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Downtown Pasadena “Never Been Better,” Says Neighborhood Association President Ahead of Annual Meeting

first_imgCommunity News Downtown Pasadena “Never Been Better,” Says Neighborhood Association President Ahead of Annual Meeting By BRANDON VILLALOVOS Published on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 | 9:46 pm Top of the News Community News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Subscribe Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Community News Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Make a comment More Cool Stuff HerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Female Celebs Women Love But Men Find UnattractiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Of The Most Notorious Female Spies In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautycenter_img Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  2 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes First Heatwave Expected Next Week Business News Every city has one, but Pasadena’s downtown is a sparkling gem in the San Gabriel Valley that continues to grow in popularity for people looking to live and work in a place that has the urban city vibe sprinkled with historic tradition and charm.The Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association (DPNA) will hold its Annual Meeting Thursday night at which insights will be shared with its members about the urban area that makes up a large and vital portion of the city.“It’s a great place to live, work and visit. It’s never been better,” said DPNA President Jonathan Edewards.The DPNA has mapped out the perimeter of the downtown area as south of the 210 freeway, east of the 710 stub, north of California Blvd. and west of Catalina. This area has cemented itself as a booming area for people who want to work and play.“The biggest thing going for downtown Pasadena is our really comfortable and walkable urban environment,” observes Playhouse District Association President Brian Wallace.That walkability, says Wallace, promotes a lot of commerce that encourages people and places to stay local.“We see a lot of that with new residents that are in the area who are taking advantage of locating, living and spending their time and money in the downtown area,” Wallace said. “The residential growth in the core of the city is a positive trend.”According to Wallace, the attraction of downtown Pasadena that brings in new residents typically comes from the unique urban environment it offers, an atmosphere that is unlike many areas in the San Gabriel Valley or beyond.“They’re really moving here for the lifestyle choice that it provides. It’s something you can’t get at many places in this region,” said Wallace.The lifestyle the downtown area provides influences the retail sector and is reflected through the types of businesses that move in.“We really try to capitalize on the appeal for living and playing in our culture-rich environment. That’s where we really see growth and opportunities,” said Wallace.The economy of the downtown area of the city is proving to be healthy, according to the Chamber of Commerce.“Downtown Pasadena is stable. The good part about it is its diverse economy. We tend to gain as many businesses as we lose. It balances itself out,” said Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Paul Little.Pasadena is also seeing a growing number of new arrivals of established, mature tech firms including Alibaba, WeWork and Everbridge that are bringing jobs and occupying commercial real estate in downtown.“We’re seeing investment. That is always a good thing,” said Little who predicts the near future will bring an influx of foreign investment and more tech-based companies to the area.“This is all with the longer term view of better aligning the local job stock with the people who live in Pasadena, so fewer people will be faced with painful commutes and might also adopt alternative transit modes (walking, biking, mass transit) to get to their high quality local job,” said District 7 Councilmember Andy Wilson, who himself is the CEO of tech company Rexter.The increase in companies locating in downtown doesn’t necessarily mean more people are working in Pasadena.“I think the workplace is changing. Fewer people are doing more work. More workers are fitting into smaller spaces,” said Little.City of Pasadena Economic Development Manager Eric Duyshart said there is a healthy occupancy rate in commercial buildings.“Companies have become more efficient in the use of their space. We’re seeing companies that are growing and adding staff, but need less square footage. That has been a trend that is not exclusive to Pasadena, but it has an impact on how commercial space is being utilized,” explained Duyshart.Small businesses are also apart of the fabric that makes up a large portion of the dynamic downtown shopping and restaurant experience.“The area is quite vibrant. I recommend Pasadena as a place for people to start and keep a business,” said El Portal Restaurant founder and owner Abel Ramirez.Ramirez recalled the biggest change in the downtown area since his restaurant’s opening in 1995 is the increased quality of tenant today compared to yesterday’s variety of downmarket retail stores that once occupied the less busy Colorado Blvd.“I’ve seen great progress in commerce, culture, the events and the quality in the restaurants and shops. I welcome the businesses that come here. Every business compliments the other. We used to be invaded by a category of stores that you don’t see that much of anymore,” said Ramirez about the abundance of shops likes nail salons and tattoo parlors that saturated retail space over twenty years ago.Ethan Elkins is scheduled to be the featured speaker at Thursday’s DPNA meeting. Elkins is an attorney who directs the climate program at the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley Law and is also the author of “Railtown,” which covers the history of the Los Angeles Metro Rail system.Elkins insight into the economic impact of Pasadena’s decision to install the light rail.