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Thompson, Russell sparkle in Morocco – Jamaican darlings deliver during Africa’s Diamond League debut

first_img McDonald trailed in seventh (46.79 seconds) in the men’s 400m race won by American class act LaShawn Merritt, who notched a meeting record of 44.66. Second was Belgium’s Kevin Borlee (45.26), while Isaac Makwala of Botswana (45.38) came in third. The Diamond League has grown in importance over the years and Africa hosting an event is confirmation of the League’s growing status. The competition gathers the best athletes from around the world to compete in a series of rounds, from May-September, divided over four continents. Morocco was rewarded for its efforts with a local winner. Abdelaati Iguider won the 3000m to get the crowd to fever pitch, while rising to their feet and applauding the middle-distance runner for a stunning effort. With Africa staging its very first Diamond League meeting, there is scope for other countries from the continent to do the same. The meeting in Morocco also serves notice that the Caribbean, and Jamaica in particular, cannot be too far away themselves from replicating what took place in Africa. STEWART THIRD Thompson’s experienced compatriot Kerron Stewart came home third (11.19). Separating the two Jamaicans was Nigerian Blessing Okagbare-Ighotegu (11.11), who is still in the formative stages of her campaign. The long journey to the continent clearly did Stewart no favours and she said afterwards: “To come over here with jet lag and line up with the girls and compete was OK.” The event was the ninth edition of the Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Athletisme, the third leg of the 2016 Diamond League tour. The series provided athletes with the top-level competition required in Olympic year. Making inroads with Diamond points is Jamaican Janieve Russell, who took the 400m hurdles race with ease. The Jamaican saw off the highly regarded American, Cassandra Tate, to well and truly get her season up and running. Russell is clearly an improving athlete. She caught the eye at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow when she claimed 400m hurdles bronze and a 4x400m relay gold. She was to impress again in Rabat. Russell, while not totally happy with her effort, indicated that her win was another useful stepping stone to the Olympic Games to be staged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “I was not concentrating on running a fast time today (personal-best 54.16). I just wanted to get on top of this race. This didn’t feel like windy conditions at all to me. “This is the kind of weather that we know in Jamaica. I want to continue lowering my times in the next races. ” Rome will be the next occasion to do so. “It’s great to compete with my countrymen, but it’s also hard to try and get on the team for the Olympics,” she confessed. While Thompson, Stewart and Russell all had a reasonably good day, that was not the case for Rusheen McDonald. NOT SO GOOD FOR MCDONALD RABAT, Morocco: It was a highly successful day for Jamaican athletes at Africa’s inaugural Diamond League meeting yesterday. African track and field took a massive step as the Moroccan capital of Rabat hosted some of the world’s best athletes – and there is the rich promise of so much more from the continent in terms of this prestigious invitational series. A three-quarters full Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium was the venue for the occasion and as this historic meeting got under way, there was an unforgettable din that greeted the participants. As ever, Jamaican athletes shone during the increasingly popular Diamond League. Sprint queen-in-waiting Elaine Thompson took the 100m in a meeting best time of 11.02 seconds. The 200m World Championships silver medallist got out of the blocks smartly and dominated her opponents from there. “It’s my first time in Morocco. It feels good to be here. I did my best and it paid off. I broke the meeting record,” Thompson, of whom so much is expected, said after her impressive victory. “I am aspiring to make it to the gold medal at the Olympic Games,” she added. Of the microscope that she is now under, Thompson confessed: “When you are performing and delivering, certainly people will look at you and expect certain things. “But I want to just go out there and do my best to please myself and others.”last_img read more

The Wright View | Make PPE’s mandatory

first_img TJB responds to crisis This obvious crisis in sports has sparked a tremendous response from Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB), an association in the United States of America with a long and impressive history in providing assistance to Jamaican children involved in sports. As a result of this ‘crisis’, TJB will be presenting 15 automated external defibrillators (AEDS) to pre-selected schools on October 14 at the JAMPRO headquarters in Kingston. In addition, training in the use of these machines will be provided by experts from the diaspora health-care sector. The CEO and founder of TJB, Irwin Clare, has stated that some of the schools selected lacked strong support programmes or were identified after collaboration with ‘old students’ associations in the diaspora and the UNIA. This humanitarian gesture is a continuation of the efforts of The Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ), the Heart Institute of Jamaica and the group of high-school principals, known as the