first_imgThursday, February 2, 2006GOV. DOUGLAS ASKS LT. GOV. DUBIE TO PROMOTE VERMONTS GREEN VALLEY AT INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL TECH SHOWMontpelier, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas and Lt. Governor Brian Dubie today announced that the State of Vermont will send a team to the upcoming GLOBE international environmental technology trade fair in Vancouver, Canada to promote Vermont as an ideal location for sustainable, environmental industries.   Governor Douglas said he asked Lt. Governor Dubie to head the team that includes the Vermont Department of Economic Development, Vermont Global Trade Partnership, and the Vermont Environmental Consortium at GLOBE 2006, a biennial trade fair and conference scheduled for March 29-31.Brian has been a leader in the promotion of the Green Valley – our effort to build a robust, sustainable environmental technology sector here in Vermont, Governor Douglas said. That leadership, coupled with his strong relationship with our Canadian neighbors, makes him uniquely suited to this task.I welcome the opportunity to promote Vermont and its environmental technology sector at such a prestigious event, Lt. Governor Dubie said. The Governor and I are both very committed to cultivating and attracting high tech environmental firms that will help us to make Vermont an even better place to live, work and raise a family. The Green Valley is a critical part of the Agenda of Affordability, Governor Douglas continued. Working aggressively to retain and recruit firms who utilize and produce cutting edge environmental technologies will help secure our economic future and ensure that the next generation of Vermonters have good, high-paying job opportunities that permit them to own homes and raise their families here, he said.The Vermont Environmental Consortium is a partnership of environmental technology firms, educational institutions, and other groups interested in promoting sustainable environmental industries.GLOBE 2006 showcases emerging environmental technologies and solutions from leading global technology companies. Organizers estimate that 10,000 environmental business leaders and corporate environmental managers will attend, and that over $625 million in estimated new business was generated at GLOBE 2004.  For more information, visit the GLOBE Web site at: ###last_img read more

Tracking the Raiders’ undrafted free-agent signings

first_imgALAMEDA — The Raiders’ work didn’t stop after the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft concluded, as Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden signed several undrafted free agents to compete for roster spots this offseason.Below is a running list of those players.Wisconsin FB Alec Ingold – Ingold played for the Raiders-coached North team at the Senior Bowl#GrudenGrinder — Alec Ingold (@AI_XLV) April 27, 2019UC Davis WR Keelan Doss – Doss is an Alameda native whose childhood home is five …last_img

PetroSA increases future Coega capacity

first_img26 May 2008The state-owned Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA) has increased the capacity of its planned crude refinery at the Coega Industrial Zone near Port Elizabeth from 250 000 to 400 000 barrels per day, with the plant now costing US$11-billion.The company’s board approved the increase last week after evaluating a pre-feasibility study conducted by leading US-based refinery engineering company KBR.The Coega refinery will be the lowest cost producer in sub-Saharan Africa due to economies of scare, use of proven world-class technologies and crude processing flexibility.“This will enable it to accomplish a balancing role and sustain a competitive advantage in open market conditions within both local and export environments while meeting the highest global standards of product quality and environmental responsibility,” said new ventures vice president Joern Falbe in Port Elizabeth last week.“The design configuration to process a wide spread of feedstock, with prominence given to lower-cost heavy, sour and acid crudes, is the primary driver in maximising commerciality as well as security of supply.”According to the company, South Africa will already be experiencing a shortfall of locally refined products of about 200 000 barrels per day by the time the refinery is commissioned in 2014, due to the country’s projected economic growth and low investment in existing refineries.This shortfall will be met by importing products – an expensive solution that has a major impact on foreign exchange and increases potential supply vulnerability.Energy security and independenceThough the refinery’s original capacity of 250 000 barrels per day originally proved sufficient to meet demand, the company decided to increase capacity in light of its mandate to reduce South Africa’s external dependency of energy and investment from potential international partners who recognised the ability of the refinery to supply diverse markets and mitigate risk.“After evaluating all operational, logistical and environmental considerations, 400 000 barrels per day was deemed the most suitable configuration,” Falbe said. “However, due to the economies of scale, the investment cost per barrel reduces by 20% and operating costs improve by 30%, boosting the original project economics substantially.”Falbe said that a recently-completed logistics study had confirmed that crude supply in very large crude carriers via single point mooring was technically and operationally feasible, and PetroSA was awaiting the outcome of an environmental and engineering analysis to determine the most suitable location for the facility.The positioning of this highly competitive, world-class mega refinery would help diversify crude and product supply structures in South Africa by providing an essential strategic supply alternative to the country’s main inland markets.A future product pipeline from Coega to Gauteng, commercially viable, also becomes a justifiable reality in the medium term, he said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 1

