Champions Cup: Clubs ready themselves for European adventure

first_img The Champs: Saracens are favourites to go back-to-back The Champions Cup starts in earnest this month with enough high-profile clashes to whet the appetite of the most ardent Euro sceptic. The English leg of EPCR’s (European Professional Club Rugby) whistlestop tour of Europe took place at a sun-bathed Stoop in South-West London last week, with Brad Barritt, Saracens’ teak-tough captain given the honour of entering the room holding the trophy they won back in May.There’s little doubt Mark McCall’s men will be heavily backed to go ‘back-to-back’, having, on-paper at least, strengthened their squad. With Alex Lozowski shining in Owen Farrell‘s absence, Barritt later enthused that Schalk Burger was relishing any sort of competition which pits him against Springboks Bryan Habana and Duane Vermeulen on the opening weekend at the Stade Mayol.Indeed, there’s no lack of box-office ties in the opening rounds. The opening salvos sees last season’s finalists, Racing 92 duking it out with two-time champions Munster, and Exeter Chiefs going toe-to-toe with last season’s sparring partners Clermont Auvergne.All smiles: English club captains raise a smile at the EPCR launchWho will lift the trophy? Well the usual suspects spring to mind. Saracens are among the favourites, along with Racing 92 and a spluttering Toulon, but many are backing Wasps lifting a first Cup since 2004, with Kurtley Beale and Willie Le Roux still to add to their arsenal, despite Dai Young‘s protestations of an extra burden of pressure.Speaking to the tournament’s organisers, it’s clear the action can’t come quick enough. The EPCR’s Chairman Simon Halliday was keen to stress that with all the destabilising talk of the global calendar swirling around, they remained an integral part in the jigsaw and were intent on becoming more powerful, “the EPCR has signed a long-term agreement to ensure it will be a central part of North Hemisphere rugby”, before adding that, “we want to manage aggressive growth as our clubs get stronger and stronger.”Going all the way: Wasps have the look of potential Champions with their early season formThere was also a bullish message about tickets sold for the 2016/17 finals at Murrayfield, with 20,000 paying fans ready to put bums on seats and organisers remain confident they will improve their semi-final attendances after last year’s semis were had the poorest overall numbers for 15 years.Amid the fanfare, there was an acceptance that the competition has taken time to bed in and was no overnight success. Many, with a nostalgic glint in their eye, still argue that it has yet to reach the hearts and minds in the same way the old Heineken Cup did and the fact the Celtic nations provided not one side in the knock-out stages was taken as a sign by many disgruntled fans that a French-English duopoly could become the norm and weaken the tournament’s appeal as a bonafide pan-European tournament. TAGS: Saracens LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img These concerns have all been aired and listened to and there’s no lack of resolve on the organisers part to redress any perceived emotional void, with plans for a fan village, and renewed efforts to ingratiate the competition into the fabric of club rugby. “We have a new team, new location, new structure and new format and it’s about time we got onto the front foot and promoted the tournament’s strengths and identity”, opined Halliday.Usual suspects: Toulon and Racing 92 will be among the favourites for the trophyThere was also a tacit acknowledgement that time was required to ‘grow a tournament’, and that includes commercial ambitions. Twelve months ago Turkish Airlines were named as a principal sponsor alongside Heineken and a further sponsor is expected to be added to the roster in the coming weeks. Definite signs of progress, but still work to do.Vincent Gaillard, EPCR’s director general, maintained the upbeat stance by saying they’d had ‘more applications than ever before’ 2018 tender process and were keen to expand into new markets. There was more tub-thumping rhetoric about the club game’s health. “After a couple of very difficult years with the transition of two organizations, the ERC to the EPCR, we feel in a good place.”In a matter of days, the slick montages, hyperbole and positive spin will be replaced by blood, sweat and tears of players hellbent on taking the highroad to Edinburgh.It’s be time to strap-in for a season of European intrigue. The start of the Champions and Challenge Cup starts in 10 days time and for the tournament’s organisers the action can’t come quickly enoughlast_img read more