Inter-Secondary Schools Association (ISSA), to identify children at risk. Out of the crisis generated by Dominic’s untimely passing comes the opportunity for us to ensure that sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), when it occurs, is speedily identified and treated. The SCA occurs when the heart’s electrical system goes haywire (ventricular fibrillation) and stops blood flow from the heart. The heart function ceases abruptly and without warning. When this occurs, the heart is no longer able to pump blood to the rest of the body. The initiative from the HFJ, the Heart Institute of the Caribbean and TJB will identify those children at risk and improve the response time in the event of a cardiac arrest through the availability of AEDS, training of the support staff of schools in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and improved ambulance/transport response times. Children at risk for SCA can be identified by completing a questionnaire (a pre-participation evaluation – PPE), where specific questions regarding unexplained fainting or palpitations, history of heart disease, heart attack or sudden death in the family, chest pains or shortness of breath during exertion are captured, followed by a detailed examination and a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG). These children so identified would then be subjected to more detailed tests supervised by a cardiologist. We must not allow this opportunity to be proactive in the care of our children during school-sponsored athletic activity to pass us by as another nine-day wonder as has happened before, where PPE of all children before taking part in ISSA competitions began in 2014 but fizzled in 2015. We cannot afford to continue to fail our young sportsmen and sportswomen. The PPEs must become mandatory for all ISSA-supervised competitions. The funeral of St George’s College’s Manning Cup captain, Dominic James, received extensive media coverage over the last weekend. The tributes were real and emotional as the nation said farewell to a child whose life epitomised the best attributes of a son, a friend and a football star. Dominic’s death is the latest in what seems to be a slew of deaths involving our children during sports. We already know that one swimmer, death was recorded in 2011 by the Swimming Association, a 17- year-old cross-country Jamaican athlete in February 2014, a 16-year-old footballer associated with Jamaica College, a 15-year-old student in Marymount in January 2014, and now 18-year-old Dominic. It was President John F. Kennedy who said: “When written in Chinese the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters: one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”last_img read more

SEA Games: Gilas cadets dump host Malaysia

first_imgLATEST STORIES OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees View comments As a result, Cruz and Amer were ejected with 5:41 left in the third quarter with Gilas protecting a 57-41 lead.READ: Ravena lauds Standhardinger’s efforts in Gilas cadets’ opener winUnfortunately, organizers only meted punishment on the Gilas guards and none on the Malaysians.But that hardly mattered as the Filipinos simply widened their lead by more than 30 points in the final quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Short on projection, PH gymnasts still log ‘marked progress’ CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/POOLKUALA LUMPUR — Philippines blew host Malaysia apart, 98-66, to score its third straight win Wednesday night in the Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball.The win assured the Philippines of a place in the semifinals after victories over Thailand and Myanmar.ADVERTISEMENT Fil-German Christian Standhardinger scored 18 points and 18 rebounds for Gilas.READ: SEA Games: Gilas cadets survive ThailandFEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Game was interrupted by a scuffle involving frustrated Malaysia defender on Kevin Ferrer. Baser Amer, Bryan Cruz and Troy Rosario engaged Malaysian players in pushing contest.Kuek Tian Yuan first fouled Ferrer and refused to let go, prompting Gilas teammates to come to his side but instead of cooling it off, it escalated the situation. Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay MOST READ Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ What’s in store for your animal sign this year Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

FIBA-Africa Promises Solution in Basketball Leadership Crisis

first_imgThe continental governing body of basketball, FIBA-Africa has vowed to offer requisite provisions that would lead to finding a “Relevant Solution” in the leadership crisis of the Liberia Basketball Association (LBA).The Secretary General of FIBA-Africa, Alphonse Bile, in his response dated April 8, to Deputy Sports Minister Henry B. Yonton, Jr., said the letter requesting FIBA-Africa’s intervention was “well received.”