South Africa’s BMX World Cup thriller

first_imgRobinson was full of praise for Willoughby, but felt that the inside lane was undoubtedly a factor in the final result. In the final, Willoughby started in the favoured inside lane, with Robinson on his left in lane two. Willoughby’s powerful start gave the young Australian the edge and this secured the all-important holeshot into the first turn. “I’ve been riding again for just seven weeks, so this is a good way to return. I took a year off after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Deciding to return to racing has obviously been the correct decision.” ‘It feels really good’ “Sam is improving all the time. He’s a real talent and so consistent. I would have loved to have had lane one for the final, but he made the most of it and he never made a single mistake. I planned to run at him in the third straight, but he was flawless through there.” Current women’s world champion, Sarah Walker of New Zealand, left her best performance for last when she recorded a dominant victory ahead of Argentina’s Gabriela Diaz and Frenchwoman Eva Ailloud, the current world number one. SAinfo reporter An enthusiastic crowd of over 1 000 spectators watched the event, which was the first of its kind in Africa. Van den Wildenberg was thrilled with third place. Praise Women’s finalSarah Walker (NZL) Gabriela Diaz (ARG)Eva Ailloud (FRA)Magalie Pottier (FRA)Merle van Benthem (NED)Rachel Bracken (AUS)Alise Post (USA)Jana Horakova (CZE) Australian double-junior world champion Sam Willoughby continued his impressive rise to the top of the BMX world when he won round two of the 2009 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on Saturday. For Diaz, it was a rewarding return after a long layoff from the sport. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Women The 18-year-old Willoughby, who last month became the first rider ever to win back-to-back junior world titles, was in superb form throughout the event, winning every one of his heats, the quarterfinal, and the semifinal. “It feels really good to get a World Cup win so soon after winning the World Championships. I have definitely developed a lot of confidence lately and it’s showing in my results.” 24 August 2009 “This is my first ever podium in a World Cup, so I’m very happy,” smiled the Dutchman. “I over-jumped the first jump, which threw my rhythm out a bit, and from there I just followed Donny’s line and held my position.” The USA’s current elite men’s world champion and world number one, Donny Robinson, placed second, with Rob van den Wildenberg of The Netherlands rounding out the podium positions. With a bike-length gap opened up, Robinson had to hope Willoughby made an error on the highly technical third straight if he had any shot at grabbing the lead. But the Australian was smooth and in control, throwing up his arm in elation as he won his first Supercross World Cup event. After a crash in practice and less-than-perfect semi-final runs, the 21-year-old Walker charged into the lead at the first jump in the final, and had powered her into a two-bike-length lead by the second turn. She kept it smooth through the critical third straight, giving her rivals no opportunities to challenge her. “I’m really excited with this win! It’s the right end to a perfect day, I guess,” said the charismatic Willoughby. “I had lane two in my first heat, but won that and held land one for the rest of the day, which proved decisive.” Final “I took it a bit easy in the semi-final motos because I didn’t want to risk doing something silly and not making the final. But in the final I let it all out and I had a really good race,” smiled Walker. Next year, Pietermaritzburg will host a far bigger event when the UCI UCI BMX World Championships take place in the city in July. RESULTS Men’s finalSam Willoughby (AUS) Donny Robinson (USA)Rob van den Wildenberg (NED)Quentin Caleyron (FRA) Raymon van der Biezen (NED)Nicholas Long (USA)Ramiro Marino (ARG)Martijn Scherpen (NED)last_img read more

Replace That Window?

