Missoula Fire Sciences Lab
The Forest Service’s renovation for the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory was primarily a mechanical and electrical upgrade to the A-wing of the building with limited work in both the B-wing and C-wing. Critical infrastructure upgrades of the mechanical system involved the removal of the existing air handler that serviced the burn chamber and replacement with a twelve-fan motor array air handler with custom, integrated controls. The mechanical upgrade incorporated new boilers, steam generators, and a glycol system.
The main electrical switch gear was replaced and required significant coordination to ensure that the occupied portions of the building were not affected by the off-hours replacement of the main electrical service. In addition to the gear upgrade, the electrical distribution in the A-wing was upgraded, and additional panels were placed to improve functionality for the scientists that utilize the A-wing for their research.
As part of the interior demolition phase of the A-wing of the building, abatement of asbestos and lead was required. The areas were isolated with containment barriers and negative air machines to ensure that the particulates were controlled within the containment area. Air monitoring and testing were conducted to verify that the abated areas were free and clear of hazardous materials prior to moving forward with the next phase of construction in the controlled area.
Structural upgrades included fortifying the raised platform section within the burn chamber. The existing piers supporting the floor were shored, and an angle iron was installed to provide the additional reinforcement.