Kyle Goodyear

Construction Management

C-5 Fuel Cell Facility

Martinsburg, WV

This is a student-generated Capstone Project e-Portfolio (CPEP) produced in conjunction with the AE Senior Thesis e-Studio.


The Fuel Cell Facility was awarded to Kinsley Construction, Inc. according to a lump sum bid based on a design-build contract agreement. Through this contract Kinsley Construction is the manager of all construction and design, but the design is being mainly controlled by LSC Design, a sister company of Kinsley Construction.  Kinsley is also acting as a general contractor for the project and is performing all sitework as well as fabricating and erecting all steel. All of the other subcontracts, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, masonry, and fire protection are lump sum contracts according to the bids that were collected by Kinsley Construction.

This project features some unique site conditions due to its location on a military base as well an airport. Concerning the military base, access to the site is restricted at a guard shack so travel time to the site is increased. Also, background checks are required of all employees who will be working on site, so there is a potential with labor force issues. As far as the airport goes, the Fuel Cell Facility is immediately next to the taxiway so extreme care must be taken to make sure no foreign materials end up in areas where planes will be moving. Special requirements must also be met to make all potential obstructions visible from the sky for incoming planes. This includes flags and lights on the cranes as well as on the structure as it is going up.

The structural system for the Fuel Cell Facility is a structural steel system with a drilled caisson foundation. There are 3’ and 6’ diameter caissons that are located along the exterior edges of the building at varying spacing. These caissons are laid out symmetrically about the centerline of the building and vary in depth from 12’ to 25’. Pier caps with cross sections ranging from 4’ x 4’6” to 14’ x 5’6” are made with 3000 psi, reinforced concrete. Wide flange and hollow structural steel shapes are used for the columns of the building, with sizes of W33x291 to W40x593 and HSS6x4x1/2 to HSS 16x8x1/2.

Above the support areas of the building, there are W24x94 beams with 27’ spans supporting 18K4 joists and W36x393 girders with 30’ spans supporting 24LH joists. In the hangar area of the building the structural steel is broken into two parts, the portions that will cover the wings of the plane and the portion that covers the fuselage, or the center of the building which is much taller. At the interface of these two portions, on both sides, there is a steel truss configuration which spans approximately 219 feet. The trusses consist of W14x500 and W14x605 beams to form the top and bottom chords with interior members varying in size between W14x99 to W14x283. On the wings of the building, a grid of W12x65 and W24x94 beams make up the typical structural system. The center of the building has a grid of W12x87 and W16x67 beams typically.

Governing Codes: Load calculations per ASCE 7-02
    Concrete design and placing per ACI 318 and 301

A new service transformer, on the North side of the building, will convert the utility distribution of 12.47 kV (delta) to the building utilization of 480Y/277V. Service for the building is provided from 200A load break junctions coming from an electrical cabinet in the electrical room. In the hangar area, 400Hz receptacles are provided as well as three 480V electrical and air compressor connection points. Connection points for 400Hz generators are located within the electrical room.

In the support spaces of the building, artificial light is provided by a variety of styles of luminaires, some recessed and some pendant. All of these luminaires use 277V fluorescent T8 lamps.  The hangar area is lit by 277V metal halide pendant luminaires, each providing 1000W of light. Outside of the building, 277V high pressure sodium luminaires are wall mounted, as well as 120V LED lamps which are mounted along the roof lines as obstruction lights. Emergency lighting is provided within the building by 277V LED lamps.

The Fuel Cell Facility mechanical system, like every other system, is different for the hangar than that of the support areas. The hangar area, due to the sheer volume and enormous doors, has a heating system and a ventilation system, but no cooling system. The heating is provided by 13 vented infrared radiant heaters which provide 300MBH each and are suspended from the structural steel. Ventilation comes from two 15,000 CFM make-up air units which are located, one each, in the two mechanical rooms. Inline centrifugal exhaust fans also support the ventilation system. For the support areas, the HVAC system consists of two 300GPM boilers, a 4,000 CFM air handling unit which connects to 4 VAV boxes, and 3 energy recovery units which average 1400 CFM each.

Governing Code: Per ASHRAE 90.1


Fire Protection:
A wet pipe automatic fire sprinkler system provides fire protection for the entire building. The water for this system is supplied from an existing fire pump house near the site. In the hangar area of the Fuel Cell Facility, a low-level high expansion foam system is also provided in addition to the wet pipe system.

Governing Codes: Design of wet pipe for support areas per NFPA 13
                                    Design of wet pipe for hangar area per NFPA 13 with stringent                modifications
                           Design of HEF per ANG-ETL 02-15 Fire Protection Engineering Criteria
                                    Installation per NFPA 72 and NFPA 70

The Fuel Cell Facility has only one floor level and therefore does not have any elevators or other types of transportation systems.

A public address paging system consisting of horns and speakers is spread throughout the entire building. It is designed and installed per NFPA 70.


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 Kyle Goodyear. 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.

The Capstone Project Electronic Portfolio (CPEP) is a web-based project and information center. It contains material produced for a year-long Senior Thesis class. Its purpose, in addition to providing central storage of individual assignments, is to foster communication and collaboration between student, faculty consultant, course instructors, and industry consultants. This website is dedicated to the research and analysis conducted via guidelines provided by the Department of Architectural Engineering. For an explanation of this capstone design course and its requirements, click here.
Senior Thesis The Pennsylvania State University Architectural Engineering AE Computer Labs

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This page was last updated on October 6, 2009 by Kyle Goodyear and is hosted by the AE Department ©2009