Campus HVAC Assessment Summary

Dear colleagues,

After months of challenging work by teams of dedicated OVCAS employees and contractors, I’m happy to report that all UIC buildings and spaces will be ready for the start of the fall semester on August 23, and we are confident all ventilation systems in our buildings are operating well. We were able to significantly increase both the amount of fresh air introduced to each building as well as the overall ventilation rate. This means that all buildings have improved air exchange rates. We were also able to improve the level of air filtration in many buildings.

From the start of the pandemic, OVCAS staff from a variety of functional areas, including Heat, Light and Power; the Environmental Health and Safety Office; Planning, Sustainability and Project Management; and Purchasing, Procurement, and Material Distribution, teamed up with contractors, consultants, and vendors to keep UIC buildings safe for those learning and working on campus.

Executing the HVAC assessment project, an important part of our campus response, ultimately involved over 40 different collaborating groups.

While this presented a challenge and steep learning curve, OVCAS teams rose to the occasion. In record time, they outlined a project scope, opened communication channels, and established processes that accommodated the ever-evolving CDC guidelines and state requirements and considered the unique and dynamic needs of our many campus areas, which were divided into five physical sites: UIC East, UIC West, Peoria, Rockford, and UIC Law. Weekly update calls were held to share progress, plan for the following week, and address obstacles, which helped quickly address concerns and keep the project on schedule, even in the face of delays due to national supply chain issues.

The assessment and work are now complete. High-level scope of work at UIC’s Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, and Law School campuses is as follows:

  • 98 buildings have been assessed
  • 513 air handling units and 494 unit ventilators have been assessed
  • Air flow in over 4,200 individual rooms have been tested and balanced

Our reports and ventilation assessment information for specific spaces are available online and OVCAS engineers will continue to monitor system performance and complete preventive maintenance throughout the semester.

I’d like to extend a personal thank you to OVCAS employees, and the HVAC team in particular, who have remained on campus these past 18 months—foregoing vacations and other time off—to ensure the safety of the campus community. I couldn’t be prouder of all they have done and continue to do, and hope you are, too.

Please email if you have questions or need additional information about this project.


John Coronado
Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

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