Division of Finance and Administration

Rowland Hall Fire Life Safety Improvement Phase 1

Section 1

The Rowland Hall Fire Life Safety Improvement project was initiated to enhance the safety of building occupants through the installation of fire sprinklers throughout the building.

Floor-by-floor installation of fire sprinkler systems throughout Rowland Hall began in October of 2018, and is scheduled to be completed in July of 2019. As of January 25, 2019 all work will be completed during non-peak building hours. Some of the construction will involve asbestos abatement. It is important to reiterate that with any asbestos abatement work, safety is paramount. All regulations to ensure air quality is maintained are followed, specifically:

  • Asbestos is removed by State of California certified asbestos removal contractors
  • Asbestos removal projects have active oversight by State of California certified asbestos consultants
  • Asbestos removal is performed in containment areas under negative pressure to ensure no asbestos fibers are released
  • Asbestos consultant performs fiber (asbestos and non-asbestos fiber) monitoring during and after all removal projects to ensure containment and no release of fibers above the EPA established criteria

 

Rowland Hall Construction & Air Monitoring Calendar

This calendar provides the construction schedule and air monitoring results for Rowland Hall. Overnight air monitoring results will be put on the calendar day air monitoring began. The construction calendar is subject to change.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Rowland Hall safe from asbestos fibers?

Yes. An independent contractor has monitored air quality in Rowland Hall throughout the Fire Life Safety Improvement project, and the air quality in public spaces meets or exceeds all applicable standards.


I heard that one of the air-quality tests showed an elevated concentration of fibers. Should I be concerned?

Although an elevated concentration of fibers was identified in an air sample taken on December 12, the fibers were determined to be from non-asbestos materials (ceiling tile or plaster, both of which do not contain asbestos). Due to recent concerns (January 2019), we have expanded the public areas in Rowland Hall for which the air has been tested for fibers. All tests for January yielded results well below the 0.01 fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cc) EPA clearance criteria.


Why have students not been better informed?

We appreciate the people who brought gaps in communication to our attention. We are currently working on increasing and coordinating communication efforts with this project.


Are contaminated areas and non-contaminated areas sufficiently separated?

Yes. This is accomplished by the construction of a containment system that meets or exceeds Cal/OSHA requirements. The Asbestos Containment Diagram Decontamination Chamber (Decon), shown below, provides a diagram to show how the containment system works. An asbestos containment is an airtight barrier, under constant negative pressure, around the asbestos-related activities. All seams in the enclosure are sealed completely. The containment has a decontamination chamber (decon). Access to and exit from the regulated work area is always through the decon. The decon has 3 rooms. For entry, the sequence is the clean room, the shower room, and the dirty room. The sequence is reversed for exit out of the regulated area. We take the safety of all building occupants seriously as well as the workers inside containment.

Asbestos Containment Diagram Decontamination Chamber (Decon)

How often is air monitoring done as remediation progresses?

Air monitoring is conducted continuously outside the containment area during contained asbestos-related activities. Air monitoring is performed inside and outside the containment during and after asbestos-related activities during the work shift. Air monitoring is conducted by a third-party consultant that is certified by the State of California.


Is there a possibility of dust containing asbestos entering the AC system and further recirculating to the air?

All asbestos-related activities are performed in an airtight barrier, under constant negative pressure. No air in the asbestos-containing areas in Rowland Hall is re-circulated; all air duct openings in the containment area are sealed during abatement.


Is there any potential risk of lead dust contamination from the renovation process?

No, the scope of work for the Rowland Hall Fire Life Safety Improvement project does not impact any lead containing surfaces.


Please contact EH&S with additional questions or concerns: 949.824.6200 or safety@uci.edu.