By Scott Elder, National Geographic
The Empire State Building’s facelift included its signature lights, now LEDs with millions of color combinations possible. New York is also tackling the energy efficiency of less prominent landmarks, investing nearly $500 million to improve its million-plus buildings—and is the first U.S. city to divest from fossil fuels.
PHOTOGRAPH BY GARY HERSHORN, GETTY IMAGES
Fenway Park, the Eiffel Tower, Empire State, and other storied structures were upgraded for 21st-century energy efficiency.
The world’s iconic buildings achieve celebrated status because their architecture stands the test of time. But what lies beneath those enduring facades?
Design and engineering evolve quickly, and many urban buildings—nearly half the office space in New York City was built before 1945—predate concepts like sustainability, climate change, and even recycling, resulting in waste and inefficiency.
Enter the retrofit. Aging buildings are updated with new windows, lighting, plumbing fixtures, and heating and cooling systems, ultimately saving owners and operators money while they conserve energy.
Buildings consume 73 percent of the electricity in the U.S., and indirectly create 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions—more than industry or transportation. To win the battle against climate change, cities will need to run on more efficient buildings. (See what makes a “green building.”)
These historic icons blazed a trail for other buildings to follow.
Read the full article here.
By Brian McTaggart, MLB.com
The Astros joined the rest of baseball in celebrating Earth Day on Sunday, and the club boasts a variety of green initiatives, including LED lighting at Minute Maid Park.
Major League Baseball was the first professional sports league to have all of its teams as members of the Green Sports Alliance, which promotes healthy, sustainable communities in sports. In fact, MLB clubs diverted more than 20,000 tons of recycled or composted waste during the 2017 season.
The Astros have retrofitted light fixtures in their front-office spaces and converted center-field lighting to LED. They also provide single-stream recycling opportunities for fans and engage in cardboard, pallet and electronic recycling — maintaining a 5-percent increase in their diversion rate each year.
What’s more, the Astros and Nationals are currently pursuing LEED Silver certification at their Spring Training facility, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications are given to buildings that meet strict guidelines for environmental responsibility by using less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Read full article here.