Green Building

Building green is a process that incorporates renewable materials and designs buildings in an energy-efficient and sustainable way. Facilities' sustainable building efforts include:

- LEED Certification
- Clean Construction
- Exteriors and Historic Preservation
- Restoration Around Campus  

LEED Certification

When existing buildings are renovated, or new ones are constructed, Facilities has led the way in building green by increasing the number of buildings on campus with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction, and operation of high-performance, green buildings. Columbia projects with LEED certification or in the process of certification include:



 Back to Top

Clean Construction

Columbia is committed to a construction impact mitigation program that incorporates strategies, tools and technologies for reducing diesel emissions. This includes on-site field compliance, air monitoring, and ensuring that construction equipment use air pollution control devices and Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel.  Read more about our clean construction efforts in Manhattanville here.

Back to Top

Exteriors and Historic Preservation 

Organized within our Capital Project Management (CPM) group, the Exteriors and Historic Preservation (EHP) team works to improve Columbia's sense of place on campus and in the Morningside Heights neighborhood by repairing and restoring its building fabric.

For EHP, restoration often involves the replacement of damaged and missing building elements and the cleaning of building façades. By restoring or "recycling" existing buildings instead of demolishing and building new ones, EHP helps the University to reduce its carbon footprint and embodied energy--the quantity of energy required to manufacture a product, material or service or to supply it to the point of use. 

44 Morningside Drive before restoration

44 Morningside Drive after restoration 

Back to Top

Restoration Around Campus

To be counted among EHP's work are:

  • improvements and upgrades to "frat row" on West 114th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway
  • the installation of "green roofs"-lush vegetative roof tops-at 423 West 118th Street and 635 West 155th Street, where the Office of Environmental Stewardship is located
  • the restoration of the façades of 435 West 119th and 434 West 120th (both on Amsterdam Avenue). The buildings were cleaned, after which a surprising variety of color in the brickwork was uncovered beneath the 100 years worth of dirt. In addition to the cleaning, the storefronts were replaced to create a more uniform appearance.

Other Facilities restoration projects include:

Butler Library
Butler Library, Columbia University's flagship library, underwent a multiphase renovation project that was completed in 2008. These renovations include elevator rehabilitation, new finishes and updated mechanical and electrical systems in addition to new communications and fire safety systems. Reading rooms and study areas were redesigned for a more appealing and efficient configuration, suitable for both individual and group study.

Columbia Alumni Center
Located at 622 West 113th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive, McVickar Hall is the new home of the Office of Alumni and Development. Renovations included window, cornice and façade restorations; interior renovations including replacement of building systems; and installations of new offices and work space. Construction began in the spring of 2007 and was completed in early 2009.

The Studebaker Building
In order to accommodate and consolidate essential Columbia University administrative departments, Facilities renovated portions of the Studebaker Building, a former assembly plant of the Studebaker Automotive Company, located at 615 West 131st Street. Columbia purchased the building in June of 2007.

College Walk
The restoration of College Walk, the University's main public walkway, features new pavers, new granite curbing, a storm drainage system and energy-efficient lighting. The work resulted in a uniform, attractive new passageway that highlights the beauty of the central campus.

Back to Top