Miner remanded for ganja under plant pot

first_imgA miner who was apprehended by the Police after cannabis was discovered hidden in his yard found himself before Magistrate Fabayo Azore on Wednesday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Thirty-nine-year-old Randy Grant, a miner of West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, denied the charge read to him by Magistrate Fabayo Azore.The charge stated that on January 29, 2018 at West Ruimveldt, he had in his possession 704 grams of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking.According to Police Prosecutor Simone Payne, ranks acting on information carried out a search at Grant’s premises. It was during that search that the cannabis was discovered hidden under a plant pot in the yard.As such, Grant was cautioned, arrested, taken into Police custody and later charged with the said offence.He was remanded to prison until February 28, 2018, the date of his next court appearance.last_img read more

The party’s over for GOP and DeLay

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Jilted: Tom DeLay, ex-R-Texas, said he’s dropping out of Congress due to his love for the Republican Party. While the Republican Party said it would continue to like DeLay as a friend, it was seen out on the town with new Majority Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio. “The GOP said they had a really good time and would call,” said a tearful DeLay. “I guess I won’t be getting my record collection back either.” Jolted: While DeLay hammered his way out of Congress, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., tried to punch her way in. An arrest warrant has been issued for McKinney, who hit a Capitol police officer who didn’t recognize her with a cell phone. “I had no control over the phone,” said the crazed congresswoman. “I borrowed it from Naomi Campbell.” Commercial instinct: Sharon Stone has announced that she wants to direct “Basic Instinct 3.” Stone says she will continue starring in the franchise until people are sick and tired of her uncrossing her legs. Has she seen the grosses on her last film? Health coverage that works: In a dramatic move to deal with the higher health costs, the Health Insurance Companies of California Association announced they would increase the deductibles on everything they cover to 100 percent. “We realized that to keep premiums down but our profits up we needed to do something radical,” said HICCA spokesperson Rip Yuoff. “If anyone has a problem with that, they can just leave us and get universal health care.” “Oh, I forgot,” Ripoff chuckled, stroking his long, thin, greasy mustache. “We don’t have universal health care.” Katherine leaving Harris? With her Senate campaign staff in full escape mode, Rep. Katherine Harris, R-Fla., has announced that the latest to depart her organization will be herself. “I feel it will be the best thing for my campaign,” Harris breathlessly explained to an equally breathless Sean Hannity. “This can only make my senatorial campaign leaner and more aerodynamic,” said the melodramatic congresswoman, looking as if she just barely survived an IED explosion at Nordstrom’s makeup counter. Watch out “Entertainment Tonight”: Katie Couric of the “Today Show” is leaving NBC to become prime-time anchor for CBS. CBS president Les Moonves said Couric should bring audiences a more perky newscast. “With the Iraq war, nuclear threat from Iran and global warming,” explained Howard Stern’s best friend, “Katie’s fluffiness will be a welcome distraction from the legitimate news.” Couric would also be brought onto “60 Minutes.” “I see Katie as a more adorable Andy Rooney,” said an unnamed “60 Minutes” makeup artist. “Keeping her from thinning out her eyebrows will be the toughie.” In an unrelated story, Walter Cronkite turned over in his grave and he isn’t even dead. Underage girls a security risk: Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Brian Doyle was arrested, charged with soliciting sex from someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl. The “girl” was in actuality an undercover Polk County sheriff’s computer crimes detective. An unnamed Homeland Security attorney said Doyle believed the underage girl was thinking of driving her bike, armed with anthrax-laden American Girl magazines, into the White House. Someone in the White House said, “Doyley is doing a heckuva job.” Has Saddam stopped beating his wives? In his trial last week, Saddam Hussein admitted ordering the deaths of hundred of Shiites because he thought they were planning to assassinate him. “They had a fair trial,” growled Saddam maniacally. “I asked if they had stopped trying to kill me. Voila guilty.” Hey, ladies, still want to be Tommy’s girl? Word is that Tom Cruise will insist on Katie Holmes not screaming while giving birth. No word if Tom will be able to scream when Katie kicks him in the groin for getting her pregnant. Had a ball: Thank you, UCLA basketball, for giving us a reminder of what it was like. And, most of all, thank you, Coach Wooden, for sticking around to watch it with us.last_img read more

