Special Thanks to Cannon Design

Piez Hall Addition

Oswego, NY

MinGao Li's Senior Thesis

Structural Option

Student Biography
Building Statistics
Thesis Abstract
Technical Reports
Thesis Proposal
Final Presentation
Final Report

Thesis Proposal


The goal of the this proposal was to identify a problem and then adress this probelm with a redesign for the Spring semester. click here for a PDF version of the proposal.


Depth: Composite system with long span truss and eccentric braced frames

Since the old Piez hall, conservatory and planetarium is already a steel frame structure, the new extension will be redesigned as a composite system with long span trusses spanning a length of about 70 feet. Moreover, since New York has many experienced steel crews and contractors, construction time and cost of the building will be reduced. The weight of the building will be greatly reduced as well, which benefits the foundation. However, thorough investigation will still be performed to determine the impact of the redesign on the existing foundation. It was determined in technical report 3 that seismic load was the controlling lateral force in all directions, thus a flexible building with ductile members is desirable to dissipate energy in an earthquake. The redesign will incorporate eccentric braced frames as the main lateral force resisting system. The number of shear walls in the current design will be eliminated and the column layout will be rearranged in hopes to achieve more usable interior spaces and longer deck span while it still meets all strength and serviceability requirements. In spring 2013, a model will be generated by ETABS and RAM to compare with the current design. The model will be a unified composite steel system with long span trusses and eccentric braced frames. The criteria of comparison include constructability, strength, feasibility, cost, lateral ductility, and drift limits. Vibration concerns will be investigated and addressed at the end.


Breadth 1: Construction

The redesign of Piez Hall addition may alter the construction process and the time and cost associate with it. The goal here is to lower the cost and time to construct the building. A construction schedule using Microsoft project will be created for the proposed system. Assembly cost estimate will be performed using RS means cost work. The cost and construction time of the proposed and current system will be analyzed and compared. Another issue that needs to be addressed is the temporary supports and bracings that resist construction load. Since a structure has not developed its full strength during early construction phase, there exist many possibilities that the structure will collapse if temporary supports were not properly design. Finally construction site logistics will be established for the new proposed system.


Breadth 2: Sustainability

The current Piez Hall is rated LEED Gold. However, there are still rooms to improve. The goal for the redesign of Piez Hall will aim to improve sustainability by further reducing annual energy costs of the building. A green roof will be incorporated into the redesign. It can benefit Piez Hall addition by increasing the thermal resistance of the roof assembly throughout the year, especially in summer by helping to reduce cooling costs. A green roof also acts as a sound barrier to improve the building’s overall acoustic performance. Lastly, it can reduce storm water run-off by 50 to 90%, which will minimize the impact on the existing sewer system. Since a green roof usually has a design load of 100psf in addition to snow loads, a thicker roof and possibility bigger columns are needed. Moreover, a proper water drainage system to get water out of the roof is essential to avoid potential problem such as ice dam.

In addition to the green roof, interior green walls will be incorporated into the redesign. They will be placed inside the new extension to improve indoor air quality and to promote health and wellness as well as to add aesthetic effects. Similar to the green roof, green walls can reduce annual energy savings by providing passive cooling during summer.


MAE Coursework

Concepts learn in course AE 530 (computer modeling), AE 538 (Earthquake Design), and AE 537 (Building Failure) will be incorporated into the redesign of the Piez Hall over the spring. ETABS and RAM knowledge learnt in AE 530 will be used to create the models of Piez Hall extension. Seismic design concepts learnt in AE 538 will be incorporated into the redesign in order to allow the structure to better resist seismic loads. Principles learnt in AE 537 can be used to avoid human mistakes made in the construction phase of the building and to ensure better building performances after the building is constructed.

Original Proposal

Revised Proposal

















Senior Thesis
Penn State University
Architectural Engineering
AE Computer Lab
Cannon Design

This page was last updated on Sept. 07, 2012, by MinGao Li and is hosted by the AE Department @ 2013

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-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 MinGao Li. 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.