The U.S. government PR team celebrates the green retrofitting of the Empire State Building with this 2-minute video, which features the the building management, commercial tenants and others lauding the "simple tactics" used to achieve massive energy savings.
I think the best point made here comes from Anthony E. Malkin at the Empire State Building Company, when he says, "It's great to build green, but it's more important to begin to look at energy efficiency in the existing built environment."
I agree with Mr. Malkin's quote "It's great to build green, but it's more important to begin to look at energy efficiency in the existing built environment." However, I think it is worth noting that it is rather skewed and naturally self-serving.
The research of Arthur C. Nelson (on target thus far) indicates that over half of the buildings (in square footage terms) that will exist in 2030 have yet to be built. This means that, in fact, by the numbers, new buildings will have far a greater impact on energy use. The point about existing buildings which we should understand is that the rennovation of these are good opportunities for the "easy win." It will require much lower inputs of time, resources, and money to retrofit existing buildings and thus lower national energy demand. But in the long run, if we don't build green, there is no way these retrofits can do the job on their own. FYI. Good article.