Christopher Graziani
Construction Management
Penn State Health and Human Development Building

University Park, PA

Thesis Proposal

This proposal will provide an insight on the analyses that will be completed in the spring of 2014. The proposal will look at The Health and Human Development Building - an office, classroom, and lab building located on the campus of The Pennsylvania State University. In order to view the proposal in full, please click on the image directly to the right.

Analysis 1 - Stair Tower Redesign
The Health and Human Development Building is composed of a full cast-in-place concrete stair tower that acts as a shear wall for the structural steel system. The installation of this system was very tedious and was a major schedule concern. For this analysis, a steel braced frame will be proposed to reduce safety concerns, accelerate the schedule, and improve quality.

Analysis 2 - Re-Sequencing of Atrium Systems
A major constructability concern for the project is seen in the atrium of the building. The major issue in this area is the concern for the material finishes being installed. In the atrium, there will be a very elaborate staircase put in place as well as an architectural screen wall. The material finishes of both of these systems requre a tempered environment, which would mean that the building would need to be entirely enclosed. The project schedule calls for both of these systems to be installed at the same time. this is a major constructability concern as safety concerns and schedule delays are probable. This anlaysis will focus on the sequencing of these systems in the atrium.To add value to the study, a 4D schedule will be formulated with the alternative methods as well as a schedule analysis.

Analysis 3 - Return Air Plenum
A major concern in the Health and Human Development Building is the complex MEP design of the ceiling spaces. This is a major reason why BIM was implemented for coordination. With a high-tech building such as this, there is always a concern with fitting all of the equipment into the space that is available. This analysis will investigate the possibility of installing a return air plenum in order to eliminate a large piece of ductwork that would be required. An analysis of air flow requirements will be performed per the specifications. This analysis will provide information regarding cost and/or schedule savings for the project.

Analysis 4 - Alternative Excavation Options (Research)
A significant challenge on this project was found in the early stages. When the geotechnical report was done for the project, it was found that the soil was composed of solid rock. When initial excavation began, it was confrimed that it would take a long period of time to hammer out the rock and excavate. Rock excavation blasting was therefore proposed in order to reduce schedule time and cause minor amounts of disruptions to the people of the surrounding areas. However, this process required a significant amount of planning and coordination from everyone on site as well as people from the surrounding buildings. A 300 foot safety radius needed to be established and a professional traffic control team needed to be hired. This anlayis will compare the two methods of excavation considering their cost and schedule implications. Also, research will be performed to investigate any alternative methods of excavating solid rock.


Structural Breadth [Incorporated into Analysis 1]
The stair tower redesign, as described in Analysis 1, provides an opportunity to research and analyze a breadth outside of the construction management option. This area was initially analyzed because it was seen as a problematic area to the project. In order to accelerate the schedule, a redesign of the stair tower will be performed. The proposed steel braced frame will incorporate the use of structural steel members as opposed to the concrete shear wall. An analysis of the structural steel members will be performed using a structural analysis computer program to understand the lateral and vertical loads of the stair tower. The design of the bracing will be important to ensure that a door can be put in place. Also, it will be important to understand the type of fill material that will be put in place between the steel members. Different options for this include concrete masonry units and a shaft wall. The proposed alternative would accelerate the schedule by an estimated 4 weeks, which is crucial because this area is on the critical path.

Mechanical Breadth [Incorporated into Analysis 3]
The building is composed of a considerable amount of MEP equipment. The tight ceiling does not allow for much tolerance during the installation process. Realizing that this is an issue, research was performed to understand how the industry has managed to work around such complex systems. One way is to utilize a return air plenum. This system eliminates return air ductwork from the ceiling and utilizes the ceiling space as a plenum to return air back into the system. The space will need to be analyzed to ensure that the proper air flow and pressurization requirements will be met by the plenum space. The space will need to meet specification requirements for the air flow that would be provided by the originally designed return air ductwork. Also, in order to have a return air plenum, the materials in the plenum need to be plenum rated and the ceiling space would need to be sealed. The analysis will look at the cost and schedule implications that will be associated with the implementation of this system.

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 Christopher Graziani. 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.
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This page was last updated on April 30, 2014 by Christopher Graziani and is hosted by the AE Department © 2014