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An Architect, an Arch, and Passive House Performance

first_imgConsiderable attention has been lavished on Crossway, a high-performance home designed by British architect Richard Hawkes and completed a couple years ago on a spacious lot in county Kent, in southeast England. It wasn’t until July of this year, however, that the house, which has become as well known for its parabolic roof as its energy efficiency, was finally certified for Passive House performance, becoming one of the first new homes in the country to meet the standard.Hawkes, who tracked the project’s progress in a blog, and his wife, Sophie, occupied the four-bedroom 3,000-sq.-ft. house for about a year before hiring a service in February to perform a blower-door test, which showed 0.56 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals. Later that month, the house also earned an A-A rating, the highest achievable, for energy efficiency and CO2 emissions in government-mandated Energy Performance Certificate tests, with a 93% energy efficiency score, and 103 out of 103 points on the “environmental impact” CO2-emissions rating.Adding a thermal bufferOther than the parabolic roof – a Catalan vault constructed of 26,000 locally made clay tiles arranged in three layers – the house is equipped with a combined photovoltaic and solar thermal system and phase-change material thermal store, with a 4 kW heat register linked to the building’s heat recovery ventilation system. A biomass boiler has been installed as backup, but has yet to be used.For the exterior walls, in between their cellulose insulation and interior-facing layer of plasterboard, Hawkes installed 5mm-thick DuPont Energain panels, which are designed to absorb ambient heat as room temperature rises (starting at about 72 degrees), store it until the temperature drops (at around 64 degrees), and then release it back into the room.After some adjustments, the home’s energy efficiency systems seem to be performing as expected, Hawkes told the Scottish Passive House Centre (SPHC), a consultancy and certification group serving the U.K. He added that the house has had 100% free hot water since March and its PV/solar thermal system has generated almost 700 kWh of electricity since the end of June. SPHC handled the building’s Passive House certification, which was awarded on July 10.Clay soil and the greening of a roofThough the region’s clay soil is terrific material for tile and brick, it did mean that the builder had to sink a series of 36-ft. pilings into the ground to guarantee stability for the foundation. The clay also is doing duty as a native-plant substrate in a center channel built into roof’s porous tiles, which were dressed with metal mesh and then filled with gravel and clay. With the support of an inexpensive irrigation system, grasses and flowers have finally taken root.None of this came cheaply. Although we haven’t gotten word on the final cost of construction and materials, estimates were mentioned in an overview of the project for “Grand Designs,” a TV series presented by Britain’s Channel 4 Television that focuses on architecturally unusual residential construction projects. The initial budget of about $473,000 for Crossway grew to $630,700 as the project got underway, and the cost of the parabolic roof, originally pegged at $134,000, had drifted to about $165,000.Judging from Hawkes’ comments about the results, though, it doesn’t seem as if he or his wife have regrets about the endeavor, and the attention it has attracted probably hasn’t hurt either.last_img read more

Two U.P. constables arrested in Pilakhuwa custodial torture case

first_imgMore than six weeks after a security guard Pradeep Tomar allegedly died because of torture at a police post in Pilakhuwa town of Hapur district, two constables have been arrested.Also read ‘Custodial’ death sparks tension in U.P. town“Manish Singh and Sonu Kumar were arrested on Wednesday. They were produced before a magistrate and have been sent to jail,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, Circle Officer, Hapur (city), who is investigating the case.He refused to comment on the constables’ role in the case. “It is still a matter of investigation.” He said two other accused, SHO Yogesh Baliyan and sub-inspector Ajab Singh, who were under suspension, were still on the run.Deputy Superintendent of Police Santosh Mishra, who was also named in the FIR and transferred to Garhmukteshwar after the incident, has already been given a clean chit in the case.Mr. Tomar, 35, died on the intervening night of October 13 after he was picked by the police from the Chhijarasai toll booth in Pilakhuwa. The police had claimed he was picked up for questioning in connection with a murder case. However, Mr. Tomar’s family, including his 10-year-old son who was allegedly present when his father was picked up, claimed that he was tortured by the police personnel.Based on the complaint of the deceased’s brother Kuldeep, an FIR was registered against six police personnel under stringent Sections of the Indian Penal Code.last_img read more

Maternal Undernutrition and Adolescent Girls

first_imgPosted on December 22, 2010June 20, 2017By: Emily Puckart, Program Associate, MHTFClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)During the recent Woodrow Wilson International Center policy dialogue on maternal undernutrition both speakers highlighted the importance of including adolescent girls as targets and beneficiaries of maternal nutrition programs. After all, around the world girls under the age of 18 may be married as well as mothers. If they are not mothers already, reaching out to adolescent girls ensures that they will have necessary nutrition information and tools they need before they even become pregnant.Bhavishya Alliance is a Mumbai based multi-sector partnership with a focus on reducing undernutrition in Maharashtra, India. The Girls Gaining Ground (GGG) program is Bhavishya Alliance’s pilot nutrition and health intervention which focuses on adolescent girls as future mothers. GGG combines a strong focus on maternal nutrition and health along with a girl’s empowerment component, benefiting groups of girls in some of the most underserved tribal communities in Maharashtra state.The program itself focuses heavily on nutrition and health information, as well as giving girls the knowledge to access government health services. This includes information in accessing services such as iron supplements and access to facilities when giving birth. The groups take part in community mapping exercises which identify health and nutrition services near their communities.Local women serve as role-models and facilitators for each of the GGG groups, leading the curriculum on reproductive and sexual health, the importance of iron supplements, dispelling myths relating to foods during pregnancy, and the importance of delayed marriage and pregnancy for health. Storytelling, local songs and myths are emphasized in order for the curriculum to make an impact in the lives of the girls. For example, girls may enact plays, where the lead character, an adolescent girl, dies in childbirth after an early marriage and a difficult, unattended pregnancy.There is a special emphasis in the program on preparing girls nutritionally to become mothers. Facilitators chart hemoglobin levels and iron supplement intake and girls enrolled in the program use food diaries to record and discuss their daily intake of food. Where illiteracy is a challenge, facilitators use the girls’ verbal history to take down the diary. Along with a focus on quantity, facilitators use the colors of the Indian flag (green, orange and white) to ask girls and their families to diversify their food intake using locally available food sources. Some NGOs have supplemented the GGG program with seed distribution for families to start agricultural plots for food to be consumed within the family, rather than exported for sale outside the community.This innovative and exciting program may provide a model for other maternal nutrition programs that recognize the importance of including adolescent girls as beneficiaries of maternal nutrition programs.This is the third post by Emily Puckart on “Maternal Undernutrion: Evidence, Links, and Solutions.” Read the first and second.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more