Dinosaur Extinction Rewritten Again

first_imgWho will go back and fix the animations?If the Chicxulub meteor finished off the dinosaurs, they were already on the edge anyway, a new theory proposes. The BBC News says dinosaurs were on the decline 50 million years before the impact. And why was that? With apologies to Bob Dylan, “A team suggests the creatures were in long-term decline because they could not cope with the ways Earth was changing.” Yes, music lovers, the times they were a-changing, just like climate change afflicts us today. “Your sons and your daughters /Are beyond your command,” Darwin told T. rex. “Your old road is rapidly agin’ / Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand / For the times they are a-changin’.” T. rex didn’t have much of a hand to lend anyway. Climate change had determined that it was time for the mammals to take center stage.The asteroid impact is commonly thought to have paved the way for mammals to take over. But the new study suggests that mammalian supremacy might have occurred eventually, without a space impact.Co-author Prof Mike Benton of Bristol University, told BBC News: “World climates were getting cooler all the time. Dinosaurs rely on quite warm climates and mammals are better adapted to the cold.“So there might have been a switch over in any case without the asteroid impact.““Might” makes right in evolutionary storytelling; the power of suggestion raises the perhapsimaybecouldness index. Earth needed to make “room for mammals,” Science Daily says. What better way than to chill out the dinos?Those interested in the case for dino decline can look at the paper in PNAS. It begins, “Whether dinosaurs were in decline before their final extinction 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution.” But by using a “Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time,” they guarantee an evolutionary outcome (see DIGO in the Darwin Dictionary).Back to the Drawing BoardThis is most unfortunate for Darwinians, since they thought they finally had a flag up the pole everyone could salute: an asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. A team is even out there right now trying to drill into the impact site in the Yucatan. Is their work in vain? Not completely; the new study has a partial role for the impact, just not a complete one. It just gave dinosaurs the final shove.Brian Switek on National Geographic took the opportunity to review past “wild ideas” about the death of the dinosaurs. First, though,Here’s his list of previous “crazy conjectures” that came and went:Dinosaurs put too much energy into being big and spiky.They had a predetermined lifetime as a species, and time was up.They developed slipped discs.Their hormones got out of control.Their sex drives declined.They all got sick.They were afflicted with cataracts and couldn’t see the mammals taking over.They were just stupid.Caterpillars ate all the vegetation.They took up smoking [actually, that was Gary Larson’s theory on The Far Side]Before the laughing is over, Switek admits that the impact theory has problems of its own:While the giant impact is the most likely weapon in this ancient murder case, we know surprisingly little about how the strike translated into widespread death and destruction. Paleontologists have debated aspects of the impact’s ecological fallout ranging from blazing wildfires to an impenetrable cloud of debris in the atmosphere. But exactly what happened and how such environmental shocks would have killed some species while sparing others is still up for debate.Will future paleontologists consider the impact theory just another crazy conjection? Not likely; it has too much momentum to not survive this latest crisis. Previous studies, after all, had suggested the dinosaurs were not in decline; they were doing just fine up till the day of destruction. Others promote their pet theory that volcanoes did it. A new theory claims a “trickle of food” kept deep sea creatures alive during the catastrophe (Science Daily). That, however, doesn’t explain the land animals that survived. Whatever the theory, it has to explain the selective extinction of particular reptiles on land (dinosaurs), in the ocean (plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs) and in the air (pterosaurs), while leaving mammals, birds and everything else able to carry on amidst all the carrion.Selective OutrageSpeaking of climate change, the lead paleontologist promoting the new extinction theory found a way to blame humans. “Our study strongly indicates that if a group of animals is experiencing a fast pace of extinction more so than they can replace, then they are prone to annihilation once a major catastrophe occurs,” Dr. Manabu Sakamoto preaches. “This has huge implications for our current and future biodiversity, given the unprecedented speed at which species are going extinct owing to the ongoing human-caused climate change.” Those wishing to hear some diversity in opinion may wish to see Dr. Richard Lindzen, emeritus professor of atmospheric science at MIT, explain the current climate change debate in a short video on Prager University.Why is it, incidentally, that the scientific consensus is so intent