Flatrock Passive: Air Sealing the Penetrations

first_imgAir-sealing the plumbing ventsAttics are cold in the winter and warm in the summer. Since they are vented through the soffit they are also drafty spaces. The attic could become an energy sink without lots of insulation and good air-sealing details.Although we placed all the washrooms on one side of the house, it was pretty much impossible to tie everything into one main vent stack. The service cavity on the ceiling is 2×4 strapping on the flat so there just isn’t enough room to route each vent to a common place and tie them together before the vent goes into the attic. Instead, there are three individual stacks which are drilled up through the top plates in the exterior service wall.I knew there would be little distance between the edge of the pipe and the top plate of the exterior 2×8 wall. I needed to have enough OSB to tape/seal my gasket. My plumber, Melvin Way, drilled through the top plate of the exterior wall with a hole saw slightly bigger than the 2-inch pipe diameter. He kept the pipe as close to the inside edge of the plate as possible so there would be enough OSB in the attic to provide a surface to air-seal. He stubbed up through the attic with a vent that was about 12 inches high so I could slip the gasket down over the pipe (see Image #10 below).When I air-sealed the ducts for my ERV and the air intake for the wood stove, I used Roflex gaskets from 475 High Performance Building Supply. They were pre-made and worked well. Since then, a friend of mine told me to make my own gaskets using EPDM liner made for backyard ponds. So I gave it a try. I cut the EPDM to about a 6-inch square, centered the gasket over the end of the pipe and used a utility knife to create a star shaped hole in the gasket using the pipe as a guide. The idea was to cut the hole so the gasket would fit snugly around the vent.Using my trusty Ryobi battery-powered caulk gun (a tool I highly recommend), I dispensed a good bead of acoustical sealant both around the pipe and at the edge of where the gasket would lay on the ceiling (Image #11 below). I prefer Mulco Acoustik for air-sealing.I pulled the gasket down over the pipe slowly, pressed it into the acoustical sealant, and then apply 3M 8067 tape around the edges. I used a J-roller to apply pressure to the taped surface to ensure adhesion. I finished the detail with 3M tape (see Image #12 below).The 2-inch vents are connected to a 3-inch stack in the attic, which exists the roof on the north side of the house.I think this is a redundant air-sealing system that is simple to implement and doesn’t require fancy materials. As much as I don’t like drilling holes in the air barrier, I’m pretty confident that these details will bring my air barrier back to Passive House airtightness. How to Provide Makeup Air for a Wood StoveProviding Outdoor Combustion Air for a Wood StoveAll About Wood StovesShould Green Homes Burn Wood? BLOGS BY DAVID GOODYEAR Blower Door Test Comes Up RosesWrapping Up the Air BarrierInsulation and an Air BarrierInstalling Windows and DoorsFoam Sheathing and Window DetailsFraming and Air SealingA Well Insulated SlabFootings and Frost WallsA Final Design and Energy ModelingAn Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House Conduit carries the wiringPlans called for a piece of conduit to be routed through the exterior 2×8 wall and into the electrical box. The conduit would be sealed to the OSB air barrier on the interior with tape and acoustical sealant. Once the wire is routed through the conduit, the conduit will be filled with spray foam. The detail looked fine on paper. However, drilling through a wall with fiberglass insulation is an uncertain task; fiberglass has a bad habit of wrapping itself around anything that spins.With than in mind, we came up with the following procedure:(1) Drill a 1 1/8-inch hole through the exterior block on the wall (see the image at the top of this page).(2) Drill through the 3 inches of foam slowly until the bit breaches the back of the foam and the fiberglass insulation is visible.(3) Insert the 3/4-inch conduit (1 1/8-inch outside diameter) from the outside and compress the insulation against the exterior side of the OSB. (My experience is that you can drill a hole through compressed insulation.)(4) Insert a long 3/4-inch spade it into the conduit and push it through until you feel the insulation at the end of the conduit (see Image #2 below).(5) Drill until the tip of the spade bit just pierces the interior face of the OSB.