Senior Thesis Proposal

The Senior Thesis Proposal purpose is to overview the four analyses to be performed on the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in the final senior thesis report in the spring semester. For each analysis, the reason for choosing the analysis will be discussed as well as how the research will be performed, solutions and expectations, and resources. The analyses are to suggest areas of improvements in the process of both building construction and operation. The weight matrix at the end of the report illustrates how the effort was distributed among the four analyses and how they meet the core requirements as the following: research; value engineering analysis; constructability review; schedule reduction.


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Revised Senior Thesis Proposal
Click Here for the Senior Thesis Proposal (12.10.2011)
Click Here for the Revised Senior Thesis Proposal (01.13.2012)





Analysis 1: Implementation of MEP Prefabrication
The Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing (MEP) system that is embedded in the 2 ½’ thick mat slab is the main construction issue. Many conflicts were spotted before construction which called the need to make a 3D model to better coordinate the embedded system. Since the project is about one month behind schedule, the generated 3D model is beneficial in creating clash free shop drawings for MEP prefabrication. The analysis will discuss how to achieve the goal which is to put the schedule back on track and reduce construction costs.


Analysis 2: Building Information Modeling
The successful use of building information modeling (BIM) in 3D Coordination on the project is a proof of how BIM is beneficial to construction projects. The project team at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has efficiently utilized only 3D coordination BIM use. The goal of this analysis is to explore and suggest more applicable BIM uses as they are project specific. Three BIM uses are to be suggested, analyzed, and compared in terms of costs and benefits. The Penn State BIM Execution Planning Guide will be utilized to aid in the research process.


Analysis 3: Precast Floor Units
With the irregularity in the shape of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, pouring concrete in corners can be tedious and challenging. The precast units can ease the construction process by having the ultimate unite size with exception of corner units to reduce joints and onsite resizing. The goal of using the precast units is to increase productivity and constructability of the building. The analysis will show a contrast of current vs. suggest systems in terms of cost and schedule. Applying analysis 1 and 3 can speed up construction significantly.


Analysis 4: Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels
Being a green building is not implicitly means obtaining LEED certifications or having lower carbon footprint. It can also mean more energy cost savings with reasonable payback and less generator use. The PV panels are to assist in electricity generation to power the high energy consumption of the art institute. Brief structural and electrical analyses will be developed.





As part of the Construction Management Senior Thesis Design, two more analyses breadths have to be performed in an area other than the main option. The proposed breadths for the Sterling and Francine Clark Art institute project are in the electrical and structural disciplines.

Electrical Breadth - PV Panels
The purpose of this electrical breadth of installing photovoltaic panels is to be able to reduce project’s electric consumption from the grid.
The amount of energy generated from the PV panels, which will be strategically placed on the museum in order to get the maximum amount of electricity, will be used as a measure of how much money could be saved on average per a specific amount of time. In addition, the measure of the payback period would be calculated. This will show how effective the PV panels are.
The method would be by figuring out the best PV panels on the market that are available for this project; after which solar angle studies would be performed to figure out the best way to place the PV panels on the building. The surface area of the PV panels and the amount of electricity generated per panel would provide a measure of the total energy generated and amount of money saved. This will depict the practicality of incorporating PV panels.

Structural Breadth - Precast Floor Units
As a result of the precast floor unit analysis on the elevated slabs between the first floor and the basement; there will be weight changes on the beams and columns. The precast floor units that would be placed would have less dead load on the beams and columns since they have a reduced dead load over cast in place (CIP) slabs which may not affect the structure of the building. If the new dead load generated by the precast floor units would cause structural instability; then the structural system may have to be modified in order to maintain stability and safety of the structure.

This structural analysis would calculate the change of load that occurs on the beams and columns that support the mentioned area of this building as a result of placing the units. A structural analysis will be conducted to study the structural support for the change as well as the load path for the new system on the beams and columns supporting it and their ability to sustain the new loads without a problem. If the dead load requires a change in structure, then the next step in this analysis would be to figure out the new structural members’ details/sizing.



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 Christopher
Ankeny. 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

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