on blaming the current apex predator (humans) for climate change, but never accuses the dinosaurs of the same ecological sin? Maybe they passed too much greenhouse gas. And why are impacts so bad, if they kickstarted life on Earth? (see Christian Schroeder thank comets for life on The Conversation).How Many Dinosaurs?Most dinosaur species are still undiscovered, Brian Switek says in another National Geographic piece. In a PLoS Paleo Blog, Jon Tennant shows diagrams from a new study that tries to count the species we know. Based on ecological models, researchers think we have probably found far less than half of the dinosaur species that existed—unless you count birds, which Tennant considers “just mostly a bit smaller and fluffier than their Mesozoic ancestors.”Evolutionists have a love/hate attitude about impacts. Asteroids and comets bring life, but they also destroy life. They do whatever the storyteller needs them to do; that’s why they are so useful for professional storytellers like Darwinians.The Flood model does a better job explaining (1) the selectivity of the extinction, (2) world-wide observations by humans of dinosaurs after the Flood, (3) the high level of intelligent design in dinosaur anatomy. But since it is not atheistic/materialistic, it cannot get traction in the Big Science cabal. (Visited 69 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Biological Designs Worth Imitating

first_imgTaking that lesson to heart, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are using the decellularized husks of plants such as parsley, vanilla and orchids to form three-dimensional scaffolds that can then be primed and seeded with human stem cells to optimize their growth in the lab dish and, ultimately, create novel biomedical implants.DNA computers are coming along, says Live Science. Tia Ghose writes, “Computers of the Future May Be Minuscule Molecular Machines.” Inspired by DNA’s longevity and extreme storage density, scientists have already encoded the entire works of Shakespeare in the genetic molecules (see article at Evolution News and hear it on ID the Future). Now that biology has shown the way to efficient data storage, engineers at DARPA are looking at other molecules that could encode in new ways beyond silicon’s 1’s and 0’s and DNA’s A-C-T-G system, using orientation, size and color to represent additional bits of information.Power plants. Bio-engineers have been trying to replicate photosynthesis for years, but still seem to have a long way to go. Science Daily says that a Japanese team has uncovered another part of the mechanism the plant uses to break down water, “marking another step towards the potential development of artificial photosynthesis.”Algae petrol. Imagine how much better it would be to create fuel from an abundant, renewable resource: algae. The Japanese are looking at this green gold: “Microalgae can grow with light, water, carbon dioxide and a small amount of minerals, and their cells divide quickly, meaning that they can be harvested faster than land-based biomasses,” Science Daily says. “Algae can also be harvested all year round, potentially offering a more stable energy supply.”Sperm therapy. To get ingredients to a female with cancerous tumors, why not imitate one of nature’s best delivery systems? Phys.org reports that German scientists are developing steerable sperm to do just that. They coax the expert swimming cells into little iron helmets, then steer them where they want them to swim. There are problems with the concept, though; how to shed the helmets after delivery, “And then there is the problem of obtaining the sperm.” There will undoubtedly be volunteers.Borrowing from nature is an age-old theme in science.Improving on nature? An article on Phys.org claims that a new technology is “better than nature” – “artificial biofilm increases energy production in microbial fuel cells.” Well, ‘better’ is relative to the function at hand. If biofilms were meant to generate electricity, the researchers at University of Bayreuth could boast. By combining a gel substance with the bacteria, the scientists got more electrical output than previous attempts with the bacteria alone.The following six papers are more technical for those interested.Bio-inspired Murray materials for mass transfer and activity (Nature Communications). Scientists build on nature’s hierarchical designs for applications needing to move mass. Why? “Natural systems and their hierarchical organization are not only optimized and designed for durability but also have the capability to adapt to their external environment, to undergo self-repair, and to perform many highly complex functions.”Reproducing the hierarchy of disorder for Morpho-inspired, broad-angle color reflection (Nature Scientific Reports). The brilliant blue Morpho butterfly returns to the biomimetics stage in the paper. Praise for the design gets mixed with long-age credulity in the opening sentences: “Intricate structures create structural colors that can remain brilliant after millions of years of fossilization. One of the most well-known examples is the butterflies of genus Morpho whose bright, blue wings grace many famous collections, and are reported to