I’ve been wanting for a while to start a column called “Sexy Retrofits,” exploring the idea that the key to green building is overhauling existing buildings, not starting from scratch. Despite what Larry Page might think. It’s not the most glamorous notion, but it is energy efficient, cost effective, and exciting. I swear! So consider this the first edition, because it doesn’t get much sexier than this: the Empire State Building is going green.
In a news conference today, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg will appear with Bill Clinton to give details of the $20 million retrofit, which will reportedly include replacing windows and giving tenants web-based systems for managing their energy usage. It’s part of an estimated $600 million renovation expected to take five years. More details to come.