Cold SNAP!

We’re anxious for the cold weather to break so that we can move forward with building the new entrance ramp. Not only is it a bit cold for excavating the ramp’s foundation – they can’t pour standard concrete in this weather.

Since timing is everything… the cold hit after the old HVAC system was removed but before the new one was installed. Ironically, we’ve got to wait for warmer weather to install the new heating system.

For now though we’re heating with a couple of kerosene “torpedo” heaters to keep the work crews happy (not to mention preventing the pipes from freezing.)

You really get a sense of how big the building is when two of these demons can barely sustain 50 degrees inside! Fortunately they’re good enough to let indoor work proceed while we all complain about the weather.

Concrete Removal

Now that the edges are cut, the concrete to be removes is jackhammered into pieces that a bulldozer can remove. This is a loud and dusty job… but so satisfying.


The jackhammer basically perforates the areas to be removed.

Slabs and chunks waiting for the bulldozer.

The jackhammer attachment is swapped for a bulldozer bucket.

It’s beginning to look like a rectangle.

After the bulldozer was finished, the next day was all about shoveling out the small debris and sweeping out the entire building.

 

 

Concrete cutting

Work has begun on the concrete floor. The largest areas will be cut out to add sloped-floor drainage, others drains are being cut for restrooms, bar drains, and plumbing.

This machine does a lot of damage in the wrong hands… which is why I’m not allowed to touch it. The water-fed wet saw prevents choking everyone with concrete dust , then a shop-vac is used to suck up the leftover slurry.

This photo makes it look kind of like fresh snowfall, but that’s all the powdered concrete slurry resulting from the cuts.

The cuts give a clean edge to all the areas where concrete must be removed. Next, a jackhammer will be used to break up the unwanted areas, and then they’ll bring in a small backhoe or bulldozer to scoop up all the chunks.

Once we’re down to dirt, the dirt will be trenched for plumbing, and groomed to the desired pitch for sloped drain floors before fresh concrete is poured. Expect a lot of photos to come!

Scraping up the old floor

The construction crew has been hard at work demolishing the old floor tiles. They’ve got a machine (thanks again to United Rentals!) that is basically a lawnmower for floor tiles. On one hand its amazing to see how fast it chops up floor tiles, on the other hand… cutting an 8″ wide path at a very slow walking speed means it’s still a lot of work to scrape 20,000 square feet of floor area!

Today the crew was chopping, shoveling, and carting tile debris out to the dumpsters, and I’m told they’ll be at it all day tomorrow before they expect to be finished.

Demolition!

Now that we’ve got the building permits, the guys at RE Construction are busy chopping out all the ACME remnants to give us a wide open space.

The scissor lift arrived, and by the time I posted this photo a whole lot more of the ceiling, and the remaining upper wall portions are being torn out. There’s already been a lot of progress since I took these photos.

That also means that the last few working light fixtures left over from the ACME have been removed – so it gets dark in there! You can also see a lot of old wiring. It looks like a mess but it’s actually much tidier than the “old wiring” we saw in other locations. Besides which, it’s all being removed so the brewery’s electrical wiring will be brand new.

 

Building Permits are complete

It took a while to get together all the various licenses & permits for interior & exterior renovations, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, groundwater and wastewater… but now all that stuff has been approved… and Queen Anne’s County has signed off on our Construction Permit!

Visibly changes will start coming a lot quicker now, so we’ll have more photos to post as RE Construction swings into high gear starting with interior demolition. Stay tuned for messy, messy photos…

We Have a Brewery Design!

Today we finally submitted all the required drawings for our building permit. Many thanks to Torchio Architects and SAI Engineering for bringing this together.

We’re really happy with the design. In the brewery we’ve got ┬ánice layout to keep our workflow organized plus plenty of room to expand production as required. The taproom has been divided into two rooms; one more like a bar and the other more like a performance space. We also ended up with a nice plan for the restrooms – The bigger our taproom areas the higher our occupancy rating, which leads to someone saying “you guys need to add more restrooms” so that became a project in itself.

And that big roll-up door in the brewery? It starts 28 inches above ground outside so it needs a ramp. We’ll want to be able to haul out our spent brewing grain with a forklift since the truck loading doors won’t be much help with that… unless we wanted to block one of the docks with a grain dumpster. Next thing you know, planning that ramp means you’re rearranging the parking spaces. Fortunately we still have a LOT of parking.

Soon the cutting and smashing will begin. There’s still a ton (probably literally) of old wiring and electrical panels leftover from the supermarket that have to come out. We’re eager to post some “clean slate” photos after demolition… and especially to start documenting all the construction. It’s been fun imagining this stuff on paper but seeing every drain, every light switch, every little fixture we agonized over come together in the real world.

All quiet on the Eastern Shore

It’s been a while since our last post but we’re still grinding away!

We’re working with our architects, electrical, and mechanical engineers to generate the package needed for our building and renovation permits. The plans are coming together nicely! Our architect has worked out a very nice arrangement for restrooms and fire exits that’s much more elegant than the preliminary sketches we gave her; and now we’re digging into the minute details like choosing HVAC systems, light fixtures, and plumbing fixtures. That type of stuff all gets loaded into a sort of “energy study” of the building.

Fun fact: When renovating an older commercial property, once the scope of the project gets large enough, you need to bring the building up to the latest energy efficiency standards. Of course this is a good idea and will pay off in the long run, but it’s great to have a good architectural and engineering firm in your corner because it’s a surprisingly meticulous process.

Tornado on the Island

A tornado did some damage near the brewery last Monday. Those of you familiar with the area will realize that tornadoes are pretty unusual around here! We suffered some minor damage to the building, but nothing to complain about compared to other homes and business that were severely damaged or destroyed – our hearts go out to those who fared worse in this event.

Some of the area’s primary power lines run right behind us and they were blown down… but fortunately fell away from the brewery instead of onto it! Again, it ended up being a minor event for us compared to the power loss everyone suffered. Delmarva Power had teams replacing lines & poles right away – we were astonished at the speed with which they got things back up and running.

You can see the rear of the brewery building on the left.

Thanks to everyone for all the concerned inquiries we received after the storm. Yes, we had a little damage but it’s minor and the building’s insurance is covering the repairs. Power’s back on and we’re currently working with architects and engineers to finalize our demolition & renovation plans.

Stay tuned!

Sprinkler Testing

The authorities are very interested in seeing a new certification on the sprinkler system before we do any more work on the building, so we had the guys from FireGuard come out to test the sprinkler system, extinguishers, and fire alarms.

Special thanks to AJ, Christian, and both Andrews from FireGuard!

The sprinkler system is back in certification so we’re that much safer working on the project. The whole fire system will need some tweaking after renovation is complete – certain things like smoke detectors, extinguisher placement, sprinkler head configurations, and the control panel programming will be based on the final interior layout of the brewery & taproom.

Next on the agenda: Meeting with a new architect in an attempt to speed up our building permit application!