Thanks for putting so much effort into this so far Raul.
I’ve had a look at our tenancy agreement and it says the following about the use of the unit we are in:
Having a google this leads to the following:
Subsquent Class B2, B3, B4 onwards get more and more industrial. A bit of a google shows that welding is typically classed as a B2 activity. But this would be in the case of us running a welding business where the quantity of welding would be significant. The key to keeping within class B1 is the last sentence: “Carried out in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area…”
The intention is for these portable extractors to deal with everything at source. Therefore we have a valid argument that the introduction of welding will keep us within class B1.
Somewhere in our welding H&S docs should be a statement such as:
The fabrication room will be used for occasional small scale metalworking by DIY enthusiasts.
The workshop is in the centre of floor plan of the mill on the ground floor, It is bound to one side by a lift shaft, two sides by further Hackspace areas and the fourth side by a little used corridor. Noise-bleed to neighbours will be minimised by the historic construction of the mill - Thick masonry walls throughout and sand/rubble filled masonry vaulted ceilings will provide sufficient acoustic attenuation.
Any fumes, smells, smoke, soot, ash, dust and grit produced from the fabrication workshop will be dealt with at source through portable and self-contained extraction units and a robust cleaning protocol.
It is therefore reasonable to carry out these works without detriment to the amenity of the local area beyond Wellington House where Manchester Hackspace is situated.
As mentioned about the insurers. They would like to see our completed H&S pack and training protocol to show their underwriters before approving insurance. I could give you their number and you can ask them further questions yourself if you’d like. We should make sure we get this stuff approved with the insurers before we start buying expensive kit.
Nice 3d model! I’d suggest the first phase of this would just be getting a single portable extraction unit, rather than the two pictured. If it proves popular, we could think about getting another in the future. But i don’t think we have the money to buy two of these units at the moment (or at least there any many things we need to spend money on developing around the space).
It is also worth thinking about the messy element of the room. How will people clean themselves and the area afterwards. Currently oily hands have to walk from the metalworking area to the toilet/kitchen to wash, this is going to get worse when we have a proper fabrication room. Ideally we wouldn’t have anyone cleaning themselves in the kitchen as this is a sanitary space. Similar for the bathroom really, oily swarf covered hands is a bit of a pain. I’ve no idea if there is a drain anywhere near this room. If not, can we learn something from how building sites/mobile welding people work?
At the moment, i’m probably the best placed board member to deal with this. But given my departure in January (and mad rush around that started a month ago), i’ll raise it at our next board meeting in a weeks time to see if anyone else could better be your point of contact.