Columbia University



  • Project Overview
  • Project Details

Palisades, New York

November 2007

70,000 sq. ft. 

Construction Management

Certified LEED Silver
2009 Laboratory of the Year (R&D Magazine)

The Lamont-Doherty campus is a leading research institution where scientists seek fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world.

The new building includes laboratory space supporting research that, among other important contributions, has led the development of our understanding of climate change. Studies conducted in the facility will range from magmatic processes to chemical oceanography, from the history of the early Earth to recent climate changes. Most studies will utilize the products of natural radioactive decay in rocks and waters, as process tracers and to determine absolute ages.

Divided into three parts, the north-facing lab zone is tied to a south-facing office zone through a central atrium area that accommodates group and interactive work. A spine of common spaces, including meeting rooms, a videoconference center, lounge areas and a 100-person seminar room, runs through the center of the building and emerges as a pair of elevated decks on its east side with views of the Hudson River. Two top lit atriums with open stairways connect the offset lab and office levels. Exterior materials on the office and lab wings feature aluminum curtainwall and aluminum panels, while the prominent central spine is clad in zink and teak elements.

The facility includes ultra-clean and conventional chemistry labs, a multi-collector thermal ionization mass spectrometer, and a multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. Analytical facilities also include plasma mass spectrometers and spectrophotometers for trace element analyses, mass spectrometers for rare gas analyses, x-ray diffraction, a scanning electron microscope, and an electron microprobe. The building has been designed to incorporate standards of Labs 21, which is a voluntary program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of laboratories. The project was Certified LEED Silver by the USGBC.

The building will serve as the research hub for over 200 scientists. Construction included an indoor chiller plant with remote cooling tower, a remote emergency generator with a weather tight enclosure, a boiler plant and an acid neutralization system.