Firemen involved in battling the wildfires which ravaged in West Donegal have thanked the public for their kindness.In a heartfelt letter from the Donegal Firefighters Association, officers thanked anyone who helped them in any way.Firefighters from across Donegal put in 18-hour shifts in many cases after the fires started in Loughanure and Annagry at 6am on Monday morning. Secretary of the DFA, Michael Purtill, said he saw many acts of generosity towards firefighters.He said “The Firefighters Association would like to greatly thank all those involved. The fires themselves had been happening over the weekend and the fire service ensured that all resources that were available went towards it.“All the firefighters that were involved in the fire would like to thank all the local people that helped, all the businesses that decided not to charge for a bit of food or a bottle of water.“Personally, I saw a woman in the shop buying all the bottled water, the shopkeeper asked why and she said it was for the firemen. “This was a real community disaster that drew in others from all around Donegal and without doubt, in the end, had a successful outcome. This shows the spirit of our communities. The army helicopter and the private helicopter were a much-needed addition to the outcome.“We want to thank the people of Dungloe, the civil defence, Meveagh fire service, the Army, local people and surrounds for their assistance and help.”Main pic courtesy of Brid Sweeney.Big-hearted firefighters thank public after massive battle to quell wildfires was last modified: April 26th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalfiremengorsePublicThanks
20 June 2014Victor Matfield will become the most capped Springbok test player of all-time on Saturday when he leads South Africa against Wales at the Mbombela Stadium in his 112th test.The legendary lock made his test debut on 30 June 2001 against Italy in Port Elizabeth. In 2011, he retired after the Rugby World Cup in 2011, having won 110 caps for the Springboks. Earlier this year, however, he made a highly successful return to the game.‘A fantastic accolade’“This is a fantastic accolade for Victor,” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said in a statement on Wednesday.“He has been a terrific servant of the game in South Africa and has led his country with distinction since returning to the Green and Gold.“When he returned to the game earlier this season, he set his goals on becoming a Springbok yet again and he’s worked extremely hard to get there.“I don’t think anyone can doubt that he deserves his place in the team and he’s also been a great interim captain, with Jean de Villiers out injured.”Two changesAged 37, Matfield, who is also the most-capped Vodacom Super Rugby player in South Africa, will captain a Springbok starting line-up which shows two changes from the team which beat Wales by 38-16 in Durban last week.Both changes are in the pack, where Tendai Mtawarira returns at loosehead prop, with Gurthro Steenkamp reverting to the bench, while Flip van der Merwe will partner Matfield in the second row in the place of Bakkies Botha.The only other change to the team is amongst the backline reserves, where Wynand Olivier replaces the injured Johan Goosen to provide midfield cover. Ruan Pienaar will provide backup for scrumhalf and flyhalf, while Lwazi Mvovo can cover fullback and wing.An easy decisionCommenting on the team selection, Meyer said it was an easy decision to stick with the core of the team which beat the Welsh last weekend in Durban.“I’ve always preferred to stick with a winning combination and the changes to the team were both part of our planning,” he explained.“The backline really performed well last weekend and we would like to give them another opportunity to play together, as there were a number of new combinations.“The same applies up front. Bakkies is fit for selection, but we decided to manage his workload this week and I know Flip, who has been outstanding in the last two seasons, will slot back in easily. The same goes for ‘Beast’, who upped the tempo with his work rate last weekend.’A tough challengeMeyer said he is expecting another tough challenge from the Welsh this weekend.“They’ve had another week together and will be keen to lift their game on Saturday, but at the same time we were not happy with certain aspects of our game and we’ve worked hard to rectify that,” said Meyer.“This is their last match of the season, so we’re expecting them to come out firing. But we also want to make a step up and ensure we keep on improving as the season progresses.”South Africa take an excellent record against Wales into Saturday’s test. In 28 matches, the Springboks have won 26 times, drawn once and lost only once.SPRINGBOK TEAM15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez (vice-captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (vice-captain), 1 Tendai MtawariraSubstitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Wynand Olivier, 23 Lwazi MvovoSAinfo reporter
