Freezing temps cause pipe bursts in Murkland
Building could be closed for a week, possibly longer
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
All classes in Murkland Hall were cancelled Thursday morning after a large number of fan coil units froze and thawed, which caused multiple pipes to burst and flood all three floors of the building. For an unknown reason, the alarm did not go off, and the damages weren’t discovered until early in the morning.
According to Larry Van Dessel, Executive Director of Facilities Services at UNH, as many as 20 to 30 fan coil units froze. Every room has at least one fan coil unit, and bigger rooms, such as the dean’s office and lecture hall 115, have at least two.
It is currently unknown as to why so many fan coil units froze. Dessel said that he would review the building’s records to see if any damages or flaws were overlooked, or if there was some sort of mechanical failure.
Murkland has three heating systems: baseboard heat, an air handling system, and a series of fan coil systems. The baseboard heat and the air handling system did not freeze up, and Dessel believes that the building could be usable within a week if they are still full functional. If they aren’t, it could take up to a month to fix the damage, but Dessel is confident that the two remaining heating systems will be operational.
“It’s bad but it’s not catastrophic,” Dessel said.
Servpro, UNH’s emergency cleanup contractor, dealt with a large portion of the water removal in Murkland. Once the water has been cleared, desiccant and antimicrobial will be applied to the carpets.
UNH sent an email out to students later Thursday evening saying that all classes on Friday and Monday will be temporarily moved. The new locations can be found here. More information will be released once the full extent of the damages has been discovered.