“Generally speaking, these rail investments boost property values significantly near the stations. The ultimate effect on land use around the system though depends in large part on city government. The city controls the rules about what can get built, so a proactive city government will allow more development to take place along the line and therefore boost ridership and economic gains,” said Elkins.Some feel that getting city projects like the light rail up and running take longer than necessary to be implemented.“There’s some frustration with how long it takes for these projects to take life,” said the DPNA’s Edewards.Transportation is a priority for the downtown area, according to Wallace, whose area of the Playhouse district houses elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and notable universities such as the Fuller Seminary, Le Cordon Bleu, and the California Institute of Technology.“I think Pasadena is beginning to work through how to adopt and respond to some of these bigger picture changes in mobility that we see across the country and across the world. These programs inherently create some sense of change and our district is trying to navigate the best practices in regards to the different interests from our stakeholders,” said Wallace.Measure M is is on next week’s and is supported by the DPNA as a positive way to keep transit a priority to help accommodate the growing population of Pasadena.“Measure M would definitely improve the lives of our residents in Pasadena and throughout the county. We are a community of people that really benefit from having a connected network of transportation options whether its walking, driving, biking and more,” said Edewards. “We strongly support measure M and we are looking forward to the results.”The Pasadena Department of Transportation L.A. Metro approved a plan to implement a bikeshare program that is slated to take the streets in July 2017 by introducing 34 bicycle stations and 400 bikes for public use. Programs like this one are supported by the DPNA and the Playhouse District Association, but still requires additional work before they become a successful reality, according to Edewards.“The bikeshare program is a great idea for people to get around in the city, but we also need to get some safety measures in place. The other bicycle improvements that need to be made to successfully accompany this project are not proceeding at a quick enough pace to keep up with it just yet,” said Edewards.The Playhouse District Association is adamant about where to strategically install the docking stations.“We’ve been working with city staff to really find the best locations for the bikeshare kiosks so we can avoid impact on existing street parking, but also recognizing that they will provide yet another way of attracting visitors, residents and guests into the district. Right now we are going through a bit of a balancing act with staff to locate those kiosks and locations where they are going to have the best impact with minimal amount of disruption to the way things have been. We are hopeful that it will be an asset to the district as it moves forward,” said Wallace.The program described as the “Uber for bikes” is Pasadena’s effort to make it a more bike friendly city intended for use by people on the go as their “last mile connection” in and around high density areas.“The bikeshare program is going to take a while to catch on mostly because southern California does not have a bike culture like New York does, but it’s a positive addition to the city. It’s working in downtown L.A. so we are confident it will work here,” said Little.A longtime concern of the DPNA is the overwhelming ratio of concrete to green in downtown.“There is definitely a need for parks. There is a gigantic gap in the most densely populated area of the city,” said Edewards about the disparity of park locations in and around the Playhouse District area.“It’s an ongoing decision that hasn’t been resolved,” said Edewards.A similar long term issue is the congestion of cars and lack of parking.“Parking has always been a problem, but it’s getting better. Developers have recognized that parking is a must so they are not just building apartments — they are also accommodating residents and businesses,” explained Ramirez, who gave an example of a four story underground parking structure that was made to accompany the new office building located across from the Pasadena Playhouse.“What was once a big problem years ago is continuing to be solved,” said an optimistic Ramirez.Pasadena is nationally and internationally known for its revitalization strategies that helped create the success of Old Pasadena dating back to the 1980s, according to Wallace.“For the city to remain a top draw for retailers and residents, we are trying to go through identifying what are the next set of ideas or changes that will keep Pasadena on the cutting edge of revitalization and downtown development and similar trends. We’ll be really looking at how these new ideas are going to help reshape downtown Pasadena to remain and retain its competitive advantage,” said Wallace.There are six new hotel projects in the city that are in various stages of planning or construction. The proposed Kimpton Hotel/YWCA project that aims to convert the 1922 Julia Morgan-designed building at 79 North Marengo Avenue into a 179-room two-to-six story luxury “boutique” hotel is met with apprehension from the DPNA.“We are not against the project, but we are in support of ‘Alternative 2E,” said Edewards in about the alternate plan proposed by the DPNA which would reduce the size of the hotel’s footprint as well as its impact on the nearby Sister Cities Tree Garden.The future of downtown Pasadena seems undeniably bright.“Pasadena continues to grow and we are going in the right direction,” said Edewards.The Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association 2016 Annual Meeting kicks off Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Gamble Lounge located at 585 E. Colorado Blvd.Ethan Elkins, author of “Railtown,” will discuss the recent history of the Gold Line and its prospective future, if Measure M, Los Angeles County’s transportation tax and master plan to build out a world-class, comprehensive transit network.The event is free.For more information visit https://downtownpasadena.wordpress.com/ EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more


