Daniel Bodde

Structural Option

Building Statistics


Building Statistics:

Building Name:
            Biobehavioral Building
            University Park, PA
            The Pennsylvania State University
Occupant Name:
            College of Health and Human Development
            College of Health and Human Development
            Type B & Type A-3
            93,500 sf
Number of Stories:
            5 Stories above grade + Full Basement (100% Below Grade)
Dates of Construction:
            November 2010? - October 2012
            Building Cost = $32,000,00
            Overall Building Cost = $40,000,000
Project Delivery Method:


Project Team
            BohlinCywinski Jackson (
Structural Engineer:
            Robert Silman Associates (
MEP Engineer:
            Bruce E. Brookes & Associates (
Civil Engineer:
            Gannett Fleming, Inc (
Landscape Architect:
            Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, LTD (
Construction Manager:
            Massaro Construction Management Services (
General Contractor:
            Leonard S. Fiore, Inc (

            The Biobehavioral Health (BBH) Building was designed to blend with that existing architecture that surrounds it. The majority of the façade was designed to mimic Henderson North’s Georgian style architecture with its large amount of hand placed brick and limestone.  On the north east portion of the building the design is more modern to replicate that of the HUB.  Since a portion of the BBH building protruded into the HUB Lawn, which is a popular student hangout, a terrace has been provided.  Not only does this offer a relaxing place for students to lounge but it will also be used as a stage for future concerts. 
            One of the architectural features BCJ is known for is extending exterior materials into the interior public spaces such as lobbies and corridors.  A majority of the interior space is made up of offices and conference rooms that will house faculty and graduate students from the college of health and human development.  One of the key interior spaces is the lecture hall, which is located on the ground floor directly below the HUB lawn terrace. It is able to seat up to 200 people and has a ceiling designed to absorb any sounds or vibrations coming from the terrace above.                   

Building Enclosure
            The exterior facade of the BBH building mainly composed of handmade brick and quarried limestone.  The brick and stone was hand layed in order to mimic the style of construction used for Henderson North in 1915.  Glass curtain walls are located at the north east and south east.  A 10:12 pitched roof caps off the middle portion of the building reroutes rain water to the green roof systems located to the north and south.

            The BBH building is located in Subdistrict 5 of the University Panned District and abided by its zoning laws.

            The following codes were used in the design and construction of the BBH building.

  • PA Uniform Construction Code
  • 2006 International Building Code
  • 2006 International Plumbing Code

Historical Requirements
            Penn State required that the exterior be designed to match that of Henderson North, which was built in 1915.

            The BBH building is designed to achieve a LEED rating of silver.  To help achieve this rating it has a green roof on the north and south ends.  All the rain water that drains from the green roof gets put into a cistern underground that is used to water the landscape around the building.


The BBH Building uses a shallow strip and spread footing foundation system. The strip footings are placed under the foundation walls around the perimeter of the building.  These footings are at an elevation of -15’ and step down to -21’ around the lecture hall. A typical strip footing is 30” and 18”.  Normal weight concrete is used for all footings and must have minimum compressive 28 day strength of 4 ksi. It was recommended that the foundations bear on sound dolomite bedrock.

Floor System:
The BBH Building floors are concrete slab on metal deck. The typical slab on deck consists of 3 ¼” light weight concrete on 3” 18 gage galvanized composite steel deck that is reinforced with 6”x6” W2.0xW2.0welded wire fabric. In order to decrease beam depth the BBH building was designed as a composite steel system.  ¾” diameter shear studs are welded to the top flange of the beam/girder. The number of shear studs varies per beam/girder. The typical floor plan has beams spanning N-S and girder spanning E-W.

Lateral System:
The BBH Building uses two types of lateral force resisting systems, moment frames and an eccentric braced frame. These systems are used to resist lateral forces placed on the structure due to wind and seismic loads. The moment frames are in both the N-S and E-W direction.  Frames resisting N-S loads go from column line 2 to column line 6. Frames resisting E-W loads are only located along column lines B and D.

The BBH Building was funded through the Department of General Services (DGS).  Being a DGS project, it was required that there should be multiple prime contractors.  The BBH Building used the Design-Bid-Build type of contract. The BBH Building’s site can be considered to be small. This is because it is located on one of the popular student hang out spots, the HUB lawn.  The site was compressed as much as possible to minimize the protrusion into the HUB lawn.  Having a smaller site meant that there would be less room for material storage and site traffic.  Coordination between primes was critical to keep the project schedule.


The BBH Building is located on the Penn State campus.  This allowed it to be hooked into the steam and chilled water loops that run through campus.  The BBH Building uses six air handling units to pump air throughout the building.  Four units are located in the penthouse and two are located in the basement mechanical rooms.  The air is cooled and heated using VAV boxes that are placed throughout the building. Each VAV controls anywhere from one room to four rooms based on the sizes of each room

The BBH Building uses both florescent and LED lighting.  The public areas use the LED lighting. Florescent lighting is used for the more private areas such as offices, conference rooms, and graduate student areas. Occupancy sensors are used throughout the building to control the lighting based on movement in the building.

Like the mechanical system, the electrical system is also hooked into the campus power.  The main distribution switchgear (MDS) is a 1600 A, 480/277V, 3-phase, 4 wire switchgear.  This is then distributed to four sub-distribution panels and one secondary distribution switch board.

Fire Protection
The BBH building has sprinklers spread throughout the building. The beams and columns that were designated to be fire resistant were covering in spray foam that gives it a 2 hour fire rating. Also the two stair towers at the east and west parts of the building are surrounded by fully grouted CMU to also give it a 2 hour fire rating.

The BBH Building has one main elevator located near the central part of the building. Located on the north-west and south-east are stair wells the go from the basement to the top level. These are designated as the means of egress in case of a fire.  Finally there is an atrium to the north-east that has an open stair tower in it.


“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 here with 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 Daniel Bodde. 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.”
This page was last updated on 1/14/2013, by Daniel Bodde and is hosted by the AE Department ©2012”