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Structural Option



Located in the Mid-Atlantic

"Eschewing the usual separation between offices and classrooms, the project combines these functions on each floor of the building around a central skylit atrium to deliberately promote interaction between faculty, staff and students" - Payette Architechure

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Building Statistics

General Information:
Building Name:  Public Health

Location:  Near Washington, D.C.

Building Occupant Name:  Disclosed

Occupancy type:   Offices – Business
    Human Performance Labs – Business
                  Classrooms – Business/Assembly
                  Auditorium – Assembly
    Lecture/Conference Rooms – Business/Assembly
    Mechanical Room – Mechanical

Size:  161,100 SF

Stories:  9 Stories, 7 Stories above grade

Project Team:

Construction Manager

Whiting Turner


Payette Associates, Inc.

Associate Architect

Ayers/Saint/Gross Architects

MEP/FP Engineer

Affiliated Engineers, Inc.

Structural Engineer

Tadjer Cohen Edelson Associates

Lighting Design

Atelier Ten

Fire Protection Consultant

Sullivan Engineering

Civil/Site Engineer

Wiles Mensch Corporation

LEED Consultant

S.D. Keppler & Associates, LLC

Elevator Consultant

Zipf Associates, Inc.


Shen Milsom Wilke

Code Consultant

Rolf Jensen Accociates

Dates: March 2012 - December 2013
Cost: $56 million
Project Delivery:  Single Prime – Design-bid-build 

Built to house leaders in the public and private health policy sectors, this new 9 story 153,000 square foot building will be a great addition to the university's campus.  The building is a mesh between both office space and student classrooms.  All of these nestled around a central sky lit atrium.  The architect hopes that this mesh will help to bridge the gap between faculty and students.  The classroom area appears as if the classrooms are floating on clouds in a glass enclosure.  The mainly concrete structure is enclosed by a curtain wall.  The main feature of the building is its curved saw blade like curtain wall system that encompasses one quarter of the building's facade.

Codes:  International Building Code (IBC), 2006
                International Fire Code (IFC), 2006
                International Mechanical Code (IMC), 2006
                NFPA 13 – Standard for the Installation of Automatic Sprinkler Systems, 202
                NFPA 70 – National Electrical Code, 2005
                NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarm Code, 2002
                Other – National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards as referred to by the above codes

Building Façade:  The building façade is constructed of many different types of material, ranging from stone to metal.  The building’s first floor is mainly a stone veneer giving the building a very stereotomic base.  The rest of the building is clad in a mixture of glazing, metal panels, and terracotta.  The West and Southeast facades are relatively similar to one another.  They both have a random pattern of terracotta, metal paneling, and glazing above the first floor with the majority material being terracotta.  The south and north facades are also very similar except the south facade has an aluminum sunscreen system in place.  Otherwise these ends of the building are almost fully glazed.  Lastly, the curved curtain wall with reveals located on the northeast side of the building is composed of mainly glazing with the reveals clad in terracotta.

Building Roof:  The majority of the roof is a garden roofing system.  The system used on this project is the Sika Sarnafil Extensive Greenroof system.  It will use 3in. of growing medium as well as have pavers for maintenance.  The penthouse will be coved with a fully adhered white, 60mm thick PVC membrane with a layer of 8in. thick tapered polyisocyanurate insulation boards underneath.

This building is registered as a LEED – NC 2.2 Silver building.  This rating includes many different LEED credits involving the façade, roof, and internal systems.  The main points came from the heat island effect roof, the building close location in proximity to transit, and use of efficient plumbing and lighting fixtures.  (More to come once I touch base with the architect.)

Structural System:
Foundation:  The University health Building’s foundation is comprised of a series of spread footings that serve as bases or the columns of the structure.  The spread footings vary in thickness from 25 inches to 50 inches.  The perimeter spread footings on the west side of the building are connected to interior spread footings through the use of grade beams.  These grade beams transfer some of the moment to the interior spread footings to ease the perimeter loading.

Floor System:   The floor system is primarily a post tensioned flat plate system with both banded and distributed tendons.  Sections of the building incorporate continuous drop panels in located were hanging partitions are located or when column to column spacing is greater than 21 feet.  The drop panels range from 8 inches to 10 inches in depth.  The post tensioned floor slab ranges from 7 inches to 9.5 inches and is either 8000 pound per square inch concrete or 6000 pound per square inch concrete.

Lateral System:  The lateral system for the University Health Building is made up of concrete moment frames consisting of the floor slab and various columns. 

Mechanical System:
Primary cooling for this building is provided by two 350 ton chillers and primary heating is provided by four natural gas boilers.  The fans for the heating/cooling devices are run by Variable Frequency Drives so that only the necessary amount of air is sent through the ductwork allowing for energy conservation.  The exhaust ducts are equipped with energy recovery wheels so that the heating/cooling unit will not have to work as hard to maintain the building’s climate.  The recovered energy will also contribute to significant energy savings.

Lighting/Electrical System: 
The University Health Building is lighted by a mix of both fluorescent and LED style light fixtures.  These fixtures provide effective and efficient lighting for the interior of the building.  The lighting system is also equipped with occupancy and ambient light sensors to help cut down on building energy consumption.

The main power entering the building is 13.8 kilovolts provided by Pepco Holdings.  This is then turned into usable 480Y/277V power through the use of a transformer to be used throughout the building.  This power is sent to various panel boxes so it can then be distributed systematically throughout the building.  The buildings also equipped with a 750 kilowatt generator for emergency power.

Whiting-Turner is the construction management agency in charge of the construction of the University Health Building.  The cost of construction is estimated to be around $56 million.  The contract is single prime design-bid-build.  Construction is to be complete in December 2013.

Fire Protection:
All floors, except portions of the basement, of the University Health Building are protected by a sprinkler system.  Water for the system is supplied vertically throughout the building by a pump located on the lower basement floor, or can be supplied by the fire company through standpipes located on each stair tower. 

The main telecommunication room is located in the lower basement level beside the main electrical room.  This central hub services various AV rooms located on each floor, and the AV rooms service all the classrooms and offices located in their quadrant. 

The University Health building has one main elevator bank with three elevators that service every floor.  There are three main stair cases.  One central stair case that services floors 1-7 which serves as the main stair case for the building.  At the north and south ends of the building, there are fire rated stair cases that service the basement up to floor 7.  Lastly, there is a stair tower that services the penthouse originating from the 7th floor.




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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‐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 Evan Landis. 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 9-7-12, by Evan Landis and is hosted by the AE Department ©2012