Memorial Vista

Undisclosed Future Client

Northern Virginia



William Gamble - Construction Option


Image courtesy of Gensler

Home Student Bio Building Stats Tech Assignments Abstract Proposal Final Report Final Presentation Reflection



Building Statistics 1


General Building Information
Building Name
Memorial Vista
Project's Location
Northern Virginia
Building Occupant's Name
Undisclosed Future Client
Building's Function
Office Space
Building Size
322,725 Gross sq. ft. with a Building Perimeter of about 1710 L.F.
Building Height
5 Story - North Wing, 6 Story -South Wing, and 2 levels underground (parking)
Construction Dates
April 2011 - October 2013
Overall Project Cost
$78.5 Million
Project Delivery Method
CM at Risk with GMP
The Project Team
Undisclosed Realtor
General Contractor
Landscape Architect
Lighting Designer
Civil Engineer
Acoustical Designer
MEP Engineer
Traffic Consultant
Structural Engineer
Vertical Transportation
The following Rendering is Courtesy of Gensler



The Architecture of Memorial Vista

The office building is located on a 4.7-acre plot of land in northern Virginia just before entering the District of Columbia. This location is not allowed to be precisely pin pointed, due to the request of the owner, but the location does allow for numerous spectacular views of national monuments that span the landscape in the distance.

This ‘L’ shaped single use office building that is currently being built is only being constructed to the core and shell phase, where the iterior space will be fit out after base building completion. The structure has one more floor on the south wing than that of the north wing due to the fact that airplanes in the area are constantly flying directly over the building and landing on the neighboring airport runways. The structure is also designed to be fully blast proof, due to the request of the future tenant.

The building itself is primarily cloaked in a glass curtain walls, point supported glass, and strip windows on both wings of the structure along with precast concrete panels on every floor. Directly below the building is a two story parking garage that can be entered from the courtyard of the building. As one would enter the building, crossing through the courtyard on the south side of the building, one would be greeted by a mammoth canopy composed of aluminum composite steel panels and laminated glass. Once inside of the building’s lobby, the tenants will see floors that consist of marble and there will be a monumental stair case as the focal point of the gathering space. Upon completion, the building is striving to achieve LEED gold both through materials and practices in the construction phase.


Applicable Codes

2006 Virginia Building Code / IBC 2006
2006 Virginia Plumbing Code / IPC 2006
2006 Virginia Mechanical Code / IMC 2006
2002 National Electric Code / NEC 2002
2002 Virginia Fuel and Gas Code / International Fuel and Gas Code 2006
2003 ICC ANSI A117.1
Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)
2006 Virginia Energy Conservation Code / International Energy Conservation Code 2006
ASHRAE 90.1 2004
2006 Virginia Fire Code SFPC/IFC
NFPA 101 Code 2000
Property Maintenance Code 2006
Arlington County Zoning Ordinance
Arlington County Fire Marshal Requirements
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)



The zoning district that this building was placed in for its location is C-O-1.5, which is a commercial office building, Hotel & Apartment according to the code.

The height restriction was set by site plan approval, but had the exception that it should not exceed 8 stories above grade. This is due to the fact the site is located near and airport where there are low flying planes.

A setback was set to be 50’ from centerline of the street surrounding or right-of-way.

Based on the square footage, the office was required to have a minimum of 556 parking spaces. This is to be further broken down further to have 2 van-accessible spaces, and 10 standard-accessible parking spaces based on the ADA code.

Building Enclosure

Building Façade

This office building contains 3 different types of glass, those being curtain walls, point supported glass, and strip windows. The glass forming the curtain wall of 1 5/16" laminated glass with an aluminum frame is attached to the actual structure though the use of anchors that are placed in the slabs prior to being poured. This curtain wall is depicted as the pink and green in the figure below. The yellow is the point hung glass that is 1 3/8" insulated low-iron glass. Each level is also greeted with precast concrete panels that stretch around the perimeter of the building in most cases (See picture to right). Behind this precast concrete is rigid insulation along with fire resistive joints, in order to both raise the R-Value of the wall and keep the building fire resistive. Metal paneling is also used as an accent material along the base of the building and along the parapets. This metal paneling can be seen both in the figure below and to the right as the red areas.

This picture is courtesey of the Gensler dut colored to show materials on the South Entrance by William Gamble

Roofing System

This structure has a total of 62,000 square feet on the roof. Before the roof materials are applied, a protection board is laid on top of the concrete slab. Then a fluid-applied protected rubberized asphalt waterproofing membrane is laid down. Flashing is used in any joint or cracks to eliminate the possibility of water seeping down into the building. The extruded polystyrene board insulation is then laid down over the roofing membrane. The next layer is the fabric mat over the insulation. This allows water to still penetrate the surface and make its way to the drains on top of the roof in order to prevent pooling. The final layer is the aggregate ballast. In some instances, pavers are used instead of aggregate. The only difference in composition is that the pavers are elevated above the board insulation. This is in places where there are balconies of occupants are able to freely access. The typical detail for what was just described can be seen below.