Woman claimed over €68,000 for three years after father’s death

first_imgA WOMAN claimed €68,488 in carer’s allowance and state pension for her late father for nearly three years following his death.Shauna Tynan (53) of 38 Slieve Sneacht Letterkenny has been given a year to come up with the sum of money to be repaid to the Department of Social Protection which, the defendant says, will be raised through the sale of property. Fiona Crawford BL, prosecuting, told Letterkenny Circuit Court that Tynan was in receipt of €32,222 in carer’s allowance, while €34,265.60 in respect of a state pension for her late father were each paid for almost three years following the passing of her father, John James, in October, 2013.Tynan had pleaded guilty to ten sample counts on the matter. Sergeant Harvey Maughan, who was attached to the special investigations unit at the Department of Social Protection, said he began an investigation in July 2016 after receiving information.Sergeant Maughan said that Tynan would have been entitled to six payments after the death of her father. Sergeant Maughan had details of the death of Tynan’s father printed from RIP.ie.The state pension monies were paid into a joint account in the name of Shauna Tynan and her father, while Tynan collected the carer’s allowance in person from the Post Office, Sergeant Maughan told the Court.Sergeant Maughan interviewed Tynan in August 2016, when she said she had begun the process of registering her father’s death but did not complete the process as she was ‘having difficulty dealing with his death’.The Court heard that Tynan is paying the carer’s allowance back with €21.83 per week and has just under €8,000 repaid. The debt in relation to the State Pension is attached to her father’s estate and has not been attached to Tynan yet. Barrister for Tynan, Ms Patricia McCallum, said her client was had suffered ‘severe depression and was completely overwhelmed’ following the death of her father.“Her ability to think and act clearly were severely affected,” Ms McCallum said. “She was effectively a ticking time bomb that was bound to go off at some stage.“She had previously worked as a dress-maker and eked out a meagre living. She did everything for her father, caring for him for seven years, and she did not deal well with his passing. She is still suffering from the effects. “None of the money was used to live a life of luxury and she is making efforts to repay the money.” Ms McCallum said her client’s family had come under attacks on social media following her arraignment. Ms McCallum outlined that her client would be in a position to source the €60,000 that is outstanding by way of selling property. Judge John Aylmer said his starting point would be a two-year prison sentence before taking into account mitigating factors.Judge Aylmer granted a 12-month adjournment for the funds to be repaid.Woman claimed over €68,000 for three years after father’s death was last modified: November 7th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare 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:Fiona CrawfordJudge John AylmerLetterkenny Circuit CourtPatricia McCallumShauna Tynanlast_img read more

Poch wanted by Man United, Ashley’s Newcastle vow, Spurs target World Cup ace

first_img REVEALED Ashley recently took manager Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle squad out for dinner to smooth over the tension at the club Speculation over Jose Mourinho’s future at Manchester United continues to swirl ahead of this weekend’s crunch game against Newcastle United…It is claimed a growing number of players have lost faith in Mourinho and expect he will leave the club soon, with some angry by the manager’s criticism of individuals while refusing to accept responsibility for the Red Devils’ dismal start to the season. (Daily Mirror)Meanwhile, it is claimed Mourinho could be sacked as early as next week if his side lose to Newcastle on Saturday. (The Sun)Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is United CEO Ed Woodward’s preferred candidate to take over at Old Trafford, if Mourinho is sacked. (The Independent) 3 Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Manchester City are interested in signing 20-year-old Swansea defender Joe Rodon, who is out of contract next summer. However, the Swansea-born youngster – currently on loan at Cheltenham – has been urged to stay at the Welsh club, who are working to tie him down to a new deal. (Daily Mirror)David Moyes is a leading contender for the Aston Villa job following Steve Bruce’s departure this week, according to reports. The Scotsman has been touted along with Brentford manager Dean Smith, Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca, Premier League legends John Terry and Thierry Henry, plus former England boss Sam Allardyce. (Daily Express) Here’s the top transfer news and football gossip from Friday’s newspapers and online… LATEST Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Tottenham boss Pochettino is said to be Man United chiefs’ first choice replacement for Mourinho RANKED Transfer gossip on talkSPORT.com 3 LIVING THE DREAM targets Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ 3 targets Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January And Alexis Sanchez is said to have grown frustrated to the point that he has asked his agent how to address the issue, prompting rumours the Chilean could also look to leave. (The Sun)Zinedine Zidane wanted to poach three Manchester United players while he was in charge at Real Madrid – David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial. (Manchester Evening News)Arsenal are trying to secure the services of Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta, who is leaving the club, but Inter Milan are also keen. (Tuttosport)Tottenham are monitoring PSV Eindhoven’s Mexico winger Hirving Lozano, 23, who impressed at the World Cup. (The Sun)Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has promised to take his players on holiday if they avoid relegation from the Premier League. (Daily Mail) IN DEMAND moving on Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Latest talkSPORT.com exclusives and football headlines:Tony Cascarino says Tottenham need to ditch Hugo LlorisGlenn Hoddle tells Tottenham to forget about the Champions League‘I can’t see Jose Mourinho turning it around at Manchester United’, says Glenn Hoddle on talkSPORT‘Lionel Messi is the best footballer in history’ – Alan Brazil and Dean Saunders reopen GOAT debate‘Argentinian Hazard’ wants to move to Arsenal over Liverpool, Real Madrid and JuventusArsenal transfer news: Five midfielders Gunners could sign in January to replace Aaron Ramsey Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star last_img read more

