It's that time of year again—time to get psyched for summer cycling! After a long winter and a longer spring (also known as second winter), we are more than ready for some fun and some sun.
Join us for our 7th annual summer cycling kick off!
We are getting together with COGGS on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at Meteek & Co, 5 – 9 p.m.
We are celebrating 7 awesome years of great projects that COGGS has accomplished to support cycling in Duluth, and the enjoyment we all experience in Duluth’s great outdoors! You can check out the fun we've had in previous years here, here, and here.
The barbecue will be going again this year, so bring something to grill. We will provide condiments, salad and drinks.
Elysium Alps will be generating great groove. Bring your biking stories, bring some friends (and videos! we’ll load them up and project them in the shop). And don’t forget to bring your enthusiasm!
The barbecue will be going again this year, so bring something to grill.
We will provide condiments, salads and things to drink!
Spring is in the air! Here in the Northland, we tend to associate spring with venturing out into the fresh air after a long winter of taking shelter indoors. We seldom think about our indoor air quality.
Meteek Supply was born to satisfy the need for leading-edge materials and products that stand up to our extreme climate. But how does building efficiency affect indoor air quality? Does conserving energy necessarily mean a lack of ventilation? As buildings become more energy efficient, this is a question we consider. Zehnder Residential Ventilation Systems offer amazing air quality for indoor health, comfort, and energy efficiency.
How the Zehnder Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) System Works
Zehnder HRV provides a constant supply of fresh air into indoor spaces. Fresh air is fed into the system via an external wall vent. The system recovers up to 90% of the energy of the exhaust air to warm the incoming fresh air, saving on heating costs. The air distribution system then channels fresh air to individual rooms as needed. The air volume can be adjusted individually for each room.
The Zehnder system works to extract air from wet rooms (kitchens and bathrooms) while supplying fresh, tempered air to bedrooms and living areas.
Poor indoor air quality can lead to a rise in asthma and allergic symptoms due to the increased concentration of allergens such as dust mites, VOCs, pollen and mold. Zehnder provides filtered, clean air solutions for indoor health. Click on the link to read about how Zehnder systems increase indoor air quality, here.
In our ever-expanding efforts to bring you high performance products and to keep them performing optimally, Andy and Randy recently had training in Zehnder commissioning and maintenance. Zehnder East Coast Representative Gary Baggett and SIDA Registered Master Builder Todd Erskin from South Dakota came to Meteek for the training. They worked on two systems in Duluth and one in the Minneapolis area during the training.
Todd, Andy, Gary and Randy inspect the Zehnder ComfoAir System installed at Meteek.
Andy makes a few adjustments.
Gary and Todd review specs with Andy.
Amazing air quality for indoor health, comfort, and energy efficiency!
We have been pleased to offer you Zehnder ComfoAir systems installed and maintained. Meteek now also offers commissioning services to builders and homeowners who have installed a Zehnder system. This process assures that the installation meets criteria used to maximize comfort, efficiency, and proper operation.
We’d love to talk with you about Zehnder ComfoAir HRV Systems whether you are in the market for a new system, or you are looking for installation, commissioning and maintenance. Call Randy at 218.481.7440 to discuss your options!
Happy holidays, friends! As 2018 draws to a close, we invite you to join us in remembering what a great year this was, in celebrating the joys of the season, and in welcoming the new year!
At Meteek & Co and Meteek Supply, our passion is expressing inner transformation. We construct the elements that express the uniqueness of your endeavors from boardroom to commercial space, business to home. With wood, glass, steel and stone, from bold design to intimate detail. Meteek facilitates bringing your vision into form. What could be more magical than that?
Duluth, Minnesota is working to create a vibrant city nightscape that supports residents, visitors and its incredible environment. In the film, join citizens and national experts Laura Erickson, Paul Bogard and Shadab A. Raman, PhD, MPH as they discuss new lighting technologies, experience pitfalls, and explore possibilities for ending light pollution.
Let us know if your group or classroom would like to screen the film, we are available to facilitate discussion about light pollution and our night skies! Call us at 218.343.7332 to schedule a screening!
Meteek Supply is excited to host a lunch and learn Wednesday, October 24, 2018 12-1:00 pm with Zehnder Residential Ventilation Systems. Zehnder offers an amazing air quality system for indoor health, comfort and energy efficiency.
Zehnder Residential Ventilation Systems offer amazing air quality for indoor health, comfort, and energy efficiency.
How the Zehnder Residential Ventilation System Works
Zehnder’s air distribution system brings fresh air into the rooms of your space. At the same time, it removes moist or contaminated air. Air is exchanged in all habitable rooms without drafts or bothersome noises, at the highest possible efficiency using the cascade distribution principle.
