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.



Executive Summary:

The Butler Health System – New Inpatient Tower Addition/Remodel consists of approximately 206,000 square feet. The addition is adjacent but not connected to two previous additions and is situated in the inside north-west corner of the two existing structures. The structures are all separated by a three inch expansion joint.

The following report includes a description of the existing structural elements and force resisting systems which includes a composite deck and composite beam construction for the gravity system and braced frames for the lateral system.

A new gravity system is being proposed to reduce construction time and costs. With this new redesign the lateral force resisting system will have to be reexamined for a change in the controlling load case because of the redistribution of contributing loads since seismic and wind calculations from Technical Report #2 were so close together. The new design will consist of castellated built up girders with infill beams only at the intersection of columns. Research on the availability and fabrication of such members will have to be done for a final cost comparison as a comparable or viable option.

Breadth Options:

The two breadth options are both related to the redesigned system. The first being the construction management aspect of comparing the two systems costs and scheduling. If these cannot be reduced then the alternate system should be viewed as a non workable solution. Sound transmission between levels is examined as the second breadth, in particular the sound transmission between the first and second floor levels where there are conference and board rooms directly above chiller, mechanical, and boiler rooms. Alternative means of sound isolation will be investigated if levels are above acceptable levels. It is anticipated that the new design will reduce these levels below that of the existing design by the nature of the thicker anticipated 10” hollow planks versus the existing composite metal deck.

MAE Considerations:

A 3D computer model will be done of the existing structure and the new design using RAM or ETABS depending on which software is better adapted to analyze the structures.


Revised MAE Considerations:

To meet the requirements for the MAE aspect of the proposal the information gained from AE 534; steel connections, will be used to design the connections at a typical column including a brace and a typical brace to beam intersection. These designs on the construction documents were left to the contractor's design and not included with the drawings. The connections will be analyzd to determine if welding or bolting would be more constructable and cost effective.



Revised Breadth Considerations:

The first breadth option of construction management, costs and scheduling comparisons, of the two systems has been changed to an architectural analysis of relocating the chiller room to a lower level and moving an existing storage room to the chiller room location without significantly increasing total square footage. This is an alternative to adding acoustical treatments to thechiller room to control noise levels.


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 March 16, 2010; by Jim Rotunno and is hosted by the AE Department ©2010