Update on the Radiochemistry Research Center and potential impacts to labs; new dates for sensor placement and testing

UPDATE 1/15: Test dates changed. See below.

As previously reported, OHSU is moving forward on the development of a Center for Radiochemistry Research, including a cyclotron to produce the radionuclides required for designing new molecular probes for PET scanning by OHSU scientists.

If you work in buildings surrounding the Research Courtyard, your work may be affected by construction of this center, and for this reason we are doing extensive testing to measure potential impacts. OHSU Design & Construction understands the impact construction can have on nearby research laboratories and their subjects, and given the proximity to the Medical Research Building, is working with the Department of Comparative Medicine (DCM) and the Senior Vice President for Research’s Office to develop plans to offset, mitigate, and minimize construction impacts, including to animal housing areas, sensitive instrumentation, and ongoing research activities in any potentially affected areas.

As a result of discussions with representatives from DCM and the SVPR Office, a three-phase plan to utilize a monitoring system with sensors has been established with a vibration consultant, Vibro-Acoustic Consultants. The first phase will be a test scenario implemented during a foundation check, the second will provide a baseline set of readings when no construction is present, and the final phase of monitoring will be done during construction, which will likely commence this summer. The following is an initial list of room locations for sensors:


  • 135b
  • 125 (added)
  • 171
  • 219A
  • 227 (added)
  • 232
  • 265
  • 327 (added)
  • 621
  • 921 B or C

What to expect during phase 1:
Design & Construction is currently targeting the end of January for the first test is planning for the testing to take place on February 11.  During this time a soil-boring machine will be used to verify building foundations type. Sensors will be placed February 9 and 10 Jan. 26 and 27 and the boring work will take place on February 11th 28between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The boring work will be coordinated with the ultrasonic, noise and vibration sensors in place and will be actively monitored with real-time communication provided to the construction team.  In the event readings are seen that create concern, work will immediately cease and an alternate method or location will be identified. Other sample construction tasks will be tested in a similar manner (such as core-drilling, chipping and hammering). Upon completion of the test a review will take place to understand the data gained and fully develop the subsequent phases of the plan.

What monitoring during the construction phase will accomplish:
The monitoring system has three key goals:

  1. Provide real-time feedback to the construction team: alarm levels will be programmed into the system, and will issue text messages and/or emails when these levels are breached. This allows the contractor to understand in real time the impacts of various processes underway. When unexpected levels are encountered, the contractor will be able to respond immediately.
  2. Provide real-time information to researchers: researchers in nearby sensitive facilities can at any time go to a web page that shows the current environmental condition at the station nearest them. If desired, researchers can also receive real-time alerts like those sent to the contractor.
  3. Provide historical information to users: since researchers often collect data that are analyzed later, the web interface also has a facility to provide historical data. A researcher can immediately retrieve environmental data for any arbitrary date and time period. This allows researchers to quickly see whether vibration, sound, or other monitored parameters could be responsible for problematic data quality. Additionally, researchers will be able to download the entire dataset to facilitate their own custom analyses.

Further updates will be provided in advance of each of the scheduled phases. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Dan VanBrabant at vanbraba@ohsu.edu


One response to “Update on the Radiochemistry Research Center and potential impacts to labs; new dates for sensor placement and testing

  1. If vibrations in the mouse rooms are detected, will the construction project require IACUC approval?

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