Empire State Building, New York

Location: New York

Role: Modernization, Maintenance Evaluations

Escalators: 2

Elevators: 68 


BOCA Group was retained to oversee the upgrade and transformation of 70 of the Empire State Building’s vertical transportation devices with state-of-the-art, energy efficient Otis Compass system with ReGen equipment. The project delivers improved speed and passenger experience while contributing to the energy efficiency goals of the overall modernization project for the structure. BOCA Group is part of the redevelopment team coordinating the extraordinary challenge of completing the elevator work within the larger building upgrade program. Massive elevator machinery must be disassembled, removed and replaced with new equipment. Because the building is both a busy workplace and the region’s biggest tourist attraction it is required to maintain efficient service for millions of tenants, visitors and sightseers that use the elevators each year.

Working with the owner’s team, BOCA Group surveyed the existing internal transportation equipment and evaluated the building’s needs. This survey required taking into account such factors as performance, energy efficiency, noise, visitor experience, security, travel speed, ride quality, traffic flow and scheduling logistics. BOCA Group then designed the modernization project, created performance-based specifications for the necessary upgrades, put the project out to bid, and helped the building owner select an ideal partner to replace most of the existing elevators and escalators with state-of-the-art equipment. Based on their expertise, technological solutions, commitment and performance, as well as past history with the building, Otis Elevator Company was selected. In addition to a complete refurbishment and modernization of the building’s elevators, Otis is implementing its Compass™ Destination Management system, which allows for up to 40% faster passenger transport than conventional elevators in other modern commercial buildings. One important factor to this multi-million dollar energy retrofit project is improving efficiency and the ability to return regenerated energy back into the building grid. Through the use of Otis ReGen™ drives, the elevators actually generate electricity and help power the overall system while contributing to the reduction of elevator energy use.

The vertical transportation upgrade is the final component of the Empire State ReBuilding renovation and modernization project. With implementation of the multi-year elevator refurbishing project now under way, BOCA Group acts as an extension of the building’s management team and oversees all aspects of implementation of the planned design. BOCA Group has spent the last few years coordinating the entire project with Otis, the building’s owners, project management firm, security team, and all other involved parties to provide ongoing reporting. BOCA Group will continue support and consulting services over the next several years.