Construction Update 04/20/2020

New Tower. The second big concrete pour on the ninth floor happened last Thursday, so all floors are now in place. The ninth floor is partly roof and partly mechanical space. The mechanical space will house large air handlers, stacked two or three high, that will condition air supplied to the new tower and to Daniels as well. There are also exhaust fans that will provide exhaust for the tower, Daniels, and Mathews. This is part of the “heart-lung transplant” that was a major justification for our new building. Air handlers currently supplying Daniels are 50 years old, break down frequently, and are difficult to repair. The same is true of exhaust systems.

Construction Photos

Last week, at a virtual meeting, participants explored the ninth-floor mechanical space via Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM is a virtual-reality tool that allows the construction team and UW-Madison FP&M to look at every floor of our new building from any angle or viewpoint. The purpose is to identify issues like inadvertently locating pipes and ventilation ducts in the same place or allowing inadequate access for workers to bring tools and replacement parts to where they are needed to service machinery. It is exciting to fly through walls into a mechanical space and see the maze of steam, chilled-water, and other pipes connected to the air handlers.

Loading-Dock Area. Beginning this week, the construction team will be excavating in the area just north of the loading dock. During the Charter-Street project a utility tunnel was built through what used to be parking lot 55 south of “The Crossing”. The excavation will enable extending that tunnel to the new tower, providing steam and chilled water needed for the air handlers on the ninth floor. Excavation and work on the tunnel extension will take several weeks.

Construction Photos

Chemistry Learning Center. Except for furniture, which will not be installed until mid-May or later, the new CLC quarters in the Medical Sciences Center will be completed this week. In the main reception area, carpets and ceilings had been installed last week. The new CLC facilities will look great and be an inviting place for students to study and learn.

Fire Protection. Installation of fire sprinklers on the third floor of Daniels began last week. When the third floor of Daniels is complete the installation crew will begin installing riser pipes in the stairwells. They move to the basement of Mathews on May 4.

This information is up to date as of Friday afternoon. Email bulletins will be provided as needed.

We are indebted to Ballinger Architects, Bo Muwahid of UW-Madison FP&M, and Matt Selle of Miron Construction for photographs in this report.

John Moore and Bob McMahon