Transforming an Iconic Music Venue into an Energy Efficient LEEDer

Thursday, August 13, 2015 12:00 pm EDT


Dave Hopping, President, Building Technologies

It’s not often we get to hear a symphony of strings, wind and percussion while installing technology for a customer. Yet in 2010 Siemens was tasked with helping Carnegie Hall - the nearly 125-year old iconic New York City music venue - implement technology that would make its facilities more energy efficient, while bolstering its fire safety, security and control systems. Those efforts to modernize Carnegie Hall were recently recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council, who awarded this famed institution with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification this week.

With this recognition, Carnegie Hall becomes one of a handful of century-old facilities to receive this distinguished award. This project to modernize nearly 165,000 square feet of Carnegie Hall’s non-performance space was part of the Studio Towers Renovation Project (STRP), an infrastructure upgrade for two towers added atop the concert hall at the end of the 19th century. The Hall’s backstage areas were also refurbished and music education facilities were added to the Resnick Education Wing as part of the STRP.

Completing this project was no easy task. Our engineers had to overcome several challenges – namely, how to preserve the integrity of the historical landmark and integrate new technologies – all without the building’s original blue prints. But our engineers’ ingenuity shone through to deliver the technology that would modernize Carnegie Hall and deliver an unparalleled smart practice space for its musicians and students.

On the efficiency front, a new software system that connects to environmental controls, will analyze electricity demand and usage to manage overall building energy performance. Other systems our team installed include a fire and life safety system that alerts administration and emergency control operators when a fire is detected, while closing fire doors, capturing elevators, and turning-on/shutting-off air handlers. Siemens SiPass access control systems was implemented to better control security access, and Siemens APOGEE building automation system is helping unify the newer retrofits with third party and legacy technologies that were not replaced.

An additional component of the overall project that helped Carnegie Hall achieve its LEED certification include 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. Within the facility, low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce the building’s water consumption.

As a result of these efforts, Carnegie Hall is now one of the oldest buildings to receive a LEED Silver Leadership certificate, reducing energy usage and CO2 emissions, while providing a venue and learning space for some of music’s most brilliant performers and students. Siemens technology has helped Carnegie Hall create a modern space for artists, audiences, teachers and students to enjoy the history and future of this iconic place in a sustainable, efficient, safe and secure manner.

Watch how it helps Carnegie stay at the pinnacle of the performing arts world:



Editor’s Note: Dave Hopping is president of Siemens Building Technologies, North America. The Siemens Building Technologies Division is the North American market leader for safe and secure, energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly buildings and infrastructure. Since 1995, Siemens has helped to modernize nearly 7,000 buildings worldwide.