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Energy-Efficient Solutions Help Carnegie Hall Earn LEED Silver Status


Carnegie Hall, the nearly 125-year old iconic New York City music venue, achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it one of the oldest and most notable buildings to achieve such distinction.

This milestone was achieved in part through a close collaboration with Siemens, which was enlisted as one of Carnegie Hall’s technology partners to modernize almost 165,000 square feet of non-performance space.

The certification came to fruition following the fall 2014 completion of Carnegie Hall’s Studio Towers Renovation Project (STRP), an infrastructure upgrade for two towers originally added atop the famed concert hall at the end of the 19th century. A central focus of the comprehensive renovation was the addition of the new 60,000 square foot Resnick Education Wing, located on the upper floors, as well as the refurbishment of the backstage areas.

The project created an extraordinary opportunity to highlight the importance of sustainable design and its positive impact on New York City, providing an inspiring example of the adaptive reuse of a historic building.

"With the Studio Towers Renovation Project and creation of our new Resnick Education Wing, we aimed to build on Carnegie Hall’s amazing history, ensuring that our building continues to revitalize itself for the 21st century as a place as important to the future of music as it has been to the past," said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall's executive and artistic director. "An important component of the project has been the opportunity to upgrade our building’s infrastructure, and we are thrilled to say, as we approach our 125th anniversary, that Carnegie Hall is more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly for staff and visitors than ever before.”

As part of the Studio Towers renovations, Siemens supplied building automation, fire and life safety, and security systems to make Carnegie Hall more energy-efficient, safe and secure. Technology highlights include:

• Centralized control: Siemens APOGEE building automation system integrates heating, venting, and air conditioning controls onto one platform that can be controlled both locally by end-users and from one central location by building engineers, or remotely, if desired. It also continually analyzes electricity demand and usage to manage overall building energy performance.

•Enhanced security: Siemens SiPass access control system addresses Carnegie Hall’s complex security needs by ensuring that only the right people have access to the right places at the right time. This is crucial, as Carnegie Hall has various access points and levels of clearance for building staff, students, and performers, among others.

• Fire and life safety system: Siemens XLS Fire Alarm Systems’ advanced technology allows Carnegie Hall to ensure the safety of its occupants. If a fire is detected, the command-and-control station is instantly alerted and emergency control operations are engaged, including fire door closure, elevator capture, and air handler turn-on/shut-off, among other critical functions.

An additional component of the overall project that helped Carnegie Hall achieve its LEED certification is a new 10,000-square-foot roof terrace with reflective pavers and plantings that reduce the heat island effect and the building’s overall carbon footprint. Thanks to the Hall’s 450 original windows on its upper floors, natural light has been maximized in the building’s renovation and design, which also incorporates the use of LED bulbs and occupancy sensors. Within the facility, low-flow plumbing fixtures also reduce the building’s water consumption.

View a video about Carnegie Hall's LEED certification here

For more articles on LEED click here

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