Maine Gets Another Passive House Multifamily Project

first_imgThe Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.Multifamily Passivhaus Project Starts in OregonPassivhaus Apartment Complex Would be a GiantPassivhaus Townhouses Are Underway in PhiladelphiaA Passivhaus Multifamily in Maine Nears Completion RELATED ARTICLES Passive House, but no room for frillsPassive House construction necessarily includes more insulation than conventional buildings, high-quality windows, and careful air-sealing, all of which can easily drive up costs. To stay within strict budget guidelines, Bayside developers looked for ways to trim unnecessary building elements — and that started with parking. Arguing that area residents owned fewer vehicles than average, developers successfully petitioned the city to overlook parking-space requirements that normally would have applied. (The building sits on what was a parking lot).The site is over a layer of marine clay, which is inherently weak. Designers worked to keep the building as light as possible, allowing it to rest on a floating concrete slab without the need to sink pilings for extra support.Project architect Jesse Thompson led a tour of the partially complete building in June, the last such tour on this year’s passivhausMAINE schedule.Interior finishes are simple: painted drywall, vinyl flooring, basic kitchen cabinets. Designers shrank interior hallways to bare minimums, and revisited building details repeatedly to look for potential savings.“The building got simpler and simpler as we went along,” Thompson said.While he and others working on Bayside might have preferred a few more upscale finishes inside, it just wasn’t going to happen with a minimal budget that had been set three years earlier. If kitchens got bargain cabinets with drawers that were stapled together, so be it. “Every dollar in there shows up very quickly,” Thompson said. “There’s no tolerance for glamorous here.”Designers did, however, manage to find enough money to keep vinyl siding off the building’s exterior. Instead, it will get fiber-cement cladding over a ventilated rainscreen gap.On the construction side, Wright-Ryan recognized that the longer builders were on site, the higher construction costs would be. Its construction managers, drawing on their experience at the Brewer Passive House project, looked for ways to speed up the process. They divided the building into sections, each with its own set of deadlines, to improve efficiency. Exterior walls are panelized rather than built on site. Even small steps helped: So workers would not have to sort through stacks of drywall to find the right thickness for a particular application, Wright-Ryan simply specified 5/8-inch wallboard throughout the building.If developers hit the November 21 completion date for the 38,500-square-foot building, it will mean a construction schedule of about 10 months. Many single-family homes, Thompson pointed out, take longer than that. Although construction started in January, Bayside Anchor has been in the works since 2013. That year it won a national competition, sponsored by Deutsche Bank, for innovative designs for affordable housing.Finding ways to cut costs has never been far from the minds of its developers, and efforts have paid off. The building will come in at $142 a square foot, project architect Jesse Thompson told a group touring the building recently, “substantially less” than the norm for new Portland housing. At the same time, residents will be getting the benefits of Passive House construction: low energy bills, high indoor air quality, and a superinsulated building envelope that will keep them comfortable.“You’ve got affordability baked into the building forever,” Thompson said. On November 21, three days before Thanksgiving, developers plan to complete Bayside Anchor, a mixed-use apartment building in Portland, Maine, built to meet the Passive House + 2015 standard on what amounts to a shoestring budget.The 45-unit building, about one-third complete, is located in the city’s Bayside neighborhood, a part of the city carved in half by a 1960s urban renewal project. It will contain mostly affordable one-bedroom apartments, plus a few two-bedroom and studio units. The ground floor also will house an office of the Portland Housing Authority, a Head Start program, and a police substation, making it a community hub and giving it its name, Bayside Anchor.Behind the project are the Portland Housing Authority and Avesta Housing, a private non-profit developer of affordable housing. The $7.6 million project is being financed mainly with low-income housing tax credits through MaineHousing, a state housing agency. The project was designed by Kaplan Thompson Architects of Portland. Wright-Ryan, which earlier this year finished a Passive House multifamily in Brewer, Maine, is the general contractor.center_img The PHIUS standard is ideal for multifamily projectsInsulation R-values may seem low for a Passive House project, but Thompson said that’s because a large multifamily building has proportionally less outside wall area for a given volume than does a single-family house.“People are used to seeing PHIUS + and Passivhaus single-family houses with very large R-values,” he said. “Passivhaus was invented as a multifamily program in Europe. It was not a single-family construction program. The numbers work so well in multifamily. In Germany, the first Passivhaus was a townhouse, and the middle unit in a town house has two walls that face neighbors — they don’t touch the outside air.