Smith Hall is really getting underway!!! Please obey the signs!!!
On Friday, October 6, with an immense amount of help from our entire Percussion , Jazz Drums, and Piano Repair Department, we vacated the lower level, North side of Smith Hall. It was an incredible amount of work and our operations team cannot begin to express the quantity of gratitude deserved to all of those whom were involved!
On October 9 our demolition/Abatement contractor began preparing to remove the soffits seen along the ceiling in the picture below.
Inside the soffits are insulated pipes that carry domestic hot water, hot water recirculation (so you don't have to "wait on hot water," steam for the radiators in all of the rooms and condensate from the radiators.
Below is a view inside of one of them.
Like most pipes of this vintage they are insulated in an asbestos material then wrapped. Although not harmful when protected and undisturbed we must abate the "special materials" in a safe manner as dictated by governmental health standards and dispose of it accordingly. In order to do this we are doing what is called a "mini containment." Instead of containing the whole floor, a containment area is built in each room. this contained area is then put under negative pressure and the air is filtered through a series of HEPA filters. Air quality testing is sampled within the containment area, just outside of the containment area, in a building public space, and outside.
* Odd fact, when we did this on the third floor of Smith we got higher sample rates outdoors at the Illiini Union than INSIDE the room we were working!
After the containment area is sealed and placed under negative pressure the actual pipe itself is sealed in a "bag" the materials are removed in a way much like a sandblaster works keeps the operator from touching the sand, The workers never actually touch the material and the material never touches the air within the containment. These bags are then disposed of in a sealed disposal container.
Here is a picture of the Mini Containment being built, it will be further fortified, this is basically to protect the room from drywall dust at this point.
IF a containment bag were to break the containment and filter will take care of any contamination, the materials are wetted to prevent any dust in this instance also, this makes the material less friable. The workers have a portable shower installed for this reason also. the rain system is pumped through another series of serious filters. They admitted to using it after a hot day also, purely for a more comfortable drive home.
It was brought to our attention that it would be appreciated to describe how this is being done. This is never a topic that anyone really wants to discuss but it is a reality. Everything is being performed in accordance to strict guidelines and monitored at all times. You may feel free to ask any questions to Chad or Nathan that you would like. If we do not immediately have an answer we will efficiently get it to you!