Adam Kaczmarek Structural Option


Cambria Suites Hotel Pittsburgh, PA


Final Presentation

Building Statistics

General Building Data











Primary Project Team


































Design And Functional Components

Cambria Suites Hotel is the newest, upscale, contemporary all-suite hotel located at 1320 Center Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  This luxury hotel is built adjacent to the new CONSOL Energy Center, home to the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team, and numerous concerts and special events.  The 142-suite hotel contains a total of 7 levels above grade and was built on a quite challenging site.  The Plaza Floor level will mainly consist of a few bistro-style restaurants which open to an outdoor terrace which will overlook the city of Pittsburgh and the CONSOL Energy Center.  At the Hotel Floor level, guests will be greeted by an airy two-story lobby where they can take part in a state-of-the-art fitness center or the relaxing indoor pool and spa.  At the North end of the Second Floor level, a steel Porte Cochere will be cantilevered to cover part of the main entrance. In addition, the property will feature an 1800 square foot presidential suite with one of a kind skyline view of downtown Pittsburgh and a 7th floor concierge lounge that will offer a wet bar and lounge space for guests to use and enjoy.  The hotel is fully landscaped and will also have an exclusive 143 space onsite parking garage with access to the CONSOL Energy Center for event patrons staying at the property.  The Hotel Floor level will have a precast concrete pedestrian bridge leading to the top level of the parking garage.  The bridge is supported by the hotel and the garage.  The South end of the bridge will be supported by the garage on slide-bearings to allow for differential lateral movement between the two structures. 


The exterior of Cambria Suites Hotel is mainly brick and cast-stone veneer, architectural decisions made to resemble the bordering CONSOL Energy Center.  A lighter color brick is used from the 2nd-Roof Floor levels, with the addition of a cast-stone band at Floor levels 2 and 7.  The darker color brick is used from the 2nd Floor level and below, as well as vertical strips to separate window pairings and to accent building corners.


Major National Model Codes

¨ The International Building Code, 2006

¨ City of Pittsburgh IBC 2006 Amendments

¨ NFPA 13

¨ ACI 318




¨ Commercial

¨ Allowable building height is 11 stories with maximum building height of 160 feet.


No historical requirements apply to this site.


Building Enclosure

Building Façade

The building envelope for Cambria Suites is similar for all walls which is a load bearing masonry wall structure.  The lateral system is reinforced masonry shear walls.  The typical exterior building façade consists of brick veneer and cast-stone veneer bands with light gauge stud back-up. Behind the brick or cast stone veneer is a 3” air space with 2” rigid insulation, 8” CMU, 1-1/2” steel stud furring which supports a 5/8” gypsum wallboard finish. Light gauge headers for back-up, and loose angle lintels are used for typical brick support.  For lower floor areas with large openings, brick is supported by steel beams with brick-support plates. 



The roof is a Thermoplastic Polyolefin Roofing System.  This roofing system consists of tapered, 3” rigid insulation placed on 10” precast concrete planks sloping ¼” per foot into 6” diameter roof drains.  The roof membrane is adhered to the tapered insulation and has a one hour fire rating.


Sustainability Features

At this time, Cambria Suites has no indication that sustainability was a main consideration in the design of the building.  Since it is a franchise hotel, sustainability is difficult to implement in all of their building designs.  Although there is no distinct sustainability or LEED ratings, Cambria Suites managed to incorporate a number of energy efficient features into the design.


Primary Engineering Systems


Cambria Suites was constructed as a design-bid-build delivery method.  The project broke ground early November 2009, and is expected to be complete in September 2010 with reservations beginning in December 2010.  The projected cost of Cambria Suites is $25,000,000 and Snavely Building Company was awarded the General Contractor for the project.  Cambria Suites is classified as 1B Modified Fire Resistive Construction due to it’s noncombustible or slow-burning exterior bearing walls and load-bearing portions of exterior walls.


