Lessons Learned the Hard Way

first_imgFive years ago, I completed a green remodel of my family’s home. We included green features like solar electric panels, a solar hot water system, recycled lumber, Trex decking, and many other green products. But since the remodeling work was completed, we’ve had years of consistently high propane bills, and I began to question whether my house is actually any greener or more sustainable that the average home.For the past three years, our home has consumed between 1,300 and 1,500 gallons of propane per year. That’s “sustainable,” all right — for the oil industry! I have since learned that while using recycled, reclaimed, and renewable products is a noble green building objective, it’s more important to produce an energy-efficient, durable, healthy building that conserves water. Once that’s done, you can supplement your energy with renewables and fill in with as many green products as you like.An energy auditFrustrated by our high energy bills, we hired Balance Point Home Performance Contractors to test our home and help devise strategies for reducing our energy use. These energy auditors performed a blower-door test to determine shell leakage, used infrared thermography to locate leaks, calculated the required heating and cooling loads according to Manual J from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), tested the safety of our combustion appliances, and measured the actual efficiency of the heating and cooling systems.When we remodeled our house, we had chosen to install a radiant floor heating system. Although it was more expensive than other heating systems, it was supposed to be more comfortable and more energy efficient. The radiant tubing was installed in the joist bays below our subfloor. The HVAC contractor chose the less-efficient method of hanging the tubing in the bays instead of stapling it up to the subfloor with heat transfer plates. The contractor also connected the tubing to our uninsulated rim joists, which does a great job of radiating heat to the outdoors. I was advised to use foil-backed fiberglass batts underneath the PEX tubing to reflect heat upward. That’s fine, if you want to keep all the critters warm and cozy in your crawl space — because the fiberglass batts leak heat like a sieve.Furthermore, it turns out that our boiler was considerably oversized. According to the Manual J calculations, our peak heating load is 46,000 Btu/h, but somehow we ended up with a 90,000 Btu/h boiler — twice the necessary size.Fixing these problems won’t be cheapNow, we’re facing the need to downsize the boiler, remove the tubing connections from the rim joists, add heat transfer plates in our joist bays, and install rigid foam insulation under our PEX tubing and at the interior of our rim joists. Then I’ll need to air seal the whole assembly. What an incredible waste of more energy — my energy!The solar hot water system with a tankless water heater as backup has never operated effectively. Solar hot water systems will likely be standard practice someday, but for now they are expensive, and most plumbers aren’t experienced in the correct installation of solar equipment.In retrospect, our tankless water heater was a mistake. Some tankless systems are designed for solar backup, but we mistakenly chose a model that was not designed to accept preheated (solar-heated) water. In general, tankless water heaters provide minimal energy savings, cost about three times as much as a storage unit, and actually waste more water than a storage unit due to the delay in firing. They do, however, produce an endless supply of hot water. But, how is that a green selling point in water-challenged California?Stopping air leaksBuilding shell leakage, in my opinion, are responsible for some of the worst energy losses in most homes. Air leaks are caused by builders’ lack of knowledge and poor workmanship. Air leaks into attics can be easily reduced by using spray foam to seal ceiling leaks and by installing an air barrier on the back side of kneewalls. Air sealing roof vent channels and interstitial cavities is not hard work; it just needs to be done. Reducing shell leakage is probably more important, more effective, and less expensive than the majority of green products on the market.With the 50% California rebate we received in 2004, our photovoltaic (PV) system might appear as a grand success. But it will take approximately 15 years for the PV system to repay itself. It might be a fine investment for those with a big budget, but PV should be way down the list when money is limited. We cannot simply buy sustainability; we must achieve sustainability through careful workmanship throughout the building process.On the positive side, we did make some smart green choices. We used structural insulated panels (SIPs) for our addition, and they have a high R-value and perform well. The Loewen casement windows also function well with minimal air leakage. And we love our interior cabinets, trim, and doors, all made from recycled Douglas fir and cherry certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).Indoor air quality must be carefully considered when building a new home or remodeling. Tighter homes require a good mechanical ventilation system. Get fresh, filtered air from clean places, not stale air leakage from crawl spaces and attics. Test your home for radon. Test all gas appliances for combustion safety. Use carbon monoxide detectors, and be careful if your garage is attached to the house. Car exhaust and other toxins can leak into your home when it is under a negative pressure.All new equipment needs to be commissionedFinally, don’t assume that any particular building system or mechanical system will automatically be energy efficient. Regardless of the type of equipment you choose, any system can either perform beautifully or perform pathetically. Be sure that any work you do is tested by a home-performance contractor to be sure it performs to energy efficient, healthy standards. I wish I had known that five years ago.— E. Conrad Welch owns Dovetail Construction and works as a green building consultant.last_img read more