“You think of a middle floor apartment at Bayside Anchor and it’s got one outside wall. It’s 24 feet long and 8 feet tall,” Thompson continued. “So, thermally, it’s just incredibly easy because your ratio of house to walls is tiny.”Heat loss from the building is one-third through the enclosure, one-third from the ventilation equipment, and one-third though the windows, Thompson said. In a single-family house, the numbers are very different, with ventilation losses only 10% to 15% of the total.As a result , the 75% efficiency for Bayside’s ERVs is very important for overall building performance, especially with something like 2,000 to 2,500 cubic feet of air per minute moving through the building around the clock. With an ERV that efficient, when it’s 0°F outside, and 70°F inside, incoming air is in the mid-50s. It doesn’t take much energy to boost that to the set point. On a 30°F day, incoming air is in the low 60s. “Very little heat is needed to bring it up to a good temperature,” he said. Double-stud walls, and nix the OSBExterior walls consist of a structural 2×6 wall and an inner 2×4 wall with a 1-inch gap between the two. Wall cavities will be insulated with dense-packed cellulose, with a layer of CertainTeed’s MemBrain on the interior to control vapor and air movement.Thompson said that plans call for plywood sheathing on the exterior of the building rather than oriented strand board because plywood is more durable and more weather-tolerant during construction. Seams between sheets of plywood are sealed, and the entire outer surface is treated with a liquid-applied air barrier, Defendair 200, a mostly silicone product made by Dow Corning.When it came to windows, designers considered a range of products before settling on triple-glazed units with PVC frames made by Kohltech, a Canadian manufacturer. Passive House buildings often get European tilt-and-turn windows, but in this case designers chose a mix of casements and fixed-glass units, in part to meet requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.As Thompson explained, Bayside Anchor will be required to provide air conditioning to any tenant who can present proof of a medical need. By using outward-opening casements, a tenant could use an air conditioner that sits on the floor and vents through a plexiglass insert in the window opening, thus meeting the HUD requirement, without installing AC for the whole building or investing in ductless minisplit heat pumps.Windows specs are the same throughout the building, with a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.40. The Kohltech units averaged about $30 per square foot.Other building details:Insulation. In addition to the dense-packed cellulose in the walls (about R-32), there are 8 inches of polyiso rigid insulation on top of the roof deck (R-50), and 3 inches of sub-slab expanded polystyrene. There is no spray foam in the building other than what was used to seal the rim joists between floors.Ventilation. Each floor has two RenewAire energy-recovery ventilators to supply each apartment with fresh air. The units, which operate continuously, are 75% efficient. Kitchens have recirculating hoods that are not vented to the outside.Space heat. Each apartment is heated with strips of electric baseboard that cost a total of $30,000. The bill to heat the entire building is projected at about $5,000 a year, Thompson said.Airtightness. Although the standard for the German Passivhaus standard is 0.6 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals (ach50), the PHIUS + 2015 standard uses a different metric: 0.05 cubic feet per minute per square foot of gross envelope area at 50 pascals. When this is translated to ach50, it becomes 0.37. Need for housing is very strongJay Waterman, development director for the Portland Housing Authority, said that Bayside Anchor will be both a catalyst for more development and a hub for the community. The area was completely changed by construction of Franklin Arterial, a main thoroughfare linking Interstate-295 on the west side of town and upscale Old Port, with its shops and restaurants, on the east.“It was small streets, a grid-patterned working-class neighborhood for many, many years, and then through urban renewal, Franklin cut a swath so the tourists could get over to the Old Port and people were displaced,” Waterman said. “It became more of a service center and industrial and lower income neighborhood, and I would say it’s still on its way up.”The demand for housing is strong in the Portland area. Bayside Anchor, while significant for the neighborhood, won’t put much of a dent in it.“Let’s put it this way,” Waterman said. “There is effectively a 0% vacancy rate in Portland right now and the city would like to have 2,000 more housing units built in the next four years. We’re doing 45, so it’s a real drop in the bucket compared to the demand.”last_img read more

A somber Super Bowl reminder in ‘Mr. Falcon’ CTE diagnosis

first_imgView comments And football never left him.“Growing up, I remember my mom having to call his secretary when he was going out to training camp to let them know what kind of mood he was in. And then vice versa,” his daughter, Devon Jackoniski, said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars Read Next Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town “That can be awkward for a lot of people, but it wasn’t to him. He could relate to a kid but not an adult,” she said. “When we were growing up, people would always come up to us and say, ‘Your dad is a saint.’ We would just sit there smiling, knowing that when we got home, the tide was going to turn.”With his family, Jackoniski said, Nobis was a disciplinarian. Aggressive. Intense. “We always said we had to walk around eggshells with my dad,” Jackoniski said.When her older brother, Tommy, decided he didn’t want to play football anymore, her father snapped. The incident drove a wedge between them, and kept Nobis from seeing any of his grandchildren for many of his later years.“He just became unhinged,” Jackoniski said. “We just thought that’s who my dad was.”Nine years ago, Nobis was supposed to give the eulogy at his father-in-law’s funeral. “My dad, who was the public speaker,” Jackoniski said. “It was totally garbled.”Afterward, in front of the extended family, Nobis snapped at her 2-year-old son. His rage was so frightening they thought about calling the police.“He was this caged animal that was just unleashed,” she said. “At that point we knew there was something wrong. Once he took it out to the public, we knew there was something horribly wrong with him.”The family tried to avoid triggers like noise or chaos, but Nobis would become increasingly rattled in public. There were restaurants he couldn’t return to because of his outbursts; he got out of a car at a bank drive-thru to yell at the teller for taking too long with the customer in front of him.