Thursday, May 18, 2017

Twenty five days from substantial completion, TEDCO continues to put the finishing touches on our new addition and the areas of our historic building that they are renovating.

The installation of HVAC equipment in the attic is complete. 

Once work in the basement mechanical room is finished and the computerized control is installed, the HVAC system will be tested. 
Earlier in the week, when the pipe fitters were pressure testing the circulating hot water system in the historical building, we had a small flood in the large basement classroom that sent Jim scurrying for higher ground. After removing part of the ceiling chase and doing some detective work, it was discovered that during demolition when the radiators were removed from the alcove that led to the old patio, the pipes weren't capped, allowing water to run freely into the basement. It was a knuckle busting job, but the pipe fitters found three lines that needed to be capped and capped them. The good news is that the water that ran out was clear, which means that the inside of our old hot water pipes are in good condition.

Before leaving the basement, note that the floor in the polka dot room is being leveled. The floor drain was plugged and special self-leveling cement was spread across the area. At it's deepest point it is about four inches deep. Carpet layers will attend to the final smoothing of the floor, but when it is done, chairs and tables in this basement classroom will no longer rock or sit at odd angles. Except for laying the carpet, this room will be our responsibility. Current plans are to insulate and drywall the foundation wall, remove the sink and repaint the room. Work will start in the second half of June.

Moving upstairs, the cabinet work for the sink/changing table has been installed in the infant/toddler room. The sink will go on the right and a table mounted changing station will be added on the left. The question came up today if the room is soundproofed -- the sanctuary is on the other side of the wall where the sink cabinet sits. The answer is: the wall is made from 2X6 studs and is filled with mineral wool, which is known for its sound attenuating and fire resistant qualities. Each side of the wall has two layers of 5/8 inch gypsum wallboard. While the wall was constructed this way for fire purposes, it should dramatically reduce the sound traveling through the wall from either direction. But we will soon be able to give it a practical test.

The sink counter was installed in the women's room...

...and in the men's room.

And the mop sink has been installed in the janitor's closet.

The railings on the ramp to the stage have been bolted down. The rail will be painted to match the steel I-beams, and finish carpenters will add maple wood stained to match the baseboards and trim to the tops and ends.
A safety railing has been added to the low slope roof to make it safer for technicians when maintaining our roof-mounted  HVAC equipment. 
Our doors arrived today. These are the special 8-foot tall doors for the hallway, the sanctuary and the choir room.

These are the standard 6'-8" doors for the offices and classrooms. For the safety of our children, all doors to occupied rooms have windows in them. All offices and classroom doors will be lockable from the inside so occupants can shelter in place should the need arise.

These beautiful doors close off the hallway.

And these beautiful doors take you from the new south foyer into the sanctuary. But, oops - there's something wrong with them. Can you spot the problem? The windows are too high in the door. The windows in the doors are 54 inches above the floor. ADA requires that vision lights (aka windows) can be no more than 43 inches above the floor so a person in a wheelchair can see through them. How did this happen? Not sure, but speculation is that the builder measured down from the top of the door instead of up from the bottom. This worked fine for the standard height doors, but not for the 8-foot doors. The good news is that TEDCO noticed the problem immediately. New doors are on order and will be shipped and installed in about eight weeks at no cost to us. In the meantime these doors will remain.
Finally, our new front door has also arrived. This is the inside of the door, which will complement the woodwork in the old foyer. The outside will be painted the same bright Chinese red (vermilion) as our original door. The tricky task of selecting the actual color from all possible reds will be left to the experts -- our architect, Ken Doyno, and Peg Hart, who is leading the project and is also an architect. The mullions in the glass serve two purposes -- first, they give a sense of verticality to an otherwise squat looking door and, second, they are reminiscent of the tongue and groove surface of the old door. (Until we get a photo of the door in position, you might have to tilt your head to see all this.) The new front door will have an ADA approved automatic opener and a panic bar. If possible, we plan to install the brass pull from the original door on the outside of the new door. The latch and locking mechanisms, however, will all be new.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The photo below of Craig Frye, Peg Hart and Michael Hennessy was taken at 8:43 a.m. on September 6, 2016. That was the day TEDCO arrived on site to begin construction of our new home. One week later demolition of the the north wing of our historical building began. Today, eight months later, we are one month away from what architects and contractors refer to as substantial completion, which is scheduled to be June 12. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) defines substantial completion as the “state in the progress of work when the work or designated portion thereof is sufficiently complete in accordance with the contract documents so the owner can occupy or utilize the work for its intended use.” Substantial completion is the point when the owner, architect and contractor put together a punch list of items that need to be corrected or completed and act on it. For Sunnyhillers, it is the time when we can pave our parking lot; attend to landscaping; clean, repair and paint areas that were not part of our new-home contract; and move new and old furniture into our new and rehabilitated spaces. It will be an exciting and busy time.

Craig Frye, Peg Hart, and Michael Hennessy pose for a photo on the first day of construction, September 6, 2016.

