Student Biography
Building Statistics
Thesis Abstract
Technical Assignments
Thesis Research
Thesis Proposal
Final Report
e-Studio Website

User Note:
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 Mr. Bell. 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 incorportated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.

This page was last updated on April 26, 2010 , By Chris Bell and is hosted by the AE Department ©2009
Building Statistics
Part I

Project Overview

Location: Baltimore, MD - Historic Fell Point Neighborhood
  Site Picture
Building Occupant: Morgan Stanley is under contract to occupy 50% of the building
Occupancy Type: IBC Class B - Business - Majority of the building is office space with retail and restaurant space on the first level
Size: Approximately 240,000 SF
Number of Stories: 8 total stories all above grade, 7 occupied floors and and 8th floor mechanical penthouse
Dates of Construction: Oct. 2007 - March 2010
Project Costs: Total cost is ~$100 Million. Construction cost is ~$54 Million including tenant fit-out. Base building cost is ~$23 Million.
Special Considerations: The building site was originally and old chemical plant that loaded the soil with chromium making it a Brownfield Site. The project is also attempting a LEED Silver Rating.
Project Delivery Method: Design-Bid-Build
Project Team
Harbor Point Development, LLC. - A division of H&S Properties Development Corp.
Construction Manager:

Oct. 2007 - May 2009: Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Inc.

May 2009 - Completion: Armada Hoffler

Design Architect:
Architect of Record:
Mechanical/Electrical Engineer:
Structural Engineer:
Civil Engineer:
Foundation Design:
Telecom/Security Consultant:
Water Feature Consultant:

Architectural Overview:

East Elevation Thames.JPGThe Thames St. Wharf Office Building sits on the western edge of the historic Fells Point neighborhood in downtown Baltimore and is the first stage in the Harbor Point Development Project.  It is bordered by S. Caroline St. to the East, empty lots to the North and West that are also part of the Harbor Point Development Plan and will be developed at a later date, and the Harbor Channel to the south.  The building is built partially over land and partially out over the water into the Harbor Channel.  Surrounding three sides of the building will be a promenade that will connect Harbor East to Fells Point.  The promenade will allow boats to dock directly in front of and next to the building allowing the neighborhood to keep the feel of its fishing wharf roots while it transitions into a more modern commercial area. 

                The building itself is a seven story building with an 8th floor mechanical penthouse.  The first floor of the building will be for retail and restaurant spaces along thecultural_harborpoint_03.jpg promenade.  The second level will be the main lobby for the offices above and levels three-seven will be office space.  There are two main elevator and stair banks in the building, one in the northern half and the second in the southern half both sitting in the center of each area.  

                The exterior is partially glass and partially brick with large windows.  The all glass portion sits out over the water and along the promenade (Fig. 3) while the brick and glass combination sections are on the northern end of the building away from the water and facing the yet to be developed surrounding sites (Fig. 2). 



Applicable Codes:

Baltimore City Building, Fire and Related Codes 2003 Edition. The Baltimore City Code adopts and amends the 2000 editions of the Internation Building Code, the International Fire Code and the International Mechanical Code and also the NFPA 70 National Electric Code 1999 edition.



B-2-2: Community Business District


Historical Requirements:


Building Enclosure


                The building façade consists of two different types of wall systems.  The first type is a stick built aluminum and glass system.  The aluminum rails are 7 ½" deep and support the glazing which is 1” clear insulating glass.  The second major system used is a brick veneer with stacked bonds on top of 2” rigid insulation with an adhered vapor barrier between the insulation and concrete structural system.  Both systems are supported by embeds placed in the concrete structural system


                The roof system which is all supported by a concrete roof slab is a multi-layer system.  The system from bottom up is:

  • 3” rigid insulation
  • Fully adhered roof membrane
  • Drainage mat
  • Filter fabric

Placed on top of the filter fabric is either planting medium for a green roof which will be discussed in the sustainability section or concrete pavers for the sections not covered by green roof. 

Sustainability Features

  The Thames St. Wharf Project is planning to achieve a LEED Silver Rating so it incorporates multiple sustainable features.  First the project site is the site of an old chemical factory that leached chemicals and pollutants, mainly Chromium, into the soil.  This makes the site a Brownfield Redevelopment site and created the need for special procedures and precautions during construction.  After excavation the site had to be built up in a safe manner.  This included a placing a non-woven geotextile under above a prepared sub-grade at most 2’-0” below the surface or foundation.  On top of the vapor barrier #57 was placed to prevent any moisture from climbing to the surface.  On top of the stone another layer of non-woven textile was placed.  Above this a standard concrete slab and slab foundation was placed. 

