More Whining About Green Building Programs

first_imgFollowing up on my recent post about LEED and other green programs, it occurs to me that the people responsible for creating and managing most green home certification programs have completely missed the big picture. I hope and believe that one day, through a combination of more stringent codes, legislation, and marketplace demands, we will reach a point where green building becomes the minimum acceptable standard. I recognize that we have a long way to go to reach this goal, and I don’t expect us to get there any time soon.In the meantime, I think that third-party certification by one of the many available green home programs is the best hope for industry transformation. While demand for these certifications is increasing, many builders and homeowners don’t see the value in the extra costs involved in getting the certification. I frequently hear from contractors that they build or renovate to a particular green standard, but don’t bother to get the testing or certification. Most homeowners are not savvy enough to recognize that without effective third-party oversight, they may not be getting what they expect. Then again, they may not expect anything.Look at who’s doing it rightI have the most respect for the contractors who don’t see it as a burden or worry about the extra cost. Rather, they view it as an important part of their overall business strategy. Michael Chandler put it nicely in a follow-up comment to one of his recent posts: “I never ask my customers to pay for certifications any more than I would put a line item in their budget for a newspaper ad I plan to run. It’s a marketing differentiator.” This is the right attitude to take regarding certification. It should not be project specific; it needs to be an integral part of your business. The most successful green contractors are those that don’t offer green as an option; they just do it all the time because they know it’s right.Can’t we all just get along?Good green programs work hard to avoid “greenwashing” through rigorous requirements and independent verification of completed projects. Programs continue to raise the bar on performance, which, while good in theory, in many cases increases the complexity and cost of certification, without necessarily producing higher-performing buildings. There are many excellent builders out there who are very capable of creating high-performance homes who don’t have the time or the particular skill set to assemble the required documents for certification. Not providing them with an appropriate entry point to building certification equals lost opportunities. It doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of doing a good job, just that they can’t fit a particular program’s image of a green builder.I believe it is possible to create a meaningful, manageable, accessible, and reasonably priced green home certification, something few if any of the existing programs now accomplish. Programs such as LEED and NAHB have so much invested in their programs that they can’t see outside their own boxes enough to make the substantial changes they need. Local programs, many run by nonprofits, don’t have the resources to reinvent themselves, particularly in the current weak construction market.It seems to me that if we could just pool everyone’s resources and put together one great green program, we would all be a lot better off. I’m not so optimistic to believe that this can actually happen; it’s just wishful thinking.last_img read more

Arellano zooms to 2-0 card

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netArellano University imposed its edge in experience to crush San Beda, 25-22, 25-21, 25-18, Wednesday and remain unbeaten in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Jovelyn Prado and Regine Arocha led the Lady Chiefs in scoring their second straight victory and at the same time providing a glimpse of what to expect from the reigning NCAA women’s champions.ADVERTISEMENT Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side San Sebastian similarly downed Jose Rizal University in straight sets, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21, in the second game to barge into the win column.Prado fired 16 points, while Arocha added 15 for Arellano, bringing to fore the skills and smarts they have learned from playing in the previous PVL Open Conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“In the Open Conference we faced better players which allowed us to level up our game,” said Prado in Filipino.That level was in full display as Arellano ran plays like a sure-footed veteran squad against the Lady Red Spikers, whose bevy of power hitters just could not get their game going. MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Issa Viray and Chesca Racraquin tried to hammer their way against the formidable defense of Arellano, scoring 12 and 9 points, respectively.The Lady Chiefs, who downed the St. Benilde Lady Blazers in the opener (25-20, 25-22, 25-17), were never in trouble in the match as coach Obet Javier’s squad was on-point throughout.San Beda took a 16-13 lead in the second set but Mary Anne Esguerra and Necole Ebuen triggered a 5-1 binge to put things in order.“They tried to load up on their serves, that’s why they managed to take the lead,” said Prado, the team captain. “But that’s where we held on to our receives even better.”San Beda, which bested Technological Institute of the Philippines (25-13, 25-18, 25-27, 25-13) in its opener, fell to 1-1.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Azkals draw with Yemenis, stay on topcenter_img LATEST STORIES NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelolast_img read more

