To All Students, Faculty and Staff,
Work has begun in Kane Hall to replace the chilled water condenser piping system that supports the building’s air cooling system. This work is necessary as the piping, installed as part of the building’s 2007 renovation, is experiencing leakage due to substantial corrosion inside of the piping caused by inadequate chemical treatment of the piping and the water in the system.
While air handling equipment is unaffected, the building’s air conditioning system has been shut down until such time as repairs can be made. To some extent, adverse impacts in terms of noise and disruption should be limited as most of the piping slated for replacement is located in machine rooms on the ground floor and roof penthouse. However, these machine rooms are connected by a section of pipe located in an interior shaft traversing the ground floor to the rooftop. Its removal is expected to generate noise and has the potential for disruption. This aspect of the work is targeted to occur during Spring Break.
Although the chilled water condenser piping system is a closed system, in an abundance of caution, an environmental testing firm has been retained to perform analyses of water quality in other water systems in the building including potable water (e.g., drinking faucets) and non-potable (e.g., fire sprinklers) systems.
Experts retained by the College and its insurers are analyzing the corrosion and leakage problem and its causation. Cost recovery for the full expense is being pursued against the responsible parties, as the work in question was an element of the 2007 building renovation performed by certain designers and contractors, and its ongoing maintenance was performed by a water treatment company that was also involved in the start-up of the system (and perhaps in its design).
Pipe replacement is scheduled to conclude by April 16; testing, labeling and project close-out will occur thereafter but these activities will not be disruptive. The College is working with the Contractor to accelerate this timeline to achieve pipe replacement prior to the start of final exams on April 23, 2013. The Contractor has agreed to work double shifts the week of March 11 to take advantage of the Spring Break in an effort to minimize disruption. It is important for the work to begin now to minimize the risk of a catastrophic pipe failure and the resulting collateral water damage, and to have the air cooling system fully operational before the warmer late spring and summer months.
We will issue updates of project status. Please contact David Seward if you have any questions.
Posted February 22nd, 2013.