be visible even from low-flying aircrafts [sic].”Structural features and lipid binding domain of tubulin on biomimetic mitochondrial membranes (PNAS). Tubulin is not just a protein component of the cytoskeleton; it is also “a highly unexpected component of mitochondrial membranes involved in regulation of membrane permeability,” this paper says. The authors are studying its interaction with membrane proteins, knowing this will be “important for the structure-inspired design of tubulin-targeting agents.”A living mesoscopic cellular automaton made of skin scales (Nature). Theoretical cellular automata, famously conceived by John von Neumann, are realized in—of all things—lizard skin. Nature (that is, biology, not the journal) had it first. But does Nature‘s evolutionary reference compute?Here we show that in ocellated lizards a quasi-hexagonal lattice of skin scales, rather than individual chromatophore cells, establishes a green and black labyrinthine pattern of skin colour. We analysed time series of lizard scale colour dynamics over four years of their development and demonstrate that this pattern is produced by a cellular automaton (a grid of elements whose states are iterated according to a set of rules based on the states of neighbouring elements) that dynamically computes the colour states of individual mesoscopic skin scales to produce the corresponding macroscopic colour pattern. Using numerical simulations and mathematical derivation, we identify how a discrete von Neumann cellular automaton emerges from a continuous Turing reaction–diffusion system. Skin thickness variation generated by three-dimensional morphogenesis of skin scales causes the underlying reaction–diffusion dynamics to separate into microscopic and mesoscopic spatial scales, the latter generating a cellular automaton. Our study indicates that cellular automata are not merely abstract computational systems, but can directly correspond to processes generated by biological evolution.Biomimetic supercontainers for size-selective electrochemical sensing of molecular ions (Nature Scientific Reports). This paper describes how “the unique structure of spherical viruses” is  inspiring the construction of nano-containers for storage and sensing applications.Biomimetic catalytic transformation of toxic α-oxoaldehydes to high-value chiral α-hydroxythioesters using artificial glyoxalase I (Nature Communications). This paper describes attempts to mimic enzymes for maintaining handedness in pharmaceuticals. Once again, the authors tip the hat to Darwin: “Nature has evolved a wealth of proteins called enzymes that catalyse the chemical reactions necessary to sustain all life on Earth.” How nature “evolved” these capabilities is never explained.Show these articles to those who think Darwin owns science and intelligent design is religion. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If anything, the religion in these instances is Darwinism, taking it on faith that “nature” works miracles, achieving what our best scientists and engineers are struggling to imitate.Parents: get your kid a Science Fair award! Find a natural design he or she can imitate and learn about, coming up with a useful application. It will be sure to turn the judge’s heads. (Just don’t use the forbidden phrase “intelligent design” in a public school. We don’t want your kid to get Expelled.) Borrowing from nature is an age-old theme in science. Form and function go hand-in-hand in the natural world and the structures created by plants and animals are only rarely improved on by humans. If these designs are so good that intelligent minds want to mimic them, who can believe they emerged by chance?Falcon aircraft: With eyes like lasers, wings for speed, and talons for capture, a peregrine falcon swoops down unerringly for its prey at speeds approaching 200mph—even in high winds. No wonder Phys.org reports that “research work on how falcons fly is inspiring new technologies for aircraft that could contribute to their safety in the air, aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.” But even after over a century of flight design, human engineers probably won’t get close to the falcon’s abilities for another two decades. The article includes this infographic from BAE systems:The article ends with this remark by a specialist in air flow control in military aircraft: “Bio-inspiration is not a new concept; many technologies that we use every day are increasingly inspired by animals and nature.”Cheetah robot.  “University of Twente researcher Geert Folkertsma has developed a prototype cheetah robot,” Science Daily reports. “Folkertsma has dedicated four years of research and development to constructing a scaled-down robotic version of the fastest land animal in the world, with a view to replicating its movements.” To try to replicate the cat’s movements, the PhD student “studied extensive video footage of cheetahs,” the article says.Honeybee cleaners. The life of a honeybee seems like it would be a messy job: getting covered with pollen dust all the day long, even in the eyes. And yet they keep their hairs neat and clean. How? The spacing of the hairs seems to be a key, says Phys.org. The Bioneers at Georgia Tech are onto the case. They found that bees also come equipped with cleaning tools and the training to use them.