Saturday, May 5, 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Whistling.....................................



Any Major Dude With Half A Heart offers Volume 2 of his "whistling mixes."   The man knows his music.   Enjoy..............

The Beach Boys.........................................................Whistle In

 

Contemplating..........................


....................................................................getting some Raisin Bran.   From this interview with Mel Brooks:
One last question for you: How do you maintain the energy to keep working at 91?
I don’t know. Truthfully, I think it’s the gift of a good constitution. My mother lived into her 90s. But I would say personally, it’s Raisin Bran. The raisins are sweet and it has iron and they have energy. The bran helps keep you regular. So it’s either ancestral good bodies and good brains coming my way from the past, or, to be honest, it could be Raisin Bran.

Fifty years ago...............................


Blue Cheer.......................................................Summertime Blues


Thursday, May 3, 2018

The kids................................


............................................................will be just fine.

Going up...............................


        We placed the order for our elevator with Otis (and paid a 50% + deposit) about four months ago.   The timing on this worked out pretty well.  About a week after the shaft was completed, Otis called to make arrangements for the deliver of the elevator.  It looked something like this:

Delivery day for the elevator

One of their requirements was a lot of space to work it

The elevator came with the note, "some assembly required"

First thing the technicians did was install this little winch motor.   It is not part
of the elevator, but by running a cable from the winch to the metal beam we
installed at the tippy-top of the shaft, the technicians created a handy device
for lifting the parts of the elevator into place

The control panel

More control panel

Control panel up top, and if I remember correctly, the
canister for the hydraulic fluid at the bottom

The guide rail, from the top

The guide rail, from the bottom

installing the hydraulic jack


Hydraulic fluid pump

Guide rail and hydraulic jack.  The way it works is the top
of the car is connected to the top of the hydraulic jack.  As
the jack goes up, or down, it carries the car along with it

The pit, about finished, waiting for the car to be built

Building the car.  Floor first


sidewalls next


Finally the car ceiling

Technicians working their magic

The Otis installers are almost done.  Next step is for the masons to finish
by closing up the shaft

Rough install complete.  Awaiting the fine tuning technician,
and the final floor touches.
































































































More on the conversion of the Old School into 29 apartment units may be found here.

Fifty years ago............................


Gary Puckett & The Union Gap.................................Young Girl

 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The shaft...............................


    Adding an elevator to the Old School was always part of the plan.   While school buildings tend to have wide corridors and staircases, three stories is a lot of stair climbing.  We deemed the expense of providing an elevator absolutely necessary for the success of the project.   The early, early architectural plans called for the elevator shaft to be constructed within the building proper.  For a number of reasons, I vetoed that idea.  We consulted the historical people and submitted new drawings showing the elevator shaft on the outside of the building.  Along with the drawings we submitted a sample of the exterior block.  It was a close a match in color as we could find.  Fortunately, the historical folks consented.  The addition of the elevator shaft will be the only structural change to the outside of the classic building.  Otis Elevator will be installing the elevator car once the shaft is completed.  Their specifications for the shaft were exacting.  This is one part of the project that has no margin for error.   It is no accident that the masonry crew had previous elevator shaft construction experience.

First comes the footer and foundation

Walls need to be cut to provide access from the elevator
shaft (and elevator) to each of the floors

New lintel over the newly cut ground floor opening

Walls have been saw cut.  Now waiting for the third
floor lintel to be installed

Third floor lintel being installed

Openings cut, lintels set.  Ready for the shaft


Block laying commences

Must be break time

This is what progress looks like

The right equipment helps

Almost done

The Otis elevator people gave firm instructions for the
installation of a steel beam at the tippy top of the shaft

Shaft isn't complete until its roof goes on

The finished product

Fifty years ago........................


The Rolling Stones..............................................Stray Cat Blues

 

Monday, April 30, 2018

HVAC..................................


       Air pressure, air movement, air temperature; dust removal, mite reduction, dehumidification:  all were not just a matter of soft self-indulgence indoors, but of positive no-allergy health and the deterrence of rot, rust, fungus and mildew.  The Lazarus act on old buildings began, in my no doubt obsessional mind, with the provision of clean dry air, unobtrusively circulating.

-Dick Francis,  channeling architect/builder Lee Morris in his book Decider

Reasonable people will likely agree that my mind does not qualify as obsessional, but the decision about providing heating and cooling for the 29 apartment units in the Old School was not an easy one.   The 30,000 square foot building, when in use as a school, was heated by a gas-fired boiler.  One cold winter's day soon after we acquired the building we could actually hear the gas meter whirling as the boiler did its thing.  We quickly decided we could not afford to heat the empty building, so the boiler was shut down and the gas turned off.  Also, in the old-fashioned way of 1939 school buildings, the only air conditioning was a window unit in the principal's office.
      We knew several things to be true:  1) we needed air conditioning, 2) we needed each apartment unit to have its own HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning), 3) we needed to be able to meter each unit separately so that the tenants would pay for their own utility usage, and 4) we needed a reasonable way to heat and cool the six corridors. 
       After considerable debate, we opted to use an all-electric Mitsubishi Split System to heat and cool the units.  The plan for installing these units seemed rather simple at first.   However, a consultation with the historical folks changed that it a hurry.   The systems operate with individual unit compressors.  We had planned to cluster these compressors for the first and second floor on the ground outside the building, and them obscure them with landscaping.  The historical folks vetoed that idea (and yes, they have veto power since it is a historical tax credit project).  They thought that passers-by being able to see +/- 18 modern compressors would detract from the classical historical structure.  One must admit that they were right.   So without a fight, we changed the plan and put all of the compressors, out of sight, on the roof.  What that meant though, is that the 35 line-sets running between the unit heads and the compressors had to find their way, unexposed, through the building to the roof.   It got complicated quickly. 
       To make sense of the photos, they start with the heads and work backwards to the compressors:


Most of the units have two heads.  One in the living area and one in
the bedroom.   The two-bedroom units have three heads.   The smaller studio
units only have one head


Installation

The supporting bracket

A line set awaiting the head.   The small visible pipe is the condensation line

line set and condensation line waiting patiently for next steps



Collected line sets heading to the roof

























Remember the beautiful new roof?    Watching them cut
holes in it hurt

Our roofer will be very busy flashing all the penetrations.   It will require semi-
annual inspections on all the flashing to make sure the roof stays water-tight















setting the flashing for the soon to arrive line sets


Cut the roof and drill holes in the concrete deck.    Double ouch

The line sets make it through the roof























Line sets ready to connect to the compressors





It's like a compressor farm on the roof

























There will be additional photos once they are finished.