Construction Update 05/03/2021

Heart-Lung Transplant: Complications

The Mathews wing continues to be closed to all occupants, probably through May 6. During testing of the new exhaust system in Mathews last Friday, April 30, a large piece of an old plastic exhaust duct collapsed. This duct is located such that repairs cannot be done while maintaining proper exhaust and air balance within the Mathews wing. Thus, Mathews could not be re-opened as planned last Friday. This delay is not the fault of the construction team. It reflects the seriously aging infrastructure of the Mathews and Daniels wings, not all of which can be replaced by any renovation project. A section of ductwork that appeared to be in good shape turned out not to have the required strength.

The section of duct that collapsed is collapsed.

Repair of the collapsed duct requires redoing the steps that were part of the original shutdown: (i) shut off all exhaust, (ii) open windows in labs, (iii) turn on reduced air supply (iv) repair ductwork, (iv) turn off the air supply, (v) close windows in labs, (vi) restart the equipment, (vii) check the air balance in the building. All of this takes time, and the current estimate is that the Mathews wing can re-open Friday, May 7. Email updates will be provided as needed.

The NMR facility and the research stockroom remain closed. There is limited accessibility to the liquid-nitrogen facility. Room 1245 is open only during business hours (8 am – 4 pm). The solvent-storage room, gas cylinder room, and loading dock are accessible only during business hours and only by prior arrangement with Aaron. Incoming packages are being delivered to the office of each group PI.

Daniels Three-day Exhaust Interruptions: Tuesday, 24 May – Thursday, 15 July

The final step in the heart-lung transplant is to switch all fume hoods in the Daniels wing to the new exhaust fans in the tower. This construction activity requires a rolling series of 3-day fume hood shutdowns, which will occur on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week.

A schedule and map showing which labs are affected each week is here: Because of the way the fume hoods are connected to the existing exhaust system, the schedule cannot align nicely with research groups or with floors in the building, so it is important that everyone consult the schedule to find out when your lab must shut down. Labs need to be ready by 6:00 am on Tue morning for the fume hood shutdown in each area.

Please follow these directions for preparing your lab:

  1. Ensure that there are no active experiments.
  2. Close and cap all chemical containers.
  3. It is not necessary to turn off or cover equipment.
  4. Construction workers will not need to work in your laboratory; all construction work will occur on floor 9 mezzanine.
  5. Staff from UW Safety Department and from the chemistry facilities committee will spot-check preparations and compliance.

It is extremely important that you adhere to the shutdown schedule and shutdown protocol because construction workers will be exposed to open exhaust ducts and your fume hood cannot protect you or your lab mates during the period that it is disconnected from the exhaust fans.

It will not be necessary to vacate the Daniels building during these shutdowns. The supply of fresh, tempered air will not be affected, and most of the building’s exhaust systems will be operating at any given time. The labs where the fume hoods are shut down should not be used, but research may continue in labs where fume hoods are not shut down. Student and faculty offices are essentially unaffected (regardless of specific detail shown on the maps) and may continue to be used.

The Shain and Mathews wings will not be affected by this shutdown. In the Daniels wing, only exhaust from the designated labs will be shut down. Other utilities (electrical service, process cooling water, nitrogen) will operate normally.

New Tower

Workers are applying finishing touches throughout the interior and exterior of the new tower. The north façade, along University Avenue, is nearly complete. Curbs and gutters are being installed along University Avenue and Mills Streets. By the end of June, University Avenue should re-open to its full width with sidewalks and bike path restored to where they were in 2018. We continue to anticipate occupying the new tower in early June.

Workers finish the ceiling above the portico at Mills St. and University Ave.

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 Jim Maynard for the 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