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Thesis Proposal


Updated Proposal (3MB):
Posted 02/17/2010
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Proposal Update 2

Updated Proposal (2MB):
Posted 01/14/2010
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Original Proposal (2MB):
Posted 12/11/2009
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The following proposal outlines three analyses that will be performed with regard to the Rydal Park Medical Center Addition. The focused theme for this research is improving efficiency both within the project team and the building design. This research will cover many sides of the design and construction process including project delivery, energy efficiency, sustainable performance, and photovoltaic design. During the spring 2010 semester this research will be performed, analyzed, critiqued and compiled for presentation to the Penn State Architectural Engineering Faculty.

Final Research Schedule Click Here (Last updated on 05/03/2010)

Analysis #1: Critical Industry Issue - Integrated Project Delivery Contracting (IPD): Enhancing Collabration and Improving Goal Alignment within Project Teams

The idea to research this topic developed through the personal observation of the disconnected project team during the 2009 summer. Analyzing this project team and comparing it to that of a collaborative project team will pinpoint elements of success. Whiting-Turner is contracted as the construction manager at risk with a negotiated GMP. This method will be compared to an alternate method such as integrated project delivery (IPD). The final result of this research will be an execution guide that will assist project teams in the future.

Analysis #2: Alternate Mechanical System

Many times mechanical systems are chosen on the basis of low upfront costs. An energy model of this building will be developed in order to assist with the selection of an alternate mechanical system. The alternate mechanical system will be selected on the basis of reducing the life cycle energy cost of this building. At the same time a short interval production schedule will be created for the many trades involved with MEP coordination.

Analysis #3: Photovoltaic Array Powering Parking Garage Lighting
(Major Update 02/17/2010 - Post Go-No Go Meeting)

This analysis will build upon the topic of energy efficiency within buildings by utilizing a photovoltaic array to power two levels of parking garage space.  The current building design does not have equipment currently located on the roof and is not located near any tall buildings or trees. This provides a perfect surface to utilize a PV array which will help cut energy costs of lighting the parking garage.  This analysis will cover material discussed in AE 597D (Sustainable Building Design) through the design and implementation of the PV array.  Along with this, the roof members will be properly redesigned in order to support these loads.

Mechanical Breadth:

With the use of Energy 10, a model of the energy demands of the building will be created. This model will assist with the selection of an alternate mechanical system. Knowledge of mechanical design will be displayed through hand calculations and checks to the Energy 10 model. This study will also tie into the study of the building envelope. If an improved enclosure system is selected, the demand on the mechanical system will be minimized allowing for sizing and redundancy reductions.

Structural Breadth:

The current roof has not been designed to house any PV panels or equipment. A PV array will be designed that will power the lighting of the parking garage on the first two floors of this building. An analysis of the roof’s structural system must be conducted to ensure that the PV panels and accompanying support system can be supported. This analysis may require several structural members to be redesigned in order to carry the additional equipment.

Incorporation of 500-Level MAE Courses:

Knowledge gained from the graduate courses listed below will be utilized to study the delivery system, analyze energy efficiency and sustainability, and explore the building envelope. These courses have laid the groundwork to aid in selecting a more efficient delivery method, develop an execution guide for enhanced project collaboration, improve the level of sustainable design and to locate elements within the envelop requiring improved detailing.

AE 542: Building Enclosure Design
AE 572: Project Development and Delivery Planning
AE 597D: Sustainable Building Methods