Warriors mailbag: How long does the winning streak last?

first_imgSubscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book* * *Are the Warriors unbeatable?Warriors coach Steve Kerr forewarned the media not to think in those terms. Even if the Warriors are starting five All-Stars in Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins. After all, the Warriors (34-14) have a season-high nine-game winning streak that could easily end in Saturday’s nationally televised …last_img

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A New Encyclopedia Article on Ductless Minisplits

first_imgWith each passing month, GBA’s library of articles and blogs gets deeper. For example, we recently added a new article on Ductless Minisplit Heat Pumps to the GBA Encyclopedia.Ductless minisplits differ from conventional air-source heat pumps in several ways: first of all, they are extremely efficient, in part because of the use of inverter-driven compressors. Secondly, many of these units can operate efficiently at very low outdoor temperatures.Since a compact home with high levels of insulation can be heated and cooled with just one or two ductless minsplit units, this type of heating system is very affordable.The new article answers dozens of questions, including:What’s the difference between a ductless minisplit system and a conventional air-source heat pump system?Can the outdoor unit of a ductless minisplit system handle several indoor units?Why are ductless minisplit systems particularly appropriate for renovation work?Why are designers of energy-efficient homes showing an increased interest in ductless minisplit systems? Subscribe to GBA to enjoy all of the benefits of GBA Pro membershipWhile some of the articles in the Encyclopedia — for example, the article on Green Mechanical Systems — are available to all readers, others (including the new article on Ductless Minisplit Heat Pumps) are available only to GBA Pro members.To enjoy all of the benefits of GBA Pro membership, subscribe to GBA Pro today or try our 14-day free trial.last_img read more

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Steve Bluestone’s Building Science Lab

