NYU to Advance Green Building Projects Throughout System

By Aziza Jackson

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York University (NYU) is moving forward with plans to advance sustainable construction and renovation projects throughout its university system.

Gerrard P. Bushell, Ph.D., president & CEO of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), recently announced that NYU issued $862.8 million in bonds through DASNY. The financing will be used in conjunction with previous financings to advance construction and renovation projects throughout the university system. The $862.8 million issued by DASNY on behalf of NYU was offered as $603.5 million in tax-exempt bonds and $259.3 million in taxable bonds.

The issuance includes more than $83 million in Green Bonds providing investors with the opportunity to directly support projects that NYU has identified as environmentally sustainable. Green Bond proceeds will go toward sustainable construction projects and equipment at NYU’s 181 Mercer Street, 370 Jay Street, and the Langone Health Science Building.

“We are excited to have the opportunity continue our long-standing partnership with New York University,” said Bushell. “In working to reduce the university system’s carbon footprint, we are creating more sustainable communities and helping support Gov. Cuomo’s vision for a cleaner, greener New York.”

The proceeds of the issuance will be used to pay for the construction and equipping of a mixed-use building at 181 Mercer Street, which will include dozens of new classrooms, spaces for performing arts education, training, and rehearsals, student and faculty housing, and a replacement sports and recreation facility. The construction will incorporate a variety of sustainable design features such as:

  • Connecting to the university’s high-efficiency, green-house gas and pollutant-lowering Co-Generation (CoGen) facility, which produces electricity, heat, and chilled water
  • Low-flow plumbing
  • Green roofs and outdoor terraces with low irrigation plants to help naturally cool the building, with a retention tank to manage rainwater runoff.

Other Green Bond-funded university system upgrades include:

  • Converting the facility at 370 Jay Street into an innovation hub for engineering, applied and urban sciences, and digital technology and media arts. Restoring the existing façade of the building using high-performance, energy efficient windows, and preserving the neighborhood’s aesthetic character, while significantly reducing the building’s energy footprint
  • Construction and equipping of the Langone Health Science Building, incorporating various green design strategies such as external glass louvers on the south façade to mitigate direct sun and glare, a light-colored roof and paving stones along with vegetated terraces to also reduce energy load and mitigate urban heat island effect, and high efficiency lab equipment.

NYU embraces sustainable building practices, with the vast majority of the 2019 transaction (tax-exempt and the taxable) slated to support green construction and renovation projects. Last year, NYU made a commitment that all new building construction earn LEED Silver designation at a minimum.

“NYU plans to be carbon neutral by 2040,” said Cecil Scheib, assistant vice president for Sustainability. “With DASNY’s support to make sustainable capital projects cost effective here in New York State, NYU can make the most of each construction opportunity.”

The remainder of the Series 2019 bonds financed other projects, including:

  • Upgrades to the university’s CoGen plant to improve energy-efficiency and accommodate increased electricity, heating, and cooling needs related to expansion, the Co-Gen plant substantially reduced NYU’s carbon footprint when it first came on line in 2011
  • Upgrades to infrastructure and renovations at 404 Lafayette Street and 708 Broadway
  • Improvements to academic facilities in Brooklyn for the Tandon School of Engineering
  • Renovations and equipping of space for use by the university’s Chemical Biology Department at the Silver Complex.