Buildings and Energy:
Reduction, Revitalization, Returns
Columbia's ever-growing campus totals over 2 million square feet in 23 buildings.
All but one of these (our first-ever newly constructed building, the LEED Gold Certified Media Production Center) are repurposed former office and warehouse buildings, many with antiquated, inefficient heating and cooling systems. So the sustainability plan begins with investments in modern equipment and other energy conservation measures (ECMs). How to pay for it? We were able to determine that replacing high-cost, inefficient equipment would result in a financial return greater than the return on similar low-risk investments. So the college will create a dedicated Energy Investment Fund (re-allocated from existing long term-investments), and the savings the school anticipates from conserving energy will be re-invested in a Campus Green Revolving Fund focused on smaller ECM projects. Additionally, a new Student Green Revolving Loan Fund (with revenue generated from an $8 per semester fee) will be utilized for projects determined by Columbia students themselves.