“FIBA Africa notes and would like to commend you (for their) implication to solve this conflict,” the letter said. “Be sure that some provisions shall be made to find a relevant solution to this situation.”Mr. Bile, in his communication, further said FIBA-Africa would also solicit a “common effort” from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to find a way-out in basketball conflict, which erupted since January-2015.FIBA-Africa is a zone within the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which contains all 53 national African FIBA federations. It was founded in 1961. FIBA Africa maintains offices in Cairo and in Abidjan.FIBA Africa’s letter was a reply owing to a two-page letter of complaint from the Deputy Sports Minister on behalf of the Liberian government.In his communication dated 3 April, the Deputy Sports Minister informed FIBA-Africa regarding the ongoing stalemate in the LBA, which he said began over the last three months owing to the unremitting contestation for “legitimacy and expiration of tenure” by some aggrieved members, structured under the named: “Liberia Basketball Presidents Association.”Deputy Sports Minister Yonton said the aggrieved stakeholders raised five issues, which include: the violation of the constitution of the LBA by Mr. Rufus Anderson, President of the LBA for not holding election the fourth year of his term and make his administration illegitimate and that club(s) that didn’t participate in the immediate past organized basketball season should not be eligible for the forthcoming congress.Others include that the leadership published listing of teams eligible for congress and excludes teams that didn’t participate in the league.On the aggrieved members’ argument, the LBA leadership recounted the Ebola outbreak in the country, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the elections to elect the corps of officers for the LBA could not be held in 2014; that some of the contestants seeking positions are not eligible to participate as pursuant to constitutional requirements and the leadership has not abrogated the constitution.“To further calm the stalemate, the Liberia National Olympic Committee was written by the aggrieved party to intervene in the dispute. Despite efforts by the arbitration committee of the LNOC to ensure that peace and harmony is restored, this effort was unsuccessful,” the Ministry said.However, prior to the intervention letter of FIBA-Africa, the Youth and Sports Ministry suspended the activities of basketball.In the April 1’s communication to the LBA Yonton mandated the LBA to halt its elections, scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, and urged the leadership to allow the intervention of FIBA to resolve the current leadership crisis.Yonton wrote: “Owing to the continuous contest between the leaders of the LBA and the aggrieved party, regarding its legitimacy, the Ministry has reached a decision to seek the intervention of the Africa basketball governing body – FIBA-Africa with offices in Abidjan and Cairo.”Yonton’s communication further told outgoing LBA president Rufus Anderson, to “adjourn all processes pertaining to the holding of election and advise further that you stay clear-off all basketball activities until further consultation with FIBA-Africa is concluded.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Time for Youth & Sports to Take Ownership of Sports

first_imgDeputy Minister of Sports Henry Yonton, Jr Wednesday spoke against the dishonesty of the Amputee National Team members in their dealing with the ministry in its trip to the United States.Minister Yonton said the ministry was tricked to believe that the invitation sent to the amputee team from the United States was for a scheduled football tournament, involving four nations and when the tournament was cancelled the team hid the information from the ministry.How was that possible? Unlike the institution like the Liberia Football Association, the amputee program does not have rules forbidding government’s involvement. How was it that the Department of Youths did not follow up with the US Amputee Federation when the first invitation was extended to Liberia?How much does Deputy Minister Yonton’s department know about Mr. Duannah Siryon of Minnesota, who is the international coordinator of the amputee team? Research on the World Amputee Federation website indicated that it was true the tournament was scheduled and was later cancelled due to the Ebola outbreak.At the time all trips that were pending for Liberians outside the country were halted and that included the amputee tournament. It is also interesting to know that at the same time when the team was scheduled to play in the tournament in the USA, the Amputee World Cup was being held in Mexico.Russia and other countries insisted that Liberia should not be invited because of the Ebola outbreak and this report was published in the Daily Observer newspaper. While blaming the amputees is one thing to solve the problem, it is clear that the problem was the ministry’s failure to have done due investigation on what was obtaining for the amputee team.It is evidently true that it was such lack of surveillance that disgraced Liberia in the last Olympic Games in London when a wrong athlete was selected and approved by the Liberia National Olympic Committee for the Games.It was also the same inadequate supervision by the Ministry of Youth & Sports that it has failed to question the Liberia Football Association the reason the U-20 female soccer team was humiliated 14-1 against Nigeria in both home and away; and it was the same lack of supervision that the Liberia Basketball Association is finally deciding its leadership crisis at the Supreme Court. Why is the Ministry of Youth & Sports so toothless?To go on further, it is the same lack of supervision that the Liberia Boxing Association has the audacity to train five young athletes in filth and broken equipment for the 2018 Olympic Games and it is the same poor supervision that Lone Star is scheduled to play against Tunisia but without any international friendly soccer match to test the team’s preparedness. It is the same… (I can go on but you get the idea, I hope.)The Ministry of Youth & Sports must take ownership of the development of Liberian youths and must as a result insist that those federations and associations charged to develop individual sports MUST DO IT WITH EFFICIENCY and in the ministry’s way.The Ministry of Youth & Sports must put its house in order otherwise its lackadaisical attitude towards sports could lead the country to lose more than U$79,000 that the amputee national team has caused the nation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Precious Angels Charity raises awareness on Rett syndrome