Over the next month, work will continue at a dizzying pace, but here's what has been accomplished in just the last week.

Columbia Gas finally connected our new three-inch gas line to the main. Here an employee is boring a hole through our tap into the gas main. 

Once the new line was connected, our new meter was installed and the pipes were painted to match the meter. The gas arrives from the main through the pipe on the left and enters our building through the pipe on the right. Once the wall behind the meter is re-stuccoed, we will repair and replace the beautiful trellis and landscape the area.

The trench was back filled.

The area was rough graded to the top of the water meter vault.

The old meter was removed.

And, thanks to excellent planning by Craig, without damaging Vijay's beautiful peonies, which are about to bloom.

Inside the building work continues on the HVAC system. This is a wide shot of the mechanical room in the basement. Believe it or not, even more pipes will be added before the work is complete.

These pumps will circulate hot water through our radiators in the two heating zones in our historical building.

This Rinnai tank-less, on-demand water heater will supply hot water to the new restrooms, the infant-toddler room and the janitor's closet. Based on the expected use of the restrooms in our new addition -- high demand on Sunday mornings and during group events and low demand on weekdays -- on-demand heating is considered the most energy efficient method of supplying hot water. The kitchen and the small bathroom in the old basement will be supplied with hot water from our current water heater in the room below the kitchen.

Other plumbing progress includes installing protective covering on the walls of the janitor's closet... 

Installing the ADA compliant water fountains...

Installing toilets and a urinal in the men's room...

Installing toilets in the women's room...

Installing a toilet and sink in the gender-neutral rest room...

And, to show how far along they are, there is water in the bowl. 

The control for our new fire alarm system was installed in the basement room at the foot of the steps from the kitchen. New smoke alarms and pull-boxes are replacing the old units in our historical building.

Our old sanctuary has been patched and painted and the carpet has been removed to prepare the floor for the new. In this photo you can clearly see where the original 1920 building ended (parquet flooring) and the 1994 addition (plywood flooring) was added at a cost of $366,000 ($606,064 in 2017 dollars). The jog in the floor is where the original fireplace was located.

Looking east toward the main entrance to the church reminds us of how much work was done by the members of Sunnyhill who had the vision to acquire this old mansion for $92,000 ($558,084 in 2017 dollars) in January of 1971, and turn it into a church. A lot of the work required to make the building meet code was done by Vijay Chandhok. He reversed the swing of the doors to the main room so they would open out, converted several doors (now gone) to fire doors by adding steel plates to them, removed the bookcases at the back of the room to make more room for seating, and much, much more. Thank you, Vijay.

The parquet floor was removed from the section of the floor with a deformation -- a hump. The edges will be feathered to level the floor as much as possible. When sections of the sub floor were temporarily removed, the cause of the deformation of the floor became obvious. A steel I-beam runs across the floor in the center of the cutout area. Floor joists had tenons cut into the ends which fitted between the flanges of the I-beam. Over time, possibly due to the heat from the pipes that ran below the beam, the wooden floor joists deformed and settled. This caused the flooring that sat on top of the I-beam to buckle upwards and create a bow in the floor. The only way to fix it properly would be to remove the ceiling in the basement and shim up the joists to their original position. Because the deformation is relatively minor, and can be corrected to some degree, it's not worth the time and expense to shim the joists.
When Sunnyhill was built, cut nails were used to attach the flooring. Cut nails tend to be brittle and often break off when they are pulled out. The original parquet flooring, under the nail, is only 1/2" thick.

Saving the best for last, finish carpenters are installing the baseboards in the sanctuary. Millwork is one of the last elements of construction. In addition to baseboards, the finish carpenters will install windowsills, steps and banisters to the basement, steps to the stage, and a window seat in the infant and toddler room.

A small wood shop was set up in the sanctuary. This miter saw with a fine-tooth blade and a dust-collecting hood is used to make straight, angled and beveled cuts.

This small belt sander is used to make minor adjustments so the fit is perfect.

This job-box contains all the tools, glues and fasteners to get the job done. 

And as you can see in this and the next two photos, the joints are tight and the fit is precise.

Baseboard leading to the south entrance to the sanctuary.

Baseboard along the south wall of the sanctuary on the ramp to the stage.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thank you Michael Hennessy and Jen McGlothin for taking advantage of photo opportunities that would otherwise have been lost to history while the blogger was visiting friends, family and fellow theater alumni in the unseasonably warm south. Here's what happened in the last two weeks.

Jen, the Margaret Bourke-White of construction photography, on assignment for the Sunnyhill New Home Update blog.
Columbia Gas shut down one lane of Washington Road to prepare for connecting our new gas line to the main. The connection could take place on Friday, May 5, if it's not raining.

The ditch for the gas and water lines was moved south of the tree to reduce damage to the root ball.

