Drexel Student Design Team Wins Most Innovative Award at 2014 Charles Pankow Foundation Design Competition

April 10, 2014 — 2014 AEI Pankow CompetitionSenior Design team from the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) Department recently represented Drexel University at the ASCE Charles Pankow Foundation Architectural Engineering Student Competition, held in conjunction with the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) National Conference hosted by Drexel University on March 27th through the 29th. The Drexel team was represented by CAEE students Nathan Barry, Jeanine Lancellotti, Natasha Martines, Jalpesh Patel, and Michael Sawin, ECE Student James Myers, and Westphal COMAD student Katrina Connors. They had 45 minutes to present their project of the Integrated, Structural, Mechanical, and Electrical Design of a 30-Story High Rise Office Building located at 350 Mission Street in San Francisco, CA. This year’s team won the competition’s Most Innovative Project Award and were also Runner-up in Structural Design.

The team designed a 420 foot high rise office building that is 430,000 square feet with a 50 foot atrium at the lower level. This project came with the following design challenges: poor site soil conditions in a high seismic region, inclusion of a green roof, obtaining LEED certification, and the reduction of carbon emissions. The final design addressed all of these challenges and satisfied the client’s requirements. Team members also included the following features: variable refrigerant flow HVAC system, microturbines, grey water collection and reuse, a unique cross laminated timber floor system, and composite timber-steel columns. More information regarding this competition and the students’ performance can be found at

Professor James Mitchell, the team’s advisor, said “These students from three separate departments and two colleges again demonstrated the value of interdisciplinary teamwork and a commitment to learn beyond the curriculum. It’s an honor to have worked with them.”

Drexel was proud to host this year’s competition. 120 students, representing 13 schools, along with 45 professionals attended the conference. Nathan Barry, along with a committee of students, planned a Philadelphia Sightseeing Tour, a networking social at World Café Live, and a scavenger hunt encouraging students to explore the vast city of Philadelphia.

Written by Nathan Barry