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Sustainability Update: Sustainable Design Standards
CUMC Creates Sustainable Design Standards for Construction
Wednesday, February 6, 2013


At Columbia University Medical Center we are always working to improve the state of our facilities, for both infrastructure and in the spaces used by faculty, staff and students. Because we are constantly improving our campus, a smart way to guarantee an improvement is through an establishment of standards. They cover bathrooms, corridors, offices and laboratories, ensuring our primary space types have a target for performance.


These metrics establish a baseline performance level and efficiency for mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, but also ensure emergency preparedness and longevity of equipment. On the materials side, these standards create a minimum environmental performance for furniture and fixtures installed in a space. The standards target high levels of recycled content, reduced use of chemicals in the space, sustainable purchasing and improved waste reduction during construction among other areas of improvement that were targeted.


This work was motivated by a heightened environmental consciousness across the campus, in both facilities managing the construction, but also by tenants using the spaces. Future construction projects on-site can now start from a place of efficient and sustainable construction, continually improving our buildings as we grow and evolve as a university.


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