The area over the new storm-water containment system behind the new sanctuary has been rough graded. When finished, the concrete portion of the inspection access hole will no longer be visible. After final grading, grass seed will be sown and the area will be covered with straw mats to protect it from erosion until the grass grows.

The pipe that carries excess water from the storm-water containment system to Sunnyhill drive runs down the hill behind the church, across the garage driveway, through Joe Carter's Eagle project garden, which sadly has been badly damaged by construction, to a point where it connects with our existing line.

The trench behind the church has been filled and rough graded.
This large, concrete storm drain box replaced the old, shallow storm drain in the garage driveway. The old drain box had a habit of silting up and had to occasionally be dug out.

The drainage basin is in place and the hill below has been rough graded. When paved, this section of the driveway will have a thicker gravel base layer to prevent the storm-water drain pipe from being crushed by the weight of the garbage truck that picks up our refuse. When the storm drain pipe was inspected several months ago, the plumber discovered that the pipe had been crushed and dislocated.

Craig and Scott from TEDCO added new steel lintels above the door and windows to repair the damage to the facade of the historic building. (See previous post for details on the damage.)
A new electrical box was installed above the door for a modern LED light fixture. The old building is now ready for a new coat of stucco.
Concrete forms for our new entry pad, steps and sidewalk await the transit mixers...

..that delivered twelve cubic yards of stained concrete to pour our sidewalks and pads. All of our concrete is exposed aggregate. Plantings will fill the spaces to the left and right of the front step.

This is a close-up of the front step and pad provides a better view of the exposed aggregate.

An ADA compliant sloped sidewalk provides wheelchair access to the main entrance of the church. Two van-accessible handicapped parking spaces are to the right of the end of the walkway. The area behind the walk will be landscaped with deer resistant plantings discussed in an earlier blog.

This walkway provides access to the door on the north end of the hallway. It, too, is ADA compliant for wheelchair access. The two van-accessible parking spaces will be directly in front of this walkway.

This pad is directly behind the infant and toddler room. To the right is a doorway to the old sanctuary and to the left is a doorway to the new sanctuary. These doors will provide access to the memorial garden and the playground.

The mullions between the large windows on the west end of the sanctuary behind the stage have been clad with aluminum. Except for some caulking here and there, this portion of the building is finished and looking spectacular.

Installation of our complex HVAC system is moving forward. The massive ducts have been insulated for greater efficiency.

In this back view of the system, components yet to be installed are are visible. 

These partially insulated copper pipes will go through the wall and...

...exit through through the roof where the blue rectangular box can be seen between the two white vent pipes.

Those pipes and more will connect with these small condenser units...

...and these larger condenser units on the flat roof above the infant/toddler room.

Moving indoors, installers began laying carpet with two squares in the hallway outside the RE/Choir room. 

By the end of the day on Wednesday, most of the new building had been carpeted. This photo of Roy's office was taken before the carpet was protected with plastic and Masonite sheets.

Subway tile is being installed on the wet walls of the three restrooms. Subway tile is a nod to the historic building, which originally had subway tile in all of its bathrooms. This photo is the south wall of the women's room. A mirror will hang above the sinks and below the LED light. A baby changing station will fold out of the wall to the right of the sink.

On the north wall, the tile is the height the dividers between the toilets will be. The red on the floor is a sealer that helps the tile adhere. The baseboards are made from the floor tile...

...stacked here ready for installation. 

In other news, the temporary wall between the old sanctuary and the new addition has been removed. Here you can clearly see the two archways that mark the entrance into the new building.

In this closer view of the new foyer, the hallway to the offices, classrooms, choir room and restrooms can be seen on the right. The stairs to the basement are also on the right, and the sculpture that will recognize donors will hang on the white wall ahead. 

The wall was removed so crews can access the old sanctuary to plaster, paint and carpet it. To clear the space for that to happen, Denny McCracken, Michael Hennessy and the blogger met at Sunnyhill at 7 a.m. on Thursday, May 4, to assist Craig and Scott from TEDCO in moving the furniture and other items temporarily stored there.

This photo and the photos below show how the old and new will work together.

It was surprising, at least for the blogger, to see how much light fills the space -- even on a gray day. 

The new door to the left provides access to the backyard. While it's difficult to see in this photo, the craftsmanship of TEDCO's Craig and Scott is evident in the way the baseboards, chair rail and cove lights in the new work blend seamlessly with the originals.

This table full of scraps cut at odd angles and bevels shows just how much work went into fitting together the old trim moulding with the new.

While some of the stored furniture was moved to offices and the garage, most of it went into temporary storage in the new sanctuary. The furniture filled the old sanctuary; it hardly makes a dent in the new space.
There is a lot left to be done in the basement. This is the area will become the new RE/adult library with the addition of the many new bookcases we received for free through an organization that connects businesses with non-profits. A lot of the work in the basement will have to be done by volunteers.

Today we started by scraping the duct tape and loose paint off some of the heating pipes so TEDCO's painting contractor can spray paint them. The white plastic pipe is our new larger water line.