Iwan Baan
business school Columbia U

Business school buildings at Columbia University receive LEED Gold

Oct. 20, 2022
The Henry R. Kravis and David Geffen halls are part of the university's expansion into New York City's Manhattanville neighborhood.

Two business school facilities and a green space at Columbia University in New York City have received LEED Gold certification for their sustainable design and construction.

The university says Henry R. Kravis Hall, David Geffen Hall and The Square, a one-acre public green space, have been awarded the certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The facilities are part of Columbia’s campus expansion in the Manhattanville neighborhood of New York City.

Among the sustainable construction and design strategies employed by Columbia:

  • Low-VOC materials, increased ventilation, and outdoor air monitoring ensure indoor environmental quality.
  • Materials composed of 25% recycled content from regional sources and wood sourced from sustainably managed forests were used for the construction and the fabrication of outdoor furniture and benches. 
  • The glass façade protects against unwanted glare, and the white frit glass blocks solar heat gain. 
  • Light-colored paving and roofing materials reduce the heat island effect 
  • The cooling and heating systems use chilled beam technology to reduce energy consumption. 
  • High-efficiency plumbing fixtures reduce potable water demand. 
  • The university uses water-efficient landscaping, including a hardy, low-maintenance lawn and careful sourcing of native plant species. 
  • More than 90% of on-site generated construction waste is diverted away from landfills. 

Columbia follows a model clean construction program on the Manhattanville campus, which includes prioritizing electric equipment over diesel equipment; using 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. 

Columbia Business School spans 492,000 square feet across Kravis and Geffen halls, nearly double that of the school’s previous square footage at the Morningside campus.

Both buildings were designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with executive architect FXCollaborative and associate architect Aaris Design Studios.

In between the two buildings is The Square. The 40,000-square-foot public green space provides a venue for outdoor gatherings, lectures, meetings, and performances. It was designed by James Corner Field Operations.

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