first_img…donates $2M to 5 special needs schoolsAfter successfully raising some $2 million for awareness on Rett syndrome, the Precious Angels Charity on Friday donated all of its proceeds to five special needs schools.Founder of the organisation, Hadiyyah Mohamed explained that their first fundraising activity was recently organised, and companies and other stakeholders would have supported. Through this initiative, they were able to give back to those in need.Recipients of the fundraiser with the Precious Angels team“Our event, Amani’s Awareness Walk has been a very great success. We are thankful for all of our sponsors, our donators and everyone involved. All the money that was earned on that day is what we’re distributing,” she indicated.Recipients included the MET Pride Academy, St Barnabas, Ptolemy Reid Centre, Diamond Special Needs School and Gifted Hands.According to Mohamed, the organisation was set up after her niece was diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that affects mostly girls. The idea is to help the public to gain familiarity with the disorder since it is not known to many Guyanese.“It’s called Precious Angels. It was inspired by niece, Amani Mohamed, who was diagnosed with Rett syndrome, which is a very rare neurological disorder that affects little girls. Our intention is to raise awareness about this disability and to shine the light on our Guyanese.”It was highlighted that this disease is present in other children here in Guyana, who do not get the treatment and other services they deserve.“There are other children in Guyana with the disability but because of a lack of equipment and trained personnel, they are not able to be diagnosed,” Mohamed informed.The syndrome is a rare non-inherited disorder that affects 1 in 10,000 females and begins to display itself between six to 18 months after birth. Rett syndrome leads to severe impairments, affecting nearly every aspect of life: ability to speak, walk, eat and breathe easily.According to WebMD, a child with Rett may have uncoordinated breathing and seizures, including hyperventilation.“Symptoms of Rett syndrome usually don’t improve over time. It’s a lifelong condition. Often, the symptoms worsen very slowly, or don’t change. It’s rare for people with Rett syndrome to be able to live independently,” the website detailed.Although there’s no cure, potential treatments are being explored. The areas under observation focuses on improving movement and communication, treating seizures, and providing care and support for both children and adults.last_img read more


first_imgDonegal North East TD Padraig MacLochlainn was the star of the Late Late Show tonight….leading an Oireachtas team in a new song tipped to be a Christmas No1!Padraig joined other members of the Oireachtas and set aside all political differences to sing their version of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ for Ryan Tubridy and his guests…including One Direction!And the Inishowen politician sang the first solo for the show…and did well! He joked to afterwards: “Paul Simon will be meeting with his solicitors after that!”All proceeds from the song will go to the suicide crisis centre Pieta House, with bookies already predicting that it will take on this year’s X Factor for the number 1 slot!The Dublin Gospel Choir and the Lucan Gospel Choir were on hand to provide, well, a bit of professional harmony.Bridge Over Troubled Water can be downloaded on iTunes for €1.29. The project was sponsored by Noel Recruitment. Eighteen TDs and Senators took part in the recording organised by Fine Gael TD Derek Keating.“Everyone sounded great. I do think it takes a certain amount of courage especially for people not used to that role,” said the TD for Dublin Mid-West.Some of the Oireachtas members who took part included Fine Gael TDs Lucinda Creighton, Simon Coveney and Peter Mathews, Labour TD Joan Burton, Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power, and Independents Stephen Donnelly, Mick Wallace and Finian McGrath.SINGING TD PADRAIG IS STAR OF THE LATE LATE SHOW! was last modified: November 26th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click 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 share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgDonegal Action for Cancer Care had requested a meeting with Donegal Oireachtas Members which was due to take place last night.The meeting was to seek their support and discuss their present concerns regarding the impact of budget cuts to Letterkenny General Hospital’s budget, the impact of the recruitment embargo on staffing levels and the serious issue of no additional funding towards the opening of the new ED & Medical Unit. Unfortunately the group claims the only Oireachtas member who turned up at the meeting was Thomas Pringle TD.Among some of the key issues discussed were· The delay/ gap in recruiting a haematologist.