Ten prominent real estate groups have signed on as partners in New York State's $50 million Empire Building Challenge, an effort to make high-rise buildings carbon-free.
Challenge partners collectively control over 130 million sf of real estate in New York State, including more than 250 buildings that contain affordable housing. The partners have each pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in one or more of their buildings and in more than 700 units of affordable housing collectively. They also have the potential to scale efforts across their portfolios to more than 25,000 units of affordable housing. Exceeding program requirements, Vornado, Empire State Realty Trust, and Rudin Management Company have all committed to achieving carbon neutrality in their entire real estate portfolios.
Partners will choose technology and innovation experts to help develop a replicable low-carbon retrofit solution proposal for addressing one or more barriers to achieving decarbonization in their buildings. Partners can submit retrofit solution proposals to the state to be evaluated competitively for up to $5 million to support development and implementation of their proposal.
Proposals will be evaluated based on a project’s scalability and feasibility in addressing the major challenges of decarbonizing high-rise buildings, and also on the building owner's willingness and ability to implement solutions across their portfolio.