June 12, 2021 0

Competition: Win a pair of tickets to Munster v Scarlets in…

first_imgRugbyMunsterNewsSportCompetition: Win a pair of tickets to Munster v Scarlets in Thomond Park!By admin – October 7, 2014 754 Twitter WhatsApp Facebook Our friends at Specsavers and WHPR have given us a pair of tickets to giveaway to this Friday night’s Munster v Scarlets Guinness PRO12 game at Thomond Park.Kick off is Friday @ 7.35pm in Thomond Park and the tickets are courtesy of Specsavers, sponsors of the match officials.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Simply answer the following question:Who captained Munster to their first Heineken Cup win?Email your Answer, Name, along with your  telephone number,  to [email protected] will be chosen at random. Tickets must be collected in Limerick Post Office at 97 Henry St.Best of Luck! Linkedincenter_img Email Advertisement Print Previous articleFarmer faces jail if court fines are not paid by DecemberNext articleTravelling Men of Shakespeare adminlast_img read more


June 4, 2021 0

Frye honors Indiana Task Force One

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — Republican state representative from Greensburg Randy Frye recently honored Indiana Task Force One at the Statehouse for their services around the country. Indiana Task Force One is 1 of 28 urban search and rescue teams in the country.Seventy emergency responders including physicians, paramedics, engineers, search dogs and their handlers, and damage-structure specialists from fire departments in and around Marion County volunteer their time and services to help Indiana and the country. These Hoosiers are trained to serve in the six areas of disaster response: search, rescue, medical, hazardous material, logistics and planning.“These brave men and women help keep Americans safe during times of disaster in our country,” Frye said. “The task force assisted local emergency personnel in search and rescue operations in recent years in Klondike, Evansville and Henryville after tornados struck the towns. Their commitment to our communities is heroic and deserving of recognition.”According to Frye, Indiana Task Force One also deployed to serve in national disasters such as the Oklahoma City bombing, the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.For more information on House Concurrent Resolution 43, visit iga.in.gov.last_img read more


September 23, 2020 0

Donegal TDs request delay on Kilcar Post Office closing date

first_imgThree Donegal TDs have made an official request to extend the closing date of Kilcar Post Office to allow locals to appeal the decision.Pat the Cope Gallagher, Thomas Pringle and Pearse Doherty have called on An Post to delay the closing date by six months. The TDs met with Minister of State at the Department of Communications Sean Canney today to ask him to support their request for an extension.More than 300 locals turned out for a public meeting on Monday to discuss the future of the Post Office in Kilcar. The community shared their shock and concern that the post office would be closed at the end of June.As a result of the meeting, the three TDs present were mandated to request An Post to extend the proposed closing date of the post office until December.This would give sufficient time to give the Local Action Committee and others an opportunity to make submissions and afford them the same opportunity as others when other closures were announced last year.It also gives an opportunity to the many businesses in the locality to highlight the importance of the Post Office, in an area which has 320 people employed locally and has a population of 1,740 people.  Donegal TDs request delay on Kilcar Post Office closing date was last modified: June 20th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:kilcar post officelast_img read more


December 21, 2019 0

Jean Barton: Beef ‘n Brew, bull sales and chamber dinner

first_imgDon’t forget, tonight starting at 5 is the 7th annual Beef ‘n Brew, hosted by Tehama County CattleWomen and the Downtown Red Bluff Business Association.Thirty different locations will be pouring craft beers, and 22 different beef appetizers will be available.There will be a Vic Woolery tri tip wrap, and a cup of beer, plus dancing to Northern Heat at the Cone Kimball Plaza until 10 p.m.Tickets at $25 can be purchased at Plum Crazy, The Loft and The Gold Exchange. After 4 p.m. there will be a …last_img read more