· The proposed moving of the Oncology Ward to another part of the hospital, · Moving the Gynae Ward which also accommodates cancer patients to a surgical ward· No funding to open new ED &medical unit.· Non replacement of staff in the hospital that are going on maternity leave.· No funding to replace old equipment in x-ray units.· Marley’s patient transport system to 10 hospitals in Dublin for Donegal patients.A spokesperson for the group said “For us in DACC this is not about the quality of services at LGH but how the budget cuts & recruitment embargo will impact on the delivery of services and will then leave the hospital in a position where it will not be able to meet the HSE required quality standards in the future. “The opening of the new ED & Medical Unit without no additional funding at a time of budget cuts & the recruitment embargo is an insult to the people of Donegal.”The group added that Letterkenny General Hospital has had many major achievements over the years which it has never been recognised nor rewarded for.“DACC would like to acknowledge the hard work & excellence of both the management & the staff at Letterkenny General Hospital in very difficult times.“Donegal health care for the people of the county- can anyone tell us where Donegal’s sick people are on the Government, Department of Health & The HSE agenda’s?” DONEGAL ACTION FOR CANCER CARE MEET WITH OIREACHTAS MEMBERS OVER LETTERKENNY GENERAL was last modified: August 27th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click 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 share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DONEGAL ACTION FOR CANCER CARELetterkenny General HospitalThomas Pringlelast_img read more

A Pretty Good Retrofit in Montana

first_imgMore recently, I worked as a trainer for the Montana Weatherization Training Center, where I taught classes in weatherization, insulation systems, auditing, zonal pressure diagnostics, and furnace diagnostics and repair. (I got a good education there, too.)In 1994, Laurel and I moved from our original home in Livingston, Montana, to Seattle, where we spent 12 years going to grad school and working. After adopting twin girls from Russia, we decided to move back home to Livingston to raise them and regain some sense of normalcy, as only small town life can provide.On a visit to my mother with the girls, we broached the subject of buying a house for the first time. A realtor friend told us that the market was very tight, but that given a year of looking, she could find us a home. At that point, my mom mentioned that a friend of hers was about to sell her house due to issues with aging. I called her up, got an invitation to visit, and immediately drove across town.Laurel and I walked through the house with quite different reactions. She saw the shag carpeting, green-striped wallpaper, Z-brick, dropped ceilings, and heavy draperies. It was a house that hadn’t been touched in 30 years. I saw an older house with good bones: an adequate roof, a brick exterior, a newish furnace, a 3-wire breaker box, and a solid foundation. The whole process from idea to tour to decision took me about an hour.Several months later, I received the loan documents in the mail, surprising Laurel when I asked for her signature. She swears that she knew nothing about buying a house; I’m sure that we talked about it. As I said, she’s very supportive.Not much insulationWe rented the house out to a family for a year, then moved back home. We’ve been working on the house ever since. Out went the drapes. Out went the shag rugs and wallpaper. And out came the paint brushes. Very supportive.Should I mention that our new house had 4 to 6 inches of Silva-Wool insulation in the attic and in some of the upstairs walls? Other than that, nada — no insulation whatsoever. The windows were a mix of single-hung vinyl replacements and leaky aluminum storm windows over old wood double-hungs. The main floor walls are double-wythe brick with a 2½-inch air gap. Being generous, that’s about an R-6.Livingston averages 7,600 heating degree days. It’s in Climate Zone 6 and is dry, fairly cold, and very windy. The average annual wind speed is 14 mph, though the winter averages are 18 to 20 mph. Unfortunately, it is windy in the winter and calmer in the summer. The initial blower door reading from the utility audit was 2,732 cfm50. It was a cold house that first winter.I should also mention that my wife and I are pretty old school. We keep the heat down and always lower the thermostat 10 degrees at night and when away. We religiously turn the lights off when they aren’t in use. We wash our hands and the laundry with cold water, wash clothes and dishes with full loads, and we heat the upstairs hardly at all. Over these last eight years, I’ve systematically worked my way through the house, from the attic to the basement. My goal is to upgrade the house without affecting the historic appearance of the house. I’ve gone slowly, thinking about each step for years. I’ve also tracked my utility bills religiously. It is my most intensive case study.Good bonesThe form of the house is simple and compact, with a 12:12 roof, not unlike what we are now seeing being designed for Passivhaus buildings around the country. The unheated front porch under the