Infrared Training Center

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New Buildings Lab Coming to ITC's Boston-Regional Training Center

Matt Schwoegler, ITC

About a month ago I received a call from our Marketing department asking if we’d be interested in taking on a table-top trade show display that they were no longer using and were willing to donate.  I immediately said yes (free stuff = good…potentially valuable free stuff = better).  Sure, absolutely, please send it over!

Although I didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do with it at the time, there’s some real estate available to work with in the classroom.  My initial thought was we could create some type of educational display/exhibit.  I figured worst case we simply dispose of it and call it a day.  Low risk, right?  And how big could it possibly be?  I’ve worked with many “table top” displays over the years at trade shows.  They pack nicely, are relatively small, and fairly easy to ship.

Not this one.

What arrived was practically the size of a small car, made of solid wood, weighed several hundred pounds and was essentially indestructible.  I’d later find out, with great difficulty during some demolition, that it was held together with hundreds of professional-grade construction staples and what seemed like a vat of industrial strength glue.  Bottom line, if a tornado was ever going to hit the building, this is where you’d want to go.

Long story short, we decided to keep the display contained within, but what to do with our new makeshift fallout shelter that was suddenly gracing the classroom with its warehouse aesthetics?  That’s where my colleague, and fellow ITC instructor, Ron Lucier comes in to the story.  He had just wrapped up a class when this shipping container came rolling down the hallway from Receiving.

His suggestion: “How about a buildings lab?”

Yes! It was the perfect size and we had plenty of space.  All that we needed was some customizing.  So off I went to Lowe’s for supplies and the rest came together over about a day and half at my home workshop.  A nice change from teaching and a chance to create something that thermographers visiting our Boston-regional training center will enjoy for some time.

So for now phase one is complete.  Up next, adding insulation and a heat source.  At the very least looks like we might get to test it next week during a Level I certification course that’s in town.   I’ll let you know how it goes and will be sure to send an update.  And if we find anything wrong, hey at least I personally know the builder.

Check out more images below...