NEW YORK—Columbia University's environmentally sustainable design and overall project plan for its 17-acre Manhattanville campus in West Harlem has earned LEED® Platinum under the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system established by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the highest designation and the first LEED-ND Platinum certification in New York City, as well as the first Platinum certification for a university campus plan nationally.
Columbia’s long-term Manhattanville campus plan will create an energy-efficient, pedestrian-friendly environment, with local retail and culture and publicly accessible green space. It will bring together members of the University and local communities, and enhance connections between West Harlem and the Hudson River waterfront.
In 2007, Columbia entered its Manhattanville plan in the LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot program, which integrates the principles of smart growth, new urbanism and green building.
Additional strengths of the Manhattanville campus plan includes proximity to mass transit; planned mixed uses including arts, community, academic, retail and residential; open neighborhood access; green open space; pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks; and a commitment to best practices in clean, low-emission construction.
Before construction began, Columbia collaborated with the Environmental Defense Fund to ensure that all work applies the latest air pollution controls. Adhering to environmental compliance requirements and clean construction techniques, the University reduced noise and vibrations and traffic and business disruptions. During demolition and abatement phases, more than 90 percent of removed materials are salvaged and recycled.
In the last few years, seven Columbia buildings earned LEED certifications.