A December article in TheNew York Times reported the discovery that older structures typically outperform new ones in conserving energy. While that may not come as a surprise to many architects—who know that historic buildings typically have thicker walls and smaller aperture sizes—the announcement apparently baffled many Manhattan-based building owners and developers.
Gerard Schumm, RFR Realty executive vice president and owner of the Seagram Building, claimed to have been “shocked” to find that his modern icon scored a lowly 3 on the 100-point Energy Star scale. And what of the 7 World Trade Center, a newly constructed, gold LEED-rated building? It received a 74—not even clearing the benchmark of 75 established for high-efficiency buildings by the federal program.
Fans of the famed Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, however, will be happy to note that these landmarks scored 84 and 80, respectively, due to recent mechanical and envelope upgrades (in addition to their more-conservative approaches to glazing).