135 West 50th Street,
New York, New York


A large commercial building in Manhattan at 135 West 50th Street was up for an energy efficiency make-over with a goal to achieve LEED certification to reduce its carbon footprint and improve energy usage. UBS Realty Investors LLC initiated the upgrades with the help of The Burns Companies, who acted as the owner’s representative and orchestrated the overall project.


The Burns Companies led a team of property managers, engineers, contractors, and green technology specialists to investigate and organize operations at the building to meet LEED requirements. The project started by conducting an energy study to help identify ways to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs for this existing commercial building.  The study was partially funded with the help of NYSERDA and implemented by the Dome-Tech Group. With the results of the study, the team made recommendations to implement various building enhancements to support securing LEED certification.


The building received a LEED-EB v2.0 Silver Certification including an Energy Star score of 72.   At the time of the certification, this building was one out of only 5 buildings in NYC to achieve this LEED status.  Several improvements were made including reducing water consumption by 10%, diverting 70% of building waste from landfills, and the utilization of air filters with a MERV 14 rating to improve air quality.  The Certification represents the property's exemplary ranking in credits for public transportation, development density, and occupant recycling as well.  Another key success factor in this effort was a Green Education Program conducted with building occupants and management that increased the everyday awareness of their green footprint.  This education program is still paying off today.

"Getting this LEED certification was an important milestone," stated Stu Feinberg, Executive Director, and asset manager for the property.  "The retro-commissioning energy study funded by NYSERDA proved to be very worthwhile for the upgrade process, it identified the key areas that needed to be addressed for better energy performance.  Andy Burns and the entire project team were instrumental in helping this property achieve the LEED-EB v.20 Silver status, and we will be evaluating other properties that would benefit from a similar upgrade."

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