Ulster number eight Roger Wilson admits they struggled to get to grips with a rampant Toulon side in a record 60-22 European defeat. “There was some good defensive aggressiveness in our last couple of games, I did not see it today, especially from the 15th to the 35th minute. “We did not play well during those 20 minutes. This is not good enough and we need to do more. “Ulster gave us more space later in the game and we were able to score tries. “Our backline players got sick with the flu on Thursday and I’m wondering if our lack in rhythm comes from this. “I am not impressed by those 60 points, although we are happy because we feel like the crowd enjoyed the game.” Wilson said: “When you look at the scoreboard it’s very disappointing but I don’t think that reflects the effort we put in for 80 minutes. “Not many teams will go to Toulon and score four tries but the big negative for us was the defence. “We tried to get in their faces as much as possible and it worked for a while, but when they get up some momentum and get their off-load game working they are very difficult to stop. “We spoke before the game about the fact that there was nothing to play for but we still wanted to go out and put our bodies on the line. “The injuries in the first half were a big blow for us and we don’t seem to have had much luck with that recently. “We will look ahead to Leicester Tigers next week and we want to finish off the pool on a positive note.” Toulon head coach Bernard Laporte was not impressed with his side’s display despite scoring 60 points and becoming the first side to qualify for the knockout stages. Laporte said: “Our mission was to secure the qualification and get a bonus point. We can now celebrate and prepare for our next game. They conceded eight tries against the reigning European champions, including a hat-trick for Steffon Armitage as Toulon secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup. Ulster did manage four tries of their own through Paddy Jackson, Jared Payne and two for Mike McComish but Wilson conceded that their defence was not up to scratch in the Pool 3 encounter. Press Association
Outfield: Outfield: David Peralta, Diamondbacks @ Pirates ($4,500). With Jimenez out of the White Sox lineup, we’re pivoting to Peralta, who faces a pitcher in Joe Musgrove who’s been notably worse against lefties in his career (.269/.324/.444). We’re $100 away from affording Eddie Rosario, so perhaps we should do more finagling to get him in the lineup, but Peralta can crush anywhere and shouldn’t be all that highly owned.Outfield: Chad Pinder, A’s vs. Rangers ($3,500). Pinder is another splits play, as he’s hit .283/.349/.464 vs. lefties his career. That’s improved to .357/.357/.571 this season. To be fair, his home/road splits are not pretty (.653 OPS at home; 1.060 on the road), but we’ll play the pitcher, not the park. Pinder makes for the perfect low-cost OF to round out our A’s stack. It’s a 10-game slate tonight on DraftKings, and with a Colorado game, a Camden game, and weather worries in the matchup with our top two pitchers, you know it’s going to be an interesting night for lineup building. Our picks lean heavily on sleepers with the stat splits in their favor, but given that several are veterans off to slow starts this year, we recognize the inherent risk we’re taking in MLB DFS contests.Even with the “risks”, our lineup might be more of a cash play than tournament one. Our pitchers and a few of our OFs might give us enough differentiation in tournaments (along with our complete fading of Rockies, Brewers, Cardinals, and Astros), but it can always be difficult to guess ownership. Ultimately, we just put together a lineup we like, and if it does well, we should be in the money. Watch ChangeUp, a new MLB live whip-around show on DAZNThe first major decision was whether to ignore the weather in Boston. Chris Sale and Matthew Boyd have the highest upside of any two pitchers on the slate (and both are actually cheaper than our No. 1, J.A. Happ), but with rain in the forecast, we’re not biting. We can always pivot closer to lineup lock, but that game is off limits for now. (Update: Tigers-Red Sox has been postponed.)We also went the chea route in the Coors Field game, which isn’t always the best strategy. It’s nice to get a piece of