State-of-the-Art Structural Resiliency and Environmental Sustainability at the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center sets a new benchmark for sustainability and resiliency in a healthcare facility.

“Safety, coupled with a healthy indoor environment, is the most important assurance we can offer patients, which is why we designed a water-resistant facility at the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at MSK. It can withstand storms, be self-sufficient during energy outages, provide backup emergency power and heat to the critical patient care areas necessary for the cancer care we provide,” said Steven Friedman, Director of Facilities Engineering Design and Construction at MSK.

The building is expected to receive LEED Gold certification, a recognition for energy efficiency and sustainability. During peak energy use in the summer, the building can generate approximately 30 to 35 percent of its own electricity through rooftop microturbines, while backup generators are a safeguard if power is ever lost. A first-of-its-kind water runoff system allows the building to use rainwater in its cooling technology and gently treat stormwater for drinking, bathing, or sterilizing in case of emergency. All systems are reinforced by design and construction features to reduce energy consumption and operate at optimal efficiency.

Because the building is adjacent to the East River, it has been built to withstand a 500-year flood event. Flood barriers automatically rise from the ground in case of a storm surge, and the building’s incoming electric power and heating, cooling, and information systems are uniquely situated above flood levels. Fuel oil for the heating system is encased in a waterproof concrete structure with a submarine hatch-style entry, so it can safely provide several days of power if needed. The unique structural, environmental, and design innovations make the center a self-sufficient island.