“Bees have a preprogrammed cleaning routine that doesn’t vary,” said Marguerite Matherne, a Ph.D. student in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. “Even if they’re not very dirty in the first place, bees always swipe their eyes a dozen times, six times per leg. The first swipe is the most efficient, and they never have to brush the same area of the eye twice.”A mechanical engineer at the school says, “Our findings may also be used to create mechanical designs that help keep micro and nanostructured surfaces clean.”Honeybee robot eyes: Speaking of honeybees, Science Daily says, “Honey bees have sharper eyesight than we thought.” They didn’t specify who “we” is, but they quickly inspire the reader with details about how scientists at the University of Adelaide are applying the new knowledge to the design of sharper eyes for robots. “Bees have much better vision than was previously known, offering new insights into the lives of honey bees, and new opportunities for translating this knowledge into fields such as robot vision, outlines a new study.”Fern batteries. Storing energy from solar cells is a major challenge. You can’t charge the cells at night, so how do you maintain the day’s energy collection? Scientists at RMIT University (Australia) are looking to Americans for answers – to American fern plants, that is – for “bio-inspired” answers to fast charging. The secret is in fractals: subdivisions of subdivisions of subdivisions in the leaves of the western swordfern. “Our electrode is based on these fractal shapes – which are self-replicating, like the mini structures within snowflakes – and we’ve used this naturally-efficient design to improve solar energy storage at a nano level,” they say. The fern-mimic electrode could “boost the capacity of existing integrable storage technologies by 3000 per cent. Watch for it in smartphones, laptops, cars, and buildings.Seaweed superconductors. Speaking of energy storage, ditch the graphite. Cease the lithium-ion pollution. There’s a greener way: use seaweed, say American scientists. Phys.org explains that when chelated, seaweed takes on an egg-box structure that magnifies the energy storage potential of batteries. “Testing showed that the seaweed-derived material had a large reversible capacity of 625 milliampere hours per gram (mAhg-1), which is considerably more than the 372 mAhg-1 capacity of traditional graphite anodes for lithium-ion batteries,” the article says. This could double the range of electric cars, while exploiting a cheap, renewable resource.Bat sonar. Echolocation in a certain species of bat seems to get enhanced when they wiggle their noses and ears. The evidence seems clear; bats have “extraordinary accuracy” at finding what they need in the dark. Virginia Tech engineers have taken notice, wondering if that could improve man-made sonar systems. The techs built a model with the new wiggle technique and found that it improved signal to noise by a factor of 100 to 1000. “Bat echolocation is one of nature’s remarkable achievements in navigation,” the article on Phys.org says, making this interesting admission: “That suggests that bolstering sensor capability by using a dynamic, mobile emitter and receiver should be translatable to engineered systems less complex than real bats, improving the navigation of autonomous drones and the accuracy of devices for speech recognition.”For Bat Appreciation Day (April 17), National Geographic posted “16 Incredible Pictures Show the Beauty of Bats.”Parsley scaffolds. Getting stem cells to grow where you want them is a challenge. Phys.org explains how some scientists are succeeding with plant materials. In the process, the scientists make a good statement about the value of living models:center_img (Visited 242 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

A Museum Will Build, Then Sell, a Passivhaus

first_imgIt remains to be seen which part of the exhibit “Climate Change: The Threat to Life and a New Energy Future” will make the bigger impression on visitors to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History: its exploration of changes to the earth’s oceans, ice sheets, land mass, weather patterns, and atmosphere, or the accompanying 2,500-sq.-ft. house that will be built to the Passivhaus standard on the museum grounds.More likely than not, “Climate Change,” a touring exhibit scheduled for display at the museum from July 23 through December 31, will leave many people thinking seriously about ways we can improve stewardship of the earth. But many of those same people also might be so impressed with the comfort, quiet, and performance of the Passivhaus home – which will be on display from June through September – they’ll never again be satisfied with a home built to code.That, at least, was one of the reasons for including the Passivhaus standard prominently in the display, said Evalyn Gates, the museum’s director.“I want to bring something in that really gets people’s attention and gets them thinking differently,” Gates told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.