Construction Update 02/15/2021

New Tower

Even in the bitterly cold weather of the past week (and this week too, according to the forecast), workers on scaffolds are applying exterior finishes to our new building. A lot of terra cotta has already been attached and more appears every day. Frameworks to which terra cotta panels will be attached now cover both the west and southeast sides of the building. This week frames and terra cotta will begin to appear on the north (University Avenue) side of the tower. Let’s say a word of thanks to those who are doing this work, especially this week when conditions are so difficult.

Three images showing workers installing the decorative terra cotta panels on the exterior of the building.

Two photos show the southeast side of the tower, where workers install the panels at the 10th floor level.

Inside the tower, concrete floors are being polished, laboratory casework and fume hoods are being installed, walls are being finished, painted, and adorned with decorative panels, ceilings are being finished in the lecture rooms and lecture-demonstration preparation laboratory, two more elevators will soon be in operation, and terrazzo floors have been formed and polished in several locations.

Wi-Fi Upgrade

The next phase of the building-wide WiFi upgrade began Feb 10.  Contractors are installing devices throughout the building complex, beginning in Shain tower. Installation of each device requires only few minutes. There may be momentary disruption of local WiFi service in the work area.  Work will proceed during the next several weeks.

Construction at the North End of Daniels Continues

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. In January construction began to reconfigure the corridors at the north end of the Daniels building and accommodate doorways to the new building.

Floors B, 1, 2 of Daniels are being opened to the new tower. This work involves construction of doorways to accommodate continuous corridors between Daniels and the new tower. Fire doors will be installed and will remain closed during construction of the tower and for the duration of renovation of floors B, 1, and 2 Daniels.

Floor 3 work involves the reconfiguration of rooms 3345 and 3351. This construction work is internal to these two rooms. It involves changes to ductwork to accommodate doorways to the new building on other floors. There will not be a connection to the new building on floor 3, but changes on floors 5 and 4 necessitate changes on floor 3.

Floor 4 work involves the reconfiguration of rooms 4343 and 4351 to connect the research floor of the tower with Daniels.

Floor 5 work involves the demolition of rooms 5341 and 5351. The fifth floor of the tower is level with the fifth floor of Daniels, and this work will open the doorway that connects them.

Floor 6 work is scheduled to begin on Monday, February 15. It involves blocking the windows in rooms 6341 and 6351.  All construction work will be internal to these two rooms.

Floor 7 work is tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday, March 1. This work involves blocking the windows in rooms 7341 and 7351.  All construction work will be internal to these two rooms.

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.

Half-day closure of Mathews and Daniels wings – Mon Feb 22, 2021

Mathews and Daniels wings will be closed from 6 am to 1 pm on Mon February 22, 2021 so that contractors can accomplish two tasks:

1.     Shut down emergency power circuits in the Mathews and Daniels wings to continue work on electrical panels. This work will cause outages of stairwell lighting, elevators, and fire alarm. Under these circumstances, these wings of the building complex cannot be occupied.

2.     Shut down cold water supply in Daniels wing to tie in final water connections to the new fire pump. This shutdown affects all cold-water supply in labs and restrooms in the Daniels wing. It does not affect the process chilled water loop.

There will be no impact on normal power circuits in Mathews and Daniels wings. Shain tower will be open, but the NMR facility, stockroom, loading dock, and other facilities in Mathews and Daniels will be inaccessible. The liquid nitrogen fill room will be accessible.

Brief closure of Daniels wing – Mon Mar 8, 2021

Daniels wing will be closed from 6-10 am on Mon Mar 8, 2021. The contractor needs to shut down 480v electrical service in the Daniels building to remove temporary circuits that were used for the tower crane.

This shutdown does not affect the 110-V/ 208-V service in the building, which means it does not directly affect equipment in any lab or office. There will be no impact on the process chilled water loop. Shain tower will be unaffected.

This shutdown does affect all exhaust fans in Daniels, pumps that are integral to heating the entire Daniels building, and the main supply air fan for floors B-2 Daniels. Restarting all this equipment after a power outage is a somewhat elaborate process.

Since the exhaust system will be offline, occupants of the Daniels wing must ensure that there are no active experiments in fume hoods.  All chemical containers must be closed and capped.

Please note that it is not possible to schedule this construction activity during the period of the closure of the Daniels building, which begins the following week.  There is too much risk to the building if the fans and pumps do not restart at a time when there are other major impairments to the building infrastructure.

16-Day Shutdowns of Daniels and Mathews Wings

Here is the current, but still tentative, schedule for the planned shutdowns:

March 15-30       Daniels – closed to all occupants (switchover to new supply air system)

April 14-29        Mathews – closed to all occupants (switchover to new exhaust system)

Heating, ventilation, and fume hood exhaust will be affected. There will be fluctuations in ambient room temperature. We do not expect electric power, process cooling loop, water, sewer, house nitrogen, or natural gas supply to be affected, but the construction activities are complex and extensive, so it is not possible to anticipate all eventualities. Instruments and equipment should be left in a condition that does not require monitoring during the period of the shutdown.

The schedule is not yet final, so we will provide further details as planning develops. There will be four-week’s advance notice of confirmed dates.

Graphic Schedule of Upcoming Events

Many different construction activities are simultaneously affecting our building complex. We summarize them graphically below.

Construction activities impacts existing buildings updated 02/15/2021.

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

We thank Jim Maynard for images in this newsletter issue.

John Moore and Bob McMahon