The Minergy House

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESThe History of Superinsulated Houses in North AmericaForgotten Pioneers of Energy EfficiencySolar Versus Superinsulation: A 30-Year-Old DebateA Superinsulated House from 1984 The late 1970s were a vibrant time in solar-driven, energy-efficient housing, full of passion and innovation. The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) was founded in 1974, and members were in the thick of this experimentation.Multiple approaches had their own devoted adherents. One approach was active solar heating, with a firm engineering basis emerging from the University of Wisconsin Solar Energy Lab. Another approach was sun-tempered, superinsulated housing, pioneered by Wayne Schick at the University of Illinois, Harold Orr of the Saskatchewan Research Council, and Gene Leger in northern Massachusetts. There also was passive solar heating, championed by Ed Mazria (of The Passive Solar Energy Book) and the group at Los Alamos Scientific Labs (led by Doug Balcomb) that resulted in the three-volume Passive Solar Design Handbook.This handbook included substantial contributions from Total Environmental Action in New Hampshire, including Peter Temple, Dan Lewis, Joe Kohler, Charles Michal, and Bruce Anderson. Finally, there was the double-envelope house approach, which was advocated by architect Lee Porter Butler, with similar work occurring in Norway.Double-envelope designA double-envelope house typically had a large greenhouse or sunspace covering the south façade, connected to a natural convection air loop formed by the roof and the north wall, and a crawl space below the house, often with bare earth. The air loop path in the frame portions of the house was between an interior insulated assembly and an outer insulated assembly. The concept was that during a sunny day, the heated air from the glazed space would circulate upward and into the roof loop, down the north wall loop, and into the crawl space before returning to the bottom of the solar space. The claim was that the bulk of the solar energy was stored in the earth below the crawl space, and that energy was re-supplied at night, keeping the solar space from freezing and also buffering the heat loss through the roof and north wall. The standard envelope house was a two-story box with an all-glass south façade – these houses wouldn’t be rated highly on their architecture.The NESEA community played a significant role in double-envelope development, with members hosting three gatherings in 1979 and 1980 to share experience. Two small books emerged in 1980 — Don Booth’s The Double Shell Solar House, and William Shurcliff’s Superinsulated Houses and Double Envelope Houses.Doug Clayton wrote the performance monitoring chapter (there’s a great photo of him with Norman Saunders and Bob Smith poring over reams of paper!). Brookhaven National Lab also did some detailed monitoring of a double-envelope house and found little evidence that this reverse nighttime cycle was operating as described or that much solar energy was actually being stored in the earth beneath the house.The Minergy House: A hybridAs a young engineer I conducted research on solar and wind renewable energy during college and graduate school. I was learning everything I could about these technologies. I was skeptical of Butler’s claims about how double-envelope houses worked.I heard about the Minergy House being built in Lexington, Mass. (“Minergy” stood for MINimum enERGY). The 2,240-square-foot house, built in 1980, was a thoughtful hybrid. It featured a double-envelope design that also incorporated some direct-gain passive solar features with added thermal mass. Designed by architect Bill Mead for Doug Holmes and his family, it was emphatically not a simple box. Pueblo Bonito and Wright’s Solar Hemicycle House are cited as design precedents for this south-facing, chevron-shaped house. Doug, a chemical engineer, had significant design input on the performance side. I went to visit Doug, then in his 80s, and catch up on how the house has performed over the last 35 years.The solar engine of the house is a greenhouse built by Mark Ward. It is a salvaged steel and cypress structure, glazed with double-insulated glass. It is cradled by symmetrical wings that reach out to the southeast and southwest. The center portion is double envelope, and the wings and the second floor are direct-gain passive solar. Doors on both levels of the house can be opened to admit solar heated air directly from the greenhouse.Thermal mass is everywhere: in the dyed concrete floor slabs in the wings and second level; in the exposed concrete half walls in the first-level wings; in a salvaged timber frame floor structure with wood decking supporting the second floor; and in the multiple layers of drywall. Much of this mass doesn’t receive direct solar gain, but the area exposed to the solar heated air is large, and as it absorbs and releases heat, it stabilizes temperatures significantly.A modest thermal envelopeThe thermal envelope is modest by today’s standards. The walls and roof in the portions without the double envelope are 2×6 with batts and 2×10 with batts, each with 3/4 inch of interior rigid foil-faced foam. The loop walls add a 2×4 wall with batts as an inner wall. The roof loop is built of an upper roof of 2x8s with batts and an inner roof of 2x6s with batts. Windows to the exterior are triple-glazed. There are a few windows into the loop, with a hinged glazed panel on the inside so the exterior window can be opened. The floor over the crawl space is insulated with R-11 batts, and the crawl space is bare earth. There are 2 inches of rigid foam on the exterior of the concrete foundation walls.Doug HolmesThere is a solar thermal collector for domestic hot water suspended in the greenhouse which protects it from freezing. There is no fresh air ventilation system. Two small wood stoves provide back-up heat.There used to be a saying, “Passive solar, active people” — and the Minergy House exemplifies this. At the end of the day, if the house hasn’t been warmed by the sun, the family will light a small fire, which will burn out overnight. In the morning, if the forecast predicted overcast skies, they might light a fire to take the chill off. Temperatures in the house range from the upper 50s to the 80s F, which is common in these early solar homes. The thermal storage dampened the temperature excursions, and also guaranteed that this house would never freeze if left unattended.Lessons learnedWhat did we learn from the Minergy House and other houses like it? After 35 years, everything works! Nothing is automated or digitally controlled, so there have been no equipment failures. We’ve learned that using earth buffering to keep highly glazed buffer spaces from getting too cold is a good strategy. Sadly, in some cases, we’ve learned the hard way that exposing wood-framed buildings to bare earth can cause mold and decay. (I helped fix a decaying, moldy double-envelope house a few years ago.)I think we’ve learned that we don’t need the double envelope; in fact, it was proposed that a retrofit for these houses could involve blowing the loop full of insulation. I think the most successful of the double- envelope houses were early superinsulated houses with the glazed buffer space not only providing some solar heating, but also reducing nighttime heat loss through the large south-facing glazed areas of the living space. That need has decreased with the highly-insulating glazing available to us today.We’ve learned that we want very airtight envelopes, and that we need fresh air ventilation. Internal gains still help us heat our houses, but the source of these gains has shifted from incandescent lighting and inefficient refrigeration to the gaggle of electronic devices that fill our homes. And finally, I think we’ve learned that our knowledge is only extended by pioneers, like Doug and his family, who were willing to take risks.Marc Rosenbaum is director of engineering at South Mountain Company and a lifetime member of NESEA. This article was originally published in the Spring 2017 edition of BuildingEnergy, the magazine of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. Doug Holmes passed away on Dec. 23, 2016.last_img read more