Read more on Champions Cup: Clubs ready themselves for European adventure

Harvard awards 8,227 degrees and certificates

first_imgToday the University awarded a total of 8,227 degrees and certificates. A breakdown of degrees and programs is listed below.Harvard College granted a total of 1,542 degrees. Degrees from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences were awarded by Harvard College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School of Design.All figures include degrees awarded in November 2019 and March and May 2020.Harvard College1,542 degrees1,493 Bachelor of Arts49 Bachelor of ScienceGraduate School of Arts and Sciences651 degrees183 Master of Arts110 Master of Science10 Master of Engineering348 Doctor of PhilosophyHarvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences105 degrees11 Master of Engineering (included under Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)49 Master of Science (included under Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)17 Master in Design Engineering (included under Harvard Graduate School of Design)28 Master of Science/Master of Business AdministrationHarvard Business School953 degrees932 Master of Business Administration21 Doctor of Business AdministrationHarvard Divinity School116 degrees47 Master of Divinity64 Master of Theological Studies3 Master of Theology2 Doctor of TheologyHarvard Law School758 degrees178 Master of Laws10 Doctor of Juridical Science570 Doctor of LawHarvard Kennedy School596 degrees95 Master in Public Administration184 Master in Public Administration (Mid-Career)74 Master in Public Administration in International Development228 Master in Public Policy1 Doctor of Political Economy & Government14 Doctor of Public PolicyHarvard Graduate School of Design366 degrees100 Master in Architecture41 Master of Architecture in Urban Design89 Master in Design Studies63 Master in Landscape Architecture5 Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design43 Master in Urban Planning8 Doctor of Design17 Master in Design Engineering (Joint with SEAS)Harvard Graduate School of Education701 degrees658 Master of Education7 Certificate of Advanced Study23 Doctor of Education Leadership13 Doctor of EducationHarvard Medical School305 degrees22 Master of Biomedical Informatics33 Master of Bioethics3 Master of Healthcare Quality and Safety12 Master in Clinical Service Operations56 Master in Medical Science179 Doctor of MedicineHarvard School of Dental Medicine56 degrees12 Master of Medical Sciences10 Doctor of Medical Sciences34 Doctor of Dental MedicineHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health408 degrees265 Master of Public Health96 Master of Science25 Master in Health Care Management12 Doctor of Public Health10 Doctor of ScienceHarvard Extension School1,199 degrees2 Associate in Arts148 Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies1049 Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studieslast_img read more