that matchup, but ownership percentages could tilt against us. Sometimes, it makes sense to just pay up for the studs in Coors and find bargains elsewhere. Our Nats stack averages 32 years of age and 2.3 HRs this year, so we have that going for us.MORE: Monday SP rankings | DFS lineup BuilderDraftKings Lineup Picks: Monday, April 22Starting Pitcher: J.A. Happ, Yankees @ Angels ($9,300). Happ hasn’t been particularly good this year, largely because of struggles with the long ball. But it should be noted that three of his four starts have come in Yankee Stadium, and the fourth was at Camden Yards — all preeminent hitters parks. Finally in a neutral-to-favorable environment, we like his chances, especially when you factor in the Angels mediocrity vs. lefties this year (23rd in wRC+). We also think the depleted Yankees lineup can scratch together enough runs against Matt Harvey to give Happ a good shot at a win.Starting Pitcher: Yonny Chirinos, Rays vs. Royals ($7,400). The concern with Chirinos is that he won’t go much more than five innings, but the numbers are stellar (8.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 3.26/0.83) and the matchup is doable. Kansas City’s offense hasn’t been nearly as good on the road this year (81 wRC+ compared to 105 at home), so Chirinos seems like a bargain at this price. He went seven strong innings in his first outing of the season, so at least we know it’s possible he can go deep into a game.Catcher: Yan Gomes, Nationals @ Rockies ($4,200). Our Nationals stack (hopefully) begins with Gomes, who’s no lock to be in the lineup. If he is, we like him to get going against lefty Tyler Anderson. Gomes is a career .279/.334/.471 hitter against southpaws, and obviously the Colorado factor comes into play here. If he’s out, we have enough in our budget to pivot up to Kurt Suzuki ($4,400), so we can have the Nationals backstop regardless.First Base: Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals @ Rockies ($4,300). Zimmerman is another Nats veteran who traditionally crushes lefties (.310/.390/.525) but has done very little this year. Getting him as the 12th highest-priced 1B on a night when he’s at Coors Field against a southpaw is almost too easy of a call. In fact, Zimmerman might be more of a cash game play than a tournament guy given his likely high ownership, but if he does anything, you’ll want him in your lineup. Jose Abreu at $4,400 is a solid pivot is you don’t want to take the bait on Zimmerman.Second Base: Brian Dozier, Nationals @ Rockies ($4,300). Everything we just said about Zimmerman applies to Dozier. The veteran has had a painfully slow start to the season, but he’s picked it up a bit lately with homers in two of his past three games. Dozier is tied for the eighth highest-priced 2B on DK, which is a fair price all things considered. Third Base: Matt Chapman, A’s vs. Rangers ($3,900). We can’t figure out why Chapman is priced so affordably. It feels like a trap. Sure, he’s at home, but his career .265/.343/.482 line in Oakland isn’t that much different than his career road numbers. He’s also actually been a little worse against lefties in his career, but, again, his .263/.343/.466 line still gets the job done. We originally liked Renato Nunez in this spot, but with odd reverse splits against lefties and a whopping $4,600 price tag, we decided Chapman was the much better value. Again, this might be more of a cash play than a tournament one, but we’ll take it. Upgrading to Matt Carpenter for $300 against rookie Adrian Houser is also a solid move here, but that’s likely not going to help with ownership worries.Shortstop: Gleyber Torres, Yankees @ Angels ($3,900). Yes, Torres is better against lefties, but his career road OPS (.824) is actually higher than his home mark (.797). Either way, he can hit Matt Harvey anywhere, and if the Yankees are going to score some runs for our pitcher, Torres will likely have to be a catalyst.Outfield: Khris Davis, A’s vs. Rangers ($4,400). So, Davis hasn’t homered in six games and now he’s only $4,400? He’s killed the ball at home throughout his A’s career (.883 OPS compared to .837 on the road), and his work against lefties this year is terrifying (1.170 OPS). With Leury Garcia (among many others) priced above him, Davis feels like an absolute steal.