“It became embarrassing,” Jackoniski said. “But it was scary, too. Toward the end my brother removed all the guns from his house, thankfully. I don’t know if he ever threatened to use a gun, but my brother had enough insight to do that.”CTE, which can only be diagnosed after death, has been found in more than 100 former NFL players, and in dozens more athletes and members of the military who have been exposed to repetitive head trauma. The disease can lead to memory loss, depression and even suicide. Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town And when the Falcons reached the Super Bowl two years ago, he was too far gone to understand what it meant.Dr. Ann McKee, the director of Boston University’s CTE center, said on Monday that Nobis had the most severe form of the disease, showing a “severe loss of neurons and large CTE lesions throughout the cerebral cortex.”The family was not surprised.“We knew there was going to be something wrong on his pathology report,” said Jackoniski, who is a physician’s assistant. “But it was shocking how a human being could still be alive with that little functioning brain.”Jackoniski was 2 when her father retired from the NFL, but football was never far from their life.Nobis spent three decades in the team’s front office, working in scouting, marketing, player development and corporate development. (He also ran a charity that provided job training for people with disabilities.)At home, there was more football.“It doesn’t matter the time of year, my dad could always find a football game on,” Jackoniski said. “That was basically our lives. When he retired, his only career was with the Falcons. We would go to all the Falcons games, whether we wanted to or not. That was who we were.”She remembered her father, who died in 2017 at the age of 74, as a humble man who was not very social, and yet a great public speaker. A prankster. Big Red. Huckleberry Finn with Muscles.He was beloved in Atlanta; Jackoniski said he would approach children with disabilities at restaurants, just to make them laugh. “When you see some of these guys going in for these tackles, I wish they would allow these guys to come into these houses where these CTE victims are living and see them living their lives, day to day,” Jackoniski said.“Do they really want their lives to be that way? Not only is it going to affect their lives, but it rips families apart, and it rips friends apart, and it is so destructive.”Although her children don’t play football, Jackoniski said they remain Falcons and Longhorns fans and are proud of the man who they were once kept away from for their own safety. And though connecting his behavior to CTE has helped the family understand Nobis’ struggle, it also made Jackoniski realize that she never knew what her father was actually like.“I don’t know that I ever saw my dad without showing signs of CTE, my entire life,” she said. “In hindsight, I think that was the saddest part of the news. His children never even knew who he was. My mom even may have not known.”Jackoniski said she doesn’t watch a lot of football any more, but she will watch the Super Bowl “just because I know it will be on in our house.” In an email follow-up to the telephone interview, she said she struggled to comprehend what the sport has meant to her family.“Football was my father’s life, the air he breathed and therefore the air we breathed,” she wrote. “It brought discipline and recklessness, self-worth and depression, strength and weakness, determination and fear, teamwork and destruction of relationships, competition and dissension, friendships and loneliness, strategy and brutal honesty, entertainment and subsistence.“In the end,” she said, “it brought humility in every sense of the word.” Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertecenter_img ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes And now, as the NFL world descends upon Atlanta for Sunday’s Super Bowl, it serves as a somber reminder of the impact that football can have on its players and those who love them.“That truly was my dad’s first love,” Jackoniski said. “He wasn’t born with a lot of money. They were from a blue-collar area. It gave my dad a lot of opportunities, so it’s kind of a bittersweet thing.“He told me before he became very ill he would never turn his back on football or do anything different. But he would educate kids a little different in the game,” Jackoniski said. “There’s something very wrong with slamming your head against a brick wall over and over and over again.”A two-way star at Texas whose No. 60 was retired by both the Falcons and the Longhorns, Nobis won the Maxwell Award as the best all-around player in college football and finished seventh in the 1965 Heisman Trophy voting, just ahead of Bob Griese and Steve Spurrier. In the Orange Bowl against Joe Namath and top-ranked Alabama, Nobis led a goal-line stand to preserve the Longhorns victory .He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1966 NFL draft — the first ever selection by the brand new Atlanta Falcons franchise . Rookie of the year. Five Pro Bowl selections. But he never made the playoffs, with the upstart franchise posting only two winning records in his 11 seasons.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations FILE – In this Dec. 13, 1966, file photo, Tommy Nobis of the Atlanta Falcons, poses. Nobis, a hard-hitting linebacker for Atlanta and the University of Texas who earned the nickname “Mr. Falcon,” had the most severe form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. And now, as Atlanta prepares to host the Super Bowl, the descent of the NFL upon their hometown is a reminder for his family of the impact, both good and bad, that football has had on them. (AP Photo/File)BOSTON — Atlanta Falcons linebacker Tommy Nobis seemed to transition easily into his post-playing career, landing a job as the manager of the team’s training camp hotel and rising through the franchise’s front office to vice president.For three more decades, the man who came to be known as “Mr. Falcon” never left football.ADVERTISEMENT “We were pretty uneasy growing up,” she said. “Although my dad had just some beautiful moments of being a wonderful man, emotionally he was so unstable it was just hard to get close to him.”Researchers have confirmed what Nobis’ family long suspected: He had the most severe form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to repetitive blows to the head that can cause the kind of violent moods they had grown accustomed to. 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