first_imgTesting lab resultsThick walls made from heavy, dense materials — such as adobe in traditional houses in the southwestern U.S. — can, under certain weather conditions, soak up heat during the day and release it at night. This keeps people comfortable by protecting them from the sun’s heat during the day, and warming them at night after the sun has gone down. By the time the walls have lost all their heat overnight, the sun is rising to warm them up again.High-mass walls were a cornerstone of early passive solar design. But in a cold climate, where daytime temperatures never get very high during the winter, the walls get cold and stay cold for months on end. They can be a liability, not an advantage.The performance of high-mass walls has been studied by building scientists, including researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, but Bluestone says there’s a shortage of the kind of empirical evidence his experiment should produce. And it may help deflate some of the claims builders have made over the years.“There’s a whole bunch of people I deal with in the concrete world and many of them say, ‘Oh, the mass wall. You don’t need any extra insulation on the outside. You just go with the 12-inch block and you’re all done, you can do Passive House,’” Bluestone said. “And I say, ‘That sounds great. Have you done it?’ And they go ‘Hubba-da-hubba-da-hubba.’ Have they built a house and monitored it? Hubba-da-hubba-da-hubba. So, maybe in theory, but in reality I don’t know.”Bluestone isn’t selling himself as a building scientist or researcher, and someone will have to interpret the data he collects in his multi-year experiment. For example, it’s not clear how he will account for variations in local weather conditions — a cold winter one year, a warm winter the next — affecting the amount of energy needed to heat the building. Temporary cladding protecting the mineral wool insulation will have different properties than the permanent stucco finish he plans at the end. That, too, could skew results.But Bluestone hopes that the project will add new information to what’s already known about the performance of mass walls and, ultimately, advance the use of AAC.In an email, he recalled an ongoing correspondence with an architect and author who claims that all the data that Bluestone wants about AAC already is available.“We’ve been kind of like a scratched record (or CD disc) that keeps skipping,” Bluestone wrote. “Needless to say, he has never produced proof of what he has claimed. Perhaps all of this is just my way to prove him wrong? Maybe, but deeper down, I’m looking for the simplest, cheapest, longest-lasting Passive House envelope system that almost anyone can build.” Steve Bluestone, the New York real estate developer with a special interest in a building material that most builders ignore, is about to embark on a self-financed experiment that will test the effectiveness of high-mass walls in a cold climate.Bluestone last year built a house in Hillsdale, New York, with autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC). The blocks, produced by a single manufacturer in the U.S., are lighter than conventional concrete blocks and better thermal insulators. A few high-performance builders use them, but most do not. Bluenose thought they deserved a try.Exterior walls of the 4,200-square-foot house are built with 8-inch-thick AAC block wrapped on the outside with 4 1/2 inches of rigid polyiso insulation and finished with James Hardie fiber-cement siding. He learned recently that the building, described earlier this year in an article at GBA, will be certified by the Passive House Institute U.S. As far as Bluestone knows, it will be the first AAC building in North America to be certified.Now he’s drawn up plans for a woodworking shop on the property that will help him learn more about AAC construction: whether there are less expensive ways to use it (he acknowledges the house was expensive), and whether Passive House computer modeling of high-mass walls is accurate.“I’m still not done figuring out this AAC, and seeing what it can do, and how to do it cheaper, and I thought: Why not build a shop with AAC and try something without this outboard polyiso-Hardie board-expensive system?” Insulating in stagesInstead of insulating walls with polyiso, Bluestone plans on using Roxul mineral wool, attaching it directly to the outside of the block and finishing it with stucco. That should lower labor costs. But the exterior insulation won’t go up right away. Bluestone plans on adding it incrementally, taking two or three years to find out just how much exterior insulation is needed before the building meets energy requirements of the PHIUS building standard.While Bluestone’s exterior walls will be subject to change, the structural insulated panel (SIP) roof, the windows, and the sub-slab insulation will be designed to meet Passive House requirements from the start. By adding wall insulation in stages, and measuring energy consumption at each step, Bluestone in effect will be testing the accuracy of the computer software (PHPP) that designers use to predict energy use in Passive House buildings.This AAC house under construction on Staten Island, New York, is one of three being built by Bluestone’s real estate development company. (Photo: Leon Davis)Bluestone explained it this way: “I’ll put the heat pump in and let it run for a year and see how poorly it did, because it’s only an R-10 with a mass wall. Then, in year two, put some insulation on the outside, incrementally add it, go a second year, a third year, until I get to the Passive House level.“The Passive House program might say 10 inches of Roxul,” he continued, “but I’ll have this mass wall thing and this unknown – of the effect of a mass wall. What happens if I do this every year, and I go in 4-inch increments – zero inches the first year and here’s my energy bill to heat the place, 68 degrees all year long…Year two, put 4 inches of Roxul on the outside and find a way to shed water temporarily, then monitor for another year. Do the math after the year’s up, go to year three and put another 4 inches of Roxul on.“Now I have 8 inches of Roxul and 8 inches of block, and lo and behold, maybe that’s enough,” he said. “I want to see if the program is right by working up to its number and if I reach Passive House consumption on a watts-per-square-foot basis before I actually that much insulation that Passive House said to put on, well, that would be an interesting story.”center_img Similar project nearbyBluestone’s wood shop project will borrow a few pages from fellow AAC convert Dan Levy, who is nearly finished working on a house and adjacent garage in Woodstock, New York, a town some 50 miles southwest of Hillsdale on the west side of the Hudson River.Levy’s 2,400-square-foot house is made from 8-inch-thick AAC block insulated on the outside with 6 inches of Roxul ComfortBoard IS rather than petrochemical foam insulation. Beneath the footings is a layer of Foamglas insulation, another non-chemical product.Walls are insulated to R-34, the ceiling to R-88 with blow-in cellulose, and the slab and footings are insulated to R-34. A preliminary blower-door test showed air leakage at 0.4 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals. Levy says AAC buildings can be much tighter than that and suspects gaps in an ceiling membrane and around plumbing lines could account for his result. He, too, will be looking for PHIUS certification when the house is complete.Levy is a 64-year-old former professor of industrial education who backed into residential restoration work when jobs in his field dried up. He first used AAC block on an addition to his house in Maryland — just the block and no exterior insulation. He was hooked, and two years ago bought property in Woodstock to build a house there.In nearby Woodstock, New York, Dan Levy is nearing completion of an AAC house with an adjacent garage. Exterior walls are insulated with Roxul mineral wool. (Photo: Dan Levy)“I’ve worked on many old buildings and it’s rare to find an older wood-framed building that doesn’t have lots of areas that have rotted,” he said by phone. “And I thought, if this material does everything I’ve read about, it would be worth trying. It was much simpler than I expected, and it worked better than I expected. I thought it was a great way of starting a business to teach people how to build a better house.”He chose Woodstock because he knew people there, and he thought a Woodstock address would have enough cachet to help him sell the house, now on the market with 3 acres of land for $750,000. (You can learn more about the Woodstock Passive House by visiting Levy’s website.)Acceptance for AAC by builders as well as the public has been a tough sell, Levy said. When he completed the addition in Maryland and could point to the many advantages of the material, Levy didn’t get the reception he thought he might.“Instead, everyone laughed at me,” he said. “Builders said, ‘Wait a minute. You want us to change our entire model?’ The only people who didn’t laugh were the building inspectors. They came out fully briefed, because I had provided everything in advance, and their only question was, ‘Where did you get it? This is great.’ “last_img read more

