Commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle today announced a $20 million energy retrofit program that will reduce the Empire State Building’s annual energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 38%. The investment will trim energy costs by $4.4 million a year, with a payback of less than five years.

The project is being completed in partnership with the Clinton Climate Exchange, the Rocky Mountain Institute, Johnson Controls Inc. and The Empire State Building Co. under the direction of Anthony E. Malkin, president of Wien and Malkin LLC, which oversees the Empire State Building. Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle will serve as program manager for the project, which will become a pilot for sustainability programs in other existing buildings around the world.

“In defining these innovative procedures, the Empire State Building team has demonstrated a strong business case for energy efficient retrofits with positive environmental results,” says Raymond Quartararo, international director and program lead for Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle. “By pursuing these strategies owners can save millions of dollars and enhance asset values while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Eight major projects are being implemented, including a 6,500 window light retrofit; the introduction of radiator insulation; improved tenant lighting, day lighting and plug upgrades; air handler replacements; a chiller plant retrofit; a whole-building control system upgrade; ventilation control upgrades and new Web-based tenant energy management systems.

Once completed, the building is expected to achieve an Energy Star score of 90, on a scale of 1 to 100. In addition, the Empire State Building will pursue LEED Gold building certification. A documented model of the project is available online for public use at www.esbsustainability.com.