Date of Award


First Advisor

Michael Bergman

Second Advisor

Eric Kramer


In accordance with ABET requirements for depth and breadth in an engineering curriculum, the civil engineering senior design project at Columbia University was to design a three-story office building. This capstone design was an exercise in demonstrating four aspects of what we have learned as graduating civil engineering students: Structural, Geotechnical, Environmental, and Construction Management. The three-story office building will be constructed in a flat, suburban location in Asylum Township, Pennsylvania. The plan dimensions are 60'×90' and the height of the building above ground is 28'. The building, made of structural steel, is framed by a steel braced frame. The concrete floor and roof slabs were designed compositely with supporting beams and for one-way behavior. The foundation is composed of individual column spread footings. Considerations were made for ease of construction, so each floor was designed to have as much uniformity in size as possible. My group and I referenced ASCE/SEI 7-10, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, in order to find the general design requirements regarding building risk category, roof live load, wind speed and load, soil classification, and seismic design category and load. The soil classification was also determined from a subsurface boring log, provided by our professor. We performed structural analysis with SAP2000. We also designed our building to accommodate a green roof, atrium, and glass curtain wall.

We considered LEED ratings and credits. We optimized regional credits, which are identified by US Green Building Council regional councils and chapters as having additional importance for the project’s region. In the 18848 zip code, which is where this building lies, water efficient landscaping, innovative wastewater technologies, and water use reduction are given specific emphasis. We also considered the importance of windows for natural light and views and various HVAC and materials options. We created a Gantt Chart, Critical Path Method diagram, and a Work Breakdown Schedule. Based on our Gantt Chart analysis, the project should take 243 days. With our construction management tools, we were able to provide a cost estimate and a bill of materials. We hope to carry the principles of socially responsible, sustainable, and innovative design into our careers and lives, and we found this project to be a meaningful culmination of our Civil Engineering education.

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