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Scouting Virginia Tech A look at the 2015 Hokies

Virginia Tech then-junior cornerback Kendall Fuller (11) attempts to break through a group of OSU defenders during a game Sept. 6 at Ohio Stadium. OSU lost, 35-21. Credit: Lantern File PhotoOhio State’s quest to repeat as national champions is set to begin on Monday against the only team that beat them last year: Virginia Tech. Here is an in-depth look at what the 2015 Hokies bring to the table.Offensive weapons returning The Hokies have 16 starters from last season returning — eight on both offense and defense. They also have their punter and kicker back.Every offensive player who scored a point for Tech in 2014 is returning for the upcoming year.Their quarterback — redshirt senior Michael Brewer — is back for his final year. Brewer’s top two targets, sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Ford and redshirt sophomore tight end Bucky Hodges, will both suit back up for Tech in 2015.Ford led the squad in receiving in 2014 with 709 yards.  He tied with Hodges for the team lead in touchdown receptions with six. The 6-foot-7 Hodges uses his size to create mismatches for smaller defenders. In addition to the six touchdown catches, he was second on the team in receiving yards with 526.In the backfield, senior J.C. Coleman, a 5-foot-6 speedster, will get most of the carries early in the year. Coleman, who rushed for 533 yards and three touchdowns in 2014, became the starter after injuries to sophomores Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie.Williams, who is still recovering from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained last season against Duke, and McKenzie, who is suspended, won’t be available to play against OSU on Monday. Redshirt junior Trey Edmunds, Tech’s leading rusher in 2013, will most likely be the back Hokie coach Frank Beamer uses to spell Coleman versus the Buckeyes.The 2014 Hokie offense was far from prolific — ranking 96th in the nation. However, with all of its key players at the skill positions back for another season, the outlook for the unit is more promising.Shut-down unitTech’s defense — led by defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who is widely regarded as one of the country’s best — looks to be one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s — if not the nation’s — top squads. Last year, they ranked 21st in total defense in the NCAA.Junior cornerback Kendall Fuller, an ESPN preseason All-America selection, will look to continue shutting down opposing team’s top receivers. Despite playing the majority of last year with a fractured wrist, he still managed to tally 15 pass breakups, a forced fumble and two interceptions.Opposite Fuller at cornerback will be redshirt sophomore Brandon Facyson. He was sidelined for most of last season because of a broken leg, but he looks to regain the form he had in 2013 when he was a 247Sports first-team freshman All-American.On the defensive line, the Hokies return four key cogs to a unit that has the potential to be great. Each of the four starters was named to the watch list for the Nagurski Trophy, which is handed out annually to the nation’s top defensive player.That group — highlighted by redshirt senior defensive end Dadi Lihomme Nicolas, a preseason All-ACC selection — will look to apply pressure on quarterbacks all year long. At the other end position, redshirt junior Ken Ekanem will continue to give offensive lineman fits. In 2014, he and Nicolas combined to record 33 tackles for a loss and 18.5 sacks.On the interior, the Hokies have even more talent with redshirt senior defensive tackles Luther Maddy and Corey Marshall.Maddy — who was hurt on Sept. 23 last year and missed the rest of the campaign — was third-team All-ACC in 2013. Additionally, he was selected alongside Nicolas to the preseason All-ACC team for the upcoming year.Marshall earned second-team All-ACC in 2014, after recording 41 tackles, 9.5 of which were for a loss.Even though the Buckeyes boast one of the top offensive lines in the country, expect the loaded Hokie front four to pose challenges for the “The Slobs” and the rest of the O-lines they face in 2015.Last year, defensive dominance was the reason why Tech left the Horseshoe victorious. To pull the upset for a second straight season, its defense will have to wreak havoc again.Biggest question markThe biggest question mark facing the Hokies in fall camp was who would start on the offensive line.The unit lost three seniors to graduation, which opened up starting spots at center and right tackle. Those spots seemed to be claimed at the end of spring practice by sophomore Eric Gallo and redshirt senior Wade Hansen, respectively.The picture was slightly less clear until Monday morning when the depth chart was released.With Hansen battling a foot injury, sophomore Parker Osterloh — a 6-foot-8 versatile lineman who can play every position on the line except center — had filled in nicely for him.Hansen is still the starter, but the time he missed might have stunted the growth of the O-line’s chemistry.However, the performance of Osterloh and freshman Yosuah Nijman gives Beamer and his staff a little bit of comfort knowing that if the starting group struggles, he has two solid players to substitute.The ability of the new lineman to step in and play at a high level will be crucial, as the overall success of the offense — especially the Hokie running game — hinders predominantly on the line’s performance.If they are able to take care of their business against a Buckeye front seven that is missing its best player — suspended junior defensive end Joey Bosa — things could get interesting.Final overviewIf the Hokies are going to have a chance at upsetting the Scarlet and Gray, their defense will have to be disruptive — like it was in 2014. If Tech’s loaded defensive line can get into the backfield and pressure whoever is playing quarterback for the Buckeyes, it could make the game interesting.Fuller, the elite corner, will be assigned to mark OSU’s No. 1 receiver, Michael Thomas. Separation might be limited for Thomas, which will force an already-depleted receiving corp for the Buckeyes to step up and help out the quarterback.On the other side of the ball, the offensive line will need to be in control of the line of scrimmage, which will create holes for Coleman to run through and time for Brewer to connect with his targets.Beyond the BuckeyesThe Hokies’ Monday tilt against the defending champs will be their biggest game all year.Following the opener, they are slated to play three more non-conference games — all winnable matchups against Furman, Purdue and East Carolina — before starting their ACC schedule on Oct. 3 at home versus the University of Pittsburgh.The only other preseason AP Top 25 opponent Tech is scheduled to play is at No. 16 Georgia Tech on Nov. 12.The Hokies are set to end their 2015 regular season on the road against in-state rival Virginia on Nov. 28. read more

