Researchers, physician-scientists, educators, and students will come from all around the globe to collaborate on the latest discoveries and breakthroughs at Weill Cornell Medical College’s Belfer Research Building. AECOM Tishman served as construction manager for this important project.

New Construction

The project included the construction of a 480,000-square-foot building that includes 13 laboratory floors and two mechanical penthouses—doubling the college’s previous research space. The first two floors contain classrooms, conference rooms, administrative offices, and two lounges, while the rest of the building houses laboratories with an open layout.

Utilizing BIM

We used Building Information Modeling (BIM) early in the project, as this research building required more pipes, ducts, wires, and conduits than a typical office project.

Strategic Demolition Process

Three existing buildings were demolished using small machines and hand tools so as to not disturb the surrounding community. We used a blasting technique and their first-hand knowledge and experience with bedrock conditions in Manhattan to excavate the deep rock on site.

We procured a single tower crane to serve the project’s concrete operations and remain on site to lift and place all of the building’s mechanical plant equipment. To accommodate the extremely tight site logistics, the team divided it into nine sections so crane operations could be performed while other work safely progressed.

The Cocoon

The team implemented the use of the cocoon system—an innovative safety net designed to provide the utmost level of protection to construction workers and the surrounding community—which in turn pushed the schedule ahead by two months.