Construction Update 10/26/2020

New Tower

For the last several weeks we have concentrated on the exterior of the building and on the removal of the tower crane. But plenty has been happening inside the building as well. The large lecture rooms in the sub-basement are now fully enclosed by walls and much infrastructure, such as ventilation ductwork, plumbing, and electrical circuits, has been installed. Also, concrete has been poured to finish the floor above the base of the tower crane in the sub-basement area that will become the new chemistry demonstration lab. The large concrete base that anchored the tower crane will remain in place under this finished floor.

The left image is from the viewpoint at the main entrance at the front of the 360-seat lecture room one sees ventilation ducts in the ceil­ing, the rear entrance, and rows ready for tables and seats. The right image is from the back of the 250-seat lecture room one can see the front entrance and the area that will eventually house chalk­boards, projection screens, and a demonstration bench.

Removal of the tower crane also left an open space in the sidewalk area outside the building on the University-Avenue side. This week shoring will be installed under that opening, in preparation for filling the opening with concrete.

On upper floors workers are installing plasterboard walls, ventilation ductwork, electrical conduits and circuits, and plumbing for teaching laboratories, write-up rooms, storerooms, meeting rooms, and offices. On most floors rooms have been delineated by walls and much of the massive infrastructure required for labs and other spaces has been installed.

The left image is on the second floor, seen here from the entrance, looking west, there are small conference rooms (separated by stud walls, right) and offices and large conference rooms (left). The right image shows the walls (right) delineate an organic lab in the middle of the fifth floor. The view is looking toward Mills St. with University Ave. to the left.

Wi-Fi Upgrade

Work by DoIT and FP&M to upgrade the WiFi system in the chemistry building continues. This involves installation of new ceiling- and wall-mounted devices and relocation or removal of old devices. A construc­tion crew of two to four electricians is working in corridors, offices, and labs. As the crew works through each part of the building, there will be short interruptions in WiFi service as the crew switches from the old to the new WiFi system.

Work involves approximately two days per floor. The crew is currently on floor 6 Mathews / Daniels and working down through Mathews / Daniels. The WiFi upgrade will eventually include all of our building complex, with the exception of floors B,1,2 Daniels (where WiFi will be upgraded as part of the renovation that will occur during phase 2 of the big construction project).

The scope of this construction activity is limited so there is no reason to close floors or labs. Each individual, of course, is free to make their own decision about whether or not they wish to work in the building when construction is occurring in their area. The UW-Madison construction crew will follow all COVID-19 precautions dictated by the University and the State of Wisconsin. Construction activities typically begin at about. 6:00-7:00 am and are completed by about 3:00-3:30 pm.

Fire Protection.

The coming weeks will be a busy time for construction activities related to the new fire alarm system in the chemistry complex. Sprinkler pipe installation is currently underway on the second floor of Mathews in the central core laboratories. There are also construction crews working in several other locations. Here is a schedule of activities

19-Oct – 30-Oct          Fire alarm riser – Daniels building

The contractor needs to return to the telecom closets to perform additional work related to the ‘backbone’ of the fire alarm system.  The crew will need to be in and out of the Daniels telecom closets, which are accessed through the laboratories immediately north of the Daniels passenger elevators. The crew will require a clear path of access through the lab to the telecom closet. You are likely to encounter the crew in the corridors near the telecom closets and the Daniels freight elevator.

2-Nov                              Fire alarm connection to new tower – 8th floor Daniels building

Construction crew will install conduit in the west corridor, 8th floor Daniels, from the telecom closet through Rm. 8351 into the new tower.

3-Nov – 5-Nov            Fire alarm connection to new tower – 1st floor Daniels building

Construction crew will install conduit in the 1st floor Daniels corridors, from telecom closet through the temporary block wall into the new tower.

Emergency Power Outages will take place soon in Shain tower. This affects emergency power only—circuits having red receptacles or switches, which includes some laboratory lighting. If any equipment currently powered by emergency circuits cannot handle a several-hour interruption of power, that equipment should be plugged into a normal power circuit for the duration of the emergency power work on a given floor. The general locations of emergency power circuits are shown in the floor plan at the right. There will be no interruption of normal power circuits.

6-Nov   Shain tower shut down – emergency power connection to new fire alarm.

Blueprint of the 5th floor.

This work involving the emergency power circuits requires that the main air supply fans for Shain tower are turned off.  Without proper supply of fresh air, Shain tower cannot be occupied on 6 Nov. There will be additional, floor-by-floor partial outages of emergency electrical service during the following week, according to this schedule:

6-Nov   8th floor Shain tower – outage of emergency power circuits

9-Nov   7th floor, 6th floor Shain tower – outage of emergency power circuits

10-Nov 5th floor, 2nd floor, 1st floor, basement Shain tower – outage of emergency power circuits. (Do not plan to use the cold lab on 10-Nov. The refrigeration system is on emergency power and will be shut down. The lab will remain relatively cold if the door is closed and the room is not used.)

There are no generally accessible emergency power receptacles on floors B,1,2 Shain. Emergency power circuits function as ordinary electrical circuits under normal circumstances. In the event of a building-wide power failure, power is maintained to the emergency power circuits by the diesel generator in the basement of Shain.

Apart from the one-day shutdown of Shain tower on 6 Nov., the Facilities Committee does not feel that it is necessary to close any portion of the building complex for this limited scope of construction activity. Each individual, of course, is free to make their own decision about whether or not they wish to work in the building when construction is occurring in their area. Construction activities typically begin at approx. 6:00-7:00 am and are completed by ca. 3:00-3:30 pm.

This information is up to date as of Monday morning. Email bulletins will be provided as needed.

We thank Gerald David of Miron Construction for photos used in this newsletter issue.

John Moore and Bob McMahon