Testing and balancing components of the new HVAC system began last week and was limited to the upper 5th and 6th floors. The system is working well and the new upper floors are noticeably cooler than the lower ones still dependent on the ”temporary” blowers, towers, and tubes upon which the library has relied since the building was reopen in spring 2006 after Hurricane Katrina .
The closure is a precautionary measure that will allow testing and balancing the system on the lower floors to be done while the library is unoccupied. During the closure air quality in the building would be tested, although the existing duct on the lower floors has been sample-tested for dust and contaminants in recent years with no problems identified. Once the air flow from the new system is properly checked out, a switch to the new system will take place ASAP.
The 5th and 6th floor construction scope includes removing all the old hanging tube that serves as temporary air duct on floors 1-4 of the building and replacing all the lower floor windows and transoms displaced by the tubes. Also included would be any other related interior repairs. Outside, the contractor will remove all the towers, blower units, and temporary chilled water pipe behind the building and restore that area to pre-Katrina condition as well. This dismantling of the old HVAC system and related repairs is expected to be completed in August.