Other features include:
— Light. This shop faces south. On the east and west sides are 20 foot by 120 foot outcrops that slope toward the main building and meet. Above their roofs, six windows of 4 feet by 4 feet bring in a lot of light. Paired with natural light, four rows of high efficiency fluorescent fixtures extend from the front to the back of the store. A switch controls each row to supplement the window light as much – or as little – as needed. Breitkreutz painted the floor with a glossy epoxy paint, creating an ambient light source at floor level.
— Electrical circuit. Breitkreutz installed a cable tray for the conduits all around the store about 10 feet high on the walls. It can cut drops from the cable tray to power new receptacles or switches. Cord winders are strategically placed so that at least one of them can reach the middle of the store.
— Pressurized air. Directly below the electric raceway are compressed air lines. They are barely visible unless you are looking for them. Strategically placed hose reels allow easy access to compressed air. In a clever design, Breitkreutz placed a switch near the main door. When the light is on, so is the air compressor.
— Effective. The Breitkreutz building is energy efficient, with R28 insulation in the walls and R48 in the ceiling. The heating is a natural gas radiant mounted on the ceiling. Cooling is provided by central air conditioning.
– Filtering. A CAMFIL air filtration system takes indoor air pushed outside to large filters, then recycles it in the store. The system operates several times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. Its external filters automatically purge particles.
– Welding. Breitkreutz does a lot of welding with its employee Dale Havelka. On the wall closest to the welding machine, Breitkreutz affixed smooth aluminum sheets 8 feet high. Welding smoke sticks to painted metal walls but not to unpainted aluminum, he says. The sheets help keep the welding area clean.
– Steel storage. Behind the welding machine are shelves for steel storage. Breitkreutz oriented them so he could use a forklift to slide the metal off the shelves; no manpower. Next to the racks there is a steel bending station. Dragging the steel out of the racks and folding it is a seamless process.
— And more. Breitkreutz added other important features for farm work. One room is dedicated to working with hydraulic pipes and fittings. There is a tire change station. Another room is an oil and hydraulic fluid service area. Breitkreutz built a passage in the wall so that he could access 100-foot hose reels when filling his equipment with fluids. A rolling receptacle collects the used oil and pumps it to storage tanks.
– A design tip. The storage cabinets near the main door have a story. Breitkreutz bought rolling storage cabinets from John Deere, removed the wheels, and put a steel work surface on them. But before placing the cabinets permanently, he built 2 by 2 wood models of them. That way he could be sure he had them exactly where he wanted them, and he had electrical outlets exactly where he wanted them to be. he needed it. It’s a little trick he and Pam learned when they designed their new kitchen. There, too, he built models with 2-by-2s. “There were no doubts.”
The Breitkreutz store is organized and well thought out. Heaven help the guy who puts the wrong bolt in the wrong bin.
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