Consulting Engineers Corp. is dedicated to providing the services that older buildings that are not built to withstand the forces of natural disasters, have a stronger foundation so that they’re able to stick around longer. These services are especially popular in states like California where natural disasters strike often and are known for doing some serious damage.

While this service has been in the news often because of the improvements and drastic changes that are happening within the industry, there are very few people that understand just how beneficial this service is and what goes into the process.

Today we’re going to break down each part of the process so that you can see how truly beneficial it is to go through with this procedure on the building that you own. Before we start, let’s preface this study by telling you a little bit about the building that it was based on.

The Empire State Building

Located in Midtown Manhattan, this famous skyscraper is 102-stories tall. Designed by William Lamb in 1930, this building is definitely past it’s prime and is missing a few of the updated features that we’ve come across over the years that ensure a building is making the most of the energy that it’s using. In 2013, the owners of this building invested in retro-commissioning in order for them to save money where they are able to. In doing so, they were able to reduce energy costs by $4.4 million each year and created 252 jobs altogether.

How Retrofitting Fits Into Your Building

In order to make a building as efficient as it can be, we need to go through a variety of processes and areas of the building that have an effect on all forms of efficiency. Each part of the breakdown contributes to the greater number of savings that we see in completing this process.


If you’re looking for the part of the building that is losing you the most energy, it’s going to be your windows. Because the sealant between the window and the frame is easy to deteriorate and the pane of the glass is thin, it’s extremely easy for energy to be lost here. Aside from that, windows can easily reflect the temperature outdoors if they aren’t treated correctly.

That means that when temperatures are at a high, the warmth from outside will easily come through your window to alter the temperature indoors. This, in turn, makes your water heater or your HVAC unit work harder than they need too, which costs you more money.

In simply changing the 6,154 windows within the Empire State Building, nearly $410,000 dollars will be saved annually.


We just mentioned how much of an effect windows have on the amount of work that your HVAC unit is doing. It’s been shown that these two parts of your commercial building work very closely together and can affect the efficiency of a space almost immediately.

In commercial spaces, your HVAC units are already having to do more work because of the space that they have to cover. Aside from that, most units will usually set their HVAC units on a timer, which does make the work easier, but it still has to start from ground zero every day to get to the adjusted temperature.

If you’re trying to make the most out of an old unit, stop. There’s no use trying to push your electric chiller plant to the max. This was another part of the commercial retrofitting that happened at the Empire State Building. Believe it or not, this actually saved more money annually than the improvement in windows did. Through this upgrade, an estimated $675,000 will be saved.

Timing Features

Another way that we’ve seen buildings improve are through the use of sensors and timing equipment. These types of starters have been implemented into a range of items that are used in your commercial space, and they’re fantastic because they don’t use the energy unless someone is there to use them.

These types of features allow for you to have more control over the amount of energy that you’re using, which is a great thing. One of the most common timers that we see is in temperature. Thermostats that have a timer on them allow for you to make the most of your energy when you know that people will be there to use it and to make sure that it’s not being overworked when the place is empty. You can do the same thing with your main lighting source in your space.

If you’re looking for other lighting options, you can also take into consideration sensors as an option. This particular option makes it so that your lights turn off after a certain amount of time, and will then turn back on when the sensor is triggered. This makes it super easy to ensure that you’re only using the lighting system when people are actually in the space, which is proven when the sensor goes off.

As a whole, changing these to efficient technologies was expected to save the Empire State Building nearly $1.76 million.


The roof of your building is certainly something that you’re going to want to feel confident in, but as it would go, this is another area where people are unaware of how much energy they’re losing just through their roof. The sealant and structure of the building will definitely affect a few things, such as your HVAC unit, but it will also affect the sturdiness of your structure.

While roofs haven’t changed a ton, there is something to be said about changing out the ceiling tiles and exterior of the building, if needed, to prioritize the efficiency of your building. This was not something that was completed on the Empire State Building, but it can save the average household nearly 30% of the cost they expect to pay for utilities like heating.

Additional Changes

Aside from the changes that we’ve listed above, the team that worked on retrofitting at the Empire State Building incorporated a system that allowed for the tenants of a space to create benchmarks for their energy savings. In doing so, tenants were able to go ahead and ensure that they were only using a certain amount and have an overall stronger grip on the reality of their electrical use. This alone is estimated to have saved the building early $400,000 annually.

In Conclusion…

After all of these, and some additional, changes were made, the empire state building was projected to save nearly 38% of the electricity they were accustomed to using. In doing so, they would be able to pay off all of these renovations within 5 years time.

For so many business owners the most intimidating part of the process is the price label that it comes with, but being able to pay off a project of this size in 5 years, for one of the largest buildings in the country is pretty impressive and speaks wonders of how effective the process is. The reality is that most people would be able to pay off this type of expense if they looked into it further and realized how much savings the procedures really do provide.

While the areas that we’ve mentioned above are the primary things that we’ll be looking for when we go into your space and find ways to improve the area, they aren’t the only things that we’re capable of doing. Something else to keep in mind is that not every space is the same. If you’re really interested in finding out what you could be saving through investment in the retrofitting process, reach out to us and we can get into the variables of your specific building for you.

If you’re interested in learning what you can do to improve the overall efficiency of your commercial building or industrial space, reach out to Consulting Engineers Corp. today. We can provide you with an estimate of the project that will need to take place in order for your building to be in optimal shape, but we can also cover all of the areas that we’ll be taking care of when we go in and work on your project.

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