Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Schuylkill Avenue Research Building

Project Overview

Carr & Duff, LLC was recently awarded the opportunity to provide the electrical infrastructure construction services for the new Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, CHOP, Schuylkill Avenue Research Building, SARB, located at 2716 South Street in Philadelphia. The erection of the 16-story tower started in 2023 and the building is expected to be enclosed by fall 2024, with occupancy planned for fall of 2025. The start of construction of the new research tower comes 100 years after CHOP’s first research facility was founded.

The new tower includes 10 stories of research and laboratory space, along with a second floor entirely dedicated to lecture, conference, and collaboration spaces. The facility also offers retail spaces on the building’s lower levels.

Carr & Duff is furnishing and installing the utility power system for the building which includes dual medium voltage, 13,200-volt electrical services, the medium voltage electrical switchgear and distribution system which will extend power to three low voltage unit substations, each configured to provide redundant system operation to ensure power delivery reliability and deliver distributed power to the facility. The electric system can deliver 16 megawatts of power to the facility. All critical power systems are being installed on the upper floors of the building to ensure reliable operation in the event of extremely severe weather events.

Carr & Duff is installing the building emergency power generation system which is located on the roof of the building and consists of three Caterpillar bi-fuel, natural gas and diesel, electric generators each rated at 2 megawatts. The generators are connected via switchgear which allows for combining the capacity of each generator together. The parallel equipment configuration of the generation system provides fully redundant emergency power to the facility in the event of a utility power interruption. The system is sized to deliver 6 megawatts of power and allow the facility critical systems to continue uninterrupted operation in the event of utility power loss.

The installation work also includes the installation of distributed power which is accomplished with a system of bus duct risers which extend throughout the facility combined with a network of power distribution panels located on each of the floors. Carr & Duff is responsible for completing the installation of the power systems necessary to supply five 900-ton chiller units and the associated pump systems supplying the HVAC needs of the facility. The work includes the installation of both normal and emergency power systems to two fire suppression system fire pumps located on the lower floors of the building.

Carr & Duff, LLC welcomes the opportunity to join CHOP and the Gilbane/Pride/McKissack team in working to achieve the more than 50 percent CHOP commitment to participation with diverse businesses and suppliers in the region.

CHOP and its construction partners also prioritized diversity when conceiving of the research facility. For the new building’s development and construction, the team committed to achieving more than 50 percent participation with diverse businesses and suppliers in the region. Pride Enterprises is a local, Black-owned business, and Mckissack & McKissack is the oldest Black-and-women-owned professional design and construction firm in the country.

“We are delighted to work with Gilbane/Pride/McKissack on this project, as we develop a world-class pediatric research campus,” stated Moore in a press release. “This tri-venture is a shining example of CHOP’s commitment to work with diverse suppliers, as we strive not only to expand our research capabilities but also to promote economic inclusion. Philadelphia and the surrounding area have amazing diverse talent that we look forward to working with as we continue to grow our footprint.”