Electrical/Lighting System

The electrical service to Cambria Suites Hotel is a 150 kW, 208/120V, 3 phase, 4 wire system and an emergency back-up system.  The typical distribution panel is a 208/120V, 3000A, 3 phase, 4 wire system which services other panels at different floor levels.  Each level of the hotel is supplied with 6-7 panel boards located in their respective electrical room.  Additional panels are added on the Plaza level to accommodate for the mechanical rooms, pool, fitness center, elevators, and the emergency generator.


The lighting system primarily consists of  florescent luminaires with recessed, surface, pendant, and wall mounting.  The roadway and parking is comprised of High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH) ballasts.


Mechanical System

The mechanical system for the Cambria Suites Hotel was designed for multiple areas of the building; mainly guest rooms and public spaces.  The public spaces located on both the Plaza level and Hotel level will be comprised of a variety of air handling units (AHU) ranging from 525-1400 CFM.  In addition, air handling units will be on each remainder floor to service the corridors and tower suites of the hotel.  All other guest rooms will be equipped with small room A/C units (PTAC) which have an airflow of 260 CFM.  The pool area will be equipped with a pool ventilation unit (PPU) that removes 21 lb/hr of moisture from the air and produces an airflow of 2150 CFM.  The roof of the hotel will consist of two make-up air units (MUAU) with a rate of 4900 CMF, three rooftop units (RTU) ranging from 1000-2080 CFM, and several air cooled condensing units (ACCU) which are also located at the Hotel level and Second Floor level.


Structural System

The structural system for Cambria Suites Hotel consists primarily of reinforced concrete masonry walls and precast hollow-core concrete planks, as well as, interior gravity columns and beams to support the floor planks.  The foundation incorporates drilled cast-in-place concrete caissons and grade beams to support the load bearing walls and columns.  The ground floor is comprised of a 4” concrete slab on grade, as well as, 10” precast concrete plank in the Southern portion of the building.  The 4” slab on grade is reinforced with 6x6-W1.4 welded wire fabric and has 4000 PSI normal weight concrete.  The slab increases to 8” in thickness with #5 @ 16” O.C. in the South-East corner of the building, and increases to 24” with #5 @ 12” O.C. within the core shear walls where the elevator shaft is located.


The typical floor system of Cambria Suites Hotel consists of 10” precast hollow-core concrete plank with 1” leveling topping.  The precast plank allowed for quicker erection, longer spans, open interior spaces, and serves as an immediate work deck for other trades.  Concrete compressive strength for the precast plank floors is 5000 PSI and uses normal weight concrete.  Typical spans of the plank floors range from 30”-0” to 40’-0”.  The floor system is supported by exterior load bearing concrete masonry walls, as well as, interior steel beam and columns.  The interior steel beams range in size from W16x26 to W24x94, and steel columns range in size from W8x15 to W18x175.  Each column connects into concrete piers within the grade beams via base plates which vary in size.  The exterior bearing masonry walls and steel beams will take a reaction load from the precast concrete plank flooring, as well as other gravity and lateral loads from the levels above, which will then transfer thru steel columns and exterior bearing walls and thus transferring all loads to the foundation system.


The lateral system consists of reinforced concrete masonry shear walls.  The exterior shear walls, as well as the core interior shear walls, are constructed of 8” concrete masonry, with the exception of a few 12” concrete masonry walls on the lower floor levels.  All shear walls are solid concrete masonry walls which extend the entire height of the structure without openings for windows or doors.  The core shear walls are located around the staircases and elevator shafts.  The exterior shear walls are scattered around the perimeter of the building.  All shear walls have a compressive strength of 1500 PSI, except the shear walls supporting the Plaza level to the Third Floor level which have 2000 PSI concrete.


The roof structural system at both the Second level and the main Roof level uses untopped 10
 precast concrete plank.  Reinforced concrete masonry extends passed the Roof level to support a light gauge cornice which wraps the entire building.  A high roof is constructed for hotel identification purposes and uses 10”-16 GA light gauge roof joists @ 16” O.C., supported by 8”-20 GA light gauge wall framing below.  W8x21 hoist beams support the top of the elevator shaft which rest on 1/2”x7”x7” base plates.  There are a total of 8 drains located on the roof for the drainage system.