The global Passive House community is converging on Darmstadt, Germany, this week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Kranichstein Passive House and the 20th anniversary of the International Passive House Conference.A great deal has changed in the world of building performance since the Kranichstein Passive House was first built. Much of that change we can attribute directly to the influence of this iconic building and the spread of the Passive House standard (which was derived from the efforts of Dr. Wolfgang Feist and others to model and optimize this particular building.) Triple-pane windows are now readily available in both Europe and North America, as are heat-recovery and energy-recovery ventilation units. A growing awareness of the benefits of airtight construction and detailing are also largely attributable to the global spread and influence of the Passive House standard.My motivation for studying the Kranichstein building was largely coincidental. It grew out of my involvement in developing an optimization tool to help Passive House designers and energy modelers. The tool is called PDT-Passivhaus, or Predictive Design Technology for Passivhaus. This led me to dig a little deeper into how the Kranichstein project was designed and modeled.My explorations revealed much about the evolution of the Passive House standard and my hope is that both the development of this optimization tool and information it has uncovered will be both interesting and helpful to others. Why Kranichstein?Quite conveniently, every copy of the PHPP software is supplied with a complete example project file of the Kranichstein Passive House building as the example project. We used this example file to develop the early versions of our optimization tool. It gave us a deep appreciation for both the complexity of the Passive House Planning Package and the effort that was taken in the design of the Kranichstein project.Figure 1: Multi-variable optimization sample graphThe evolution of our optimization tool led us to develop two functions. The first is the ability to explore a range of options for a number of single variables whilst all other variables remain fixed. We’ve named this “multi-variable optimization.” This option results in a simple graphic output, plotting each variable’s parameters on the X-axis against four Y-axis graphs of Heat Load, Heating Demand, Cooling Demand, and Primary Energy.Figure 2: Full optimization sample graphThe second user option enables the user to select a number of variables, define their individual parameters, and then have these all run simultaneously against each other to calculate the best performing combination of each of these variables against each other. We’ve called this option “full optimize.” The output of this run is a sine wave graph/plot, combined with a downloadable data table, listing their combinations numerically.After looking at the option to allow users to select any cell within the PHPP to explore as a variable, we elected to provide a carefully curated a set of variables that we found to have the largest impact on building performance. These would help our users to quickly and efficiently optimize their designs without wasting time on selecting insignificant and variables that would not make improve building performance. What we found at KranichsteinWhen running the Kranichstein project through our optimization tool, it became immediately apparent that every single one of the variables we selected was perfectly and precisely optimized to the Passive House standard’s heat load target of 10 W/m².It also became apparent that its more widely known certification alternate, the heating demand target of 15 kWh/m²yr, was not as significant. Despite there clearly being a correlation between the 10 W/m² target and the heating demand target of 15 kWh/m²yr, it was clear that heating demand played a minor role in the design and selection of the Kranichstein assemblies and components.All assemblies and components used in the Kranichstein building hewed very closely to the 15 kWh/m²yr target, with the exception of the specific window areas for each elevation. While the sum total window surface area of the building readily tracked both the heat load and heating demand targets, individually the total window areas for the south, north, and west orientations nailed the heat load target, but were clearly well below the 15 kWh/m²yr heating demand metric.Figure 3: Multi-variable outputs for Kranichstein assemblies, areas and components. Alternate design choices in SaskatchewanThe optimization options I found above that hypothetically allow the Blue Heron EcoHaus to meet the Passive House standard are only three of the many available to those who choose to explore their options. It was highly gratifying to discover that the early pioneers of superinsulated homes in Saskatchewan had recommended many of the same choices indicated by the optimization runs of both the Kranichstein Passive House and the Blue Heron EcoHaus.In a paper