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Ohio State engineers will monitor airflow of new buildings

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

The $126 million construction project for the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building will give engineers a new level of knowledge about the building’s airflow.
When complete in late 2014, engineers will be able to monitor heat flow and airflow on every floor of the 225,000-square-foot building.
If one side of the North Campus building is using more energy than the other side, engineers can brainstorm on how to correct the imbalance, said Susan Olesik, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Construction for the project broke ground June 18.
The early stages of the construction were preparing the utility infrastructures such as heating, cooling, hot water and electric to the buildings, said Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for Ohio State’s Administration and Planning, in an email.
The CBEC will be a two-building structure to enhance its energy efficiency. One building will contain laboratories and the other will be office space.
“The building is going to be absolutely gorgeous,” she said. “I think it will be a Midwestern landmark in terms of quality.”
The reason two buildings are more efficient is because laboratory airflow has to be one-pass air, but office airflow can be recirculated. The airflow in buildings that have both offices and laboratories cannot be recirculated.
Komlanc said crews have starting installing concrete for the basement and putting up steal beams.
When determining the project length, poor weather conditions are taken into account and the work is planned accordingly, she said in the email. While the completion time hasn’t been delayed, the work flow is expected to slow down in the winter.
But winter weather is not hampering OSU’s efforts in creating safety awareness around campus construction.
“Because our campus is multi-modal, traffic safety efforts cover all areas of campus as well as all modes of transportation, rather than focusing only on one specific area or site.” Komlanc said in the email.
OSU is trying to ensure the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists by having an ongoing education campaign that will last throughout the rest of the semester, Komlanc said in the email.
Several campus accidents were reported last semester, including a September incident involving first-year student James Daniel Hughes, who was struck by a dump truck near the CBEC site.
Hughes lost roughly one-third of his body, including his right leg and hip as a result of the accident.
The Sept. 5 accident was preceded by an Aug. 20 incident where first-year student Rachel Stump was hit by a drunk driver, which left her in a coma for several days. The day after James Daniel Hughes’ accident, OSU student Yifan Gu was struck by a bicyclist near Chumley’s on High Street and was transported to the Wexner Medical Center with injuries.
As a result of a string of pedestrian and bicycle accidents involving injuries, OSU President E. Gordon Gee formed a safety task force to come up with ways to make campus safer, including adding signs to crosswalks and banning the use of bicycles on the Oval.
The ongoing education campaign will feature messages about how to follow traffic safety laws, as well as enforcing those laws, Komlanc said in the email.
Jeremy Hitchens, a third-year in marketing, said he tries to be safe near construction by not listening to music while walking and being aware of this surroundings.
Second-year in animal sciences Mariah Kasler said while she tries to remain aware of he surroundings, she still feels uneasy about the construction equipment around campus sometimes.
“It scares me when the crane starts moving I just get a bit nervous,” she said.

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