NYU Langone Health

Smilow Research Center, Commissioning

Smilow Research Center, Commissioning - New York, NY


G/BA provided commissioning services for this complex project, including labs and support space at the cellar and mezzanine levels of the Smilow Research Center.


Superstorm Sandy devastated Manhattan in October 2012, impacting many facilities including the 230,000-square-foot Smilow Research Center at NYU Langone Health. A renovation to key lab spaces in the cellar and mezzanine floors (and associated sub-cellar mechanical space) was necessary, encompassing about 43,000 square feet. The program for the new facilities, implemented in 2016-18, included a 1,500-square-foot cadaveric skills lab with support space; a plastic surgery education suite including a 44-seat lecture hall; an 1,800-square-foot lab research facility; and a new morgue for the hospital and medical school.

G/BA commissioned the new equipment provided to support the facility, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems. The project was already in the construction phase when the firm was hired. Issues uncovered and corrected through commissioning, in collaboration with the designers and the installing contractors, included the following:

  • Excessive negative pressurization of the autopsy suite when bubble-tight dampers were closed.
  • Morgue booster exhaust fan not correctly linked to the fire alarm system.
  • Lab chilled water pump variable-frequency drives incorrectly programmed.
  • Issues with fire smoke damper installation.
  • Radiant cooling panels specified were of lower pressure rating than operating pressure.