Duke Cancer Center

The Duke Cancer Center was built with the intention of providing its patients and staff with maximum convenience and comfort by housing all cancer services under a single roof. A major expansion of the Duke Cancer Institute, the Center earned Gold Certification under the LEED™ v2 Rating System upon opening in February of 2012.

View the Duke Cancer Center LEED™ Scorecard


Sustainable Site Features

The location of the Duke Cancer Center is such that at least 10 different community services and a residential district are within a half mile walking distance from the building. This convenience allows building occupants the opportunity to substitute walking or biking in the place of personal automobile use for many daily needs. In order to further encourage alternative transportation, additional parking facilities are not provided, while bike storage facilities and showers are made available. In addition, all occupants have ready access to the University transit system.

Along with minimizing hardscapes by not providing additional parking, Cancer Center designers avoided contributing to the urban heat island effect by installing SRI compliant roofing that includes an extensive vegetated area.

Project leaders demonstrated their commitment to preserving local water sources by taking measures to reduce runoff and sedimentation that included implementing a stormwater management plan, and following local erosion and sedimentation control standards.


Water Efficiency

A 100,000-gallon rainwater catchment cistern located at the Duke Cancer Center collects and treats stormwater runoff from 90 percent of the average annual rainfall. This reserve is used to offset potable water use for landscape irrigation at the Cancer Center and nearby buildings, resulting in a potable water use reduction of 63 percent for irrigation needs. An efficient irrigation system and landscape design also contributed to this water use reductions.

Water is also conserved within the walls of the Cancer Center through the installation of efficient water closets as well as low-flow urinals, lavatory faucets, shower heads and kitchen sink faucets. Combined, these technologies result in a water use reduction of 42 percent.

Energy Efficiency

By implementing energy efficiency measures that include an improved thermal envelope, high efficiency glazing, and occupancy sensors, the Duke Cancer Center has achieved an energy cost savings of 21 percent. In addition to these features, the extensive use of south-facing windows facilitates natural lighting as a substitute for artificial interior lighting. Project leaders further demonstrated their commitment to sustainable energy consumption by purchasing Green-e accredited Tradable Renewable Certificates equal to 100 percent of the predicted annual electrical consumption over a two-year period.

In addition to reducing energy consumption, the Cancer Center earned LEED™ points for enhanced refrigerant management by eliminating CFC-based refrigerants and minimizing the use of other compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global warming.

In order to verify energy consumption reductions, a measurement and verification plan based on an advanced sub-metering system was developed. An enhanced commissioning plan was also implemented to ensure that each building system operated as designed and met its energy reduction goals.

Indoor Air Quality

A comfortable and healthy indoor environment is maintained at the Duke Cancer Center through a host of sensors that adjust HVAC operations based on temperature measurements, carbon dioxide levels, and occupancy. As a result of high quality insulation, ventilation rates to occupied spaces are increased by 30 percent above minimum standards. In order to further improve occupant comfort, lighting controls are provided to 95 percent of occupants.

Low-emitting materials that include adhesives, sealants, paints, and carpeting are used to promote occupant health, and a complete building flush-out was performed prior to occupancy, which, in combination with air filtration throughout the construction process, ensured a complete removal of particulates.

Resource Management

Extending material life was made a priority in the construction of the Duke Cancer Center as well as in the selection of building materials. As a result, nearly 93 percent of on-site generated construction waste was diverted from landfills by dedicating collection areas for five types of recyclable materials. In addition, over 18 percent of the total building materials content, by value, has been manufactured using recycled materials like aluminum, glass and steel.

In order to support local business while minimizing the life cycle impact of the Cancer Center’s building materials, project leaders sourced 18 percent of the total building materials value from within a 500 mile radius of the project site.


Integration of Sustainability in Design & Construction Process

A holistic approach that stressed communication and task coordination amongst project teams was implemented throughout the design and construction process in order to meet sustainability targets.

A continuous cycle of goal setting and reevaluation helped project members to reach important milestones within time constraints.