Sustainability Update: LEED Gold for ColumbiaDoctors Practice

In June 2013, the new ColumbiaDoctors practice achieved Gold certification under LEED Interior Design + Construction, exceeding project expectations of LEED Silver.

The ColumbiaDoctors practice relocated its flagship offices to a new 100,000 square feet space at 51 West 51st Street, also a LEED for Existing Buildings certified building base, which supports a full range of health services including Pediatrics, Women’s Services, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Medicine, Dermatology, Dental and Psychiatry, and a range of specialty medicine and surgical practice spaces.

The practice, designed by Perkins+Will, is organized around a central concourse that includes classroom and café, with a series of open waiting areas and reception spaces linked by circulation that wraps the building core. Modular planning of diagnostic spaces permits flexible scheduling of space and sessional uses.

This project supports CUMC's position as environmental stewards and recognizes the link between sustainable design and the first principle of medicine, "First, Do No Harm." The space design prioritizes access to daylight, as well as warm, natural materials that are wholly designed in support of major art, gifted from the JP Morgan Chase collection.

The mechanical, electric and plumbing systems are designed to reduce consumption of resources and provide an enhanced indoor healing environment through individual lighting and thermal comfort controls and ventilation system monitoring. Low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce water consumption 33% and use of energy efficient lighting, including LED’s and occupancy sensors, decrease energy use from lighting 20%. Construction for the project diverted more than 80% of demolition debris from landfills and reuses existing furniture to reduce demand for virgin materials and reduce waste.

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.

Additional sustainability strategies incorporated into the ColumbiaDoctors space include:

Energy Efficient Systems

The ColumbiaDoctors space was built with highly efficiency Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems. It uses ENERGYSTAR rated electronic equipment for over 90% of its installed electric equipment, as well as reduces the lighting power density through the use of LED’s, efficient lighting fixtures and occupancy sensors. A comprehensive metering system was also installed to track and optimize consumption efficiency as the space is used.

These systems promote occupant comfort and well-being by monitoring carbon dioxide in the space, as well as using enhanced air ventilation in the space. Individual lighting and thermal comfort controls help users to cater their environment preferences in their space.

Water Reduction

Water efficiency is extremely important as the number of fixtures and how they’re used in the space can reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems. To support this goal, low flow plumbing fixtures were utilized to reduce water consumption by 33%, including water-saving toilets, urinals and sinks.


Recycling integration was an important part of the construction and design process, as well as the final space at ColumbiaDoctors. Recycling storage and collection infrastructure are provided throughout the entire space. During construction greater than 80% of construction demolition debris was diverted from the landfill. The project also reused existing furniture to reduce demand for virgin materials and waste.


The materials, such as furniture, used in the space enhance the sustainability. GREENGUARD certified furniture systems, which ensures the product has low chemical emissions, were used including for workstations and task chairs. All-in throughout the space, the furniture and building materials include in total 15% total recycled content, 10% regional content, and 50% Forest Stewardship Council certified wood content on all new wood products. Low emitting finishes used during construction including paints, sealants, adhesives, etc. were also used.

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Energy & Sustainability