upstairs bedroom and the back porch provide transition spaces to the outdoors. Unlike many houses of the era (1914), the rooms sizes are generous, with high ceilings, wide openings, and large windows. It is really delightful to live in: a good family home.As I said, the house has good bones. There are only a couple of places where the brick arches over the windows have cracked. Otherwise, the brickwork and the 18-inch-thick rubble stone walls in the full-height basement are as solid as when they were built (see Image #2, below).The main floor walls were brick inside and out, with plastered interiors. The second-floor framing is rough-sawn fir with shiplap sheathing. The upstairs is a classic story-and-a-half with balloon framing and two shed dormers. The exterior walls in the kneewall attics were sheathed in cardboard at some point, and most of the second-floor walls were insulated with Silva-Wool, a brand name for a precursor of cellulose insulation (see Image #3, below).One of the benefits of an uninsulated, leaky structure is that there were no signs of moisture in the house other than some efflorescence on the basement walls and on the brick chimney in the attic. This house is as strong as when it was built. With care, it should last another hundred years. I just love the rough-sawn fir framing, the old trim, and the brick walls.The auditors gave us a “to do” listSoon after moving in, I started on my upgrade program. First, I applied for a utility audit.The auditors did a blower door test, installed a few upgrades, and made a series of recommendations for additional insulation. To date, we’ve done everything on their list, and more.Efficient lights and appliancesSome of my decisions have been easy. I’ve replaced almost all of the lights with CFLs the first year and more recently installed some LEDs.We bought a front-loading washer and dryer set and hung up a multi-line retractable clothesline outside. As time went on, and the old appliances started to fail, the other appliances have been replaced with better Energy Star products. The dryer, which is electric, doesn’t get used much, except in the coldest time of the year. The kitchen range is a standard electric-resistance glass top.Insulating all five atticsMy first major project was to rework the attic. It is in five sections because of the story-and-a-half structure and the two shed dormers.I wanted to connect the four kneewall attics with the upper main attic to provide ventilation, so I installed cardboard vent chutes at the outside eaves, and up the sloped sections between the lower and upper attics (see Image #4, below). The kneewalls were sheathed with cardboard and had been blown with Silva-Wool. I added 2 inches of foil-faced polyisocyanurate to the kneewalls, taping the joints and foaming the edges (see Image #5).I also built a stout plywood attic hatch.After installing and wiring in smoke detectors, some extra outlets, and a new bathroom exhaust fan (see Image #6), I sealed up all the wire penetrations, junction boxes, and gaps around the vent stacks (see Images #7 and #8). I didn’t systematically seal up the cracks at the top plates of partitions (because the existing insulation was in the way) and now I wonder about that decision. I also didn’t install blocking to seal up the joist cavities below the kneewalls before blowing in insulation on the flats.After all this prep work, the insulators blew R-60 of cellulose over the existing Silva-Wool insulation (see Image #9).After blowing insulation in the attic, the pressure difference between the house and the attic zones was measured at 46 Pascals when running the blower door.Blower door results keep getting betterI came back with the infrared camera and blower door a couple of times after the attic was insulated. I found a couple of dozen wall cavities and sloped ceiling cavities that weren’t insulated. These cavities were then blown with dense-packed cellulose (see Images #10 and #11).Prior to refinishing the fir floors upstairs, I also pulled up the quarter-round molding and caulked the joint between the flooring and baseboard.An old gas fireplace upstairs was connected directly to a kneewall attic, so the fireplace had to be dismantled and the area sealed. Beyond that, I’ve installed new door thresholds and weather-stripping and sealed plumbing penetrations in the basement ceiling.A recent blower door reading, prior to insulating the basement, was around 1,850 cfm50. After spraying the basement walls, the reading dropped to 998 cfm50. Eliminating the open combustion furnace helped too.Four new vinyl windowsThe windows in the house were a mix of original wooden double-hungs with aluminum storms and single-hung vinyl replacements, none of which were very airtight.Our upstairs is particularly exposed to winter winds, so I replaced four of those wooden windows with new vinyl casements that had triple weatherstripping and multi-point locking hardware. The new windows had a U-factor of 0.29, the lowest U-factor I could find locally.Blown-in fiberglass fills the gap in the brick wallsAfter taking a couple of years to recuperate and think, I committed to insulating the double-wythe brick walls on the main floor. I puzzled for years over what type of insulation would work, in terms of access, R-value, moisture issues, and ease of installation.In the end, having become familiar with dense-packing techniques used by weatherization workers, I elected to use short-fiber fiberglass. I realized that I could