(6) From the interior, drill the piloted hole with a 1 1/8-inch spade bit until it just passes through the OSB (see Image #3 below).After removing the conduit, I inspected the hole with a small flashlight. The insulation still filled the cavity — it hadn’t been disrupted by the drill. Although the hole was drilled with a 3/4-inch bit, there was enough give in the insulation that a 1 1/8-inch conduit easily passed through, as long as it was guided carefully.After drilling is complete, the opening for the receptacle is cut with a jig saw. (I used a hole saw for the octagonal boxes for exterior lights.) The conduit is glued to a 3/4-inch threaded section, passed through the electrical box and secured with a locking screw. The box/conduit assembly is the inserted into the opening in the trim block and secured with some screws (see Image #4 below).On the inside, the conduit was caulked to the OSB with acoustical sealant. I made a tape gasket with 3M All Weather Flashing tape and pushed it into the acoustical sealant (see Image #5 below). The gasket was taped around the conduit for an airtight installation. Once the wiring is installed, the conduit will be filled with spray foam. Flue for a wood stoveThe original design for the house called for an interior stove pipe, mainly because interior flues stay warmer and warm chimneys perform better than cold ones.After a fire has been lit, buoyant gases rise through the flue, raising the temperature inside the pipe. As the chimney gets warmer, this effect is more pronounced. A pressure differential is created between the stove air intake and the chimney that causes draft. Once a draft has been established it can be maintained by supplying heat. When compared to an interior installation, a chimney installed outside the building envelope needs more energy to establish and maintain an effective draft.My internet searches really haven’t provided any hard numbers regarding the amount of extra energy required. Someday I may revisit this problem to see if there is some way to estimate the difference between the two scenarios.Because of our floor plan, there was really one place to install the stove. But there were some uncertainties about the interior installation that I was not happy about. They included the spacing of the floor joists, the proximity to the bedroom upstairs, having to create a chase in the middle of one of the bedroom walls, running the air intake under the slab, and a lack of an airtight installation. It all added up to a complex problem that had a simple solution: Move the stove to an exterior wall.When passing through a combustible wall, a stove pipe requires a radiation shield (thimble). The options for an airtight stove thimble in our marketplace are few and far between. After some research, I found the Excel chimney made by ICC a Canadian manufacturer. The thimble required a framed opening of 10 inches square and can fit into a wall with a thickness of 12 inches or less. A decorative telescoping section can be used to ensure that the stove pipe exits the assembly 4 inches beyond the wall.Combustion air will come from a 5-inch duct, equipped with a blast gate to close off air flow, that goes through the porch wall and terminates with a hood vent. After it emerges from the house, the stove pipe goes to a clean-out tee, then up through the porch attic and through the roof.Photos #6 through #9 below show steps in the installation process.center_img RELATED ARTICLES Dealing with penetrations in the air barrier has definitely been a source of stress during this project. Although my plans have the construction details, implementing them has pretty much been left to me. Some penetrations needed careful thought and planning to avoid compromising the integrity of the air barrier and fouling up the insulation in the wall cavity.There are five wiring penetrations to the outside: three receptacles and two lights. Mounting the light/receptacle blocks to the exterior of the building could have been a mess if there was no foresight. It is hard to attach a trim block to a foam wall.The only solution was to attach blocking to the studs directly behind the foam before the cavities were insulated. I used 2×6 lumber for that this purpose. Each block had to sit flush against the foam and had to be thick enough so that the siding would be just flush with the front of the block. I drilled a hole in each corner of the block and used 6-inch screws that went through the foam and into the blocking. Once the siding is finished and the electrical elements are installed, I will install a small plug in each hole. Without some thinking ahead, this would have caused a lot of headaches. Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the Passive House standard. The first installment of the GBA blog series was titled An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House. For a list of Goodyear’s earlier blogs on this site, see the “Related Articles” sidebar below; you’ll find his complete blog here.last_img read more