Donegal students let their voices be heard at ‘Climate Strike’ in Lifford

first_imgMore than 50 pupils from schools across Donegal gathered outside County House in Lifford for Donegal’s Climate Strike Protest.The protest, sparked by Buncrana student Conal O’Boyle, saw both primary and secondary school pupils carry placards and chant slogans calling on the Irish Government to play their part in tackling climate change.Conal, a transition student and Crana College in Buncrana, said he was delighted with the turn-out for today’s protest. Some of the students who held the protest outside Donegal County Council headquarters on the lack of Climate Change policies. (North West Newspix)“It is a first and I know other schools across Donegal are holding their own little protests at their schools.“We want the officials and the councillors in there (the council offices) to hear us out there and to realise that we as young people are taking climate change very seriously but we want them to do the same.”Protest organiser Conal O’Boyle addressing the crowd at the headquarters of Donegal County Council. (North West Newspix)He said he wanted people to realise that it is not too late for change.“I understand that all the talk is about Brexit but that will have moved on in years to come but climate change will not have if we do not address it. Some of the students who held at protest outside Donegal County Council headquarters re the lack of Climate Change policies. (North West Newspix)Muireann and Máeve who were Two of the younger protesters at Lifford. (North West Newspix)Some of the students who held at protest outside Donegal County Council headquarters re the lack of Climate Change policies. (North West Newspix)“Things change and we can do something about it beginning with our use of plastics or changing our habits to include simple things like taking our own reusable coffee cups with us,” he said.Among those who supported the students was Independent TD Thomas Pringle as well as upcoming local election candidates Sinead Stewart and Declan Meehan.Protest organisers Conal O’Boyle and Eimear Smith who addressed the crowd at the headquarters of Donegal County Council. (North West Newspix)Among the pupils who attended was 14 students from Meentinadea National School in Ardara.Teacher Aine Mic Giolla Bride said students took a vote as to who wanted to join the protest with 14 out of the entire school population of 22 children deciding to travel.“We are on our sixth Green Flag and the environment and the issue of climate change is very much part of our school day, each and every day. “For some schools, it is about just getting the flag but we prefer to use it as part of the ethos of the school each day.“It’s great to see so many young people here today and I feel it is great that they are able to protest and to question what is happening in Ireland and around the world,” she said.Donegal students let their voices be heard at ‘Climate Strike’ in Lifford was last modified: March 15th, 2019 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:climate changeDonegal County Councillast_img read more

Live updates: Warriors vs. Magic, Monday at 7:30 p.m.

first_imgClick HERE if you’re unable to view the gallery on your mobile device. Join us for live news and analysis Monday at 7:30 p.m. when the Warriors look for their third straight victory when they face the Orlando Magic at Oracle.Thanks to improved scoring from stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Warriors (14-7) have turned things around since a four-game losing streak and seem back on track. Durant scored 44 and Thompson added 31 in Saturday’s entertaining 117-116 win over …last_img

