Past Construction Projects

LDEO Geochemistry Building

Comer Building with LEED logo.JPG

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a world leading research center, is the main research facility for Columbia University's Earth Institute. The University, with the help of a generous donation from Gary Comer and the Comer Science and Education Foundation, constructed the state-of-the-art Gary C. Comer Geochemistry Building to meet the necessity to conduct advance earth science and environmental research. The University worked with local community groups to ensure the contextual aesthetics of the proposed building design.

The facility centralized the geochemistry division, which was located at the old geochemistry laboratory and in other buildings throughout the campus. It now provides faculty members and students additional office spaces and laboratories that meet the EPA's Labs 21 program. For additional information about this project, you can also visit the Lamont-Doherty Geochemistry Web site.


  • 70 offices
  • nearly 30 laboratories for scientists, student,s and support staff
  • standards outlined by the Labs21 Approach, a voluntary program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of laboratories
  • LEED Silver Certification
  • Site selection for the conservation of trees, vegetation, open space, and wildlife habitat as well as the mitigation of impact on the Hudson River, Palisades Interstate Park and Lamont Nature Sanctuary view sheds
  • Porous pavement and infiltration systems to collect storm water from the roof and parking lot, reducing runoff by 20 percent and providing 100 percent soil contact for pollutant removal
  • Ultra-low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Irrigation-free landscaping
  • Close proximity to public transportation
  • Bike racks and showers
  • Air conditioning system that uses high efficiency chillers with non-depleting refrigerants
  • Natural ventilation for offices
  • Occupancy sensors to control lighting and temperatures
  • Energy recovery from the ventilation system
  • Daylight harvesting and high efficiency light fixtures
  • 98% of the building's occupied spaces have daylight and views

ARCHITECTS: Payette Associates, Inc.


LOCATION: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, NY

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 63,000 gross square feet


START DATE: fall 2006

COMPLETION DATE: winter 2008