By The Global Journal | May 8, 2012 - 16:00 GMT
Electronics giant Philips announced today (8 May) that it was partnering with New York’s iconic Empire State Building to install a new energy-efficient LED lighting system that would also offer a far greater range of tower light shades. Many of New York’s older skyscrapers are likely to follow the environmentally friendly lead taken by the historical landmark.
In announcing the new development, Philips noted that the Empire State Building, which was “globally recognised as an engineering marvel and symbol of New York City,” had chosen Philips Color Kinetics to “transition the building's iconic tower lights to innovative LEDs”. Not only will these allow the display of 16 million shades versus the 10 currently available, but they will also have a green impact. It is estimated the new technology will enable the building’s operators to reduce annual energy costs by 75 percent. In addition, the lamps will last three to six times longer than the existing fixtures. The installation of the LED equipment will begin in a few weeks and is scheduled to be completed in the Autumn.
The Empire State Building renovation and emission reduction scheme is part of a project initiated during the launch of the Clinton Foundation's Climate Initiative in 2006. Construction work began in 2009 and also included improving the skyscraper’s 6,500 windows. The scheme is expected to lead to a 38 percent reduction in the building’s energy use within three years and to a saving of $4.4 million in operating costs per year.
The retrofit industry is a profitable one, particularly in a city like New York where most downtown skyscrapers were built before 1945. The Empire State Building experience is likely to serve as a precedent for other projects.
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