Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2023.


Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering

First Advisor

Reynaud Serrette

Second Advisor

Hisham Said


Carbon emissions negatively impact the environment through climate change, air pollution, and rising sea levels, among many other factors. One large contributor to carbon emissions is industrialization, more specifically, the building sector. Based on Architecture 2030, a non-governmental organization whose primary mission is to build an environment free from carbon emissions, building operations and the construction industry contribute to 40% of carbon emissions (Architecture 2030). As more buildings are being constructed, the need for reducing carbon emissions increases. This senior design project looked at Finn Residence Hall, a dormitory on the premises of Santa Clara University. The current design of Finn Hall consists of mainly engineered wood framing. Although, the use of steel framing, specifically hollow structural sections (HSS) and wide-flange beams, in the community spaces presented a focus for a redesign that would reduce carbon emissions.

Since Finn Hall is a relatively new building, the comparison of carbon emissions and redesign costs would be more accurate. Also, the existing plans of Finn Hall were easily accessible as it is owned by the University. Thus, the community spaces were redesigned using cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams and columns. The completion of this design required a polished understanding of mass timber. The mass timber manufacturer Structurlam was referenced for mass timber dimensions, fire limitations, deflection limits, etc. This structural redesign included the design of the gravity system with a CLT floor diaphragm, glulam beams, and columns. The project also contains the design of connections of the mass timber redesign and to the existing sections of Finn Hall. Lastly, this project included a comparison of carbon emissions and costs between the existing building and the redesign.