After Game 1 struggles, Cone expecting huge fightback from Meralco

first_imgLOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Espejo picks up another MVP Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games “We just got them on a night where they may be not totally prepared. They’re the number one three-point shooting team and it was an unusual night for them. Let’s give credit to our defense, but they really missed a lot of three-pointers. They’re unfamiliar with the court and the rings and whatever plays into that,” he said. “But they’ve been awesome all conference and we expect them to come back and hit their shots in Araneta Coliseum cause that’s where we all play.”That’s why Cone isn’t putting too much thought to the Game 1 win, saying it “is not representative of anything for the series” and it’s up to the Gin Kings to prepare themselves for what could be a huge fightback from the Bolts.“They had a lot of open shots, a lot of open threes and that’s what they’ve been good on all conference long, and they didn’t hit them. It’s an anomaly tonight that they missed shots, so we expect them to hit shots next game which will put a lot of pressure on our offense and on our defense,” he said. “We just got to continue to try to defend and get out on the perimeter. We didn’t do much of that tonight, but we didn’t pay for it cause they missed a lot of shots.”Ginebra shoots for a 2-0 series lead in Game 2 on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLUCENA — Coach Tim Cone admitted that even he was surprised with how flawless Ginebra played in its 102-87 Game 1 win against Meralco to begin the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.“Not at all,” he said when asked if he expected this kind of game from his wards on Friday. “I thought we’ll struggle playing out-of-town.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City The Gin Kings played a masterful game opposite of Cone’s expectations, shooting 45 percent from the field and dishing out 26 assists as they controlled the game from start to finish.The Bolts, meanwhile, were the ones who struggled as they fired a paltry 2-of-17 clip from threes in the first half that put them in a hole early before finishing the game on a measly 39-percent clip from the field.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“They looked a little rusty. They didn’t look real sharp. They’re coming off a four-game winning streak and a sweep of a series,” remarked Cone.While the Ginebra mentor is not taking away anything from his player’s efforts, he believes unfamiliarity with the Quezon Convention Center may have contributed to the Meralco’s bad performances. MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

RES dept engineer held taking bribe

first_imgJhabua (MP), Jul 6 (PTI) An executive engineer posted with the Rural Engineering Services (RES) department here was today caught red-handed by Lokayukta Police while he was allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 19,000 from a contractor.Pravesh Soni had demanded a bribe of Rs 20,000 from the contractor for clearing his bill of Rs 11 lakh.The contractor had constructed a play ground in the Sports Complex in Jhabua town with an estimated cost of Rs 80 lakh.After he submitted bills for the payment of second instalment of Rs 11 lakh, Soni demanded 2 per cent commission for it, following which the contractor tipped-off Lokayukta office about it, Inspector Asha Sejkar told reporters.Acting on the tip-off, a trap was laid at Sonis office and he was nabbed red-handed while he took the money.A case under relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against the engineer and further investigations are on, the inspector added. PTI COR MAS ARS SUK RYSlast_img read more

Tsiamis Takes Bronze Medal in Berlin

first_imgBERLIN – It took him almost 20 years to post the biggest success of his career. Greek triple jumper Dimitris Tsiamis won the bronze medal at the European Championships in Berlin at the age of 36… Tsiamis with a leap at 16,78 metres in his third attempt got the bronze and posted his best jump in the season.It was the sixth medal for Greece in Berlin. Three gold, two silver and one bronze.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

