MEP and Other Abbreviations

The Building and Grounds Ministry was asked to consider MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) issues for the entire facility, as well as weighing in on any other aspects of the facility that come into play in overall management and maintenance.

In mechanical, the ministry described their desire for HVAC (heat, ventilation, air conditioning) control from individual rooms, as well as from a central computer. As a user hosting a meeting in a room, it would be extremely helpful to be able to check a thermostat to see what the temperature is, and then to modify it from the room. We note that our expectations are affected by our current inability to control anything (from anywhere!), and that we need to remain certain that the upgrades we’re investing in now (replacing broken parts of the system) are on the path to our future intentions. We also note the importance of having people well-trained to operate the computer-based controls for the new system; this training is part of the current plan.

The ministry further expresses a desire to get all possible mechanical equipment out of the ceiling and into floor-level and below; for anything that must remain where it is, overflow pans and alarms for water leaks would help us avoid damage.

In electrical, the ministry observes that the kitchen and offices are both currently over capacity (that is, under-supplied), with space heaters in offices putting us “over the edge.”

For plumbing, the ministry notes that not all plumbing locations are currently used; we’ll want to be deliberate in where we place kitchen and clean-up fixtures to assure we’re investing wisely. Outside the facility, we could use additional external hose bibs (on the east side) for window cleaning, car washes, and other outdoor tasks. About 90 percent of our planted property is irrigated.

There was some dreaming about having snow-melt capability for the walkway and front steps. While that’s acknowledged to be an expense outside of what we’d planned, Paul Elzinga notes that there’s a larger plan for waste heat from the power plant to be piped to the library in a few years. We discussed whether we should include some piping now in those areas that are rebuilt to be prepared for that eventuality–in case there’s an opportunity.

Storage is on the minds of the ministry members: for tables, chairs, A/V equipment and associated screens and carts, sound systems, outdoor equipment like a ladder, the snowblower, and up to a skid of snow-melting supplies. This led to discussion about whether the location of the dumpsters will change, because if we need a “garage” outside of the main facility, there may be space there. An additional option mentioned after the meeting was to divide the current storage room where tables and chairs are stowed, adding an external door so that the outdoor equipment could be stored there.

We also talked about carpet-cleaning, because what we install will affect how we think about cleaning. Ric Beltran asks whether we should have our own carpet cleaner; we also talked about the advantages of carpet tiles that can be swapped or replaced when there’s damage or staining.


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