OAKLAND — Throughout this dynastic Warriors run, parts of their historic operation have become predictable.Stephen Curry will score a lot of points. Kevin Durant too, when healthy. Draymond Green will leave his mark in multiple columns of the box score. Klay Thompson will go off in spurts, when he plays, at times carrying his entire team.One part of the equation that’s been harder to forecast, especially so this postseason, is how the Warriors’ centers will perform, or even which ones will …
Daniel Carrizosa had three hits and as many RBIs and the Humboldt Crabs extended its winning streak to eight games with an 11-0 shutout win over the visiting West Coast Kings, Saturday night at the Arcata Ball Park.Damian Henderson, with a little help, got the Crabs on the board in the first inning as his sharply-hit grounder to second base proved too much for the Kings’ Luke O’Brien to handle. The error allowed Riley Cleary and Kokko Figueiredo to score, giving the Crabs an early 2-0 lead.The …
How much confidence can the public put in scientific claims today, given that some long-lived dogmas have been reversed?Sodium reversal: Jesus said, “Salt is good” (Mark 9:50), referring to spiritual seasoning. Scientists, speaking of dietary seasoning, have long proclaimed “Salt is bad,” urging people to reduce sodium intake drastically. For instance, Medical Xpress continues to warn that “9 out of 10 American kids eat too much salt,” based on government guidelines. But just the previous day, Medical Xpress reported that sodium’s influence on blood pressure (one of the chief worries) is negligible. In a large study, sodium intake had an insignificant effect on systolic blood pressure among 8,670 French adults monitored for body mass index, fruit and vegetable consumption, exercise and sodium intake. None of the participants were taking blood pressure medicine during the experiment. This contra-consensus finding is important, the researchers felt, because “though the lifestyle factors measured in the study are often targeted by physicians as areas for adjustment in patients with hypertension, there is surprisingly little data on their individual effects on blood pressure within pharmacologically untreated populations.” In other words, salt’s risk to blood pressure appears to be a commonly-accepted truism with little evidential support, leaving open the possibility that some people may be getting too little of the mineral.Volcano reversal: The “textbook theory of volcanoes may be wrong,” Science Daily announced, publishing a press release from Caltech. Mantle plumes do not rise up through narrow jets to the surface. The opposite is true:The new measurements suggest that what is really happening is just the opposite: Instead of narrow jets, there are broad upwellings, which are balanced by narrow channels of sinking material called slabs. What is driving this motion is not heat from the core, but cooling at Earth’s surface. In fact, Anderson says, the behavior is the regular mantle convection first proposed more than a century ago by Lord Kelvin. When material in the planet’s crust cools, it sinks, displacing material deeper in the mantle and forcing it upward.Caltech geophysicist Don Anderson is calling this “top-down tectonics.” He says it is “based on Kelvin’s initial principles of mantle convection.” But then, how and why did the mantle plume hypothesis gain such traction for so many decades? Anderson’s answer sounds disgustingly familiar:“Mantle plumes have never had a sound physical or logical basis,” Anderson says. “They are akin to Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Just So Stories’ about how giraffes got their long necks.“Neuroscience reversal: A potential paradigm shift is in progress in neuroscience. On PhysOrg, John Hewitt discusses recent findings that show neural pulses can pass through each other and continue on, contrary to a long-held belief that they annihilate on collision. That sounds minor, but Hewitt claims it is “shaking the foundations of neuroscience.” Since 1949, neuroscience has accepted the results of Ichiji Tasaki’s experiments that seemed to show annihilation. “In other words, he was the man with the plan,” Hewitt says, showing the power of authority in science. “If Tasaki found that spikes failed to penetrate each other then that would be good enough for me, and in fact it was good enough for neuroscience for the next half a century.” The old view also comported well with existing theory. New experiments by Thomas Heimburg may bring that dogma crashing down.Mammal reversal: Heard the one about mammals being small, shrew-like animals scampering in the underbrush to escape dinosaur feet? Three new fossils described on National Geographic are “revising our image of the first furry beasts,” the article says, showing squirrel-like mammals with long toes and prehensile tails happily living in the trees. “Three newly described species suggest that mammals evolved earlier, and faster, than previously thought.” The old picture of mammal evolution “needs to be repainted,” now that we can see they lived in various habitats. “They walked on the ground; they also swam, dug to burrow, and glided in the forests,” the article says. This paradigm shift also shows that mammals were diverse and well adapted at their first known appearance in the fossil record. How long before the museum displays are updated to include a variety of mammals? Some scientists are likely to be unhappy with the “shifting picture of mammal evolution” —“I expect this will be contentious,” [Anne] Weil [of Oklahoma State] says, but the study is an important addition to investigations of where mammals came from.