The top number on the thermometer is the temperature down in the plumbing trench and the bottom left lumber is the room temperature in the hall of Administration between the inspector’s office and the bathroom and opposite the iCutter doorway. Our butcher shop building is designed to keep it’s cool through the warm months and warmth through the cold months. This minimizes the need for additional heating and cooling.
On the cooling end when we startup all we need is the freezer capacity and later we will be able to do that passively with our coolth attic that stores winter in large jars up above the reefer. The structural building stayed cool during the highest heat of summer (86°F) even though the building was open. Thermal mass doesn’t change fast.
On the warming the structural building only drops to about 39°F to 46°F during the coldest winter weather even in our coldest times of -24°F this winter. That range is depending on if you take the temperature down in the plumbing trench near the front door or high in the building. The thermal mass stores the warmth of summer over through the winter. Currently the temperature in the plumbing trench is 42°F which is good. It’s a little up because some heat has been conducting down through the concrete of the structural building from the Admin section.
Our Pet Dragon – Propane Heater
The Admin section air is 56°F. At night when the dragon roars it warms the Admin section up to about 66°F at that height, 3′ off the ground, although up where the ceiling plaster is curing it is much warmer. The down side to the dragon is it breaths out water vapor – although, that is really a positive since a high relative humidity is good for curing cement.
The butcher shop building is actually five building nestled within each other with a lot of insulation between them such that we can control these temperatures by allowing or blocking heat from flowing between spaces. With just a little heat pumping we can warm the office and bathroom to a comfortable temperature range for the inspector.
Temperatures in the 40’s are too cool to properly cure the concrete without accelerant.† Contrary to popular mythconception, concrete is cured, not dried, at least you hope that is what is going on. Curing cement is a chemical reaction. When it is too cold the reaction slows down. We are approaching our opening date so I feel the need for speed. We have to get to a certain cure state to be able to do the final finishing coat of polyurea.
To deal with the low heat of January and promote curing we’ve been warming the Admin to a toasty 70°F which gives a high rate of cure. That unfortunately costs propane but it gets the job done as quickly as possible. Normally we don’t have to heat or cool the building, just product, which is great – it saves energy, is green and keeps money in our pocket. Saving power makes good business sense.
Outdoors: 28°F/9°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/59°F
Daily Spark: Please spread truth. It’s better than butter.
†Normally we would use Calcium Nitrate as an accelerant in the concrete but I haven’t been able to find a source this year. In desperation I even tried fertilizer labeled as Calcium Nitrate but testing showed it really contained Ammonium Nitrate which doesn’t work for my application. If you know of a vendor, please let me know.