10 months agoREVEALED: Europe’s big 5 in talks with Arsenal midfielder Ramsey

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say REVEALED: Europe’s big 5 in talks with Arsenal midfielder Ramseyby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAaron Ramsey is in talks with five of Europe’s biggest clubs about a move away from Arsenal, it has been claimed.BBC Sport says starting from January 1, the opening of the transfer window, Ramsey is able to negotiate and sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign sides.The Welshman is considering moves to PSG, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Bayern Munich.Over the past week speculation over Ramsey’s future destination has stepped up, with Juventus being the current most likely club to acquire his services. The 28-year-old is reportedly ‘increasingly tempted’ by a move to Turin and the Italian champions. last_img read more

a month agoDonnarumma insists AC Milan players behind coach Giampaolo

first_imgDonnarumma insists AC Milan players behind coach Giampaoloby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma insists the players are behind coach Marco Giampaolo.Milan threw away the lead to lose 2-1 to Torino on Thursday night.“It’s a defeat that burns. It’s a dark day and I struggled to sleep last night,” Donnarumma told Sky Sport Italia.“Yesterday I saw the team give everything, I’m sorry for everyone, the fans included. We have to follow the Coach because we’re working well and we have great ideas on how to play. We must follow him.“Giampaolo’s a great Coach. I’m sorry because yesterday we had a great game and we didn’t deserve to lose.“We’re all with him. It’s normal to struggle a bit at the start with new ideas and new players, but we should continue to follow him. We’re all with him.“After the first goal, we fell apart. We need to improve on this. If we’d remained compact, we would’ve been able to take the win home.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

21 days ago​Robertson wants ‘complete performance’ from Liverpool against Leicester