“I think it’s going to be part of an argument that will be going on for some time,” Weil says, “and I expect paleontology as a whole will learn a lot from questions gleaned from these animals about the antiquity of Mammalia.“PhysOrg, reporting on the three new fossils, adds that these new species (1-10 oz. in weight) had complex teeth and the typical mammalian middle ear with three ossicles. Their advanced state requires proposing a much earlier date for the first mammal common ancestor, at least 25 million years earlier, or as much as 74 million:However, the placement of the new species within Mammalia poses another issue: Based on the age of the Euharamiyida species and their kin, the divergence of mammals from reptiles had to have happened much earlier than some research has estimated. Instead of originating in the middle Jurassic (between 176 and 161 million years ago), mammals likely first appeared in the late Triassic (between 235 and 201 million years ago). This finding corresponds with some studies that used DNA data.Genetics reversal: In “Biology’s Quiet Revolution” on Evolution News & View, Dr. Jonathan Wells recounts the major reversal in molecular biology since 1980. Prior to that, scientists were confident they understood the “Central Dogma” of genetics, “DNA makes RNA makes protein makes us” – a concept amenable to genetic determinism and neo-Darwinism. In a verbal victory dance, Jacques Monod proclaimed in 1970, “the mechanism of Darwinism is at last securely founded, and man has to realize that he is a mere accident.” That was then. Now, Wells shows with links to major papers, geneticists have repeatedly been astonished at major finds that have undermined much of the 1980s consensus, showing that the level of information in cells is much vaster than previously realized. The Central Dogma has become “discredited myth,” Wells says, that must be discarded to answer the “huge questions” that remain.But science is self-correcting! Science has a method to avoid human bias! Science is superior to every other method of discovering knowledge! That notion is reversible, too.It’s interesting that one of Lord Kelvin’s geological theories is being vindicated over a century after the fact (see our biography of Lord Kelvin). Wells repeats a mythoid that Lord Kelvin was overconfident about science. According to the citation, he said, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” Wikipedia says this about that oft-repeated joke: “The statement … is given in a number of sources, but without citation. It is reputed to be Kelvin’s remark made in an address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1900). It is often found quoted without any footnote giving the source. However, another author reports in a footnote that his search to document the quote failed to find any direct evidence supporting it. Very similar statements have been attributed to other physicists contemporary to Kelvin.” The statement may well have been made by someone else and wrongly attributed to Kelvin; or, he may have been quoted out of context. (Visited 33 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
19 June 2007Home Box Office (HBO) has acquired Magic Cellar, a joint South African and Canadian production, for broadcast in the United States, making it the first African animated television series to be acquired by a major American network.The series was commissioned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, SA’s Morula Pictures and Ottawa-based Chocolate Moose Media, and is directed by multi-award winning Canadian producer and director Firdaus Kharas, a specialist in inter-cultural communications.3D meets African folkMagic Cellar is the first 3D animated series to be based on African culture, and is based on 20 folk-tales partially collected by conducting interviews with elders in African villages.In a deal negotiated by Kharas, the series will be shown on HBO Family in the United States and in Bermuda, bringing African culture into the homes of American families.“We are extremely pleased to partner with HBO Family, a channel known for bringing very high quality programming to American families,” Kharas said in a statement this week. “I see this sale as another indication of the thirst for high quality multicultural programming.”The SABC’s head of children’s content, Charles Owen, was especially pleased that their flagship programme would now be available in other parts of the world, “giving a new dimension to African story-telling”.International awards“The sale to HBO is very exciting for us and encouraging for other African producers as it shows that we can deliver high-end productions,” said Morula Pictures’ Adeelah Carrim.“Hopefully, this will open the doors for other African programmes to be acquired internationally.”Magic Cellar won 42 international recognitions in 2006-07, including two Telly Awards, two Aegis Awards, a silver plaque at Chicago Intercom and a platinum REMI Award at WorldFest Houston.The show was voted best animated TV series at the Chicago International Children’s Festival and best animation film at the Independent Black Film festival.It was also selected by a number of competitive festivals in 2006 and 2007, including the Berkeley Video and Film Festival, Bimini International Festival of Animation Films, Hiroshima Animation Festival and Kids First Festival in Los Angeles.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Things get busy in Delaware County in Mid-September, as the county fair begins its festivities. Usually, the way it times out, it is also the start of harvest season for The Skinners at Hardscrabble Farms. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins hopped in the cab with Brian Skinner to talk about the recent Symphony on the Farm event, hosted by the Skinners. They also talk about early harvest progress and upcoming fair activities.
