By Gary Thomas
Gale International, a New York-based international real estate investment and development company, and POSCO E&C of Korea are together building the Songdo International Business District (IBD), a $35 billion venture, in Incheon, South Korea on reclaimed land spanning 1,500 acres.
The Songdo IBD has achieved 13.7 million sq.ft of LEED certified space and is a prime example for sustainable urban development in Asia.
The Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority is the governing authority for the NSIC joint venture, which is developing the Songdo IBD. The achievement of 13.7 million sq.ft is through nine projects, which include a number of “firsts.” The IBD includes the first LEED-certified residential tower in Korea called as Central Park I, the first LEED-certified school in Korea – the Chadwick International School, and the first LEED-certified hotel in the country – the Sheraton Incheon.
The Convensia Convention Center in the Songdo IBD is the first exhibit hall in Asia to receive LEED-certification for sustainable design. It measures over 1,000 m2. The International Business Square office complex of 1.33 million sq.ft has received a LEED Gold certification.
Gale International intends to achieve LEED certification for most of its buildings (80%) in the Songdo IBD. These comprise about 26 projects and an area of around 40 million sq.ft. The chairman of NSIC and Gale International, Stan Gale, stated that the Songdo IBD will serve as an example for sustainable city-scale developments in the world.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) reports that in Asia, around 211 million sq.ft of LEED–certified projects numbering 441 are present. The Songdo IBD has received certification for its ninth LEED project.