Enfield Main Road in St. Mary Rehabilitated

first_img The repairs have contributed to improvement in the relationship between the Police and citizens Story Highlights The Enfield main road was resurfaced and drainage and other supporting infrastructure constructed center_img More than 7,000 residents of Enfield and adjoining areas in St. Mary now have improved access to their communities, following the completion of rehabilitation works on the main road linking those districts.The eight-kilometre Enfield main road, which serves other communities, such as May River and Sue River, and had deteriorated significantly over time, was resurfaced and drainage and other supporting infrastructure constructed at a cost of $92 million.Funded by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, the three-month project was implemented by the National Works Agency (NWA), and executed by contractor, Dwight’s Construction Limited.The road was officially re-opened by State Minister for Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Richard Azan, during a ceremony on July 17.Mr. Azan commended the contractor “for doing a wonderful job” and appealed to the residents to assist in maintaining the roadway.“The road belongs to you and we expect you to help us to maintain this road. I ask members of the community that, as part of your contribution, we go back to the days where communities spend time to maintain some of our roads. And, I ask that you try to form some community groups (through which) you can help in this regard,” he urged.Mr. Azan also discouraged speeding along the road, in light of the many persons who use the thoroughfare.“This road serves about seven big communities with six schools, and a number of churches. My appeal is that those who have to use (this) road, will use it with care,” the State Minister implored.Meanwhile, the NWA’s Chief Executive Officer, E.G. Hunter, described the project’s completion as the fulfillment of a commitment made.“Many months ago we came here, we saw a situation, and we made a promise, and I am very happy today to say that we kept our promise…to carry out a comprehensive rehabilitation of the road,” he said.Member of Parliament for South East St. Mary, where the communities are located, Dr. Winston Green, said the newly rehabilitated road will significantly benefit the persons who use it.He pointed out that persons will now be able to reach their destination in a shorter time, and thanked the Ministry and the NWA for the work done.Several residents, who spoke with JIS News, welcomed the repairs and expressed satisfaction with the quality of the work.Flavius Laidley of Enfield said prior to the repairs, travelling along the corridor from Annotto Bay took as much as one hour for what would normally be a 10 to 15-minute journey.Another Enfield resident, Jemaar McCaulsky, said he felt “very good” that the road has finally been repaired. He pointed out that previously, “no one wanted to come to Enfield,” because of the inconvenience caused by the poor road condition.“So, like how the road has been fixed, many people will want to come up here, because up here is a nice place. It will do the communities a lot of good, because more businesses can start up, so that more people can get jobs,” he said.Anthony Gutzmore of Juno Pen, also in Enfield, said the citizens of that district are “extremely pleased” that rehabilitation of the road has been completed, noting that “for too long, we were in a situation of it being almost impassable.”He pointed out that the repairs have contributed to improvement in the relationship between the Police and citizens.“The police claimed that it used to take them hours to come up here because of the bad road.  Now that the road has been repaired, they have been coming up here very frequently. As a matter of fact, the community and the police are now sharing a very good relationship and we are very pleased with that. The only thing we need to do is to ensure there is continuous maintenance of the road,” Mr. Gutzmore said.last_img read more

Mosquito Control Programme Strengthened

first_img Dr. Tufton said the Government of Jamaica is appreciative of the partnership with the USAID, which has facilitated ongoing support to reduce mosquito breeding and vector-borne diseases. The country’s vector management programme has been strengthened with the opening of the Mosquito Control and Research Unit (MCRU) Insectary at the University of West Indies (UWI) Mona campus in St. Andrew.A joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and UWI through support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the facility will provide for entomological study ad research aimed at controlling mosquito-borne diseases such as chikungunya, Zika, dengue fever and malaria.It will serve as Jamaica’s national mosquito control and research laboratory, complementing the insectary at the National Public Health Laboratory on Slipe Pen Road in Kingston.Speaking at the opening ceremony on Tuesday (Jan. 9), Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the establishment of the MCRU insectary “demonstrates another significant step to help advance and sustain Jamaica’s commitment to mosquito control.”It is equipped with new microscopes, supplies and equipment to advance scientific and operational research.Dr. Tufton said the Government of Jamaica is appreciative of the partnership with the USAID, which has facilitated ongoing support to reduce mosquito breeding and vector-borne diseases.The USAID, under its Zika AIRS Project (ZAP), funded the refurbishing of office and laboratory space for the MCRU, which was launched last year and the establishment of the insectary at the national lab.The MCRU unit was set up to foster data-driven monitoring and decision-making; explore innovative tools and methodologies; and build technical operational and research capacity as it relates to mosquito control.UWI Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Mona campus Principal, Professor McDonald, in his remarks, said the institution is “extremely pleased” to partner with the Ministry on the initiative and also hailed the support from USAID.He said the institution envisions the full integration of the MCRU into the research and teaching endeavours of the Mona campus.“It will certainly add to our efforts to modernise all of our facilities… (as) we continue to serve our stakeholders in Jamaica and across the Caribbean,” he noted.In his remarks, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Jamaica, Eric Khant, said advancing public health was among the priorities of the US’ engagement with the Caribbean.He contended that infectious diseases like Zika “know no borders (so) we must work together to protect our citizens.”Mr. Khant noted that the insectaries’ combined resources will provide the Ministry and UWI with “adequate space to complete the necessary surveillance and research activities to elevate mosquito control efforts in Jamaica.”The ZAP project is designed to enhance the USAID’s ability to implement vector control and entomological monitoring programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean. Story Highlights Speaking at the opening ceremony on Tuesday (Jan. 9), Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said the establishment of the MCRU insectary “demonstrates another significant step to help advance and sustain Jamaica’s commitment to mosquito control.” The country’s vector management programme has been strengthened with the opening of the Mosquito Control and Research Unit (MCRU) Insectary at the University of West Indies (UWI) Mona campus in St. Andrew.last_img read more