For all you Doctor Who fans — and I am one — dozens of statues are caged behind fences at ground level to the left of the New Palace of Sanssouci.
Monthly Archives: August 2015
In the halls of the Frederician king
Wheels up for ShowStoppers @ IFA 2015 Berlin — with a couple of hours before the team of US journalists begins to arrive. Cheryl Delgreco and I took the train to Potsdam — first trip in x years that we have made it out of Berlin to see more than Berlin. It was Monday, which means almost everything is closed, except the New Palace at Sanssouci, built by Frederick the Great in six years according to the brochure, 1763 to 1769. “Luxurious ceremonial halls, magnificent galleries and richly designed private suites such as the king’s apartment are outstanding testaments to the Frederician Rococo.”
It’s part of a miles-long campus of palaces. It’s a privilege to visit. It’s a delight to explore beyond Berlin.
Week ending 28 Aug. 2015
Ron Dahlke from Ranserve files this week’s summary:
- Received final shower pan
- Set remaining plumbing for inspection
- Installed sheetrock at mud room walls
- Started insulation
- Continued on outside masonry
- Met with welder on site
- Installed cedar siding at front porch
- Ordered tile
- Meet with Miki on the Green Build program
- Continue and finish insulation
- Call in for insulation inspection
- Receive and install remaining shower walls
- Continue exterior paint
- Shim reveals on windows
- Finish cabinet specs and start production
- Steven approved kitchen cabinet plans
- Steven asked architect Brett Grinkmeyer to draw plans for potential third garage bay
- Steven continues hunt for company to install network, AV, phone and low-voltage wiring systems.
Cleaning up the boneyard
Lumber, brick and other recyclables taken out of Emerald Hill were piled on the driveway at Emerald Hill, creating a boneyard of sorted material piles, with each material chucked into a specific dumpster on a specific schedule to help meet Green Build requirements and properly recycle the waste.
Today, above, Matt from Ranserve has cleaned it all up — and there’s still room in dumpster #7.
Taking a brick to it
While the insulators are spraying foam inside, the masons are back to continue patching the holes in the exterior brickwork.
The back side of the chimney
As purchased by the Leons, the back side of the chimney was flashed with metal to prevent water running down the roof from penetrating the brick.
After 50 years, it’s time to approach this problem differently — because water got into the brick and ran down the brick and down the interior framing. Mold grew against the tar paper sheathing inside the walls. As we discovered when Ranserve opened up the walls during demo.
It’s a big day. Ranserve is insulating Emerald Hill. Framing is done. Plumbing rough-in is done. Drywall comes next.
Eleven years ago, when we built Sea Eagle with Hagy Custom Homes, we were one of the first homes in Austin insulated with BioBased spray foam.
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a spray-applied plastic that can form a continuous insulation and air sealing barrier on walls, roofs, around corners, and on all contoured surfaces. It is made by mixing and reacting unique liquid components at the job site to create foam. The liquids react very quickly when mixed, expanding on contact to create foam that insulates, seals gaps, and can form moisture and vapor barriers. SPF insulation is known to resist heat transfer extremely well, and it offers a highly effective solution in reducing unwanted air infiltration through cracks, seams, and joints. Spray foam makes sense.
Sea Eagle is tight, comfortable, efficient. We believe our utility bills run about half that of nearby homes built about the same time that use conventional fiberglass batts.
So we planned from Day 1 to insulate with foam.
Before Energy Guard Foam Insulators pulled up to Emerald Hill this morning, Ron and Cris from Ranserve walked the house sealing up small penetrations with cans of spray foam. They also took the time to spray behind every electrical outlet in every exterior wall — “because the big guns the insulators use don’t always hit behind the electrical boxes,” said Ron.
To spray two liquids that instantly react to create foam, you have to have a surface to spray — so Ron and Cris installed drywall on the shared walls between the mudroom and garage — the first drywall screwed into Emerald Hill!
Mark Rehberg called this morning. Early. Ranserve fired the HVAC installer. Everything at Emerald Hill will be removed. Mark will bring in a new installer. We start over.
If it runs like a duct, Steven does not approve
Ron Dahlke and Steven scheduled this morning to audit the duct work in the attic.
Steven does not approve.
When the ducts were first roughed in a couple of weeks back, Steven identified and discussed with Ron several tangled ducts and errors that required correction. Ron and Mark Rehberg reviewed Steven’s notes, discussed the issues with Ross Britton, the HVAC consultant. Steven is told that Ross concurred with Steven’s assessment, and ordered up corrections by Elite, the HVAC installer.
That was then. Today is the first chance to stick our noses into the attic — and come away knowing that Elite has a lot more to fix — a second time.
At 4 pm, Ron reports he met today with Kyle from Elite — and Elite is coming back Thursday for a third attempt.
Above, one of the ducts in the attic is ripped open. Why didn’t Elite spot this and fix it?
There are other fixes required to exhaust vents that circle 180 degrees, then split, and then each split circles back 180 degrees to end up reversing the original airflow — when relocating the split six feet would result in two straight runs. That’s all the thought and planning needed.
Steven will not approve the HVAC install until all the fixes are completed and he again audits the work.
All this is based on hard-won and unfortunate experience at Sea Eagle, where Steven learned from Carrier as it ripped out and replaced air handlers, condensers and ducts that added up to 30 pages of repair orders. Steven is adamant about not repeating history. Those lessons do not make Steven an HVAC expert. Those lessons do not make Steven an HVAC engineer. Or installer. But what’s wrong is obvious and must be addressed before Steven signs off on the HVAC system.