Read more on Harvard awards 8,227 degrees and certificates

JBJ Soul Kitchen Steps Up For Furloughed Workers

first_imgA Sense of Camaraderie Across the nation, 800,000 Federal workers missed their first paycheck Friday, Jan. 11, and could miss their next one Jan. 25 with Democrats and the White House at an impasse over President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.   Bongiovi said it’s important not to get caught up in the politics of the situation and to focus on the people and families being impacted. New Jersey’s First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy and Dorothea Bongiovi organized the lunch event, and said they plan to host more until the government shutdown ends. Photo by Chris Rotolo The Hackensack Meridian Health network (including Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank and Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel) has announced it will waive co-pays and deductibles for emergency care for furloughed employees and families.The Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County announced it will offer free facility access and childcare payment relief to furloughed workers and families in Monmouth County. The YMCA is also waiving monthly dues for existing members impacted by the shutdown.Red Bank Borough Schools announced a partnership with its food service provider, Chartwells, to provide free breakfast and lunch to students whose families have been impacted by the shutdown. “It’s the thought that makes a difference. It’s the thought of them reaching out and understanding our predicament,” Foley said. “For me it’s not about the meal. My husband works and we have cans of soup and food at home. This is about coming together with other people who are suffering through it and feeling like a family. It’s frustrating but we’re in it together.” EPA pollution official Kathleen Foley was one of the diners who ventured to the Red Bank eatery and said it was less about the meal and more about the sense of camaraderie she felt while spending time with others suffering the same plight. On a frigid Jan. 21 afternoon – Martin Luther King Jr. Day –  the JBJ Soul Kitchen opened its doors for a special two-hour lunch session in which furloughed workers and their families could sit down for a free meal at the Monmouth Street establishment, with a menu that included two soup options, meatloaf, a fish dish and a chicken entree. The partial government shutdown began Dec. 22. Lunch Break, located at 121 Drs. James Parker Blvd in Red Bank, is offering furloughed employees and their families continental breakfast from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and a hot lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Murphy said she spoke to TSA employees who are still required to show up to work despite not collecting a paycheck for the past month and are trying to save money by carpooling to Newark Liberty Airport. RED BANK – In the midst of the longest federal government shutdown in the country’s history, local organizations, schools and even a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer have stepped up to make the lives of furloughed workers a little easier. Murphy said the first wave of diners included employees of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Coast Guard personnel.center_img Murphy said it’s something they had been thinking of organizing for some time.  In conversations, Murphy said diners expressed worries about collecting unemployment and described interactions with unemployment office workers who were “disinterested” in assisting, or had no answers.  “They said they can’t afford the gas money,” Murphy added. “The bottom line is, these are normal people. These are all of us and they are so thrilled to be here and so thankful. They were a little apprehensive at first about showing up, but now they feel a little kick in their step, because they know there are others in the same boat and people in the community who are trying to help.” The event was organized by Jon Bon Jovi’s wife, Dorothea Bongiovi, and her Navesink River neighbor, Tammy Snyder Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy. Other Local Groups Stepping Up Cash Flow Worries “Anyone who goes a month without a paycheck is going to be in very big trouble in New Jersey,” Bongiovi said. “We are a resource for people. We’ve been open for seven years and we see people struggling. Time can get tough and we want to be there for people. None of this is a handout. It’s a hand up.” On Jan. 11 a bill signed by Trump guaranteed full backpay for impacted federal workers. “We kept thinking that the government was going to reopen, but eventually it became pretty clear that it wasn’t going to reopen. So, in all honesty, we probably waited too long to do this,” the First Lady said in an interview with The Two River Times. “But as soon as we reached out to the Bongiovis, who already have this amazing facility, it wasn’t long before we had a plan in place,”  Rather than lunch, Environmental Protection Agency official Kathleen Foley said she was in search of camaraderie and companionship at the JBJ Soul Kitchen.  Photo by Chris Rotololast_img read more

Read more on JBJ Soul Kitchen Steps Up For Furloughed Workers

MacLOCHLAINN LASHES OPPONENTS OVER A5 ROAD ‘DEBACLE’

first_imgDonegal North East Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has launched a broadside at political opponents in the county, accusing them of double-dealing over the A5 road project.He insisted that the British Government as co-signatories of the St Andrews Agreement must meet their responsibilities to the A5 project. He called on the Irish Government to engage with their British counterparts on how all parties to the St Andrews Agreement can collectively deliver this essential peace process commitment.But it was his call for ‘genuine political unity’ in the county which will rile opponents. Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “There is no doubt that the Irish Government have reneged on their promise on the A5 to the people of Donegal and the North West in terms of the St Andrew’s Agreement which sought to bridge the gap of inequality between our region and the rest of the Island.“However, I am conscious that the British Government also signed up to the St Andrews Agreement and the two Governments now need to discuss how they can work together to address this issue. To date, this has been the elephant in the room in all of this.“The Irish Government have to repay a loan of billions of pounds sterling with interest back to the British Government as part of the bail out package agreed a year ago. Britain’s banks were bailed out rather than the Irish people. At the very least, the Irish Government should seek to engage with their British counterparts around how the A5 project could be slotted into that arrangement”.He continued: “I also repeat my call for genuine political unity across the North West on this issue as has been the case down the years. “It has been very noticeable that some local representatives are all over the place on this A5 issue, bizarrely seeking to blame Sinn Féin in the North and when that backfired, forming political alliances that exclude Sinn Féin, then spurning those alliances and remarkably stating that there are no other options outside the island of Ireland for funding this project.“This is not political leadership. It is irresponsible opportunism. I appeal to all political leaders in the region to quit the messing around and start singing from the one hymn sheet again.”© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldaily Follow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comMacLOCHLAINN LASHES OPPONENTS OVER A5 ROAD ‘DEBACLE’ was last modified: November 22nd, 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)Tags:a5 road projectDeputy Padraig MacLochlainnlast_img read more

Read more on MacLOCHLAINN LASHES OPPONENTS OVER A5 ROAD ‘DEBACLE’

