Korea’s Songdo International Business District reaches 106 LEED certified buildings

06 May 15 | Author Leighann Morris | Events & Awards

Songdo International Business District (IBD) has achieved a total of 19.5 million square feet of LEED certified space, bolstering its position as one of the world’s most ambitious LEED developments. Songdo IBD, a 1,500-acre new city on the coast of Incheon, South Korea, is setting new standards for sustainable urban development in Asia and worldwide.

Songdo IBD is a joint venture between New York developer Gale International and Korean construction firm POSCO E&C, under the governance of the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building program is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings.

The 19.5 million SF (1.8 million SM)) figure represents 12 projects comprising 106 buildings (71 residential, 27 retail and 8 commercial). The most recent Songdo project to gain certification is the 68-story Northeast Asia Trade Tower (NEATT), which achieved LEED Silver. The landmark NEATT at 305 meters (1,001 feet) is the tallest building in Korea and was designed by internationally renowned firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

Gale International and POSCO E&C are pioneers of LEED in Korea. Songdo’s “firsts” include:

The First LEED-certified Exhibit Hall in Asia (Convensia Convention Center) – The Convensia is also the first building in Korea over 1,000 square meters to achieve this prestigious certification of sustainable design.

The First LEED-certified Residential Tower in Korea (Central Park I)
The First LEED-certified Hotel in Korea (Sheraton Incheon)
The First LEED-certified School in Korea (Chadwick International School)

According to the most recent figures from the USGBC, there is a total of 47.7 million SF of LEED-certified space in Korea of which developments within Songdo IBD represent approximately 40%. Songdo IBD blocks/buildings register with the USGBC under the “LEED-NC” (New Construction) or “LEED-CS” (Core and Shell) Rating Systems.

Songdo IBD is globally recognized as the world’s foremost smart, sustainable city-scale development. In 2012, the newly established Green Climate Fund (GCF) selected Songdo as the home for its Secretariat. It is anticipated that the sustainable infrastructure and technological innovations being pioneered in Songdo will have applications for many of the GCF-funded projects in developing nations. Songdo features one of the world’s largest pneumatic waste collection systems (obviating the need for garbage trucks) and a state-of-the-art cogeneration plant. Targeted citywide water recycling will reach 40% and waste recycling 76% by the year 2020. Songdo IBD is comprised of 40% green space and is a pedestrian city while also featuring a first-rate system of public transportation including buses, subways, water taxis, and extensive bikeways.

“We are immensely proud that Songdo IBD has been a champion of LEED in Korea and has become a leader in sustainable development not just in Asia but worldwide,” said Stan Gale, CEO and chairman of Manhattan-headquartered Gale International.
“Songdo International Business District has set a high bar for LEED certification in Asia and across the globe,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “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.”

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