Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding & Carrier Integration Center

Newport News, VA



Student Biography
Building Statistics
Thesis Abstract
Technical Assignments
Thesis Research
Thesis Proposal
Final Report
Senior Thesis e-studio




The Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding & Carrier Integration Center is an office building located in Newport News, Virginia.  Research as well as business takes place in this impressive glass-encased building.  The building is shaped like a tall, glass ship that looms over the James River giving the building deep symbolism as well as architectural appeal.  The office looks to achieve a light, open feel and makes use of a steel structure to do so.

The building’s shape creates problems within the building.  First, column spacing is irregular.  Irregular column spacing leads to irregular beam and joist placement.  The irregular bays created by column spacing and beam placement lead to great differences in floor thickness throughout the building.  In Technical Report II three alternative floor systems were analyzed.  It was observed that a two-way flat concrete slab as well as a concrete column system would reduce the floor thickness.  The use of a flat slab would allow the building to use a uniform floor thickness as well as eliminate the problems caused by irregular beam and joist placement.

Several different column layouts will be analyzed in order to find the layout most economic for the building.  Concrete costs will be taken into account as well as the impact concrete construction will have on the construction schedule.  Finally, the end result will be compared to the existing steel structure to determine which system is most cost-effective for the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding & Carrier Integration Center.


Breadth I will cover the cost and schedule analysis. The complete redesign of the structural system will create differences in the cost of the building as well as the construction schedule. This breadth will look into the impact a complete redesign will have on the cost of the building. The construction schedule will also be taken into account. Due to the change in material, it may be necessary to reorder some of the events on the construction schedule. Whether these changes will speed up, slow down, or have no effect on the completion date of the project as well as the cost of the project will be analyzed.

Included in this study will be:
- Comparisons between cost of steel vs cost of concrete
- Comparison between construction cost of steel vs concrete
- Impact on schedule


Breadth II will cover the architectural analysis. The existing building makes use of steel members to keep a "light" and "open" feeling to the building. In redesigning the building using concrete, this idea will try to remain intact. Also, the new column layout will have a drastic impact on the architecture of the building. This will be explored and compared to the current column layout. The current layout involves columns around the perimeter of the building which create a football shape when viewed in plan. The interior columns create another smaller football shape inside the building. This layout creates many unorthodox bays in the floor plan. This breadth will involve an investigation into a new floor plan that will make the bays eaiser to work with.

Original Proposal (Posted 12/10/10)

Revised Proposal (Posted 1/13/11)