submitted by Robert S. Dumont, Robert W. Bresant, Grant Jones, and Rod Kyle and presented at the SESCI Conference in 1978 in London, Ontario, just up the road from the Blue Heron EcoHaus, the authors make the following recommendation in their summary: “For conventional light-frame construction using gypsum wallboard as the interior finish, and no additional thermal mass, one should limit the south-facing window area to less than 8% of the floor area of the dwelling. Additional window area will only result in excessive heat gain during the day and too rapid temperature falls at night.”They also offer an alternate to the quad-pane windows I’ve modeled in my hypothetical design above. “Thermal shutters can be of significant value in reducing both the heat loss from dwellings and in moderating the temperature falls at night in well insulated dwellings.” Notably, the Saskatoon project monitored in this study had quadruple-glazed widows of almost the same total 32.5 m² window area as the Blue Heron EcoHaus.A great many lessons and conclusions may be drawn from the study of these three particular buildings. By virtue of the optimization tool that I’ve been able to utilize, I’ve isolated what I believe to be a clear thread of links that connect them:The Saskatchewan Conservation House focused on managing losses rather than maximizing gains. It accomplished this by not over-glazing the house and by adding exterior insulating shutters. This resulted in a building that experienced very even interior temperatures – a hallmark of a well-designed Passive House.When this same concept of managing losses was applied to the Blue Heron EcoHaus, it was able to hypothetically meet the Passive House standard via the 10 W/m² heat load certification metric. In Saskatoon, at this heat load target, the heating demand number fell between 25 and 27 kWh/m²yr, depending on the specific design choices made for the project.The Kranichstein Passive House was clearly optimized and designed around the 10 W/m² heat load target. For that project location in Darmstadt, the heat load target resulted in a heating demand number of 14 kWh/(m²yr), indicating that the heat load target is the preferred target metric for optimization in more varied climates. Bronwyn Barry is a Certified Passive House Designer and the co-president of the North American Passive House Network. Looking at other projectsThis exploration of Kranichstein in isolation wasn’t as interesting until I applied the insight it gave me to the design and optimization of other buildings. I’d always been troubled by the post by the owner of the Blue Heron EcoHaus in Saskatoon, published at Green Building Advisor.In this post, Kent Earle generously shared the specifications and Hot2000 energy model predictions for his project. While it seemed like he may have originally hoped to meet the Passive House standard, his project did not meet the standard’s rigorous target metrics. He conceded that while building to the Passive House standard in Saskatoon may indeed be possible, “you’d be looking at making huge financial investments and sacrificing comfort” to achieve it.From looking at his building design, I wasn’t so convinced. Given the fact that much of the research that undergirds the calculations within the PHPP has been derived from projects (for examples, the Saskatchewan Conservation House) located in right in his back yard and in other climates very similar to Saskatoon, I undertook some exploration of my own.Figure 4: Blue Heron EcoHouse, first PHPP run, before optimization.The first run of the PHPP model I developed for the Blue Heron EcoHaus confirmed similar results to what Mr. Earle had shared from the Hot2000 model run on his building. My first stop to find clues on how this building could have been optimized to meet the Passive House standard took me to the Energy Balance Graph. This gem is carefully hidden on the annual heating sheet of the PHPP. It readily revealed three obvious opportunities to optimize this design.Windows were easily the biggest energy losers in this design, with 23.5 kWh/m²yr literally being thrown out the window. Ventilation losses via envelope leakage and recovery efficiency were next at 14.6 kWh/m²yr, closely followed by losses through the exterior walls to ambient of 14.3 kWh/m²yr.Figure 5: Energy balance graph from Blue Heron EcoHaus PHPPBy running this project through a full optimization run, selecting the individual assemblies, total window surface area, average window U-factor, airtightness benefit, and ventilation recovery efficiency, I was able to quickly determine how to meet the Passive House standard for this project. The results indicated that my best opportunities lay in:Reducing the total window surface area from 30.45 m² to half that amount.Increasing the thermal performance of the windows from 1.24 W/m²K to 0.62 W/m²K.Increasing the airtightness of this building from 0.6 ach50 to 0.2 ach50.These three improvements allowed a reduction in the walls, roof and sub-slab insulation. This