Construction update: Vibration, noise testing at Vollum and Richard Jones Hall, Sept. 11-13

As you may be aware, OHSU currently has two significant projects under way on the research side of campus. The first is focused on updating the Old Library and the second is to replace the exterior terra cotta skin of the Vollum Institute. Both projects have work that needs to be completed in the near future and the nature of the work will create noise and vibration disruptions to the buildings as well as adjacent spaces. Some work and vibration and noise testing related to these projects will take place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept. 11, 12, and 13.

The work on the Old Library includes a new primary power service that originates under RJH. The service will be routed from the power vault on the second floor of RJH (adjacent to the tunnel) and will travel through the tunnel under the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences (formerly CROET) and out to a junction vault at the top of the hill behind the Old Library. The conduit must be mounted to the underside of the concrete structure, and the attachment method requires that a series of holes be roto-hammered into the structure. This will create significant noise and vibration through both RJH and CROET.

The work for the Vollum Institute is related to removing the exterior skin from the building next summer. The attachments holding the terra cotta exterior in place are failing, resulting in the entire façade on the courtyard side having to be removed and replaced. In order to determine the noise and vibration levels, as well as the best removal method, a series of tools tests will take place on the lower front façade of the building. This work will include the use of hammers, drills, and electric-powered chippers. The stone is attached with steel fasteners as well as mortar which is adhered to the concrete structure of the building. The work will be very loud and the vibration will be significant. We will monitor the results with sensors and direct feedback.

Please keep in mind that this initial work is to prepare for the full removal of the face, which begins next spring. The dates have not been set for that phase of work, but we will be working very closely with everyone to plan for that event.

This work is tentative pending OHSU’s Research community feedback. Please provide your feedback to Lee Weidman as soon as possible if you think the work  scheduled for Sept. 11 through 13, might disrupt your work to any capacity. If we do not hear your concerns, we will be instructing our contractor to proceed with the work as outlined below.

Friday, Sept. 11
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Vollum Institute
Test demolition and boring on the facade: A limited effort aimed at collecting data and feedback on the various tools and techniques that could be employed on removing and reinstalling the exterior skin.

Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sunday, Sept. 13
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Vollum Institute

Removal of the remaining section of exterior siding on the lower left hand façade

Saturday Sept. 19
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Richard Jones Hall/CROET
A contractor will be using a roto-hammer to install anchors for an electrical line. This work will reverberate throughout the building and will be disruptive to people and animal populations.


Your patience, understanding, and partnership during construction is greatly appreciated.