first_imgCome on — having no energy bills has to be worth somethingYou see, our appraiser rated as “typical” the energy efficiency of EdgewaterHaus and four other comparable properties, including one LEED Gold home. He did not recognize or value that EdgewaterHaus is designed to the Passivhaus standard, which results in a home that uses 90% less energy for space heating and cooling than a conventional house. Nor did he recognize or value that our house will seek LEED Platinum status for environmentally sustainable design, or that the design includes a photovoltaic system to get to net-zero-energy use on an annual basis. RELATED ARTICLES Green Building Appraisal and Financing IssuesGreen Home Appraisal WoesA Step Toward Fairer Green Home ValuationsWhen Green Poses an Appraisal ProblemGetting a Grip on Green-Home Appraisals and InsuranceQ&A: Bad Appraisal on a New Green HomeQ&A: Refinance and Appraisal of Net-Zero Home [Editor’s note: Roger and Lynn Normand are building a [no-glossary]Passivhaus[/no-glossary] in Maine. This is the 15th article in a series that will follow their project from planning through construction.]I am seeing “red” on what’s supposed to be a “green” residential property appraisal.No, I’m not color blind, although my wife Lynn says I am “seriously color challenged” for my occasional fashion faux-pas. Perhaps so.I’m using figurative colors here, as in getting a property appraisal to recognize and realistically value the energy efficient and environmentally friendly (a.k.a. “green”) aspects of EdgewaterHaus. I’ve turned an irate “red” from an appraisal that ignored all of these features in our home design. “Soft” greenies and “hard” greeniesAnd what makes a property green? There are a handful of green building standards. Some (like Passivhaus) are based on building science principles, use an exacting energy model, and require a blower door performance test after the construction is completed to confirm that the building assembly attained the modeled performance standards. Other green standards feel more like a “greenwash.”More importantly, how do you value green on an appraisal?I distinguish between two shades of green. There’s the “soft” greenies – those people who will be drawn to buildings that use sustainable materials, use products with recycled content, and products that reduce or eliminate air emissions out of concerns over global climate change. You either believe in the importance of these things or not. Count me as one who does. I would be willing to pay more for a property with these attributes, but I also know that many would not be so inclined. (Hey, some people still don’t believe the Surgeon General’s warnings that smoking cigarettes causes cancer).Then there are what I call the “hard” greenies – those people who focus on energy-efficiency upgrades and can quantify in dollars the real life value from investing in a very tight building envelope. The hard greenies may embrace some or all of the soft greenies agenda, but it does not drive their singular focus on energy efficiency.For example, a soft greenie would object to using foam insulation formulated with ozone-depleting chemicals. The hard greenie may view the higher R-value in a one-time application a reasonable tradeoff. In the absence of MLS data, valuing the soft greenie home in real dollars remains subjective, whereas valuing the hard greenie home can be an objective and quantifiable analysis. This means that our annual energy cost for heating, cooling, lights, laundry and cooking will be zero! We have essentially prepaid the energy costs for much of the building’s entire usable life in the form of an upfront investment in a very tight building envelope. I am aware of only one other home in Maine that can boast this pedigree (the Belfast Passive House). Surely attaining net zero has real, measurable value in today’s real estate market!Not according to the appraisal we received. On what is the appraisal based?So here’s the challenge for appraising green properties: less overall residential sales data than previous years due to the economic downturn; a variety of recent green building standards, some more credible than others; few green homes that have been built; even fewer green buildings have been sold; no easy way to mine green attributes in the MLS comp sales data.So it impossible to appraise a green property? Absolutely not!Don’t despair. And don’t give in when an appraisal fails to recognize or value legitimate green property enhancements. In fact, I’m pleased to say that major building industry valuation sources have risen to the challenge and have developed credible tools to equitably evaluate green buildings. The challenge is not so much an absence of tools, but the need to educate appraisers and lenders on the use and value of these tools.I’ll explain what are these tools and how they should be used in my next blog. (After you’ve read Part 2, you’ll probably want to read Part 3 as well.) BLOGS BY ROGER NORMAND Kicking the Tires on a Passivhaus ProjectGoodbye Radiant FloorSelecting a General ContractorPlans and Pricing for Our House in MaineLooking Through Windows — Part 1Looking Through Windows — Part 2Looking Through Windows — Part 3Looking Through Windows — Part 4Looking Through Windows — Part 5Looking Through Windows — Part 6Looking Through Windows — Part 7Designing Superinsulated WallsCutting Down Trees and Milling LumberA Visit to the Local SawmillSeeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 2Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 3 Before lending money, a bank needs an appraisalI figure we are like the the 99% of the U.S. population who need a construction loan to finance building a new home. We looked at a variety of local and national banks and credit unions, here in southern Maine where we will build EdgewaterHaus, and back in our current home in northern Virginia. We found that “the big guys” like the Bank of America have abandoned construction loans in the wake of the mortgage market meltdown. We concluded that Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution, a small bank with six locations in the area, had the best rates and customer service. S&B savings has been in business since 1827, and their loan officer has been especially supportive of our very green home design.Along with the usual review of assets, liabilities, and credit scores, all financial institutions will insist on getting a real estate appraiser to look at the construction plans to evaluate the potential market value of the planned building and lot before committing to a loan. If we default on the loan, the lender wants to ensure that it can recover its investment by selling the property. Are there any “comparables” nearby?We discussed with the loan officer the challenge of equitably valuing green properties. The economic downturn of the last few years means that there has been far fewer property sales to establish comparable values across similar sized homes and neighborhoods. Nationally recognized green building standards have only emerged in the last five years, so there are few homes or commercial properties that have been built to these standards. Even fewer of these green buildings have been recently bought or sold.Property appraisals typically value properties based on comparative sales prices, cost of construction, or on income generation potential. We were told that most banks place greater weight on comparable sales, which relies of the appraiser using realtor’s multiple listing service (MLS) database to find the ”comps.”We knew that finding green property sales comps would be very hard. MLS does not now have any green data fields or green reporting standards, so how would an appraiser find a green building in MLS, if one existed, other than perhaps a green word search in the MILS property description? I have read that MLS is working to develop such fields, but they don’t exist today. The first article in this series was Kicking the Tires on a Passivhaus Project. Roger Normand’s construction blog is called EdgewaterHaus.last_img read more

