Construction 02/23/2021

New Tower

A lot of work is going on inside the new tower in preparation for the 16-day shutdown of the Daniels wing that is scheduled for Marth 15 through March 30. During the shutdown, a new and much improved air supply system for Daniels will be connected from the tower to our existing building. After the switchover, new air handlers on the ninth floor of the tower will supply air to floors three through nine of Daniels. The 16-day shutdown is required so that ductwork, controls, and other aspects of the new air-supply system can be connected to the air-supply ducts for the upper floors of Daniels.

The switchover to the new system is complicated because during the shutdown period a low level of air supply must be maintained so that the Daniels wing continues to be heated. (Because the air supply will be much less than normal, fume-hood exhausts must also be turned down, making the Daniels wing unsafe for research during the shutdown.) A very large air handler in the Daniels sub-basement supplies warm air to the basement, first floor, and second floor, so those floors are less problematic that the upper floors, where the air supply will be greatly reduced. The design and construction teams have devised an ingenious, temporary way to connect the output of some of the new air handlers to the Daniels air-supply ducts through a bypass. The bypass uses new ductwork whose ultimate purpose is to handle exhaust air from both Daniels and Mathews. Once the new connections have been made, this temporary bypass will be restored to its intended (exhaust) function and Daniels will have a new, much more reliable air supply system. By the end of March part of our “heart-lung transplant” for the building will be done.

Wi-Fi Upgrade

The next phase of the building-wide WiFi upgrade began Feb 10.  Contractors are installing devices throughout the building complex. Work in Shain tower is nearly complete and work in Mathews and Daniels is underway. 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.

Floors 6, 7, and 8 work begins this week. It involves blocking the windows in rooms on the north wall of Daniels. All construction work will be internal to those 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.

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. Note that restarting all this equipment after a power outage is an 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 schedule for the planned shutdowns:

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

The newly installed fire doors in the Mathews / Daniels elevator lobby will be closed. Building-complex occupants should not enter the Daniels wing between March 15 and March 30 because Daniels will be a construction zone. This supersedes any approvals regarding building access that you may request or receive via

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.

Occupants of the Daniels wing will need to prepare their labs and offices for the shutdown in a manner similar to what was done during the shutdowns for fire sprinkler installation. Closer to the time of the shutdown, we will send a list outlining your obligations for preparing your spaces.

April 14-29        Mathewsclosed to all occupants (switchover to new exhaust system)

The schedule for Mathews 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 impacting existing buildings.

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

John Moore and Bob McMahon