Kaleida Health Global Vascular Institute
University at Buffalo CTRC/Incubator
Buffalo, NY

William C. McDevitt
Structural Option

Building Statistics - Part 2
Primary Engineering Systems
The construction manager and general contractor for the production of GHVI is Turner Construction Company. Groundbreaking took place in August of 2009, and the project is scheduled to be completed in April of 2011, with the facility opening its doors in late 2011. The building is being built using a guaranteed maximum price delivery method, and is estimated to cost $291,000,000.  Included in the scope of this project is the construction of a four story link between GHVI and the existing Buffalo General Hospital, as well as upgrades to the existing campus power plant. Both of these conditions require extensive planning and coordination between the construction team and Buffalo General Hospital.


Electrical power for GHVI is supplied by an existing campus power plant. As part of this project, the power plant was upgraded, and a 23 kV substation with corresponding transformer was added. These substation upgrades were carefully planned with National Grid Engineers so power supply to the existing buildings remained uninterrupted. The 5 kV primary service that enters the building from the campus power plant is then stepped down to 480Y/277V for mechanical and hospital equipment and to 120/240V for standard electrical equipment. Because of the importance of this facility, three diesel powered 1825 kW emergency generators provide redundancy in case of power loss.


Lighting for GHVI consists of a variety of different types of lamps, including incandescent, linear fluorescent, compact fluorescent, and high intensity discharge. In areas where they are a necessity, high color rendering lamps have also been installed. Finally, the building is designed to take advantage of perimeter day lighting.


The steam heat and chilled water that is used to heat and cool the building is supplied by the existing campus power plant. The heating, cooling, and ventilation for the spaces throughout the building are achieved using a variable air volume system. Several of the procedural floors of the building require low humidity air, and so desiccant dehumidification systems are installed in a number of the air handling units. On both the basement and roof penthouse level mechanical areas, heat exchangers convert steam from the central plant into hot water for the building. Finally, laboratory exhaust and atrium smoke exhaust systems have been provided to serve the specialized spaces within the building. The laboratory exhaust system removes contaminated air collected by fume hoods in the laboratories and various other areas. The atrium smoke exhaust system will control the build-up of smoke in the four story atrium during a fire.


The foundation of GHVI consists of grade beams and pile caps placed on top of steel helical piles. The helical piles are HP12x74 sections with an allowable axial capacity of 342 kips (171 tons) which are driven to absolute refusal on limestone bedrock 82 to 87 feet below the sub-basement finish level. The grade beams provide resistance to lateral column base movement, and the pile caps link the steel helical piles and the structural steel columns of the superstructure. Spanning the grade beams is the sub-basement floor, a 5" slab-on-grade.

The remaining floors of GHVI consist of 3” composite metal deck with a total slab thickness ranging from 4” to 7½”. The metal deck is 18-gage galvanized steel sheets resting on various different beam and girder sizes. These sizes change throughout the structure because of the various functions of the spaces. The bay sizes through the building are mostly 31’-6” by 31’-6”, with beams spaced at 10’-6”.

Steel columns are used throughout the building to transmit the gravity load to the foundation. All of the columns in the building are W14s, but they range in weight from 68 lb/ft to 370 lb/ft, and they are typically spliced every 36 feet. These columns provide an 18’ floor-to-floor height.

The lateral system of GHVI utilizes braced frames located near the perimeter of the building. A braced frame system is ideal in steel buildings because of its low cost compared to moment connection frames.


Engineering Support Systems
  Fire Protection
GHVI is completely sprinklered with a wet pipe sprinkler system in accordance with N.F.P.A. 13 for light hazard occupancy. The sprinkler system is zoned by floor level with standpipe risers extending up each of the three stair towers. In the event of a fire, water will be supplied by a 150 horsepower fire pump with a flow rate of 1000 gallons per minute, and a jockey pump with a flow rate of 60 gallons per minute. The fire alarm system is a noncoded, analog-addressable system with automatic sensitivity control of each smoke detector and multiplexed signal transmission dedicated specifically to the fire alarm service.


The transportation system of GHVI consists of three separate “core” stairwells with 13 electric traction elevators and three hydraulic elevators. These “cores” are located near the perimeter of the building and provide the open floor plan that was a necessity of the design. The electric traction elevators range in capacity from 3500-6500 pounds, and have a rated speed of 350 feet per minute. The hydraulic elevators range in capacity from 3500-4000 pounds, and have a rated speed of 100 feet per minute.


GHVI has a structured cabling system that includes data network cabling and analog telephone cabling. This system is designed in a two-tier star topology to meet the needs of the facility now and in the future. The first tier is the backbone or distributed cabling and the second tier is the horizontal cabling circuits. The main telecommunications room and the remote telecommunications rooms within the building contain data racks and cabinets and are connected via fiber optic and copper cable backbone systems. The system is then distributed throughout the building to modular telecommunication outlets. In addition to this system of cabling, there is also intercom, public address, and nurse call systems located throughout 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 William McDevitt. 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 originaldesign.

This page was last updated on October 11, 2010 by William McDevitt and is hosted by the AE Department ©2010