Google NYC accepted the NYC Carbon Challenge in 2013, committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 30% from 2011 levels. Google’s NYC Campus has already made significant headway: as of 2015, it reduced its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 36.5% and its energy use intensity by 32.7%. Building off of its success, Google NYC has now committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions per full-time employee by 50% by 2025.
To meet the 30% goal, Google:
- Reduced steam use by replacing old, inefficient steam chillers with new electric chillers
- Envelope Upgrade- Window replacement.
- Installed robust lighting controls systems, including occupancy sensors, daylight dimming, scheduling, and lighting timers
- Upgraded building management systems to increase visualization and control capabilities.
- Built or retrofit all new office space to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver standards or better.
Highlight: Window Replacement & Steam Chiller Replacement
From 2012 to 2014, Google NYC replaced three outdated, 25-year old steam-powered absorption chillers with super-efficient electric models. The first new chiller, sized at approximately 1,250 tons, was installed in 2012. They installed the second two chillers with a combined capacity of 3,600 tons of cooling one of which was installed with variable frequency drives (VFDs) the following 2 years. Starting in October of 2014, One City Block began a replacement of the buildings 3,338 windows. The triple pane, argon filled, low-e, thermally broken windows have an overall U-factor of 0.21 which is more than twice the efficiency the Energy Code requires. As a result of these upgrades, The NYC Campus has been able to decrease its steam usage by 38%. As of 2016, Google at One City Block is already beginning to reap the financial rewards of its first chiller replacement.