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








*Special thanks to Alexander Building Construction, Ewing Cole, and Geisinger Health Systems for providing me with the necessary tools to complete my Senior Capstone Project.


Click on the any of the Image to see a viewable PDF of the Final Thesis Report


This Senior Thesis Final Report is intended to present the analyses performed on the three topics identified in the thesis proposal: implementation of virtual mockups for the construction of the facility's operating and endoscopy rooms, prefabricating the building's facade, and re-evaluating the structural composite slab. The findings in this report are strictly for educational purposes and do not seek to criticize the Geisinger Grays Woods Ambulatory Care Campus project.

Click here for Executive Summary

Click here for Full Report

Submission Date:
April 09, 2014

Analysis 1 - Virtual Mockups on Operating/Endoscopy Rooms

The ‘In-Place Mockups’ used for the construction of the facility’s operating and endoscopy rooms resulted in a costly and time-consuming process which obstructed the construction in these areas. Virtual mockups could provide faster, cheaper, and more effective means for reviewing the design of the spaces prior to construction. This analysis focused on evaluating the implementation of virtual mockups for the construction of this facility’s operating and endoscopy rooms. The criteria and workflow of the mockup development were captured to better understand whether this tool would be beneficial for the Grays Woods Project. The facility model was developed using Autodesk Revit and Unity Software. It took a total of 20.5 hours to develop a mockup for both rooms, and could potentially cost over $4,000 if implemented on this project. Implementation of virtual mockups was highly recommended as it could potentially save cost, time, reduce risk, and solve design and constructability issues in advance of construction.

Analysis 2 - Building Façade Prefabrication:
The goal of this analysis was to determine whether prefabricating the building’s façade would decrease the project duration and cost, while maintaining similar aesthetics and building performance. A complete analysis of the building façade was performed using Nitterhouse’s ‘Architectural Precast Panels’. The design required a total of 74 precast panels spanning the building’s height. Implementing precast panels costs an additional $112,000 to the project budget, although it could reduce the project schedule by 3 weeks. Through a mechanical analysis, it was determined that the proposed panel would improve heat gain and heat loss by 20%. Nevertheless, prefabricating the exterior façade was not recommended as the increase in cost and additional planning required for implementation outweigh the savings in schedule and improved building performance.

Analysis 3 - Re-evaluation of Structural Composite Slabs:
The third analysis looked into reducing the total building costs through value engineering efforts on the composite slabs. With over 38,000SF of lightweight concrete being used for the slabs, the lower material costs of normal weight concrete could have substantial impacts on the project. It was determined through a structural analysis that the proposed design would require over 6.5 tons of additional structural steel to support the increased load of normal concrete. This would increase the assembly’s cost by $27,000, or 3% to that of the original design. Throughout the research, many of the risks of using lightweight concrete were exposed. Even though using normal weight concrete would increase project costs, it is recommended as it provides much more reliable performance than lightweight concrete upon placement.

Contact Me

*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 Ankeny. 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 April 09, 2014 by George Andonie and is hosted by the AE Department © 2013-2014