Columbia University’s Northwest Corner Building Achieves LEED® Gold

February 22, 2012

Columbia University's Northwest Corner Building has been awarded LEED® Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The building achieved LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies.

The 188,000 square foot science and lab building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect José Rafael Moneo in collaboration with the architects at Madrid's Moneo Brock Studio and New York's Davis Brody Bond, houses cutting-edge laboratories gathering together researchers in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, as well as a science library, lecture hall and café. This LEED® Gold certification is particularly noteworthy due to the large number of laboratories in the 14-story building, since laboratories typically consume a great deal of energy.

"This designation is an affirmation of the innovative thinking and hard work of everyone who contributed to making this building a reality," said Joe Ienuso, Executive Vice President of Columbia University Facilities. "It demonstrates the University's commitment to support the frontiers of interdisciplinary teaching and research within environmentally responsible spaces."

The LEED Gold certification was based on a number of green design and construction features including:

  • Energy efficient fume hoods
  • Over 20% of the building materials extracted, processed and manufactured regionally
  • Approximately 84% (over 2,000 tons) of construction and demolition debris recycled
  • Over 20% of the building's materials contains recycled content
  • Optimized indoor air quality
  • Intelligent daylighting controls
  • High-efficiency light fixtures and occupancy sensors
  • Low-flow water fixtures
  • Use of green cleaning products
  • Enhanced commissioning, measurement and verification system that allows building staff to adjust settings to improve performance
  • Design elements meet Labs21® criteria, a voluntary partnership program dedicated to improving the environmental performance of U.S. laboratories

The Northwest Corner Building is the 7th Columbia University LEED Certified project and fourth Columbia LEED Gold Certified building, joining Knox Hall, Faculty House and the Columbia Alumni Center.

Turner Construction served as general contractor and Arup as the structural/mechanical engineers.