• Hamot Women's Hospital
    UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital is a first class
    facility for Mothers and Babies, located overlooking
    the bayfront of Lake Erie.
  • Hamot Women's Hospital
    With very luxurious interior finishes UMPC Hamot
    was designed to make the patient feel at home.
  • Hamot Women's Hospital
    UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital was intended to utilize
    earth tones in order to sooth the patients at the
    hospital, notice the tree like column covers, the
    clouds on the ceiling, and the stream pattern on
    the floor.
  • Hamot Women's Hospital
    UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital delivered their first
    child on January 9th, 2011. Baby Armani Maria!

UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital Building Statistics

General Building Data

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The UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital was designed to match the Architectural style of the other buildings on the Hamot Medical Center campus. This includes a brick and glass façade that attempts to allow plenty of natural light into the building without being uncomfortable to the patients. The interior of the building is definitely what most would consider being upscale. The owner of the building was not primarily concerned about cost, but rather wanted the building to put the patients at ease by making them feel as if they were at home. This is primarily achieved through earth tone colors throughout the interior and is driven home with the water wall located in the lobby and the cabinets in every room to hide the hoses and cables that are typical of a hospital; as well as each room being equipped with a Jacuzzi and a very luxurious bathroom, again to achieve a relaxing environment for the patients.

Major National Building Codes:

  •        IBC 2006
  •        ASCE 7-05
  •        International Mechanical Code 2006
  •        International Plumbing Code 2006
  •        International Fire Code 2006
  •        International Electrial Code 2006
  •        International Energy Conservation Code 2006
  •        NFPA 13
  •        NFPA 101
  •        2006 AIA Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities


Zoned W-C2 (Waterfront Commercial 2) by the city of Erie, PA

  •        Designated for Residential, Commercial, Recreational, and Historical uses.
  •        Same uses as W-C except WC-2 allows for Group Care Facilities
  •        Building cannot cover more than 65% of lot
  •        Maximum Building Height = 100ft
  •        Requires 1 parking space per 4 beds
  •        Exterior Lighting to prevent glare to adjoining properties

Construction Class = 1B

Occupancy = I2

Building Envelope


UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital has an exterior façade of 4" nominal face brick, a 3" air space, 1" of rigid insulation, on 6" nominal metal studs w/ R-19 batt insulation filing the wall core. The wall is then closed with 5/8" gypsum wall board. Where applicable the wall system is double pane insulated glass windows.


The roof system is EPDM roofing on protection board on polyisocyanurate insulation.

Sustainability Features

UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital has no features that can be uniquely attributed as sustainable.

Historical Requirements

UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital has no features that can be uniquely attributed as historical.

Structural System

The UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital is supported by a structural steel skeleton. The lateral system in the N-S direction consists of a 5 story (6 with penthouse), 49' long braced frame along column line N. This is the alone full height braced frame in the building. The N-S direction also has a full height 42'-8" long moment frame along column line B. The E-W direction utilizes full height moment frames along column line 1 and 17, which are 161' and 173'-4" long, respectively. The columns are spliced 4'-0" above the second floor, where the existing shell remained and was reinforced below. The columns are also spliced at above the 4th floor, at the same 4'-0" elevation. The unique construction sequence has led to the need to reinforce the base of these columns dramatically, especially in the moment frames. The details of these reinforcements can be seen on sheet S400. The column sizes vary from W8 sizes to W14 sizes. The lateral system of the mechanical penthouse is entirely braced frames.

The beams are typically W shapes that tend to be framed with the girders spanning the short direction and the beams framing the long direction of the bay. The beams are typically W14x22 composite beams, where concrete slab on deck exists. In the shorter spans (12'-4") the beams become W8x10, and when the tributary spacing is decreased they tend to become W12x19 composite beams. Elsewhere the beams are non-composite. The girders are also composite where applicable.

The elevated floor slabs have a total thickness of 6", consisting of 4" of lightweight 4000 psi concrete on a 2" – 20 GA composite metal deck. These slabs are reinforced with 6x6 – W1.4xW1.4 welded wire fabric.

The foundation is unique in that many of the existing foundations also had to increase in size when the building increased in height. The foundation system utilizes both strip and spread footings. The strip footings are typically 2'-0" wide and 1'-0" deep; reinforcement consists of 3-#5 longitudinally and #5 x 1'-6" @ 12" O.C. transverse. The spread footings are the most unique because many of the existing spread footings had to be increased a length, width, and depth. The minimum height of the footings below grade is 3'-6". The typical foundation overbuild details can be found on sheet S403.

Mechanical System

UPMC Hamot is equipped with a mechanical penthouse. This penthouse is equipped with three separate air handling units, two rather large units and one smaller unit. All three units are equipped with both a humidifier and a dehumidifier, along with a VFD fan; thus along the systems to supply air at the appropriate temperature, humidity level, and at the appropriate rate desired. One of the main AHU's is used to supply the first and second floor, the second main AHU is used to supply the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors along with multipurpose on the first floor. The final and smaller AHU is used exclusively for the OR area located on the third floor. The building has one main mechanical shaft located between the center of the building and the west side of the building. This shaft allows for all of the mechanical ducts to be passed from the roof to the lower floors where the air is needed.

