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University of Rochester Repurposes Vacant Retail Facility, Expanding Surgical and Outpatient Care

Case Study /

University of Rochester Repurposes Vacant Retail Facility, Expanding Surgical and Outpatient Care

Industry: Healthcare

Project Profile: The University of Rochester is one of the world’s leading research universities with more than 3,000 faculty, 12,000 students, and 30,000 staff. The University, founded in 1850 and located in Western New York, prides itself on its mission to “Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better.”

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian, and nonprofit research facility with about 30,000 people dedicated to scientific research. In early 2020, after a Sears department store within the Marketplace Mall in Rochester, NY closed, the University purchased the roughly 330,000 sq. ft campus to build one of the largest and most comprehensive ambulatory orthopedics facilities in the United States. The new facility will consist of procedure rooms, patient rooms, offices, and minor operating rooms.

The project is estimated for completion in Fall 2022 and is the largest capital project in University of Rochester history. The facility will combine ambulatory surgery with other essential services in one convenient spot. The University chose this location because it is centrally located and easily accessible from major highways and public transportation.

Challenge: Renovating the former Sears building has its benefits, including the essential infrastructure that is already in place for the building shell. However, retrofitting work presents challenges as well. For instance, because the building already has an established framework, our Equipment team needed to work with the engineers to custom design air handling units to fit within the current structures.

Balancing lead times of the equipment also required continuous communication between the construction team to schedule and budget workloads accordingly.

Stark Solution: Stark Equipment, a subdivision of Stark Tech, worked with the engineers on the project to custom design air handling units by Air Enterprises for the facility. These units are all aluminum construction with extremely low leakage, below 0.5% leakage, which significantly increases energy efficiency. This is because the AHU fans don’t have to overcompensate for loss of air flow. These units typically last around 40-50 years.

Having strong relationships with our manufacturers was key for scheduling this project. Both communication and flexibility led to a successful installation and start up. Along with that, our Service team was available to assist with the rigs and pull together of the AHUs. They performed the pressure tests and handled the factory trained start-ups.

The Technology:  

  • Nine Air Enterprises Air Handling Units
  • Vertiv Liebert Units
  • DriSteem Humidification Grids. 


Project Photos:

The Stark Integration team, consisting of industry certified Professional Audio and Visual professionals, offers a full array of professional audio/visual solutions from networked A/V systems, public address, mass notification, and intercom systems, to digital clocks, assisted listening devices, and sound masking solutions. With access to a range of manufacturers and equipment, our Pro A/V team can provide full design and installation services for any type of facility.


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