Lakshya Sen wins gold in Badminton Asia Junior Championships

first_imgLakshya Sen stunned the top seed to bag a gold medal at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Jakarta on Sunday.Lakshya became the third Indian after Late Gautam Thakkar (1965) and PV Sindhu (2012) to win a gold medal at the Asia Junior Championships.The Indian sixth seed registered an easy 21-19, 21-18 victory in 46 minutes over Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the Under-19 final.Lakshya, who had won a bronze in 2016 Championships, was in sensational form in the tournament.A proud moment for India and @lakshya_sen as the tricolorsoars high in Jakarta after the World No 9 secured a top of the podium finish, winning the first gold in 6 years at the Asian Junior Championship. #NationalAnthem #IndiaontheRise pic.twitter.com/ak7TWnlxdzBAI Media (@BAI_Media) July 22, 2018What a marvelous game by young #badminton champion @lakshya_sen who wrested a Gold in Mens Singles at Asian Junior Championship defeating Junior World no1 K Vitidsarn. Congratulations Lakshya on a very big win. India is proud of you. @BAI_Media pic.twitter.com/ht7Ml6IwBEHimanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 22, 2018He earlier dispatched second seed Li Shifeng in quarter-finals before brushing aside fourth-seeded Indonesian Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay 21-7, 21-14 in men’s singles semi-finals.What a brilliant performance by @lakshya_sen to win the of boys singles in #Badminton Asia Jr. Championship final over top seeded #KunlavutVitidsarn.Well done champion! The nation is immensely proud of you! @BAI_Media @Ra_THORe @PIB_India @cmouttarakhand @MIB_India pic.twitter.com/3HTbXeqKgIDept of Sports MYAS (@IndiaSports) July 22, 2018India’s new Golden Boy!@lakshya_sen enter record books,ending a wait of 53 years to win a gold in the mens singles event at the Asian Junior Championship with a flawless performance; beats World No1 K.Vitidsarn 21-19,21-18 to secure his biggest ever career medal #IndiaontheRise pic.twitter.com/xwRxMT6wP1advertisementBAI Media (@BAI_Media) July 22, 2018It was the first meeting between Lakshya and Vitidsarn but the Indian proved himself to be too strong for his opponent. Interestingly, all his last three victories came in straight games.”I am happy to win the tournament. It will boost my confidence. I played in the team event and then in the individual event, so it was a long tournament. The focus was on recovering well after each match and I am happy I could play well and win,” Lakshya told PTI.”It was very hectic. In fact, ahead of the tournament I had to tweak my training a bit as I had suffered a shin split. During the tournament also I had to take pills sometimes to curb the pain,” he said.”Overall, it was a good tournament. I have played all these top players before, so I knew their game.”India’s junior national coach Sanjay Mishra also showered praise on Lakshya.”Winning any tournament is a big thing and he has clinched the gold in a tournament where the best of world compete. We know Asia is the hub of badminton and winning the Asia title will give him a big boost,” he said.”The Thai player was playing more of a rally game and he was getting points, so we decided to change the strategy and finish it quick. It helped as Lakshya started dominating the proceedings.”(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Eddie the Eagle Vote for another Olympics

