Timothy Maffett Construction Management Research Facility Core and Shell (RFCS) San Anto, California


Student Biography
Building Statistics
Thesis Abstract
Technical Assignments
Thesis Research
Thesis Proposal
Final Report
Senior Thesis e-Studio



Building Statistics

General Building Data *A complete PDF document of the Building Stats can be found below this html description

Building Name: Research Facility Core and Shell (RFCS)

Location: San Anto, California (Fictitious)

Building Occupant Name: Faction (Fictitious)

Occupancy type:  Subterranean Parking Garage: Group B-2

Building: Group B, Corporate Office and Research and Development

Size:  159,290 GSF

Number of Stories above Grade: 4

Primary Project Team:



Website Link




General Contractor

DPR Construction



Dowler-Gruman Architects


Civil Engineer

Rick Engineering Company


Structural Engineer

Hope Engineering


Mech/Plumb Engineer



Electrical Engineer

MPE Consulting


Dates of Construction: 20 Months February 2011 - August 2012

Actual Cost Information:

Major Costs for Research Facility Core and Shell


Construction Cost


Actual Building Construction



Total Project



Mechanical System



Electrical System



Plumbing System



Fire Protection



Structural System



Exterior Skin



Project Delivery Method: Design-Bid-Build with a GMP contract




Design and Functional Components:

Research Facility Core and Shell (RFCS) is a four story building with a subterranean parking garage located in California that is being built to serve the growing research and office space needs of an already functioning campus.  The Core and Shell portion of the construction includes a four story steel frame with various exterior facades including both curtain wall and punch window systems.  It also includes restrooms and core mechanical, electrical, and plumbing elements along with site improvements. The first two floors are planned for research use housing larger rooms while the third and fourth floors are planned for office space.

Major National Model Codes

  • 2010 California Building Code (Part 2 of Title 24)
  • 2010 California Electric Code (Part 3 of Title 24)
  • 2010 California Mechanical Code (Part 4 of Title 24)
  • 2010 California Plumbing Code (Part 5 of Title 24)
  • 2010 California Energy Code (Part 6 of Title 24)
  • 2010 California Elevator Code (Part 7 of Title 24)
  • 2010 California Fire Code (Part 9 of Title 24)
  • Accessibility Regulations as Prescribed by the 2010 California Building Code, Chapter 11
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Guidelines, as amended, 28 CFR Part 36 and 36, CFR 1911
  • Codes and ordinances adopted by the city of San Diego


Zoning: IP-1-1
Construction Type: Type 1, Fully Sprinklered (Garage Level)
Type 2-B, Fully Fire Sprinklered (Floor 1 Thru 4)
Site Area: 1,856,919 SF
Historical Requirements of Building: Not Applicable


Building Enclosure

The building enclosure for RFCS is composed of various facades.  Both a curtain wall system and a punch window style system are used interchangeably around the building.  The curtain walls are connected to the main structure through tie-ins to the floor slabs and are composed of light steel and house large “vision glass” windows.  The areas with punch windows are composed of an aluminum storefront window system which is then framed with metal studs to support the exterior stone finish backed by R 19 batt insulation and a moisture barrier.
















Roof System

The roof is a Class “A” built-up roofing system composed of a sealed white EPDM membrane on a ½” retro-fit board on 2 layers of 2 ½” rigid insulation on metal deck.  Hiding the mechanical equipment is a screen wall composed of 2” HSS steel tubing to support flat aluminum panels with a duranar finish.












Sustainability Features

RFCS is tracking towards completing as LEED Silver.  Recent decisions by the owner, such as installing solar panels at the roof top level could push the project into LEED Gold Certification.  The major components of the building which accounted for the majority of the credits were water efficiency, sustainable site improvements, energy efficient wall panels, increased indoor air quality, and day lighting.  The construction team at RFCS also implemented a robust waste management and recycling system which accounted for credits too.