Raiders-Cardinals: Does a good fan pick them to win or lose? It’s complicated

first_imgYou’ve edged past the midpoint — only the midpoint! — of this godforsaken season at 1-8. The difficult decision of whether to be rooting for the Raiders at this juncture is real, even if you’re a diehard among diehards.Admit it: You’ve begun sneaking a look at the college football landscape, sizing up those three first-round picks and who might look good in Silver-and-Black — and make an immediate upgrade to these sputtering units. (This mock draft has the Raiders staying at No. 1 to grab … Who does your Raiders-loving heart want to win Sunday?RaidersCardinalsOther:VoteView ResultsTake Our Polllast_img read more

Read more on Raiders-Cardinals: Does a good fan pick them to win or lose? It’s complicated

Athletics snap three-game win streak in loss to Milwaukee Brewers

first_imgClick here if you are having trouble viewing the gallery on your mobile device.OAKLAND — The A’s (61-48) snapped a three-game winning streak, falling 4-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.The Brewers set the tone early, with Lorenzo Cain taking Brett Anderson’s second pitch of the game into the left field seats.Christian Yelich extended his hitting streak to 18 games with an RBI double in the third inning. Anderson dealt seven innings, allowing just three earned runs on eight hits …last_img read more

Read more on Athletics snap three-game win streak in loss to Milwaukee Brewers

‘Just throw it and hopefully they hit it at somebody’: Brett Anderson delivers ‘grindy’ start, finally beats the Yankees

first_imgNEW YORK — That four-game series against Kansas City left the A’s feeling a little more taxed than perhaps they’d imagined.And that’s not necessarily a knock on the Royals — a tough team despite its rebuilding status. Four games is a lot, and the the starters couldn’t eat enough of those 36 total innings to save the bullpen from putting in more work than manager Bob Melvin and his staff would have liked.Especially with Yankee Stadium looming and Brett Anderson set to take the mound for Game …last_img read more

Read more on ‘Just throw it and hopefully they hit it at somebody’: Brett Anderson delivers ‘grindy’ start, finally beats the Yankees

Mighty Mouse Has Arrived

first_imgGeneticists at Case Western Reserve University have genetically engineered mice that “can run five to six kilometres at a speed of 20 meters per minute on a treadmill, for up to six hours before stopping,” according to a report on the BBC News.    Professor Richard Hanson explained, “They are metabolically similar to Lance Armstrong biking up the Pyrenees; they utilise mainly fatty acids for energy and produce very little lactic acid.”  They also live longer and mate later than usual.  The secret is in the powerhouses of the cell, which were made to multiply by overexpressing a certain gene:“The muscles of these mice have many more mitochondria.  These are the little ‘engines ’ in the cell that produce energy.  For some reason, the number of mitochondria are around 10 times more than we see in the muscle of their littermates.    If this technology ever spreads to humans, the Olympics will never be the same.Olympics of the future will be won by those with the best genetic engineers, it appears.  If this kind of performance is possible, what might this suggest about ancient people?  Tales survive of mighty deeds done by people who lived for hundreds of years and had their firstborn in their 80’s and after.  Maybe we are the 96-pound weaklings of the human race.  Let’s hope they can put this stuff into a diet cola or milkshake.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read more on Mighty Mouse Has Arrived