If it’s so good, why does the Code keep changing?The answer is…to get even better! Essentially the code changes to improve a (regulatory) process, reduce cost, allow new or different ways of doing something, or sometimes to increase safety. A change in the building code can be suggested by anyone who has a legitimate suggestion to improve it. While that may sound simple, it’s a bit more complex. Anyone who cares to can submit a code change to the International Code Council, along with substantiation and supporting rationale, through forms found at the ICC website.Proposed changes in the model code follow a government consensus process where a mixture of stakeholder interests are represented during the initial code development hearings by a committee. Then, at the final action hearings only governmental members have a vote.The proposal will be considered during a public hearing by a committee whose interests focus on specific code provisionsâ€• architectural, structural, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas, etc. The committee votes to recommend or refute the proposal and will sometimes tweak the proposed change. To ensure accountability, floor members with voting rights (building officials) who disagree with the decision of the committee, can ask for a floor action that would reverse the committee’s recommendations. The decisions made are published for anyone’s review. Then, during a subsequent public comment period, anyone can suggest alternative wording to the proposed code change.All of the proposals are presented to the voting membership of the ICC in what’s called Final Action Hearings. Those proposals passing this hurdle are then compiled into a new published code (IRC, IBC, etc) on three year intervals. This new book is called the model code. Its contents don’t become law until an authority having jurisdiction (city, state or county) adopts it. In almost all cases this comes with amendments or changes to that model code. The locality usually modifies the code to reflect local or regional interests. So, for all the items discussed in national publications like Fine Homebuilding, the adopting jurisdiction has the final word in the enforceable language in any Code.A mixture of changes range from semantics or terminology to very substantial requirements. Many times the changes are to explain the code provision better…to better clarify the intent. Sometimes the change is to improve grammar or punctuation. Sometimes the code change reduces a requirement. Sometimes, based on a national trend, a requirement is added to respond to a perceived unsafe condition. For example, a recent change in the 2009 IRC will require every home built to have fire sprinklers after January 1, 2011.Technology allows for a safety measure that didn’t exist before. For example, Carbon Monoxide detectors, unheard of 20 years ago, will now be required in new homes. However, changes also allow for new materials to be used such as insulated concrete forms, light gauge steel framing or air admittance valves. Significant changes that affect green building are common in the last several code editions. In the most recent edition (2009), the IRC increased energy efficiency requirements about 15% overall and specified that half of all lamps be energy efficient type (CFLs).If you have a good idea for a code change, I would encourage you to seek support from the local chapter of the International Code Council. Each state or locality has an organization that is a chapter member of ICC. Their support will be important if not essential. The final vote for or against a proposed code change falls to the governmental members; states, cities and counties who enforce these same codes.
Editor’s note: This post is one of a series by Eric Whetzel about the design and construction of his house in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. A list of Eric’s previous posts appears below. For more details, see Eric’s blog, Kimchi & Kraut. The plan for our house was to combine an HRV or an ERV (for a continuous supply of fresh air) with a ductless minisplit air-source heat pump system for our ventilation, heating, and air conditioning needs. Almost all of the projects I had read about utilized this same combination, especially here in the U.S.RELATED ARTICLESHow To Buy a Ductless MinisplitDuctless Minisplits for DIYersRules of Thumb for Ductless MinisplitsAre Ductless Minisplits Overpriced?What’s the Greenest Option for Home Heating? The only real debate, apart from specific brand options, was whether to use a single distribution head on our main floor, as opposed to installing multiple heads for a more dialed-in level of comfort (e.g., in the basement or the bedrooms). Suggested equipment was grossly oversized Our original builder had called for one head in the kitchen/family room and one in the basement, which was pretty standard for a Passive House level project. It was, therefore, pretty shocking to find that our second builder (there were two partners) and their HVAC subcontractor were suggesting a system that was grossly oversized for our needs. You can read about the details here. This was just one of many red flags that convinced us to move on and GC the project ourselves. It’s also a reminder that old habits die hard, meaning that even seasoned contractors, in any trade, need to be willing to learn new ideas and techniques if they want to truly be considered professionals and craftsmen. One of the disappointments associated with our build is, in fact, the disinterest (in some cases even outright hectoring contempt) shown