“If we could go to scale with this our dream would be that it creates an employment base for people,” added Chuck Miller, a partner at Doty & Miller Architects, which designed the house, known as SmartHome Cleveland.SmartHome’s journeyGates asked that the house be designed to fit in architecturally with homes in some of the city’s older communities, and Doty & Miller complied. Functionally, though, the plan is to incorporate all of the insulation, airtightness, HVAC requirements, and, when the house is moved to its permanent location after September, siting strategies needed to aim for certification by Passive House Institute U.S.The exterior wall system of the two-story three-bedroom house will feature structural insulated panels and provide, at a minimum, thermal resistance of R-55, according to the Doty & Miller detail drawings shown above. The second-floor ceiling will be insulated at least to R-75.The Plain Dealer notes that the house will be relocated to a neighborhood known as University Circle, in northeast Cleveland, where it will be sold for between $300,000 and $400,000 – a substantial discount from the expected $525,000 cost of the project, which was funded in part by a $40,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation, a museum-program investment of $250,000 that will be recovered upon the sale of the house, and a number of sponsors.Meanwhile, “Climate Change,” which was organized by the American Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the Cleveland museum and several partners, will continue touring after it closes in Cleveland. The exhibit first opened at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City, in October 2008.last_img read more

Can Conditioned Attics Be Too Big?

first_imgPolyurethane foam is expensiveSpray polyurethane foam has some advantages that make it very attractive to some builders and homeowners, but it’s also much more expensive than other options — closed-cell foam more so than open-cell foam. The price premium, and the limited depth available for insulation between rafters, may result in less-than-optimum insulation levels in the house.“If a builder’s idea of a conditioned attic is to move the insulation to the rafters — but to install less — then the homeowner is getting cheated,” Holladay says.He adds that when spray-foam contractors try to convince homeowners to accept thin installations of insulation in an effort to make their product more competitive on price, they are “cutting corners,” while “code enforcement officials are looking the other way or getting bamboozled by fast-talking spray-foam contractors instead of doing their job. As a result, homeowners are left with homes that have below-code levels of insulation. That’s wrong.”The problem may be more pronounced with open-cell foam because it has a lower R-value per inch than closed-cell foam, as Fincher himself points out. “If Martin is correct, then perhaps I’ve been bamboozled by the insulation contractor who installed 5 1/2 in. of closed-cell on the underside of the rafters,” he writes. “I questioned him because it was only around R-19 and he confidently explained to me that it would work.“…It’s really hard to cipher through what is factual and what is not,” he adds. “Without a whole lot of actual empirical testing and data, you almost have to try something and see if it works. That’s a scary proposition for me.”John Brooks adds numbers to the mix, taken from a recent price quote in Dallas: R-30 open-cell foam at the roof deck for $2.80 per sq. ft. vs. R-30 cellulose at the attic floor for 50 cents a sq. ft.In Fincher’s 4,000-sq. ft. house, cellulose would cost $2,000 while foam would cost $14,000. He calls this a “$12,000 incentive” to air-seal the attic floor and find a way of putting the HVAC system within the conditioned space. True, reducing the square footage of new houses is one way of reducing energy use while consuming fewer natural resources, both fundamental green-building objectives.“Build a smaller, better, well detailed house that has more amenities and lower operating costs for those that live there,” suggests Corian Johnston. “…A well done small house can still be worth as much as a larger one, so you could have the same profit margin with a much better product. Sort of a quality-over-quantity approach.”But, as Fincher points out, homebuyers often want big houses, not little ones, leaving builders stuck between the realities of the marketplace and their own goals.“I didn’t create the market for bigger homes,” Fincher writes. “The market exists in spite of myself and other builders. If and as the market changes to smaller homes (which it is, but maybe not small enough for some of you) builders will adapt as well because we’re not doing this for kicks and grins, we’re doing this with the hopes of making a profit.“I made a decision to build a better home that uses far fewer resources over its life cycle than the same home built to code. I call that being ‘green.’ That decision has added a whole new level of complexity to my building process which increased both my hard and soft costs which I probably won’t ever completely recover in my market.”