September 14, 2023

Location of Fire Extinguishers in the Sanctuary

THERE ARE TWO fire extinguishers in our historic sanctuary. Here are their locations.

View from the bimah,
looking past the curtain
into the passageway on the north side
(As usual, click/tap on an image to enlarge it.)

View in the foyer,
facing the right-hand exit door to the portico

Knowing their location is important, because there are no fire sprinklers on the main level of this building. Below the jump, there is a map of these two places.

September 13, 2023

Improving HVAC in the school building

THERE’S A LOT of room for improvement in the HVAC system of our school/office building. Thermal-comfort levels are good but not great. Our hospital-grade filter is reducing the risk of airborne disease, but it is taxing the air-supply blower. Running more than 45 hours per week, this HVAC system is much more heavily used than the one in the sanctuary. That’s why in July, when a preschool parent expressed interest in funding a system upgrade, it became my personal highest-priority new project for Mishkon. (This one is moving slowly, however, because I’m still heavily involved in old projects.)

A return-air register for mounting in a door
(As usual, click/tap on an image to enlarge it.)

Below the jump, I discuss the prospects for improvement. This work would be done in late December, during the preschool break.…

August 29, 2023

Tidbits about the Sanctuary, for its 75th Anniversary

OUR HISTORIC SANCTUARY building was dedicated on Sept. 26, 1948, which that year corresponded with the 22nd of Elul. (This year, the 22nd of Elul falls on Sept. 7–8.) In honor of the occasion, some of us have been delving into its history and features.

(As usual, click/tap on an image to enlarge it.)

Below the jump, you will find a list of interesting facts about the building.…

August 22, 2023

Newly exposed tie-rod connection

HERE IS A SERIES of interior photos of the area above the termite-damaged post, at the newly exposed tie-rod connection. 

Exterior view of the tie-rod connection, 
above the post
(As usual, click/tap on an image in order to enlarge it.)

Hopefully studying these new images can help us (and our consultants) figure out how best to effect a repair.…

About the thermostats

WE HAVE THREE thermostats, all of which are the same model: a Honeywell Wifi 9000 Color Touchscreen. For the manual and online support, go HERE.

Below the jump, this post explains some features of our thermal comfort control system.…

August 20, 2023

The post with the most…

challenges of all — out of the 10 essential roof-supporting posts that sit inside our sanctuary’s walls — appears to be the easternmost one on the south side. That’s not surprising, given that for nearly 75 years it has been sitting inside the pilaster that is the most weather-exposed, and at the edge of a sun-baked, asphalt-covered parking lot. 

July 13
(As usual, click/tap on an image to enlarge it.)

Below the jump, this blog post recounts our cautious, step-by-step process to understanding what needs to be done — and eventually what it will cost.

August 14, 2023

Cracks on the inside of the south foundation wall — no big deal!

THIS POST recounts my due diligence regarding certain cracks observed in a foundation wall.

August 13, 2023

Milestones reached in south wall waterproofing project

THE SANCTUARY WALL that faces southeast (which we call “the south wall” for convenience) is pretty massive: 139 ft long, and 25 ft high on average. 

With the early morning shadows from our neighbor’s suspended cables
(As usual, click/tap on an image in order to enlarge it.)

Below the jump, this post will document and illustrate this wall’s recent rehabilitation, which the contractor says is now about 90% complete. 

August 12, 2023

Progress in restoring the south wall: Crack prevention

UNLIKE MOST BUILDING WALLS, our sanctuary’s long walls are made of two different materials: concrete (along the bottom), and a wood frame that is covered with gypsum lath and plaster. This has been a problem for the portion of the south wall that is exposed to the (sometimes blazing) sun, as compounded by re-radiation from the adjacent asphalt parking lot. In reaction to the daily heating-and-cooling cycles, the two parts of our wall respond differently: they expand and contract at different rates. Little wonder, then, that over the past 25 years, a horizontal crack developed along the seam between the two parts of the wall, running about 70' long.

1/10/23:  Horizontal crack at the seam of the concrete wall and the frame wall
also showing moisture damage from water intrusion
(As usual, click/tap on an image to enlarge it.)

As you probably know, the wall is in the process of reconstruction, as part of the interior painting project. Below the jump, this post explains the steps that we have taken to prevent that crack from reappearing.

Tree pruning completed on schedule (restorative maintenance)

YESTERDAY, our arborist, Al Gwilliam of Al’s Landscaping, pruned the street tree on Main Street that shades our front steps. 

Almost done!
(As usual, click/tap on an image to enlarge it.)

Below the jump, this post displays the two “before” and “after” photos that Al was kind enough to take.

About our air conditioning systems

Yesterday I spent the morning with Nathan Delgado, a service technician from Acme Heating & Air conditioning, with whom Mishkon has a service contract. 

Below the jump, this post describes what I learned from the experience.

Accompanying our vendors, even on routine maintenance

WHENEVER I COULD, I have accompanied a service technician or inspector when they are on the premises. Yes, I could leave it to Ruben, and he will generally report afterward about learning something or other, but I have found that when I am present, not only do I learn more about our facilities and what matters, but also the technician/inspector will do a better job than they would do alone. 

Below the jump, I expand a bit on this idea.…