Mineral Wool Insulation Isn’t Like Fiberglass

first_imgNot all batts are badThe reality is that this is just not so. In fact this simply highlights the profound misunderstanding of what mineral wool insulation is like among green building advocates. The misunderstanding centers around the form of insulation: batts. The green building community has been very quick to condemn batts, when the problems that concern them actually revolve around fiberglass batts.Let’s make this absolutely clear: There is nothing wrong with insulation in the form of batts. Batts are a convenient way to package insulation for transport, handling, and installation, which is why it is the predominant form for insulation in the U.S.However, there are legitimate reasons to criticize fiberglass batt insulation, the status quo in U.S. house construction. It’s a brief list of reasons, so let’s look at them. Include a service chaseNow, if you wish to increase the likelihood that you won’t need to make any punctures in this airtight layer, then you should plan on a wall with an interior wiring chase, such as the U.S.A. New Wall that we’ve elaborated on here.Your best chance for an airtight wall is if you don’t puncture your air barrier with electrical work, outlet boxes, and switches. If you’ve not studied it before, when you are done here go read the U.S.A. New Wall article, and the Swedish Platform Framing article to see how all these come together to make a simple but high-performance wall.That covers insulation value, installation, and air sealing issues. Mineral wool goes on to excel in other ways that contribute to my preference for this material. You still have to cut the batts to fitThere is one caveat here: Just as with fiberglass, mineral wool must be cut to fit odd-spaced studs and triangular corners that may exist between framing members. However, this is much easier to do with mineral wool.With fiberglass batts, you are actually told by experts to use a 2×4 stud as a straightedge while you cut the fiberglass batts with a sheetrock knife. You are expected to compress the fiberglass enough to cut through it with the short blade of the razor knife. And if you are doing it correctly, you trim the batt and kraft paper to different widths, to leave a tab so you can staple it up. Good luck.Mineral wool is different. You can actually measure and cut mineral wool to size, like cutting a big block of wood. In fact, for carpenters this comes as second nature, because as you might expect they are quite good at measuring, and then cutting something to fit, when that something has a shape and can be understood like a piece of wood.The cuts are made with large serrated knives — imagine a giant bread knife. (See Image #4, below.) So there is no compressing the insulation flat so you can cut through it. The mineral wool retains its volume while you cut through it with the long knife.You don’t cut against a 2×4, but rather you cut it on a purpose-made cutting table, which is just like a very large carpenter’s miter box (see Image #5). It adjusts for the thickness of the insulation, and allows you to set precise angles for cutting to fit those odd spaces. (Read more about the insulation table here.) It is because the green building community has almost universally decided that ol’ fiberglass batt insulation is bad. There are good reasons for this, and we’ll look at those, but the more obvious question is, What does this have to do with mineral wool?The overwhelming assumption among those interested in green building is that mineral wool is just like fiberglass batts, at least in all the ways they feel fiberglass batts are bad. So if fiberglass insulation is bad, then they are convinced that mineral wool insulation will be bad, for all the same reasons. Its an easy conclusion to reach, but a lazy misunderstanding. Most fiberglass batt jobs are sloppySecond: bad installations. Bad installations mean sloppy fitting of batts into stud cavities, over-compressing the insulation or leaving gaps that allow convection, sloppy trimming around obstructions, and any number of other installation sins that spoil the effectiveness of the insulation.The installers are only partly to blame. The material is limp and fluffy, and because of this the handling, cutting, and placement requires more care to install well. It rarely gets that care; hence it is most often installed quickly and cheaply. Appendix 2: PredictionsHigher R-value insulation will eventually own the market here. CertainTeed, one of the biggest U.S. makers of fiberglass, is now owned by Saint-Gobain, a large producer of mineral wool in Europe. CertainTeed now has access to mineral wool, and could begin to sell it in North America as it gains market share.Owens Corning, the other large American insulation maker which is highly vested in fiberglass, has purchased an American mineral wool manufacturer, Thermafiber, widening its offerings to include both mineral wool and fiberglass.The third large American manufacturer of fiberglass insulation is Johns Manville, which has recently acquired an American mineral wool manufacturer, IIG (Industrial Insulation Group).Not all of these companies are actively promoting mineral wool for residential building insulation, but it is remarkable that we find all of the major American insulation manufacturers vested in mineral wool.Fiberglass has also been dogged by health questions. In 1984, fiberglass was classified as a “reasonably anticipated” carcinogen. This did not proceed to the next level, “known carcinogen,” and in 2011, following more research, it was removed from this list.Currently fiberglass is classified similarly to mineral wool, which is considered what is called “biosoluble.” This means that these mineral fibers dissolve in contact with tissues, leaving no fibers to trigger disease. Whether fiberglass can shed its unhealthy reputation, or if it will be overtaken by mineral wool with its higher performance levels, has yet to be determined. Roxul is going after the residential marketOK, let’s talk about mineral wool. I’m going to refer generally to “mineral wool,” but as of this writing I have in mind the products of one manufacturer: Roxul. This is the only mineral wool manufacturer taking the residential market seriously in the U.S. right now.Roxul sells its mineral wool in consumer-friendly packages, just as you would expect in a big box home improvement outlet. They are making their batts in sizes made to fit stud walls, clearly aimed at the market for building houses of wood, the very same market that fiberglass is sold to. This is important. Same kind of packaging, same kind of expectations, same kind of product experience.They are putting their products into long-standing material distribution streams that every builder in the U.S. understands. It’s available from the same sources, ready to be installed by the same people.There are other mineral wool