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STEM-Biology Building’s Connection Bridge


  1. John Beringer,
  2. Jonathan Flores,
  3. Evan Griffiths,
  4. Stephanie Vorwerk (Team Leader)

Advisors: N. Al-Omaishi, V. Krstic

The next phase of TCNJ’s campus plan is to demolish Holman Hall and construct a STEM building in its place. The goal of this project was to design a connection between the proposed STEM building and the existing Biology building, using the dimensions of the connection based off the current Biology-Chemistry connection and accounting for the fire lane that will pass underneath. The loads for the connection included all dead loads of the structural and nonstructural components as well as the live loads applied to the connection. One-way concrete slabs with metal decks were designed for both the first floor and the roof of the connection. Two design concepts were considered: structural steel and reinforced concrete structures. Structural steel calculations were completed using the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) standards and reinforced concrete calculations were completed using American Concrete Institute (ACI) standards. The steel design was ultimately chosen because it is the less expensive of the two options and it will take less time to erect the structure. The roof beams chosen were rolled sections W8x13 for the 12.4 ft span and rolled sections W12 x30 for the 36 ft span. The floor beams chosen were rolled sections W8x15 for the 12.4 ft span and rolled sections W12x79 for the 36 ft span. The columns chosen were rolled sections W8x35 to support the 12.4 ft spans and rolled sections W10x26 to support the 36 ft span. The connections between the columns and beams were designed using double-angle bolted connections.

For the design of the building connection’s foundation a geotechnical exploration including sampling and laboratory testing of soil in the project area and subsurface analysis of other TCNJ buildings were performed.  Using this analysis, a soil profile was created showing soil of a silt and clay composition extending 3 feet below the ground surface to a depth of 18 feet where sandstone was encountered.  Four types of foundations for the building connection were considered which included drilled shafts, micropiles, helical piles, and mat foundations.  After consideration for limiting differential settlement, mat foundations were determined to be the most feasible choice for a final design. Two reinforced concrete mat foundations embedded three feet below the ground surface with a height of 12 inches, width of 13.20 feet, and length of 64.50 feet were designed to each support half of the building connection.

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The College of New Jersey
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2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628