Construction Update 01/04/2021

New Tower

For the past several months there has been a lot of construction activity on the ninth and tenth floors of the new tower, which enclose the heart and lungs of the tower as well as the transplant for the Daniels and Mathews wings. Four months from now much of the ventilation of all three wings will have been changed over to the new system, providing much improved and much more reliable services. But between now and then both Daniels and Mathews will be on the operating table for a time. Each building will be shut down for a separate 16-day period because old air handlers (which blow air into the building) must be removed from the ninth floor of the Daniels wing and the Mathews wing must be connected to the new exhaust system.

Shutting down supply air to the Daniels wing requires simultaneously reducing the quantity of air removed from the building by fume hood exhaust fans so that indoor pressure is approximately the same as outdoor pressure; if interior pressure were reduced by the exhaust fans, cold, outside air would be sucked into the building. The situation in Mathews will be the opposite. To connect to the new exhaust fans on the tower rooftop, hood exhausts flow will be off or at a much-reduced rate for a 16-day period. Blowing the usual quantity of air into the building would increase interior pressure.

Planning for these two shutdowns is a major, ongoing project. Important issues include providing enough warm air to the Daniel building, safely storing chemicals during a period of reduced turnover of air, and ensuring fire safety. The current plan involves temporarily routing air from new air handlers in the new tower through the newly installed exhaust ducts on top of Daniels (which are not yet being used for exhaust) to the existing air supply ducts in Daniels. This will provide enough supply air so that hoods in Daniels can run at partial capacity. During the period of reduced airflow, each building must be totally unoccupied; nevertheless, there is no plan to move chemicals from one building to another.

As reflected in the graphic near the end of this report, 16-day shutdowns are currently scheduled to begin the third week in February for Daniels and the fourth week in March for Mathews. The work in the mechanical space on the ninth and tenth floors of the tower must be completed before the shutdowns that will affect the “heart-lung transplant,” so work on these floors is proceeding at a very rapid pace.

In the left image, air supply units (air handlers) are stacked level with and be­low the catwalk in the new tower's 9th-floor mechanical area. In the right image, the ninth and tenth floors of the tower contain a maze of pipes, electrical conduits, air ducts, and large air-handling units.

The heart-lung transplant will have a significant benefit to the environment because it includes heat exchangers that transfer energy from warm, hood-exhaust air to incoming air for the air handlers on the ninth and tenth floors of the new tower. This will significantly reduce the energy required to heat our building, which is quite large because of the constant air turnover required for safety in our labs. This reduction in energy use was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal on Monday, January 4 at this URL:

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. 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. The work is expected to be complete in early March.

One-day closure of Mathews and Daniels wings – Tuesday, Jan 5, 2021

Mathews and Daniels wings will be closed from 6 am – 5 pm on Tue Jan 5, 2021. Shain tower will be open, but the NMR facility, stockroom, and loading dock will be inaccessible. The liquid nitrogen fill room will be accessible.

The contractor needs to switch emergency power circuits in the Mathews and Daniels wings from the old emergency generator to the new emergency generator.  This work will cause outages of stairwell lighting, elevators, and fire alarm.  Under these circumstances, these wings of the building complex cannot be occupied.  Shain tower should not be affected and there will be no impact to normal power circuits or other utilities in Mathews and Daniels.

Graphic Schedule of Upcoming Events

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

Construction activities impacting existing buildings calendar 01/04/2021

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 the images used in this newsletter issue.

John Moore and Bob McMahon