first_imgCALGARY – The Yes side of the Calgary 2026 bid is getting a boost from a huge ’88 legacy.Michael “Eddie” Edwards, better known as Eddie the Eagle, landed at the Calgary International Airport Sunday, telling Calgarians to “check the little box that says ‘yes’” on Nov. 13. “Vote for another Olympics!” he smiled, adding the Winter Games are a very special event.The Brit who owned hearts of Calgarians and Canadians alike in 1988 told a group of admirers and reporters waiting at YYC it’s great to be back in Calgary.“I was in Calgary for the Stampede in July so it’s always nice to come back to Calgary… I feel like this is my home–it’s where Eddie the Eagle was born shall I say.”The Eagle has landed at @FlyYYC! Eddie the Eagle is in Calgary to share his support for a Calgary 2026 Olympic Bid @660NEWS. @BTCityNewsCGY pic.twitter.com/lxxMzUVtqR— Kass Patterson (@kassonair) November 4, 2018He is not the first athlete to support the yes side of the debate; Jarome Iginla, Haley Wickenheiser, Jesse Lumsden, and Kaillie Humphries are a just a handful of the hometown heroes pushing for a yes vote.Eddie says an Olympic games can bring a lot to a city, like enthusiasm, excitement, love of sports, and camaraderie, pointing to the ’88 games. “I think back…Calgarians were so proud to host the Olympic Games. It was such a special Olympics. I’m really biased,” he said, adding it was his dream to compete in a games.“It was a fantastic Olympics.” As far as the magic of a games goes, Eddie told CityNews the Olympics are not made special by the “characters” that come out of it.READ MORE: Calgary Olympic debate shifting towards plebiscite arguments“I’m not sure if there will be other characters like myself anymore at the Olympics, but that doesn’t make the Olympics any less special. I think all the athletes that go there it’s their dream to be there and they want to do well and it’s always a very special event, and I’m hoping that will remain so despite other difficulties.”He says hopefully a 2026 Olympics will be bigger and than the games that put him on the map and says it’s time to put Calgary back in the spotlight. He added the 2026 games don’t necessarily mean Calgary needs to build new facilities. “Why build new ski jumps if you’ve already got them? Use what you’ve got.”READ MORE: The debate over Olympic infrastructure for a Calgary 2026 bidIf Calgary does vote yes and moves forward with a bid, Eddie says he will absolutely be there for it eight years from now.“Of course–if I’m still alive!” he joked.Calgarians vote in a non-binding plebiscite Nov. 13.-with files from Kass Patterson, 660 NEWS and Derek Brade, CityNewslast_img read more

Bill Clinton Announces Future Of The Americas Event

first_imgPresident Bill Clinton has announced a roster of international leaders from the private and public sectors across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States who will participate in a one-time Future of the Americas convening on December 11 at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida.This convening is part of President Clinton’s long-standing commitment to economic prosperity, investment, and innovation across the western hemisphere, through his work in office and post-presidency through the Clinton Foundation.Twenty years after President Clinton convened the first Summit of the Americas, this convening will bring leaders together from across the hemisphere to create space for them to have a conversation about the next twenty years, with a focus on how to strengthen investment, jobs, health, and education. The Future of the Americas will complement the official Summit of the Americas in April 2015.The agenda of President Clinton’s Future of the Americas convening will encourage cross-sector collaboration across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States. Discussion topics will include energy, infrastructure, the environment, agriculture, small and medium-sized enterprises, women and girls, technology, chronic diseases, nutrition, primary education, and vocational training. This convening is a working meeting, with an emphasis on interactive, roundtable discussions.“I’m looking forward to our Future of the Americas discussions in Miami. There’s been tremendous progress across our hemisphere since we first came together twenty years ago, and now more than ever, it’s clear the next twenty years in our hemisphere will depend largely on the actions that leaders from all sectors and countries take today,” said President Clinton. “This meeting will give people an opportunity to focus on key challenges and opportunities – around jobs, education, health and the need for inclusive political, economic, and social policies. I’m thankful for the leadership of the people who are participating, and hopeful that our discussions will re-energize their efforts to shape our shared future in ever more positive ways.”Participants in the Future of the Americas discussions include Dr. Valentin Abe, Founder, Caribbean Harvest; Gastón Acurio, Chef, La Mar by Gastón Acurio; Fidel Andueza, Head of the Americas, Libra Group; Carlos Julio Ardila, Vice President of the Board, Organización Ardila Lülle; Steffano Bertozzi, Dean, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley; Carlos Bulgheroni, CEO, Bridas Energy; Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, President, Grupo Aval; Adriana Cisneros, CEO and Vice Chairman, The Cisneros Group of Companies; Gustavo Cisneros, Chairman, The Cisneros Group of Companies; Henry G. Cisneros, Executive Chairman, CityView Companies; Vicky Colbert, Executive Director, Fundación Escuela Nueva; David Crane, President and CEO, NRG Energy; Hernando de Soto, President, Institute for Liberty and Democracy; Jorge Errázuriz, Partner, BTG Pactual; Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Estefan Enterprises; Alfonso Fanjul, CEO, Fanjul Corp; Angélica Fuentes, CEO, Grupo Omnilife; Alejandro García Padilla, Governor, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; Frank Giustra, President and CEO, Fiore Financial Corporation; Rolando González-Bunster, Chairman and CEO, InterEnergy Holdings Ltd.; Nizan Guanaes, Chairman and Founder, Grupo ABC; Gabriela León, CEO, GRESMEX SA de CV; Phillip Levine, Mayor, Miami Beach; Alfredo Mesa, Executive Director, Marlins Foundation; Thomas F. McLarty, Chairman, McLarty Associates; Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank; Stanley Motta, President, Motta Internacional, S.A.; Dyer Narinesingh, President, University of Trinidad and Tobago; Eduardo Padrón, President, Miami Dade College; Nicholas Prouty, President, Putnam Bridge Funding Jennifer Pryce, Founder and CEO, Calvert Foundation; Frank Rainieri, President and CEO, Grupo Puntacana; Julissa Reynoso, U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay; Carlos Rodríguez-Pastor, Chairman and CEO, Intercorp; David Rothkopf, President and CEO, Garten Rothkopf, Israel Ruiz, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Alejandro Santo Domingo, Managing Director, Quadrant Capital Advisors, Inc.; Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia; Donna Shalala, President, University of Miami; Carlos Slim, Chairman, Grup Carso; Javier Soto, President and CEO, The Miami Foundation and Gerardo Werthein, Chairman, Caja de Seguros S.A., and many others.For more information, a complete list of featured participants, and the most up-to-date schedule visit www.clintonfoundation.org/futureoftheamericas.last_img read more

