The 79-year-old Empire State Building is in the midst of a $550 million renovation project, and this includes approximately $100 million in energy-efficient upgrades. In fact, all of the building’s 6,514 windows are being upgraded -- one-by-one.
The old, inefficient windows are being turned into super-insulating units. The specific work being performed involves combining the existing panes with a mixture of inert gases and film. Ultimately, the finished product is a window that is 250 percent to 400 percent more energy efficient than the windows they replace.
The replacement window technique uses something called a “suspended film system.” This technique breaks up the convection current between the inside and outside of a building. In other words, heat enters the building through the windows on hot days when the air-conditioning is running, and warm air from inside has a harder time leaking out when it’s cold outside.