by various tradespeople in our area for green building generally. Doubtless, at least a partial explanation for why much of the Midwest seems so far behind in adopting green building techniques, especially when it comes to air sealing, insulation, and indoor air quality beyond code minimum standards. Hopefully this changes significantly in the coming years. Right sizing starts with a Manual J calculation Consequently, I took Steve Knapp’s advice (from the comments section of my Q&A post on GBA) and contacted Home Energy Partners (their new name is HVAC Design Pros). Isaac responded quickly and eventually did our Manual J, confirming that we needed a much smaller system, one that is more consistent with a Passive House project. Once we were on our own, in addition to going with a Zehnder ERV and a Mitsubishi ductless minisplit air-source heat pump system, we also pursued the possibility of using a Sanden heat-pump water heater. After seeing it used on a Hammer and Hand project, we thought it was a really interesting piece of cutting-edge technology. Unfortunately, after getting a quote from Greg of Sutor Heating and Cooling, and a poor response from Sanden on questions we had about the system (they were unresponsive to emails), we decided to stick with our Zehnder, the Mitsubishi heat pump, and go with a Rheem heat-pump water heater. (Going with the Rheem saved us just over $6,000 in initial cost.) Hopefully, as it becomes more popular in the U.S., the Sanden can come down significantly in price, or maybe less expensive copycat products will someday show up on the market. Greg was initially willing to work with us, even though we were technically out of his service area. He was nothing but professional, taking the time to answer any number of technical questions and offering what proved to be sage advice regarding various details for our system. But because we were installing only the minisplit and not the Sanden, he suggested we find an installer closer to us. Finding our installer We were lucky to find Mike from Compass Heating and Air. He came out to the job site and we walked through the details together. He proved to be knowledgeable, helpful, detail-oriented, and extremely professional. Installing our Mitsubishi ductless minisplit system with Mike proved to be one of the easiest portions of our build. We never felt like we had to look over his shoulder, making sure he got details right, or that we had to constantly confirm that he did what he said he was going to do — in fact, it was the opposite: Mike’s on site, so that’s one less thing I have to worry about. Mike also confirmed what Greg and Isaac also pointed out: comfort issues may develop if we tried to get by with just one distribution head on the main floor. In fact, looking back through old emails, Greg was nice enough to walk me through some of the options employed by those trying to get by with a single head for an entire floor (sometimes even two floors), including leaving bedroom doors open throughout the day (ideally, even at night), and even the use of Tjernlund room-to-room ventilators. Again, to his credit, Greg tried to stress how important it was that homeowners have realistic expectations regarding the overall effectiveness of these techniques and options. He also was at pains to make clear how the work of any competent HVAC installer can be easily undermined by a structure that underperforms. In other words, they can design an appropriately sized HVAC system for a Passive House, but if shortcuts occur during the build and the final blower door number comes in higher than expected, or the budget for insulation gets cut, reducing R-values in the structure, then the system they designed has little chance of working as intended. Based on what he wrote, I’m guessing he has dealt with exactly this outcome in the real world — not fun for him, or the homeowners to be sure. By the time Mike got involved, we had pretty much decided to use multiple heads. In the end, we decided to delete the head in the basement, instead going with three separate heads on the main floor — the largest in the kitchen/family room, and the other two in our bedrooms. Here are the specs for our system: Hyper-Heat Compressor (30,000 Btu). MSZ-FH15NA (kitchen/family room). MSZ-FH06NA (master bedroom). MSZ-FH06NA (2nd BR). This is the Mitsubishi head in the master bedroom. The Zehnder supply is to the right. Both are covered to protect them from construction debris. Living with a ductless minisplit Having lived with the HVAC system, both the heat pump and ERV, for about a year now, our only real complaint is summer humidity, which I discussed in a previous post. This summer we’re going to try using a dedicated whole-house dehumidifier, which we think should resolve the issue. Otherwise, our system has been trouble-free. In winter, the heads do make some noise, tending to crack or pop, especially when first turning on, or when they come out of defrost mode. Although I’ve read complaints about this online, it’s never really bothered us. I remember how loud our conventional gas-fired furnace was in our last house, especially when it first turned on, so I think it’s important to remember the level of certain sounds in their appropriate context. Also, this crack or pop sound is, I suspect, louder than it otherwise would be in, say, a conventionally built home. Passive Houses are known to be significantly quieter because of all the air sealing and, in particular, all of the insulation surrounding the structure. There’s also a noticeable humming sound when the