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say ​Robertson wants ‘complete performance’ from Liverpool against Leicesterby Freddie Taylor21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool full back Andy Robertson wants to see his side give the perfect performance at the weekend.The Reds are facing off against high flying an in form Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.And Robertson believes that the Reds, who have a 100 percent record in the league so far, need to prove their title credentials against a tough opponent.He also spoke about their recent 4-3 win over RB Salzburg in the Champions League.Robertson told reporters: “At three-nil up and you think you are going to be comfortable but we started probably doing things we shouldn’t have done, we let them back into the game and they are a good team. That’s why that happened.”Then when we went to 3-3 and to show the character we did was important. But we need to sort out that 50-minute period when we weren’t good enough.”We have had a lot of away games but so far, so good but we need to get better and that is the pressure we put on ourselves.”We have got results but today could have been different, Saturday could have been different so we need to look at that and we need to play better.”But when you don’t play well it is important to get results and that’s what we have done. We were very good first half but we need a complete performance and we need that on Saturday.” last_img read more

Northern Development launches new website for Love Northern BC

first_imgThe Love BC Project helps to get a community involved and invested in itself by being able to be showcased on a platform they may not otherwise be able to do for themselves. The Love BC Project helps these businesses by offering media packages that;Featuring first-rate photography, storytelling and a variety of independent locally-owned businesses in each community.Offering a search bar and directory function to quickly find businesses online, and a map function that helps residents and tourists to the community locate and visit each business with ease.The program is available to communities located within Northern Development’s service region and participating communities receive ongoing program planning and implementation support from the Northern Development staff. Businesses that wish to participate in the program are required to pay a one-time registration fee of $100 per business.The program is open to independent locally-owned businesses (non-franchise). Certain kinds of home-based businesses are eligible, but direct sales home-based businesses that are distributing for a larger brand are not. Love Northern BC shares they are a marketing tool that works best for businesses that are focused on retail goods and services rather than industrial companies.For more information on the program; CLICK HERE To view the site; CLICK HERE PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Northern Development Initiative Trust has developed the ‘Love Northern BC’ movement to help connect people with independent locally-owned businesses through unique marketing campaigns to keep more dollars in the local economy.Love Northern BC is the largest shop local program in Canada. With more than 74 northern BC communities participating, the program has helped to showcase more than 1,600 unique, locally-owned and independent northern B.C. businesses.The funding from the NDIT helps the Love Northern BC project by continuing to find and develop opportunities throughout the region to help to build connections between neighbours, shoppers, business owners, and visitors.last_img read more

Video goes viral after couple performs Love Stunt on bike

first_imgNew Delhi: A video that is doing rounds on the Internet shows a couple doing “Love stunt” on a bike. While the boy is driving the bike, the girl is sitting in front of him on the fuel tank.The video was shared by an IPS officer HGS Dhaliwal, he captioned the video “Need for new sections for MV Act [Motor Vehicle Act] violations!! Rajouri Garden crossing’. The video is said to be shot near Rajouri Garden crossing in West Delhi. The indecency and the show of affection at a public place is not only dangerous for the couple but also looked dangerous for the other motorists on the busy road during the night hours. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesThe girl on the bike can be seen sitting on the fuel tank facing the man who was riding the bike. They later indulged in some intimate Public display of affection in the middle of the road leaving the commuters stunned and shocked. In a 17-second video shot on mobile from within the car the couple is seen not just without a helmet but is also seen getting intimate. “This couple needs to be punished, they are not just risking their lives but also putting others lives in danger by performing this dangerous public display of affection,” said a commuter Pardeep Chowdhary. While the boy is seen not just driving the bike but is also seen changing lanes as the girl sitting opposite to him on the fuel tank blocks his face. In response to the video posted on Twitter, a senior Delhi traffic police officer said “As the registration number is not clear in the video, it cannot be prosecuted on the basis of video.”last_img read more

