Best Health Care: Mount Sinai Medical Center — Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine

Mount Sinai Medical Center's 450,000-sq-ft Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine (CSM) integrates five lab research floors, two clinical floors, a clinical trials area, a vivarium, a radiation oncology department, a center for translational and molecular imaging and other spaces.

The $316-million project required full excavation of the building footprint to a depth of 70 ft. Crews removed an estimated 100,000 cu yd of material, mostly consisting of rock. The project's proximity to adjacent structures—including a hospital emergency room—meant that contractors had to closely monitored the degree of vibrations caused by the excavation.

A new tunnel under 101st Street that connects the facility to the Mount Sinai campus required shutting down a street and impacted existing sub-grade utilities, including a sewer main installation. As a result, the emergency room ambulance operation had to be temporarily relocated and access to a loading dock had to be modified.

Construction of an adjacent residential tower—owned by Mount Sinai but built by another construction manager—presented another challenge. The CSM contractor was responsible for building two mechanical equipment rooms and a 15-kV electrical service in the residential tower that supports both structures. Critical pathways for equipment rigs had to be coordinated to allow both projects to progress on schedule.

To accommodate the equipment required for the CSM, significant planning was devoted to rigging. More than 30 crane-associated rigs were necessary to meet mechanical, electrical and plumbing requirements, which included three-story-high air handling units; two 1,500-kW emergency generators; and two emergency chillers. Other rigs were used for specialty lab equipment, including steam sterilizers and cage wash equipment.

To meet the planned completion date, the contractor developed an accelerated schedule that called for weekly meetings with subcontractors, superintendents and project managers. Discussions included the sequence and coordination of the work to be performed on various floors using a 3D system to schedule and track installation.

Best Projects judges noted the close coordination between both contractors, as well as the nearby community, that this project required. Another complimented the team's on-time delivery of a "very complicated lab building built next to another building."

Mount Sinai Medical Center - Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine, New York

Key Players

Owner Mount Sinai School of Medicine

General Contractor Lend Lease (US) Construction LMB Inc.

Lead Designer Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Structural Engineer SOM Structures

Civil Engineer Langan Engineering & Environmental Services

MEP Engineer Jaros Baum & Bolles

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