A warm welcome at Roswell Park Cancer Institute

March 24, 2013 |
Central unit design minimizes noise from footsteps.

The Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in Buffalo, N.Y., is the only upstate New York facility to hold the National Cancer Center Institute designation of “comprehensive cancer center” and to serve as a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Spanning 25 acres, the downtown Buffalo campus consists of 15 buildings with about 1.6 million square feet of space. Recently, RPCI renovated its eighth floor and opened a new, 8,000-sf intensive care unit (ICU), which is 40 percent larger than the existing ICU, to accommodate anticipated growth.

When laying out the new ICU, the Facilities Planning Department at RPCI regularly met with nursing, senior administration, infection control, and other key internal departments to determine what kinds of materials, equipment, colors, and designs would best suit the unit’s needs.

Due to the sensitive nature of the space, limiting noise was a major consideration. The unit’s central location minimizes noise and wear from footsteps and rolling loads by providing staff with accessibility to the space from both sides of the facility, while preventing frequent disruption to patients.

To meet performance requirements and help achieve a calm, soothing atmosphere for patients and families, planning officials decided to install a combination of noraplan environcare™ and noraplan® mega throughout the eighth floor renovation. The flooring’s resilient surface helps reduce noise and provides the underfoot comfort necessary for patient and employee well-being.

“Patients and families are here for hours and days on end,” said Laura Shoemaker, senior planner, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “So, we wanted to make the ICU as comforting as possible by using materials that limit noise and are softer underfoot.”


Patients enjoy a comfortable recovery area.


Aesthetically, a number of features and accents provide additional support to sensitive ICU patients, improving their abilities to recover quickly in this quiet and soothing atmosphere. The deeper colors and curves in the flooring design represent a simple and inviting approach to patient care. Couple that with brilliant outdoor views from patient rooms and recessed core lighting, and the facility strikes a true balance of natural elements and intelligent design accents to make patient stays comfortable and productive. Additionally, the floor’s low-maintenance requirements limit bacteria growth and aid with infection control without ever requiring the application of wax or floor finish.

For a facility that treats numerous patients with heightened needs and sensitivities, the ability to limit the spread of bacteria and the introduction of excess cleaning chemicals is a huge advantage to patients that need a hygienic and subdued area to rest.

The result is a visually calming ICU that, because of its eighth floor location, features breathtaking views of downtown Buffalo from patient rooms and provides the peaceful atmosphere for patients and families to get the rest they need to recover quickly. 

For more information, please visit www.nora.com/us/RPCI.

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