manufacturers out there, but they are not proactively pursuing the residential market. I’m not talking about them or their products. If your criticism of mineral wool revolves around your experience with some other product from some other time, then your concerns don’t apply here and now. You should catch up. If you are interested in green building, or call yourself a green building expert, then you should know about mineral wool insulation. If you have not seen mineral wool handled and installed, then you need to read this.If you think that mineral wool batts are similar enough to fiberglass batts that you already know what you need to know about it, then you are a fool. And you still need to read this.If you have already read some of my essays, you know that I am an advocate of using mineral wool insulation to improve the energy performance of the houses we build in the U.S. There are many reasons why I think that mineral wool is the best insulation for us here. Recently I find myself making my case for this repeatedly, so I thought it would be worthwhile to get it all down in one place and just point to it in the future. The problem is the fiberglass, not the battLet’s summarize the lesson here: What most green pundits blame on batt insulation is the fault of fiberglass insulation. While mineral wool also comes in batt form, it is a completely different product with different properties.It does not suffer from any of the above problems of fiberglass, yet retains the best part: it’s easy to handle, easy to install, and best of all, your labor force already knows how to do it. That is no small point. Fire safetyMineral wool simply makes wood stud construction safer. This is the same material that is used to fireproof steel members in commercial construction. Mineral wool will stand up to temperatures that will reduce fiberglass to a puddle of molten glass.Mineral wool will increase the length of time that a wood-framed house will stand during a fire. It gives the occupants more time to exit safely, and firefighters a safer window of time to enter a burning home. Mineral wool batts have a higher R-valueSo let’s talk about insulation value first. In batts offered for 2×4 stud walls, mineral wool comes in R-15, while fiberglass comes in R-11 or R-13 (although it can be special ordered in R-15 in the U.S.). In batts offered for 2×6 walls, mineral wool comes in R-23, fiberglass comes in R-19 (and again, you can special order higher R-value, but only R-21).Furthermore, mineral wool is available in batts that fit 2×8 framed walls, and these are R-30. Fiberglass is not offered in batts for 2×8 stud walls.These are the products available now, today, in mineral wool. If you are interested in maximizing the energy performance of your walls, it’s a no-brainer. Even if you changed nothing else about the way you build, you can improve the performance of your walls by switching to mineral wool. Fiberglass batts have low R-valuesFirst, low insulation values. That’s right: fiberglass batts sold here in the U.S. don’t provide as much insulation as they could. It’s not that you can’t make fiberglass in higher performance levels; in fact it is made and sold in Canada at higher R-values.But the big fiberglass insulation makers are not ready to bring that high-R-value fiberglass insulation here to the U.S. How do I know? I’ve called them, spoken to their people about it, and they’ve told me they won’t bring the high-R-value insulation to the States even though I said I wanted to spec it.I say, shame on them. We should all take our business elsewhere. RELATED ARTICLES Mineral Wool Boardstock Insulation Gains Ground Installing Mineral Wool Insulation Over Exterior Wall SheathingInstalling Roxul Mineral Wool on Exterior WallsWrapping an Older House with Rock Wool InsulationGBA Product Guide: Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation BattsAn Architect’s Take on Sweden’s Factory-Built HousesService Cavities for Wiring and PlumbingInstalling Fiberglass RightShould Batt Insulation Be Outlawed?center_img It won’t stay wetMineral wool is hydrophobic. From the dictionary: “Tending to repel or fail to mix with water.” If fiberglass insulation becomes wet, you end up with a wet lump of glass lint, with no insulation value to boot. Mineral wool, on the other hand, will not become wet.In fact, water beads up and rolls off the surface of mineral wool. This promotes water draining and drying if the wall cavity becomes wet, rather than holding water like a sponge. Which would you rather have in your wall? Where is the air barrier?Third: bad air sealing and a bad vapor retarder. Well, what is that about anyway? Insulation is for insulating, not for air sealing — right?Well, somewhere along the way, somebody had the bright idea to combine a vapor retarder with a fiberglass insulation batt. It turns two construction steps into one, and in theory saves labor and so saves money. The problem is that once you’ve had a bad installation as noted above, and cut the vapor retarder around electrical boxes, what you end up with does not seal well against air leaks or vapor diffusion.Hell, you say — I don’t need my insulation to make an air seal, because I used that good ol’ housewrap on the outside. Nope, nothing wrong with housewrap — but it provides no help with the air sealing you need at your vapor retarder.The air seal in this case wants to be on the warm side of the wall, to prevent interior moisture from entering the wall cavity and condensing during the winter heating season. Smart vapor retardersAnd third, air sealing. Mineral wool only comes in unfaced batts. No foil or kraft paper vapor retarders are offered. This means an independent vapor retarder must be installed. Simply said, this is the best way to create an airtight envelope for the house.My favorite product in this regard is a variable-permeability membrane, a so-called “smart” membrane, because the permeability self-adjusts to suit conditions. An example is the MemBrain vapor retarder from CertainTeed. This is their branding of the smart membrane product made by their European owner, Saint-Gobain.Another high-quality variable-permeability membrane is Intello Plus and DB+ by ProClima. This vapor retarder membrane has a low permeability level in dry conditions, but if the humidity level within the wall gets high, the material will open up to allow the moisture to dry to the other side. The ProClima Intello membrane is notable because it is well reinforced. It will not tear or split from stapling, and this tolerance of handling makes it easier to work with. Insulation cutting tablesThe mineral wool cutting table, for me, is the eye-opener: the cold water in the face that made me realize that we never took insulation very seriously here in the U.S. Here we pull a 2×4 out of the dumpster, and use a razor blade holder to cut it on the floor deck. That’s the best we can do.Mineral wool is cut