Work on our new home has slowed down as we feel the complexity created by labor shortages and supply chain issues.  We spent most of our OAC meeting this week navigating issues that inevitably affect our schedule.  Throw in some abundant rainfall and DeKalb County inspectors to round out these exciting times!

The paving of our new parking lot area is behind schedule as both supply chain delays and labor shortages come to play.  While UUCA quickly approved the change order, the submittal process to find an appropriate and available GAB (Gravel Aggregate Base) took two weeks.  This was a required step before scheduling could occur.  Choate grabbed the first available dates, but due to labor shortages and the number of jobs ahead of us, we’ve been simply waiting our turn these last few weeks.  The delay has created additional work in keeping sediment traps clean but otherwise hasn’t hampered the overall schedule.  The project will begin this Monday, April 11, and continue for three weeks through Friday, April 29.

Other items affecting the schedule include the intumescent painting of the spray foam insulation, which is going slower than expected, slowness in inspections by DeKalb country, and slowness by Georgia Power in electrifying our transformer.

The intumescent painting is in process, but the amount of protection to prevent overspray on already installed HVAC and lighting appliances while creating a safe workspace in the attic area has been difficult.  The painting of the spray foam in the wing should wrap by this Friday.  Painting of the spray foam in the sanctuary should both commence and wrap up next week.  This intumescent painting is one of the things we mentioned in previous updates that was sprung on us by the new DeKalb county fire marshal.  The other requirements were creating a sizeable demising wall in the sanctuary ceiling outside of the AV area (which will be completed by Friday), stairwell framing (targeted completion by Friday), and ongoing electrical room work.

We are waiting on several inspections from DeKalb county.  We continue to work as many lines as we can to push through these.  The most critical inspections outstanding are an electrical inspection and the dry sprinkler system inspection.

From several prior updates, we shared that getting moved off of temporary power and onto our permanent power routed through our transformer has been critical for moving our schedule forward.  Permanent power is required to power up and test all of our VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) equipment and for our elevator installation to begin.  This was held up previously due to supply chain issues in securing main power distribution components from the sole supplier in Mexico.  We finally received those long-awaited components, and the electrical subcontractor “Titan” had them installed within days.  Since then, we’ve been waiting for Georgia Power to come out to the site to energize the transformer.  We learned during the OAC that Choate has been hitting dead air in requesting updates on when Georgia Power would come to the site.  Upon learning this, Bryce rattled a few cages as the owner.  If Georgia Power upholds the promise made to Bryce over the phone and via email, we will be on permanent power by the time these notes go to press for our Weekly Update.

Between the inspections preventing ceiling cover and the lack of permanent power, the issue was raised during the OAC that the schedule may slip even deeper into June.  Hopefully, the power issues have been resolved, allowing full attention to coax DeKalb county to hasten its schedule.  We are discussing the timing of our move out from the treehouse, and alternative plans to fill the gap should our new home not be ready until late June or early July.

Wrapping up scheduling, this week’s work continues on creating the ADA Ramp foundation and walls between the childcare classrooms and the playground.  Grid lighting and grills throughout the building and lights in the social hall are going in this week, exterior patch brick has arrived onsite, and the new sanctuary windows and doors are on site and should be installed this week.  We missed our opportunity to install the elevator due to the power issues but hope to report the new install date next week, assuming Georgia Power brings our transformer online tomorrow.

We continue to discuss erosion and sediment control at each OAC meeting and communicate before, during, and after significant weather events.  In February, we created a dashboard to show our corrective action plan and provide reviews from 3rd party inspectors (ECS).  The dashboard is located at https://www.uuca.org/phoenixdashboard/.  You can find ECS (Engineering Consulting Services) information by visiting their website at https://www.ecslimited.com/.  The environmental field inspections have been posted the day they are received by UUCA, with the most recent being March 25.  ECS inspects the site and reports after every rain event of .25″ or more.  We should expect a statement regarding the flash flooding event this week shortly.  We review these reports, post them to the website and take corrective actions called out within 24 hours.  Between OAC meetings, the Project Phoenix team is in communication with the onsite superintendent to make sure we are prepared for future events.  For example, Bryce was on site Sunday to inspect the remediations ECS called for on March 25.  On that same afternoon, an email was sent to Choate that the weather was shaping up to be a more significant event than had been previously forecast on Wednesday at the previous OAC meeting.  On Monday afternoon, Bryce followed up via telephone with onsite superintendent Brian Hogue that flash flooding was expected the following day, which came to fruition.  This flooding event happened during daylight hours Tuesday (which sets it apart from the most significant prior events that occurred overnight and on the weekend).  Choate was able to observe in real-time the flash flood and see the volume of water flowing through the job site.  The water was intense enough that it could move the sediment salamanders that had been placed.  Choate worked to take corrective action during the event and use these observations to mitigate future occurrences.

Beyond sitework, the severe weather event also caused a gash in the tarp protecting the elevator shaft, which allowed water penetration into the area around the elevator.  Sheetrock in the area near the shaft was affected by the leak and will be replaced at no cost to UUCA.

It’s an exciting time as our project gets closer and closer to being home.  These updates seem to increase in size and scope, alluding to daily complexities.  Your Project Phoenix team is keeping tabs on all of the issues above while also tackling more minute items such as product discontinuations (for example, the acoustical clouds in the social hall, which were ordered months ago), staging issues with subwoofer conflicts, and so much more.  The project is complex, but we continue to move forward in the process with the help of a fabulous team, a helpful board, and a great congregation.

**Update**
We are pleased to announce that Georgia Power came out on Thursday and connected permanent power… a major milestone!

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