McCarthy Building Cos. placed liquid-nitrogen-cooled concrete as part of a linear accelerator vault at the three-floor, 85,000-square-foot Northeast Texas Cancer and Research Institute in Tyler, Texas. The linear accelerators required 3,065 cubic yards of concrete, with a pair of 1,100-cubic-yard vault walls being placed, leading to the firm using liquid nitrogen in the mix and replacing water in the mixers with ice to bring the internal temperature down.



Medical facilities, especially those specializing in cancer treatment and research, pose unique construction challenges. Even more when construction takes place during a heat wave and in the face of post-pandemic supply-chain delays.

McCarthy Building Companies Inc., no stranger to multiphase healthcare and research facility projects, met these challenges head on beginning in May 2021 when it broke ground on the 85,000-sq.-ft., three-floor Northeast Texas Cancer and Research Institute on the CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital Campus in Tyler, Texas. The facility is scheduled for completion in October.

Within Northeast Texas Cancer and Research Institute is a CHRISTUS Health 7,500-sq.-ft. Christ Health advanced imaging center equipped with 3 Tesla MRI, PET/CT, ultrasound, x-ray and nuclear medicine.

And an additional 10,000 sq. ft. of clinic space will be used to support the surgical oncology programs of Louise Herrington Cancer Center, an inpatient facility located within the Bradley-Thompson Tower at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital, providing advanced inpatient care for cancer patients. The construction also includes a 620-car parking garage.

Such an array of advanced medical technologies requires careful construction of concrete shielding structures as thick as 9 ft. Further, the earthwork performed by McCarthy posed challenges because of the building’s position.

Built into the side of a hill, there’s a 23-ft. difference from one side to the other. This called for the use of layback excavation methods and temporary shotcrete (spray concrete) retention walls to allow for the concrete foundation work to be completed on time.