The conditions of this Southern California site are quite favorable for construction.  Owners and contractors benefit from the almost always sunny weather with almost no rainy days (10 inches per year on average).  The Faction campus is also very spacious allowing for a large site with gracious lay down space and tie-ins to an existing central utility plant. 

Adding to these conveniences is an existing parking lot that is next to the site which allows space for trailers as well as parking for employees, craftsman and labors.  This clears the actual site, opening it even further for the trades to efficiently work.  An existing fire lane that passes the site allows for easy entrance and exit for vehicles such as dump trucks, concrete trucks, and delivery trucks.  As one might expect, the soil in the area remains dry which was a benefit to the project team as they did not have to pump water during excavation.  The consistently sandy soil of the area also gave ease to the excavation process as well as the predictability of avoiding unforeseen conditions.














Electrical System

The electrical system of the core and shell was kept to simply main components similar to that of the mechanical scope.  Power enters the building at the basement level of the N-E corner of the building traveling from the three main transformers (3000KVA, (2) 1500KVA) to a 4000 A switchgear and a 2500 A switchgear.  These large switchgears are located in the main electrical room where they connect into the panel boards that smaller distribution systems will tie into during the Tenant Improvement contract. 
















Mechanical System

The portion of RFCS that is being studied incorporates only the main “core” of the mechanical system which entails large rooftop units with large ducts that travel down the main vertical chase of the building.  While the scope of work is small, at this phase in the project is when the main drivers of what the mechanical system will be are installed. 

The HVAC system is a constant volume dedicated outdoor air system.  The core portion of the mechanical system is comprised of 4 rooftop air handling units utilizing central chilled water via a main plant on the Faction campus and will service hot water via two 4-ton rooftop boilers.  A smaller mechanical/utility room is located at the garage level but most of the service will occur at the rooftop level.  A large vertical chase runs from the rooftop to the garage allowing for an organized flow of ductwork and piping.  This chase is located at the center of the building next to the restrooms.


Structural System

Structural Steel Frame

The main superstructure at RFCS consists of structural steel.  It rests on 42 spread footings sized mainly at 11’x11’ supporting the structure with a CMU wall running the perimeter of the basement bearing the load from the soil.   The design is straight forward following a redundant bay scheme.  Composite metal deck rests on the steel beams topped with 3 ½” normal-weight concrete.  A relatively new form of lateral bracing was used on this building.  It is called a “side-plate” system and involves using steel side plates to horizontally brace and connect the perimeter columns to one another.  An image taken from the manufacturer’s website can be seen below.   The most common beam used throughout the building is a W21x44 spanning 42 ½ feet and running N-S.  The girders that these beams rest on are typically W27x84 and run E-W.  Columns are spaced in a typical pattern with the largest being W12x120.


http://www.sideplate.com/img/img_about.jpg dun  












Cast in Place Concrete

Cast in Place concrete was utilized for the foundation, slab on grade, and floor slabs.  Classic wooden formwork was used for the foundation and SOG while an edge plate was built into the structure to allow for the pours onto metal deck.  Trucks delivered the concrete to site allowing for direct pours for the foundation and SOG.  A pump was utilized for floors 1-4 due to the elevations.


Fire Protection

An active, wet pipe, fire protection system is utilized throughout the building.  The stair sets located at both plan-west and plan-east are isolated from the main building by a 2 1/2-hr rated wall system.  The laboratory spaces are also designated as higher risk zones and incorporate a 2 hr rated wall system enclosing the space.  The remainder of the building is designated as office space utilizing walls with 1-1 ½ hour rated systems.


Two stair sets serve the foot traffic to elevated floors.  These stair sets are located both at plan-west and plan-east and are identical.  At the central core two elevators also serve to bring occupants to elevated floor levels.  Next to the stairs located a plan-west is a service elevator used for carrying larger equipment and laboratory supplies.


Telecommunications are not included in the Core/Shell contract.  Drawings are unable to be attained due to lack of owner permission.


Please click the images below to view the full building statistics...






























This page was last updated on 09/17/12, by Timothy Maffett and is hosted by the AE Department ©2012