JP Morgan Chase recently announced the demolition of their NYC HQ located at 270 Park Ave. While there were numerous economic factors to their decision, one of the issues that came to light was the unsatisfactory general condition of the building.
During the 1960s, there was a building boom of cheaply built office space in Manhattan. Tenants wanted large windows and grand views, as they do today, and since energy and environmental concerns were not as strict back then, monolithic glass and inexpensive aluminum facades were used extensively. Owners of most of these types of buildings have tried to keep up with the times and make their tenants happy by adding fancy lobbyies, fast elevators and modern interior workspaces. HVAC, LED lighting and complex controls have been utilized to save energy and improve Energy Star ratings, but apparently the building envelopes have become a prime concern.
An interesting report was published years ago which indicated that a strategy for controlling energy consumption on a mass scale is to actually tear down and rebuild taller, more energy efficient buildings on the same piece of property. This JP Morgan Chase proposal shows that this movement is real.
Very few owners of these types of buildings have the luxury of a total replacement, however, with an operating income of $40 Billion per year, JP Morgan can afford to do such ambitious projects. For other building owners, a balance must exist among tenant expectations / energy consumption and cost.
Addressing the building envelope is often over looked as a strategy to accomplish these objectives since it is expensive and disruptive. While the owner of existing buildings makes improvements to the lobby, facilities and interior spaces, comfort is often at the mercy of the glass facade of first generation curtain wall buildings and will never be as acceptable compared to new curtain wall.
The best strategy for envelope then exists in a low cost, non disruptive and effective alternative to a full curtain wall replacement.
Interior curtain wall retrofits can be used in just these circumstances, which is 90% less expensive and can be installed quickly and with no disruption outside of business hours. This consists of placing modern glazing on the inside of the building, which creates double or triple pane glass performance, reduces air infiltration by 90% and vastly improves tenant thermal comfort.
The RetroWAL brand product from Thermolite could just keep you from tearing down your building. Contact us today for more information.