compressor is going through a defrost cycle (especially noticeable at night when the house is otherwise quiet). The heads also temporarily send out cooler air during this defrost cycle, but the cycle is short enough that it hasn’t posed any real comfort issue for us. In other words, having blocked out, or at least muffled, most of the noise from outdoors (due to extensive air sealing and extensive insulation), any noise indoors becomes much more noticeable and pronounced. The Rockwool we installed between bedrooms-bathrooms, and the kitchen-utility room for sound attenuation definitely helps in this regard (more on this in a later post). Just how quiet is a Passive House? Well, one example would be the train tracks that are just a couple of blocks away: When the windows are closed the noise from a passing train is mostly canceled out — as opposed to when the windows are open, and the train, in contrast, sounds like it’s thundering through our next door neighbor’s yard. Performance at very low temperatures As far as extreme cold outdoor temperatures are concerned, the system experienced a real test with our recent Polar Vortex weather. Mike was nice enough to check in with us the day before it started just to remind me that the system could shut down if temperatures fell below -18° F, which is what our local weather forecast was predicting. In fact, this proved entirely accurate. As temperatures eventually fell to -24°F overnight, the system was, in fact, off for a few hours (the Mitsubishi shuts off to protect itself). With the Zehnder ERV already set to low, and using just a couple of small space heaters (one in each bedroom — roughly equivalent to running two hair dryers simultaneously), it was easy to get the interior temperatures back up to 68-70°F in less than an hour (from a measured low of 61° F when we first woke up), at which point we turned off the space heaters. And it was just under two hours before the temperatures rose enough outdoors for the heat pump to turn back on. On the second day, the system again turned off, but the interruption was even shorter this time, so we didn’t even bother to turn on the space heaters. On both days the sun was shining, which definitely helped as light poured in through our south-facing windows, mainly in the kitchen and family room. Even with no additional heat, either from the heat pump or the two small space heaters, the kitchen remained a comfortable 70°F throughout that first day, regardless of the temperature outside. In the summer, when we have the AC running, we just set the desired temperature on the remotes and largely forget about the system. The three heads together, even in each individual space, have no problem keeping the house and individual rooms cool enough. In this case, it no doubt helps that we have a substantial overhang on the southern portion of our roof, mostly denying the sun an entry point into the home during the hottest days of the year (and the Suntuitive glass on our west-facing windows takes care of afternoon summer sun). Single or multiple heads? As far as using a single head to try to heat and cool the entire first floor, in our case about 1500 sq. ft., I can only say that I’m glad we chose to use multiple heads. This really hit home as I was completing interior finishes. For instance, there were times when only the head in the family room/kitchen area was running. When you walked into the bedrooms you could definitely feel the temperature difference since those heads had been turned off (roughly a 5-10° difference). As Greg, Isaac, and Mike — to their credit — were all quick to point out, for some homeowners this temperature swing would be acceptable, even something that could be calmly ignored, while for other homeowners it might well be a heartbreaking and deeply frustrating realization. Depending on how sensitive someone is to these temperature differences, it could prove a devastating disappointment if the homeowner is expecting uniform consistency throughout their home. Also, since much of the selling point of Passive House techniques is, in the end, occupant comfort, and not just reduced energy consumption, moving from a comfortable kitchen, for example, to a bedroom that some would find outright chilly, might induce some homeowners to wonder what the point was of all that air sealing and insulating. Obviously it’s only our opinion, but if it’s at all possible to fit it into the budget, by all means utilize more than one distribution head. Even if you yourself never feel compelled to turn on any of the other heads in a multi-zone system, a spouse, one of your kids, or a guest probably will want to have the option at some point. The compressor with finished charred siding and decorative gravel-cobblestone border. The one real risk we took with our HVAC set-up was foregoing any direct conditioning in the basement, either heat or AC. In the summer, no matter how high the temperatures outdoors, the basement stays within 5 degrees of the upstairs temperatures and humidity, so no comfort issues in this regard have presented themselves. In the winter, however, the temperature remains in the 59-61° range, with almost identical humidity readings as the main floor. Mitsubishi wall-mounted heads: beauty or beast? I’ve read that some interior designers, and even some homeowners, have expressed aesthetic concerns about the distribution heads. If you go on design-oriented websites like Houzz you can come across some really strong negative opinions on the topic. For us, they’ve never been a problem. Much like the Suntuitive glass on