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High-Performance Builders See Gains Ahead with Panelized Construction

first_imgTwo New England design/build firms are increasing their commitment to high-end panelized designs, betting that homebuyers will be increasingly interested in well-executed, energy-efficient homes at less than custom prices.Maine-based GO Logic, known for high-performance houses in a contemporary New England architectural style, has launched a line of panelized houses called GO Home, along with a new website that makes it easier for buyers to pick layouts, finishes, and features.At the same time, Bensonwood and its younger sister company Unity Homes announced that the company will more than double their combined manufacturing space later this year with the opening of a 110,000-square-foot plant in Keene, New Hampshire. The company hopes the new plant will allow it to expand its market area and push down prices.Together, the companies are part of what seems to be a small but growing group of companies that make wall, roof, and floor components that can be assembled into high-performance, even net-zero and Passive House-certified, buildings. Production lines make increased use of computer-driven and robotic equipment. RELATED ARTICLES A whole new endeavor for GO LogicGO Logic’s new Go Home division was set up specifically to tap into the Passive House prefab market with, as the company’s website puts it, a patented shallow foundation system and a panelized building shell that can be used on everything from a 600-square-foot cottage to a 300-unit multifamily building.One of the GO Home options from the company’s website is this 1,600-square-foot model.There are 10 GO Home models, including one seasonal residence, ranging from a one-bedroom, one-bath 600-square-foot home to a 2,500-square-foot home with three bedrooms and two baths over two floors. All of them can be customized. Costs (in Maine) run from $179,000 to $567,000 ($298 to $227 per square foot), prices that include just about everything other than the lot, grading and landscaping, fencing, and lighting.The houses come with triple-glazed windows, heat-recovery ventilation, and electric baseboard heat. Buyers can choose from many options. Siding choices, for example, include shou sugi ban (charred cedar finished in the Japanese style), corrugated Corten steel, and a variety of more conventional choices.The frost-protected shallow concrete foundation is insulated with expanded polystyrene rigid foam. Exterior walls consist of 2×8 structural framing, filled with dense-packed cellulose and an additional 6 inches of rigid mineral wool insulation on the exterior (R-50, according to the company). The truss roof is insulated to R-80 with blown-in cellulose. The triple-glazed German windows are R-11 at the center of the glass, and clad in aluminum on the outside and PVC on the inside.Panels are shipped vertically. Wall sections have windows installed when they leave the shop, but stud walls are open to the inside to allow plumbing and wiring to be completed on site. Insulation follows that.GO Home says its buildings use 10% of the energy consumed by a conventional code-compliant house. An ‘evolutionary’ processThe GO Home series is part of an evolutionary process at GO Logic that grew out of the firm’s more conventional stick-built tradition, Gunther Kragler, a project architect at the firm, said in a call.“Initially, we did conventional stick-built,” he said. “We were site-building everything. In the last few years, we started to panelize projects because as the design side grew we did more work out of state, and we had clients out of state who said, ‘I wish you could do the whole package, I wish we could get you to do the construction, because we’re having trouble getting contractors down here to understand it, or they’re doing it wrong.’ So for us, it was an evolution of how we could take the guesswork out of it and deliver products out of state. But now we can even use it in state.”The company, which sees itself as a regional builder, will still site-build houses if they are within an hour or two of its mid-coast Maine office or close to Portland, where it has established, well-seasoned building crews.But for projects farther away than that, panels make more sense. Panels are made in a shop in Knox, about a 15-minute drive from the firm’s Belfast office. Kragler said the shop was already up and running when GO Home began; whether the production line expands will depend on new demand generated by the GO Home line.Having a standard line of panelized houses and finish options simplifies the ordering process for clients, who may be overwhelmed not only by the expense of a fully custom house but by the complexities of specifying everything that goes into it.“The design process can be daunting for a lot of people,” Kragler said. “It can be long. There are hundreds of decisions to be made. You can get decision fatigue, which we see sometimes from our clients. The pre-design and launch of the GO Home website is sort of that evolution.”Pricing at the company’s website is clear and direct. Each plan lists the square footage, the cost per square foot, and the total, with the accompanying text describing exactly what’s included and what isn’t. Once a buyer has settled on a basic package, it’s off to an options page to choose siding, exterior finishes, windows, doors, flooring, casing and trim. That list is sent to GO Home, which delivers a final price. A couple could pretty much spec a house at the dining table after supper. These Superinsulated Homes Were Delivered By TruckPassive House Building in the Digital AgeFactories Gear Up for Passive House Building With NZE as an Option, a Modular Series Launches in MaineA Prefab Passive House in MichiganWhat’s Different About Unity Homes?Unity Homes: Pushing the Boundaries of Home BuildingUnity Homes Combines Prefab with Energy EfficiencyBensonwood Is Reinventing the HouseFactory-Built Wall PanelsAn Architect’s Take on Sweden’s Factory-Built HousesSustainability, Scandinavian Style Faster dry-in is a big benefitLike other panelizers, Bensonwood and Unity Homes point to very short on-site construction schedules, precisely made components, and well-insulated, airtight building shells as key advantages of their designs.Benson’s Norwegian heritage and interest in European building models helped create what van Winkle called the company’s “essential DNA.” Although the percentage of residential housing built with prefabricated parts in the U.S. is low — between 3% and 4%, according to The Wall Street Journal — it is 40% in Sweden.