December 21, 2019 0

2017 Soybean Harvest Cab Cam – A 1967 John Deere 55EB

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ty Higgins had to stop when he saw some soybeans being harvested between Galena and Sunbury in Delaware County with two very different combines running in the same field. The one Perry Buxton was driving looked like many green and yellow combines you see this time of year. The other machine was of the same brand but, after 50 sun-faded harvests under its belt, had a slightly different shade of the iconic colors. Take a look at this Cab Cam, driven by Fennig Equipment.last_img read more


December 17, 2019 0

The Fundamentals of Rigid Duct Design

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESAll About Furnaces and Duct SystemsSaving Energy With Manual J and Manual DThe Two Main Reasons Your Ducts Don’t Move Enough AirKeeping Ducts IndoorsReturn-Air ProblemsSealing DuctsDuct Leakage Testing Once you know the BTU/h and cfm numbers for the building, you need to select the right equipment. ACCA’s Manual S protocol helps you do that. There’s more to it than just finding a piece of equipment that meets the total heating and cooling loads for the home. You’ve got to make sure you adjust for the indoor and outdoor design conditions of the home. Ideally, you have the manufacturer’s performance data tables to help you get it right.Then you’re ready to start designing the duct system.Getting the right air flowIf you take a fan out into your yard on a calm day and turn it on, you’ll get its maximum air flow. If you take that same fan and blow the air into a cardboard tube, it has to work against the pressure that builds up in that space. The more you reduce the size of that tube or make it longer or turn the air with it, the more static pressure builds up. And the more the air flow is reduced.That’s the basic principle you have to work with in duct design. I’ve written previously about the two factors involved in reducing air flow in ducts. One is friction. As the air moves through a duct, it interacts with the surfaces. The smoother that inner surface is, the more air flow you get. The rougher the surface, the less air flow.The second factor is turbulence. This generally arises when you move air through fittings or when you turn the air. With rigid duct, you turn the air with fittings, but unfortunately that’s not always the case with flex duct.When air comes out of the air handler, several things happen to it. It gets sent to the various rooms in the house. As it travels through a trunk-and-branch duct system, the quantity keeps diminishing because some of it gets diverted down each branch on the way to the end.Each section of duct, each fitting, each turn of the air, adds resistance to that air flow because of friction and turbulence. Grilles and registers, filters, and balancing dampers also add resistance. That resistance results in decreases in the static pressure, or pressure drops.The duct design processIn designing a duct system, you’ve got to know how much static pressure you have to work with and how much you lose because of the factors I listed above. Air handlers are rated for a certain total external static pressure. A lot of times that number is 0.5 inches of water column (iwc). Then you subtract from that the pressure drops of the components that aren’t ducts or fittings. That gives you the available static pressure. That’s how much you have left to “spend” on your duct system. If you overspend with a restrictive duct system, the static pressure goes up and the air flow goes down. Don’t do that.Friction and turbulence both result in static pressure drops and reduce air flow. The way we quantify this in the duct design process is with total equivalent length. For straight sections of duct, we just use the measured length. For fittings, though, we need to find the equivalent length (explained below) for each one. (They’re in ACCA’s Manual D and the ASHRAE Handbooks.) Once we have those numbers, we add up all the lengths and equivalent lengths of the longest run to find the total equivalent length.The next step is to divide the available static pressure by the total equivalent length. That results in what’s called the friction rate, which we need to determine the size of the duct. You can use a duct calculator or software to go from friction rate to duct size.So what exactly is the equivalent length? It’s how long of a straight section of duct you’d need to get the same pressure drop as the fitting. The table of rigid elbows in