Sustainability Update: April 2012

CUMC Receives First LEED Rating and It's Gold

Dear CUMC Community:

Several initiatives are under way related to energy management, recycling and sustainability at CUMC. All of these initiatives are important to our commitment to environmental sustainability, although some are more visible than others. This message is part of an ongoing series of e-mail communiqu├ęs from Facilities Management that are intended to share information about these initiatives and provide you with an opportunity to offer your suggestions and assistance in advancing our efforts at the medical center.

In This Issue: CUMC Receives First LEED Rating and It's Gold!

The School of Public Health, with assistance from CUMC's Capital Project Management Team within Facilities Management, underwent a complete renovation of floors 11, 12, and 13 in the Allan Rosenfield Building for the Environmental Health Sciences and ICAP Departments. The goal was to build a space that obtained at least an LEED-Silver certification and maximized the use of sustainable design features. The team exceeded their expectations with an award of LEED-Gold.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization focused on promoting sustainability in new and existing buildings. Visit to learn more about the LEED program and certifications.

This renovation helped to reduce our environmental impact in many ways, but here are a few examples. The restrooms on these floors use water-saving toilets, urinals and sinks that will save 20 percent or more water over conventional fixtures. Sensors also were installed on all restroom fixtures to help further water conservation.

A digital lighting control system installed in the public areas on each floor controls the amount of lighting used based on natural light levels. Offices received lighting occupancy sensors to further reduce light levels appropriately. A more energy-efficient heating and cooling system was installed to give each office control over its own thermostat. In addition, all new double-pane operable windows were installed to promote using windows for natural ventilation when possible.

The entire demolition and construction process targeted 90 percent or higher recycling levels and sought to minimize water use. Also, the materials selected minimized production emissions, maximized use of recycled content, and were locally sourced wherever possible.

These are just a few among the many sustainability factors incorporated into the renovation, making it the first LEED certification for the Medical Center campus. This will not be our last, however. Currently, the new Medical and Graduate Education Building and the new School of Nursing Building, each in different stages of design development, are both seeking a LEED-Silver new construction rating or better.

We welcome your feedback and participation in our energy and sustainability initiatives. If you have suggestions or ideas, please feel free to contact our energy and sustainability department at

Stay tuned for upcoming energy and sustainability updates from Facilities Management.


Amador Centeno

Vice President of Facilities Management & Campus Services

Columbia University Medical Center

To provide feedback or suggest sustainability or energy efficiency ideas, email:


Energy & Sustainability