Systems Integration With The Structure
Because ECO-Graphi0 is based upon typical existing Virginia Tech CRC office buildings, we chose to keep largely the same structural system design based off existing CRC buildings. ECO-Graphi0’s major structure is comprised of steel HHS columns connected by wide flange beams, all on concrete spread footings. The walls are mainly a mixture of concrete masonry units (CMU) for shear walls, and steel studs. By keeping this common commercial system in place, it enhances the market potential for possible retrofits of existing buildings using the same principles as ECO-Graphi0 as well as a simplified ground up construction process. Our ceiling is a traditional drop ceiling cavity space. This allows us to easily coordinate the piping and ductwork that supports our different mechanical systems. Additionally, we can use this space as a sealed plenum space for our return air in the different thermal zones. One structural element we did decide to alter was the wall type in our open office spaces. As part of a living building laboratory approach, which is embraced by our university administration, we will introduce a new exterior wall system, which will be built by future student teams. In our open office spaces, we switch to a CLT-L panel system, which shows the wood finish on the interior side. This is to not only distinguish the space architecturally towards the TreeHAUS village visible through the windows, but also to address Virginia Tech’s new policy of incorporating student designed Living Learning space in new campus buildings. Refer to the Market Potential section of this report for more information.