Off-The-Shelf Products Fuel The Future Of Tech At MIT

first_imgdan rowinski Epicenters of geekdom, where the future of technology are being built, exist in pockets across the United States. Yet, none drive the future quite like the geeks at the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Media Lab, powered by students and professors often working on sponsorships by large brands or government grants, delves deep into aspects of technology that promise to fundamentally change the future. From 3D printing to the future of optics, holographic imaging to socially aware robots, there is a little something for everybody at one of MIT’s most progressive research centers. This 3D printer creates a foam-like material that could one day be the structural foundation of buildings.Yet, even in technology wonderland like the Media Lab, the innovation of the future is steeped in the building blocks of today. Robots, are powered by Android smartphones. Arduino processors for the do-it-yourself technologist are being built from textile materials, like fabric or paper. Cloud technology enables researchers to analyze large datasets with a speed and clarity never before available. Stereoscopic hologram images are built on the concepts like Pepper’s Ghost, developed in the 19th century. 3D image fields are being created by hacking Microsoft’s Kinect because they are cheap to acquire and implement.  Meet The DragonbotFor instance, take the Dragonbot (pictured right). This fuzzy little guy is an attempt towards a “socially aware robot” and its entire system, including its eyes and face, are powered by Android smartphones. By using a smartphone, researchers can leverage various sensors inside the device, like the camera and the touch screen interface, the microphone and the cellular connection. The Dragonbot could have many different purposes, including helping children learn a second language or assisting autistic kids with their speech issues. Imagine this scenario: you have a conversation with a Dragonbot in San Francisco (yes, you will be able to converse with these things eventually). It uses the camera in its smartphone brain to recognize your face and upload that recognition to a cloud server. You tell the Dragonbot something, perhaps that you are happy the San Francisco Giants are in the World Series. A month later you come to Boston and see a different Dragonbot. It can use its cellular connection to retrieve information from the cloud, recognize your face and ask about your feelings for how the Series turned out. That would be one smart little robot. Creepy Dragonbot prototype being developed at the mobile, dextrous, socially aware robotics department at MIT Media LabOff-The-Shelf ComponentsLet’s dig a little deeper: What functions currently available off-the-shelf from commercial companies make this robot possible?First, the smartphone and all the sensors and computing power that goes behind it. A quad-core smartphone is as powerful as the best laptop of 2000, not even including the sensors inside. The facial and speech recognition that the smartphone uses is available from companies like Google, Nuance and Facebook. The cellular connection that enables the Dragonbot to send and store information comes from the big mobile operators, like AT&T or Verizon. The cloud storage could come from any number of providers, such as Google, Apple, Oracle, Facebook or Amazon. Put all this together with the right algorithms and applications and you have the potential for an affordable robot with its own artificial intelligence that could provide distinct value to the world. This is no ordinary poster. Paper-based circuitry with conducive ink printed in silver could have a multitude of applications.The Dragonbot is just one example. All over the MIT Media Lab, off-the-shelf commercial technology is being used to create on futuristic concepts that promise to revolutionize our lives. The impact of innovations like smartphones and pervasive cloud computing are seen everywhere in the Media Lab. They are the building blocks of the next generation of technology, available simply by logging onto the Internet or walking down to your local Best Buy. Images by Dan Rowinski. Related Posts How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Tags:#Future Tech#robotics center_img Why You Love Online Quizzes 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Gov’t Consolidating Data on Traffic Ticket Payments