How You Can Build Your Smart Home With The Help of AI and IoT

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#engagement#how to build smart home#IoT#smart home#smart home devices Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… If we talk about the current world and its housing aspects, the home automation criteria are on a high scale of changing and converging. As of now, most people are aware of the term IoT and how it will magnify the whole dynamics of the current home system. With the increasing hype of smart home labeled products as well as the future home planning scenarios, the concept of the smart and a more convenient home is straight on the cards and is more popular than ever. In this article, you will get to know about the changing dynamics of the current home system and will also get to know how you can magnify your home to the next level of high-tech living provided with ease of satisfaction and fulfillment. So, let’s get started.Related Read: Who are the right partners to get you into more smart homes?According to a research in 2017 on connected home solutions, the connected home solutions were defined as follows- “Connected home solutions consist of a set of devices and services that are connected to each other and to the internet and can automatically respond to preset rules, be remotely accessed and managed by mobile apps or a browser, and send alerts or messages to the user(s).”For building your own Smart home powered by IoT and Artificial Intelligence, here are some of my own takes:1) Don’t Go Completely WirelessNo matter how much you make your home transformed into an IoT beast, being wired will surely be the very best as well as a reliable option. If you are the one who has got exposed walls, you can install the Cat6 cable before the plaster pops out. After all, Cat 6 is a good cable and can do pretty operations at a faster rate than just transmitting data. Also, it can carry digital signals too. 2) Don’t Fret About Different PlatformsSmart Home connectivity is nothing less than a confusing muddle for an average consumer. Ranging from a list of platforms, some of them are as follows:NestHomeKitWinkZ-WaveZigbeeSmartThingsBrilloThese are just a handful list of platforms which you can inculcate in building your smart home. 3) The Starting PointA good start requires a deep amount of research and determination. At the start, you as a consumer will need to figure out whether you want to dabble in the smart scene or planning to go all out. If you are planning to go device by device, things can get a little cheap but can get a little messy and in the end harder to upgrade. Even for some devices which are not available at your place, you have to get it from another city or country for which you have to pay a high tax to the government, but there are many tax debt relief options are available in the market so you can get rid of taxes. While I will do the best to guide you through the hurdles and presenting you a kit which is a lot more compatible, to be honest, you can either automate your home appliances and control each and everything around your home or choose one central hub which can control every device right from a single location. 4) Taking a Piecemeal ApproachIn today’s market, you can get plenty of devices which are pretty much impressive, and if you are planning to buy one, chances are that you will be delighted by their performance and workability as well. 5) Amazon EchoRanging from a pool of IoT devices which can change the dynamics of your house, Amazon Echo can be the best option. With a designing around your voice, it has 7 microphones and comes with a beam-forming technology for performing various operations. Intersting Read: Who are the right partners to get you into more smart homes?With the all-new Amazon Echo, you can switch off or on the lights without the need of lifting your finger. Also, it can be connected to Alexa for providing the daily news updates, weather conditions, play music and so much more.Either, you can go for a Nest Thermostat or a Philips Hue Light bulb and can add a great amount of Intelligence to your existing home. 6) The Fusion of Artificial Intelligence and Wi-FiThanks to the uninterrupted and the ever-enchanting Wi-Fi technology which can get the devices connected to it and let the control straight from the palms. As a consumer, you can get Smart Lights, Smart Locks and Smart Fridges from various online stores which can lift-up the game of your Smart home to the next level of high-tech living fantasy. 