“We adopted that methodology many years ago and find it to be extremely beneficial today, especially with the need for building way beyond code, in terms of delivering a full building shell within two weeks,” van Winkle said. The whole process, from the time a customer signs the design contract until the house is ready for occupancy, can be as short as five months.Bensonwood and Unity Homes make “closed-panel” components. That is, the panels are fully insulated and finished inside and out when they arrive on the job site, usually with windows already installed. (By contrast, panels from other high-end manufacturers must be insulated and finished inside after the building shell is up.)Wall panels are typically insulated with dense-packed cellulose (see the illustration below), although other insulation options are available. Van Winkle says that insulation packages can be adjusted for different climates, with the shells tight enough to meet the Passive House standard (0.6 air changes per hour at 50 pascals of pressure). Bensonwood and Unity try to minimize the amount of above-grade foam in their houses.Unity Homes says a baseline model can “easily achieve” net-zero or better performance with the addition of a renewable energy system. Van Winkle says the company also can hit Passive House targets, but isn’t going after that market to the exclusion of other buyers.“We are in pursuit of that standard, but there is a cost associated with those standards that are often borne by the owner and we are anxious to see how that goes in the next couple of years,” he said. “We build to those standards, and that’s documented, but the fact is that the marketplace isn’t particularly familiar with what those standards are, what the differences are from a typical stick-built house. These are new concepts to a lot of the buyers and builders out there.” A typical Bensonwood custom house starts at about $950,000 and goes up to $5 million or so, van Winkle says, with per-square-foot prices ranging from $450 to $750 or more, depending on features and finishes.While Bensonwood is a custom builder, Unity Homes is more of an every man’s builder, offering four basic models, what Unity calls “platforms,” that can be modified to suit individual buyers. In addition, the company has a starter cottage and a multifamily design. Houses range in price from $175 to $225 a square foot, van Winkle says, and while less expensive than a custom Bensonwood home, they are built with the same basic technology and components.“The intent is to deliver that at a lower cost point to a broader market, a much broader market, generally a third to a quarter of a typical Bensonwood home,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is drive the price per square foot down; hence the new facility opening up in Keene.”The combined companies currently have a 42,000-square-foot plant in Walpole, New Hampshire, that produces most of the panels they need. The new facility occupies a converted medical device manufacturing plant. It will allow the companies to introduce a greater degree of automation and improve efficiency, precision, and quality, according to a company news release.The firm will add 20 skilled employees to its 110-member staff when the plant opens, as it looks to triple the current output of 50 Unity houses per year. Unity Homes sees an expanding marketUnity Homes is the 6-year-old sister company of Bensonwood, the firm that grew out of founder Tedd Benson’s revival of New England’s dormant timber-framing tradition. Since its start in the mid-1970s, Bensonwood has gone on to become a well-known design/build firm with timber-themed projects all over the country. Unity Homes, says company marketing communications director Paul van Winkle, is an attempt to deliver net-zero ready home at a lower price. The timing is good for panelized housingThere’s another advantage to panelized housing, says Bensonwood’s van Winkle: Contractors and designers don’t need big crews of skilled carpenters in the field because houses are built under cover on a production line. That’s a good thing, he says, because finding skilled workers is getting tougher all the time.The Wall Street Journal reported that the number of workers employed in construction last year was nearly 30% below the peak of 2006, and more than 15% below the average in the 2000s.Van Winkle thinks that will make panelized building more attractive to both buyers and builders. “We do believe the market is turning in that direction,” he said, “and particularly in the Northeast it makes a lot of sense because of the skilled labor challenges and the requirements of building in pristine environments.”Kragler underscored the importance of having skilled workers on high-performance and Passive House designs. “The building system is not rocket science, but it does take a specific mentality of how a high-performance shell goes together,” he said. “It’s critical. It can make or break certain projects — if you have to do a blower door test, let’s say. How does the air seal at the foundation tie into the wall? How does the top of the wall tie into the roof structure? How do windows get air sealed? Minor details, it seems like, but cumulatively these things can add up to have a significant effect on the performance.”Jack Armstrong, the executive director of the Structural Insulated Panel Association, said that tougher efficiency requirements in updated building and energy codes plus the exodus of skilled labor from the construction industry during the recession of 2008 could add some push to the panelization market.“This has really revolutionized the market for high-performance home building,” he said. “That’s the perfect storm for panelization.”Still, there are challenges ahead. “There’s a big resistance point in the market place for builders to use something they haven’t done before,” he said. “Builders are loathe to change their processes. That’s the biggest obstacle for panelization or even SIP panels. Custom builders will use them, and high-performance builders will use them, but it’s been hard to make it go mainstream.”One test will be how many makers of high-performance panels will make them available to builders outside their own companies, and how many builders will nibble. One of the more intriguing tidbits in the Bensonwood announcement of its new factory space was this: “Ultimately, the new facility will provide advanced production on single-family, multifamily, commercial, institutional, and development projects, not just for Bensonwood and Unity Homes, but in support of similarly minded, independent architects, engineers, construction managers, builders, and developers.”last_img read more

