Scott Molongoski~ Structural Option

Presenting the:






Baltimore, MD


Building Statistics:

Building Name: Gateway Residence Hall
Location: 1601 Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore , Maryland 21217
Occupancy Types: R-2, A-3, B
Size: 108,000 sqft
Height: 122 ft, with 9 stories plus a mechanical penthouse
Owner: Maryland Institute College of Art
Architect and Engineer: RTKL Associates Inc.
Landscape Architect: Higgins Lazarus
Civil: KCW Engineering Technologies
General Contractor: Whiting Turner
Lighting Design: Flux Studios
Dates of Construction: August 2006-August 2008
Approximate Project Cost: $30 Million
Project Delivery Method: Design-Bid-Build


The Gateway Residence Hall at the Maryland Institute College of Arts is a 9-story, 108,000 square foot student dormitory building and a signature feature of the MICA campus. The building has 64 dormitory rooms, artist studio space, art galleries, conference rooms, a coffee house, and a versatile “black box” theater capable of being arranged to suit any function. Due to unique site constraints the building has a full 360 degree façade, forming a donut like shape with an open air courtyard in the center. This courtyard features a garden and actually sits above the “black box” theater, creating an interesting structural challenge. Most of the building’s structure is concrete with glass curtain walls on all sides of the building. Gateway also features a number of unique architectural characteristics, including vertical and horizontal cuts in the façade that penetrate into the courtyard, a rectangular tower , a base set back from the stories above, and a shared wall with an older converted fire station.


Maryland Building Performance Standards, adopted from IBC, 2000 editions, with state modifications
International Fire Code, 2000 edition
Maryland Accessibility Code (COMAR 05.02.02)
National Electric Code (NFPA 70), 1999 edition
International Mechanical Code, 2000 edition
National Fuel Gas Code 2000 edition
Zoning: B-3-3 and B-2-3
No historical requirements

Building Enclosure:


The Gateway has a very prominent position on the MICA campus. The building was designed to be a bookend on the north side of the campus, very close to Interstate 83 as it enters Baltimore. As such the building has prominence on all sides, necessitating glass curtain walls along the entire façade. Each dorm room has a full floor to ceiling glass window that is colored either white, gray, or mint green. The glass types include temper clear glass, low E clear IGU tempered, low E translucent IGU tempered, white on low iron glass opticoat, green opticoat, dark grey, clear white with vertical frit IGU, white vertical frit with dark grey spandrel coating, clear tempered, clear laminated, low E clear IGU with UV membrane suspended in air gap, safety glass at fire rated doors, laminated color glass, IGU color glass, and laminated frosted glass. The tower portion of the building that faces the highway features horizontal fritted glass and baked ceramic pieces. The materials chosen were intended to match the Brown Center, another prominent building on the south end of the campus. Besides the enormous amount of glass used in the façade, the rest of the exterior has an exposed concrete finish. On one side of the site, the designers had to address an existing facilities building that the institute did not want to demolish. To account for this, a 2 hour fire rated wall was built into the existing structure for the first two stories of the Gateway, in effect connecting the two buildings.


The roof membrane of the Gateway features a vapor retarder between the concrete slab and the three layers of rigid insulation. Above this there is a two ply bituminous membrane, and an additional top ply membrane at the walking surface. The R value of the roof assembly is 27 and has a minimum thickness of 4 inches. Refer to the assembly detail below for specific membrane MasterFormat numbers.


The Gateway Residence Hall has no features that make the building especially sustainable. However the courtyard within the drum of the building has a number of landscaping features and plants that attest to the designers incorporation of nature in the project.

Structural System:


The foundation of the MICA Gateway features drilled caissons that bear directly on bedrock and have a safe bearing capacity of 10 ksf. All columns that start at ground level start at the top of a drilled caisson. Caissons are also located directly under the walls that support the load from the long span beams over the “black box” theater. All caissons are between 3’-0” and 4’-6” in diameter

Gravity System:

The gravity load system for the Gateway features numerous two-way flat plate slabs as well as several one-way slabs and two-way slabs with drop panels. Below Level 4, there are several one way slabs of 7” thickness that span the areas below the courtyard. They work in conjunction with concrete beams that span very irregular areas. On Level 3, the courtyard spans over the “black-box” theater, to give a column free space for intended use. As such, 48”x48” beams were designed to span over the almost 60’ of the theater and accommodate the large dead and live loads from the plaza and planters in the courtyard above. These beams have (16)#10 bottom reinforcing bars to resist the large moments produced by the load.

