Published: October 1, 2013

The Empire State Building, an architectural icon in New York City and beyond, just took a giant step forward in its quest to reduce energy consumption.  The ‘World’s Most Famous Office Building’ now boasts four green roof systems, totally nearly 10,000 square feet.

For its green roof upgrade, the Empire State Building chose to install the Xero Flor Green Roof System for four rooftop areas: 21st floor east (3,450 square feet), 21st floor west (3,450 square feet), 25th floor northwest (1,000 square feet) and 30th floor west (1,200 square feet). The green roofs on the 21st floor feature rooftop patios with outdoor furniture for the enjoyment of office tenants.

Empire State Building Green Roof

Image via Xero Flor America

As we’ve reported in the past, the Empire State Building is on a quest to become the most sustainable office building in America. In 2011, the building’s owners announced that they would purchase 100 percent of its power from renewable sources and then embarked on a massive retrofit plan that would earn the Empire State Building LEED Gold.

More recently, EarthTechling reported on the building’s new sustainability exhibit, a multi-media visitor’s center where guests could learn more about what building’s can do to reduce energy consumption and slow climate change.

Now, the Empire State Building is taking its big green journey to the exterior with a green roof system that will reduce water runoff, heating bills, and air pollution.

The Xero Flor system utilizes lightweight, pre-vegetated mats based on a patented, textile-based design. Although the system was engineered in Germany, all Xero Flor components for projects in the U.S. are 100 percent made in America.

“With the completion of the green roofs on the Empire State Building and Javits Center, 85 Xero Flor green roofs will cover approximately 530,000 square feet of rooftops across New York City,” said Clayton Rugh, Ph.D., general manager and technical director, Xero Flor America, in a press release. “The green roofs decrease stormwater run-off and improve water quality in New York’s waterways, moderate the urban heat island effect, filter dust and other air pollutants, and store carbon dioxide and other forms of carbon to reduce greenhouse gases.” By Beth Buczynski