first_imgMinister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, has announced that the government is working to reconcile the databases of the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) and the island’s courts, to add all traffic tickets that have been paid on both systems. Speaking at a press briefing at the Ministry’s offices in New Kingston on Wednesday (January 16), Mr. Bunting said that the consolidation process, which is now in progress, should be completed by February. He said at that time, Cabinet will decide on whether there will be an extension of the previous amnesty. “All those 127,000 tickets that were settled during the amnesty, we’re going to upload those (to the database). We have a huge project going on where we’ve gone to the courts and we’re going through their manual-based system and we’re doing the data entry to bring the tickets settled at the courts onto the electronic database,” he said. The Security Minister said that the final stage of the process is to resolve those cases involving persons who say they have paid their tickets, but those tickets are still seen on the system as unpaid. “We will be setting up machinery to resolve those tickets that are being contested. When that is complete, Cabinet will decide, after looking at all the data, whether it makes sense to have another brief amnesty or whether we can go forward with making the payments in the courts, as what is in place now,” he said. Mr. Bunting also said that he has asked Head of the Traffic Department, Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis, to refrain from enforcing arrest warrants on those tickets until “we are confident that all the payments are reflected and brought current”.last_img read more

Spanish Ports Bracing for Dockworkers Strike

first_imgzoom Spanish dockworker unions have decided to keep the call for strikes for next week in order to voice their disapproval of the recently adopted port reform by the country’s parliament.The strikes are scheduled for the 5th, 7th and 9th of June.Spanish dockworkers fear the new reform would result in massive layoffs and have protested against the lack of their involvement in the negotiation process on the terms and conditions of the reform. Namely, the government aims to liberalize the hiring process of workers at ports, which in turn is likely to result in firing of unionized workers and replacing them with cheaper labor.Originally, the country’s union Coordinadora announced a three-week strike advisory during the odd hours on May 24, 26, 29, 31 and June 2, 5, 7, 9 following the passing of the royal decree. However, the strike plans covering the month of May were shelved following a meeting of around 200 stevedores from all Spanish ports with Anesco, port employers’ association.Nevertheless, the latest move was prompted by the association’s inability to guarantee job security to around 6,000 workers.International dockworkers unions had said earlier that they would support their colleagues with industrial action across European ports, however their response is yet to be seen after the latest strike announcement.Container shipping companies are expected to start shifting their calls to alternative neighboring ports so as to avoid delays of cargo due to the strikes.Danish shipping major Maersk Line already said that its latest fleet addition, the 20,568 TEU Madrid Maersk, will be omitting the port of Algeciras. Instead, the cargo would be discharged in Port Tangier for further connection to Algeciras.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Spliethoff Adds More Secondhand Vessels to Its Fleet

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Spliethoff Dutch shipping company Spliethoff Group has added more of the former Hansa Heavy Lift vessels, expanding its fleet with a total of ten units.The company recently took over the 20,100 dwt Pietersgracht (HHL Kobe) and four 19,450 dwt units, namely Pijlgracht (HHL Lagos), Poolgracht (HHL Fremantle), Pauwgracht (HHL Richards Bay) and Paleisgracht (HHL Tokyo).Earlier in 2019, the company acquired the 12,750 dwt Hudsongracht (HHL Elbe), Humbergracht (HHL Tyne), Heerengracht (HHL Amur) and Houtmangracht (HHL Mississippi). These vessels were added to Spliethoff’s H-Type series, now consisting of five vessels in total. The heavy lift vessel Prinsengracht (HHL New York) also joined the company’s fleet.Spliethoff said that all vessels are or will be reflagged to Dutch flag/register.In cooperation with heavy transport operator BigLift Shipping, the company operates over 70 multipurpose and heavy lift vessels for the breakbulk, project and heavy transport markets.last_img read more

