Working in comfort and style

Can a heated, 12,000 square foot room be comfortable or efficient without a thermostat?


A local heavy truck service firm in Indianapolis, IN, owners of several service facilities in and around Indianapolis built a new, 12,000 square foot full service and repair facility for over the road semi-tractor trailers.  What makes this particular facility unique?  This service garage has a hydronic radiant floor heating system with the heat being provided by a Viessmann Vitodens high efficiency boiler.


Due to the weight of the trucks, the building required an extra thick concrete slab floor that has almost thirty circuits of Rehau ¾” pex embedded in it.  Warm water passes through these pipes, deep in the concrete, gently warming the floor and the entire 12,000 square foot space above.    The Viessmann boiler has a sensor placed outside in the cold air and the integrated Vitotronic control inside the boiler determines the required water temperature based on real time outdoor conditions.


The net result, just the right temperature water given the outdoor condition is supplied to the floor without the need for thermostats, often easily damaged, in the work space.  Eliminating external controls kept equipment cost low and will keep maintenance low for the life of the system.


When asked, several of the technicians commented that the work space is always comfortable, even with the fourteen foot tall bay doors opening and closing.  Once the doors are down, the space comes up to temperature quickly.  Why?  The heat source is the floor, not the air.


Aside from employee comfort, the owner is very pleased with the service center’s energy savings.  The 2014 winter has been extremely cold.  But even with that being true, the fuel bills for the center are very low.  When compared to their other, similar service buildings, this one is heated with about 70% less energy (based on fuel bill comparison).   Because they utilized a high efficiency Viessmann Vitodens boiler, they also qualified for a utility rebate which helped to generate an even larger return on investment.


The net result of this project:  efficiency, comfort and component savings.  Each is a hallmark of a well-designed system, but when combined, are hallmarks of a great system.  A well-built, well executed system is an excellent working reference for Viessmann Manufacturing and the Vitodens Boiler.


Please contact Keller-Rivest @ 317.359.9000 for more information.


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Winning and Losing

Winning is pretty easy, one can do it poorly, but nobody pats you on the back and says “you will get over it.”  Losing however, different story.

I like what Conan O’Brien had to say about the disappointment:

“The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.”

Today, I make up my mind to focus on ‘why’ I lost and not ‘that’ I lost.  This new recognition will create growth and from growth, fruit will be borne.  In doing this I can take joy from my disappointments and greater fullfilment in my victories.

Finally, in doing what I said I will do, the chance that new opportunities arrive at my door are greater and this time, I will be more ready.


Is the system as good as it can be?

“What did it save us?” is not the smartest question we can ask about central plant operation.  “What should it have saved us?” is far more dangerous and far more telling.  All too often it is easy to settle for better (comparative) instead of best (superlative).  Why?  Comparative versus bad is an easy gain.  Striving to be the best is difficult, and likely a moving target. 

Very few have the time to optimize every system in the plant.  No head coach has the time, the expertise or the ability to be the best coach at every position on the field, they trust their team of assistants to do it right, their position experts.  Keller-Rivest is here to be one of your knowledgeable assistant coaches, one of your central plant experts.  Let us help you with your central plant pumping, cooling towers, energy recovery and boiler systems.

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Working it out

Ghandi said that honest disagreement is a good sign of progress.  A critical view of this statement should lead us into two immediate thoughts, think through my position first and respect those with which I disagree.  Many times on projects there is more than a single “right way” to achieve a project goal.  More than one pathway may even seem like the best approach.  Relationships can crumble when one party refuses to consider the merit of another’s idea leading to problems on this project and all projects moving forward.  If we take the approach that the relationship is more valuable than the problem or the project, we make the team stronger.  Jordan’s Bulls, Gretsky’s Oilers, Montana’s 49ers were all led by brilliant stars, but none could shine without the cast around them.  Did they disagree with their team?  What team does not.  However, they found ways through disagreement and those teams became (arguably) G.O.A.T.’s.  Let disagreement be the catalyst that leads to greatness, not the fuse that ignites the powder keg.

The heat is coming

Today the temperature finally got into the mid 80’s.  No one I know is complaining.  If you have not done so, now is the time to get your cooling tower in top shape before it gets really hot.  Not only can we handle your Marley tower needs but try us for any manufacturer, any make and any model.  #Readyforsummer!

Be Awesome Today

Jillian Michaels, from TV’s Biggest Loser, recently gave a talk in Indianapolis and said something that I thought was very profound.  She said it should be your goal to tell your kids, “Be awesome today.”  It made me wonder, what if we took that sort of passion to the people that we work with too.  What if the project managers, office managers and team leaders took the that thirty extra seconds to tell their team, “Be awesome today.”  Would it change anything?  Maybe not.  But think how great it would be for just one moment a day to know that someone wanted to inspire you to be great, more than great, AWESOME.  If you are reading this, BE AWESOME TODAY!

Grand pa’s mentor

I love to read Dan Holohan’s articles about growing up in the business and the funny stories that came from him learning his way around.  I am blessed in that I am a fourth generation in the HVACR and Plumbing trades business.  Growing up I heard and laughed at (more than a few) and (more than once) my fair share of stories from dad, grand pa and various uncles about pipes into the head, gas (the real natural kind) into air intakes and a prayer in a trailer with an expensive helicopter bearing down on a bad roof.  I can also remember driving around the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis and hearing my dad tell me which relative ran the underground or the finish on this or that building.  I can even occassionally find my grand pa’s contractor notes on cooling tower projects from the 60’s or 70’s in my rep office today.  As those guys move from this place to the next, I become more and more grateful for the pipe, stone and wire that is my legacy.  I am very thankful for the men and women that built this nation and the men and women that made me.  I am proud to be someone’s (someones’) legacy.

Be a Hedgehog

How do you differentiate?  How do you make a statement?  I have come to agree more and more with the hedgehog principle from the book “Good to Great”.  The point of the principle is to simply find that one thing that you can do extremely well and do it over and over and over (ad naseum!).  Know Thyself then repeat. Someone asked Pistol Pete Maravich why he spent so much time with a basketball.  His reply “You don’t get this good wishin'”. I think the point is we cannot all be good at everything.  We all have a network and everyone in that network performs a function.  Some are there to be a friend, some are there to be a banker, a plumber, mechanic, preacher, or any number of other functions. If we continually refine our professional network, the performance of that network and our benefit from our professional network should continue to improve as we improve ourselves.  Seek to be the best hedgehog you can be and see what happens.

Keller-Rivest helping a Pharma Co. get people in the door

Keller-Rivest had the opportunity to work on an exciting ice/snow removal project for the corporate headquarters for a major US pharmaceutical firm. See how this company chose to have K-R help them (literally) get people in the door. Click below for a short presentation of this photo case study.