Image #2 below (from ACCA Manual D) shows equivalent lengths for various shapes and designs of these fittings. Looking through the table, you can see that there’s quite a range. You could use an elbow with and equivalent length as low as 10 feet or as high as 75 feet.In the duct design process, you’ve got to account for the standard pressure drops in the filter, registers, and grilles. Then you add up the equivalent length of the longest runs in your supply and return ducts. The goal is not to use more pressure than you have available. Pretty simple, right? Not always.We do third-party HVAC design and we try to be a little conservative with the fittings we choose. For example, we might do our design with a 3-piece elbow that has an equivalent length of 35 feet. If the installer uses a more common 4-piece elbow, the equivalent length is less, so it should result in better air flow than we designed for. Then if they spend that little air flow dividend somewhere else, we’re covered.When designing a duct system, you have to account for all these things. With rigid duct, you can get more predictable results if you use the fittings called for in the design. With flex, it can be significantly worse than you expect because of what installers do to that stuff. Not that it can’t be done right. I’m fine with flex duct myself, as long it’s used only for straight runs and pulled tight.Two ways that hard pipe can be worse than flex ductHard pipe has less friction than flex duct. You can’t (easily) squeeze it between a drain line and a floor joist. And contractors who use it actually install fittings to turn the air. But in two respects, flex duct has the advantage:Hard pipe doesn’t come pre-insulatedHard pipe can be leakier than flex — much leakier.Those flaws are far from fatal, but they do require careful attention during installation. I’ve tested older rigid duct systems that had really high leakage. The one shown in Image #3 (below) seemed to be held together mainly by the rather thin insulation. When I took the insulation off, this branch duct just fell apart.A few takeaways for good duct designLet me wrap this up with a few guidelines for good duct design.Go for predictability. A straight run of hard pipe is more predictable than a straight run of flex. A straight run of flex pulled tight is more predictable than the typical flex installation. Turning air with fittings is more predictable than turning air with flex.Know your limits. The blower you choose limits the static pressure you have to work with. The components you add and the duct system you design must work with that limit. If you overspend on a restrictive duct system, you won’t get the amount of air flow you need.A good duct system needs more space than you might imagine. Especially near the air handler, ducts generally need to be bigger and have longer runs than they’re usually designed for.Place the air handler in the center of the house if possible. Running trunk lines away from the air handler in two directions makes it easier to get good air flow because of fewer downstream branches than a single trunkline.Design to minimize equivalent length but build in some cushion. Make sure your design will work even if the installers make a few substitutions or mistakes.There’s a whole lot more to this subject than I’ve discussed here. And that’s why there’s a whole book on this topic. It’s called Manual D. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. At the end of this month, I’m giving a little presentation at the ASHRAE conference in Las Vegas. Actually, I’m doing one third of the whole presentation, which is titled Flex Ducts, Hard Ducts and No Ducts: Migration Patterns for Duct Hunters (or not) in the Land of Thermal Comfort. My part is on hard ducts.Chris VanRite is doing flex duct, and Robert Bean will cover the no-ducts part (which doesn’t refer to ductless minisplits but rather to hydronic distribution). We get 15 minutes each, so I’ll elaborate on my part a bit here.Before duct designDesigning a duct system is important, but there are a few critical steps that come first. Number one is the load calculation using a protocol like ACCA’s Manual J or the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals. You’ve got to know how much heating and cooling you need for each room. Then those BTU/h requirements immediately translate to room-by-room air flow requirements in cubic feet per minute (cfm). It’s done automatically in the software we use (RightSuite Universal by WrightSoft).last_img read more


