Project Summary

New Songdo City, South Korea

New Songdo City, which is scheduled for completion in 2015, is envisioned as a new international city and trading district being built with a commitment to sustainable design principles and the best practices of urban planning. The new city will encompass a mixed residential/business district with 65,000 residents and 250,000 commuting workers. The first international real estate investment in South Korea's history, Songdo is intended to help position South Korea at the commercial epicenter of north Asian regional markets, among China, Russia and Japan.

Participating in the city's design initiative, Point380 was contracted to lead the city-wide carbon emissions modeling and forecasting effort. The work included the coordination of data collection across numerous development firms in order to generate a carbon emissions measurement and management system to be applied in all phases of the project: city conception and planning, design review, construction and ultimately ongoing operations. Point380 also led GHG reporting and certified offset creation efforts using WRI/WBCSD, IPCC and EPA emissions calculation methodologies.

One of the key sustainability outcomes of this project is an estimated reduction in per capita CO2 emissions of roughly 67%, compared to a typical low-density development. Additionally, LEED certified buildings incorporated throughout the city will reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 63%, compared to conventional buildings.

Songdo Bar Chart


The $35 billion Songdo International Business District (IBD) is being built on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land along the Yellow Sea in Incheon, South Korea, by Gale International, a premier international real estate investment and development company headquartered in New York, and POSCO E&C of Korea. Songdo IBD, the largest private real estate venture in history, will include forty million square feet of office space, thirty-five million SF of residential space, ten million SF of retail, five million SF of hotel space and ten million SF of public space. When completed in 2017, Songdo IBD will be home to 65,000 residents and 300,000 people will commute in daily. Currently, 22,000 people reside in Songdo IBD and by year-end that number will grow to more than 27,000. More than 25,000 people now work in Songdo IBD's commercial spaces. Songdo IBD is a model for sustainable city-scale development-it is one of Asia's largest green developments and has established itself as a world leader in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) with 13.7 million SF of LEED-certified space to date. More than 50% of Songdo IBD's built environment is complete including such core components as the Convensia Convention Center; the Sheraton Incheon; the 100-acre Central Park (modeled after New York's); numerous residential and commercial projects including more than 350 retail stores; Chadwick International School; and the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. The iconic 68-story Northeast Asia Trade Tower (NEATT), South Korea's tallest building, is scheduled for completion in 2013. Songdo IBD also is the leading example of a "ubiquitous city" in which technology is pervasive and all systems are linked. It has partnered with Cisco to provide TelePresence immersive videoconferencing in homes, offices, schools and hospitals, among other digital initiatives. For more information see

The 13.7 million SF figure represents nine projects within Songdo IBD that have set firsts in both Korea and Asia. These 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)

Among the recent Songdo projects to gain certification is the 1.33M SF International Business Square office complex that achieved a rating of LEED Gold.

Songdo IBD's LEED plans include another 26 registered projects equaling about 40 million SF of program area. Indeed, Gale International is targeting LEED certification for 80% of the buildings it develops within Songdo IBD. According to the USGBC, currently there are a total of 441 LEED-certified projects in Asia overall representing nearly 211 million SF. "Songdo IBD was designed to be a model for future, sustainable city-scale developments not only in Asia but across the globe," said Stan Gale, chairman of NSIC and of Manhattan-headquartered Gale International. "We have made a full commitment to be a LEED champion, which has meant everything from overseeing the first translations of USGBC documentation into Korean to helping train third-party design/build partners in Songdo."

"With the recent certification of its ninth LEED project, Songdo IBD is making its vision of high-performance, energy-efficient, healthy green buildings a reality," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. "We commend Songdo for its extraordinary, inspirational accomplishments."


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