first_imgMore resources — and versions of the storyAs with other recent columns, check out Making Windows Work Better, by Paula Melton and Peter Yost. That’s the recent feature article from Environmental Building News, and offers more detail on today’s advice along with other more comprehensive information.Back to that chicken dinner: An online article tells me that one family on the fabled road back in the 1930s was friendly with the governor. They had him over for a nice chicken barbecue, and buttonholed him about the road. He agreed to keep it oiled if the county would grade and gravel it. The county agreed on it, and a legend was born.  GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE Combining approaches for better thermal performanceAir sealing does save energy as well as improve thermal comfort by closing off air leaks and reducing drafts, and it can be combined with high-performing storm windows or insulated shades to get up to four times better thermal performance without a pricey window replacement — a great option if you need shades for glare or privacy anyway, or if maintaining the look and feel of original windows is important. Improved operability can also save energy by allowing windows to be opened in the summer for ventilation.“The only reason to replace a window is complete deterioration,” says Jean Carroon, an architect with Goody Clancy in Boston. Carroon specializes in historic preservation, and her work often leads to extensive restoration and repair of historic windows as well as the addition of attachments like interior panels — or even replacing windowpanes with insulated glass units in the historic window frame. Cost-effective window fixes may not add R-valueIf you have windows that have rotting sashes, failed seals (telltale sign: fogging between panes), extensive lead paint (especially in the part where the window slides), slapping on an extra layer of plastic or glass, as we talked about last week, may not solve your problem. If you want to save that old window, and maybe a few bucks, it’s time to get a bit more involved. RELATED ARTICLES Tristan Roberts is Editorial Director at BuildingGreen, Inc., in Brattleboro, Vermont, which publishes information on green building solutions.Also in this series: Windows, Shades, Blinds, and Awnings Energy Solutions Historic Preservation and Green RenovationInsulated Storm Windows?Should Historic Preservation Trump Energy Performance? Four Affordable Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Old Windows7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 4. WindowsAll About Glazing Optionscenter_img Most of today’s windows can’t be repairedCarroon is distressed by the rate at which windows are replaced, especially since most of today’s double-glazed, low-e windows cannot be repaired. (I have learned this the hard way, naively taking one such broken window into the local hardware store, and then to the local glass repair shop, before finally taking the numbers off the unit to order a replacement from the dealer.)Installing non-repairable windows leads to a “cycle of replacement” and is “a symbol of a non-sustainable world,” Carroon says. While restoring windows can be labor-intensive (and thus expensive), “you are almost always pouring the dollars into the local economy,” not sending it to far-away manufacturers, she notes. WindowsAn air-sealing upgrade and repair package for the existing window can be the place to start. Professional air sealing and repair may involve replacing seals and gaskets throughout the window assembly, replacing double-paned glass or entire sashes if necessary, bringing window frames back into square, and repairing sash frames or the glass itself. While these repairs can be fairly cost-effective (if not always inexpensive), they do not add much R-value to the window — though replacing a sash pocket pulley system with a spring system and filling the air space with insulation will provide marginal improvements. As I was hosing down the dirt driveway in front of my house last week to keep the dust down with some guests due to arrive, I got to thinking about Chicken Dinner Road.I once lived in Canyon County, Idaho and often passed a junction for Chicken Dinner Road. Some years ago, I was told, this road was a dusty dirt track traveling between a few farms. One of the farmers got tired of the dust clouds that came up from passing vehicles. He had the local highway supervisor over for a chicken barbecue, and had a buddy driving up and down the road, demonstrating the problem directly. The road got paved, and it also got a name.There’s another story about this same road — read on to the end. But one lesson I take from the ol’ chicken dinner: when something isn’t working, get creative and do something about it. Ten tips for deciding how to handle old windowsHere are some tips on deciding what do to with old, under-performing windows:1. Replace existing windows only if they have failed or are in poor shape. Almost all windows need attachments, and opting for a higher-performance attachment, rather than a window replacement plus a new conventional attachment, may be a better solution.2. Get