their research, or may be hindered in the meantime. Our tunnel wash is still active and able to be used, but is approaching the end of useful life, and will continue to become more difficult to keep operating until replacement. Our autoclave is currently down due to it reaching end of useful life, and therefore the lab is having to utilize a nearby autoclave outside of their existing space. Our electron microscope is very sensitive to power fluctuations, so we are adding on UPS battery backup along with
an automatic transfer switch to reduce any blips caused when the system moves to the house generator. This project also is part of a larger building-wide electrical maintenance program to ensure our system are functioning properly.
What goes into enacting a design and construction plan at that pace?
Following up and setting specific deadlines for all parties, including myself,
help to keep the pace moving forward. If it is necessary for an above normal turnaround for plan or submittal review, it should be discussed beforehand with the architect/engineer, and any UTHealth stakeholders, so all parties are on board and are headed in the same direction/ pace as the project requires.
What special precautions (protocols) were put into place?
All typical protocols that it takes to maintain existing lab equipment and allow research to continue around the projects were put into place. This could include special containment for dust control with negative air in the construction space, or as minor as draping plastic containments over bench work and removing the debris for the drape.
Were there any challenges?
All projects have their challenges. It is about how you approach and manage each challenge. It is possible to miss scope in the project; we have a contingency in place. Or if the lab has an added request due to the ever-changing research world, we step back and try to see how to accommodate each issue. Recently one lab added scope for a Millipore water filter. Fortunately, each mechanical chase already has reverse osmosis nearby, but this adjustment had to be made quickly, as the project was nearing completion.
How does the overall design of the lab cater to what the facility managers were looking for?
Our teams are currently working on adding new energy conservation measures, including in our labs. We are working on implementing our newest lab casework specification inside McGovern Medical School. In a building that size, it is important to standardize fixtures and finishes for routine maintenance as well as for the potential unforeseen emergencies like water leaks. As a team, the project management group has worked with both the school and the maintenance team to identify and standardize
COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION â€” DECEMBER 2020