Monday, August 24, 2009

Inspections and Getting Ready for the Last Pour

Today was our day of inspections. First, the City's building inspector came out for the electrical inspection. Pending a few items, we passed the inspection: one box had too many wires in it, one wasn't raised out of the floor high enough, and ... we have to have a light switch for exterior lights next to each exterior door including all 10 sliding glass doors - needless to say at this stage that's impossible, so we're going to have the lights either on a timer or a motion sensor. Ugh.

The next visit from the City was the erosion control inspector. He was just doing his usual "post storm" rounds, and commented that our erosion control measures looked good - in particular, the dug-out silt fence on the south side (see my earlier post). Phew!

And lastly, the City's urban forester stopped by to check on whether we had managed to mangle any trees. Since we hadn't all was well on that front, too.

Some more progress. First, a picture of the radiant heat pipes on the first floor that Mike and I had laid over the weekend, getting ready for the concrete pour on Wednesday.

Next, Tim Griffin from ARS came, with an ARS field service technician and his team of two installers. We had set them a hard task: the TRV (total recovery ventilator - a Lifebreath product that's a combination of both and ERV plus an HRV) that we had bought for them to install was new to them, and they had to spend some time getting familiar with it. After a bit of head scratching, and realizing it was easiest with the manual held upside down (really!) they had figured it out. Their installers cut the floor penetrations, both for the TRV, and for the ducting for a future "should-we-ever-need-it" Air Conditioning system. One word about their crew: they were the cleanest people to work on our project yet. The minute they saw our shop vac, they started using it. I was very pleased.

The floor penetrations they cut, and fitted with boots, are one of the last things we needed to get ready to pour concrete. The only things still left are a few pieces of blocking (so the concrete doesn't run into places where we don't want it, like the basement, or our windows), and we'll be ready!

(And, by way of explanation, in case you're wondering about ERVs and HRVs ... an HRV is a Heat Recovery Ventilator. It extracts the sensible heat - the heat you can feel - from the exhaust air and transfers it to the fresh supply air. An ERV, an Energy Recovery Ventilator, does that plus it also transfers the latent heat - the heat it took to evaporate moisture into the air - and so has some dehumidifying effect as well. The drawback of the pure ERV unit is that, since its core is made from paper, it is susceptible to damage from freezing in cold temperatures. Combining both an ERV and an HRV and adding a defrost cycle fixes the freezing problem, gives you the best of both ERV and HRV, and results in what Lifebreath calls a ... TRV - Total Recovery Ventilator.)


The last few days have been a time to take care of some responsibilities.

Remember a post way at the beginning of this journey about me being the Responsible Land Disturber? Really what that means is that I'm the person to make sure muddy water doesn't run into our neighbours' yards or into the street. Well, we had quite a bit of rain over the weekend, and combined with the digging from the folks who put our gas line to the house (National Pipeline, under contract to Washington Gas), the silt fence on the south side of our lot was covered up to the top in mud. So, being responsibly, I spent a few hours on Sunday digging out the silt fence. Not very glamorous, but necessary.

The other responsibility we had was to make Mrs Brown's lot look nice again, after borrowing it for so long. I found some more leaf mulch at the City (free!) and hauled another (we had already previously done a few mulch runs) four truck loads to the lot. This is what her lot looks like now. Better?