Water/Sewer Line Work & Painting Completed - Work Begins on Exterior Electrical & HVAC

April 9, 2011 - Our goals for this week were to get the building painted, get the water and sewer lines working, install the main electrical lines, and get started on the HVAC installation. By Sunday evening we had met all of our objectives.

Glidden was kind enough to extend a professional discount to us, so we opted to go with them for the exterior and interior paint on the project. We visited the local store and met with Jack Biggs, the Field Service Rep for Glidden who has years of construction experience,  Jack asked us a number of questions about our project, then suggested a Glidden formulation that was developed specifically for external metal surfaces. This paint is not cheap, but we wanted something that will give us years of service and not fade. Mike Huffine of Silver Rock spent a great deal of time trying to get just the right color for the containers. We decided on blue, but were not sure of exactly what shade of blue we would go with. Jack gave us 3 samples of paint and suggested we do some tests.  He offered to come by after the paint has set up (72 hours) to see the results.

When Jack visited the job site he was happy with what he found. The Glidden paint had adhered well to the Mascoat insulation, and he gave us the green light. I took a photo of the three colors and conducted an informal survey of family and friends to see what shade of blue came out on top. The middle shade came out #1, and the light blue came in second. Mike's idea was to use both shades of blue, so we went with the middle blue on all North/South walls, and the light blue on all East/West Walls. It was a good choice and the building appears to change color as the sun moves around it during the day.

We also finished working on the the exterior plumbing and now have both the water and sewer lines hooked up and working. The MUD Inspector came by first thing Monday morning to inspect the connection of the sewer line into the lift station and said he was approving it and we could backfill the ditch. Before we did, we ran the CAT 6 wire from the new building to the switch panel in the epic building. We can use this line for the security cameras for both buildings that will be installed later.

Tapping into the fresh water line was more difficult than expected. The line is located 6 feet in the ground (which is hard as a rock since it has not rained for several weeks). After shutting it off at the main, we tapped into the line and pumped out the water in the 3 inch line using a small fountain pump. We used a slip collar fitting to go over the 3" pipe, but the solvent cement would set up too quickly, and resulted in two failed connections.  Adam came up with an idea to use an inverted pee trap and it worked perfectly.  We pressured up the line, and had water to the building with no leaks in the hole. We waited 24 hours and filled in the hole the next day.

We awarded the HVAC contract to Flex Builders. Fernando Sanchez, president of Flex has done work for us in the past and we have been very happy with the results. On Monday he took his measurements, and on Tuesday he returned with his crew and began the installation work.  We cut an opening in the roof trusses to allow him easy access to the attic space.  Adam cut a number of holes in the containers so Fernando could run his ducting through it. Adam also framed out a 4' x 8' deck which will be installed on the roof.  The AC units will be mounted on this deck. This should eliminate the possibility of theft (copper thieves are ripping out AC units all over the city), and lower the amount of copper tubing needed for the chilled water return lines.

The electrical materials arrived from Crawford Electric Supply on Tuesday (excellent service from inside salesman Michael). This allowed us to run the Aluminum wire into the building, and set up the meter boxes. We have a few more things that need to be done on the inside panel boxes, and we should be able to call Centerpoint to turn on the juice to the building.

We also received the fire stopping materials from Rectorseal.  We will need to fill all the holes and penetrations that go from one container to another to prevent the spread of fire.

Next week we have our insulation contractor (ComforTemp) scheduled to begin work on Tuesday. Before then, we have to get a dozen small things completed. Getting in the wall cavities right now is easy because there is no insulation to contend with.  If we don't get all these little jobs done in time, they will be much harder to do later.

Category: Container Building,