precisely to fill every void — quickly, accurately — providing complete fill of the wall cavity. Installations are easier, faster, and better than with fiberglass.I’ll say with some confidence that no other insulation product can fill a stud space so completely. No spray, no blown-in product, no blanket can fill a wall void as well as a proper installation of mineral wool insulation. Addressing thermal bridgingOne of the big issues with improving the performance of our walls is thermal bridging through the wall studs. The most popular way to overcome this has been to install insulation on the exterior of the wall, continuously, to insulate the studs from the cold.The issue here is that rigid foam insulation has been the most common way to do this. The problem, however, is that the foam creates a vapor retarder, and the last thing you want is a wall with a vapor retarder on both faces.So the practice has been to make walls with exterior foam insulation without interior vapor barriers. The foam must be thick enough to keep the dew point within the depth of the foam in order to prevent condensation within the wall cavity.The problem here is that only the most general recommendations for these configurations can be made in the building code. Weather outside of the design limits can result in condensation. Highly humid interior conditions can cause condensation.My opinion is that these walls are not resilient designs and are poor practice. A wall with a traditional configuration — with a vapor retarder on the interior — works in all conditions, even when the temperature or interior humidity goes beyond the design values.My only caution is, if the home is to have air-conditioning, then it is very important to use a smart vapor control sheet, as mentioned above. These variable-permeability membranes will ensure the wall performs well during the cooling season when the vapor profile of the wall is reversed.The good news in this story is that mineral wool comes in configurations that can be used as exterior insulation in place of foam. These are very dense fiber panels that are strong enough to support siding and cladding material mounted over them in a manner similar to foam. The difference: mineral wool is vapor permeable, which means you can insulate on the exterior without trapping moisture in the wall.Furthermore, the insulation value of these dense mineral wool panels approaches the performance of foam. Typically for XPS foam you would get in the neighborhood of R-5 per inch. Mineral wool will provide R-4.6 per inch.And because of mineral wool’s hydrophobic properties, it will not absorb moisture in this location, and in fact will promote the drainage and drying of rainscreen siding cavities.Foam insulation brings other problems, such as dilemmas in flashing practices, and the dubious reliance on adhesive tape as a long term weather barrier. Mineral wool is different from fiberglassSo why am I constantly explaining why I like mineral wool, and what’s good about mineral wool? And why am I constantly saying, “No, that’s not what mineral wool is like; rather, it is like this”? Summing upLet’s just go over some broad conclusions now. Mineral wool is a completely different material from fiberglass. They both just happen to fall in the broad classification of batts.Mineral wool is available in higher insulation values than fiberglass. Mineral wool’s rigid shape and ability to be measured and cut accurately enables it to fill stud voids more completely than any other insulation product, with less effort, and more speed.Mineral wool fits into the building practices of 99.9% of America’s builders with no need for new processes, extensive retraining, or changes to new subcontractors, new suppliers, and new business relationships.Mineral wool is the easiest way for the vast majority of builders to step up their game and start building better. Appendix 1: Concerns of green buildersThose focused on green building often immediately point to the presence of formaldehyde in binders used in mineral wool. Formaldehyde-based resins have long been used in the “glues” that prevent fibrous insulation from coming apart. It’s long been used in fiberglass, and is still used in many fiberglass products today. But it is clearly on the way out. Fiberglass batts from Knauf and Owens Corning are now available with alternate binders.Mineral wool still contains a very small amount of formaldehyde-based binders. The wall insulation products from Roxul meet the GreenGuard Gold certification standard (formerly known as GreenGuard Children and School certification), which means they are consistent with products that are used in schools, day-care centers, or other environments where children spend significant periods of time. What this means is if you are a builder shifting from traditional fiberglass batts, this mineral wool will likely have lower formaldehyde emissions than what you used before.If you are a green builder seeking to eliminate any formaldehyde, then you have other options.On the matter of embodied energy, the Roxul products now use from 75% to 93% recycled content, depending on the availability of the raw materials, and their facilities are “zero waste to landfill.”If you are a green builder who can get the same performance from a material with less embodied energy, then great. If you are a builder considering shifting from fiberglass, the energy savings from the lifetime performance of the mineral wool will greatly exceed any difference in manufacturing energy of the fiberglass you use now. Editor’s note: This article was adapted from a blog written by Greg La Vardera in 2012. Mineral wool batts are easier to installSecond, installations. You might think, “How can mineral wool batts be easier to install than fiberglass batts?” It’s simple. Fiberglass batts are limp, soft blankets. They have to be hung and stapled into place or they will slump and leave gaps.Mineral wool is dense and firm, and it friction fits into the stud space. People don’t generally understand this, and this is why I am including photos. Mineral wool has form; it has a shape. If you pick it up it does not drape or fold; it retains its shape. (See Image #2, below) It is a block. This block, when shoved into a wall cavity — and I say shoved because it literally must be pushed into place — when shoved into place, fills the entire wall cavity (see Image #3, below). No gaps, no sags, no spaces. More importantly, no convection, no drafts, and no stapling. Greg La Vardera is an architect practicing in Merchantville, New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia. His work has included the development of several off-site building methods and progressive design in catalog house plan publishing. He is now focusing on creating energy-efficient prototypes for production building based on Swedish precedents, as well as posting blog entries on his website.last_img read more