December 16, 2019 0

Can California Decarbonize Electricity Without Improving Building Energy Codes?

first_imgAs California’s policymakers celebrate SB100, a landmark bill that requires utilities to deliver carbon-free electricity by 2045, the details on how this will be delivered are yet to be disclosed. Buildings in California currently use electricity for approximately 48% of their total energy demand. The remaining 52% leans heavily on carbon-intensive sources such as propane and natural gas. Organizations such as the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) have noted that California “must go big on energy efficiency to be carbon-free by 2045.”[1] This means that despite a building energy code that is widely admired and stricter than many other states, we’ll need to wring much more efficiency out of our buildings. But can this be done? And how much room for improvement is there? In February of 2018, the City of Palo Alto released a ground-breaking report, innocuously titled: “Buildings Baseline Study and Roadmap for Zero Net Energy Buildings.”[2] This report, while attempting to adhere to the state’s previously mandated zero net energy (ZNE) goals, inadvertently exposed a more urgent priority for buildings.RELATED ARTICLESOur All-Renewable Energy FutureThe California ModelIn Defense of the Passive House StandardA Practical Approach to Passive HouseMeasuring Passive House Energy Performance The release of Palo Alto’s report arrived barely a month prior to the California Energy Commissions’ (CEC) announcement of its proposed updates to the 2019 Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards.[3] This CEC announcement made headlines nationally due to a new requirement to include solar panels for all residential buildings by 2020. However, more significant than the bling of the required PV was a careful walk-back from an earlier push towards zero net energy buildings. The CEC’s deft side-stepping of its previous ZNE targets was easy to miss as it was mentioned only at the very end of the FAQ,[4] camouflaged under the subtitle “Do the 2019 residential standards get us to zero net energy?” There’s much to unpack in these two documents, which serendipitously serve to reinforce and clarify each other. In order to further clarify them, we’ll measure them against the energy models of a cluster of seven recent Palo Alto projects. These will be used to explore where the CEC could potentially take residential code updates in the future and illustrate just how much wiggle room remains to increase residential building efficiency. We’ll close with the sobering reality of the measured performance data for a project similar to those we’ll review in Palo Alto. Our goal is to support the CEC’s pivot towards building decarbonization and point out where they could potentially take California’s energy codes in the near future. Learning from Palo Alto Palo Alto enjoys the good fortune of having a municipally owned utility, which was able to provide energy use data for this study. Its report begins with a great Sankey diagram (below) illustrating overall source energy use that aligns with much of the State of California. It leans heavily on natural gas and accounts for just over half of total energy use. 2016 Palo Alto building energy use breakdown, disaggregated by type, source, and end use. (Source: Residential Appliance State Survey and California End User Survey. Graphic courtesy DNV-GL) The next pie graph shows a total energy use breakdown similar to some of California’s larger cities. Commercial buildings consume the lion’s share of Palo Alto’s energy. At the third level of energy use disaggregation, the information gets interesting: this is where we can start to identify exactly how and where building energy in Palo Alto is being spent. This granular view allows a better perspective on what needs fixing, and where the best opportunities may lie for achieving deep carbon emissions reductions. This report is notable in that it provides a comprehensive overview of the energy use of one of California’s mid-sized cities. While it’s hard to define Palo Alto as average, we could be forgiven for calling its built environment typical. For this reason, we’re using this report to provide generalized insight into the energy use of ‘every town’ California.  Palo Alto Utilities Data 2016 with Residential Appliance Saturation Study 2009 and California Commercial End-Use Survey 2006 used to determine end use breakdown by building sector. (Source: DNV-GL) Shifting our policy focus By far the most eye-opening information exposed in this report is an innocent-looking set of bar-chart graphs, comparing the results of annual energy use through the three frameworks of zero net carbon, zero net energy, and zero net electricity. These simple bar graphs reveal a stark divergence of weighted priorities, when looking at energy use through these three specific lenses, prompting the question: What is the target we’re really aiming for with our buildings?   Summary of building energy usage (Total BTU). (Source: Data compiled from RASS and CEUS data by DNV-GL.)  This is where the CEC’s recent leap-frog over zero net energy, in favor of a carbon reduction focus, starts to make more sense. This comparison graph reveals that if we look only through the zero net electricity lens, we’d be led toward heavily promoting daylighting and lighting efficiency measures, likely with minimal outcomes for carbon emissions reductions. Similarly, the zero net energy lens offers a broader distribution of possible policy incentives. Some positive impact on carbon emissions reduction could be expected, but it’s clearly the zero net carbon lens that we simply cannot ignore. Even in the bucolic and supposedly mild climate enjoyed by Palo Alto, the highest building carbon emissions come from energy used for space heating.