Buckeyes remain confident through turmoil

As the dust settles on an off-season to forget, Ohio State players are using the events of this past spring to their advantage. They’re using it as motivation. “We’ve gotten more pissed off,” said senior center Michael Brewster in a press conference Tuesday. “We’ve gotten a lot tighter and we’re working even harder toward our goals.” Brewster believes that it is easy to become content and complacent when you’re used to winning and this “gut-check” might just be exactly what the Buckeyes needed. “(Becoming content and complacent) is definitely not going to happen now I can tell you that, just because of everything that’s gone on,” he said. Brewster and the Buckeyes expressed that they have no intentions of losing hope this upcoming season. “All we think about is winning,” Brewster said. “Getting ready to win, and doing everything to win. We’ve been a part of a winning program since we gotten here and we’re not going to let that stop just because of what’s happened.” Senior defensive back Nate Oliver said although Jim Tressel’s departure on May 30 has been tough on all Buckeye players, they must continue to move forward. “It hurts,” he said. “But it gives you an extra burst, it makes you want to work harder… And we know that he’s always a phone call away.” Oliver expressed that he is confident in Coach Fickell’s ability to lead the team. “You lose knowledge (with Tressel gone), but you also have knowledge from Coach Fickell so it’s really not going to be that big of a drop-off,” Oliver said. “(Fickell) is going to bring that toughness. His toughness, his character, and his passion about what he does—guys are going to be lined up to play just like we always are.” While Oliver is fully confident of coach Fickell’s ability to lead the Buckeyes football team, he said he has continued to maintain a close relationship to Tressel after his departure saying that he talks to coach Tressel “once a week.” Senior lineman John Simon added that the departures have given the Buckeyes something to play for, but it is up to them to turn negatives into a positive. “It’s definitely going to put a chip on our shoulder,” he said. “But we’re going to have to game plan and practice hard all week and execute or it don’t mean nothing.” After the athletic director, Gene Smith, removed the “interim” title from now head coach Luke Fickell’s name this month, Fickell made his first statement as to his starting quarterback for the 2011-12 season. “(The quarterback job) is completely wide open, and (Joe Bauserman) understands that,” Fickell said. After allegations sidelined former quarterback Terrelle Pryor indefinitely, senior quarterback Joe Bauserman expressed that the job opening didn’t change anything. “There’s no change, you prepare for the long haul.” Not known for his leadership off the field, Bauserman says it will be extremely important for him to be an example for his teammates if he wants to be a leader. “I want to show the guys that I can workout with the best of them and I can give the most effort and be one of the tougher guys and stuff so they can do the same thing and believe in me.” Brewster and the Buckeyes fully expect to continue their winning ways this season and set their standards high. “Every season we have a goal to win the Big Ten Championship and the National Championship,” he said. “We’re full steam ahead,” Brewster said. “We’re fully behind coach (Fickell). We’re not going to skip a beat. “ read more

Ohio State earns first Big Ten win tops Purdue 7869

Junior guard Shannon Scott (right) drives to the hoop during a game against Delaware Dec. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 76-64. Credit: Mark Batke / Lantern photographerThe beat rolls on for the No. 3-ranked Ohio State men’s basketball team.OSU (14-0, 1-0) earned its first Big Ten win Tuesday, topping Purdue (10-4, 0-1), 78-69, in West Lafayette, Ind.A back-and-forth affair in the opening 20 minutes, OSU took a 34-33 lead into halftime after senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. hit a lay up just before the buzzer. Fellow senior guard Aaron Craft fired a pass to Smith Jr. from under the hoop on the play, one of Craft’s six assists in the half.After the break, the Buckeyes turned to junior forward LaQuinton Ross to carry them to victory.The Boilermakers center, sophomore A.J. Hammons, was a force inside, finishing the game with 18 points and 16 rebounds, but couldn’t match Ross, who poured in a career-high 25 points. He also collected 12 rebounds in the game.OSU’s big men, junior centers Amir Williams and Trey McDonald, combined for 21 minutes played and both picked up their third fouls in the first six minutes of the second half. That caused OSU coach Thad Matta to play Ross down low and guard Hammons.Ross played in the post for a majority of the second half, as Matta chose to play with the smaller lineup while OSU added to its lead.Williams and McDonald combined for only six points and four rebounds in the win.A tip-in by Hammons with just 1:38 left cut OSU’s lead to 69-64, but free throws by Craft, Ross, Smith Jr. and junior guard Shannon Scott helped put the game away.Craft finished with seven points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and four steals. Scott and Smith Jr. finished with 18 and 14 points, respectively.Up next, OSU is scheduled to return to the Schottenstein Center to take on Nebraska (8-4, 0-0) Jan. 4, 2014. Tipoff is set for noon. read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State hopes to close nonconference schedule with home win

Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) hands the ball off to senior forward Jae’Sean Tate (1) in the first half in the game against Michigan on Dec. 4. Ohio State won 71-62. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State (10-4, 2-0 Big Ten) begins the true Big Ten season on Jan. 4, but before then, the Buckeyes have one final nonconference game against Miami (OH) Saturday.The last two seasons, it was a challenge for Ohio State to escape the nonconference slate without a bad loss on its resume. Although the Buckeyes don’t have a signature nonconference win, avoiding a gargantuan letdown against the Redhawks (7-5) will end the nonconference schedule without a major blemish.The game tips at noon at the Schottenstein Center on ESPNU. Here’s what to expect.Projected startersMiami:G — Jake Wright — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-4, 202 lbs., 8.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.5 apgG — Darrian Ringo — Junior, 6-foot-2, 173 lbs., 8.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 7.9 apgG — Nike Sibande — Freshman, 6-foot-3, 178 lbs., 14.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.9 apgF — Dalonte Brown — Freshman, 6-foot-7, 196 lbs., 7.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.3 apgF — Logan McLane — Senior, 6-foot-9, 225 lbs., 10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.9 apgOhio State:G — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 13.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.2 apgG — Musa Jallow — Freshman, 6-foot-5, 200 lbs., 3.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.3 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.1 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 18.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.4 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 12.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.7 apgScouting Miami (OH)Ranked No. 257 by KenPom.com, the Redhawks are led by freshman guard Nike Sibande, who has attempted more than half his shots from 3-point range. Sibande is shooting 37 percent from deep and 44.4 percent from the field and plays roughly 31 minutes per game. If the Redhawks are to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year, Sibande will need to have the best game of his career.Miami is statistically one of the worst offensive teams in the country. Per 100 possessions, the Redhawks score just 95 points, according to KenPom, which ranks 312th in the country. They also turn the ball over on more than 23 percent of their possessions, ranking 322nd out of 351 teams.In its two games against major conference opponents Missouri and DePaul, Miami attempted an average of more than 28 3-pointers and allowed the opponent to shoot 63 and 54 percent in effective field goal rate.Outside of the first half against North Carolina, Ohio State has shot the ball well for the past month. Saturday against the Redhawks should be no different.What to expectHoltmann said Friday before the Miami matchup that his team didn’t play well through ball screens last Saturday against North Carolina. The Buckeyes will see plenty of that Saturday with the Redhawks trying to free Sibande on nearly every possession.“Our ball-screen defense can be improved,” he said. “That’s going to be tested tomorrow. They have an outstanding point guard. Really good shooting around him.”As mentioned before, this is Ohio State’s final nonconference game. Holtmann has said for a couple weeks that it has been a main focus for the team to finish the nonconference schedule strong and enter the Big Ten season with any sort of momentum. Ohio State, ranked No. 46 by KenPom, has an opponent it is vastly superior than to work on any shortcomings it had against the Tar Heels.“Our turnover percentage would certainly be one,” Holtmann said. “We can continue to improve defensively across the board … The biggest thing is you have a chance to finish the nonconference and feel really good about it. And that’s what’s in front of us here tomorrow.”If Miami’s past games against high-major opponents are any indication, Ohio State’s 48 percent second-half shooting against North Carolina will carry over to Saturday and redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop will be the difference maker, again, with his size and length.Prediction:Ohio State wins 87-63 read more