Construction photos: week 16 (new footings)

This past week saw very little in the way of visible change, at least from the perspective of my photos, but the gravel pile shrunk by 50%, so something must have happened. Actually, the main change was that new footings were dug for walls that have evolved from drywall to masonry. I took some pictures from those footing holes, but not of those footing holes. Doh! In any case, the new wall design will give us better acoustics (isolation) and better aesthetics (consistency and integrity), and because the walls are so small, not much more cost.

Here are a pair of pictures showing very subtle differences in the level of gravel fill now evident in the booths and the Music Room:

Topped Up Booths

Music Room From New Bath Footings

Looks pretty similar to last week! But here’s the reduced gravel pile to show that it’s not. Compare:

Smaller Gravel Pile

This week we also took what I would consider to be our first real construction delay. It’s not a terribly serious one in terms of time, but we have decided to redraw and reseal the electrical page. There have been too many changes between what we first gave the engineer, what he delivered back, what we reverted to the original plan, and how we now plan to build the service, that it makes sense to get a fresh piece of paper that the inspectors will be able to understand.

In the process, we have simplified some things from our original plans. I have become sufficiently comfortable with TCP/IP phone systems that we’re not going to have a separate telephone wiring infrastructure–all phones will use ethernet. And since we have 4 ethernet jacks per room (minimum), we can easily plug in a phone when we need one, and we can propagate the ethernet wirelessly if we wish. That eliminates a whole layer of conduit. We have also settled on placing virtually all the electrical services in the block walls so that the masons and the carpenters do not have to locate many conduits in drywall walls. This greatly reduces the chance that a bad measurement or a bad shift of concrete will force us to relocate a wall in order to fit over the spot where the conduit does come out of the ground.

We have also settled on using a Lutron (or Lutron-like) dimming system rather than variacs. The Lutron system is reasonably green, lower cost, and better supports centralized and memorized scenes than anything we’ve been able to find with Variacs. And we believe that the electrical, RF, and acoustic noise issues are well under control.

I now hope that the slab can be poured by the end of May, but we’ll know more when we’ve got our new electrical page signed, submitted, and approved.

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