Heating for the cold Erie winters is achieved through the use of the AHU's and the use of radiant panels around the perimeter of the building. These panels are primarily located under the long windows of the façade.

Lighting System

The lighting for UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital varies depending on which area of the hospital you are in. Although the fixtures vary throughout the building they all try and achieve the same goal of keeping direct light from the lamps from shining into a patient or newborns eyes. The main lighting for the circulation spaces and public areas is achieved via a 2x4 recessed fluorescent light fixture. This fixture houses 2 – T8 lamps and a rapid start ballast. In more critical areas of the building, such as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, all the lighting is uplighting, from the clouds and tree like architectural forms found in this area. In many of these special areas the lighting also plays a key role in accenting the architecture and interior design aspects of the building. The lighting design also incorporates occupancy sensors in many of the individual rooms to turn the lights off if a room is empty for a period of time, this helps to reduce the lighting load in the case of a nurse forgetting to turn off the lights.

Electrical System

UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital is equipped with a 2000 KVA transformer (3 phase 3 wire); the primary side of the transformer is attached to 4160V switchgear, with the secondary side of the transformer being attached to six distribution panels. The secondary side of the transformer provides 480V/277V (3 phase 4 wire) power to the distribution panels. The six distribution panels serve a total of 75 electrical panels, which are located in the various electrical rooms throughout the building.

Electricity is required to be provided for all lighting, elevators, life safety equipment, critical power equipment, mechanical equipment, and essential mechanical equipment.

In the event of a power outage the hospital is equipped with a 1200 KVA backup generator. The switch between power from the transformer and power from the generator is accomplished through three automatic transfer switches. The generator will only provide power for the distribution panels that control the elevator equipment, life safety equipment, and critical power equipment.

Construction Techniques

The construction of the UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital had a very unique history. The building is unique in that it was originally designed as a four story structure with the intention of building the first two stories originally and then building the remaining two stories as the funds became available. When the funds became available the owner decided that they wanted a five story above grade building. The decision was then made to take the completed two stories that were existing, and strip them down to a structural shell, remove the existing roof by cutting the columns off 4'-0" above the first floor slab. Then continue up from that point, reinforcing beams, columns, and foundations below as necessary. The construction began January 12, 2009 and was completed by January 1, 2011. The second phase of construction went from taking the five story shell and fitting out the building. This process began at the top level and was completed downward towards the ground level. This is unique to most projects and was done in this manner to minimize the disturbances to the attached UPMC Hamot Hospital and the UPMC Hamot Heart Institute.

Telecommunication System

The UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital realized how essential the transfer of data to the people who need it is for the functionality of the hospital. This led them to create space for a "Data Telecom" room on each level. This area is conveniently located near the very large mechanical shaft and the electrical room; thus allowing convenient access to power sources and floor openings to pass any necessary wires between floor levels.

Transportatin System

Vertical transportation throughout the UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital is available in 3 distinct locations. The west side of the building is serviced by three elevators and one set of stairs. The east side of the building is serviced in two separate locations, one located in the northeast portion of the building and one located in the southeast portion of the building. The northeast portion of the building is equipped with two elevators and a set of stairs, while the southeast portion of the building is serviced by only one set of stairs.

Fire Protection

The UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital is equipped with an active fire system, which was designed and installed to the standards of NFPA 13 and NFPA 101. The fire protection system utilized and expanded on the existing system present in the main hospital and the heart institute where possible. The remaining areas were covered by a new system as noted on the fire protection drawings. The systems standpipes are located in the stairwells with an alarm check valve located in the basement.

Senior Capstone Project (CPEP):

The Capstone Project Electronic Portfolio (CPEP) is a web-based project and information center. It contains materials 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 website is dedicated to the research and analysis conducted via guidelines provided by the Department of Architectural Engineering. For an explanation of this capstone course and its requirements click here.

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 project are solely the interpretation of Justin Kovach. 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.

Latest News

April 25, 2012

Site Complete, Ready for Review

March 4, 2012

Final Report Posted

Final Presentation Posted

February 2, 2012

Revised Proposal Posted

January 20, 2012

Thesis Question Posted to Forum

January 12, 2012

Revised Proposal Posted

December 15, 2011

Proposal Posted

November 29, 2011

Tech 2 Re-Posted

November 15, 2011

Tech 3 Posted

Tech 2 Re-Posted

October 19, 2011

Tech 2 Posted

October 11, 2011

Tech 1 Re-Posted

Abstract Posted

September 23, 2011

Tech 1 Posted

August 28, 2011

Building Statistics Posted

Bio Posted

August 27, 2011

Website Created with All pages Functional and Linked

August 23, 2011

Thank You Letters Sent Out

August 22, 2011

Class Began

Attained Owner Permission

August 19, 2011

Meet with Architect

Site Visit

August 16, 2011

Attained Drawings

Thesis Sponsors

UPMC Hamot

Atlantic Engineering Services

Rectenwald Architects