reduction in the thickness of the walls would have provided a few additional feet of interior usable space. Most significantly, the reduction in total window area would have halved the window costs on this project – an expense that is typically one of the highest component costs for any high-performance building. In addition, halving the window area would drastically increase the interior comfort of this building, and most importantly remove much of the very real risk of overheating for a project in this location with such a large number of unshaded east and west-facing windows.Figure 6: Blue Heron EcoHaus before and after thermal values, areas, and airtightnessAs with the Kranichstein building, once the three changes listed above were implemented, this project met the Passive House certification criteria via the heat load target metric of 10 W/m². It also hypothetically shared the same airtightness target of 0.2 ach50. (This more stringent airtightness metric makes good sense for buildings in climates with extreme temperature differentials such as Saskatoon, where sub-zero winter temperatures create a massive pressure drive through any holes in the building envelope.)Figure 7: Blue Heron EcoHaus PHPP verification (after optimization). Why optimization?Since beginning my journey into the complexities and nuances underpinning the Passive House standard, it became apparent that the habit of optimization for building design is not common practice. (Optimization is the search for the best combination of components, areas, and assemblies to achieve the comfort and performance criteria of the Passive House standard in an economic manner.)Many projects that have met the Passive House standard have clearly done so by being “shoehorned” into fitting the criteria, often by throwing large sums of money into expensive assemblies and components, rather than by optimizing the design to creatively meet the performance criteria. I, too, am guilty of this. It’s easy to not take the time to review a project more carefully to search for opportunities to improve my designs, particularly in a benign climate like California. Once you’ve managed to make your building comply with the performance metrics of the standard, why explore further options?When approached by a team of software engineers, looking for an opportunity to use their optimization algorithm for building energy modeling, I was intrigued. The PHPP had yet to offer an optimization process or a clear method for easily enabling building designers to quickly and efficiently explore thousands of iterations. The opportunity to help create this was highly appealing. RELATED ARTICLES Passivhaus For BeginnersThe 2015 Passive House Conference in GermanyA Passivhaus Conference in GermanyReport from the Passive House Conference in Maine Highlights from the North American Passive House ConferenceNew Passive Building Standards for North AmericaRedefining PassivhausForgotten Pioneers of Energy EfficiencyPHIUS PHlogging
NAGPUR: A police sub-inspector was killed and a constable was seriously injured during a gun battle with the Maoists in Rajnandgoan district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday.The encounter took place under Bakarkata police station limits of Rajnandgoan district on Sunday afternoon.“An exchange of fire took place between the Maoists and the DRG (District Reserve Guard) party of Rajnandgoan district police at around 1 p.m. near Bhave village under Bakarkata police station limits today. Sub-inspector Yugalkishor Verma was killed and one constable was injured ( during the gun battle) according to information received from Rajnandgaon District Superintendent of Police,” said a statement issued by the Chhattisgarh police headquarters.According to sources, the injured constable, Krush Kumar Sahu, also succumbed to his injuries when he was being taken to hospital. However, police officers did not confirm the news of his death. The encounter took place when the DRG’s E-30 team was carrying out a search operation in the area surrounding Bhave village. Sources said that the police party involved in the encounter had not returned to its base camp until evening.
Huddersfield Town will not be forced into selling their top players if they are relegated from the Premier League this season, chief executive Julian Winter has said.Huddersfield are bottom of the table with 11 points from 23 games, 10 points from safety, and head coach David Wagner stepped down last week. The club replaced him with Borussia Dortmund reserve team manager Jan Siewert.”To be blunt, this club has been prepared for getting into the Premier League and it will be prepared if it is not in the Premier League,” Winter was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.”We retained our status last season, which was fabulous. But we know that if this club does get relegated, it doesn’t fall into crisis. There aren’t fire sales.”Siewert’s first game in charge will be on January 29 when Huddersfield host Everton in the league.
