Mick Rich Contractors | Solving Complexity With Creativity
An Albuquerque, New Mexico general contractor, Mick Rich Construction specializes in medium scale commercial building projects in all phases of construction: new construction, building renovations, special unique construction, tilt-up construction, and design-build. To serve our clients' needs, we also have a service department for repairs and alterations.
During the recession, New Mexico’s contractors have compressed, while out-of-state firms have expanded into the Land of Enchantment looking for projects. Mick Rich, however, has gone against the grain.
In the last blog, I discussed window air conditioners. What makes window A/C units simple is that they are one compact unit, with the cooling coil vented to the inside and the condensing unit vented to the outside. The disadvantages of window A/C units are that they hang out the window – ugly and potentially dangerous – and cold air is not distributed well throughout the office or home. Of course, if you have an interior room to cool, you are out of luck.
When I graduated from college, my first job was project engineer on a $35 million wastewater treatment facility. The project was just outside Washington D.C. It was my first experience working or living east of the Sierra Nevada / Cascade Range. I bring this up because this was the first time I experienced high summer humidity.
The project had two 10' x 60' office trailers equipped with window air conditioners. Late spring and early summer, they worked great. But by the middle of summer, it was quite a different story. By 2:00pm, the air conditioners would start to freeze up.
They are called evaporative coolers because they cool the air when water evaporates. This is the same effect as when the temperature drops following a summer thunderstorm. In evaporative coolers, cooling occurs when air is drawn across a paper or aspen medium as water trickles down the medium. This only works when the humidity is relatively low and the outside temperature is not extremely hot.
Combination heater & air conditioners are a very simple and inexpensive method of heating and cooling small- to moderate-sized office buildings. These mechanical units are also referred to as “roof top units” because in most instances, they are located on the roof. But they also can be located on the ground and “ducted” into the ceilings or floor space.
It has been awhile since I discussed Jim's progress in the company. I always try to look to tangible results to assess what progress I am making life (other than getting a day older). Jim is no exception to the practice.
Now that the Neighborhood Walmart has been completed – a project for which Jim served as manager and Bob and Nick as superintendents – I have tangible results to examine.
There are four goals for a project manager and superintendent: on time, on budget, a safe project, and a satisfied client.
Most people have heard the acronym HVAC, and most know that has something to do with heating and cooling, but that’s about all. HVAC is an acronym for Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning.
Most people only consider heating and air conditioning, and never consider ventilation – or if they do, it’s an afterthought. But ventilation is an important component to every building and every home. Without adequate ventilation, air quality in a building can deteriorate to the point where the air is hazardous.
Recently we were asked to submit a proposal on replacing a two-story office structure in a manufacturing facility. The office did not meet building codes. In fact, the office did not meet building codes when it was built. No emergency egress from the second floor. The building was constructed from wood, despite the building code requiring “non-combustible construction.”
I believe the old saying is, “Never enough time to do the job right the first time.”
From the outside, we only see indirect evidence of how well companies work together. That evidence sometimes shows up as an unexplained lack of competition, or unreasonably high prices. In years past, I wondered how could this be. But in the current economic downturn, the “good” explanations disappeared and left only unsatisfactory ones.
Three years ago, I wrote how important it was to us to survive the recession with our ethics (and also our capital) intact. Since then we have seen, heard and observed several companies running headlong into that problem.