New Luxury Apartments Renovation

300 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Brianne Kyle, Construction Management

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 Brianne Kyle. 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.

Special Thanks To:

Thesis Proposal



The Final Thesis Proposal is intended to identify the four technical analyses topics that will be researched and conducted for the final thesis report on River Vue Apartments.  The central theme of these technical analysis topics is efficiency including energy efficiency and construction efficiency. 


REVISED FINAL THESIS PROPOSAL: (Updated on March 20, 2012)



Very few sustainable design techniques were used on the project that could provide financial benefit to the owner, River Vue Associates, LP.  The goals for this technical analysis are to develop a preliminary photovoltaic glass window system design and to determine the financial and energy feasibility of incorporating this new type of window system into the existing electrical power source.  Also, an electrical/renewable energy breadth will analyze how the photovoltaic glass window system will be connected to the electrical power system.  


Very few sustainable design techniques were used on the project.  The goals for this technical analysis are to develop a preliminary resident-accessible green roof system design, analyze the structural impact of the load-bearing green roof system, and determine the financial and energy feasibility of incorporating this new roof system into the existing building.  Also, a structural breath will analyze how the load-bearing green roof system affects the existing Level 2 roof’s structure.


After analyzing the unique and challenging constructability issues on the River Vue Apartments project, as-built drawing inconsistencies and coordination were two of the most significant challenges.  The as-built drawings caused some challenges on the project during the construction phase.  Coordination of the MEP systems took an extensive amount of time because of as-built drawing inconsistencies and the existing steel and the tight constraints between the structure and the future building heights.  The goals for this technical analysis are to analyze the effects of using 3D laser scanning technologies to evaluate existing building conditions and to determine the cost and schedule impact.  Also, it is important to analyze how the 3D laser scanning technology contributes to a 3D model and 3D coordination.


During the PACE Roundtable’s Energy Management Services session, industry professionals discussed many key topics about energy management, a critical industry issue, and its techniques for residential buildings like River Vue Apartments.  Occupant behavior has a major impact on the building’s energy consumption.  However, it is a challenge to have energy efficient electrical and lighting systems that are beneficially used by the building’s occupants.  Most building occupants do not understand how much their behavior can harm the building’s energy performance.  The goal for this technical analysis is to research new ideas for electrical and lighting systems that are energy efficient, but simple enough for the occupants of the building to use the system correctly without jeopardizing their comfort.


BREADTH TOPICS: (Updated January 12, 2012)

The Breadth Topics are intended to demonstrate the breadth skills developed from the Architectural Engineering course work.  These breadth topics include the areas of Architectural Engineering outside of construction, e.g., architectural, acoustics, electrical, lighting, and structural. The demonstration of breadths in Architectural Engineering will successfully complete the analyses. 


*Contributes to Technical Analysis #1

By utilizing a building-integrated photovoltaic glass window system, the existing energy system will need to be analyzed to determine the required electrical components and connections.  The electrical energy consumption of the building and the amount of kWh able to be produced by the photovoltaic system will be calculated.  These calculations will help determine the energy savings associated with the photovoltaic glass.  In addition, to allow for the photovoltaic glass window system to be connected to the electrical system designed by Claitman Engineering Associates, Inc., the system will be altered to accommodate the renewable energy source produced by the photovoltaic glass.  Research on the different photovoltaic glass window systems connection types, e.g., grid connected, off-grid, and hybrid system, will need to be conducted because the connection type determines the connection requirements to operate on the electrical power system.  Also, a constructability review will be conducted to determine if the new electrical system meets with requirements of the photovoltaic glass window system.


*Contributes to Technical Analysis #2

Incorporating a load-bearing green roof system on the Level 2 roof will require a structural analysis of these additional loads on the structural system of the roof.  Research on the different types of green roof systems, e.g., extensive and intensive, will be conducted and calculations will be performed to determine the required additional support needed to accommodate the dead load of the green roof system and the live load of the residential occupants accessing the roof.  Also, the additional support, such as the metal roof deck and steel joists, required will be designed to efficiently merge with the existing roof’s structural system and evaluated for cost and schedule impacts.

Special thanks to Turner Construction Company, especially Mr. Kevin Ludwick and Mr. Chris DiLorenzo, for providing all the information pertaining to River Vue Apartments. Another special thanks to IDG, LLP, especially Mr. Todd Havekotte, for providing all renderings for the project. Finally, special thanks to River Vue Associates, LP and Millcraft Industries, Inc. for providing owner's permission on the River Vue Apartments project to complete this AE senior thesis.