access all areas of the walls by drilling through the window and door jambs (see Images #12 and #13).It was a fairly tough prep job, but went smoothly once the insulation process started. We used high air pressure and we closed down the insulation gate to maximize throw and density. I was able to verify the throw of insulation fibers by checking the holes in adjacent window jambs while blowing the intervening walls. I’m confident that we were able to fill all the cavities except for the built-up header area over the windows. Interestingly, the infrared camera wasn’t useful on these high-mass walls. The bag count of insulation was on target.My calculation was that we increased the R-value of the walls from R-5 or R-6 to R-12 or R-14. That’s not good enough, but is all that was possible unless we went with an exterior cladding system.The most immediate change we noticed was that the house was markedly quieter, which was interesting, given the quietness of masonry houses.Closed-cell spray foam for the basement wallsThe basement walls are 18-inch-thick rubble stone walls with absolutely no cracking or signs of settling. There is some efflorescence on the lower walls in a couple of places which will be dealt with by regrading the exterior and improving the rain gutters.In the basement, the floor joists sit on a 2×4 mudsill. There isn’t a rim joist, but rather two wythes of brick on the exterior side of the floor framing.I’ve became convinced that there is some air infiltration through the brick rim and the stone foundation. The interior of the rim joist area and the basement walls was skinned with high-density spray foam: 3 inches of foam at the top, tapering down to 1 inch at the floor (see Image #14). In the near future, the interior walls will be framed with studs and then I’ll install unfaced fiberglass batts and drywall.A new furnaceJudging from the age of the house and a blocked-off coal chute, the original furnace in the house was probably an octopus-type cast-iron coal furnace that used large ducts in a gravity feed arrangement. At some point, the original furnace had been replaced with a 1988 Lennox Type I furnace rated at 120,000 BTU/h.The plenums were connected to the original registers with flex duct. The original floor boots were insulated with asbestos, so I donned my Tyvek suit and respirator, soaked the asbestos, and peeled off what I could. Then I painted on a coating of duct mastic over the remaining asbestos. I also sealed the boots to the adjacent subfloor with foam and caulk.The Lennox furnace had a motorized damper on the combustion air and tested at 82% efficient. Normally I wouldn’t consider replacing it with a more efficient furnace because the payback just isn’t there. The older furnace, however, only ran about half the time at -20°F. Additionally, the supply air to the house was too cool and the flue pipe into the brick chimney was rusted. I began to suspect that the fan on the furnace was oversized and cooling off the heat exchanger too much.A year ago I ran across a great deal on a 95% efficient gas furnace and couldn’t resist the challenge of my first furnace installation. The new furnace was rated at 80,000 BTU/h input rather than 120,000 BTU/h, a more appropriate size for the now insulated house. Because this was my first experience at furnace installation, I carefully read the manual and then laid out, starting with the biggest elements, the furnace location, sheet metal plenums, branch ducts, plastic flues, gas line, and electrical hook-up.After setting the furnace in place, I had a local sheet-metal shop build new plenums and a new trunk line. After these were installed, I connected the rest of the ductwork which included some new metal take-offs, dampers, and fittings. The existing flex duct was then attached and sealed (see Image #15). I had a licensed plumber install the gas line and I tied in a new circuit from the breaker box.The furnace has run flawlessly since the initial start-up. It is noisier than the old furnace, but the supply air is much warmer. I was surprised that the new furnace still only ran about 50% of the time when outside temperature was -20°F. I should have considered an even smaller furnace.I also had discovered that my water heater (an atmospherically vented gas-fired model) failed the worst-case depressurization test — it backdrafted. The water heater had a 3-inch metal flue that had been vented into a 6″x8″ unlined brick chimney, and I expected that its draft would be even worse once it was “orphaned.” Installing a sealed-combustion furnace should eliminate some of the competition for combustion air in the basement, but the water heater would have trouble establishing draft by itself in the cold unlined brick chimney. To improve the draft, I installed a 4-inch flue liner.Improved comfortAfter each one of these chapters, Laurel and I have felt a noticeable improvement in comfort, both summer and winter. The house is much quieter too.We’ve been able to eliminate all four of the upstairs ceiling fans and the use of a window air conditioner in the summer. Livingston usually gets a week or so of hot weather in the summer when the outdoor temperatures are in the high 90s or lower triple digits. Usually nighttime temperatures fall by 20 to 30 degrees. By conscientiously opening and closing curtains and windows, the house stays delightfully cool all summer.We sometimes do get a night or three when it doesn’t cool off at night and we have to sleep with just a