Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus Wins Sustainable Construction Award

March 15, 2019

Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus was honored with the 2019 Sustainable Construction Award at the New York Build Expo that took place on March 12 at the Javits Center. 

The award was received by Lendlease, a construction management firm on the project, in recognition of the sustainable construction techniques employed when building the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Lenfest Center for the Arts and Central Energy Plant. 

Lendlease worked in partnership with Columbia, a sustainability consultant, and the design team to earn the New York City Construction Award for Sustainable Construction Award at the New York Build Expo, using an innovative, multi-faceted approach.  The sustainable construction techniques utilized during these projects include:

  • Developing a model clean construction program for the Manhattanville campus, which includes the prioritization of electric equipment over diesel equipment; the use of the latest diesel emission control technology for on road and off road equipment when diesel is required; a wheel washing system for trucks that uses a high volume of recycled water, and other efforts addressing air quality, noise and vibration reduction and pest management.
  • Maximizing select products from local and regional manufacturers within 500 miles of the project site and using recycled building materials reduced waste and minimized the University’s carbon footprint when constructing the buildings.
  • Approximately 60 tons of scrap drywall were recycled into new gypsum products, which contributed to the projects’ total landfill diversion rate of more than 90 percent. 
  • Products used in construction selected in part based on their low-VOC (volatile organic compound) content.
  • Extensive indoor air quality testing and flush-outs of the new HVAC system were performed.

Third-party companies, on behalf of the city and state, continually monitor Columbia’s adherence to its comprehensive clean construction program.

The clean construction program was a major contributor toward Columbia receiving LEED® Gold certification for the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and Lenfest Center for the Arts, as well as for The Forum where Skanska served as construction manager.  LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the foremost green building certification program measuring how sustainable a building is in areas including energy, water efficiency, material selection and indoor air quality.

The Manhattanville campus’s environmentally sustainable design and overall project plan also achieved Stage 1 LEED Platinum certification under the USGBC’s Neighborhood Development pilot rating system—the highest designation in the rating system. It is the first such award in New York City and the first given to a campus plan anywhere in the U.S.