Construction Update 12/07/2020

New Tower

The new tower dominates the south side of University Ave. seen from the intersection of Campus Drive and University Ave.

The new tower is now a major architectural presence along University Avenue, complementing the Discovery Building, which also was designed by Ballinger architects. Concrete has been poured for sidewalks on the east and north sides of the tower, and granite facing is partially covering the columns in the Mills-University portico. There remains much decorative work to be done on the exterior of the building, such as installing terra cotta panels on the west side and finishing the east side. Finishing the east side awaits commissioning of the elevators, which will allow removal of the skip hoist. Currently, the skip hoist is the only means of bringing construction materials to the upper floors of the tower, and its location blocks access to part of the east facade of the building.In the left image, workers smooth concrete for the sidewalk along Mills St. on the east side of the Daniels wing. In the righthand image, scaffolding supports workings installing decorative granite panels around the columns in the Mills-University portico.

Inside the tower, things change every day. The new emergency generator, which was installed some time ago in the basement of Daniels, was started and tested last week and soon will be commissioned. Workers are pouring and polishing terrazzo floors as well as installing and painting walls and adding infrastructure: ventilation ductwork, electrical wiring, plumbing pipe and fixtures, and network connections. There is much that remains to be done, but it is now easier to see what the final product will look like.

Left Image: Workers install terazzo floors in the monumental staircase. The openings in the wall beyond the terrazzo at the bottom of the stairs are entry doors to the 360-seat lecture room. Right Image: The same doors to the 360-seat lecture room are seen here from the other side, where workers are installing and painting walls in the lecture room.

Fire Protection.

There are fire-protection crews working in Daniels and Mathews. Here is a schedule of activities:

30-Nov – 22-Dec         Floor SB Mathews building – installation of fire sprinklers and fire alarm 

This notice is just FYI.  There are no occupied spaces on Floor SB Mathews.  Crews will work around all materials stored in this area.

30 Nov-21 Dec  Installation of fire doors between Mathews and Daniels, floors B through 7

The blue print of the building.

The floor plan at the right highlights corridors affected by this work, which will often involve simultaneous activities on several floors. The work will complicate travel between Mathews and Daniels as well as access to elevators on floors where construction is in progress. You might have to go up or down stairs to travel from Mathews to Daniels or vice versa. These circumstances may disrupt the sequence of ‘up’ and ‘down’ stairwells.  If you need to use a stairwell in the ‘wrong’ direction, step aside on a landing if you encounter another individual moving in the opposite direction. Installation of these fire doors between Mathews and Daniels have the beneficial effects of improving fire safety and increasing the maximum allowable quantities (MAQs) of flammables and other hazardous materials in our building complex.

The Facilities Committee does not feel that it is necessary to close any portion of the building complex for these fire-protection activities. 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 about 6:00-7:00 am and are completed by about 3:00-3:30 pm

Wang lab renovation project (Floor 2, Mathews, north side) began 30 Nov

During this construction project restroom 2243 has been designated for exclusive use of the contractors. There will be occasional work on Floor 1, Mathews, north side, at the ceiling level.

Construction at North End of Daniels Begins 4 Jan 2021

The new tower will be connected to the existing Daniels wing at the fourth and fifth floors, as well as from the second floor down to the sub-basement. We expect that on Monday, January 4, 2021 construction will begin to reconfigure the corridors at the north end of the Daniels building and accommodate doorways to the new building.

4th-floor work involves the reconfiguration of Rms. 4343 and 4351.

5th-floor work involves the demolition of Rms. 5341 and 5351.

Construction activities will not affect access to labs, offices, or the stairwell.  Dust and debris will be contained behind construction barriers.  There will be occasional noise and vibration.  Expected completion in early March.

Two-week shutdown in early February 2021

Exact dates for this work are not yet known but it will require the Daniels building to be unoccupied for two weeks because there will be no air supply and exhaust must necessarily be minimized to maintain normal air pressure in the building. To minimize the number of shutdowns engendered by construction, the facilities committee has worked hard to consolidate many activities that would otherwise require separate shutdowns into this two-week period. Among these are installation of fire sprinklers and fire alarm, replacement of internet cables, and other construction activities in the Daniels sub-basement laboratory and shop areas.

The supply-air shutdown is a major step in the “heart-lung transplant” the chemistry complex is undergoing. Ventilation will be improved in all buildings except Shain tower by utilizing new equipment on the ninth and tenth floors of the new tower. Dates of the Daniels closure are not yet certain but will be confirmed with one-month advance notice. Please be aware that one-month advance notice could occur during holiday break periods, so it is a good idea to check emails even if you are not in town.

Graphic Schedule of Upcoming Events

Many different construction activities affect our building complex. We summarize them graphically below.

Construction activities impacting existing buildings calendar

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

We thank Gerald David of Miron Construction and Jim Maynard for the images used in this newsletter issue.

John Moore and Bob McMahon