Freetown Elementary School

Glen Burnie, MD

Matthew Buda

Mechanical Option

Freetown Elementary School



Building Statistics Part I.

Project Team

Architects & Interior Design: Rubeling & Associates, Inc.

CM: Jacobs Engineering Group

Civil Engineer: KCI Technologies, Inc.

Structural Engineer: Columbia Engineering, Inc.

Mechanical and Plumbing Engineers: James Posey Associates, Inc.

Electrical Engineer: James Posey Associates, Inc.

Lighting Design: James Posey Associates, Inc.

Life Safety/Fire Protection: Koffel Associates, Inc.

Geotechnical Engineer: D.W.Kozera,Inc.


General Building Data

Building Location: 7904 Freetown Road Glen Burnie, MD 21060

Owner: Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Occupancy: Educational

Size: 83,000 sq ft

Number of Stories: 2

Dates of Construction: 31Mar08-27May10

Overall Project Cost: $17 Million

Project Delivery: Design Bid Build - Mulitple Prime



Design and Functional Components

Freetown Elementary school is easily broken up into three different sections of the building with three main corridors throughout the building.  Two of these sections are the east and west classroom wings.  The eastern wing is primarily kindergarten level classrooms on the first floor.  These two wings have a second floor with similar layout for classrooms. A division of these wings allows for a courtyard to allow natural light into every classroom.  This division also allows for a computer room and media center. The third section is where the gymnasium, cafeteria, extended day care, and mechanical storage is located.  In case of a need for a large gathering, the cafeteria is equipped with a stage to transform into an auditorium. If extra seating is still required, the partition between the gymnasium and the cafeteria can slide into storage to open up the space.

Administrative personnel are located at the entrance of the school, functioning as a place to administer visitors and control flow in and out.  Also located near the entrance are the nurse’s office, the principal’s office, and the assistant principal’s office.  For easy access for music performances, the music room and storage is located behind the stage in the cafeteria in close proximity. Also in relation to the cafeteria, there are restrooms located outside in the corridor.  Every classroom is equipped with its own restroom to prevent kids wandering the halls and allow for more supervision.

Major National Codes

National Fire Alarm Code 2002

National Fire Protection Association

IBC 2003

Life Safety 2006


Residential Area - No specific restrictions

Historical Requirements




Building Enclosure

Building Façades

Freetown Elementary School’s façade is mainly made up for 12” CMU’s on the interior, 1 ½” rigid cavity insulation, and a running bond face brick on the exterior.  On the exterior, there are brick features such as a projected brick medallion and a projected soldier course along the building, as well as stack bonds and rowlocks for different aesthetics for the building.


An important part of the building enclosure is the roof, consisting of tapered polyisocyanurate insulation with ½” perlite cap ¼” per foot minimum for sloping of the roof.  Structural steel roof joists are the support for the 1 ½” galvanized roof deck, insulation, and the built up bituminous roofing. The structural steel joists are designed with a net uplift of 12 psf unless the joist span is less than 18’-0”, then the designed net uplift is 22 psf.

Above the gymnasium, the roofing is slightly different in the fact that the roof has acoustical roof deck with perforated flat bottom to absorb sound from transferring through. In order to create roof drains, the insulation is tapered. The structural steel joists are designed with a net uplift of 12 psf.

Sustainability Features

Two Energy Recovery Units serve the east and west classroom wings.  These units allow for energy savings through reusing the warm temperature exhaust air to heat up the incoming cold air.  The mechanical system is saving energy on the heating coil loads by using of this waste heat from the building.




Building Statistics Part II.



Before constructing the new Freetown Elementary School, the existing school had to be demolished. The new building for the school was built on the existing fields.  Freetown Elementary School was broken up into three different sections for construction purposes.  Section A is the gymnasium, kitchen, and music rooms. Section B is the media center, the administration offices, and the east classroom wing.  Section C is the west classroom wing with the art room on the first floor.  Noting from the geotechnical report, mechanical compaction of the existing soil below the building was critical to performance of the building foundations. This compaction was used ten feet beyond the building pad horizontally.  The building is constructed under the classification of 2B unprotected, noncombustible.


Freetown Elementary School’s electrical system is organized by a switchboard located adjacent to the mechanical room in the south west corner of the building.   Here a main breaker of 2000amps controls the switchboard and the panel is mostly 277/480 volt - 3 phase/4 wire.  120/208V - 3 phase is also available. The building has a connected load of 1396.1 kVA and a demand load of 1056.9 kVA. A transformer is located just outside of this room on the exterior.  Lighting throughout the building is mostly fluorescent and incandescent along with HID lights for the gymnasium and cafeteria.


The main mechanical room is located in the southwest corner of the building along the perimeter.  Two natural gas boilers and an air cooled chiller outside control the loads in the building. Freetown Elementary School is based off a 2 pipe system and has controls set up for changeover from heating to cooling and vice versa. Six rooftop air handling units serve the music rooms, gymnasium, cafeteria, administration offices and the media center. Two energy recovery units serve each of the classroom wings.  In addition to the air handling units are six ductless split system units serving smaller rooms such as electrical closets.  An air source heat pump is responsible for the extended day program located in the north end of the building near the entrance.


The building has a lateral braced frame with cast- in-place concrete columns of varying size.  The first floor slab on grade is 5 inches thick with welded wire fabric over 6 mil vapor barrier and 4 inch washed gravel. The slab is thickened to 6 inches at the mechanical room to hold the load of the mechanical equipment. The second floor slab is 3 inches normal weight concrete with 28 gage galvanized form deck. Steel joists span the classrooms and the corridors.

Fire Protection

In the gymnasium and cafeteria, a visible and voice signal announces the smoke detection. Throughout the rest of the building, visible and audio signals with three pulses alarm the occupants of the dangers of a fire. Freetown Elementary School is broken up into three zones in controlling the sprinkler system.  In case of fire, an automatic wet pipe system is maintained with water supply of 1860gpm by a six inch underground pipe.  Sprinklers are set on quick response and are semi-recessed. Dry pendent sprinklers are located in the walk-in freezer and cooler. Two high temperature sprinklers are under the kitchen exhaust hood.


Freetown Elementary School has three stairwells and one elevator with three main corridors.  The elevator is located near the cafeteria entrance right off of the main corridor.  Two corridors are located on each of the wings allowing students and teachers to reach all of the stairwells and control the flow of the building.





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‐inprogress 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 Matthew Buda. 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 October 11, 2010, by Matthew Buda and is hosted by the AE Department © 2010.