Never Too Old to Go Green
- Aug 17, 2015
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Carnegie Hall, the world renowned concert hall that has stood at 881 7th Ave. in Manhattan since 1891, has turned green with sustainability. With the help of global technology company Siemens, Carnegie Hall recently obtained the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver Certification.
Siemens was part of a technology team tapped to update 165,000 square feet of non-performance space as part of the music venue’s Studio Towers Renovation Project, an endeavor encompassing the South and North Towers, which were added to the property in 1894 and 1897, respectively. The technology company incorporated a vital feature that helped secure Carnegie Hall’s green stamp of approval: centralized control through its APOGEE building automation system. The system combines regulators for heating, venting, and air conditioning onto one platform that can be controlled both locally and centrally. Siemens also increased energy efficiency by orchestrating the automation of fire and life safety, and security systems.
Carnegie Hall earned additional points toward certification with the addition of low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting and occupancy sensors. However, the greening of the iconic property didn’t stop with interior upgrades; the program took to the rooftop with the creation of a 10,000-square-foot terrace that allows for the decreasing of the heat island effect and the building’s overall carbon footprint through the use of pavers and plantings. And of course, there was the built-in sustainability that came with the maximizing of the natural light provided by the property’s 450 original windows.
“It was a challenge retrofitting a nearly 125-year old building that had no original blue prints with technology that would modernize its energy efficiency, fire and safety systems, but as a result of these efforts, Carnegie Hall is now one of the oldest buildings to receive a LEED Silver Leadership certification,” Dave Hopping, president of Siemens’ Building Technologies Division, said in a prepared statement.
Carnegie Hall isn’t the only celebrated historic tower in New York City to go green and obtain LEED for Existing Buildings certification. A $550 million retrofit program led to LEED Gold Certification for the Empire State Building in 2011. The Chrysler Building earned the same designation in 2012.