Engineering Support Systems

Fire Protection System

The Cambria Suites Hotel will be equipped with a combined standpipe and automatic sprinkler system in accordance to NFPA-13.  A Siamese connection for fire department use will be located outside the main lobby entrance on the Hotel level..  Water is supplied by an automatic fire pump with a rated flow rate of 750 GPM, 50 PSI head, and 40 HP system.  In addition, an in-line jockey pump will be installed to supply a rated flow rate of 10 GPM, 140 PSI head, 3 HP, 3600 RPM, and a 208V 3 phase system.   Smoke alarms will be installed in all suites and corridors, as well as strobe alarms in each suite.  Cambria Suites is classified as 1B Modified Fire Resistive Construction, which states that exterior non-bearing walls and roofing systems are designed with a one hour fire rating, while all other structural members are designed for a two hour fire rating.  In addition, all exit stairs and shaft enclosures will have two hour fire rating.


Transportation System

The Cambria Suites Hotel will incorporate three stair towers, and two elevator shafts.  The first elevator shaft will be in the central core of the  building, directly off of the lobby.  These two elevators will extend from the Plaza level to all levels above, with the elevator shaft over-run continuing to the Roof level.  The second elevator shaft will serve as a service elevator, which only extends from the Plaza level to the Hotel level.  One staircase (Stair A) will be adjacent to the main lobby elevators in the central core of the building, and extends from the Plaza level to the Hotel level.  The second staircase (Stair B), located on the North-East corner of the building, will extend from the Hotel level to the 7th Floor level.  The third staircase (Stair C) is located on the North-West corner of the building and will extend from Plaza Level to the 7th Floor level.


Telecommunications System

The central control room for Cambria Suites Hotel will be located in the Plaza level.  The central control room will then branch out to common Telecom/Data rooms that are located on each Floor level.  The typical telecommunication drops from each Telecom/Data room will consist of high speed data, telephone, and CATV wall outlets.  In addition, a rooftop satellite dish will be located on the roof.


Figure 1:  Site Plan

Figure 2:  A street view on Centre Avenue, looking West towards the City of  Pittsburgh.

Figure 3:  A view from inside the Consol Energy Center, looking North-East towards Cambria Suites Hotel and the Guest Parking Garage.

Figure 4:  A street view from Centre Avenue, looking at the front entrance of Cambria Suites.

A special thanks to D.L. Astorino Horizon Architects for the use of the renderings on this webpage.

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 Adam Kaczmarek. 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.”


This page was last updated on May 1, 2011 and is hosted by the AE Department © 2010-2011

Final Presentation

Building Name:


Cambria Suites Hotel @ CONSOL Energy Center

Location and Site:


1320 Centre Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA



Residential (R-1)

Occupant Type:





120,000 SF

Number of Stories:


7 levels above grade

Project Delivery Method:



Dates of Construction:


Completion prior to October 2010

Project Cost:


Projected at $25,000,000



Pittsburgh Arena Hotel Association, L.P.

375 Southpointe Blvd.

Canonsburg, PA 15317




Horizon Properties Group, LLC

375 Southpointe Blvd.

Suite 410

Canonsburg, PA 15317


Architect & Interior Design:


D.L. Astorino Horizon Architects

375 Southpointe Blvd.

Suite 210

Canonsburg, PA 15317            


Structural Engineer:


Atlantic Engineering Services

650 Smithfield Street

Suite 1200

Pittsburgh, PA 15222


MEP & Fire Protection Engineer:


Claitman Engineering Associates, Inc.

1340 Old Freeport Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15238


Civil Engineer:


Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.

333 Baldwin Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15205


Landscape Architect:


Klavon Design Associates

48 South 15th Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15203  


General Contractor:


Snavely Building Company

7139 Pine Street, #110

Chagrin Falls, OH 44022


Geotechnical Engineer:


GeoMechanics, Inc.

600 Munir Drive

Elizabeth, PA 15037