Read more on Mineral Wool Insulation Isn’t Like Fiberglass

Morrison delivers promise to win gold for his grandmother

first_imgLATEST STORIES His family migrated to Maryland but transferred to the Philippines for good when he was seven.The 2015 SEA Games gold medalist in featherweight graduated from the University of Santo Tomas.He was also a bronze medalist in the Incheon Asian Games in 2014.“I’m already 27 now, so if I can still can I will still fight in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila,” said the 6-foot-1 Morrison.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next Samuel Thomas Harper Morrison of the Philippines battles Ardian Prayogo Dinggo of Indonesia in the finals of the men’s -74kg of the 29th Southeast Asian Games taekwondo competition. Morrisson prevailed to win the gold medal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES MEDIA POOLKUALA LUMPUR — Samuel Morrison knew that he could be fighting in his last Southeast Asian Games of his career.That’s why he was overcome with emotions after capturing the gold medal in the -74-kilogram division.ADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief READ: Emotional Morrison wins gold in taekwondo, avenges teammate’s loss“I made a promise to my grandmother to win,” said Morrison, 27.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHis maternal grandmother died during the time he was trying to qualify for the Rio Olympics last year. He didn’t make it to the Games.“That’s why I went to her grave before I flew here,” said Morrison, who was born in Olongapo to an American serviceman and Filipino mother. Ravena wants more after winning record fourth gold medal UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspensionlast_img read more

Read more on Morrison delivers promise to win gold for his grandmother