a handle on the entire spectrum of possibilities from the last two weeks’ columns (on keeping the sun out, and on keeping the heat in), and by reviewing WindowAttachments.org, and then prioritize your needs.3. Using these priorities, compare how well conventional window treatments meet these needs in comparison with more expensive but higher-performing window attachments.4. Use the individual window attachment fact sheets (also at WindowAttachments.org) to gain a complete understanding of each option.5. Look for and use credible resources — not manufacturer or sales claims — to support your window attachment decision-making. Two such resources are RESFEN and WINDOW 6.3 — free, downloadable software tools.6. Select an attachment with multiple attributes; sometimes one attachment can solve multiple problems.7. At the same time, understand that optimal management of heat loss and gain may require two window attachments — an interior one for the former and an exterior one for the latter.8. Take care in combining double-glazed low-e windows with either low-e exterior storm windows or high-performance insulating interior attachments; deployment of either in managing solar gain during the summer may result in damage to the insulated glazing unit seals.9. Understand what the proper maintenance will be for your attachments, and any operational needs. Awnings will work only if opened!10. Prioritize energy performance in your window attachment decisions, but don’t forget to seek out nontoxic materials. While some window attachments typically come in only one form, the market is expanding rapidly. Recycled content, low-emitting materials, non-treated fabrics, and other green options may already be available.last_img read more

From Designed to Built: Delivering Your Green Home

first_imgOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTChris Briley: Hey everybody, welcome to the Green Architects’ Lounge podcast. I’m your host, Chris Briley.Phil Kaplan: And I’m your host, Phil Kaplan. How’re you doing, Chris?Chris: I’m doing absolutely great, Phil. Yourself?Phil: Excellent! I’m doing great. I noticed it was nice and chilly for the first time last night. Did you see frost?Chris: I don’t know if I saw frost, but dude, I felt it. I woke up and took the kids out to the bus and went “Whoa!” Went out in a T-shirt and was like “This bus better hurry up!”Phil: Welcome to fall. It’s all downhill from here.Chris: So they say. Fall season brings what?Phil: It brings apples — Am I right?Chris: Let’s go right to the cocktails. Not only is it fall, but we got the news that Steve Jobs passed away. Our cocktail is in honor of Steve Jobs and also fall. It’s called the Northern Spy.Phil: Man, it’s hot.[The guys share the recipe.]Phil: It’s getting a little chillier. Aren’t we glad we live in warm homes, Chris?Chris: Yes, we are. Energy-efficient one.Phil: And we’re glad we’re building them and designing them…Chris: That’s right. The title of this podcast says that we’ve designed you a great house; now we have to make it a reality. There’s the challenge of bringing in a builder, controlling the budget and schedule, and making this thing happen. Not the easiest thing in the world to do…Phil: And then there’s the inconvenience of having a client involved… I mean, someone’s gotta pay for it. No, really, we love our clients — especially when we have a great team. Spectacular things happen — intense joy and creation. One of the things we can talk about is what defines success.Chris: So, what’s a successful project?Phil: The number one thing is a happy client. If the client is happy and they’re going to recommend you after the fact, and they’re going to live in this house…Chris: You’ll sleep at night if you know the client is happy.Phil: It also helps if the architect is happy and likes the design.Chris: If it’s one you’re passionate about and excited to show your friends, then that is special.Phil: Things come together, and the client shares your goals and believes in your vision. It also helps if you make a little money on it. And the builder has to have great satisfaction — he’s out there all the time. He also has to make money on it.Chris: And be proud of what he’s done. The ultimate successful project, then, is happy client, happy architect, happy builder.Phil: We can get there. It’s been done. Does it happen most of the time? I’d say not. We’re in a tricky profession. We’re here to try to resolve some of these issues. And in Part 2, we’ll talk directly with some builders to figure out what we need to do to come together as teams and make it work better.Chris: Clients want to understand the process. Lots of times they come to us and say they’ve never hired an architect before. And they’ve never built anything before, never hired a builder before. Part of the architect’s job is to demystify the process. It’s not a magical thing that happens behind some green curtain. There are real, tangible people involved who care about the whole process.Phil: It’s true. They come to us because we’re good at what we do. We see things in a different way because that’s how we’re trained. But, my little tangent is this: I personally think architects have a PR problem. People think our egos and their dreams are going to be exceeded and cost them a lot of money, and they’re not going to be in control of the process. That’s sad. Our goal is to be a trusted advisor.Chris: As architects, we’re a different profession than we were 20 years ago.Phil: Absolutely. The idea of a master builder is nice, but we need a team to do all these things.Chris: So, let’s talk about that. The team member we’re going to talk about most right now is the builder. In the old days, Phil, you’d hire this master builder/architect who’d draw your plans, write your specs, hand them to you, and say, “This is the house you want.” And you’d take all that to every builder in town to get their budgets, and then you’d pick one. It’s called “going out to bid.”And commercially that still happens; the stakes are higher and you need that level of control. But with a house, the problem with that is the client is going to be paying the architect to protect them. If you have a good builder who’s on board and part of the team, though, you don’t need protection. The times have changed.Phil: Especially when we talk about sustainable homes.Chris: Speaking of green, I’d like to not introduce Dan Morrison. He was going to travel here.Phil: Dan is the executive editor of Fine Homebuilding and GreenBuildingAdvisor. We are very excited to almost have had him as a guest.Now that we’re doing these green homes…Chris: They take a higher level of focus, and not just from the builder. It’s even more important that the builder gets this stuff right. So choose the builder ahead of time.Phil: In integrated design, we get the builder on board early rather than go out to bid. We need a team to make the sure the details we’re drawing are going to be built properly. And also, it’s a check for us. We’re architects; we don’t swing hammers. If we’re not careful and screw this stuff up, it’s a huge risk for green building in general.I’ll tell you how we bring a builder in. Typically, there’s a schematic design, and then there is design development when pricing is set. It’s certainly before construction drawings; we don’t go out to bid. We advocate getting the drawings done to a certain level to get the builder to set a price within 10 to 15 percent. We just ask for an estimate. Then we ask the client to hire that builder, and then we form a team.We’ve had issues with bringing builders in really early in the process, having to do with cost control. They offer an estimate based on sketches; they’re hired, and then we do the construction drawings. The building costs then go way out of control.Chris: Clients listening to this say, “That’s other people, not me.” Well, it is you. It would be me, if I were building my house. There’s a compulsion for everyone to hear what they want to hear. Let’s say the builder quotes a house between $250,000 and $400,000. That’s a massive range; if they quote you that, it practically means nothing. The client walks away thinking, “All right, if we do everything the architect says, we’ll be at the low end of that range.”Phil: If we bring builders on too early, the client thinks they’ve lost the competitive advantage. They have a little bit of regret.Chris: So, what do you do? On a recent project, in the design development phase, we hired two builders and paid them to come up with a ballpark price, within 15 percent. We got plans, elevations and a good wall section for a real complicated project, but we had to make allowances. We got two prices back, but you’re not choosing based just on numbers, but on a relationship. We hired one of the builders and said “sorry” to the other one, but at least they got paid a little.We’re afraid of builders offering up numbers too soon that are not based on enough information — we need plans, elevations, a good wall section, maybe schedules.Phil: Sometimes we push it to structural information — framing plans — to get more accurate bidding. In Part 2, we’ll talk to a few prominent builders to get their point of view.Chris: And we’ll make fun of them.Phil: It’ll be really interesting to see what kind of alignment there is between our thoughts and their thoughts. If we’re not completely aligned, then we need to work on that.Chris: It’s all about managing expectations. It’s all about being clear with the client and the builder.Phil: We can’t reiterate enough about clarity at the outset for program and scope, schedule, and budget. Have them written down somewhere. Be honest every step along the way.Chris: It’s like the key to a successful marriage — communication. Of course, really, it’s sex and money. Which is not the same with building and design; I’ve not had that project yet.Let’s leave it here. In Part 2, we’ll play “Three Questions” with the builders.Sheila, let’s bring in Jesse to play “What’s Bothering Jesse Thompson?” With us now is architect Jesse Thompson.Jesse Thompson: Why do we spend so much time talking about walls? With each other, with clients, with builders, probably code officials.