our west-facing windows, or even a dark or bright color on an interior accent wall, after a few days, like anything else, you just get used to it. I never found them to be ugly in the first place though. The appearance of the ductless minisplit distribution heads have never been an issue. I also grew up with hydronic metal baseboards for heat, while in apartments and our first home we had the typical floor supply and wall return grilles for a gas furnace. Point being, the details of any HVAC system are never completely absent from any living space. There’s always something that shows up visually and, typically, that needs to be cleaned at some point. In addition, the Zehnder ERV and the Mitsubishi heat pumps meant we didn’t have to use any framed soffits or duct chases (at least in the case of our specific floor plan) in order to hide bulky runs of traditional metal ductwork, typical in most homes when using a normal furnace. Unless designed with great care, these tend to be obtrusive, taking up premium ceiling, wall, or floor space. And if randomly placed simply for the convenience of the HVAC contractor, they can be downright ugly. In other words, it doesn’t really matter if you’re building conventionally or if you’re building a Passive House, all the details of an HVAC system — whether it’s individual components, or even how these components will be placed inside a structure — should be carefully thought through (again, ideally before construction begins) to address any performance or aesthetic concerns. Operation and maintenance As far as the remote controls for the individual heads, we haven’t had any issues. For the most part, we set them to either heat or AC (roughly 70° and 74° respectively), and then forget about them. And when the weather is pleasant outdoors, we take every opportunity to turn off the system completely and open windows. The system could be combined with a Kumo cloud set-up, but we’ve been happy with the hand-held remotes so far. I try to check the filters for the individual heads at least once a month (more like once a week when I was still doing interior finishes). Just as it takes much longer for the Zehnder filters to get dirty now that construction is over, and the same has proven true for the blue filters in the Mitsubishi heads. It seems like about once a month is sufficient to keep up with the dust in the house. Overall, we’ve been very happy with our HVAC set-up, including the Zehnder ERV and our Mitsubishi ductless minisplit. As long as the units don’t have any durability issues, we should be happy with these systems for many years to come. Other posts by Eric Whetzel: Installing an ERV Choosing Windows Attic Insulation Installing an Airtight Attic Hatch Air Sealing the Exterior Sheathing Installing a Solar Electric System Prepping for a Basement Slab Building a Service Core Air Sealing the Attic Floor Ventilation Baffles Up on the Roof A Light Down Below Kneewalls, Subfloor and Exterior Walls Let the Framing Begin Details for an Insulated Foundation The Cedar Siding is Here — Let’s Burn It An Introduction to a New Passive House Project
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Entrepreneurs suffer from a curse. Or maybe it’s a disease. It prevents them from producing the results that they want to produce with their business.That curse entrepreneurs suffer from is believing that everyone who works for them should think exactly like they think, behave exactly like they would behave, and do what they would do in any given situation. Because entrepreneurs are afflicted with this curse, they spend most of their time frustrated instead of doing what is necessary to scale their business.They Aren’t YouIf the people who worked for you were made of the exact same stuff you were made of they would be doing what you are doing.They don’t have the same entrepreneurial urges or desires that you have. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, if they did have the same entrepreneurial desires that you have, they wouldn’t be working for you.It’s also a good thing that they don’t think like you think. The last thing you need is a bunch of people working for you who don’t have anything to offer in the way of ideas to grow your business. Entrepreneurial leaders don’t build followers; they build another generation of leaders. That’s the only way to scale.But it isn’t easy to get there.The Real Work Of ScalingThe real work that the entrepreneur needs to do to scale a business is to build.The entrepreneur needs to build leaders. These are the people who are going to help her grow her business and who can take on responsibilities and duties in some area. Without leaders, the entrepreneur can’t grow.The entrepreneur also needs to build processes and systems. These processes and systems are the platforms on which the entrepreneur can scale the business. Without these processes, you count on everyone knowing what you know and behaving as you would behave. And that isn’t going to happen without process and systems.The entrepreneur needs to build culture. If you want people to think as you think, then you have to instill in them a set of values. Values are what culture is made of. Culture is what people do when there is no leader around. It’s what they lean on to make decisions.If you want to spend years and years being frustrated, then don’t accept that it’s your curse to believe that everyone is just like you. Not very many people are like you. But the people who have succeeded in doing what you are trying to do, have learned to do the real work of scaling a business.