Bullpups force UAAP jrs Finals Game 3, nip Eaglets

first_imgNU Bullpups force winner-take-all game 3. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMiguel Oczon made a huge steal and a basket as National University foiled Ateneo’s sweep bid with a 70-67 win to send the UAAP Season 80 juniors basketball Finals into a Game 3 Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.Oczon had a good read on Jason Credo’s inbound pass intended for Dave Ildefonso, intercepting the ball and scoring the lay-up at the buzzer for the Bullpups to level the best-of-three series to one game apiece.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus D-League: Che’Lu-San Sebastian holds off Zark’s-Lyceum for 3rd straight win View comments LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Read Next Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Tañedo, who hit Gonzales in the head that prompted the latter to retaliate, and Amchel Angeles, who shoved Gonzales during in the altercation, were initially tossed out of the game but the were reinstated by the referees. The scores:NU (70) – Oczon 17, Amsali 11, Malonzo 10, Javillonar 8, Manalang 7, Minerva 7, Fortea 4, Gonzales 3, Coyuca 3, Felisilda 0, Pangilinan 0.Ateneo (67) – Ildefonso 14, Sotto 10, Belangel 10, Credo 7, Manuel 6, David 6, Escalona 5, Angeles 5, Chiu 4, Diaz 0.Quarterscores: 21-21, 34-35, 47-48, 70-67 Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding “Mas disciplined ang defense namin,” said NU mentor Goldwin Monteverde. Ildefonso led the Blue Eaglets with 14 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and two steals while Kai Sotto followed up his triple-double effort in the opener with 10 points, eight boards and five blocks. SJ Belangel also had 10 points and pulled down four rebounds for Ateneo. The loss snapped the Eaglets’ have 15-game winning streak. Things went chippy at the 7:54 mark of third period when Cyril Gonzales was ejected for kicking Ateneo’s Allan Tañedo in the bench after the NU guard dived for the ball.ADVERTISEMENT “I just did my best for the team,” said Oczon, who eventually finished with 17 points. The Finals decider is set on Friday at San Juan Arena. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Rhayyan Amsali produced a double-double effort of 11 points and 13 rebounds while Michael Malonzo added 10 points for NU. It was Malonzo’s lay-up that gave the Bullpups a 58-57 lead in the final 57 seconds. AFP official booed out of forum Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more

