Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Installs Capstone/RSP Systems 1000 kW Cogen System for Resilience and Cost Savings

Eric Lorenzen, MSKCC facilities operations (left); John P. Koch, JBB (middle); and Steven Friedman, MSKCC facilities engineering (right) standing in front of the 1,000-kW microturbine located on the roof of the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care.  Photos courtesy of Peter Kubilus, unless noted otherwise

The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care is a 25-story, 760,000-square-foot outpatient facility, coupled by two below-grade levels of parking, located on the upper east side of Manhattan adjacent to the East River and within the 100- and 500-year floodplain. At the onset of design, the facility was earmarked for strictly outpatient use; however, Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) subsequently decided to add one inpatient care floor to the program.  At the beginning of the project, Steven Friedman, P.E., director of facilities engineering for MSK, clearly delineated its goals: “Given the geography of this facility and past experience with Superstorm Sandy’s destruction in New York City, together with our vision to provide continuity of service for our patients and staff, we need to think outside the box of normal health care construction. We’re building for a minimum 50-year life span, and, given the critical nature of patient care delivery and high-tech programs, this facility needs to remain active under all possible adverse weather conditions and any potential incoming utility failures.”

MSK’s facilities engineering and plant operations, together with the project’s design and construction professionals, were tasked to provide a reliable engineering infrastructure backbone that can provide reliability but also infuse energy conservation and sustainability. Amongst the many sustainable attributes of this facility, the team collaboratively decided to design using microturbine technology.


“Microturbine technology in health care construction is an absolute no-brainer,” said Friedman. “The ability to utilize natural gas in the summer months to offset higher electrical demand costs by the service provider and utilize the waste heat from the engine flues to reheat the interior air in lieu of operationalizing the boilers and generate electricity to operate in-conjunction with the electrical grid has paid back in large dividends.”

“Being at the frontline of an environmental catastrophe back in 2012, namely, Superstorm Sandy, the physical plant operations ideology has taken a completely different perspective on system resiliency and reliability,” Lorenzen said. “Cancer care is never weather-dependent. Our patients and staff rely heavily on building access and continuity of the engineered systems to receive and provide treatment. Between engineering design and plant operations, we need to follow the vision of our senior leadership here at Memorial Sloan Kettering to provide the best physical environment possible to deliver world-class cancer care.”

“From an operational perspective, this combined heat and power plant is the first of its kind to be operated by the MSK facilities management plant operations team,” said Eric Lorenzen, director of plant operations, MSK. “It offers the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care system resiliency, reliability, redundancy, flexibility, and cost efficiencies. Since the system was commissioned and placed online, it has delivered as designed.”

For full story-