[5] Water heating follows closely behind, offering policymakers two unassailable choices: space heating and water heating. If policy is focused on only these two things, we’ll have a much higher chance of significantly reducing our carbon emissions from buildings.[6] So, how do we achieve this most effectively? Fortunately for us, the CEC’s FAQ already has much of this covered. Special mention is made of the new residential standards encouraging “demand responsive technologies including battery storage and heat pump water heaters.”[7] This is big. It signals a clear move towards the electrification of buildings — a big step for California, where gas has been the fuel of choice for many years. With this combination of electrification, storage, and heat pump technology, hot water energy use will mostly be covered by renewable energy. Less clear in the CEC’s FAQ is a clear plan for how they’ll be reducing building space heating demand. Fortunately, space heating demand happens to be a particular specialty of the Passive House standard. For this reason, the modeled data from a cluster of buildings, all located in and around Palo Alto, provides a helpful comparison. Palo Alto’s (mostly) Passive House cluster The population of Palo Alto is known for its innovation and willingness to explore new technologies. This pioneering spirit extends to the built environment where the largest cluster of (mostly) Passive House projects in California is located. The projects we’re looking at here are not all certified Passive House buildings, but all of them used the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) energy model to guide the design and construction. Two of these projects are certified: the multi-generational home and the larger SFR-Luxury home. Their teams were kind enough to share the energy models for their projects with us and we’ve been able to generate a few simple comparisons of their assembly R-values and U-factors. The modeled performance metrics of these diverse buildings is instructional and provides insight on where the code may have room to move towards high performance targets such as those required by the Passive House standard.[8] Treated floor area (interior conditioned space) of buildings in Palo Alto’s Passive approximation. Diverse building types and sizes These projects represent a diverse range of sizes and use-types, ranging from a 252-square-foot tiny house (1 in the above chart) to two luxury homes of 4,687 square feet (4) and 5,341 square feet (7) respectively. They include a multi-generational single-family home (3), where an aging grandparent occupies an attached accessory dwelling unit (ADU), and an intentional community (6) housing a small commercial kitchen, full basement of shared community space, and eight dormitory-style bedrooms. Project five (5) in this cluster is a small commercial office building. One of the smaller residential projects (2) is a retrofit of an old 1920s holiday cottage. With the exception of the larger office buildings, this mix of buildings offers reasonable representation of Palo Alto’s diverse building types. Wall assembly insulation values all include a framing factor reduction and are shown as ‘effective,’ as opposed to ‘nominal.’ (e.g. R-19 ‘nominal’ – 15% ff = R-16 effective.) When comparing the R-values of the primary building envelope assemblies it is interesting to note the remarkable similarity in wall and roof insulation values for all seven projects. (Note: they were all designed and modeled by completely separate teams.) While the code-compliant wall insulation does not lag too far behind the PHPP-compliant projects, the fact that exterior walls are always the largest surface area of any building, makes this a key issue. Roof insulation levels shown as ‘effective.’ (See note for the chart above) While walls still offer room for improved insulation, roof insulation levels are clearly well aligned. (Nothing to see here!) Window U-factors converted to R-values for simplicity. PHPP projects show average window performance values. The Title 24 code value is a “worst allowable” performance value. A larger divergence starts to emerge in the average window R-value comparison. The design team for Project 4 was the only one that opted for double-glazed windows. All other projects selected triple-glazed windows, indicating that, while it is possible to meet PHPP targets with double-glazing, triple-glazing may offer other advantages in this borderline climate. The Title 24 compliant windows in this comparison are represented as the “worst allowable” compliance value. We could reasonably assume that a code-compliant project with these windows should meet PHPP performance targets. Caveat emptor: This particular comparison is somewhat complicated. Without going too far into the weeds here, it’s enough to say that a significant difference exists in how window performance is calculated via the PHPP compared to most other energy models. NFRC and the ISO 10077 testing protocols used by the PHPP have been shown to further muddy this comparison, so it may be safest to not draw any solid conclusions from this particularly simplistic comparison. (Windows are complicated and this graph isn’t.) Floor/slab values all shown for slab-on-grade, except for project #1 – Tiny House It’s at the floor/slab comparison where the largest differences appear. All but one of the PHPP-modeled projects employed a slab-on-grade floor assembly. The exception was (1), the tiny house, which required almost double the floor insulation of its peers. This is due to both its diminutive size and more vulnerable exposure to ambient temperature.[9] Notably, the hypothetical Title-24 project shows no sub-slab insulation is required to meet code.