The team responsible for greening one of the world's most famous buildings is calling on the energy management strategies and control capabilities of Convia/A Herman Miller Company, Phoenix. Convia announced that it has been selected as the lighting control provider for pre-built offices as part of the $20 million Empire State Building retrofit project. The aim is to make the iconic building a model of sustainability and drive interest in green building retrofits. The project is expected to reduce energy use and carbon emissions in the building by approximately 40 percent and put it within the top 10 percent of all energy-efficient buildings worldwide.

“The Empire State Building served as a global symbol of progress through the Great Depression. Now it is positioned to serve as a worldwide model for another key cause: sustainability,” said Randy Storch, president of Convia. “We're honored to have been selected to help with this effort to set the efficiency standard for large commercial retrofits, and prove to designers and tenants around the world that these measures are easily within their reach.”

The Empire State Building retrofit project is led by a team of consulting, design and construction partners, including the Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Controls Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle and Rocky Mountain Institute. The Convia technology will play a role in the energy management of the Empire State Building's pre-built tenant spaces, which other tenants may use as a model for energy efficiency within their own spaces. The building owners are looking to tenant participation to reduce energy consumption by 17 percent.

Convia's system addresses HVAC, lighting and plug loads for office equipment through a single management platform. The Convia technology includes Herman Miller's Energy Manager device embedded in workstations, which senses occupancy and controls power in the company's furniture to save energy and lower costs. When a person sits down to work, an occupancy sensor detects their presence and turns on the devices in the cluster plugged into those two circuits. When the cluster is unoccupied, the devices automatically shut off.

Other key components of the Convia control systems include occupancy sensors, daylight dimming, wall switches, thermostat set-points and user-control “wands” that let tenants customize the controls.