Is green building too narrow in focus, suitable only for people who keep the windows closed and let mechanical systems regulate temperature and humidity? What about people who like fresh air, even in winter, and are looking for minimal intervention from mechanical heating and cooling equipment?That seems to be at the heart of a question from Maria Hars, a GBA reader who lives in a passive solar house built 30 years ago in northern Massachusetts.“I keep my bedroom window open 24/7,” she writes in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor. “I love the smell of the outdoors and the fresh breezes from the fields. In the winter I have blankets that keep me warm with the window open. I turn down the thermostat to almost off in the winter and off the rest of the year.“In the winter I sit in front of the southern windows & feel the warmth of the sun on me (I wear short sleeves). At night or cloudy days I wear warmer clothing. In the summer the windows are shaded from decidious trees (no a/c) with 30″ roof overhangs. The house stays cool.” RELATED ARTICLES From humble beginningsJohn Brooks sees certain similarities between photos Hars posts of her house and the house that Holladay built in 1974, which he calls a passive solar “hippie house.” Holladay scavenged windows from the local dump, used old telephone poles for the foundation, and spent $9,000 on lumber, roofing and nails.Hars’ 6,800-s.f. house, built by her father for $51 a square foot, incorporates quality materials and design, and veering off into a comparison of the two seems to be missing the point, she says. “I am asking you to design and build me a house that fits my lifestyle,” she says. “I am your client. I like my windows open, I love the sun, I love fresh air. Now listen to what I want and design & build around my wants and needs.”Actually, says Brazelton, Hars’s question is getting answered, just not directly. All houses should be built to perform well, taking into account insulation, solar gain, siting and air quality, he writes. “If someone wants to open a window in the middle of winter, the house will still perform far better than an average mass-market one. If you want to use your heating or cooling system sparingly, even better! Your house uses less energy. Perhaps your preferences balance each other out?” Is cold air healthy for kids?No doubt our forbears often lived in cold, drafty houses, and Collignon seems to be suggesting that intentionally subjecting young children to those conditions could make them sick.Paul Brazelton wonders whether that assertion is backed up by anything more than the “common misconception” that low temperatures can induce colds. “I know the Dutch, Danes, and other Northern Europeans have their children nap outside year around, even as babies,” Brazelton writes. “I also know that the ‘normal’ temperature for a home (70°? 72°?) is a new concept, and that humans have lived and thrived for the vast majority of their time on this planet with wildly divergent temperature ranges.“That nitpick aside,” he says, “I’m glad this is being discussed. Even without the benefits Maria enjoys with her current house, everyone could learn to lessen their impact by adapting to the season.”Collignon actually offers his opinion based on the advice of two different pediatricians, who suggest keeping the temperature range between 70° and 74°F for the first six months of a child’s life.And the debate could be more than academic, Jefferson says, “because it now appears likely that even in the USA we will fairly soon be re-learning to live with less energy, and less strict climate control would naturally follow. Maria’s original post describes some common sense methods of staying comfortable year round without much brute force from mechanical systems.” You already have the right houseTo GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, Hars already has it figured out. “It doesn’t sound like you have any problems,” he writes. “Keep living in your house and be happy.”Mike Collignon agrees, but he also wonders whether mass-market home buyers are ready for the connection with nature that Hars seems to embrace. “No offense, Maria, but you have an uncommon home,” Collignon says. “The mass market needs to rely on building science to guide them when solar orientation isn’t ideal, or builders will only use 2x4s, or there aren’t trees to provide optimal shading, etc. Some people who have small children aren’t going to leave their windows open through a New England winter, unless they like visiting their pediatrician. We’re seeing an increasing need to incorporate allergy or health concerns into the indoor environmental design.”Collignon thinks the design might work for others, but adds that he’s willing to bet many others would want or need something different. “Most of our country’s people choose to keep their windows shut and thermostats set for maximum comfort year round,” Thomas Jefferson adds. “It is almost taboo to suggest people should do otherwise, so the focus instead must be thermal enclosures and mechanical systems that operate efficiently.“I like to point out basically what you have described, that anyone can choose to use minimal climate control in whatever house they occupy if they just embrace the natural climate of the area,” Jefferson says. “Of course that’s easier to say if you live in a mild climate, as I have for many years. Green Basics: Integrated DesignGreen Basics: Comfort Comes With Green BuildingHer question: with all of the building science and advanced materials at our disposal, how should a house be designed and built for “real people” like her?That’s the subject of this week’s Q&A Spotlight. Our expert’s opinionHere’s how GBA technical director Peter Yost sees it:A couple of years ago I did a somewhat whimsical presentation for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) on the future of housing, or where housing might be in 2030. I prophesized three things: one, we would be living in much smaller spaces (or maybe mainly occupy a “core” in more extreme climates during those extremes); two, we would be looking for ways to “condition” (make comfortable) people or occupants instead of spaces; and three, number two would allow us to greatly relax temperature regimes in homes, letting them drift with outdoor conditions a heck of a lot more.Another story: a colleague who has been in the awning industry for four generations told me how the introduction of central air conditioning killed the awning industry for many years. Cheap energy brought a mechanical solution to poor solar design, replacing a passive window attachment approach, like the awning.You still need building science in high performance, well-designed, largely passive homes, but “homeostatic homes” (if there is no such term, I just coined it) make the science a lot tougher, for sure.In short, I agree with Maria Hars: design homes right, relax your thermal comfort standards and/or increase your wardrobe flexibility, and your shade of green gets a lot deeper!
NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Defeat for Halep would see her toppled by Wozniacki, who is currently second.Defending men’s champion Roger Federer plays Croat Marin Cilic in the men’s final on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Swiss ace, who leads Cilic 8-1 in their previous meetings, is targeting an incredible 20th Grand Slam title and his sixth in Australia.In contrast, Halep and Wozniacki are looking for their first. They are both in their third major decider, but have never won. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises The gritty Halep, 26, made her only previous Grand Slam final appearances at Roland Garros in 2014 and 2017.The Romanian has only beaten Wozniacki twice in their six previous matches, the most recent meeting ending in a 6-0, 6-2 battering by the Dane at the 2017 WTA Finals in Singapore.“The way she’s playing, she’s not missing,” said Halep of Wozniacki. “She’s running very well. So she’s a strong opponent. I played her many times. I won against her few times.“It’s going to be a different match. Emotions are there. Pressures are there for both of us. We’ll see what is going to happen.” John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Read Next Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates after defeating Germany’s Angelique Kerber in their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)MELBOURNE, Australia — Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki face off for the Australian Open title on Saturday in a culmination of two weeks of intense tennis that will see a new name engraved on the trophy.The Romanian is the top seed and the Dane number two, with the evening decider on Rod Laver Arena having an extra enticement for both players with the number one world ranking at stake.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Wozniacki, 27, has long carried the unwanted moniker of best player never to claim a major, having reached the US Open final in 2009 and 2014, and first becoming number one in 2010.She is in her 43rd Grand Slam appearance and desperate to get off the mark.“I always believed in myself,” she said. “I knew that if I can stay healthy and I work hard, my game is good enough for it.”Her hard work was rewarded with a renaissance in 2017, reaching eight finals — winning in Tokyo and at the season-ending WTA Finals, where she banished another hoodoo by registering a first career win over Venus Williams.She continued her sparkling form at the start of this year and has 10 wins and only one defeat, to Julia Goerges in the warm-up Auckland final.ADVERTISEMENT Painters turn back Road Warriors Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting View comments
The Indian boxers seem to be at the receiving end in the ring – from both the opponents and the officials. A day after Vikas Krishan Yadavs controversial loss, it was the turn of Manoj Kumar, the 64kg boxer, to cry foul as he lost an exciting pre-quarter final match to Britain’s Thomas Stalker.After walking out of the ring, Manoj was furious and said this was “cheating”.The point system being awarded by the computers has come in for a lot of criticism and Manoj was declared a 16-20 loser. However from the Indian boxer to the entire support staff, they cried foul on Saturday night.”This is a district tournament it’s not an Olympic tournament. Cheating, cheating, cheating,” shouted Manoj in sheer agony later.Foreign coach BI Fernandez, who has been handling the Indian boxing team for so many years, was also vocal in his criticism.”The last round was 7-4 to Kumar, why no other rounds? All rounds were the same, it was very poor judging,” said an upset Fernandez.Coach GS Sandhu, who never minces words, was crestfallen. “My athlete did extraordinary and you saw for yourself what happened,” he thundered.Local hero Stalker won the first round 7-4 and maintained the lead by winning the second round 9-5.It was then the turn of Manoj, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist to go flat out in the last round.The Indians feel this is not an isolated incident and they are being victimised by the scoring and judges.advertisementBritain’s Stalker also said later, “I don’t deal with the scoring, I just go and fight. In amateur boxing it happens all the time where you think you have won more points the judges differ.””I felt sluggish after the first round and being in my hotel for the last week hasn’t done me any good. All I wanted to do was fight. In my next bout I know I will do better. I didn’t box too well but a win is a win,” said the Briton.The controversy over boxing with a local pugilist also being involved has made small headlines in British papers as well.And with the Indians being at the receiving end again, the contingent has lost faith in the scoring system in a high profile sport like boxing.