ML: Historic Installation for BBG-BBGM -CI Silver Space at Empire State Building

The chillers that run BBG’s HVAC system are independent from the rest of the building – the first such installation ever at the ESB – and should drop energy use in the 32,000-square-foot space by 15 percent.

We wrote earlier this summer about Brennan Beer Gorman Architects / Brennan Beer Gorman Monk Interiors’ (”BBG-BBGM”) new headquarters space on the 25th floor of the Empire State Building, which will seek the tower’s first LEED for Commercial Interiors rating. Recently, the 32,000-square-foot project’s general contractor Aragon Construction installed BBG-BBGM’s HVAC system on the building’s first setback on the southwest corner. The two 9500-pound chillers will run independently from the rest of the Empire State Building and were designed to save BBG-BBGM 15 percent on energy consumption over ASHRAE standards.

The installation was actually the first in the history of the building and suggests some of the intricacies of both green construction contracts and leasing provisions, including whether the landlord or tenant should be responsible for the installation of such equipment and how any associated savings that are realized might be shared between the two sides. Such considerations are, of course, fact-specific and dependent on the nature of the underlying lease itself, but nevertheless indicative of how sustainability is changing traditional relationships across all facets of the real estate industry.

BBG-BBGM is aiming for a LEED-CI Silver rating for the space, which it will occupy pursuant to the terms of a 15-year lease. As we noted previously, other green design features include low-VOC paints and adhesives, recycled-content materials, certified wood floors, Interface carpet tiles, Ecophon fiberglass ceiling tiles and wall coverings, and custom strawboard millwork. The firm isn’t the only tenant seeking a LEED rating in the Empire State Building; up on the 32nd floor, construction giant Skanska USA is pursuing a LEED-CI Platinum rating for its 24,000-square foot headquarters.

ML is short for our weekly Monday LEEDoff™ column, which typically profiles a different LEED project generally in (but not limited to) the New York City area. You can access an archive of profiled projects via this link.

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gbNYC is a multi-disciplinary consulting and real estate services firm. In addition to representing office tenants and commercial buyers in leasing and acquisitions, we also provide innovative consulting solutions from a unique, green building perspective. We advise on green building financial incentives, comment on proposed green building marketing strategies, author white papers, treatises, and market analyses, organize seminars on the LEED process and professional accreditation, and provide advice and analysis on green building risk management and the overall state of green real estate, leasing, and construction, in New York City and beyond.

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