Belfer Research Building tops out in New York

Hundreds of construction trades people celebrate reaching the top of concrete structure for facility that will accelerate treatments and cures at world-renowned institution.

December 14, 2011 |

Principals of owner Weill Cornell Medical College, professionals from AECOM’s Tishman Construction Corporation construction-management practice, and hundreds of construction trades people celebrated the “topping out” of the Belfer Research Building recently, as the final bucket of concrete was lifted to the highest levels of the building’s structure.

The project is a new, $650-million, 19-story building comprising 480,000 sf—equivalent to 10 football fields—which will become home to significantly expanded bench-to-bedside translational, medical research initiatives.

Located on E. 69th Street between First and York Avenues on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the world-class facility will include 16 program areas, dozens of state-of-the-art laboratories and principal investigator office suites, and three below-street levels, and will allow Weill Cornell Medical College to recruit 30 or more additional top scientists. Its open design will promote collaboration with Cornell University faculty in Ithaca and with other researchers across the country and the world.  

When it opens in 2014, the research center’s core facilities will house leading-edge scientific equipment in a shared space that will reduce technology costs.  Its design and construction team is pursuing a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Silver rating for the building.  The project’s architect is Ennead Architects LLP.

Tishman is utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) on this project to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Because it is a laboratory building, it has many more mechanical and laboratory process systems than a typical medical building. The application of BIM to the building-design process assisted the team in minimizing the space used for mechanical systems and maximizing the research spaces. Tishman also utilized BIM during pre-construction reviews to perform logistical and safety analyses, and resolve conflicts between the mechanical/electrical/plumbing and structural steel designs prior to award of contracts. BD+C

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