Nokia 8 with 23MP camera, Snapdragon 835 may launch in June: Report

first_imgEarlier in the day, sources close to HMD Global confirmed to India Today Tech that Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and the re-designed Nokia 3310 would launch in India in June. Now, we hear more rumours about the new Nokia devices. A report notes that the company, along with launching the Nokia 6, Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 globally in June, will also launch high-end Nokia 8 in the same month.The report comes from Pocketnow, a website that covers smartphones. There have been several speculations about the upcoming Nokia 8 that are doing rounds on the web for months. Some reveal the specs of the upcoming Nokia 8 while some seemed to have “revealed” the price.Amidst all the rumours surfacing the web, new rumours have come to the light. New rumours suggest that the upcoming Nokia 8 will come with a 23-megapixel camera. However, the report also mentions “at least” this means there are chances that the smartphone might sport a much higher primary camera than 23-megapixel. The smartphone is also rumoured to feature Carl Zeiss lens.Also Read: Nokia 3310 to have its own limited edition on launchPreviously leaked sketches of the Nokia 8 also seemingly confirmed Carl Zeiss lens onboard. The report also indicates that the Android device will offer a vanilla Android experience. This means that like the recently launched Lenovo’s Moto G5, G5 Plus and LG G6, Nokia 8 will also offer monthly security updates and quick upgrades to new versions of Android and Google’s AI Assistant to the users.The vanilla aka pure Android is something that Nokia is making a feature for all its new phones. Even the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 will use pure Android.advertisementThe report further states that the upcoming Nokia 8 will come with Qualcomm’s latest processor – Snapdragon 835. The upcoming HTC flagship to be launched in May 16, dubbed HTC U11, will also come packed with the same processor. This means that both to-be-announced smartphones are somewhat expected to give a tough fight to the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and also Xiaomi Mi 6, which also use Snapdragon 835.Nokia 8 price and screenNokia 8 has already been subjected to several leaks previously. Earlier rumours suggested that the smartphone was expected to come in two variants. Out of which, one will be a cheaper version, while the second one is going to a premium model. According to rumours, the low-end variant of the Nokia 8 is going to sport a 5.2-inch QHD AMOLED display, on the other hand, the top-end model of the Nokia 8 will sport a 5.5-inch display.Also Read: Exclusive: Nokia 3310, Nokia 6, Nokia 3, Nokia 5 coming to India in JuneRumours don’t end just here. Nokia 8 is also expected to come with Google’s Daydream VR platform support. Furthermore, the smartphone will be equipped with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. This is all about the specs we know so far about the upcoming Nokia phone. On the storage front, the smaller variant of the handset will come with 128GB of internal storage, while the top-end version of Nokia 8 will be equipped with 256GB of internal storage.On the pricing front, the 5.2-inch variant of the Nokia 8 will be priced around 4,000 Yuan (roughly Rs 37,220). On the other hand, the 5.5-inch model will cost 4,500 Yuan (roughly 41,873). The coming of Nokia 8 is just a rumour for now. Although Nokia Mobiles has tweeted that fans should expect more devices. “More announcements coming in 2017” and “We’ve only just begun” are two tweets that the account has made.last_img read more

Shaun King Provides Backstory For Winston Crab Legs Photo, Blasts People Criticizing The QB

