Songdo International Business District (IBD) in South Korea has reached leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) certified space totalling 19.5 million ft², strengthening its position among the global LEED developments.

LEED is a sustainable development programme under US Green Building Council (USGBC) that promotes design, construction and operation of green buildings.

Songdo IBD is a joint venture formed by New York real-estate developer Gale International and Korean construction company POSCO E&C, under the governance of the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority.

"It’s a great example of how green building responds to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change."

The 19.5 million figure comprises 12 projects, including 106 buildings, with 71 being residential, 27 retail and eight for commercial use.

Recent figures from USGBC suggest that Songdo IBD accounts for nearly 40% of the total 47.7million ft² LEED-certified space in Korea.

The development features pneumatic waste collection systems, which eliminate the need for garbage trucks and also houses a cogeneration facility.

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In addition to offering 40% green space, Songdo IBD also has a target to reach 40% city-wide water recycling and 76% of waste recycling in 2020.

USGBC CEO and founding chairperson Rick Fedrizzi said: "Songdo International Business District has set a high bar for LEED certification in Asia and across the globe.

"It’s a great example of how green building responds to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health."