Dwell Home Venice: Part 13
By Michael Sylvester / Published by Dwell
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In this series, Sebastian Mariscal designs a home in Venice, California, that brings the outside in. We track the project from start to finish with future resident Michael Sylvester. Part 13, February/March 2012: Behind the Walls. The finished walls inside a home hide an array of infrastructure that we use every day and yet never see. Examples of systems which are largely invisible include fire sprinklers, water pipes, plumbing valves, waste lines, vents, gas pipes, data cables and electrical wiring for lighting, appliances and outlets. Installation of these items is completed after framing.

 

The ceiling in the living room shows the network of plumbing. Small copper pipes carry water and the black cast iron pipes carry waste. Plumbers and electricians drill through freshly installed studs and beams as they find a route for their pipes, conduits, and wires. Engineering calculations are used to locate areas where holes through the beams will have minimal structural impact.

The ceiling in the living room shows the network of plumbing. Small copper pipes carry water and the black cast iron pipes carry waste. Plumbers and electricians drill through freshly installed studs and beams as they find a route for their pipes, conduits, and wires. Engineering calculations are used to locate areas where holes through the beams will have minimal structural impact.

Joe Barrientos from Electrize is the electrician on the project. Here, Joe is shown drilling holes for pulling electrical wiring in the southern guest bedroom.

Joe Barrientos from Electrize is the electrician on the project. Here, Joe is shown drilling holes for pulling electrical wiring in the southern guest bedroom.

Joe works out routes for wiring that do not conflict with plumbing. It can get crowded in the wall and roof cavities. This stage of the project is known as “rough electrical." Once the drywall is installed Joe will come back and install the “finished electrical” including the finishes for the built-in light fixtures from lumens.com.

Here's a shot of the wiring to a switch box and a receptacle for electrical outlet.

Here's a shot of the wiring to a switch box and a receptacle for electrical outlet.

Electrical spaghetti converges at the panel box.

Electrical spaghetti converges at the panel box.

The orange CPVC pipes are for fire sprinklers. Since January 1st, 2011, fire sprinklers have been required in all new homes in California, adding a significant line item to the construction budget for a home.

The orange CPVC pipes are for fire sprinklers. Since January 1st, 2011, fire sprinklers have been required in all new homes in California, adding a significant line item to the construction budget for a home.

This ceiling image shows a full array of infrastructure; electrical wiring, orange fire sprinkler pipes, black cast iron plumbing, and also a recessed light housing from Lumens.com.

This ceiling image shows a full array of infrastructure; electrical wiring, orange fire sprinkler pipes, black cast iron plumbing, and also a recessed light housing from Lumens.com.

The master wardrobe ceiling shows the fire sprinkler head interrupting the pattern of light housings. These recessed lights from lumens.com will be re-spaced so they can co-exist with the sprinkler. Resolving code compliance with design intent can be tricky.<br><br>Click here to read past installments of Dwell Home Venice.

The master wardrobe ceiling shows the fire sprinkler head interrupting the pattern of light housings. These recessed lights from lumens.com will be re-spaced so they can co-exist with the sprinkler. Resolving code compliance with design intent can be tricky.

Click here to read past installments of Dwell Home Venice.

This is the master shower showing copper pipes running to shower heads and controls. The white plastic covers protect the TOTO shower control valves. Once the shower walls are completed the finished controls will be installed.

This is the master shower showing copper pipes running to shower heads and controls. The white plastic covers protect the TOTO shower control valves. Once the shower walls are completed the finished controls will be installed.



Click here to read past installments of Dwell Home Venice.

Here's a view looking up at the ceiling in the living room. Drywall will conceal this section of plumbing which carries waste from the guest bathroom. The hole shown on the left is a remnant from an earlier plumbing route that was abandoned.

Here's a view looking up at the ceiling in the living room. Drywall will conceal this section of plumbing which carries waste from the guest bathroom. The hole shown on the left is a remnant from an earlier plumbing route that was abandoned.

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Michael Sylvester

@michael_sylvester

Michael Sylvester is a writer who lives in both Los Angeles and an aisle seat, preferably in the exit row. On his pilgrimage to Dan Rockhill's Studio 804 in Lawrence, Kansas, to see its fabled prefab projects, he was feeling a bit self conscious being a Left Coast vegetarian in steak country. "In addition to their cool prefabs, there was a great vegan restaurant downtown. Who doesn't enjoy mixing good architecture with good food?" he says.

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