first_imgShaun King clarifies James Winston and the crab legs story.Shaun King Crab LegsThursday night, former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, posted an Instagram photo of himself celebrating his No. 1 selection in the NFL Draft with a plate full of crab legs. Normally, such a photo wouldn’t be newsworthy – but given the fact that Winston was caught shoplifting crab legs from a Tallahassee Publix last April, it didn’t go unnoticed. Winston, who was criticized heavily for the post, eventually took it down, reportedly at the request of his new employer.Former NFL quarterback Shaun King, who is dialed into the football scene in northern Florida, has provided a bit of backstory on the photo Friday morning. He says that the crab legs were a gift from Captain Keith Colburn of The Deadliest Catch after Winston helped auction off a king crab at Mike Alstott’s charity auction earlier this year. He’s blasting people who have been critical of Winston.If people only knew how STUPID they sound killing this kid over that picture smdh— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015I was seated at the table right next to jameis at the mike alstott charity auction, when captain keith asked jameis to help him auction off— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015This huge king crab he had flown in for the event. Captain keith is from the deadliest catch show. I wasnt sure how jameis was gonna— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015Handle the request, but it didnt faze the young man at all he simply said ok sure, we r here to help the alstott foundation right.— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015That same captain keith in a gesture of thanks sent jameis and his family 25lbs of king crabs legs for his draft event last night.— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015Thats the backstory behind last nights picture for those of you who need to seriously have some self evaluation done— shaun king (@realshaunking) May 1, 2015While the backstory may be a bit more heartwarming than many would have guessed, Winston likely still knew the reaction he’d get for the post. Whether it was worth it – well, that’s a question that the new Buccaneers quarterback can answer.last_img read more

Video: Texas A&M DT Daylon Mack Delivered A Clowney-Like Hit Against Nevada

first_imgDaylon Mack makes an enormous hit on a Nevada player.Daylon Mack HitYou remember that Jadeveon Clowney hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith during the 2013 Outback Bowl, right? Of course you do.Well, Texas A&M freshman defensive tackle Daylon Mack just did his best Clowney impression on a poor Nevada ball-carrier. Note to Aggie opponents: probably unwise to leave this guy unblocked like Nevada did right here. My goodness. Keep in mind this is the same kid who did this last week.Mack is going to be a good one.last_img

Kristin Chenoweth Backs Asthma Campaign

first_imgThe Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Teva Respiratory have announced the launch of a national awareness campaign – Know Your Count – aimed at raising awareness of the seriousness of asthma and educating asthma patients and caregivers about the importance of keeping track of the remaining doses in their rescue inhalers.The campaign features award-winning singer and actress, Kristin Chenoweth, who is speaking publicly for the first time about the impact her asthma has had on her professional career and busy lifestyle. For more information about the Know Your Count campaign, Kristin’s experience with asthma and to view an important public service announcement (PSA), visit www.KnowYourCount.com.“I have struggled with asthma for more than a decade and am excited to be part of the Know Your Count campaign” said Kristin Chenoweth, Know Your Count spokesperson. “As a singer and actress, my schedule can be quite hectic at times and I simply can’t afford to let my asthma symptoms slow me down. To ensure I’m prepared in the event of an asthma attack, I count on my rescue inhaler with a dose counter to help me keep track of my remaining doses. It is my hope that by sharing my personal experience, I can encourage patients to know their count when it comes to asthma management.”Approximately 25 million Americans are living with asthma, a common chronic disease of the lungs, in which the airways become blocked or narrowed causing breathing difficulty. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, and chest tightness. During an asthma attack, the airways can narrow to the point that not enough oxygen can get into the blood and travel to vital organs. In very severe cases, asthma can be life threatening.Children and adults with asthma need to rely on a quick-relief (or “rescue”) inhaler during an attack, so having enough medication in an inhaler when they need it is critical. Despite the life-saving nature of these medicines, a recent survey co-sponsored by AAFA and Teva of approximately 590 patients with asthma revealed that nearly half of respondents reported their rescue inhaler was empty when needed at least once in the past, requiring one-out-of-ten of them to go to the emergency room and one-out-of-five to go without treatment during the asthma attack.“Each year, asthma attacks account for nearly two million emergency room visits in the U.S.,” said Mike Tringale, Senior Vice President at AAFA. “The findings from our survey reveal that there is a significant need to educate patients about the importance of tracking the remaining doses in their rescue inhalers, so they have access to medication when needed. Using rescue inhalers with a dose counter is a great way to do just that. By joining forces with Kristin Chenoweth and Teva Respiratory, it is our hope that together we can encourage patients to know their count when it comes to safely managing their asthma.”Visit www.KnowYourCount.com for more information.last_img read more