Ohio State’s men’s basketball team’s season came to an end Saturday evening, as the No. 10-seeded Buckeyes fell to No. 2 seed Arizona in the NCAA Tournament’s Third Round. Don’t fret, though, OSU fans. You still cheer for what is perhaps the best college football program in the country. One of the people who will attempt to help lead the Buckeyes to another national championship on the gridiron was in the gym today, working out like Bane. Will Miller be Ohio State’s starter in 2015? The Buckeyes open their campaign Sept. 7 against Virginia Tech.
APTN NewsShoal Lake 40, a First Nation on the Manitoba-Ontario boundary is closer to getting safe drinking water.Government officials are in the community to celebrate the start of construction on a new water treatment system.The community of 300 residents has been under boil-water advisories since 1997.The new plant is to be completed by December 2020.The reserve was cut off from the mainland in 1915 during construction of an aqueduct that supplies Winnipeg with drinking water.An all-season road dubbed “Freedom Road” opened to the community in June.Chief Erwin Redsky said in a release that the new water system builds on the success of the road.“After decades of denial, our people can finally look forward to the day when we, like the citizens of Winnipeg, can turn on our taps and access clean, safe Shoal Lake water,” he said.Indigenous Services Canada is contributing up to $33 million for the project.Member of Parliament Bob Nault, who represents Ontario’s Kenora riding, said every Canadian has the absolute right to turn on their taps and get safe and clean water.“Anything short of that is unacceptable,” he said in a statement.“While access to safe drinking water is something that perhaps many Canadians take for granted, it is a reality that for far too many First Nations in Ontario and across our country, they have waited much too long to turn on the tap and not have to worry about it.”The federal government has said it wants to end all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by March email@example.com@aptnnews-with files from the Canadian Press
Alberta’s government and film industry is hoping a revamp of a grant program will lead to bigger productions and Netflix programs being shot in the province.On Tuesday, Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda announced the $45 million Screen-Based Production Program in annual spending would replace the previous Alberta Production Grant, brought in by the PCs in 1998.Jurisdictions often offer grants to studios as incentives to offset some costs and the previous limit for an individual project was $5 million.The NDP is raising that cap to $7.5 million and each application will be examined for maximum economic impact and job creation, as opposed to what Miranda described as a poor first-come, first-serve basis.“What we inherited was a grant system that was a bottomless pit and it left us scrambling for the money that we needed,” Miranda said.The grant will also offer incentives for local productions, including up to 30 per cent of eligible production expenditures.According to Calgary Economic Development, the industry contributes about $165 million to the provincial GDP, but CEO Mary Moran wants to see that grow significantly.“As we start to attract larger productions, mid-sized productions that we hope to create a pipeline of that type of business, allowing us to grow over the years to five times what it is today,” she said.Alberta is no stranger to film and TV crews; recent productions include The Revenant, FX’s Fargo and Canada’s longest-running drama, Heartland.But Moran said the goal now is to entice more seasonal productions, specifically Netflix shows, to come to Alberta.Alberta’s Commissioner of Film, Television and Creative Industries Luke Azevedo agrees and said being able to compete with other jurisdictions offering higher grants has been a challenge.“We have the mountains, the badlands, the prairies and two municipalities over a million people all within a three-hour radius,” he said. “But when we started to talk about those larger budgets, it was very difficult for us to compete.“We never lose a project because of our personnel or because of the locations, it was the money-based application.”The program means Azevedo is hitting the road, going to Los Angeles, New York, and Europe to inform studios about the changes.“We have a much more robust capacity,” he said.
