AC Units Installed - Kitchen Cabinets Installed - Wallboard and Electrical Work Continue

May 15, 2011 - The big news this week was the installation of the two, 5 ton AC units on the roof of the building, and getting started on the kitchen in the Silver Rock unit. We also got all of the wallboard installed (except for the ceiling in the video production room), and second layer of mud on the walls that were taped and floated last week. We picked up a load of steel for the ADA ramp and got a close out inventory of Italian ceramic tile delivered to the epic Creative Co-Op at a great price.

Fernando Sanchez of Flex Builders came by with two 13 SEER AC units that will cool the Silver Rock units and the big video production room. During the design phase of the project he suggested we place the units on the roof for security and aesthetic reasons. We used Mike's bucket truck (Gulf Coast Graphics) which quickly lifted the units to the roof. Each unit was positioned on the platform we built and bolted down several weeks ago. We also did some things to insure the AC units will provide years of uninterrupted service.

Rectorseal makes a product called Kickstart® which is designed to help hard start AC compressors. Starting up a big unit is rough on it, and a Kickstart capacitor will extend the life of compressors they are used on. They work by bringing up the AC compressor to full speed more quickly and efficiently. They also assist compressors in starting under very adverse ambient conditions such as low voltage or high head pressures. Our AC units come with a 10 year parts and labor warranty, and this should further extend the life of the equipment.

Fernando hooked up the electrical power to the units and then charged the system. He then turned on the units and wonderful cool air came out the vents. After we get the ceiling and doors in place on the interior, he will return to balance the system and insure even distribution of the airflow. At this time we only installed 2 of the 4 units needed for the entire building. Cash flow is becoming a problem, so the units that have not yet been rented do not have the HVAC system installed. Once we have tenants for these lofts, Fernando will return and complete the installation process.

Lalo was able to get the electrical wiring done in units 9 & 10.  He also did all the pre-wiring for the exit signs needed.  We ordered 8 battery back-up exit signs from ebay, and they should be in this week. These are the "frog eyes" types of lights you see in many commercial buildings, and we ordered them in black to match the walls. We made the required changes that the Centerpoint electrician required, so we put in a call to them to come out and hook up the permanent electric service to the building.  While they are here, they will straighten the utility pole that is leaning not by using a guy wire, but by injecting foam into the ground. I am looking forward to seeing how they do it.

We completed installing most of the remaining wallboard, and added a second layer of mud to most of the joints. We purchased a texture gun from Harbor Freight ($20) and a bag of texture ($12) and did some tests which turned out really nice.  Once the taping and floating is done, we will texture all the walls.  We still have the ceiling in the big room to do, and I am debating if we should tackle this ourselves, or get a wallboard company to do it.

Late in the week, we turned our attention to the kitchen, and began working with the Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) from Diassa and ALPOLIC. This material is wonderful to work with if you have the right tools, and we do thanks to Chris Larimore of Diassa. Chris has let us borrow his wall saw, and a special router tip he developed for working with the ACM.  We are using it in the kitchen for the walls and some of the under counter surfaces. It looks beautiful. We installed some of the cabinets that were donated to the project by James Larimore, and built a cabinet for the microwave/oven wall unit using the ACM panels.

For the first time in over 90 days, we got rain this week, and it flash rusted the metal handrails we had put in the week before.  We removed the rust and added a coat of metal primer followed by a industrial grade oil based paint. We also started to paint the trim around the windows which will be a time consuming task, but really looks good.

Next week we will focus on getting the ceiling up in the big room, so we can get the attic insulated. We will start texturing and doing the trim details. We have 5-6 small loads of dirt scheduled for delivery that will be used to level off some of the low spots around the building, and get it ready for the flat-work concrete walk and border around the building. 

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