Fairfield Inn & Suites

Pittsburgh, PA





Structural Depth Study

This thesis study examined the implications related to redesigning the gravity and lateral systems of the Fairfield Inn and Suites. The current design of the building includes load bearing concrete masonry walls, transfer beams, and an auger cast pile foundation that create a larger overall building weight. The redesign completed in the structural depth study explored steel moment frames rather than the load bearing concrete masonry walls in an attempt to reduce the building weight placed on the foundation. This would eliminate the use of the transfer beams in the current design. The design also examined a modified layout in the shear walls that result in the lateral force resisting system of the building.

The steel gravity system resulted in a decrease to the overall building weight. Structurally, the redesign of the gravity system does prove to be an efficient option for the building. The decrease in building weight resulted in a reduced base shear value on the building. The modified shear wall layout reduced the number of shear walls, resulting in a redesign of the shear wall reinforcement to resist seismic loads. A lateral optimization study was included as part of the structural depth study to see if a modified shear wall layout would provide greater resistance to the loads. The modified layout proved to be the optimal design as it reduced the overall torsion present on the building and reduced the required number of piles in the foundation.

Breadth Studies

The steel moment frame gravity system does affect the façade of the Fairfield Inn and Suites. Without the number of exterior shear walls, the façade can be more versatile. The first breadth study focuses on improvements in guest comfort with respect to natural daylight penetration verse heat transfer through the wall system. A brick veneer façade system and curtain wall system were researched and compared as optimal façade options for the redesigned steel frame. The second breadth study examined the impact that the redesign structural system has on the construction schedule and cost.

A pdf version of the full thesis report may be viewed here. (April 6, 2010)

A pdf version of the executive summary may be viewed here. (April 6, 2010)

A pdf version of the thesis report only (without appendices) may be viewed here. (April 6, 2010)

A pdf version of the appendices may be viewed here. (April 6, 2010)









This page was last updated on April 6, 2010 by Amanda Smith and is hosted by the AE Department ©2010

User 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 Amanda 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 this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.