The Empire State Building on 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, just added a new lighting system that means that the lights for this monumental building now use 50% less power. The super-efficient commercial LED lighting system cost over a million dollars to install and will recoup its investment within 2 years from the power consumption savings. The iconic Empire State Building has been cleaning up its act as “The Top Of The Rock” at 30 Rockefeller Plaza just overtook it in number of visitors per year. Normally the lights are switched off at midnight to save money and avoid neighbor complaints. Often the lights at night can cause havoc with air traffic as it can blind airline pilots coming in to La Guardia or Newark airports.
The building is responding to other challenges too, from record high office space availability as many of its tenants have either gone out of business or moved to cheaper climes like uptown, downtown or even New Jersey and Long Island.
It’s a big week for going green–and we don’t just mean because of Saint Patrick’s Day.
A new Public Library opened yesterday in Battery Park City, and it will be one of the city’s “greenest” libraries. An all-day series of events celebrated the library’s official opening.
The branch, the city’s 88th, incorporates such green technology as energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and lighting; it was built with recycled and renewable materials. The floor? Made from wood scraps from window-frame manufacturing. The upstairs carpet? Car tires. If you were wondering, the sanitary fixtures are low-flow, which reduce water consumption. It will receive LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.
We’re not sure what that means, but doesn’t it sound impressive?
The $6.7 million enterprise includes a two-story, 10,000 square-foot library with 24,000 items. It offers three dozen public computers, a large space for various programs, and separate reading areas for kids, teens and adults. Another groovy feature: two self-checkout machines—plus plenty of windows. It’s a heartening development in an economically troubled time; especially when so many public services are being shuttered. (More good news: This branch is actually open until 8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays.)
The library will offer a wide range of classes, workshops, and community programs.
It’s located at 175 North End Avenue at Murray Street. Call (212) 790-3499 for more information.
Another welcoming fact about the library? It plays host, rising many stories above it, to the city’s newest–and greenest–residential high-rise.
You may see movies in color, but the name of the game at New York’s Kaufman Astoria Studios is now green.
The studio, currently home to “Sesame Street” and Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” starring Edie Falco (and future home of the “Smurfs” Movie, to be released next year–no, we can’t wait either) is converting to green energy. Kaufman Astoria is the oldest functioning movie studio in the city; more than 120 silent and sound films have been produced there. They include the Marx Bothers’ “Animal Crackers,” as well as “The Wiz,” “All That Jazz,” and Woody Allen’s “Radio Days.”
The studio is switching from commonly used heating oil to a new mix of petroleum and biodiesel, produced by Brooklyn-based company METRO and known as “Greenheat.” It’s made from 5 percent biodiesel fuel (which includes used vegetable oil from restaurants, as well as soy and canola oils and algae) and 95 percent petroleum. The biodiesel burns much cleaner than oil and has no sulfur. The studio will be supplied with 80,000 gallons of the fuel each year, which will earn it the distinction of being the largest commercial user of Greenheat in New York.
METRO also supplies other distinctive clients–the Hampton Jitney (the bus service that ferries beachgoers to the tony Hamptons) and the City of New York.
The company will be opening a 110-million-gallon processing plant in Brooklyn later this year, which will add not just cleaner energy–but a spate of new jobs as well.