TIAA-CREF recently completed upgrades to the company’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan that are anticipated to save $765,000 in annual energy and operating costs. The company also will receive $219,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to help support installation of this energy-efficient technology.

Positioned 28 stories above the 730 Third Avenue company headquarters, this new high-performance building solution features a chilled water/central plant thermal storage system and one of the most advanced rooftop systems.

These upgrades are expected to reduce the building’s carbon emissions by 6.1 million pounds per year, equivalent to taking 560 cars off the road annually or planting 828 acres of trees. The increased reliability of the upgraded system is expected to enhance comfort and productivity. Sustainable buildings increase worker productivity an average of 5 percent, according to the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability.
An innovative steel structure added to the building’s rooftop to house the thermal solution meets the challenge of using expensive Manhattan real estate for a large thermal storage system.

Designed to enhance the resiliency of the tower’s core infrastructure, these high-performance systems are also anticipated to improve the building’s financial performance by replacing inefficient, aging and outdated systems that were comparatively expensive to operate and lowering energy costs, while reducing the buildings impact on the environment.

TIAA-CREF will receive the Trane “Energy Efficiency Leader in Commercial Real Estate Award” on Thursday, Sept. 16, for their sustainable energy and operational efficiency improvements, as demonstrated by the installation of the rooftop thermal storage solution at their headquarters.

TIAA-CREF is a national financial services organization with $410 billion in combined assets under management (as of 6/30/10) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

A Very Significant Project
The 578,000 square-foot TIAA-CREF headquarters at 730 Third Avenue is located between 45th Street and 46th Street. This 30-story Class A building features a granite facade, aluminum mullions and glass spandrels as well as a two-story atrium lobby and ground floor retail space.

The Project Team was comprised of industry leaders in each of their respective fields:

Bringing Customized Solutions
Prior to selecting these energy conservation measures, TIAA-CREF asked the energy services group at Trane to conduct an energy analysis of the building.

Based on Trane’s results, TIAA-CREF selected a chilled water system for ice production during off-peak hours and a 30-tank thermal storage system, which provides 6,000 ton hours of thermal storage. The system shifts peak cooling loads to off-peak periods, by producing ice at night that provides cooling the next day during peak hours.
The system both conserves energy and reduces costs because off-peak electricity is less expensive and the most efficient power plants run during off-peak hours. Furthermore, similar systems have been found to improve the reliability of the electrical grid because they shift peak cooling loads from periods of high-demand to low-demand, and are more likely to utilize “greener” sources of power.

TIAA-CREF also directed the addition of a two-megawatt emergency generator and a new heat rejection solution for the building’s critical systems. These systems provide enhanced redundancy for the building’s crucial areas, including the trading floors and the data center.

All systems were installed while the building was fully occupied in order to ensure continued productivity.