Construction Update 06/01/2021

New Tower

The main entrance to the new tower, at the corner of Mills Street and University Avenue, is now essentially complete and it looks great—lots of Wisconsin red! Landscaping work around the tower has begun and soon there will be greenery and even trees to enhance our building’s appearance. Work on curbs, sidewalks, the bike path, and the street itself will soon be done and bike racks will soon be installed. The construction team expects its incursion into University Avenue will end at the end of this month. It will be great to see University Avenue restored to its former state.

The finished exterior of the building hides a great deal of activity within. Workers are installing finishes of all kinds. Wiring, equipment, and controls for internet connections including VOIP phone, audio-visual services, and fire protection are appearing throughout the building. Signs with room numbers now grace the corridors, and some floors have undergone final cleaning. Architects from Ballinger in Philadelphia arrive tomorrow to inspect what has been done and assure that everything meets design criteria.

Daniels Three-day Exhaust Interruptions

The final step in the heart-lung transplant that is improving ventilation in the Mathews and Daniels wings is to switch all fume hoods in floors three to nine in the Daniels wing to the new exhaust fans in the tower. This construction activity spans the period from June 8 through July 29 and requires a rolling series of 3-day fume hood shutdowns. A new schedule and floor-plan map showing labs affected by this work is now available here:

Shutdowns will occur each week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 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 essential that everyone consult the schedule to find out when your lab must shut down. Labs need to be ready by 6:00 am on Tuesday morning for the fume hood shutdown in each area.

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.

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 the floor 9 mezzanine.
  5. Staff from UW Safety Department and from the chemistry facilities committee will spot-check preparations and compliance.

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 these exhaust interruptions. 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.

Electrical Outages: Daniels Floors 3, 4, 5, 6

Renovation work in the Daniels wing will begin soon and will bring significant changes to the electrical distribution system. Consequently, the electrical contractor needs to install metering equipment for a period of a week to measure electrical loads. Installation, and subsequent removal, of meters requires a short, but complete, shutdown of electrical service on each floor that is being monitored.

All 110-V and 208-V electrical service on Daniels floors 3, 4, 5, and 6 will be interrupted according to this schedule:

Wednesday, June 16   7:00 am – 12:00 n

Thursday, June 24    7:00 am – 12:00 n

Research groups should plan to shut down equipment and computers. Special air-handling units, air conditioners, and cold room will be affected.

These shutdowns will not affect heating, ventilation, fume hood exhaust, process cooling loop, water, sewer, housed nitrogen, and natural gas. Elevators should work as normal.

Moving Weeks Will Be in Early July

Because of the delay in tower completion, our move-in will now be in July rather than June. The description below indicates how complicated the moving process will be. We greatly appreciate the hard work that a lot of people, especially lab directors and lab techs in our instructional program, are doing to make this move happen. Many others whose offices are in Daniels B, 1, and 2, or who will have new offices in the tower have also contributed. Here is a summary, first in words, then in a diagram, of the major facilities we need to move within a roughly two-week period:

Facility                                                                                     From                                        To
Analytical chemistry labs move permanently                        Med. Sci. Center                        Eighth floor tower
Chemistry demo lab moves permanently                               Basement Daniels                      Sub-basement tower
Organic chemistry labs move permanently                           Basement Daniels                      Fifth and sixth floors tower
General chemistry labs (half) move temporarily                  First floor Daniels                      Seventh floor tower
General chemistry labs (half) move temporarily                  Second floor Daniels                 Med. Sci. Center
Undergraduate office moves temporarily                              First floor Daniels                       Sixth floor tower
Advanced analytical lab moves temporarily                          Second floor Daniels                  Basement Mathews

Diagram of the new buildings
Once the Daniels wing has been renovated—in about a year—the facilities that move temporarily this year will move into newly renovated space in Daniels. Advanced analytical and physical chemistry labs will also move to their final, new homes in the tower sixth floor. Time will tell, but if the efforts already put in by our staff are any measure, moving should be a great success.

Graphic Schedule of Upcoming Events

Many different construction activities are simultaneously affecting our building complex. Because of the change in the date for completion of the new tower, this schedule no longer applies. By the next newsletter, we hope to be able to update it.

Construction activities imapcting existing buildings as of 06/01/2021/

We thank Jim Maynard for the photos used in this newsletter issue.

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

John Moore and Bob McMahon