NYU Shanghai New Bund Campus Wins LEED Gold Certification

Oct 31 2023

NYU Shanghai New Bund Campus has achieved a significant milestone by being awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating from the US Green Building Council. This makes it the first university in Shanghai to receive such recognition.

LEED is the most widely recognized ‘green’ building rating system worldwide, offering a framework for the development of environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient, and cost-effective buildings that bring about environmental, social, and governance benefits. The Gold rating signifies the second-highest level of LEED certification, indicating that the campus has successfully scored over 60% on the fundamental aspects of sustainability.

“Our new campus was designed to reflect the values of environmental sustainability,” observed Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman. “The LEED certification system provides a globally recognized set of standards for how new construction can attend to the importance of decarbonization, resilience, human health, equity, and regenerative development. It is deeply gratifying to know that we have earned the LEED Gold designation.”


NYU Shanghai New Bund Campus LEED Gold Certification

The ‘green’ features of the New Bund Campus primarily focus on sustainable site development, energy efficiency, water conservation, building energy conservation, and waste management.

Notable highlights include the optimization of floodlighting for the external facade to effectively control light pollution in the surrounding park area, the use of mercury-free LED lighting throughout the campus to promote green and low-carbon operations, and the incorporation of extensive roof greening instead of ground-level parking spaces. These measures aim to improve the microclimate and reduce the ‘heat island’ effect.

By implementing these sustainable practices, NYU Shanghai’s New Bund Campus demonstrates its commitment to environmental responsibility and contributes to the University's larger objective of reducing its carbon footprint and promoting sustainable living.

picpicpicPictures from clockwise: The Cafeteria makes full use of old furniture and natural light; 60-people terrace classroom is equipped with mercury-free LED lights, infrared and daylight sensing probe; floodlighting reduces light pollution in the surrounding community and local ecological environment; low flow sanitary ware in restrooms, shower rooms, and labs saves water


Agreeing with philosopher John Dewey’s idea that “all communication is educative,” Chancellor Tong Shijun expressed his belief that the LEED Gold certification will help both our community members and our visitors better appreciate the educational value of the campus.

In line with NYU's commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, every significant construction project within the NYU global network is required to obtain LEED certification, with a minimum target of Silver certification. NYU Shanghai New Bund Campus was constructed with this goal in mind since its groundbreaking in May 2019.

Facility Management Senior Director Liu Zhijun said that while the construction cycle and LEED certification process was challenging, the achievement is the result of strong goal-oriented collaboration between partners within and outside of NYU Shanghai. “What is even more worth remembering are the on-site crew members, whose hard work created excellent designs and turned concepts into reality,” he said.