Dear BCOE Colleagues:

Many of you have noticed significant air imbalance in Bourns Hall B-wing.  As part of the renovation to increase wet lab space on the second floor, and to correct non-compliant air recirculation on the first floor, building exhaust and HVAC fans and motors are being replaced and new ducting has been added.  Until work is completed, building air balance cannot be achieved.  Below is information I hope will help.

  • The FIRST FLOOR EAST WING HVAC coil pack and motor replacement is complete
    • Programming is in progress
    • This means that fans can be operated “in hand”
      • Temperature regulation must be manual, which means maintaining optimum temperature in spaces will be difficult. 
  • As the team works to program the fan, periodic interruptions in HVAC fan operation on the first floor should be expected. 
  • The FIRST FLOOR fan should be operating independently by Friday.
  • The SECOND FLOOR EAST AND WEST wing motor and drive belt replacement should be accomplished by Friday. 
    • Until programming can be complete it will be operated “in hand”
    • Periodic interruptions can again be expected during programming
    • Fume hoods WILL remain operational during this time
    • All PHASE TWO and THREE rooftop EXHAUST fans and motors are now in place;
      • They are not yet programmed
      • Building-wide air balancing will begin at the end of Phase Three. 

Many have noticed difficulty overcoming the air imbalance when trying to open doors.  One useful trick (thank you Aguilar Team) is to use your foot to push against the base of the door while turning the handle and pushing with your hands.  This seems to help break the suction/seal to simplify door opening. 

If this doesn’t work for you, a less desirable alternative is to place a small wedge between the door and frame.  This prevents the door being held shut by the air imbalance.  Wedging doors open is normally prohibited.  This option should be used only when negative room pressure prevents the door being opened by one person alone and only for the purpose of safe emergency egress.  Please keep in mind this will not prevent intruders.  As always, please avoid working alone.   The last person leaving a room must remember to remove the wedge.

The Morillo Construction Team is making every effort to maximize occupant comfort while minimizing air imbalance.  Noticeable air imbalance will unfortunately likely last through the end of Phase Three.

Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.



Safety and Facilities Coordinator
Bourns College of Engineering
University of California, Riverside
Tel: 951-827-1241
Fax: 951-827-3188
Three words for life from SuperKenny: Honesty, Respect, Gratefulness