“I’m OK with that because I’m still making enough money to keep me engaged in this business and I feel better about the improved product that I offer,” he adds. First, reconsider the size of the houseAlthough the size of the houses that Fincher builds is not directly related to his question, some green building advocates may still wince. Brett Moyer is one of them.“Since this a green building forum, I think I should say a couple of things,” Moyer writes. “You certainly have the right to build these ridiculously large monstrosities. You certainly have the right to install spray foams and foam sheathings, and place HVAC and ductwork in the attic.I just hope you aren’t promoting these excessive dwellings as ‘green’ homes, because they are CERTAINLY not green.” RELATED ARTICLES James Fincher is a builder in Oklahoma who’s leaning toward designs with conditioned attics insulated with spray polyurethane foam.However, he’s not convinced that a conditioned attic is the best approach in a large home — something, say, in the 4,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft. range.The problem, as he puts it in his Q&A post, is the “sheer volume” of attics in a house this large, and whether the increase in volume will force him to use a bigger HVAC system.The exchange that follows delves into the merits of conditioned attics — that is, those that are heated and cooled just like the rest of the house — versus unheated attics separated from the rest of the house by a layer of insulation on the attic floor.That’s the subject of this week’s Q&A Spotlight. Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost had to say:No doubt, any conditioned attic (no matter the pitch or ceiling square area) is better performing, in terms of energy performance and indoor air quality, than exposed HVAC equipment and ducts above the ceiling insulation and air barrier.And in addition to Martin’s suggestion of constructing a small attic mechanical room, there is Building America research supporting some performance advantages of “buried” attic HVAC distribution systems. Also, see this article .But I have to agree with Martin when he states near the end of his related blog on conditioned attics, that “creating a conditioned attic is a solution to a fundamental design flaw.”A high performance home starts with high performance design — if you can’t find design solutions to keep all HVAC ducts and equipment in conditioned space, you missed the earliest and most effective solution. Here is how Steve Baczek, the resident GBA architect puts it:“Creating a mechanical room that is effectively air sealed within a vented attic is a straight-up challenge. I don’t believe the approach has much merit either. I have been asked to do it a number of times and reluctantly have, knowing the likely outcome. When tested for performance, they just don’t work as planned. It’s one of those concepts that seems easy, gets people on board at the design/planning stage, only to fail at the post-construction/ leak-chasing phase. In lieu of this approach, I would put the air handler in the conditioned space and run sealed ductwork in the attic, buried under R-50+ of cellulose. Not the best solution, but not a bad second choice, and one that is pretty easy on the pocketbook. You could also spray the ductwork with CCSF and cover with cellulose at a cheaper cost than spraying the attic.”So onto what I would do. You need an architect who understands HVAC design and performance. I understand this is a challenge. I have had too-many-to-mention (or want to remember) conversations with architects who preach out about high performance house design, and just don’t get it.In a 4,000-square-foot house, depending on the design and site, you are probably talking about one large mechanical room (40 sq. ft.) or two smaller mechanical rooms (20 sq. ft. each – 40 sq. ft. total). Either way, the space accounts for 1% of the conditioned space. This house probably has closets bigger than that.I remember working with a builder to re-engineer his houses and the architect who designed them. The architect argued vehemently with me about how there was just no room in the plan for mechanicals. I simply asked, have you ever designed a house this size without a powder room? Or a laundry room? Her replied, “never.” I simply said you need to place the same priority on the mechanical room as you do the powder room and the laundry room. With that in mind, I would suggest one or two mechanical rooms in the conditioned space, using dropped soffits and ceiling locations to distribute the HVAC system. If a client wants a 4,000-square-foot house, chances are the house will come with 9- or 10-ft. ceilings. A good architect, using this ceiling height to his or her advantage, can create not only a high performance home, but also an aesthetically pleasing one. It’s simply a win/win! Vented or Unvented Attic?Creating a Conditioned Attic Getting Insulation Out of Your Walls and CeilingsAttic Design Upgrades Weighing two energy penaltiesWhen HVAC equipment is installed in an unconditioned attic, the system has to work harder in both the heating and cooling seasons. Soaring attic temperatures in summer greatly lower air conditioning efficiencies; in winter, the problem is reversed but no less problematic.GBA senior editor Martin Holladay calls that “Energy Penalty #1.” He adds that insulating between rafters to create a conditioned attic creates a different energy penalty — “Energy Penalty #2” — namely, the additional energy required to heat and cool the attic now that the volume of the home’s conditioned space has been increased.