Telkom to go mobile with MTN

first_img19 April 2010South African telecommunications operators Telkom and MTN have signed a national roaming agreement that will see Telkom entering the mobile voice and data market in the country.“I am delighted to make known the conclusion of a roaming agreement with MTN that will enhance Telkom’s ability to effectively compete in the mobile marketplace,” Telkom CEO Reuben September said in a statement last week.Mobile strategySince divesting from mobile operator Vodacom, Telkom has been clear about its strategic intent to compete in the mobile market by building its own network in key areas and through strategic partnerships in other areas.Telkom said the roaming agreement with MTN was in keeping with changes in the telecommunications landscape, including the move towards infrastructure sharing between operators.“I regard this agreement as a breakthrough indicator of Telkom’s ability to successfully implement its strategy,” said September.Seamless accessTelkom South Africa MD Pinky Moholi said the agreement paved the way for Telkom to launch its mobile service later this year by offering its customers seamless access to a stable MTN SA network with a substantial national footprint, while continuing to roll out its own mobile base stations.MTN South Africa MD Karel Pienaar said the agreement demonstrated the company’s commitment to provide connectivity for all South Africans, and that they were excited by the synergies and depth of penetration that could be unlocked through the combination of the two companies’ extensive reach.“It not only reduces duplication and infrastructure roll-out and maintenance costs, but also leads to effective utilisation of available network capacity,” said MTN chief executive Phuthuma Nhleko.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Celebrating Two Million Geocaches

first_imgHomepage counter at 5:11 am Seattle time on February 28Join Geocaching in celebrating a major milestone! The 2 millionth active geocache was published on February 28 at approximately 5:11am Seattle time. It’s located in Australia. The 2 millionth active geocache is Overwatch #1 (GC46N4E). The traditional geocache is rated a terrain 3.5, difficulty 3.5 and promises to take geocachers to a lookout over the city of Alice Springs. As of 6:12am Seattle time, the geocache has not yet been found.To celebrate this milestone – Geocaching will be rewarding the global community with previously unreleased Geocaching Souvenirs. Hundreds of thousands of geocachers will receive never-before released country and region souvenirs. Find details here. Geocachers also have a new way to thank geocache hiders. Share this new “Thank a Geocache Hider” video with those who place and maintain geocaches so many enjoy.Click to see the latest Geocaching Souvenirs to be releasedDon’t forget to spread the word about geocaching by checking out and sharing the Celebrating 2 Million Infograph, and the videos 2 Million Geocaches in 1 Minute and Travel Bug® Travels. SharePrint RelatedNew Geocaching Souvenirs – Celebrating 2 Million Active GeocachesFebruary 27, 2013In “Community”Thank you to the Geocache Hiders Video – Celebrating the 2 Millionth Active GeocacheFebruary 27, 2013In “Community”What 2 Million Active Geocaches Means to MeMarch 4, 2013In “Community” Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Google Announces Map Contest: $50K for Adding Schools, Hospitals & More

first_imgGoogle is announcing a new contest for local would-be heroes.The Map Maker Global Competition, which challenges users to add high-quality data on universities, schools, hospitals and medical clinics in Google Map Maker, will run from Dec. 15, 2009 to Jan. 31, 2010. The grand prize for the user who adds the greatest quantity of data is a $50,000 UNICEF donation to the winner’s home country.The winning team or user will moreover receive a VIP tour from UNICEF officials of the local projects that will benefit from the donation as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to the Google Super Mappers 2010 conference. Top mapping contributors will appear on Google Map Maker and ultimately on Google Maps.Google’s Map Maker shows users satellite images and asks them to add data to make actually useful maps. These citizen cartographers can add directions, streets, schools and more; data is subject to peer moderation. The app is available in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Romanian and Vietnamese, and in more than 170 countries. UNICEF representative Gerrit Beger told Google, “We know that mapping is a proven method to enhance community development. Google Map Maker is a powerful tool to create better situational awareness for both young people and communities at large. It will enable organizations like ours to better deliver services, respond to crises and adapt to change.”Google has also just wrapped up a similar competition focusing on Latin America. In that event, more than 50 teams from all over the world participated, which led to a 500 percent increase in mapping activity for several Latin American countries. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Google#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting jolie odell Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Habitat’s High-Performance Experiment

