Blog Review: Voices From BuildingGreen

first_imgUnlike most of the blogs we review here, BuildingGreen is not the voice of a single author. Rather, it’s a portal to a broad collection of blogs, news articles, product information, and other posts written by many people.BuildingGreen is the work of an independent publishing company based in Brattleboro, Vermont, which also publishes the highly respected Environmental Building News and GreenSpec. As the company’s website explains, “The corporate mission of BuildingGreen, Inc. is to facilitate transformation of the North American building industry into a force for local, regional and global environmental protection; for preservation and restoration of the natural environment; and for creation of healthy indoor environments — while promoting the well-being of the company and its employees, owners, and associates.”Visitors to the home page get a number of choices. There are three major content divisions (BuildingGreen Suite, LEEDuser, and Environmental Building News) plus a number of tabs at the top linking readers to news, green products, and case studies, among other things. Some of the information is free, and some of it is behind a pay wall, accessible only to members.There is plenty here for those who don’t want to pony up the membership fee. Recent news items covered the split between the International Passive House Institute and the Passive House Institute U.S., the dismissal of Henry Gifford’s lawsuit against the U.S. Green Building Council, and changes in Energy Star labeling for appliances.Blogs are accessible to non-members, as are summaries of green building case studies. But if you want to dive deeper, or get detailed product information, you’ll need to join.In this respect, BuildingGreen is not unlike GreenBuildingAdvsior, whose two-tiered structure also offers both free content and content behind a pay wall. No matter what side of the wall you find yourself on, the work is authoritative, thorough, and readable. Its authors include Alex Wilson (the founder of Environmental Building News, now on sabbatical), Nadav Malin, Peter Yost, and Tristan Roberts, among others.Yes, some of those names are familiar. You’ve seen the work of Wilson, Yost, and Roberts at GreenBuildingAdvisor, too. BuildingGreen and The Taunton Press partnered to build GreenBuildingAdvisor; although the two have since ended their formal business relationship, evidence of that cross-pollination remains.EBN and BuildingGreen have a very long pedigree, and Alex and his associates have been covering green building and its related fields longer than anyone else in the business.Here are some excerpts from recent blogs: The appeal of white cedar shingles“White cedar shingle siding protect a building from the elements, have a small environmental footprint, are easy to maintain, and they look good.“After a long summer of too much rain followed by too much heat, I am finally able start painting the clapboards on our house. The house desperately needs it, but I don’t look forward to the prepping, scraping, caulking, and eventual painting. It got me thinking: what siding would I choose if I were starting over with a new home? (Hey, I can dream.) The answer was simple for me … white cedar shingles.“White cedar is also moisture-resistant. It has a naturally low moisture content, yet it does not absorb moisture like most other wood. And once the shingles dry, they ‘stabilize’ to resist cracking and splitting. Untreated, they only need to air dry, so no kiln drying is necessary, saving the manufacturing energy that other woods typically require.” Reflections from Robert Riversong“In his seminal 1963 book Never Cry Wolf (made into a Disney movie in 1983), Canadian author Farley Mowat wondered how the Arctic Inuit people could live in caribou skin tents full of holes, until he realized that their primary shelter was the double-layer furred skin clothing they wore year round. Their shelters — summer tents and winter igloos — were merely secondary shelters to offer a modicum of protection from the elements while still retaining a deep connection to the environing landscape which contained and sustained them.“Mowat’s other discovery, which helped turn worldwide public opinion from the myth of the “big, bad wolf” toward a deep and abiding respect for this highly social and playful animal which is at the core of the Arctic ecosystem, was that ‘We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be — the mythological epitome of a savage, ruthless killer — which is, in reality, no more than the reflected image of ourself.’“The mindset which perceived the wolf as monster was the same paradigm which understood nature as wild and mean and something that needed to be tamed, controlled, and isolated from our daily ‘civilized’ lives. This foundational myth of civilization, which led us to build fences to keep wild nature out of our domesticated spaces, also resulted in the incarceration of humanity in an entirely self-reflective world detached from the ground of our being.“The more we denied the wildness of our own selves, the more we projected our suppressed carnality onto such creatures as wolves, and the more thoroughly we enclosed ourselves within both philosophical and material cages.” On paying for energy inefficiency“The strategy of living with inefficient homes and cars, and then looking to retirement accounts and paychecks to pay for that inefficiency appears more and more questionable. And I have some numbers to prove it.“An astute analysis was recently posted to by Ted Clifton, a builder, and the founder of Zero-Energy Plans ( in Washington. The numbers Ted put together are pretty straightforward, but the conclusions might be startling to many people, particularly those living in a home with significant energy bills, while also thinking about retirement.“Clifton quotes statistics kept by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which has been keeping track, since 1974, of the price that consumers pay for energy. Although energy prices are very volatile, and are different for various energy sources (oil goes up and down, while trending up over time, while electricity is more stable, while still going up), Clifton found that the average annual increase for overall energy prices including natural gas, heating oil, and propane, has been 6.33%.“According to Ted, ‘By comparison, the Consumer Price Index, used by the government to calculate increases to your Social Security check, has only risen at an annual rate of just under 1.54% during that same period. It is clear just from looking at these two numbers that if you are trying to use your Social Security check to pay for your energy use, you will be falling behind by about 4.8% per year.’” New approach for solar thermal systems for cold climates“Most solar thermal systems installed in cold climates use antifreeze, but Ritter XL Solar is engineering its systems with water. Can a large-scale commercial system survive the cold?“Ritter XL is doing what few solar thermal manufacturers have dared: creating large-scale solar thermal systems in cold climates running on only water. The company is using its compound parabolic concentrating (CPC) collectors to generate high-temperature water for commercial, multifamily, district heating, and other applications that have high demand for hot water. Distributed in the U.S. by Regasol USA, a subsidiary of the German company Ritter Gruppe, these complex systems require precise engineering and controls but can provide supplemental solar hot water in cold climates without freezing.”last_img read more