This picture is courtesey of the Gensler dut colored to show materials on the majority of the North and South Wings by William Gamble
This drawing is of a typical roof for this builfing and is courtesey of the Gensler
This drawing of a roof paver roof and is courtesey of the Gensler
Sustainable Features

This Office Building is aiming for LEED Gold with 60 points as a target. To do this, the construction process has stringently followed LEED methods to be more environmentally friendly, but all the while trying to reduce the cost of the project. This value engineering can be found anywhere from materials that do not contain CFC’s to getting material for the construction process within 500 miles of the site. To help the building thrive when the construction process has been completed, and is occupied by tenants, the building has been equipped with thing such as rain water harvesting drums and planters on the roof. The rain water harvesting equipment can be used in a wide variety of things from irrigating the buildings landscape to the use of the water in restrooms. The roof planters will create space on the roof for the tenants to occupy, but will also reduce the heat island effect on the structures roofs.

Rendering courtesy of Gensler to show rooftop planters



Building Statistics 2




Memorial Vista is an office building in the northern Virginia area, where the tenant that will accompany the future building is one of the forefront leaders in the study and design of aviation. The building has two wings, where the south wing is six stories and the north is five. The reason for this is the restriction in the elevation due to the air space above it and its proximity to local air space. Memorial Vista’s primary use is that of an office building, where building’s root purpose is to combine two previously occupied offices into one functional space for the company. The building will be constructed to the limit of the core and shell phase and then the interior job will be bid out upon the completion of the shell. The actual construction of the building will take place in each wing to allow linear scheduling as the phases of the construction process are completed.




Memorial Vista is composed of three transformers on the first floor of the parking garage for this building at 3750 kVA that run to three switchboards at 4000 A. Bus-ways then runs the feeders up to each floor where they meet the panel boards. There are two panel boards per floor (one in each wing of the building). Within each electrical/ mechanical closet on each wing of the building on every floor is also a transformer to step down the voltage from 480/277 V to 208/120 V. In the case of an emergency, there is a 2500 A emergency distribution panel that is accessed through the use of automatic transfer switches. When the power goes out, the building automatically switches over to battery units until the diesel generator kicks on. The generator is a 480 / 277 V, 3 Phase Breaker that supplies 2500 A emergency distribution panel that allows for a 100 A fire pump, 250 A life safety loads, and 2500 A for stand by loads to run during emergencies. 




This building is primarily composed of recessed florescent lighting, where in public spaces and in the garage, occupancy sensory will be used to boost the efficiency of the building.




This office building consists of two air handling units per floor in two separate mechanical rooms, one unit serving each wing of the building. These then serve variable air volume units throughout the floor up in the ceiling plenum. These air handling units can carry an average demand load between 20,000 and 30,000 CFM to their requested locations as needed, based on the demand of the occupant of the building. Along with the air handling units, Memorial Vista is accompanied with two cooling towers, two chillers, three chilled water pumps, three condenser water pumps, and a heat exchanger on the Penthouse level of the building. This equipment makes a closed loop system with 2 loops. One loop is comprised of the cooling tower and condenser water loop and the other with the chilled water loop and the air handling units on each individual level of the building.




For Memorial Vista, the structure is composed of concrete to ensure more floors can be offered with a smaller building height as compared to a steel structure. The slabs of this structure are cast in place concrete with rebar throughout them. Post tensioning of the concrete was done above the Multipurpose Space and Lobby. The actual superstructure was done with Peri SKYDECK panel slab formwork. This is composed of dropheads that temporarily support the aluminum formwork above. After the concrete has cured, the drophead is released 60 millimeters and moved to the next location. By using this SKYDECK process, the formwork process becomes easy and quick and the forms can be reused as the building goes up in elevation. To pour the actual concrete, two tower cranes were used on the job with the help of concrete pump trucks. One had a hook height of 102’ and the other 116’. The smaller tower crane was a Potain MDT 412 and was placed in the center of the underground parking garage ramp, where the larger one was a Pecco SK 400 and was placed on the perimeter of the building of the south wing.


Fire Protection


The fire suppression system within the building is a wet standpipe system with CPCV piping to all levels of the building including the equipment rooms, elevator equipment rooms, and electrical rooms. This system will be an automatic system with voice activated fire alarms upon the indication of smoke within the building. Fire dampers are used where the ductwork penetrated the walls to ensure that smoke does not penetrate spaces that are not originally affected. Two hour ratings are mandatory for most assemblies including shafts and the floors of the building. Within the garage, trash rooms, and other unheated areas will be a dry standpipe system to prevent the pipes from freezing in the winter. These pipes in the spaces with dry pipe systems are comprised of cast iron.




Memorial vista is unique in the fact that the building has 14 elevators throughout it. This number of elevators is based off of a request that the owner had in the initial design phase, where 12 of the elevators are for the use of all employees and the remaining 2 elevators are for the executives on the top floors of the building.




This building will be an office building in Northern Virginia, because of the work that will be done in this building and because of the owner’s request, the specifications regarding the telecommunications systems, safety systems, security systems, and data will be withheld. What can be stated is the data and security package going into this office building exceeds the standards for an average office building, and can be seen in the cost breakdown.











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 William Gamble. 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.


Senior Thesis Website Penn State PSU AE Department AE Computer Labs Contact Me


This page was last updated on 10/21/2013 by William Gamble and is hosted by the AE Department ©2013