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Habitat for Humanity’s Net-Zero CommunityStudents Bring Zero-Energy Design to Habitat Two Solar Decathlon Homes Get High Marks for AffordabilityA Habitat Passivhaus for Upstate New YorkHabitat in Vermont Continues Its Passive House JourneyA Habitat in Mississippi Follows Two Paths to GreenHabitat’s Passivhaus Focus in VermontA Habitat Home Tames Construction Costs, Lands LEED GoldTen Students Build Arizona’s First NZEHHabitat for Humanity’s Classic Green Look Video: LEED Platinum Habitat for Humanity House The Empowerhouse is just a beginningThe Habitat affiliate has since launched six Passivhaus projects in Ivy City, a part of the city where it and two other nonprofits are building a total of 60 affordable housing units.Working with money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and land grants from the city, the Habitat affiliate has been building a total of 30 housing units. Six of the 11 housing units in the last phase of this project are designed for Passivhaus certification. WASHINGTON, D.C.Passivhaus Conditioned space: 1,404 sq. ft.Number of floors: 2.Bedrooms: 3.Bathrooms: 1 1/2.Construction: 2×4 stud wall with 9 1/2-in. I-joist balloon framed wall on the outside.Type of foundation: Slab.Windows: Klearwall Future-Proof triple-glazed, argon-filled.Ventilation: Energy-recovery ventilator.Domestic hot water: AO Smith Cirrex solar electric.Heating and cooling: Single wall-mounted ductless minisplit.Insulation: Above the slab, 6 in. of XPS, followed by 3 1/2 in. of mineral wool, R-49. Above-grade exterior walls, Roxul mineral wool in 2×4 structural wall, dense-packed cellulose in balance of wall, R-45. Roof, 8 in. polyisocyanurate foam, R-49.6.Blower-door test: Not yet available.Cost of construction: $172/sq. ft.COLUMBUS, MONet-Zero EnergyConditioned space: 1,248 sq. ft.Number of floors: 1.Bedrooms: 3, plus large loft.Bathrooms: 2.Construction: 2×6 stud wall built with advanced framing techniques.Type of foundation: Slab.Windows: Triple-glazed Jeld-Wen.Ventilation: Energy-recovery ventilator.Domestic hot water: Solar thermal with electric backup.Renewable energy: 8 kW photovoltaic system.Heating and cooling: Ductless minisplit air-source heat pump.Insulation: Under slab, 4 in. of rigid foam. Exterior above-grade walls, a combination of open-cell foam and blown-in cellulose with 2 in. of rigid foam on exterior, R-30. Roof, 1 1/2 in. open-cell foam plus blown-in cellulose, R-60.Blower-door test: Not yet available.Cost of construction: $85/sq. ft.SANTA BARBARA, CAPassivhausConditioned space: 3,749 sq. ft. (total for three units)Number of floors: 3.Bedrooms: 8.Bathrooms: 3 full, 3 half.Construction: 2×6 exterior walls, built with advanced framing techniques.Type of foundation: Slab.Windows: Double-glazed Simonton.Ventilation: Heat-recovery ventilator.Domestic hot water and renewable energy: Combined Echo Solar System includes solar hot water and photovoltaics producing 4,000 kWh of electricity and 122 therms per year. Domestic hot water system also incorporates a tankless heater. Heating and cooling: Wall-mounted electric resistance heaters; no air conditioning.Insulation: None under slab. Most exterior walls have high-density fiberglass batts with 1 in. of rigid foam on the outside. Roof, 8.2 in. of open-cell foam under roof deck, R-30.Blower-door test: Not yet available.Cost: $110-$125/sq. ft. In the nation’s capital, a firstHabitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. took advantage of the biannual U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon to jump into high-performance housing.Until 2011, the design competition for college students, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, had taken place on the National Mall in Washington. When it was over, these demonstration homes were dismantled and sometimes junked, says Heather Phibbs, Washington Habitat’s director of marketing and development.But in this case, the Parsons School for Design and the Stevens Institute of Technology approached Habitat and suggested a partnership to turn its Decathlon entry into housing for a Washington, D.C., family. When the Decathlon ended, the project, called the “Empowerhouse,” was taken apart, moved to a site in the Deanwood neighborhood in the northeast part of the district and turned into a duplex.The project was certified by the Passive House Institute U.S. and built to operate as a net-zero energy home.“It was the first time we had built a Passivhaus, Habitat for Humanity of DC, and it was the first Passivhaus ever built in DC,” Phibbs said.Based on this success, there are now a number of organizations thinking of ways to turn these demonstration houses into homes when the Decathlon competitions end, Phibbs says. (For more information on the Empowerhouse, see Two Solar Decathlon Homes Get High Marks for Affordability.) In Missouri, bidding for the futureShow-Me Central Habitat for Humanity entered the world of high-performance building at the invitation of the city of Columbia, according to Bill View, its executive director.The city circulated a request for proposals among Columbia’s housing development agencies asking for their most energy-efficient designs and offering $66,000 in seed money to the winner, View says. Among the few requirements were the use of either a ground-source heat pump or a ductless minisplit heat pump for heating and cooling, and a generous amount of insulation. Three other organizations offered bids, but the Habitat affiliate took home the prize.It’s the first Habitat project of its kind in Columbus.