Living Greener in Columbia Housing

 80 Columbia Buildings to Obtain Cleaner, More Efficient Natural Gas Heating

Winter 2012 will bring cleaner, more efficient living spaces for some tenants in Columbia University Apartment Housing thanks to the University's conversion of many of its residential buildings from oil to natural gas through Con Edison.

Twenty-two buildings are anticipated to update their systems this year, culminating in 80 newly heated residential buildings over the next three years. It is estimated that the University will save a total of $2.4 million and reduce its carbon footprint by 7,236 metric tons.*

"This project is dually beneficial for us. It supports our commitment to sustainability and will also reduce the cost of heating these buildings," says Frank Martino, vice president of operations for Columbia University Facilities.

According to the PlaNYC 2010 Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the city's emissions are dominated by two sectors: energy consumed in transportation and energy consumed in buildings. By using natural gas heat, the University will reduce its carbon footprint, both through the change in fuel type and the elimination of oil delivery trucks. In addition, gas heat, is cheaper to maintain, does not pose a risk of spilling, and utilizes more efficient systems.

This project supports the University's goals as a challenge partner in Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC 2030, the city's comprehensive plan to create a more sustainable New York. For information on additional sustainability projects and initiatives, please take a tour of this Web site. 

*Carbon calculations based on the September 2010 report from PlaNYC. Savings based on current market condition.