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KPF Hosts Science and the City 2.0 Symposium

On April 4, a group of clients, collaborators, peers, and city officials, gathered at KPF’s New York office for “Science and the City 2.0 | Science, Research, and Healthcare: Designing for a Sustainable City,” an in-depth discussion with industry leaders.

Cities around the world are undertaking major investments in new facilities for life sciences research and healthcare in response to growing economic demand, and at the same time taking a leadership role in combating climate change. Decarbonizing the built environment, which is responsible for nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, is a top priority for government, institutional, and business leaders alike, but poses a significant challenge for life sciences research and medical labs, which are inherently energy intensive. Legislative initiatives like New York City’s Local Law 97, which are targeted at curbing the operational carbon emissions of buildings of all scales have created new pressures and opportunities for the design of these building types.

The event began with an introduction by Senior Associate Principal Georgina Lalli, followed by a keynote by Gina Bocra, Chief Sustainability Officer at New York City Department of Buildings, who offered insight into how the department is implementing New York City’s Greater, Greener Buildings Plan and its impacts on the healthcare sector.

A roundtable discussion was introduced by Principal Jorge Mendoza and moderated by KPF Environmental Design Director Carlos Cerezo Davila. Panelists included Douglas Carney, Senior Vice President for Real Estate, Planning, Design, Construction, and Engineering at Mount Sinai Health System; Patrick Burke, Vice President, Facilities Management, Operations & Planning at Columbia University; Nico Kienzl, Founding Director of Atelier Ten’s New York City office; and Jeff Rios, Partner at AKF Group. The panelists discussed Local Law 97, how healthcare campuses plan to reach net-zero, and ongoing healthcare and life sciences projects around the city. Ahead of closing remarks by Principal Jill Lerner, the group responded to a lively round of audience questions.

The recently announced Biomedical Research Lab Building for Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons was highlighted as an innovative sustainability solution as New York’s first purpose-built all-electric lab building. KPF’s work at Mount Sinai’s Tisch Cancer Hospital provided a model for how campuses can leverage adaptive reuse to achieve programmatic and sustainability goals.

“Science and the City 2.0” expanded on the inaugural event hosted in 2017, which focused on the future of the science and research fields in New York City.