Seneca Allegany Casino/Hotel Addition
Salamanca, NY


Nicholas Reed
Structural Option

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Building Statistics

Salamanca, New York
Building Occupant
Seneca Gaming Corporation
Occupancy Type
Number of Stories
11, 153 ft total height
15,000 sq. ft. per floor
Cost $40 million






Building Codes

Building codes used in the most recent addition include the 2010 New York State building code, based on the 2006 IBC and 2005 ASCE-7, with specific changes for New York State such as snow and seismic conditions.

Project Team





Seneca Nation of Indians


JCJ Architecture

Structural & Civil-Site Engineers



M/E Engineering P.C.

Construction Managers

Seneca Construction Management Corporation

Dates of Construction
The entire casino complex has undergone multiple phases of construction since early 2004, starting with a pre-engineered metal building for the original casino. Phase 2 was an 8 story parking garage built in 2005. Phase 3 was the first 11 story hotel, containing 200 rooms and a 2 story casino addition, built in 2006. Phase 4 consisted of a portion of lower floors designed with the existing Phase 3 hotel in 2005 and constructed in 2006 as a 3-story addition capable of supporting an additional 8 hotel floors, (Phase 5).  

Phase 5 is the addition that will be studied for this Thesis, which will tie in-to and be built over a section of the existing building. Phase 5 consists of 200 more hotel rooms. Initial designs for the hotel addition were completed in late 2007, and construction of lower 4 floors was started in 2008, but the project was put on hold. Construction resumed in 2011, with a completion date of Fall 2012.


The hotel addition is shown on the right of the above image. The main structure is entirely comprised of steel beams and columns, with concrete slabs on grade on each floor and roof level. The perimeter long direction is comprised of rigid moment frames, while the short direction is comprised of interior diagonal braced frames.  The entire structure is supported by steel pile foundations driven to bedrock. The lower 3 levels (shown by the green insulation) consist of larger assembly areas, game rooms and cafeterias, with the ground level used for transportation of goods and a mechanical room. A service elevator that was already in the existing building connects to the ground floor of the addition.
south view metal panels

facade section Since the Casino is set off of a highway with no other surrounding builidings, the only precedent architecture for the addition was the original hotel tower itself, which is why the glass façade was continued.

The façade of the Hotel Addition consists of 2 parts, with insulated tempered glass covering the majority of the building where the rooms and penthouse suites are located. The lower 3 levels are sheathed in metal panels. Shown below is an exterior wall section for the 9th floor. The darker sections of glass shown in the top left are where the rooms are located, shown in section as the vision glass. The spandrel glass is backed by metal studs. Interior curtain walls are also framed by metal studs.

More detailed information of sustainability features has been requested, meanwhile, it is known that there are operable louvers to control the amount of daylight, and the wealth of glazing on a majority of the façade allows for plenty of natural light.




The foundation of the SAC Hotel Addition is comprised of HP-shape steel piles with working capacities of 200 kips driven to bedrock. The piles are capped by 4000 psi concrete with strip and spread footings resting on 2000 psf subgrade. Interior column footings make use of piers tied to columns, with a fixed connection assumed for the E-W moment frames and a pinned connection for the N-S braced frames.


A typical composite steel framing system is used in the SAC Hotel Addition. Wide flange beams and girders support composite metal deck, consisting of normal weight concrete (145 pcf) and a compressive strength of 3500 psi. Two gages of deck are used, 20 gage for every floor except the roof, which uses 18 gage. 3/4" shear studs are spaced evenly along beams and girders. Wide flange shapes are also used for the columns throughout the entire building.


The lateral system in the SAC Hotel Addition consists of 6 concentrically braced frames in the N-S direction for the purpose of resisting wind forces, while perimeter moment frames are used in the E-W direction for seismic resistance using moment connections. The braced frames are comprised of wide flange shapes ranging from W10 - W14s for the diagonal members. Two of the frames rest on the existing structure, and begin at the 4th floor. The rest of the frames span the entire height of the addition, except for one in column line X, which terminates at the 3rd floor. The 4th floor and above on column line X are where a multi-room suite is located.


The roof consists of a typical slab on metal deck with a parapet surrounding the perimeter, with everything covered in protective sheathing, fire protection and insulation. Embedded in the concrete slab are anchors for window cleaning hoists placed evenly around the entire roof.


A Variable Air Volume (VAV) system is used in the SAC Hotel Addition. The existing hotel tower houses a mechanical room on the 3rd floor that feeds into the new addition. This mechanical room has 3 AHUs, boilers, and water pumps. There is one AHU located on the roof.

Since the hotel has a repetitive floor plan, the location of restrooms is consistent per floor, allowing for plumbing to stay in condensed locations as it moves up the building.

Fire Protection

The SAC Hotel Addition is mostly comprised of steel, thus spray fireproofing is required. Fireproofing is applied to all columns, beams and the underside of the metal deck with a 2 hour rating. A sprinkler system services each room and corridor per floor.


The new addition is powered by a 480/277V 3 phase electrical system for a majority of the building with receptacles and light fixtures on a 208/120V 3 phase system. The 3rd floor mechanical room houses 2 transformers, each serving panelboards located on staggered floors the whole height of the builiding. Lighting fixtures include CFLs, LEDs, and fluorescents.


The existing hotel tower was built with an elevator shaft housing 3 elevators. The new hotel addition is tied to the existing addition with an expansion joint. At this expansion joint, the new addition's corridor connects to the existing tower with the demolition of a hotel room and a curtain wall. At the other end of the new addition is a stair tower that services the entire building.

(Photos courtesy of Jim Boje, PE (Wendel) and drawing, JCJ Architecture)

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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 Nicholas Reed. 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 1/11/2013 by Nick Reed and is hosted by the AE Department ©2012-2013