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.
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.
Many years ago, there was only one "tube style" infrared radiant heat system. Today, there are several manufacturers of this system. This has decreased the cost of the systems, which has resulted in these systems becoming more widely used in warehouses.
Every year, prior to starting up this heating system for winter, a few measures should be taken to ensure the system operates in an efficient and safe manner. The start up and maintenance should be performed by a licensed and qualified mechanical contractor familiar and qualified to work on this system.
We recently walked a medium-sized warehouse with a regional manager. The first part of the walk through was to reduce the scope of the previous proposal, because he did not have enough funding to achieve what needed to be done.
The second portion of the walk through was to discuss heating system and lighting systems. He was from Southern California, and had little experience with warehouse heaters. He did know that it gets cold in Albuquerque, and that their warehouse personal get cold in the winter. He wanted a price on installing a heating system.
Before we address the maintenance of radiant heating systems, we need to define radiant heat. There is more to radiant heat than radiant heated floors.
Radiant heat indirectly heats a space by heating the surfaces in the space. The heating element transmits the heat using infrared heat. The infrared heat is absorbed by the surfaces or objects in the room, or by the space being heated. That is why radiant heaters are used outdoors and in large warehouses.
Maintenance for these systems is minor, because there are few moving parts or parts that can burn out.
Autumn is upon us. It’s time to think about switching from cooling to heating. For most people, that means moving the thermostat switch from cool to heat. But that’s not all there is to it.
Air Conditioning / Heating Units
Replace your mechanical system's filter every year before use. While replacing the filters, clean out and vacuum the mechanical unit so prevent dust from settling into the heating system plenum just before air enters the furnace. This is a great way to reduce dust from your building interior.
Evaporative Cooler / Furnace Units
Ventilation systems need love too.
Most of us are never aware of exhaust fans. Out of sight, out of mind. But that does not mean they don’t need maintenance.
Last week, a structural engineer asked me to accompany him on a review of abuilding with “issues.”
Principal, Maintenance Man, Environmental Expert, Environmental Contractor, Structural Engineer, and I.
I wondered where I fit in this mix. The Principal said that she had heard good things about Mick Rich Contractors, and that she had seen our job site sign on the highway from Farmington.
Everyone shared observations and thoughts, and the meeting ended. I have enjoyed reading PD James and Agatha Christy, and this building had all the characteristics of a good mystery.