Beating the odds Former Buckeye Art Schlichter working to put life back

Art Schlichter lost everything. But now, it seems he has found salvation. Since his release from Indiana’s Marion County Jail in 2006, the former 1978-81 Ohio State quarterback who notoriously gambled his way into prison has been slowly putting the shattered pieces of his life back together. He has found work at a local radio station, his record has been clean, and he’s helping others conquer their addictions to gambling. Schlichter’s family, ripped apart by his compulsive gambling, has seen him take a more active role with them now than at any other point in his life. “I have two kids that I love and I wanted to be there for them, but for many years I wasn’t,” Schlichter said in a phone interview with The Lantern. “Now that I am, it feels good. Same with my mother. It’s good to be there for her.” His mother, Mila, who lost a breast to cancer and a husband to suicide, came close to losing her son as well. Once an All-American and arguably the greatest quarterback ever to play at OSU, Schlichter developed an affinity for gambling during college that would spiral beyond his control for the next 24 years of his life. During his college years, he was often seen at Scioto Downs racetrack, placing bets to relieve himself of the overwhelming pressure that comes with being an OSU quarterback. “Gambling is excitement,” Schlichter said. “People get involved with it because it’s fun and takes their mind off of what they’re doing at that point. Yet, they don’t realize how devastating it can be if it’s done the wrong way or if that person has a propensity to be an addict.” He left OSU as the school’s all-time leader in passing yards, with 7,547, a record that still stands. When Schlichter was selected fourth overall by the then-Baltimore Colts in the 1982 NFL Draft, the struggling organization expected him to restore the team to its past glory. But when he received his first paychecks, the money left his hands faster than a football as he started making high-stakes bets on major sporting events, including other games in the NFL. Before the end of his rookie season, he had already gambled away his $350,000 signing bonus. Schlichter became so focused on gambling that he did little to prepare himself for the NFL and saw only limited action during his rookie season. His problems made national headlines after threats from bookies forced him to contact the FBI, leading the NFL to discover his addiction. Although Schlichter maintains he never bet on any games involving any teams he played for (including OSU), the NFL still suspended him until the 1984 season. Schlichter’s gambling problems continued after his reinstatement, and the Colts released him five games into the 1985 season. He never played in the NFL again. For the next several years, Schlichter struggled to find work as his debts mounted. Any money he made was put down as action, hoping to win enough money to pay off his debt. His notoriety as one of the biggest failures in NFL history only fueled his addiction. “Gambling was my way of killing the pain,” Schlichter said. “It distracted me from reality. And the more pain you’re in, the more you want to use.” Even starting his own family couldn’t pull Schlichter from his addiction. In 1988, he married Mitzi Shinaver, with whom he later had two daughters, Taylor and Madison. He even found success playing in the Arena Football League and hosting a radio show in Cincinnati. But he lost all of that when he was arrested for writing a bad check that was stolen from his sister-in-law’s bank account. That was the final straw for Mitzi, who could no longer deal with her husband’s problems. She left Schlichter and moved to Indiana with their daughters. Schlichter fell into depression as his mind and spirit seemingly became eviscerated. Alone with only gamblers and his demons as company, he contemplated suicide. “You get suicidal thoughts when you feel like there’s nowhere else to go,” Schlichter said. “Any addiction brings that on at some point. Everybody that goes through an addiction has thoughts of just wanting the day to end and not have to deal with it anymore. I was one of those people and I’m not alone.” He continued to gamble, hoping to alleviate the pain he had caused everyone around him. After the FBI raided his home in search of stolen money in 1994, he was sent to prison. He started gambling almost immediately after his release in 1996. “Anytime you go back out, you think you can conquer it,” Schlichter said. “Gambling is a lot of lies. It doesn’t get better. It can only get worse.” Schlichter spent most of his freedom like he did during his stint in the NFL, dodging authorities like they were blitzing linebackers. And as was the case in the NFL, he couldn’t avoid them. Between 1994 and 2006, Schlichter spent more than 10 years in 44 prisons, losing an estimated $1.5 million. The two years of “freedom” were highlighted by two awful experiences. The first was the suicide of his father, Max, whose body was found in a swimming pool in 2002. The second was after prison guards caught him gambling on college basketball in 2004. Schlichter was punished with solitary confinement, where the loneliness brought on by years of self-inflicted mental wounds tortured him for four months. “You really don’t have anywhere to go but death,” Schlichter said. “It’s very depressing, very isolated. