

A Google Image Search revealed that there were large gorillas climbing the ESB in the old days... different times.
The NY Times makes an interesting statement saying that “While the energy-saving improvements will be substantial, no one visiting the building is very likely to notice them — most involve slight changes or will be hidden in the building’s innards.”

This is wonderful because many people believe that these projects sacrifice aesthetic value. This simply is not that case, and hopefully other cities will see the Empire State Building’s example and decide to make the investment to save millions of dollars on energy bills annually.

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