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  • L.A. Hardhats

    Was over at a friends and watched a show called "L.A. Hardhats". They were showing the plumbing of a high rise condo there. I think it was called the Evo-short for Evolution I guess.

    Interesting if you get a chance to watch it as I've never worked at any plumbing business so technical in house to eliminate alot of thinking for the plumber in my opinion.

    They use CAD programs in kind of virtual reality to plumb alot of it in the computer. Then they pre-fab alot at there shop-label it-send it to the jobsite-and then put it together like a puzzle. Before anyone jumps in, yes there are mistakes that have to be altered but not that many. At least from what they show.

    I'm just used to the plumber calling in all of his supplies,figuring things out, and putting it together onsite. This CAD/PreFab method is probably the way of the future for commercial installations.

    And for the ProPress lovers, the whole building (about 30 floors I think) was done with ProPress. The system is impressive in its ease of use, but embarrasing as a trade skill in my opinion. Honestly you can teach a 15 yr. old to do it in about 10 minutes. (You may NOT quote me Ridgid )

    The other thing I found unusual is they said one guy trims the whole place out. They showed him. Never heard of this at all. I've always seen multiple people.

    Anyway, I think it was on one of the National Geographic Channels of some sort. Check it out.

    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: L.A. Hardhats

    Would You build an auto any other way! It's just smart buss.
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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    • #3
      Re: L.A. Hardhats

      Whole lot of sinks and toilets for 1 man!Dunno if I buy that....But prefabbing sections and hoisting them up and spinning the bands tight..Has been done for some time.
      Seems to work out nice about 60% of the time *perfect* and the rest...tweaking!

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      • #4
        Re: L.A. Hardhats

        geroge brazil, before he got out of new construction was the master of pre-fab.

        we always pre-fabbed our gas systems and all our tub and shower valves. deck risers and closet figure fittings were also prefabbed and taped to be poured into the 12'' thick concrete decks.

        sprinkler fitters have pre-fabbed 90% of their system for decades.

        as far as a 15 year old putting the stuff together. remember that the real brains goes into the layout and fab work. assembling the puzzle with a 5/16'' nut driver and torque wrench, propress is easy.

        remember the days of lead and oakum, you pre-fabbed as much as you could to keep from pouring awkard joints.

        the days of large crews are over as pre-fab, propress, no-nub, pex, cpvc, has taken the grunt out of the work.

        rick.
        Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 10-22-2008, 12:21 AM.
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Re: L.A. Hardhats

          What you are describing is my job in a nutshell...
          I am the plumber that sits in a nice air-conditioned office and plumbs the whole building in 3D on the computer...
          Then I spit of drawings for cores, pipe assemblies etc...
          You could take handy people with no plumbing knowledge and have them assemble the system when we are done in the office...
          We co-ordinate the whole job... Plumbing, HVAC, MedGas, Mechanical piping in house and sparky etc through the FTP site/co-ordination meetings...
          Here are a few shots of a hospital in progress...
          First 2 are co-ordination models with most of the disciplines in them..
          3rd is just my underground and venting in the kitchen area...
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: L.A. Hardhats

            Originally posted by markts30 View Post
            What you are describing is my job in a nutshell...
            I am the plumber that sits in a nice air-conditioned office and plumbs the whole building in 3D on the computer...
            Then I spit of drawings for cores, pipe assemblies etc...
            You could take handy people with no plumbing knowledge and have them assemble the system when we are done in the office...
            We co-ordinate the whole job... Plumbing, HVAC, MedGas, Mechanical piping in house and sparky etc through the FTP site/co-ordination meetings...
            Here are a few shots of a hospital in progress...
            First 2 are co-ordination models with most of the disciplines in them..
            3rd is just my underground and venting in the kitchen area...
            Maybe I didn't put it right or some are just more informed than I am. I'm used to some prefabbing. (Shower valves, the "spider" for track slabs, etc.) But I hadn't seen it to the degree that you are currently doing it. Has everyone else?

            This Evo building appears to have been planned exactly as your company does things. Like you said, "You could take handy people with no plumbing knowledge and have them assemble the system".

            Thanks for the pics. Maybe some are like me and haven't seen it taken to this degree yet.

            J.C.

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            • #7
              Re: L.A. Hardhats

              I've done a few hotels using prefab. Really saves on labor.

              After making a template, we would work in the heated warehouse building the DWV for all the bathrooms on a floor. Load it on a flatbed, take it to the job and crain it up 8 floors. A few helpers would slap it in with a some couplings and Ferncos. Beats working outside in the dead of winter.

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              • #8
                Re: L.A. Hardhats

                I drew and fabbed all my own tract houses in the eighties.Customs and the commercial I'm doing now is easier to just go fitting by fitting.

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                • #9
                  Re: L.A. Hardhats

                  Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                  I've done a few hotels using prefab. Really saves on labor.

                  After making a template, we would work in the heated warehouse building the DWV for all the bathrooms on a floor. Load it on a flatbed, take it to the job and crain it up 8 floors. A few helpers would slap it in with a some couplings and Ferncos. Beats working outside in the dead of winter.
                  How do you support the pipe to prevent undo stress? It must be nice to have some good prints that where you don't have to build everything onsite-soooo jealous.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                  • #10
                    Re: L.A. Hardhats

                    Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                    How do you support the pipe to prevent undo stress? It must be nice to have some good prints that where you don't have to build everything onsite-soooo jealous.
                    Most of the time in no hub it's one precut piece of pipe with it's fitting(upstream for waste)attached.Stacks could have wyes and san-tees.Long runs of plastic for house mains we'd glue everything together reaching a manageable length.Also the great thing about plastic is you can fab all three bath fixtures on one stack,throw it in the ditch and BLAM 3.5 minute ground rough.Totally brainless install.I rarely fabbed entire bathrooms though,too many inconsistencies with the trenching contractors.

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                    • #11
                      Re: L.A. Hardhats

                      For gang bathrooms, we tend to fab the whole wall (cast and copper) on a unistrut framework and then anchor them in place and have the walls built around them...
                      Everything is fabbed, tested and prepped at the shop and on site you only have to place it, anchor it and hook it up...
                      Great part of this system is that you can prefab it and have the crane onsite load the floors with your fab as the building goes up - less stocking, carrying and less cleanup/carryout when done...

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                      • #12
                        Re: L.A. Hardhats

                        This is an old thread but it caught my eye again so I thought I would see if I could find the website about the build. Here's a link with many videos of different trades some might find interesting.

                        http://channel.nationalgeographic.co...ideos/05526_00

                        J.C.

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                        • #13
                          Re: L.A. Hardhats

                          i was shocked to see alot of the guys smoking on the jobsite

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                          • #14
                            Re: L.A. Hardhats

                            Project-managed a 1500 room hotel, and every stick of pipe, cast iron waste and copper water, was pre-fabbed. As a previous poster noted, you have to cut a small piece of cast at each floor to make it fit, then bolt-up and presto! Another back-to-back bath is roughed. The beauty of the system is you can stay ahead of the other trades, and they have to work around you. The only downside was that the poor plumber on-site feels like an assembly-line worker.

                            We sleeved every deck with cans and had templates made up for that work, too. That was the only tough part, when the concrete goons trashed the cans and we had to core drill. Still, if what you're going for is the absolute most efficient install possible, off-site pre-fab is the ticket.

                            (It wasn't any fun, though. And it wasn't any challenge. Most tedious years of my life.)

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