Heat loss is ameliorated by up to 90% heat recovery. Adjustable diffusers and damper inserts allow for fine adjustment of air volume in each room. Supply and return air flows optimally through small ducts in walls and ceilings. Radial design of duct configuration ensures uniform system pressure throughout the interior space. Quiet, clean, comfortable!
Check out the video below to see how it works!
Benefits of Zehnder Products
Health Fresh air promotes well-being and a healthy lifestyle. Poor indoor air quality can lead to a rise in asthma and allergic symptoms due to the increased concentration of allergens such as dust mites, VOCs, pollen, and mold. With optional fine filters to capture fine dust and pollen, even allergy sufferers can breathe easily.
Energy Savings Zehnder products use recovered and renewable energy sources to heat and ventilate our increasingly airtight homes and buildings in an energy efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Furthermore, whole house heat recovery ventilation technology can recover up to 90% of the heat from exhaust air.
Comfort On average, we spend approximately 70% of our time inside. A comfortable environment is important to both our health and our sense of well-being. Zehnder products offer good air quality through continuous extraction of moist, stale air from bathrooms and kitchens. Moreover, a continuous supply of clean, tempered air flows to habitable rooms. Low-velocity air supply ensures that fresh, clean air does not create drafts around the home.
Join us 12-1:00 pm on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 for more exciting information about how Zehnder products can improve your indoor air quality. Please RSVP at 218.343.7332—we look forward to seeing you!
Happy September! If you look up into the brilliant blue sunny sky, you just might see a plane departing Duluth carrying Meteek’s own Cynthia Lapp as she heads this week to the Netherlands. Cynthia is going there to participate in the opening celebration of the Netherlands new nature reserve island, Marker Wadden.
Marker Wadden Nature Reserve
What is the Marker Wadden?
Roel Posthoorn and the Natuurmonumenten (“Nature Monuments”) society developed the concept for the Marker Wadden in an attempt to act on the declining ecological state of the Markermeer. This large lake was created by the completion of the North Sea Afsluitdijk (“Closure Dike”) in 1932, and the Houtribdijk in 1976.
Constant wave and current action over the years deposited silt into Lake Markermeer. This build-up of silt eventually blocked out both light and oxygen, suffocating plant life and algae, thus making it impossible for aquatic creatures and birds who feed on them to survive in healthy numbers. The barren waters reduced the site’s popularity for bird migration.
In 2012, Cynthia led a group of University of MN students to the Netherlands for a Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Urban and Regional Planning course. Cynthia and the students worked with Roel Posthoorn developing design ideas to address the issue of improving water quality, while at the same time providing a suitable bird habitat and a recreational site for people. Roel thought it would be a great opportunity for the students to take a design leap into exploring what the dream of the Marker Wadden is, and how it could become reality.
Cynthia and her students with project manager Roel Posthoorn and landscape architect Jan Wouter Bruggenkamp
Different student groups continued to work on the Marker Wadden for the following five years.
Celebrating the Dream, Becoming a Reality
This week marks the celebration of vision becoming reality. In a way that’s both ambitious and ingenious, the plan is to continue to use the silt to create the Marker Wadden islands. This will simultaneously clean the water and create a new habitat for all sorts of plant and animal life.
The Marker Wadden islands form a new nature reserve in the Markermeer. The five islands constructed during the first phase cover a total one thousand hectares (a hectare is roughly 2.47 acres). The islands are built from the sediments that accumulated in the Marker late over the past decades. The goal is to eventually expand the island group to 10,000 hectares.
Check out this video below to get an idea of the scope of the project!
Marker Wadden Nature Reserve
The first island of the Marker Wadden is now open to the public. Highlights include the island’s port, hiking trails, bird watching huts and observation tower! That’s worth celebrating!
Good journey, Cynthia! We can’t wait to hear all about your trip!
Prepare to shine, Northlanders and mark your calendars for an entire week of celebrating the night sky this September! Starry Skies Lake Superior has lined up another week of exciting events around the region, following the success of last year’s Celebrate the Night Sky Week A few events are highlighted below, many more are featured on this year’s schedule.
Sunday September 16 we will be kicking off our second annual Celebrate the Night Sky week 6-11 pm at the Oldenburg House with stories, food, fun and telescopes! Come join us in Carlton, MN as we celebrate our connection to the stars on beautiful grounds nestled into our beloved northern landscape and adjoining Jay Cooke State Park. Sky lore historian Mary Stewart Adams, producer of the Storyteller’s Night Sky, will wend us into why the stars mean so much to humans, and why our connection with the night sky is irreplaceable. Members of the Arrowhead Astronomical Society will be on board with telescopes to enhance our sky viewing pleasure.
