James D. Rotunno
Structural Option


Butler Health System
New Inpatient Tower
Addition & Renovation
Butler, PA

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





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 Jim Rotunno. 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.

Thesis Final Report

The following report is a compilation of the previous three technical reports and proposal for the past year's research and analysis of the Butler Health System,s - New Inpatient Tower Addition and Renovation.

To view the full final report, click here

To view the condensed final report (without appendices), click here

Executive Summary

This is the fourth report in a yearlong senior thesis project for The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Architectural Engineering. The subject of this thesis project is The Butler Health System – New Inpatient Tower Addition and Remodel involving a structural depth topic, two breadth area studies, and a member connection design. The primary structural topic is whether or not the proposed redesign of the gravity system; a girder‐slab system, for this type of structure is not only theoretically
possible but a practical solution as well based on depth and breadth studies.

Existing structural design features are initially discussed including foundation and gravity with a primary focus on the lateral force resisting system. An analysis of the design codes and standards are included as well as a determination as wind being the
controlling lateral force. The lateral load analysis contains force, distributions, methods, deflection criteria, over‐turning moment, and member checks. Conclusions drawn at the end of the lateral analysis reveal that the structures lateral system is
designed for strength rather than drift criteria.

The gravity force resisting system was redesigned from a composite deck and composite beam system with a total depth of six and one half inch lightweight concrete to a girder‐slab floor system which uses precast hollow‐core planks with partially grouted cores, a two inch structural concrete topping and a system of modified castellated W‐shape steel members. The slabs rest on the bottom flange of the modified members or HSS shapes used as “shims” and are approximately ½” above the top flange adding approximately one foot of unobstructed ceiling cavity without increasing floor‐to‐floor heights.

Connections were designed to complete the load path from the gravitational and lateral loads to the columns. Several typical connection designs were completed to ensure functionality and constructability of the systems. Breadth topics of construction management and an acoustical study of conflicting use spaces; which includes an architectural redesign were completed.

Conclusions at the end of each section and the report found that on this particular structure the proposed solution is possible but may not be a practical solution due to costs, delivery method and location; however, the same structure located elsewhere
requiring lower floor‐to‐floor heights may benefit from the use of this type of system.

M.A.E. Acknoledgement

As part of the depth study and M.A.E. requirement; connections at bracing locations and maximum load carrying areas were analyzed to determine if the necessary simple shear connections could be designed according to AISC 13. The connections had to be designed in locations with reduced depths and increased loading requirements making the use of tables and calculated values unuseable.

Senior Thesis Main Page | The Pennsylvania State University | Architectural Engineering Department | AE Computer Labs

Contact James Rotunno: jdr274@gmail.com

This page was last updated on April 06, 2010; by Jim Rotunno and is hosted by the AE Department ©2010