The Empire State Building Goes Green

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This is a 2:26 excerpt from AMERICAN MOSAIC, May 21, 2009.

The tallest building in New York City is "going green."  No‚Ķthe Empire State Building is not being painted.  But it is getting an environmental make-over. Faith Lapidus tells about the planned changes.

The Empire State Building opened in nineteen thirty-one.  It stands just over four hundred forty-three meters tall. For many years it was the tallest building in the world.

Soon, it will be one of the world's greenest. The owners of the historic building say a planned make-over will reduce energy use in the building by thirty-eight percent.  They say it will save more than four million dollars a year in energy costs.

The Empire State Building has six thousand five hundred windows. New, special, thick glass will replace the glass currently in the windows. This insulated glass will make the inside of the building cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Paul Rode is a leader of the renovation project. He says the windows will insulate almost as well as the walls they are connected to. Workers will also add energy efficient lights and improved building control systems. These will include more modern air cooling and heating systems. The effort will help reduce carbon dioxide releases from the Empire State Building by more than one hundred thousand tons a year. Carbon dioxide is one of the gases that causes the warming of Earth's atmosphere.

Building owners say such make-overs are very important to reduce levels of greenhouse gases in New York. They say eighty percent of these gases come from city buildings.

The project is to be completed in four years. The first improvements will cost twenty million dollars. But Paul Rode says it is a sensible financial investment.

This program was written by Dana Demange and Caty Weaver, who also was the producer.