The Building will also incorporate a green roof on a large portion of the exposed roof.  The green roof will reduce the heat island effect of the building as well as manage storm water and runoff.  Full details on the green roof are not available at this time.  The roofing under the green roof is the same roofing that is placed over the rest of the building as explained in the roofing under building systems. 

Other notable systems being incorporated into the design of the building are an under floor mechanical distribution system, lighting occupancy sensors, and zoning controls. 

Part II

The Thames St. Wharf Office Building is being delivered as a design-bid-build project. Before any construction could begin an asphalt parking lot had to be partially demolished around the building area to allow for excavation and construction.

The only restrictions for construction were that all sitework and excavation had to be performed by EWMI due to soil contamination, pile driving had to be limited to normal business hours due to neighborhood noise constraints and all structures placed in the water had to be approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Mid-way through construction the construction management firm Streuver Bros. Eccles & Rouse ran into financial difficulties and was forced to give up its CM responsabilities. On May 1, 2009 Armada Hoffler Construction took over as the CM for the project. There were issues with concrete coordination. Coordination between the concrete contractor and other subcontractors caused issues and some sleeves were moved from their designed location or omitted entirely. The PT system also caused some sleeves through the beams to be moved to prevent them from being crushed or compromising the structural integrity of the beams. There was also trouble with the coordination of the concrete system itself resulting in a system does not have the correct dimensions per the original design.

Structural System


The Foundation system for the Thames St. Wharf Office Building is a deep foundation consisting of concrete filled steel pipe piles. All of the piles, except those under the marine promenade, are 14" diameter x 1/2" wall with a conical tip. They are filled with 4000 psi concrete and reinforcing and are rated for 160 tons in compression. Under the marine promenade the steel pipe piles are 16" diam. x 1/2" wall with conical tips. These piles are filled with 5000 psi concrete and reinforcing and are rated for 120 tons in compression. Both pile types are coated with a tar epoxy to prevent corrosion. Mild reinforced concrete pile caps sit on top of the steel pipe piles and support the slab-on-grade. The pile caps that support the shear walls are 3'-6" deep and are 8000 psi concrete. The rest of the pile caps under the S.O.G. are also 3'-6" deep but are 5000psi concrete. The SOG and slab edge turn down beams are also mild reinforced concrete. The reinforcing bars around the columns on the south end of the build are epoxy coated. Both the SOG and edge turn down beams are 4000 psi concrete and are poured monolithically.


The superstructure for the TSWOB consists of post tensioned concrete slabs and beams with mild reinforced columns and shear walls. The Slabs and beams are both 5000 psi concrete and are poured monolithically. The PT cables through the beams are in bundles ranging from 3 cables up to 7 cables and in the SOG the PT cables are layed is single cables in both directions. The shear walls are heavily reinforced with mild reinforcing and consist of 8000 psi self leveling concrete. The columns on the ground level and level 1, and a few key columns on levels 2 and 3 also consist of 8000 psi concrete and are reinforced with mild steel. the rest of the columns in the building are 5000 psi concrete and are also reinforced with mild steel.

The roof and penthouse are wide flange beams and columns supporting a 3" 20G metal deck. Hollow structural steel members are used as cross bracing for the roof/penthouse steel system.

Mechanical System
The mechanical system consists of two (2) self contained air handling units (SCU) per floor. Each unit supplies air for half of a floor. All of the SCU's are variable air volume units except the one supplying the first floor lobby which is a constant air volume unit. The ground and first floor lobby areas are supplied by overhead ducts. The rest of the building is supplied by under-floor duct work. The under floor system pumps air to sections under the floor where it is allowed to flow freely until it moves through the grilles and diffusers into an occupied space. Static pressure sensors are used to ensure that air does not become stagnant under the floor. The system also utilizes two (2) energy recovery units and three (3) heat recovery units all located on the roof. There are also three (3) constant volume AHU's located in rooms that are sealed off from the standard mechanical systems.
Electrical System
A 4000A 277/480V 3-phase system is supplied via two (2) transformers located in the electrical duct bank room on the ground floor in the northernmost section of the building. Each transformer runs through a switchboard and then into the building. Each transformer/switchboard combo serves either the north or south half of the building. Two 2000 kW emergency generators are located on the roof of the building and are used as back up for the tenant spaces. Additionally a 500 kW generator is used for the fire suppression system.
Fire Suppression System
The buildings fire suppression system consists of a dry system in the loading dock and a wet system for the rest of the building. The water is fed from the municipal water system and powered by a pump located on the ground floor of the building. Standard automatic sprinkler heads are installed.
Lighting System
The lighting for the Thames St. Wharf Building is all run on a 277V system. All of the interior lamps are either T8's or CFL's. The exterior roof light uses a metal halide lamp. All of the T8 lamps used in the building are 38W lamps. Multiple different CFL wattages are used. In total there are 14 different lighting fixtures used.