… Yeah, there are more walls than roof in a house. Maybe they are important.Phil: I get it. When you’re talking to a colleague about a house, they say “It’s got R-40 walls.” We always begin with the walls. What did you get in the walls? I’ll judge you from there.Jesse: In Passivhaus consultant training, we talk about moisture profiles in walls. We get clients with detailed lists of technical aspects they want in their buildings. Well, let’s go back and talk about the house first, then about what’s the right thing to do. We get clients who are as quality obsessed about the guts of their building as they are about …Phil: It’s a paradigm shift.Jesse: Well, they’re coming fast. They sit up all night reading GreenBuildingAdvisor before they talk to anyone. It’s playing defense on their part; they realize there are good buildings and crappy buildings.Phil: Remember when low-e first became a big thing? People didn’t understand it. They just thought they were getting crappy windows if they weren’t low-e. Now they want more insulation in the walls.Jesse: If someone wants a SIP house, we can talk about 10 different ways of doing the walls. We don’t spend as much time talking with clients about the roof or the basement or the foundation in the same way. Let’s talk about the whole building, not just obsess about the walls. The framing is 25 percent of the cost. We still have 75 percent of the house to talk about — like nontoxic materials. There are other things going on here, to try to get a building ready.Chris: Jesse, this segment’s starting to bother me. See you next time. Subscribe to Green Architects’ Lounge on iTunes—you’ll never miss a show, and it’s free! It’s one thing to design a house, and it’s another thing entirely to turn that design into a physical reality. In this episode, we kick back with an autumn cocktail (the Northern Spy) and talk about the process of bringing on a builder and the challenges of keeping relationships, quality, cost, and expectations managed along the way.Hey, do you want to talk about wall sections? Too bad. Jesse joins us for our “What’s Bothering Jesse?” segment, and he lets us know that he’s a little tired of all the attention that walls command from the green community. So, we’ll talk about that instead.The Highlights:The Northern Spy: Fresh apple cider makes this is a great cocktail for the fall season. It also makes a great beverage for toasting one of the great creators of our time, Steve Jobs, who passed away on October 5th. Here’s to you, Steve, without whom we would likely not even have a podcast. Also, I failed to mention in the podcast that this is a fairly modern drink, and as such, credit can and should be given to its creator Josey Packard of Alembic in San Fransisco.What defines a successful project? A happy client, to be sure, but also a happy architect and a happy builder.The architect’s public relations problem. We discuss how the architect is widely perceived by the public and builders.What’s the process? You could go out to bid, but we think a team approach is better.Bringing the builder in early? Here are the pros and cons. Pro: You get some cost control and input on methodology, but this must come with some understandings. Con: Did you lose your competitive advantage? What assurance do you have that you are getting the best bang for your buck?Have and set clear expectations. Like a good marriage, good communication is critical.What’s bothering Jesse? Walls! (Bet you didn’t see that coming.) RELATED CONTENT Integrated DesignThinning the Herd: How to Pick the Best Eco-BuilderDon’t forget to check back in later for Part 2, where we play “Three Questions” with three prominent green builders and get their input on this subject. Also, we tip our hats to some fellow Mainers for the work they’ve done, and of course Phil finishes with a song you should be listening to while you design.Thanks for listening. Cheers.last_img read more

Woman’s murder puts focus on security in courts

first_imgThe daylight murder of a 50-year-old woman in the district courts complex in Rajasthan’s Dausa town on Wednesday has brought the focus on security arrangements in the courts, for which the High Court had recently given directions to the State government. The woman was stabbed by her estranged husband just before a sessions court was to pass the judgment in a case related to their missing daughter.Stabbed to deathThe accused, Amar Chand, was overpowered by the lawyers and court officials and handed over to the police. While the accused was arrested on charges of murder, the victim, Sheela Devi, was rushed to the district hospital where she was declared dead.Shocked by the incident, laywers in the town, situated 57 km away from here, boycotted the court work and demanded strict measures for security of advocates, judges and the court staff as well the people visiting the courts. Lawyers said the situation in which anyone could come with weapons to the court warranted immediate action.A Division Bench of the High Court had in July this year directed the State government to take suitable steps for safety in the court complexes. The High Court’s directions came after a series of “surprise inspections” of lower courts in several districts by the Chief Justice.last_img read more