Cadell G. Calkins

Structural Option

Building Statistics

Building Name: Dormitory in the Northeast USA Buildings A & B
Location:  Northeast USA
Building Occupant Name:  University Dormitory
Occupancy: R-1 and R-2 for Dormitory (Primary)
A-3 for Assembly and Multi-Use Areas
B for Office Space
Size: Building A:     82,305 sq. ft. (above grade)
Building A:     92,389 sq. ft. (total)
Building B:     79,212 sq. ft. (above grade)
Building B:     89,342 sq. ft. (total)
Number of stories above grade / total levels: 4 Above / 5 Total (Both Buildings)
Project Team:  
Owner: Nonprofit Corporation
Architect: WTW Architects
Construction Manager: Massaro Corporation
MEP, Stormwater, Telecom, and Security System Engineer: H. F. Lenz Company
Structural Engineer: Taylor Structural Engineers, Inc.
 Landscape Architect:  LaQuatra Bonci Associates
Developer:  Allen & O’Hara Development Co. LLC
Dates of Construction: October 22, 2010 – January 2012
Overall Project Cost: $26 Million for Buildings A & B with Site Work (verbal amount from president as of 8/18/2011, waiting on email confirmation)
Project Delivery Method: Using a public/private partnership, the university requested that the Nonprofit Corporation engage a development team (including a developer, architect, and construction manager) to deliver the project via a guaranteed maximum price.


Flanking a central core, two wings full of suite style rooms are connected to a glass core.  The wings are offset a few degrees from parallel to promote the views of the university, town, and countryside for the south facing rooms.  The glass core utilizes storefront style windows for the best views.  In addition, the glass core also utilizes a large roof for sun shading as well as finned sun shades at each floor level with intersecting angles for depth.  The wings complement the modern feel of the glass core by utilizing traditional styles with brick and ground face CMU facades.  On top of the traditional facades, the wings also use a traditional hip roof with asphalt shingles and sweeping dormer accents.  To tie the wings back in with the glass core, the wings also terminate with a glass storefront façade similar to the glass core.

In the interior, a strategic placement of windows on the ground floor allows the north rooms to receive natural light.  A less noticeable architectural feature lies in the rafters.  The air handler units were placed in the center of each wing above the center hallway and the rafters for the wings were notched the width of the hallway and approximately 2’ high to allow for easier running of ductwork.  The gypsum wall board could then be run up and around the ductwork and the insulation could also be run so that the ductwork stays within the living space of the building.  Please see the attached pictures for clarity.

National and Local Codes: Northeast USA (Pennsylvania) Uniform Construction Code Including IBC 2009, NFPA 13, and other adopted ICC codes and amendments
Zoning: Borough of Northeast USA (Mansfield) Zoning Ordinance Public and Institutional Zone (P-1) where the maximum building height is 70ft and the maximum number of floors is 6.
Historical Requirements: The building does not have any historical requirements, however the university required that brick façades be implemented and any other accents be at the discretion of the project team.

Building Enclosure

Building façades: Between the ground and first floor, the building is faced with 4” ground faced CMU backed with 8” IVANY block grout solid.  Above the first floor up to the second floor, the building is faced with 4” ground faced CMU and backed with 8” CMU.  Above the second floor, face brick can be seen adorning the building complemented with precast window heads and sills as well as strategic brick recesses for architecture.  In addition to masonry units, the building is also faced with maroon and gray metal panels.  Behind the CMUs on the ground floor, the wall consists of 3-5/8” metal studs with 5/8” gypsum wall board.  On the first floor, the CMU is backed with 2x4 wood studs with 5/8” gypsum wall board and R-14 spray foam insulation.
Doors and Windows: The doors consist of insulated hollow metal doors and door frames.  In the core of the building, the windows consist of typical storefront windows with the doors having full length glazing.  In the bottom 2’ of the storefront windows and the storefront doors, the glazing is insulated tempered glazing and the rest of the storefront windows are insulated non-tempered glazing.  For the windows that go to the rooms, the windows consist of insulated non-tempered glazing with the bottom 1’ 4” to open out.
Roofing: Asphalt shingle roof on felt underlayment on roof sheathing with integral moisture barrier.  On the flat roof sections, EPDM membrane roofing was installed on tapered insulation.

