If Cornell University were to win the city’s competition to build a new science graduate school, it would install on Roosevelt Island almost four acres of solar panels, 500 geothermal wells, and buildings with the rare distinction of generating as much power as they use.
Stanford University’s proposal for the island calls for minimizing energy use, creating a marsh to filter water, and recycling water from storm runoff and sinks, and possibly from toilets as well.
In an expansion under way in West Harlem that would house Columbia’s proposed graduate school, the university is recycling more than 90 percent of the material in buildings it is demolishing, and taking unusual steps to minimize construction pollution.
The Bloomberg administration’s contest to create a school of applied sciences sets high environmental standards, but some competing universities are going much further to out-green one another.
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