Brazil take on Croatia in World Cup opener amid defensive woes

first_imgBrazil enters its final days of preparations for the World Cup paying extra attention to its defenceBrazil enters its final days of preparations for the World Cup paying extra attention to its defence.Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari spent part of the team’s training session on Monday making adjustments to the defensive setup, stopping practice several times to reposition players until he was satisfied.Although Brazil didn’t concede a goal in its two warm-up matches before the World Cup, Scolari said he was not completely satisfied with how his squad played defensively. He didn’t even like how the team practiced at times, and publicly said his players were giving up too much space for counter-attacks.One of the coach’s main goals in the last week of preparations was to make sure the team ready defensively in time for the opener against Croatia on Thursday.”We know that if we don’t concede goals, our chances to win matches increase, because we know the kind of talent we have in attack,” Scolari said. “It’s important we are well prepared on defense so we are not caught by surprise.”Right back Daniel Alves acknowledged that Brazil’s defence isn’t perfect, but said the team is working to improve before the opener.When told that Croatia striker Ivica Olic said he saw spaces in Brazil’s defence during the warm-up matches, Alves acknowledged that adjustments still have to be made.”Obviously, if we didn’t make mistakes, we would be a perfect team, and that’s not possible,” the Barcelona defender said. “If Olic saw spaces, then we have to make sure we fix that so he can’t find them anymore.”advertisementThe last time Brazil conceded a goal was in a 2-1 win over Chile in a friendly last November. Brazil beat Panama 4-0 and Serbia 1-0 last week in the last two matches before for the opening match in Sao Paulo.”Physically we are ready, but tactically we still have to adjust a few things,” Scolari said.The coach’s other main focus during Monday’s training was on set pieces – another area where he said Brazil still needs to improve.There was a scare in the session when Neymar twisted his right ankle. He was on the ground in pain and needed to be attended to by doctors, but was able to finish the training session normally.Brazil is expected to practice again at its training camp outside Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday before traveling to Sao Paulo later in the day for the opener.last_img read more

CWG 2014: Indian flag shown upside down in official video song

first_imgThe Indian tricolour was shown upside down in the official CWG video songIndia has hit the headlines for reasons other than sporting in the just-begun Commonwealth Games here after it came to light that the country’s flag was shown upside down in the official song for the 11-day event.The official song titled “Let the Games Begin” is also the Glasgow Children’s 2014 anthem for Unicef.The song features the flags of all the participating countries but the makers have blundered while showcasing the tricolour.India, who finished second in the medals in the previous edition of the event in Delhi, has sent a 215-strong contingent this time.The Games kicked off yesterday with a colourful opening ceremony here.last_img

