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NOTE: While great efforts have been taken to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work-in-progress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Tyler Smith. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into the thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.

Final Thesis Report

Executive Summary

The investigations in this thesis report uncovered a number of aspects of the project that will help maintain a safe and functional building environment. It is the nature of contemporary hospital buildings to protect their occupants in as many ways as possible.

The exterior enclosure system has a large role in this as the primary component that protects the building environment from the elements of nature. Failures in the building envelope can be costly both in money from lost energy and repair costs, not to mention potential health threats that can arise from mold growth. Common areas of the building envelope failure include interfaces between wall types, penetrations, and seals around openings. The installation processes should be monitored frequently to be sure things are being installed as they have been designed. It is imperative that the building envelope receive the proper attention throughout the entire design and construction process.

Unitization of the curtain wall proved to be unfeasible primarily due to the large expense of renting a crane, a lack of space onsite, and a large risk incurred from trying to prefabricate sections of a complex wall of irregular shape. If the curtain wall covered a much larger and area and were more uniform, offsite fabrication may have proved to be a more efficient method. However in this case it is recommended that the curtain walls be stick‐built as planned.

The site of the proposed building is surrounded on three adjacent sides by sensitive hospital facilities. As a major new construction project in proximity to such facilities, the construction of this building is classified in the highest risk group under the AIA’s infection control guidelines. All of the precautions outlined in these guidelines should be carried out throughout the entire duration of the project.

Upon investigation, the proposed ultraviolet light system proved itself to be extremely cost effective. The system will prevent microbial growth on the cooling coil and in turn will avoid the costs associated with an increased cooling load and fan pressure. This report demonstrates that the proposed system will pay itself off in savings in only a few years. It is absolutely recommended that the system mentioned herein be installed into all of the air‐handling units in the new Wilmer Eye Institute building. Aside from the cost savings to the facility owner, the system’s air disinfecting potential is an excellent way to improve the overall indoor air quality of the building.

The key finding upon investigation of the three storey expansion is that it is illogical to design the air handling system around an expansion that may never be built. Any time, effort or money put into to planning the air‐handling system around this would be wasted if the expansion is never built. On the other hand, it is reasonable to design the structural system around potential plans for an expansion since it is essentially impossible to retrofit an existing structure to be able support three extra floors. However a mechanical system is significantly less permanent, and constructing an isolated HVAC system with a rooftop penthouse not an unrealistic option.

This thesis project has provided an all around unique opportunity for learning a number of different aspects relating to maintaining a positive building environment. The knowledge acquired here is valuable both personally and to the greater good of the building engineering profession.


To view the full report, click here (.pdf, 5.2 MB).

To view the appedix, click here (.pdf, 3.4 MB).

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This page was last updated on 04.30.08 by Tyler Smith and is hosted by the AE Department ©2007