Sustainability Features

The project was not aiming for any LEED rating, but did utilize some sustainability features.  Of which, the 114 500’ deep geothermal wells (54 for Building A and 60 for Building B) utilizing 1-1/4” pipe are the most substantial.   Local materials and recycled materials were used whenever possible.  Other less substantial features include an energy efficient envelope as well as energy efficient air handlers.


To counter poor soil fill conditions, rammed aggregate piers were installed utilizing a 2 foot diameter hole and compacted in 2 foot lifts of well graded crushed rock.  Below the surface, 12 inch reinforced concrete masonry units were utilized on spread footings with 8 inch concrete masonry units above the surface up to beneath the Second Floor. On the sides where soil was to be held back, 12 inch Ivany blocks (grout solid) on spread footings were utilized below the surface and 8 inch Ivany blocks (grout solid) were used above the Ground Floor up to the First Floor with 8 inch concrete masonry units to continue up to the Second Floor.  Above the Second Floor, 2x6 Spruce-Pine-Fir or Douglas Fir wood studs act as the gravity support system.

The Ground Floor consists of a 4 inch slab on grade over a drainage course while the First Floor consists of a 2 inch concrete cover over 8 inch hollow core precast concrete planks that spanned in the E-W direction from the exterior walls to the interior hallway.  Continuing up the building, the Second through Fourth Floors consist of 18 inch deep wood floor trusses spaced at 19.2 inches on center with a wood truss roof system.

Laterally, the Dormitory uses ¾ inch oriented strand board and 5/8 inch gypsum wall board to counter forces due to wind and earthquakes in the wings.  In the core, concrete masonry unit shear walls surrounding the stairs and elevators take the lateral forces.

Fire Protection

To protect the Dormitory, Type V-A construction, against fire, two main systems were employed.  First, the hollow core concrete planks provide 2 hours of fire protection between the basement and the rest of the Dormitory.  In addition, every suite uses 2 inches of gypcrete on the floor and 2 thicknesses of 5/8 inch gypsum wall board for both sound and fire resistance.  Second, a wet pipe sprinkler system is implemented to protect the students.


The Dormitory uses 114 500’ deep geothermal wells (54 for Building A and 60 for Building B) utilizing 1-1/4” pipe for its main source of heating and cooling.  The pipes use an INTERCOOL glycol based solution to transfer the heat.  In addition, 3 energy recovery units in the attic space of Building A also help to lower the mechanical costs of the building.  The energy recovery units have an airflow capacity of 5100 CFM each and a gas reheat capability.

Lighting and Electrical

Power to the Dormitory arrives as a 34.5 kV 208Y/120V 3Φ 4 Wire feed for both buildings and a 2500 amp switchboard for Building A.  In addition, a 250 kw emergency generator is utilized with an automatic switch.  For lighting, fluorescent, LED and metal halide lights are used throughout the Dormitory and parking lots.


Through a public/private partnership, Massaro Corporation was chosen as the construction manager of the Dormitory project, a $26 million project.  Construction began in October 2010 and is expected to complete in January 2012 before the start of the Spring Semester.  Consisting of a building A and B, the Dormitory was constructed with Building A being constructed approximately 3 weeks ahead of Building B.  During construction, many delays including a retaining wall collapse and bad weather might end up pushing back the time that new students can move in. 


To navigate the Dormitory, 2 elevators are placed in the central core along with a stairway also in the core.  In addition, a second and third stairway is placed at the ends of the wings for code compliance.  To get between these, on every floor a center hallway is located in each wing with a larger gathering area in the central core.

Rendering Gallery

User 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 Cadell Calkins. 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.

Photo Gallery