Utility room installation

The coffee and donuts are almost all consumed. Mickey from Crawford Supply returned just in time with the correct boiler in the trunk of his car.

Mariusz and his crew can now begin with the utility room layout and start putting things together. I just spent my time watching the guys and jaw-dropping.

I had the impression that the heating system would be quite simple and straight forward. If you take a look at the schematic layout you may agree that this is a reasonable conclusion.


The stuff taking shape and form in the utility room appeared, however, to have little similarity to what is on the plan. Pipe sizes, valve locations and pumps are of course as specified. But the simple straight lines on the schematic turn into what I began to label ‘my space ship.’

utility-room-004 utility-room-005

Here is what I took away from observing the installation process.

To get this kind of installation right, one must have very good three dimensional visualization skills. Not only do the straight lines on the schematic go up or down and turn corners in the real world, but they cannot be in the way of the next pipe run that goes up and down and turns corners.

These guys had developed a complete and finished mental image of the system when they started in earnest. Even better, they all had to have the same mental image and had to communicate it to each other.

What can I say? I am very impressed.

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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