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.” In 2005, Schlichter lost $20 betting on a basketball game in prison. It would be his last bet. When Schlichter was released from prison in 2006, he stayed at a treatment center in Baltimore before moving back with his mother, who was one of the few people who visited him in prison and supported him during his darkest years. “My mother had to go the extra mile to stay by my side, and that’s one thing she instilled in me,” Schlichter said. “You have to love your kids and be there for them in the good times and the bad times. That’s what I try to do.” In 2006, Schlichter founded Gambling Prevention Awareness, a non-profit organization aimed at helping compulsive gamblers find treatment for their addictions. Assuring confidentiality to those who seek his help, Schlichter offers advice about treatment, prevention and legal action to those in need and their family members. He also regularly attends speaking engagements on behalf of the organization, warning people about the dangers of compulsive gambling. In 2008, Schlichter was hired to cover OSU football by the Columbus radio station 610 WTVN. WTVN Program Director Mike Elliott said that, despite his past, there was little opposition to hiring Schlichter by listeners and station employees. “He came on and was very humble and shared some of his stories in a real raw and honest fashion,” Elliott said. “Once the curiosity factor waned, his football knowledge took over. The guy knows what he’s talking about.” Matt McCoy, sports director for WTVN, who works on-air with Schlichter, said Schlichter’s radio work has not only been helpful to the station, but also to his image. “He’s very natural,” McCoy said. “That’s one of the things that impressed us right away. He’s also won a lot of people over. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. We get that almost weekly.” Schlichter said his transition back to free society has been helped tremendously by the Buckeye faithfuls. “Buckeye fans have been great to me,” Schlichter said. “I’m very lucky to be a part of Buckeye nation. Their support makes me proud to be a Buckeye.” Nonetheless, McCoy said there are always some people who won’t accept Schlichter on account of his past transgressions. “Some people just don’t want to let that go,” McCoy said. “It’s like (former OSU running back) Maurice Clarett. Hopefully he doesn’t slip up. He’s paid his debt to society. Same thing with (Schlichter). There are people with hard feelings who don’t want him associated with the program. My thought is ‘move on.’ Let somebody try to live their life and do it the right way.” Still dealing with years’ worth of debt, Schlichter fears that casinos built in Ohio will ruin the lives of others like him. In the months leading up to last year’s passage of Ohio Issue 3, Schlichter and his mother made several commercials opposing the bill. Although he’s not opposed to gambling, Schlichter said he believes Ohio Issue 3, which plans to offer 2 percent of its revenue to the state to pay for gambling prevention and addiction programs, will not do enough to help prevent compulsive gambling. “My concern is about what it’s going to do to help those gamblers who are hurt,” Schlichter said. “I don’t think the issue is written well enough to do that.” Schlichter is also concerned about the exposure gambling has received in recent years. TV broadcasts of poker tournaments and the development of online gambling will lead to disaster, he said. “I think gambling is going to become an epidemic in our country with all the outlets these days,” Schlichter said. “It’s much more exposed than it’s ever been.” As for his family, Schlichter visits his daughters in Indiana as much as he can. He said he maintains a fair relationship with Mitzi, even though she has since remarried. He also takes care of his mother, whose health has been deteriorating. Schlichter is confident he can successfully fight the addiction. However, he knows he is forever shackled to the temptations of gambling and that every day for the rest of his life will be a struggle. “I can’t judge what’s going to happen tomorrow or the day after that,” Schlichter said. “I’m just trying to get through today, do the right thing and take care of myself and my family.” read more

Mexico can imagine amazing things – Hernandez

Mexico can imagine amazing things – Hernandez

first_imgJavier “Chicharito” Hernandez is certain that Mexico have earned the right to  “imagine amazing things” following their impressive start to the World CupAfter defeating reigning champions Germany and South Korea in their two opening games, Juan Carlos Osorio’s side head over to today’s final Group F game against Sweden as the surprise leaders with just a further point required to ensure progress to the next round.Hernandez scored his 50th goal for Mexico at international level in their 2-1 win over South Korea last Saturday to equal Luis Hernandez as the national side’s all-time leading scorer.And the West Ham United forward feels that the squad is proving themselves as winners on football’s biggest stage.Quiz: How much do you know about Hirving Lozano? Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 6, 2019 Time for you to tell us everything you can answer about Hirving Lozano. We will ask you 10 questions about the Mexican forward. Have…“The best thing is sharing this with amazing people and that we are brave,” stated Hernandez, as quoted by ESPN.“Aside from imagining amazing things, we do them … We’ve created a team that deserves to win.”On the past seven times that Mexico went unbeaten in their opening two games, they progressed to the knockout stage.Meanwhile, Forty-eight (96%) of Hernandez’s 50 goals for Mexico have come from the inside of the box.last_img read more