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Committee Reports

E-mail Address: 1regencytower@gmail.com

April 2017

Architectural Review Construction Committee
Eric Peter Berkowitz

Keeping the Wheels on the Wagon

ARC & Construction Committee Chair Eric Peter Berkowitz Gives Report on Drainage System Rehabilitation
Eric - Construction Update
Emergency Power System
Cooling Tower
Cooling Tower
In her March 20, 2014 report to members, after calling attention to seemingly endless construction along the Galt Mile, Board President Eileen Bendis warned “Don’t think we are invincible!” Bendis was referring to three impending construction projects critical to our quality of life, the structural integrity of our home, or the safety of our families. Two of the three have been completed.

Project Priorities

Following a year of hard work and research by Nancy Seltzer’s Decorating Committee, the board considered how to schedule renovations overwhelmingly endorsed by unit owners in a late summer referendum – without financially burdening members with simultaneous assessments for concrete restoration and common area improvements. Since special pricing negotiated by the committee was subject to a deadline, the Board decided to first complete the interior upgrades.

Packing Heat

Click to AquaCal website
New AquaCal SQ225 Heat Pump
New Heat Pump
Click to Dept of Energy on Heat Pumps for Pools website In January and February, as the Decorating Committee transformed our common areas into a stunning showcase to boost home values, the Board faced a parade of construction pitfalls. When several poolgoers asked why the water was uncomfortably cold compared to last year, a cursory inspection revealed that one of the three heat pumps seized.

Functioning like air conditioners in reverse, heat pumps use a refrigerant to capture heat in the outside air and transfer it to the pool. To minimize power needs, three serially connected pumps operate in tandem. If the water temperature doesn’t appreciably increase shortly after the first heat pump is turned on, a second pump will automatically initiate as well. When the ambient temperature is so cold that both pumps still prove inadequate, a third pump is triggered.

Click to Dept of Energy on Heat Pumps for Pools website Once the targeted temperature is reached, it is maintained by a single pump cycling on and off, minimizing the power draw. Since the cost of electricity used to power the heat pumps is almost 40% less than the cost of gas consumed by a fuel-burning heater, the savings is significant. Click to Dept of Energy on Heat Pumps for Pools website Several vendor proposals were solicited in early March. Consulting with manufacturer AquaCal and our engineer, Knox Pools replaced the damaged heat pump with a quieter – yet more powerful – new model, restoring our balmy pool temperature.

Pipe Plug

Maintenance Chief Charile Davis
Maintenance Chief Charile Davis
Clogged Toilet During the past few months, an inexplicable series of blockages repeatedly knocked the garage level restroom out-of-service, detouring pool and beachgoers to the lobby bathrooms or their respective homes. Ordinarily, once the line is cleared, it would take our owners at least a week or two to stuff the toilet with sufficient junk to cause another blockage. In January, Maintenance Chief Charlie Davis called Coastal Plumbing for help. When the plumber’s high-powered evacuations failed to fix the problem, Coastal suggested a video diagnosis of the drainage line, a technique used several years ago to locate drain blockages under the north garage floor.

Garage Bathroom Drain Line Repair Complete
Garage Bathroom Drain Line Concrete Fill
Concrete Fill
Garage Bathroom Drain Line New PVC Pipe
New PVC Pipe
Garage Bathroom Drain Line Old Iron Pipe
Eroded Iron Pipe
In short, a high resolution video camera mounted on a maneuverable and flexible probe is guided through the line, broadcasting a recordable video image of its journey. As the mounted camera navigated the line under the south garage floor, it suddenly dipped, indicating that a segment of pipe had collapsed.

Coastal crew with Eric and Andy
Coastal crew with Eric and Andy
To permanently fix the problem, Coastal would have to excavate the estimated site of the collapsed line and replace the broken section of pipe. However, to insure the flow, the excavated area would have to be sufficiently long to properly pitch the pipe to the drain. Otherwise, the excavation would have to be expanded until an effective gradient could be achieved, which would substantially drive up the cost.

Click to Coastal Plumbing website Clogged ToiletWorking together, Charlie, Engineer John Evans and the Coastal crew accurately estimated the exact location of the sub-surface breach. The 48-year-old heavily eroded iron pipe was exposed and replaced. As a precaution, the site was left open for two weeks, in case the new pipe needed adjustment. Finally, the repair was filled with cement and painted. Although no blockages have since been reported, if the bathroom’s electric service is sufficient, replacing paper towels with an electric hand dryer may help prevent future clogs.

Balconies and Building Columns

New Regency Tower Balcony
Regency Tower Balcony
14 years after they were last restored in 1999, our balconies began exhibiting signs of erosion. Since a concrete restoration hasn’t yet been authorized, there is technically nothing to report – but I can offer some insight into our engineer’s perspective. Given the daunting cost of major concrete repairs, either jumping the gun or waiting until the damage becomes extreme unnecessarily intensifies the financial burden. To avoid this dilemma, we asked structural engineer John Evans to determine the optimum time for a building-wide balcony restoration. To cost-effectively estimate readiness, he suggested testing a cross-section of the association’s balconies.

SPEC Structural Engineer John Evans P.E.
SPEC Engineer John Evans
Evans narrowed the test sample to east-facing balconies closest to the ocean, given their elevated exposure to halides, PCBs and other corrosive ocean-based pollutants. Evans initially tested the even floors in the eleven stack and the odd floors in the one stack, reversing the procedure each year. After three of these annual evaluations, in 2016 Evans recommended that the Board begin planning a concrete restoration in the next year. In addition to the balconies, Evans will include any building columns that show signs of disrepair. Many of you have asked when the building will be painted. Since a concrete restoration invariably leaves exterior walls heavily scarred, Evans recommended that we postpone painting the building until after the balconies are repaired.

Draft Balcony Book Evans began compiling a “Balcony Book” in November 2016, a ledger documenting the structural details of every Regency Tower balcony as well as eroded building columns. Vendors use the Balcony Book to craft competitive proposals. When the project is authorized, those bids will anchor the first official report. Thank you for your kind attention.

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Decorating Committee
Nancy Seltzer

Decorating Committee Chair Nancy Seltzer
Nancy Seltzer
As you can see, the project is almost complete. At this time, the remaining items are:

Decorating Committee Member Carole Rigney
Carole Rigney
Painting the doors and trim - The doors will be painted the same gray as the elevator wall and the window inserts will be a shade darker. The trim will be painted white.

Signs - Carol Rigney and Nancy met with Fast Signs on Friday morning. They ordered the signs for the office, Rendezvous Room, Mail Room, Fitness Center, Game Room and Laundry Center as well as the security desk and personnel. They are waiting for the proofs from Fast Signs.

Miscellaneous tiles in the hallway. Nancy is still waiting for the quote from Advanced Fire for the movement of the smoke alarms. Once that is received, we can schedule the installation of the remaining ceiling tiles.

Mats for the side entrances are at the building. We are just waiting for the painting to be completed to put them down.

Click to Top Dog Electric website Click to Advanced Fire & Security website Bathrooms - The light fixture in the ladies room needs to be moved by Top Dog Electric and the bathrooms still need to pass inspection. The building is working on the items identified by the inspector.

View from the Front Entrance View from the Lobby Security Desk
Click on Pic to Enlarge Click on Pic to Enlarge

Ask your realtor how an updated lobby impacts the value of your home.


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