New Building Technology for April 7, 2009

April 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

It is an interesting and somewhat ironic collection of stories I have for you tonight, from huge retrofit projects to the lowly revolving door.

Leading off is the greening of what might be the world’s most famous building, the Empire State Building. There are articles all over the web on this one, but the two best are at CleanTechnica ( and Earth2Tech (

Excerpt: “It’s not every day you find $4.4 million lying around at the Empire State Building. But that’s how much former President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today said they expect the Empire State Building Co. to find in annual energy savings after the skyscraper undergoes a green retrofit, slashing energy needs by an estimated 38 percent. Scheduled for completion by the end of next year, the $20 million upgrade rests in the hands of Milwaukee, Wisc.-based Johnson Controls.

Next we have a story where 32 Verizon Wireless stores have earned the Energy Star rating (  I am sure that this has added to the bottom line pretty significantly from a cost containment perspective, especially since they claim that more than 150 of their stores actually meet the criteria.

Now we come to the ironic part in a study released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) that casts pretty significant doubt on the value from a commercial sense of green building and especially the LEED certification. The story is on the Green Real Estate Law Journal ( and the highlights are as follows:

Excerpt: “The authors used a standard commercial real estate valuation formula that related the logarithm of the rent per square foot or sales price per square foot of each building cluster to a variety of hedonic building characteristics, including quality, amenities, age, and location. Some pertinent conclusions as set forth in the report are as follows:

  • The results suggest that the LEED rating has no statistically significant effect upon commercial rents, but the Energy Star rating is associated with rents higher by 3.3 percent.”
  • With respect to sales price, “[w]hen the certification is reported separately for the Energy Star and the LEED systems, there is no evidence that the latter certification is associated with higher selling prices.”
  • “The premium in rents and values associated with an energy label varies considerably across buildings. It is positively related to the intensity of the climate surrounding the rated building; a label appears to add more value when heating and cooling expenses are likely to be a larger part of total occupancy cost.”

On Ecofriend ( we have a story about a highly efficient electric motor and while the story touts its suitability for the possible electric car I think it would also be a boon to use as in the variable speed drives on those big chiller type units on all of those large and extra large buildings.

Lastly on Greenbang ( we have a study showing that the lowly revolving door can help save the planet by lowering overall energy costs.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to:

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Entry filed under: News, Technology. Tags: .

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