In Morocco There is a Great king Who Appointed an Islamist

Rabat – French Former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, praised  Morocco’s stability on Saturday under the leadership of King Mohammed VI.Speaking at the headquarters of his party before several hundred new members of his party about the future of the southern Mediterranean region, Sarkozy cited the stability of Morocco as an example of progress in the world.The former French president said that Morocco is a country where development is positive, representing a unique model apart from the landscape in the rest of the southern Mediterranean. “In Morocco, fortunately we have a great King, who named an Islamic Prime Minister, but who rules Morocco.”The former French president warned that the entire Middle East is collapsing, “We must push for the emergence of moderate regimes,” He said.For example, “The international coalition has not even been able to prevent Daesh from setting foot in Palmyra, the cradle of culture and humanity,” said Sarkozy.According to Sarkozy, ”the vast majority in the Middle East who want peace, say the international community is not determined to defend it.”Following the deadly civil clashes in Syria and Iraq, he predicted that four or five countries will emerge out of Iraq and Syria. read more

Stay order against arrest of Gotabaya further extended

The stay order was issued to the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) against arresting Rajapaksa over the alleged misappropriation of public funds.The FCID was looking to arrest Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the use of public funds for the construction of the D.A.Rajapaksa museum when he was the Secretary of Defence. A stay order issued by the Court of Appeal preventing the arrest of former Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has been further extended February 15.The stay order had earlier been extended from December 15 till today. Gotabaya Rajapaksa had filed a petition in court against the move to arrest him. (Colombo Gazette)

UN and Brazil join forces to boost poor nations technical ability to

The agreement provides for multilateral accords deals the joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Brazilian Government and other developing countries and includes setting up an International Centre for Technical Cooperation on AIDS based in Brazil. “The new initiative will give other countries the necessary tools to effectively fight AIDS, now that financing is greatly increasing,” UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said in the Brazilian capital Brasilia yesterday. “Making this money work is now a priority. We urgently need to identify new ways for countries to build technical capacity to tackle the epidemic, the largest human development crisis in history.” Dr. Piot, who met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, paid tribute to the country’s “unrivalled leadership and creativity” as “a model in tackling both HIV prevention and treatment head-on.” He noted that 20 years into the pandemic “the linkages between poverty, hunger and AIDS are now more evident than ever.”The new centre will initially be funded by UNAIDS and the Brazilian Government. Additional resources will be raised through the private sector and international foundations.In a related development, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an initiative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, unveiled its first communications campaign today in Paris, aimed at raising France’s public awareness of the Fund as a global financing mechanism and winning the commitment of donors.Over 40 magazines and newspapers have so far agreed to support the campaign, including daily newspapers, news magazines, women’s publications, television magazines and leisure publications. Television will show 30-second spots and the cinemas a 50-second version. read more