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Lewandowski wants Bayern exit confirms agent

first_imgRobert Lewandowski’s agent has confirmed reports that his client has told Bayern Munich that he wishes to leave the clubThe Poland international has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid over the course of this season with Chelsea and Manchester United also believed to be monitoring his situation in Munich.Lewandowski appointed Pini Zahavi as his agent earlier this year, which only intensified the rumours surrounding his future.Zahavi is known throughout the world of football for having famously brokered the €222m world record deal that saw Neymar leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain last summer and it is believed that Lewandowski hired him in order to negotiate the terms for a deal with Real.The 29-year-old became the Bundesliga’s top scorer for the third consecutive season as Bayern won their sixth successive league title, but he has yet to win the Champions League in his career.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…Zahavi feels that Lewandowski has achieved everything that is possible at Bayern and revealed that the Pole wants a new challenge.“Robert feels he needs a change and a new challenge in his career,” Zahavi told Bild, via Bavarianfootballworks.“The managers of Bayern know about it.”In his four years at Bayern, Lewandowski has scored 151 goals in 195 games in all competitions.last_img read more

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Mina Everton a great opportunity

first_imgLatest Everton signing Yerry Mina says he now has the opportunity to grasp a ‘great opportunity’ following his €30.2m transfer from Barcelona.The Colombian star and center-back signed a deal at Goodison Park and it will last until 2023. Mina also confirmed that he couldn’t resist the temptation of playing football in the Premier League.“I’ve watched the Premier League for a long time and it’s the best in the world, so this is a great opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to competing here,” Mina told Everton TV as quoted in Football Espana.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“I know all about the Everton players and I’m looking forward to playing with my new team.“I’ve spoken to the Coach a lot and know his passion for the club and determination to be a success. I’m also determined to do my best for Everton.”At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Mina scored three goals for Colombia, all coming from headers off corner kicks. Mina did not play in Colombia’s opening 2–1 loss with Japan but started at centre back in each of Colombia’s remaining matches.last_img read more

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