Columbia Campus Plan Scores NYC’s First LEED-ND Platinum Certification
This artist's rendering shows features of Columbia's LEED-ND Platinum-certified plan for its Manhattanville campus including proximity to public transit and mixed use of space.
By Erin Weaver
Columbia University’s long-term project plan for its 17-acre Manhattanville campus in West Harlem has earned New York City’s first LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Platinum certification; this is also the first LEED Platinum certification awarded to a university campus plan. The LEED-ND pilot program integrates green building with community-scale issues of location, such as accessibility of jobs and services by foot or public transit. Over the next two decades, the Manhattanville campus will become interwoven with the surrounding community, turning the one-time industrial area into a more energy-efficient, pedestrian-friendly environment. “[We] are building a future in our home community [that reflects] both the core values of city life and the fundamental need for a more sustainable society,” says university president Lee C. Bollinger. Among the goals of the design team, led by Renzo Piano, are enhanced connections between West Harlem and the Hudson River waterfront; proximity to public transit; mixed use of space, including academic, residential, retail, and arts; and green open space. The construction process also focuses on reduced noise, low emissions, and recycling of demolition materials. Columbia’s campuses already boast several LEED Gold- and Silver-certified buildings.