- About us
- Green Heat
- Past Projects
- Radiant Heating
- Solar Thermal
- Building Automation
- Water Effects Displays
- Hydronics and Steam
John Ruhnke started out serving an apprenticeship back in 1983, at the age of 18. John really enjoyed working with tools and knew that is what he wanted to do. John was smart enough to go to college but chose the trades instead. John was born to build!! and happiest with a tool in his hand. From 1983 to 1990 John worked for several different plumbing and heating contractors and gained a variety of experience. At night he did side jobs on his own and went to trade school a requirement of his apprenticeship. John asked his teachers if he could substitute college class’s for his apprenticeship class’s and was turned down. After finishing the apprentice class’s some time in 87 he started to take college classes at night. He acquired a certificate in small business management from Fairfield University. He continued to take other classes at other universities too. John has traveled all over the continent taking seminars on a variety of heating topics. John enjoys learning and never really finished learning. To this day he still travels all over taking the best technical seminars.
The real education started at the race track. John bought his first performance car a Trans Am in 1984 and began tinkering on cars. He began to go to the race track in 85. He learned auto mechanics from Fred Cuttitta and continued learning from other racers at the track. John won an amateur racing championship in 88. John learned from the other racers how to modify the car and make it and parts on the car faster, stronger, lighter and better then originally designed. This is where John first became a designer as such. Fred Cuttitta was an Auto Machinist back then and was John’s chief engine guy.
In 1990 John completed the requirements for a Plumbers Contracting license. He promptly started his own business. In 91 he met his future wife Kim. In 92 he got engaged, bought a house and quit racing. The first mortgage payment was November of 92 and the last time he ran at the track was October of 92. Once the mortgage payments began racing became too expensive. John and Kim got married in 93.
In 1993 John began to miss Auto Racing. He figured out that what he missed most was the tinkering he did with the car. He missed rebuilding his car engine and began to look for a good substitute. He found that in boilers and within a couple of years he began to become a hydronic heating system expert. He modified the heating systems making them more comfortable and energy efficient. Soon he started installing radiant heating and quickly became an expert on radiant heating boilers and controls. Back then John had some industrial and commercial clients with special needs. A perfume factory with chemical piping, dry cleaners with high pressure steam, and others. John had to design systems for special applications. This is when John started designing heating systems.
In the mid 90’s John started to get some nice projects in the high end residential markets. That is when he hired his first employee, Fred Cuttitta. John always drew piping diagrams for Fred to install parts of the heating systems. Also he sent these technical drawings to control suppliers to check his systems out and make sure the piping and control strategy made sense. Then finally someone asked John to submit his drawings as part of a bid package. This was back in 99 just before his first child was born. The project was a water effects display for Stepping Stones Children’s Museum. Show Motion had been awarded the project and wanted to sub out the piping to a subcontractor. An engineer had drawn up a piping diagram for the effects but the design didn’t seem to make sense. John pointed out the problems with the design that needed to be fixed to get things to work right. After a couple of changes Show Motion decided it would be best to start from scratch with a new set of drawings. They asked him to design the system from scratch and submit a set of drawings with it. He did and got awarded the project!! The drawings were done by hand and John had no drafting skills. They looked really bad!! He decided that it was best to learn CAD because he knew his horrible penmanship would never improve by much.
In 2003 we won our first design and installation contest. We won every year after that until our last entry in 2007. We won awards four years in a row!!. I submitted my own control and piping diagrams for each contest. We continued to build custom heating systems for many years. We continue to do this to this day. We take great pride in our designs and our work.
Back in 2002, John began to do research into energy efficiency. Out of this research he developed (With the help of an engineer friend named Bob Distinti) a mathimatical formula for calculating heating system efficiency. John received a Patent for this project. In 2004 John saw the movie An inconveinient truth. The movie inspired John to continue with his research into Energy Effiency. John has been working hard on Energy Effiency for many years now and considers it his contribution to help slow global warming. The movie gave John some purpose in his life and most likely will spend the rest of his life working towards the cause.