7) The Introduction of IFTTTIFTTT was commonly known as If This Then That can bind together different smart home gadgets with a different set of skills. Under certain tricks, it can get your echo to talk to your Nest or can help in keeping heating and light synced. Yet, it’s still a confusing topic and will surely need some time to unwrap it to a simpler extent.8) Choosing the Correct PlatformIf you are throwing everything at one platform will surely leave you incomplete from the ins and outs of IFTTT. The easiest way as of today is buying a hub i.e. buying yourself an Amazon Echo or a Google Home and then picking the rest of the kit which is compatible with your current home system. Altogether, choosing a great platform will depend on your home’s condition, and the Smart home desire will surely drive any consumer to buy one. 9) Zion Market ResearchBased on the findings of April 2017 by Zion Market Research, the Smart home market at the global market is expected to reach an enormous $53.45 billion by the year 2022 which will be quite stupendous and stunning. Final VerdictIn a world of changing, dynamics and many mobile app development companies and boasting a fantasized living situation which is slowly converted into reality, transforming your home into a Smart can be the best thing you can do in the present age time. As of now, go through the above article, eliminate the don’ts and implement the mentioned platforms to outburst with a shine to pave your way at a better living metrics. Follow the Puck James Grills James Grills is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. He is a marketing advisor – currently associated with Cumulations Technologies a mobile app development company in India. last_img read more

India made dominant start by winning against Sri Lanka

first_imgTo have expected Sri Lanka, ranked 73rd in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rankings, to have matched an experienced Indian side, ranked 50th, would perhaps have been unfair.But under their new coach Kenny Natt, India blew their opponents away with a mindboggling 99-42 victory in the lone Pool a match of the Middle Asia qualifying tournament for a spot in the FIBA Asia Championship, at the Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi, on Wednesday.India thus entered the semifinals, where their opponents will be the loser of the Pool B match between Nepal and Bangladesh on Thursday morning. Both these teams beat Bhutan in their games on Wednesday, and the winner of the Nepal-Bangladesh match will meet Sri Lanka in the other semifinal.Both last-four games take place on Thursday evening.Former NBA coach Natt’s strategy of developing the Indian team’s defensive capabilities paid rich dividends, as the tight defence forced 14 turnovers throughout the game from the Lankans. These turnovers fuelled India’s traditional strength of fast-break baskets and three-pointers, handing them a 32-5 lead at the end of the 10-minute first period.The deployment of strengthand-conditioning coach Zak Penwell seems to have paid off well too as the Indians intimidated their opponents with sheer size and muscle power.At the beginning of the second period, India raced to a 45-7 lead, effectively sealing the game. However, it was good to see that the intensity didn’t drop much despite the score, as they closed the half at 60-20, with up-coming sevenfooter Satnam Singh getting his international career underway with a couple of good moves under the basket.advertisementWith the game virtually in the bag, Natt was free to experiment with the line- up, and he made sure each of his 12 players got at least 10 minutes of action each.The team, while keeping up the pressure on the Lankans with solid man-to-man defence, also experimented with different plays on offence, with captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi scoring repeatedly.He finished with a team-high 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including two three-pointers that brought the crowd alive. Prakash Mishra also chipped in with 16 points and the scoring was shared around well, with only one player failing to get off the mark.In fact, the Indian team made 61 per cent of its attempted field goals, grabbed 37 rebounds to Sri Lanka’s 18 and registered 25 assists.Natt was delighted with his first look at the team in a competitive environment. “I’m glad we won and I’m impressed with the guys’ focus on everything I asked them to do. We maintained our defensive intensity and didn’t worry about the offence. I believe when you play good defence, you get more offensive opportunities, and that was our primary focus,” Natt told Mail Today after the game.Looking ahead, Natt said he was expecting much more out of the team. “I want them to tighten the screws better because we are going to play against great talent in the future. We dropped off a bit at the end and I want to avoid that,” he said.Beat Sri Lanka 99-42 to enter semi-finals of the Middle Asia qualifying tournament for the FIBA Asia Championship in September.last_img read more

