Christopher M. DiLorenzo

Construction Option



Butler Health System

New Inpatient Tower

Addition & Renovation

Butler, PA

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 Christopher DiLorenzo. 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.


Part 2

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Electrical System:

Due to the fact that the inpatient tower is an addition to the existing hospital, the power for the addition comes from the existing facility.  The power enters into the electrical room on the west side of the tower.  It is here that the power encounters the 2500 kVa transformer, which then supplies the power to the upper floors. This main electrical room is located on the first floor of the building.  Power is also then to electrical rooms throughout the upper floors.  Each of the upper floors has at least two additional electrical rooms.  Inside of these electrical rooms, both 120/208 and 277/480 volt panels are utilized for the distribution to the respective floors.


On the ground floor, two emergency generators are installed in order to combat any power failure.  A UPS system is employed to minimize problems in the event of a failure.  In the OR and IT rooms, a flywheel system is used.  With this system, there is no blip when switching over to emergency power.  This system is used due to the critical activities in these spaces that cannot afford to be affected by power loss.



As previously mentioned, nearly all lighting applications in the tower are controlled by motion sensors.  This helps reduce the use of unnecessary energy.  Lighting controls are very critical in hospitals due to the magnitude of their use in critical situations.  Due to the high demand of lighting, 85 different luminaires are present.  The wide variety of uses also requires that several different lamp types be used.  These include fluorescents, LEDs, halogens, and metal halides.


Mechanical System:

The majority of the new tower is served by three air handling units on the highest roof.  These three units (AHU-1,2,3) are served by two water-cooled chillers on the first floor.  Each of these rooftop units supplies 62,000 CFM, which serve every floor of the building. The Operating Rooms are controlled by two separate air handling units (AHU-4,5), which reside on the 5th floor penthouse. Each of these units supply 18,500 CFM to the Operating Rooms. All five of these units are variable air volume units. There are also three other air handling units in the building.  AHU-6 supplies the first floor chiller room with 4,700 CFM. AHU-7 supplies the first floor electrical room with 4,000 CFM. The elevator penthouse is supplied with 4,700 CFM from AHU-8.  The last three air handling units are constant volume units.


















The heating for the building is controlled through two boilers, located on the first floor.  These 215 HP Boilers supply the hot water to each of the air handling units in the tower. The new tower utilizes a Variable Air Volume (VAV) system throughout. The air from the air handling units is supplied to the VAV boxes.  These boxes adjust the volume of the air that passes into each space in order to keep the space at the desired temperature. In addition to these aspects of the mechanical system, radiant ceiling panels are also employed.  These panels exist at the perimeter of the building, on the upper three floors.


Structural System:

The foundation system of the new inpatient tower is made up of grade beams, drilled piers, and concrete walls.  Twenty different types of grade beams are used for the foundation system.  The drilled piers are embedded at least 36” into the competent limestone, determined in the geotechnical report.  The depth of this competent stone ranges from 11’ to 25’ below the slab levels.  The diameter of the piers ranges from 30” to 78”. 


                         Description: G:\Thesis\Progress Photos\april photos\Structural Steel Progress Looking South.jpg                                                        Description: G:\Thesis\Progress Photos\march photos\Level 5 Deck Installation Looking Southwest.jpg


The structural columns for the building consist of mainly W12’s and W14’s.  These columns range in weight from 40-176 lbs/ft.  The steel beams are found in a large variety, based on loading and tributary areas.  The core of the building is mainly made up of W18x40 beams.  The outer sections of the building are mainly framed with W16x26 and W16x31 steel beams.  These beams support composite metal decking and composite concrete. To account for lateral loads, a braced frame design has been used. 



Fire Protection System:

All steel members are to be fireproofed with spray-on fire proofing. The building also is completely covered by a wet pipe sprinkler system, with a fire pump room being located on the first floor of the building.  Additionally, the building contains fire rated walls (1-3 hours) and smoke barrier walls.  Along with these systems, smoke and fire dampers are installed in the ductwork in order to control the spread of a fire.


Transportation System:

The hospital is equipped with several elevators to serve different purposes. Two service elevators serve the hospital staff from the Ground floor to the 7th floor, with one continuing to the penthouse.  A trauma elevator runs from the 1st floor to the 7th floor.   For the public, two elevators run from the Ground floor to the 7th floor.  An additional two public elevators are accessible just through the main entrance and service from the 2nd floor to the 7th floor.


Telecommunications System:

Butler Hospital’s new Inpatient Tower relies heavily on a detailed and specific telecommunications system.  This extensive system includes a Nurse Call system, security camera installation, and card readers for separated spaces and elevators.  This card reader system is critical because it allows the hospital to control who has access to specific areas.


Special Systems:

For the convenience of the hospital personnel, the design of the tower has incorporated a pneumatic tube system.  This Swisslog system is used to transport materials and medication throughout the hospital. This system will tie-in from the existing hospital into the new facility.


AHU-3 in Position