Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in the US is set to commence construction on an all-electric university research building next month.  

The facility was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF).

Situated in Washington Heights, the biomedical research building will encompass eight storeys.

Columbia University Health and Biomedical Sciences executive vice-president MD Katrina Armstrong said: “We are so proud to be laying the groundwork for this innovative new research building at Columbia. To create a space that will advance biomedical science, bring us closer to our local community, and help our medical centre reduce its carbon footprint all in one is truly remarkable. 

“Our purpose as a university is to drive discovery, educate next-generation leaders, and create inclusive partnerships with our community. This new space will offer the best environment for our people to do all three.” 

The new building will serve as a hub for Columbia’s efforts to develop treatments for ailments such as neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, heart disease, and cancer. 

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It is claimed to become the first university-owned research building in the city to operate without fossil fuels. 

The building will incorporate biophilic elements such as living walls and the use of natural, renewable materials to mitigate work fatigue and enhance both health and environmental benefits.  

To minimise energy consumption, the building will include high-efficiency lab fume hoods, demand-based controls for lab equipment, and air-source electric heat pumps.  

The biomedical building is claimed to be a step in advancing Columbia University’s Plan 2030 climate goal, which aims for campus-wide net-zero emissions by 2050.