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The Project at a Glance

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Building Information
Shutterstock Inc.
Tenant Name
Empire State Realty Trust
Building Owner
350 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Location
11 years
Lease Term
58,600 square feet
Project Size

In 2013, Shutterstock Inc., a leading, global technology company, leased approximately 85,000 square feet in the Empire State Building, occupying the entire 20th and 21st floors.

Shutterstock’s lease required that the tenant improvements include certain lighting, plug, and cooling energy performance measures (EPMs) that produce a five-year (or shorter) payback. At the suggestion of Empire State Realty Trust and to help comply with these requirements, Shutterstock chose to follow the Tenant Energy Optimization process—a proven, replicable approach that integrates energy efficiency into tenant space design and construction and delivers excellent financial returns through energy conservation.

Floors 20 and 21 buildoutProjected results*
Energy reduction22.9%
Annual electricity reduction210,169 kWh2.7 kWh/SFkWh / kWh/SF
Total electricity savings over lease term2.3 GWh29.7 kWh/SFGWh / kWh/SF
Adjusted incremental implementation cost$204,383 total$2.63/SFTotal / SF
Total electricity cost savings over lease term$369,897 total$4.75/SFTotal / SF
NPV of project investment$81,281 total$1.04/SFTotal / SF
ROI over lease term40%
IRR12.7%
Payback period (with incentives)6.1 years
*Based on models calibrated through a post-occupancy Measurement & Verification Process. See the third resource guide, Measurement & Verification: Post-Occupancy for more information.

Executing the Process

Design and Construction

Companies and Roles
Gardiner & Theobold
Project manager
Wendy Fok
Energy project director
STUDIOS Architecture
Architect
Icon Interiors
General contractor
Lilker Associates
Engineer
Integral Group
Energy consultant and modeler
Skanska
Energy costing
Empire State Realty Trust
Building owner
JLL
Owner’s representative

An important reason Shutterstock chose to lease space in the Empire State Building was because of the building owner’s demonstrated commitment to energy efficiency. The building underwent a retrofit, completed in 2011, which included a refurbishment of all 6,514 windows, installation of insulation behind all radiators, a chiller plant retrofit, new building management systems controls, new revenue-grade meters serving the entire building, and a web-based tenant energy management system.

With the help of Empire State Realty Trust, Shutterstock assembled a team of experts to plan and execute the Tenant Energy Optimization process. Many of the energy project team members had been involved with the Empire State Building retrofit and had experience with the Tenant Energy Optimization process.

Shutterstock outlined several factors it wanted to incorporate into the final design, including the following:

  • Artificial light: The space should not be “overlit” with artificial lighting sources that are too bright or turned off once installed.
  • Open layout: The space should be open and loft-like with as few enclosed rooms as possible to create better air flow, thus requiring fewer air-handling fans and controls.
  • Efficient design: The space should not be overbuilt or require unnecessary electrical capacity.
  • Long-term view: The space should be managed with long-term energy use and costs in mind.

The building owner provided Shutterstock with energy-use and building guidelines early in the planning process, which helped the energy project team outline realistic energy performance goals and develop a list of EPMs to be considered. EPMs are technologies and systems that aim to reduce energy use through efficiency and conservation. They are also frequently referred to as energy conservation measures (ECMs).

Using energy performance modeling, incremental costing information, and cost savings projections, the energy project team was able to choose a package of EPMs that would meet the energy and financial goals of the company.

The EPMs that were implemented in Shutterstock’s space on floors 20 and 21 include the following:

Energy performance measure (EPM)Target areaElectricity reductionAnnual cost savingsIncremental first costSimple payback
High-efficiency lighting (0.986 W/SF)Lighting61,316 kWh/yr6.7%kWh/yr / %$10,117$39,6673.7 years
Daylight harvestingLighting18,369 kWh/yr2.0%kWh/yr / %$3,209$63,31619.7 years
Occupancy sensor–controlled lightingLighting5,800 kWh/yr0.6%kWh/yr / %$1,013$1,2001.2 years
Water-side economizer on computer room air conditioner unitsData center16,773 kWh/yr1.8%kWh/yr / %$2,930$37,50012.8 years
Demand-controlled ventilation (DCV)*HVAC6 kWh0%kWh / %$1$11,00010,495 years
No humidity control in main distribution frameData center13,237 kWh/yr1.4%kWh/yr / %$2,312$0 (avoided cost)Immediate
Low-velocity air handlersHVAC31,703 kWh/yr3.5%kWh/yr / %$5,538$52,4009.5 years
*DCV is designed to control the exchange of fresh or outside air. This EPM may improve indoor air quality and occupant comfort and does not always result in energy or cost savings if DCV equipment is controlled primarily by base building energy or not closely monitored.

Measurement and Verification

After completion of the buildout, the energy consultants returned to Shutterstock’s space to perform measurement and verification (M&V) to ensure that the implemented EPMs were performing as intended. M&V was conducted over the course of a ten-day period, once the space was fully occupied and operational. M&V revealed that EPMs were generally operating as designed, and overall lighting power even exceeded design expectations, improving overall savings. DCV, however, did not display any energy or cost savings. DCV savings are a result of heating and cooling savings from the reduction in outdoor ventilation air. Because cooling and heating energy for ventilated spaces is provided by the building’s central plant, minimal impact is seen in tenant electric consumption.

Post-Project Actions

The Empire State Building’s energy guidelines proved to be a positive factor in the development of the space and encouraged Shutterstock to consider how the buildout of its space had an effect on energy use at the tenant and whole-building level.

This space has performed well from a services management point of view and as a high-performance technology office space. The employees have responded well to the lighting, power, and air-handling systems overall and feel as though this space improves performance and productivity. Over time, Shutterstock has seen fewer complaints about lighting and comfort than the past.