Construction Update 03/22/2021

Daniels 16-Day Shutdown Continues on Schedule

Photos showing new handlers in the Daniels wing.

The Daniels wing of our building is closed to all occupants through March 30 to enable switchover to the new supply-air system. The reason for this long-overdue switchover is obvious just by looking at the old air-handling units, which were prone to unexpected failures and unable to perform all needed functions.

Construction teams are working extended hours, typically 5:00 am – 10:00 pm, seven days per week, to accomplish the switchover as quickly as possible. Construction teams are authorized to access any portion of the building at any time. Because it is a construction zone, nobody should enter the Daniels wing between March 15 and March 30. This supersedes any approvals regarding building access that you may request or receive via

The old air-handling units, located on the ninth floor of Daniels to the north of room 9341, are now mostly dismantled. Fans, pumps, steam pipes, heat-exchange units, and the walls enclosing them are being taken apart and removed through the new tower. As the old units are removed space becomes available to construct new, permanent ducts through which air will be supplied to the Daniels wing. The dismantling, removal, and construction processes are currently on schedule to be completed by March 30.

Partially dismantled air-handler in Daniels wing.Noise and Vibration: North End of Daniels

During the first three weeks of April, immediately following the Daniels 16-day shutdown, construction workers will be removing the concrete pads on which the old air handlers were located. The pads will be cut with a saw and parts of them will be jack-hammered away. This will produce much noise and vibration at the north end of Daniels.

Basement Level Access to Daniels Is Closed

Basement-level entrances to Daniels are closed because a crane is supporting workers who are applying decorative facing to the large exhaust plenum that surrounds the rooftop of Daniels. No classes can be held in Daniels and students should not enter the building through either doorway on the Johnson-Street side of the Daniels basement. This work is scheduled to be complete by March 26.

Upcoming Utility Outages Will Affect All Wings of the Chemistry Complex

Apr 8 (tentative) Shain, Mathews, and Daniels wings – outage of process cooling water loop, which provides cooling water for lasers, vacuum pumps, air conditioners, etc. There will be maintenance repair of bearings in one pump. Workers will also install bypass valves to mitigate the need for future shutdowns. This outage will not affect your research group if you do not have equipment connected to the process cooling water system. Shain and Daniels wings will remain open on this day, but Mathews will not (see next item).

Apr 8 (tentative) Mathews wing only – outage of all 110-V / 208-V power circuits, which requires that Mathews wing will be closed to all occupants on this day. Plans are being developed for groups with critical samples or materials stored in refrigerators or freezers. The NMR facility will be closed. This closure supersedes any approvals regarding building access that you may request or receive via We will provide further details as planning develops. The schedule is not yet finalized.

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, and 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 are being installed and will remain closed during construction of the tower and for the duration of renovation of floors B, 1, and 2 Daniels.

Floors 3, 4, and 5 work involves the reconfiguration of rooms 3345 and 3351, 4343 and 4351, and 5341 and 5351. This construction work will create connections between floor 4 Daniels and the research floor 4 of the tower and a level connection between floor 5 Daniels and floor 5 in the tower. 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.

Floors 6, 7, and 8 construction is complete. It involved blocking the windows in rooms on the north wall of Daniels.

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 soon.

North Mills Street Closure

Because a crane is raising and lowering materials to and from the rooftop of the Daniels wing, North Mills Street has been closed between West Johnson Street and University Avenue through Thursday, April 1. All access to Conklin Place (the alley in the middle of the block on the east side of Mills Street) will need to occur from north Brooks Street on the east.

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 a few minutes. There may be momentary disruption of local WiFi service in the work area.  Work will proceed during the next several weeks.

April 14-30        Mathews will be closed to all occupants for installation of new exhaust ductwork and switchover to a new exhaust system that uses the large plenum surrounding the rooftop of the Daniels wing. Newly installed fire doors in the Mathews-Daniels elevator lobby will be closed. Building occupants should not enter the Mathews wing, which will be a construction zone. This supersedes any approvals regarding building access that you may request or receive via

Occupants of the Mathews wing will need to prepare labs and offices for the shutdown. Full instructions for preparing labs will be sent soon. Heating, ventilation, and fume-hood exhaust will be affected. There will be fluctuations in room temperatures. We do not expect impairments of electric power, process cooling loop, water, sewer, house nitrogen, or natural gas supplies. However, the construction activities are complex and extensive, and it is not possible to anticipate all eventualities. Instruments and equipment need to be left in a condition that does not require monitoring during the 16-day shutdown period.

The schedule is not yet final; it depends on the Daniels shutdown, now in progress, going smoothly.

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.

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

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

John Moore and Bob McMahon