Jamaicans Urged to Clean Up Their Communities on Labour Day

first_imgStory Highlights Jamaicans are being encouraged to come out and clean up their communities on Labour Day, which is being observed on Tuesday, May 23. “Bring back volunteerism to Labour Day,” she said, while urging citizens to engage in meaningful projects in their respective areas. Jamaicans are being encouraged to come out and clean up their communities on Labour Day, which is being observed on Tuesday, May 23.Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Dr. Janice Lindsay, made the call while speaking at a Jamaica Information Service Think Tank on Thursday (May 18) at the agency’s head office in Kingston.“Bring back volunteerism to Labour Day,” she said, while urging citizens to engage in meaningful projects in their respective areas.She said that persons can be involved in the beautification of parks, painting of murals, or the planting of trees.“Whatever it is that is distinctively unique to your respective communities, whether it is something related to your tangible heritage, we are saying come out on Labour Day to restore, preserve and beautify,” she said.Noting the recent heavy rains and damage to the nation’s infrastructure, she said it was an appropriate time for Jamaicans to come together and work to improve their communities.“With the rains that we have been experiencing…it was a disaster but it’s an opportunity for us to really mobilise our people and to get our communities back up and running again,” Dr. Lindsay said.However, the acting Permanent Secretary warned citizens to seek guidance from the relevant agencies, with regard to the cleaning and restoring of monuments in their communities.“If you are undertaking any work on a monument or site, you really ought to work closely with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust to undertake those restoration works,” she emphasised.Labour Day is being observed under the theme ‘Restore…Preserve…Beautify’, with the emphasis on two National Projects – the Ward Theatre and the Central Police Station in Kingston. Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Dr. Janice Lindsay, made the call while speaking at a Jamaica Information Service Think Tank on Thursday (May 18) at the agency’s head office in Kingston.last_img read more

Emery Ramsey remains focused at Arsenal

first_imgArsenal manager Unai Emery remains pleased with Aaron Ramsey’s commitment on the pitch and will respect whatever decision he makes over his futureReports emerged earlier today claiming that Ramsey has agreed to join Serie A champions Juventus on a free transfer this summer.Apparently, a pre-contract agreement between Ramsey and Juventus will be sorted out after the Bianconeri’s Coppa Italia game against AC Milan next Wednesday.But Emery refused to shed any light on Ramsey’s future and instead praised the Welsh star’s commitment to Arsenal.“I cannot say more about his situation,” said Emery on“The most important thing is that Aaron Ramsey is with us. His future I respect a lot because he has a very private decision but he is with us every day, and I repeat that I am very happy with him.”Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Ramsey played the full 90 minutes of last Saturday’s FA Cup third round 3-0 win at Blackpool.“In the last match I was very happy with him,” added Emery.“I asked in the last match at Blackpool if he is okay to help us play and he said, ‘Yeah, coach, I want to play’ and he played with a very big behaviour and commitment to us.“After, his future belongs to him, his family and agent. Every day he’s here with us, he’s working very well. I want his behaviour and his focus to be on West Ham on Saturday.”The Spaniard also announced that Arsenal will only be able to do loan signings this month.last_img read more