Northern lights, meteor showers and the Milky Way are common sights in our region. Our visual access to night skies is unusual in the United States, where 80% of our citizens cannot see the Milky Way, and most children may never see it at all. Celebrate the Night Sky Week recognizes the unique night sky opportunities in our region.
Learning About our Lighting Choices
Lighting technology is changing at a rapid pace, and we continue to choose ever-brighter night lighting. We are inviting presenters to educate professionals and citizens on latest technologies, medical research, and cultural importance, empowering all of us in becoming decision-makers about our Night Skies.
Be sure to join us on Wednesday, September 19 for a presentation by Shadab Rahman, PhD, MPH at the UMD School of Medicine Research. Neurophysiologist Shadab Rahman is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His primary research is in how light can modulate behavioral, endocrine and molecular outputs, with secondary interest in metabolic, immune and reproductive rhythms, and the effects of light exposure on these rhythms. Rahman presented at last year’s Night Sky Seminar and is working towards inauguration a sleep study in our region.
Shadab will also be on hand Wednesday night 7 pm at Fitger’s Spirit of the North theater for the premiere of “City Lights, Starry Nights,” a documentary movie on light pollution and moving towards seeing the stars in Duluth and our region!
Connecting our Region
Light pollution travels, and skyglow becomes sky trespass as excess light from one area can hinder others’ views of the night sky. Safeguarding our access to the night sky is a regional endeavor. Communities on the North and South Shores are involved in the Night Sky Week, to ensure beautiful, Superior night skies.
Cynthia and RobBee model Starry Skies apparel available at many of the upcoming event locations this year and online here
Why Focus on Night Skies?
Honoring our Environment
All organisms in our environment, including humans, have evolved to depend upon daily cycles of light and dark. We need to protect the night in order to protect the environment we depend on.
Protecting Human Health
Our bodies are entrained to the cycle of day and night. Too much light at night compromises our endocrine system. stressing our bodies and contributing to cancer, obesity, diabetes, sleep disorders and depression.
Safeguarding our View of the Cosmos
Humans have always been curious about our place in the Universe. The marvels of northern lights, asteroids and comets; the movement of the planets and the cycles of moon and tides all point us toward the “bigger picture.” Curbing light pollution protects our access to the stars.
Supporting our Quality of Life
Our goal is to establish our region as a “Dark Sky Destination,” welcoming visitors to connect with our beautiful night skies, and maintaining the quality of life we enjoy.
Take a look at the fun we had last year. There’s even more fun in store for this year!
Author Paul Hoban reads from his book The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light
Lake Superior Stars, an original print by Rick Allen created for the event on display at siiviis
Local restaurants like Valentini's and Amity Coffee participated with tasty information and local "gAstronomical" food and drink specials
There is something for everyone, whether you are two or two hundred! Come and check in with the cosmos. We are lining up a spate of great events for the week: be sure to check them out! Stay tuned and check back often as more events are added at www.StarrySkiesLS.org, or on Facebook at Starry Skies Lake Superior IDA. Or get in touch with Randy Larson 218-343-7332 firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you under the stars!
Happy August! Summer in the Northland is sweet. We have spotted a few changing leaves and temperatures are cooler this week. There is time enough to enjoy the summer and the crisp autumn days ahead on an outdoor deck.
We are delighted to share some great deck ideas with you using a favorite Meteek combination: Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme.
Dragonwood and Cutek Extreme for Decks
Dragonwood is thermally modified wood. Sustainably harvested wood is cooked at extremely high temperatures to become permanently water-insoluble. With most moisture, sugars and resins cooked out, the modified wood is less vulnerable to decay and also resists warping. The end result is a straight, true, high-quality wood. And the enhanced wood grain is gorgeous!
We recently completed a deck project in a Duluth neighborhood. First, we used Dragonwood for this beautiful two level deck with hot tub. We prefinished the material with Cutek Extreme which imparts excellent dimensional stability to the wood. But what holds it all up?
Supporting Cast Member: Helical Piers
Helical piers are foundation solution used to secure new or repair existing foundations. They offer a simplified alternative to a poured concrete foundation, while minimally impacting the construction site.
Basically they are like a giant screw. And they are easy to install without tearing up your yard or lawn. Check out the animated video below to see how it works.
A Few Scenes from Life on the Deck
Check out the helical piers in the foreground. Andy levels the stringers.
Andy welds these nifty ties onto the exposed helical pier pipes.
Here is a closer look at the welded attachment.
The two level deck begins to take shape.