The Ohio State football team held an offense-versus-defense jersey scrimmage on Saturday following its annual kick scrimmage to give coaches another look at which players will start the season in place of the players who were suspended. The focus is on quarterback and running back, with seniors Terrelle Pryor and Dan Herron missing the first five games for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits in 2009. The offense won the jersey scrimmage, 56-45, behind touchdown passes from senior quarterback Joe Bauserman and redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Graham. The highlight of the day came from freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, who spun out of a sack and ran 14 yards up the middle before diving into the end zone for a touchdown. Each quarterback, including redshirt sophomore Kenny Guiton, got reps with the first-team offense, and each could have the opportunity of starting for the Buckeyes during Pryor’s suspension. “I think they’re getting it,” senior linebacker Andrew Sweat said. “I think Joe is obviously better, and Kenny. They’ve obviously been in the system longer, but I think Braxton and Taylor are both doing a great job as well.” Miller, a highly touted recruit from Huber Heights, Ohio, enrolled at OSU early in order to get experience this spring before his freshman season, and has impressed his teammates at practice. “I think Braxton does a lot of things great, but obviously his mobile ability like Terrelle,” Sweat said. “He’s throwing a lot better than I expected. I think he’s throwing the ball well, and he’s understanding the concepts and he’s doing a good job.” During the scrimmage, Pryor was on the field helping Miller during every one of his plays, and senior offensive lineman J.B. Shugarts said all the veterans have been helping Miller get used to college football. “Everyone’s really helping Braxton a lot,” Shugarts said. “He’s really poised out there, especially someone straight out of high school. He’s not missing a beat at all.” Although Herron will miss the first five games, Shugarts said the Buckeyes should not have trouble getting production out of the running back position. “We’ve got a stable of backs. We’ve got some horses,” Shugarts said. “We can really go out there and move the ball.” Herron saw little work during Saturday’s scrimmage, but sophomore Jaamal Berry and redshirt freshman Rod Smith both had impressive days running the ball. Herron, however, said each running back has the chance to have a breakout season. “To be honest, all of them are doing great,” Herron said. “There’s not just one guy I can really point out because, I mean, they all have been doing an excellent job.” Junior Jordan Hall and sophomore Carlos Hyde also are in the mix for the Buckeyes at running back this season. The 6-foot-3 Smith has become one of the favorites to replace Herron during the suspension following impressive practices prior to the Sugar Bowl. Herron said Smith has been working hard and has all the tools to be successful. “He’s a big guy that can move pretty good. Whenever you can get a big guy moving the way he moves and just being flexible and learning the playbook as well as he can, that’s always a plus,” Herron said. Shugarts said Pryor is enjoying being a coach for the quarterbacks, and Herron said he will look to help out the running backs. “Any player, if you truly love the game, you love coaching people, and you love seeing people you coached progress on the field,” Shugarts said. “It just makes you feel better about the whole situation.” The Buckeyes also will be missing coach Jim Tressel, who was suspended for the first five games of the season for not reporting the NCAA infractions of Pryor, Herron and three other players. OSU will continue spring practice and will hold its spring game on April 23 at Ohio Stadium.
U.S. News & World Report has taken another step in its evolution away from the printed magazine. In a memo to staffers Friday, CEO Bill Holiber and editor Brian Kelly said the publication would cease printing a regular monthly magazine for subscribers. Instead, U.S. News will publish only a series of single-topic issues that will be available on newsstands and for “targeted distribution.”Those special issues will include the magazine’s college, graduate school, hospital and personal finance guides, as well as four newsstand special editions focusing on history, religion and “some of the other subjects that have been a success for us in the past.” According to the memo, which was published Friday by Romenesko, the December issue of U.S. News will be the last that’s sent to subscribers. The note said that the magazine’s print and digital edition subscriptions “will be filled by other publishers,” although those publishers were not identified.“All of us at U.S. News Media Group have been aggressively responding to the changing habits in the media marketplace, and these latest moves will accelerate our ability to grow our online businesses and position ourselves to take advantage of the emerging platforms for distributing information such as the iPad and Android tablets,” the memo says. “We’ll discuss this in more detail in meetings starting next week.” Once considered a distant third in the newsweekly category to Time and Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report announced in June 2008 that it would shift its frequency to biweekly in 2009. By November 2008, with print advertising in a precipitous decline, the U.S. News Media Group amended its plan, opting to go monthly instead.