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8 historic buildings that are environmentally friendly

By: Josh Lew on Oct. 11, 2013, 5:07 p.m.
The Empire State Building

Photo: Ivo Jansch/Flickr

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The Empire State Building, New York City

After a two-year effort to upgrade its facilities and practices, the Empire State Building was awarded LEED Gold status in 2011. This skyscraper has been the centerpiece of New York City's iconic skyline for more than 80 years. The green upgrades were part of a larger $500 million renovation. 

After the project was completed, the Empire State Building's overall energy consumption was reduced by 38 percent, which will lead to millions of dollars in operational costs saved every year. In addition to more efficient heating, cooling and plumbing systems, the building has a new recycling program and a policy of using nontoxic cleaning products. There is also a plan to purchase enough renewable energy to make the Empire State Building completely carbon-neutral.