“I wanted to win the bid, to tell you the truth,” View says. “That’s the honest part of it, although we’ve been building Energy Star homes for a few years now. But when they put up $66,000 and said it’s up for grabs to the person who gives us the best model for energy efficiency, I decided I wanted to win the bid.”That $66,000 is almost enough money to build another home for another family.The house (see the details at right) is under construction and may be finished by late spring or early summer, depending on weather and other factors. The Habitat chapter has five or six other projects underway at the same time. High-performance houses might not seem the most logical choice for Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit that builds affordable housing on tight construction budgets and relies on non-professional labor.Renewable energy systems have high upfront costs, and the extra insulation, air-sealing and other detailing that make Passivhaus or net-zero energy construction possible take more time, building expertise and money than conventional houses.But Habitat affiliates around the country are beginning to build these high-performance designs and offering them to families that ordinarily would be priced out of the market.Projects are currently underway in many parts of the country, including Washington, D.C., Missouri, California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. It’s a homegrown trend taking root without any directive from Habitat’s international headquarters in Atlanta; each Habitat affiliate is a separate entity that makes its own decisions about what kind of housing to build. Net-zero, Passivhaus and other high-performance designs are still a fraction of the total number of Habitat projects, accounting for roughly 1% of the 3,800 new housing units that Habitat built in the U.S. last year. But for a variety of reasons, local Habitat affiliates are now more likely to try these cutting-edge designs, and over time that will mean much lower utility and maintenance bills for the homeowners lucky enough to get them.In some cases, the Passivhaus projects are the first to be built in the community by anyone. Here’s a rundown on several projects around the country. Finding the right familiesHabitat tries to identify prospective homeowners before or during construction so the families will have the chance to work on their own houses. In Washington, each family must contribute a total of 300 hours of sweat equity to quality for ownership, although they can still qualify by working on someone else’s house.“It’s a little bit of a trick to build these things affordably for Habitat families,” Phibbs says.The new owners of these Passivhaus homes will have incomes of between $30,000 and $60,000 a year, representing 30% to 60% of the median income in the area, which is $100,000 a year.The lower operating costs for Passivhaus homes is a great match with families living on tight budgets. But it can be challenging to apply the Habitat model to houses that require a lot of construction acumen to build. All Washington Habitat projects involve some professional labor, and in the case of Passivhaus designs, Phibbs says, there’s just a little more of it.“So the pieces of that process that our construction staff leads volunteers in are a little more limited during Passivhaus construction,” she says. “There are segments of the process that they don’t allow volunteers to help with.”Despite the added complexities of construction and higher costs, the effort holds a great deal of promise for Habitat. “It’s the longterm benefit to homeowners (significantly lower utility costs), as well as interest among many of our funders,” Phibbs said in a follow-up e-mail. “And our efforts to document the process and find ways to bring the costs down to a level that may make a greater number of these homes eventually achievable for us.”center_img Passivhaus emerges the winnerOne of the architects working on the Canon Perdido project had a background in Passivhaus design, as did the construction manager, Peterson says, and that helped tip the scales. The building was relatively simple in shape, without any complex roof geometry, and it looked like a good bet for Passivhaus construction.“Everybody was really excited at the idea of doing this, and it was a newer thing,” Peterson adds. “We thought the community would be excited about it.”Habitat broke ground on the project in June 2013 and hopes to have it wrapped up by this summer. It will be the affiliate’s first Passivhaus building.Families that move into the townhouse will have incomes of between 40% and 80% of the area’s median income, or $30,000 to $60,000 a year, Hamill says.There were 100 applicants for the dozen housing units in the project. Although Habitat officials were thrilled to be working on a Passivhaus project, they didn’t advertise that aspect of the project to the public, and neither Hamill nor Peterson thinks the benefits of living in a Passivhaus were obvious to people who applied to live there, or even the people who worked on the buildings.