The Sunshine Elementary School
Northeast, Pennsylvania

Nicholas Scheib | Senior Thesis Project | Mechanical Option


Student Biography

Building Statistics


Technical Assignments




Final Report


Thesis E-studio

Building Statistics

Part I

General Information

Building Name- The Sunshine Elementary School
Location and site- Northeast, PA
Building Occupant Name- Sunshine Elementary Students and Faculty
Occupancy or function types- Educational
Size- 103,000 sqft
Number of Stories- 2
Owner- Sunshine Area School District

Major Players

General Contractor- Warfel Construction Company
Architect- Reese, Lower, Patrick, and Scott
MEP- Reese Engineering
Structural Engineer- Zug and Associates    
Civil Engineer- Evans Engineering

Dates of Construction- Start- March 2010, Planned Finish- June 30th 2011
Cost Information

GC - $11,119,000   
Mechanical - $1,979,200
Plumbing - $1,154,000
Electric- $2,138,000
Commissioning- Approx. $100,000
Air Balancing, Hydronic balancing and commissioning support- $ 69,100

Project Delivery Method- Design-Build

Architecture-The new elementary school is located in a rural area connecting two townships.  The building is to be used for both kindergarten and 1st through 5th grade students.  Due to this a “school within a school” was a major concept of the design.  The youngest of the students will be in the center. This area will function independently as a smaller environment allowing the students to acclimate to the school experience. 
This area consists of two, single story, eight room class pods with shared spaces and also includes a kitchen area and a multi-purpose room.

The 1st through 5th grade wing is two-story and has an adjacent gymnasium at one end and a multi-purpose room at the other end.  This wing connects with the kindergarten center through shared spaces, which include a library, production kitchen, building storage, mechanical and electrical spaces, the nurse suite and building administration.

Zoning- It is located in two townships-

1) Medium Density Residential      2) Rural Residential

Historical District- N/A

Major national code/s used- IBC 2006

Building Enclosure- The facade of the building is titan size brick (4"x8") by Glen Gery. The roof is 18" standing seam metal roof by Fabral. The windows are Low-E storefront and curtainwall systems from EFCO as well as incorporated sunshades into the frames. Flat roof areas are EPDM roofing system.

Sustainability Features- An overall project goal is to achieve LEED silver certification. In addition to a geothermal system of heating and cooling, the new Elementary school will feature bamboo flooring in the gymnasium, occupancy sensor lighting controls and measures expected to achieve up to 40% water use reduction. The District is also collaborating with a local conservation group to establish natural wildflower habitats to serve as education centers and reduce mowing area.

Part II

Construction- The Sunshine Elementary School was a design-build project delivery contract.  The construction began March 2010 and is planned to be complete in June 2011.  The Warfel Construction Company is the General Contractor.  As bid the contract is worth $11,119,000.  The project is running smoothly and on time. 

Electrical- The main service enters the building through the north side.  The power is delivered at 12,470 Volts which is then stepped down to 208/120 Volt power through a 1000 KVA transformer.  The 3 phase power is then distributed throughout the building. The life safety systems are supported by a 200 KW, 208/120 Volt Emergency Generator.  Feeders ranging from #12 gauge to 500 MCM supply the power to the 13 electrical panels.

Lighting- The Indirect Fluorescent lighting fixtures were used throughout the educational areas such as classrooms and libraries. T8 bulbs were called for in these fixtures reducing the energy used for lighting.  The kitchen design utilizes main different lamps to illuminate.  Some of these are 1’ X 4’ two lamp troffers, 100W Incandescent downlights, Compact Fluorescent Downlights, 2’ X 4’ Four-Lamp Troffers among others.  The hallways are illuminated by 1’ X 4’ Two-Lamp Fluorescent Troffers.  Occupancy sensor controls are specified throughout the building ensuring excess energy will not be wasted.

Structural- The substructure consists of concrete footings, columns and 4” slab on grade. The building consists of 12” load bearing masonry walls. 14k4 @ 24” K-series joists are used in the framing of the second floor and is then covered with a 6” concrete slab on 3” X 18G composite deck with 6X6 w20 X w2.0 WWF.  To create the roof line 17 different heavy timber trusses were designed. In the gymnasium W8X13 beams were used horizontally to help with lateral loads and for wind bracing.   

Mechanical- An innovative design was developed which is predicted to reduce energy consumption by 47%, according to an eQUEST energy model. The design utilized three main components for such success:

•Ground coupled heat pumps
•Air-to-Air energy recovery units
•Demand control ventilation using CO2 detection

Ten heat pumps were used throughout the design, splitting the load of the building.  HP-8 has the largest load and supplies 2000-2100 CFM while HP-1 only supplies 200-250 CFM.  All heat pumps are coupled with the ground reducing the energy by increasing the COP.  Air-to-Air recovery units, although were not required by ASHRAE Standards are utilized due to the energy savings they incorporate.  ERU-1 through ERU-9 are located on the roof of the building and range from supplying 5660 CFM to 1400 CFM.  Finally the CO2 detection sensors reduce the load by minimizing any excess ventilation.



site last updated on 12/09/10

“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 Nicholas Scheib. 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.”

The Capstone Project Electronic Portfolio (CPEP) is a web‐based project and information center. It contains material produced for a year‐long Senior Thesis class. Its purpose, in addition to providing central storage of individual assignments, is to foster communication and collaboration between student, faculty consultant, course instructors, and industry consultants. This web site is dedicated to the research and analysis conducted via guidelines provided by the Department of Architectural Engineering. For an explanation of this capstone design course and its requirements
click here.