Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

Project in Construction: Gas Meter Locations

“Gas meter locations! Be still my heart,” I hear you saying.

I can just imagine you are trembling in anticipation of this gas meter location story!

What excitement!

Not really. Right?

Well, this is the reality of construction. Sometimes it is the most plebeian of things that make life, shall we say, interesting.

On a project I am doing in San Francisco we need to relocate the existing gas meters. The future entry to the new ground level apartment is going where the existing gas meters are now.

We had proposed locating the gas meters on this wall, to the right of the vent in the center of the picture. Pacific Gas and Electric said “no” in a most emphatic way. The meters could not be located there under any circumstances…though without offering any alternative locations. They did however, give us a link to a 200+ page document of design guidelines.

After reviewing this document, most of which, to be honest, didn’t apply and it was easy to find what we needed to find, I proposed a second location, basically 6 feet to the left, so that the new meters were located on the left side of the existing vent. After a little back and forth and assurances we would move the future steps down to begin to the right of the new meters, we received PGE’s A-okay.

This little construction “crisis” took  about a week to resolve. Fortunately, we caught this early in construction. The contractor, MEMGC, has some experience dealing with PGE and knew to contact them early “just in case”. So although we were all focused on this issue, because the contractor knew to ask these questions early, the crisis was actually not a crisis, just a minor adjustment to the design to accommodate PGE’s very specific guidelines.

This kind of construction phase service is part of what an architect does. Construction services are very important to ensure that your project is built as intended. If any changes have to be made during construction, having an architect involved ensures that the changes are consistent with the design, comply with building and zoning codes, and have fewer impacts on other aspects of the construction.


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