Carefully integrated energy efficiency measures and thorough commissioning have helped to significantly reduce the energy consumption of the New York Times building concludes an independent study.
The post occupancy survey of the 51-storey building close to Times Square in New York City shows that five years after opening the building has an annual electricity consumption 24% lower than a building constructed to the energy efficiency codes of the time - ASHRAE 90.1-2001 – while heating energy use is 51% lower and peak electric demand is down 25%.
In addition, a significant fraction of occupants indicated a high level of satisfaction with the overall building and its design features. The Times Company’s investment in the energy-efficiency technologies is estimated to yield a 12% rate of return on their initial investment.
In 2003 a research team from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory began working with the Times Company to design, evaluate and specify an integrated solution with energy-efficient dimmable lighting, automated shading systems for the windows and an underfloor air distribution system.
“We aggressively pursued innovative designs to improve the quality of the workplace for our employees and to reduce energy use and other operating costs of our facility,” said Angelo Salvatore, executive director of building operations at the Times Company, “And the outcomes of this study confirm that we were successful. More importantly, our hope is that the energy efficient measures and designs documented in this independent study may inspire other companies’ workplace designs.”
The report highlights how considering the energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, new technologies and other factors like interior design and the aesthetic appearance of the building together can achieve very high occupant satisfaction as well as significant energy efficiency.
Eleanor Lee, the project’s principal investigator with Berkeley Lab said: “It is not just designing for energy efficiency, but following through in the execution stages that lead to a successful result. During construction and after occupancy, the Times Company facilities staff took the time to make sure the building was constructed according to design intent, and they commissioned the building before its opening—testing and adjusting the building’s systems to ensure that they were performing properly. After the building opened, they continued to monitor the building’s operation and made small adjustments to improve performance.”
The study, ‘A post-occupancy monitored evaluation of the dimmable lighting, automated shading, and underfloor air distribution system in the New York Times building’, was funded by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the California Energy Commission through its Public Interest Energy Research Program. In-kind support for the research was provided by The New York Times Company. Download the full report.