PBA Finals: Beermen get back at Hotshots to tie series at 1-1

first_img“But I still commend my players. They still didn’t give up,” he said when asked about his charges still trying to chafe the lead late in the game.“I still loved the effort. And I think we could still bring that into the next game.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Lady Maroons’ Justine Dorog, Marian Buitre join Foton in PSL “He wants to win very badly but we have to remind him that that’s not the way,” he said of his young guard, who he thought was reacting to the fouls on him that were left uncalled. “Napunta sa utak niya. But I like that kid. He’s a warrior.”Cabagnot and Fajardo led all of the scorers with 16 points each, while ChrisRoss and Marcio Lassiter had 15 apiece.The critical third game of the race-to-four showdown will be held  Sunday again at the Big Dome, with the tip-off slated at 6:30 p.m.Mangolia leaned on Ian Sangalang anew for 18 points and for anchorage against Fajardo’s presence in the paint. Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca tossed in 15 and 12 respectively.“They controlled the tempo. And like I’ve said, once they reached a hundred points, we have a slim chance of defeating them,” coach Chito Victolero said.ADVERTISEMENT The Beermen made use of a fiery performance in the middle quarters to break away from the Hotshots and take full control of the contest to breach the century mark, an indicator by which their enemies measure themselves against.“We’re trying to avoid going 0-2. I told them to step up on defense and that’s what’s happened,” coach Leo Austria said. “I think what happened tonight is we’re able to set up the plays and we’re able to not solely concentrate on June Mar (Fajardo).”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsChris Ross figured as the catalyst in the second period, while skipper Alex Cabagnot followed through in the next frame, scoring and assisting the squad’s 15 points that third quarter.Five more Beermen scored in twin digits, including Terrence Romeo who was thrown out of the game for two technicals with roughly six minutes left to play. MANILA, Philippines–San Miguel Beer didn’t bide its time on Friday, pulling out stops on both ends early to beat Magnolia 108-101, and knot their best-of-seven series in Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Philippine Arena Interchange inauguratedcenter_img Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid View commentslast_img read more

UWI Opens Faculty of Engineering

first_imgStory Highlights The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, has opened a new Faculty of Engineering, with the hope of training more professionals to satisfy the growing demand of Jamaica’s booming construction and industrial sectors. The new faculty was launched on September 12 at the Mona’s Visitors’ Lodge in St. Andrew. Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Paul Aiken, said the university is aware of the high demand for local engineers, and wants to help with satisfying this demand, thus the reason they decided to make this investment. The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, has opened a new Faculty of Engineering, with the hope of training more professionals to satisfy the growing demand of Jamaica’s booming construction and industrial sectors.The new faculty was launched on September 12 at the Mona’s Visitors’ Lodge in St. Andrew.Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Paul Aiken, said the university is aware of the high demand for local engineers, and wants to help with satisfying this demand, thus the reason they decided to make this investment.“I can’t graduate enough for [our] industry. Engineering has the advantage over medicine and law, where our programmes are seeking international accreditation. It means that our students, upon graduation, can work anywhere in the world,” Dr. Aiken told JIS News in an interview following the launch.“I know the banking sector is hiring our Computer Systems engineers. They are hiring Electronics engineers. They are saying banking is an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company now, because of all the technologies involved. Civil engineers go to firms, to companies with electronics, telecommunication, manufacturing [and] all industrial sectors in Jamaica,” he added.Dr. Aiken said the Faculty of Engineering will offer Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Power Engineering and Electronics Engineering.“They are three-year degree programmes with foundation courses in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science [for full-time students]. We have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering, but we are about to merge that with Electronics, because the graduates tend to go into the same sector,” he noted.Dr. Aiken said the faculty will be open to train students with basic high school education up to the fifth form level, who are interested in pursuing a career in the area of engineering.“For students who find it a little hard to be qualified to go into these Bachelor of Science programmes, we do have the preliminary engineering [course]. It’s a one year qualifying period that we pretty much take you from fifth form, as long as you have English, Mathematics [and] Science. We mold you, we transform you and get you ready to take on the three-year Bachelor of ScienceEngineering programmes,” Dr. Aiken said.In addition to the training that will be offered by the Faculty of Engineering, he said the department will be responsible for research on behalf of the University, with regard to engineering.“We have research in all engineering programmes. We have research partners that are willing to give us access to their multimillion dollar laboratory facilities, and we intend to be involved in cutting edge research, and we are going to transform Jamaica,” he said.last_img read more