The design team had already started outlining the building stack for the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012. “We had to quickly rethink some of the emergency infrastructure within the building and where all the critical equipment was located,” says Amy Beckman, principal at HOK and senior project manager.

After discussing emergency power needs, conducting a watershed study, and taking into consideration potential water intrusion from flooding through a network of subgrade tunnel connections to other buildings, the decision was made to relocate critical infrastructure.

For example, an emergency generator plant with a four-day supply of fuel oil was moved from the lower levels to the 10th and 11th floors, which separate the Koch Center from the future NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns being built on the upper six floors.

Street level connections were also planned that allow a truck to be rolled up to the site to provide additional emergency generator power and chilled water and other services to the building externally.

“We had to shuffle a lot of the fundamental DNA of the building very quickly,” Beckman says.

For more on the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center, read “Vision Realized at NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center.”

For more on resilient design in healthcare, check out Healthcare Design’s special report “When Disaster Strikes.”

Photo credit: © Albert Vecerka/Esto