“Every time we have volunteers at the site, we tell them about the project and they’re fascinated by the Passivhaus side of it,” Hamill says, “but for the most part I don’t think the community understands.”That said, Peterson adds, a local American Institute of Architects tour of the project was the most well-attended in some time. Net-zero by designDesigners originally considered a ground-source heat pump, View says, but the project’s engineer suggested that using an air-source heat pump instead would free up $10,000 that could be spent on photovoltaic panels. Eventually, he adds, designers settled on an 8-kW system that on paper would make net-zero operation possible.“So we just decided to splurge and put $20,000 worth of solar panels on it and see what happens,” View says. “It engineered out to a net-zero house, but of course we won’t know until it’s up and running.”View expects the 1,248-square-foot three-bedroom house to sell for $107,000, exactly what Habitat will have in it. It’s likely to go to a buyer with an income of as much as 80% of the median income in the area. Habitat houses there are typically sold to those making 30% to 50% of the median. In California, LEED didn’t have the “buzz”Santa Barbara, California, is a wealthy community on the coast a few hours north of Los Angeles, and its local Habitat affiliate is one of several in the state building high-performance housing. It’s difficult to find lots for single-family Habitat housing in Santa Barbara, says Alexandra Hamill, the affiliate’s development manager, so they’re concentrating on townhouses.Their current project incorporates three buildings, one of which is a three-unit building which Habitat hopes will to have certified as a Passivhaus. It includes two three-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit with a total of 3,749 square feet of conditioned space (see the details at right). The other two buildings will be built to the same standards, but Habitat won’t seek Passivhaus certification for them.Habitat’s last project had been constructed to meet requirements of Built Green Santa Barbara, a local sustainable building program, says Jon Peterson, the affiliate’s associated executive director.“Really, our goal from a Habitat perspective of building green at all is we want to provide homes that will last a very long time, but also will be affordable,” Peterson says, “and one of the ways is keeping the utility and maintenance costs down.”As they began design work on the townhouse project, architects from DMHA, a local firm, were aiming for Level 4 compliance with Built Green, which would have been a step up from Level 3 of the previous project. They also considered seeking certification under the LEED for Homes program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. But in the end, LEED didn’t seem to offer what the affiliate wanted.“It’s been done by other Habitat affiliates,” Peterson says. “It didn’t have the buzz. In addition to building an affordable and secure house, one of the thing we look at is how will this help us with fundraising efforts. Although LEED is a good standard, paying for that certification didn’t feel like the best option for us. “ “We’ve been working to green our practices as much as possible for a number of years,” Phibbs says. “There’s a lot of sense that it makes, not only in leaving a lighter environmental footprint and keeping a house more efficient to run, but when you have a house that’s more efficient you’ve got maintenance costs a lot lower, which is really fitting for these lower income homeowners.”The 1,400-square-foot three-bedroom houses (see sidebar at right for more details) are more expensive to build than the kind of housing Habitat usually takes on — about $172 per square foot compared to a more typical $110 per square foot. The houses will sell for between $180,000 and $200,000, Phibbs says, with Habitat raising the money to fill in the gap between the sales price and actual construction costs.Separately, Habitat has been contemplating a crowd-sourcing campaign so the houses can be equipped with photovoltaic panels. Not right for every local affiliateHigh-performance buildings are intriguing to builders looking for new challenges, but they represent a very small fraction of the houses that Habitat builds, and very few affiliates around the country are tackling them — only 15 of the nation’s 1,500 total, according to Derek Morris, director of construction technologies for Habitat for Humanity International.Roughly three-quarters of new Habitat houses are built to Energy Star standards, but going the extra mile for Passivhaus or net-zero performance isn’t always the best use of limited resources, Morris says.Affiliates that do make the leap have started by learning the basics of energy-efficient designs, embracing advanced framing techniques and air-sealing, for example, or learning how to orient houses correctly on the site. Once they’ve mastered those things, he adds, net-zero or Passivhaus construction is a more attainable goal.But all decisions are local, he says, as affiliates focus on Habitat’s “number-one objective,” the elimination of poverty housing.“Part of the challenge is always the allocation of resources,” he says. “As you’re doing Passivhaus or net-zero, you end up having a greater upfront investment in it. If you have the ability to do one home, that’s great, but what do you do about the other homes that are needed in the area?“In some cases, it’s the appropriate decision to go forward with net-zero or Passivhaus if that’s appropriate for your local environment and your local needs,” Morris continues. “In others, it may be that instead of doing 20 net-zero homes we do 30 Energy Star homes. It’s a decision that always has to be made locally. It’s never a one-size-fits-all solution.”last_img read more