The Heavy Ion Cancer Therapy Center at Yonsei University is being built at the Yonsei University campus located in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul. The advanced cancer treatment facility equipped with a heavy-ion accelerator is known as one of the most effective cancer treatment equipment. As this medical equipment is enormous in size and in complexity, Hyundai E&C is devoting its cutting-edge technologies and extensive construction knowhow into the construction of the optimized infrastructure to install and operate the state-of-the-art equipment. Following the construction led by Hyundai E&C, Toshiba Corporation will embark on the establishment of the heavy-ion therapy system, which makes Hyundai E&C more cautious about every detail of the construction by taking into account the relations to the follow-up construction. To conduct the construction works in a more accurate and precise way, Hyundai E&C introduced BIM and smart construction technologies to the construction site.
Korea’s first heavy-ion cancer therapy facility is under construction, which is expected to open a new era for cancer treatment. Heavy-ion therapy aims to accelerate carbon-ion beam to up to 70 percent of the speed of light and deliver the radiation beam to tumors in a bid to destroy cancer cells. Unlike the existing cancer treatments, the method can minimize the effects of radiation on the surrounding organs and normal cells and greatly reduce the treatment period, lending the heavy-ion therapy equipment the nickname of a “dream device for cancer treatment.” Hyundai E&C is making its all-out efforts to lay the foundation for the outstanding medical equipment to shine through.
[ The application of smart construction technologies has significantly enhanced constructability ]
This multipurpose building of seven floors above ground and five basement levels will accommodate the Heavy Ion Cancer Therapy Center and relevant research facilities, along with a part of the College of Music. The Heavy Ion Cancer Therapy Center, to be located throughout the fifth basement level to the first basement level, will have an accelerator room designed to produce and accelerate carbon ion, two rotating gantry rooms, one fixed treatment room, a power supply room, a cooling room and a heat exchange room. Among them, the accelerator room is situated in the fourth basement level, while the superconducting rotating gantry treatment rooms will be located throughout the fifth basement level to the third basement level. The Heavy Ion Cancer Therapy Center will provide two rotating gantry rooms, three storeys tall, which is the first of its kind in the world.
Medical facilities basically require complex structures with regard to machinery, electricity and equipment. Moreover, it is essential to completely understand each space since requirements are different depending on properties of medical equipment. Shielding facilities are of utmost importance in a radiation treatment center, in that they prevent the activation of structures and radiation exposure of patients. In this regard, the project site increased the shielding rate by building more than 2.5-meter thick concrete walls and ceilings for the major rooms on the underground levels and using steel plates of thickness ranging from 50 centimeters to one meter. The construction site cooperated with the Research and Development Division to secure the quality of the concrete structures whose hydration heat control is considered significant.
[ The Heavy Ion Cancer Therapy Center at Yonsei University consists of a heavy-ion accelerator room, two rotating gantry rooms and a fixed treatment room. ]
As heavy-ion therapy devices are complicated in structure and so rare that only about 10 facilities of the same kind are currently in operation around the world, the biggest challenge facing Hyundai E&C was to fully understand the equipment. Most of all, it was urgently needed to communicate with Toshiba in an active way. Video conferences were conducted to agree with the positions of wiring and piping, prevent possible interferences, and help Toshiba to understand Korea’s regulations on clean fire extinguishing agents. BIM drawings, close to real images, played a huge role in overcoming many obstacles as the pandemic made it impossible for both companies to meet and discuss in person.
Hyundai E&C paid more attention to smoothness of the lines and floors through which the heavy-ion beam goes. A top priority was put on precision construction, so that the allowable errors of the intervals and heights of anchors spacing equipment pads in the gantry rooms range from minus four to plus four millimeters, and the allowable error of floor smoothness ranges from minus five to zero millimeters.
[ Thick steel plates are being installed to shield radiation(left). Laser scanning enables workers to accurately identify the work status in a three dimensional view. ]
Hyundai E&C adopted its first NRC (New Paradigm Reinforced Concrete) method with the aim to build the medical center within the limited site at the university campus. The NRC method was designed to install the columns and beams fabricated at factories in a construction site and then place concrete. The method utilizes steel-made permanent molds, instead of conventional ones, leading to effectively securing quality and reducing construction periods and costs. In addition, a decrease in cross sections of columns could increase the efficiency of space use in the limited site.
The project site is making concerted efforts to successfully complete the construction of the Heavy Ion Cancer Therapy Center at Yonsei University in October 2021. The new medical center is expected to cement its position as a new hope for cancer patients and their families.
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