The slabs and beams of the Gateway are all supported by concrete columns that form two concentric circular lines around the drum of the building. In most interior areas and on the upper floors these columns are rectangular, with sizes ranging from 12x12 to 24x24. In other places where the columns are on the exterior of the building, such as the 40’ slender columns that support Level 4, the columns are circular with sizes ranging from 24” diameter to 36” diameter.

Lateral System:

The lateral system of the Gateway features two concrete shear wall groups located near the stair and elevator cores, one in the tower and the other in the drum. Due to the low seismic risk of the region, it was assumed that the lateral system was primarily ordinary concrete shear walls. Each of the eight shear walls extend from the ground to the highest point in their respective part of the building; 122’ in the tower and 103’ in the drum. The walls are all 12” thick and from 9’ to 24’ long. The shear walls are highlighted in Figure 7 below.

Mechanical System:

The Gateway features two primary mechanical spaces, one on the second floor and another on the tenth floor. These large mechanical spaces house the building's air handling units, boilers, air cooled chillers, and gas fired water heaters. There are four air handling units with supplies ranging from 9600 cfm to 14500 cfm. Three of the air handling units are VAV systems that serve the public spaces, multipuropse room, and studios, while the fourth is a CV system that serves the lobby prefunction and gallery. Two natural gas cast iron boilers with an output of 1632 mbh each are required to heat the building. Two air cooled chillers are located in the tenth floor mechanical room to provide cooling for the building. They are screw type chillers with a nominal capacity of 200 tons.

Electrical and Lighting Systems:

The Baltimore Gas and Electric Company provides the electrical needs for the Gateway Residence. Power is stepped down through an external pad mounted transformer and then enters the building in a 10 way 4" concrete encased ductway. On the first floor of the building there is an electrical room that contains the main siwtchboard, which in turn distributes power to the rest of the building. Adjacent to the electircal room there is a generator room that contains the 375 KVA / 300 KW emergency generator for the Gateway. At every floor there are electrical closets that contain the fuse breakers, receptacle panel, fire alarm junction boxes, transformers, and other electrical equipment. The lighting featured in the Gateway is primarily compact or linear flourescents that use 120/277 V electricity. There are also several incandescent lighting fixtures and emergency lighting fixtures.


Whiting Turner was the general contractor in charge of constructing the Gateway Residence. Construction began in August 2006 and lasted until August 2008. Using a design-bid-build delivery method, Whiting Turner was able to finish the building at budget of $30 million.

Fire Protection:

The fire protection system for the Gateway features a wet sprinkler system to protect the conditioned building spaces and dry horizontal sidewall sprinklers to protect the circulation rings of the each floor. Water for the sprinklers and standpipes enters the building through an 8" service line. A fire pump located in the fire pump room on the first floor pumps the water to the sprinkler lines located on each floor. An automatic fire detection system is provided with smoke detectors connected to a fire alarm system in mechanical and electrical spaces. Single station smoke alarms are provided in the dormatory rooms. The stairways of the Gateway are also pressurized to keep smoke out in an emergency.


As a dormitory building the Gateway provides television connections as well as internet service to the entire building. The telecommunication system also controls the buildings elevators, security system, and emergency system. For the multipurpose performance space an overhead projector is also provided. All telecommunication systems are controlled from the telecom room on located on the first floor.


For vertical transportation within the Gateway, two passenger elevators serve all levels of the structure. The elevators are located in the tower section of the building. Two egress stairwells are included as well, with one adjacent to the elevators and the other located in the drum of the building opposite the elevators. For circulation on an individual floor there is a circulation ring located on the interior of the building facing the courtyard. Some of this walkway is enclosed while some is open to the elements. This circulation ring provides access to the dormitory rooms on each floor.


Project Timeline:

4/22/13- ABET Assessment and Reflection Posted

4/9/13- Presentation Posted

4/3/13- Final Report Posted

1/14/13- Building Statistics 2 Posted

1/8/13- Revised Proposal Posted

12/14/12- Thesis Proposal Complete

11/12/12- Tech Report Three Complete

10/22/12- Thesis Abstract Posted

10/12/12- Tech Report Two Complete

09/28/12- Thesis Abstract Submitted

09/17/12- Tech Report One Complete

09/10/12- Student Bio Complete

09/7/12- Home Page Posted

08/31/12- Building Statistics 1 Complete

07/03/12- Obtained Project Documents

06/26/12- Owner Permission Recieved





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-in-progress 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 Scott Molongoski. 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 4/22/13, by Scott Molongoski and is hosted by the AE Department