Empire State Building Goes Green

Big news – literally. USA Today reports that the Empire State Building is going green, one window at a time. As part of an effort to go green, the 6,514 double hung windows are being replaced one at a time in order to save about $4.4 million a year in energy costs.
“If you can retrofit the Empire State Building, you can retrofit anything”, says Kevin Surface, president of Serious Materials. Very true.
Here’s how windows are being replaced: Each night, workers remove scores of windows from their frames on the building’s office floors. They wheel them to the workroom, where the glass panes are detached from their sashes, pulled apart and carefully cleaned.

A sheath of transparent insulation film is laid between the panes, which are resealed and placed for an hour in a 205-degree oven to shrink the film in place.
Next, a mixture of inert gases is pumped into the space between the panes for insulation. Finally, the panes are put back in the original sashes and remounted in the office floor frames from which they were removed the previous night.
I’m impressed by how much work is going into the “greening” of this landmark. What do you think of the project?
Photo: Robert Deutsch for USA Today

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