“Here’s what you need to remember: Energy Penalty #1 is always much bigger than Energy Penalty #2,” Holladay writes, “so there is always a net gain (lower operating costs) when you create a conditioned attic (assuming, of course, that we’re talking about houses with ductwork in the attic).”That said, he adds, there are alternatives. One would be to bring heating and cooling ducts inside the thermal envelope with the use of soffits that hide them. Another would be to build a small mechanical room in part of the attic that could be heated and cooled, rather than making the entire attic a conditioned space.A related factor, notes Corian Johnston, is the increased surface area of an insulated roof compared to an insulated flat ceiling. “A 9/12 roof will have 25% greater surface area than the flat ceiling,” Johnston writes, “so that even with the same R-value and performance of insulation, there is a theoretical 25% greater heat loss or gain. This doesn’t include gable end walls that will add additional area.“Second, heat rises, and unless the ceiling is a barrier, which is not likely although possible, heat will rise into the attic instead of being in the living area conditioned space,” he says. “This may be desirable for cooling but not for heating.”last_img read more

What’s Wrong With This Insulation Job?

first_imgIn many areas of the country, homes are receiving Energy Star labels they don’t deserve. Major errors like the ones shown in this photo are supposed to be caught by the HERS rater who performs third-party verification services. This home slipped through the cracks.The photo shows at least four errors serious enough to have prevented the home from receiving an Energy Star label. Can you spot them?Next week, we will post the answers that a Building America team, BIRA, came up with.last_img

Nine labourers killed near Pune as tunnel lift cable snaps

first_imgAt least nine migrant labourers were killed after an elevator box being used for an under-construction tunnel plunged into the ground near Bhigwan in Pune district, 100 km from here.The incident occurred on Monday evening. The tragedy struck as the deceased were emerging from the underground tunnel aimed at linking the Nira and Bhima Rivers near Indapur Taluk. The deceased have been identified as Mukesh Maurya, Mukesh Kumar, Sushant Pandi, Sabinga Naidu, Avinash Reddy, Chhotu Gole, Surendra Yadav, Rahul Narute and Balram Suan.“The elevator carrying the workers and construction equipment plunged down at least 100 feet after the cable broke. We will be conducting a thorough probe into the tragedy,” said Inspector Neelkanth Rathod of the Bigwan police station.The State government has announced an ex gratia of ₹2 lakh to the kin of the deceased, informed State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan.The labourers were working on the project which involves the construction of a 24.8 km-long ‘Nira-Bhima Link -5’ underground tunnel which is to enable the waters of the Nira River to be linked to the Bima River Bhima in a bid to bring relief to parched districts in the State.last_img read more

Filoil: UP, Adamson roll past foes

first_imgMOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST02:42PH 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 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Juan Gomez De Liaño led UP with 17 points while Jun Manzo added 15 for UP, which climbed to 4-2.In the other game, Papi Sarr and Simon Camacho powered Adamson past Jose Rizal University, 70-52.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, logisticsSarr collected a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Camacho came off the bench and had an all-around game with 12 points, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks.“Simon is one of those rare players who come in once in a while and who does not need the ball to make an impact,” said Tonichi Yturri, filled in for Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren, who attended to other matters. “He changed the complexion of the game when he came in.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew LATEST STORIES Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP MANILA, Philippines—Even without two key players, University of the Philippines still proved too much for Mapua in an 80-71 win in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Fighting Maroons, who hardly felt the absence of Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras, flaunted their depth and turned to their defense to blow the game wide open in the third quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Ateneo rallies past FEU, enters PBA D-League semis Camacho and Sarr teamed up helped the Falcons build a commanding lead en route to their fourth victory in five outings. Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war View commentslast_img read more