sheet. This summer, we had a week of mid 90s weather, reaching a peak of 105ËšF. The highest indoor temperature was 76ËšF. With better airflow through the house, I think that we could do even better.In the winter, we’ve found that the house feels warmer after all these improvements. We are still running the setbacks on the new programmable thermostat, about the same as we did with the old Honeywell, and leave the heat off upstairs, so I think that we haven’t changed our behavior or expectations with all the changes. I do hear less grumbling from the girls about the cold, and they use the upstairs bedrooms more during the day. Laurel and I do leave a bedroom window cracked all winter, so that probably affects the house performance a bit.Quantifying the savingsMagazine articles describing new innovative green homes have always driven me crazy. Pretty pictures, construction drama, cool equipment, and bragging rights. Very rarely are energy predictions correlated to actual energy usage. Rarely is energy savings quantified in any way.I’ve been pretty anal about record-keeping, collecting utility bill data in a spreadsheet every month since we bought the house in 2005. I track electricity and gas consumption (see Image #18) and energy costs, average outdoor temperature, and Heating Degree Days. From all of this, I calculate ratios and make graphs. I’ve also kept track of my construction expenses (see Image #17) and calculated my cash flow (see Image #19).In eight years, we’ve reduced space heating requirements by 60%, electric use by 45%, and air leakage by 63%. This past winter, I installed a PV system that is slightly oversized, so now I only pay the monthly service charge. With that addition, utility bills have been reduced from $1,960 in 2005/2006 to about $600 in 2015/2016.Factoring in some energy inflation, I project that I will save around $31,000 in 20 years on an investment of $5,520 just for the space heating improvements.A good return on our investmentMy approach to energy conservation on my own house has been conservative. I’m pretty hard-core about saving energy, but very cautious about spending money if there isn’t a return on my investment. I’ve done very well financially on this project with this approach. It did help that we started with a house that was almost totally uninsulated, so the percentage of energy savings was significant. We also haven’t gone overboard by replacing windows or cladding the exterior walls. The best part is that we live in a great old house which is comfortable and affordable.So what to do now? The kids are grown. The house is finished and much too big for the two of us. I guess it’s time for a mid-life crisis. Maybe I’ll start looking around. I’ve always had a roving eye. Those mid-century moderns look pretty sweet. HOUSE AT A GLANCELocation: Livingston, MontanaSize: 2,200 square feetDate of Construction: 1914Bedrooms: 4 or 5Bathrooms: 2Foundation: Full basement; 18″ rubble stone walls, concrete floorFirst floor walls: 2 wythes brick with 2½” air gapSecond floor walls: Rough-sawn 2x4s with shiplap sheathingSecond floor siding: Cedar shinglesRoof framing: 2×6 rafters and ceiling joistsExisting windows: About half were original wood single-glazed double-hung windows with aluminum storms; half are replacement vinyl single-hungs with U-0.5 glass.Existing doors: Wood panel doors.Space heat: 120,000 Btu/h natural gas furnace was replaced with 80,000 Btu/h 95% condensing furnaceDomestic hot water: Gas water heater (atmospherically vented)Kitchen range: ElectricClothes dryer: Electric RELATED ARTICLESOne Man’s Quest for Energy IndependenceA Leaky Old House Becomes a Net-Zero ShowcaseMission Zero House: A Net-Zero RetrofitRetrofits versus ReductionsDeep Energy Retrofits Are Often MisguidedThe History of the Chainsaw RetrofitThe High Cost of Deep-Energy RetrofitsEnergy-Efficiency Retrofits: Insulation or Solar Power? Brand New Appearance and Performance for An Older DuplexDeep Energy Makeover: One Step At A TimeAn Old House Gets a Superinsulation RetrofitRoofing and Siding Jobs Are Energy-Retrofit OpportunitiesFrom ‘Tea House’ to Tight House This is a story of a wonderful, tempestuous relationship. For me, it began nine years ago as an unplanned series of events: a chance encounter between a wandering idealist and small town girl. The happenstance meeting quickly progressed to an impulsive, long-term proposal. Soon thereafter, the commitment was formalized by the exchange of legal documents through the mail.Like most marriages, this hasty decision resulted in an ongoing set of improvisations over the way we dance through life together. I was the driven agent of change; she, the stubborn, old-fashioned, and wise woman who continually forced me to prove up. These nine years have been tough but rewarding, and I’m a better man for it.I’m talking about my house, of course. My real marriage has been rewarding in other ways. My wife Laurel has been patient, supportive, and engaged. (It really helps that she worked as a house painter and wallpaper hanger for 15 years.)Should we buy a house?I’m a builder and designer whose study of energy efficiency has been a life-long passion. I got my start in the mid 1970s, and have built a number of passive solar and superinsulated houses. I’ve also worked on historic houses and other projects in southwest Montana. Later, I earned a M.Arch. degree from the University of Washington and then worked for a couple of architectural firms.last_img read more