Department of Energy funded one-year study of New York Times building

The New York Times Co.
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory spent a year studying energy use at the New York Times building in New York. The study, “A Post-occupancy Monitored Evaluation of the Dimmable Lighting, Automated Shading, and Underfloor Air Distribution System in The New York Times Building,” was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission. The Times Co. provided “[i]n-kind support for the research,” a press release says.

Among the report’s findings (full report here):

  • Fewer than half of employees (other tenants include Forest City Ratner and retailers including Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen and Dean & Deluca) expressed “greater than neutral satisfaction” with the temperature in their workplaces, though nearly 70 percent were OK with the humidity levels in them.
  • Almost 78 percent of employees were “satisfied with the overall quality of the lighting in their workspace.”
  • 41 percent of employees “responded with greater than neutral satisfaction with the automatic window shades,” which were overridden, on average, 18 times per year. “Of all actions taken, 70% were to lower the shade,” the report says.

    Here are some of the reasons for shade adjustment, from the report:

  • The building is saving Times Co. money: “The Times Company’s investment in advanced energy-efficiency technologies is estimated to yield a 12% rate of return on their initial investment.”
The Renzo Piano-designed New York Times building (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II).

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