Look at the gorgeous enhanced grain of the Dragonwood and water is beading nicely thanks to Cutek Extreme!
Be sure to give us a call so that we can assist you with your deck design. And we can send Andy over to build it if you like. Let's come up with some ideas together! 218.722.7599
Tucked away on the piney shores of Lake Vermilion is a family cabin with a design issue. The owners were frustrated by a steep stairway, reminiscent of a ladder to a sleeping loft. The handholds were inadequate and had a tendency to give one splinters.
The nearly vertical incline of the staircase reminds one of a ship's ladder.
Custom Design, Custom Solutions
At Meteek our goal is to provide custom design solutions that not only fit your life, but that fit challenging spaces as well. We had a great time finding solutions to this ladder-like stairway. We refitted the stringers with new treads and created a double railing based on the design of a ship’s ladder stairway (click here for more on ships and railings!).
Durability, sleek design and safety—a winning combination.
Andy removed the original stairway, brought it back to Meteek and performed a few wonders. He replaced the stringers and removed the cleats beneath the stairs, creating a splinter-free zone. The steps themselves are durable Richlite. Handholds cut at the front of each stair make it an easy climb for children.
Handholds cut at the front of each stair make it an easy climb for children.
Meteek’s Andy Hoffman is a wizard when it comes to creating custom pieces. After carefully measuring the space, Andy crafted each piece in our shop and built the railings with all the twists and turns necessary for the small space. He transported the pieces back to the site and expertly assembled them to fit the of the upper railing. Brilliant!
Meteek's precision prefabbing wizard Andy Hoffman welding an aluminum framework in the shop.
Andy crafts the prefabbed pieces so they fit perfectly on site around this tight corner!
Just look at these sleek fittings!
The fittings are modified sleek and durable stainless steel hardware from Q-railing. The nearly vertical railing attaches securely to the second-floor railing with cable infill, so you can make a safe transition on and off the stairs.
A beautiful combination of contemporary and rustic elements make this staircase stylish and safe.
You can read more about Andy's precision prefabbing magic here, here and here.
Richlite: Superstrengthified Paper
Richlite is an incredibly durable, extremely versatile and highly sustainable material made from resin-infused paper. Yes, it’s superstrengthified paper! It was originally developed over 70 years ago for industrial tooling and pattern making. Today, its applications are impressively diverse. Richlite is a premium surface material. Some of it's applications are in the aerospace, marine, action sports, culinary, architecture, and design industries. Machine shops and automotive manufacturers also use Richlite.
Handmade from many layers of high quality custom craft paper, Richlite’s surface texture comes from the natural variation in the way fibers lay within the paper. We appreciate that it contains 65% FSC®-certified or recycled paper. The remaining 35% is phenolic resin. Richlite’s color comes from a combination of the paper and the tone of the resin. Richlite performs similarly to a dense hardwood.
Ship's Ladder Stairway Solution
A challenging space, innovative materials, and precision prefabbing... at Meteek, we construct the elements that express the uniqueness of your endeavors. Call us today—we are excited to hear from you!
We have an exciting house addition project this summer in Gnesen Township, a lovely community north of Duluth. Polish homesteaders founded the township in 1850; and the name Gnesen came from a town in Poland – Gnesena, which means “the nesting place”.
Our addition project is nestled amidst the rolling hills and dancing woods along the Lester River. Originally constructed as a barn, the structure was purchased in 1917 and transformed into a house. Once we removed the siding from the house, we found quite the surprise underneath: squared log construction!
Here's a look at the addition as it begins to take shape.
We removed the siding to reveal the original squared log construction underneath!
A little bit of history in our own backyard
Some log structures were made with round logs, not the squared or “hewn” variety. This is mainly because hewing the logs takes extra work; homesteaders constructed log homes quickly for shelter in the frontier. At first, Pioneer builders could pick the best logs, which were selected from older trees with minimal limbs and fairly straight lines. These logs fit together well and didn’t need to be hewn.
And then there's the hewn log…
Homesteaders built hewn log cabins or squared log cabins once a primary residence was already in place. Valued for their superior insulation through a tighter log fit, hewn log cabins also became a necessity when the first settlers used up all the ideal round logs.
Detail of the squared logs – virtually a horizontal stack, with dovetailed notches.
Round log cabins required notching and left comparatively large gaps. But hewn log structures use a nearly horizontal stack. Squared log structures are secured by having every other log extend beyond the corner, which locks the logs together with large dovetails at the corners.
Views from a lovely nest
And here is the view from this lovely new nest in Gnesen Township! The large rectangular opening is one of the windows through which the rolling hills and dancing trees will be visible.
Rolling hills and dancing trees: the view from the windows of the addition.