[10] Shifting code compliance Airtightness metrics compared with 2016 Title 24 Residential Code Compliance. A final, glaring omission in the code compliance option shows up in a comparison of the airtightness testing for all these projects. They all met the required threshold for Passive House certification, including the retrofit, which is allowed slightly more leakage than its new-build counterparts (up to 1ACH/n50.) This indicates requiring airtightness is not an impossible task. Passive House projects delivered by experienced teams now routinely achieve airtightness testing results between 0.2 and 0.3ACH so we know that meeting airtightness targets is not difficult. Code enforcement agencies across the country [11] are increasingly recognizing tightened envelopes as an easy, cost-effective measure to drastically improve the performance of our buildings. Measured performance Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the measured performance metrics for this set of projects to enable a full comparison of their predicted and measured performance. We hope to extend this study in future to include that information. Targeting loads We do have a robust set of performance data for another Passive House project located just across the Bay in Alamo, California (and pictured at the top of this column). Despite being outside Palo Alto, this ~3,000-square-foot project shares many of the same features and assemblies as the multi-generational single-family home project (3) in the Palo Alto cluster. It has a treated floor area of 2,342 square feet, wall assembly of R-28, roof assembly of R-46, windows of R-3.3, floor/slab insulation of R-14 and a slightly better airtightness reading of 0.3 ach50. This is an all-electric home, utilizing heat pump-technology for both hot water and space conditioning. It boasts a 7.5-kW photovoltaic array installed on the south-facing roof that powers both the house and an electric vehicle. While not certified, we’re reasonably confident this building meets the requirements of the Passive House standard. Time of use matters Monitoring of energy use of this building began in earnest by May 1, 2016. The daily energy use of the building since then has been remarkably stable, but it’s the bigger picture overview of energy use vs. generation that provides the most insight here (and reaffirms our conclusions drawn from the three framework comparison graphs generated in the Palo Alto report.) Alamo Passive House total energy demand vs. energy production, courtesy of One Sky Homes. When we look at the graph plotting a full year of daily outdoor temperature (red line) against electric usage (green line) overlaid with energy production (blue line), we start to identify crucially important information. Even in our sunny California climate, in a house with incredibly low overall demand (including an electric vehicle), a 7.5 kW PV array is unable to meet all of its energy needs between the months of November and February. It shows that without battery storage, this house still requires a utility. This not only means that time of use matters, but that seasonal use matters and confirms that our most critical variable is, in fact, winter space heating demand – large portions of which cannot be covered by short-term battery storage. Refocusing on emissions reductions The information revealed by this monitored data, combined with the Palo Alto report, supports the new direction being taken by the CEC in its updates to our Title 24, Part 6 energy code. This direction was clearly outlined in the closing paragraph of their FAQ document: “Looking beyond the 2019 standards, the most important energy characteristic for a building will be that it produces and consumes energy at times that are appropriate and responds to the needs of the grid, which reduces the building’s emissions.”[12] Passive House California is in full support of this revised focus on building emissions reductions. However, the information we have shared here provides evidence that there is still plenty of room (and opportunity) to improve building envelope efficiency and to focus particularly on space-heating energy use reduction. We’re pleased to support the California Energy Commission’s efforts pointing our State in the right direction.   PHCA is grateful to the owners and project teams who contributed their PHPP files to support this study. To find out more about the work of Passive House California, visit our website. To learn more about the Passive House standard, join us at the 2018 North American Passive House Network Conference (#NAPHN18) in Pittsburgh on October 17-21st. Bronwyn Barry is a registered architect and a certified Passive House designer. She is board president of Passive House California. Footnotes: [1] http://aceee.org/blog/2018/09/california-must-go-big-energy [2] https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/63492 [3] http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2019standards/documents/2018_Title_24_2019_Building_Standards_FAQ.pdf [4] http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2019standards/documents/2018_Title_24_2019_Building_Standards_FAQ.pdf [5] Space Heating demand is also the highest energy user in commercial buildings, challenging the commonly held notion that commercial buildings in this region are ‘cooling load dominated.’ [6] Early projections indicate this same approach applies equally to our warmer, southern Californian climates where summer peak load reduction offers the same opportunities for full electrification. (More on this in future articles.) [7] http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2019standards/documents/2018_Title_24_2019_Building_Standards_FAQ.pdf [8] To clarify, we refer here to the targets of the international standard set by the Passive House Institute as these are universal for all seven projects and were the targets aimed for by these project teams. [9] It’s not clear why project (6) required so much more insulation than the other PHPP-modeled projects. (We’d hazard a guess that this anomaly may be due to other factors, and was not necessary to meet a performance target, given that this project has a basement slab.) [10] Not included in this graph is the perimeter slab insulation required for all these projects, including the code compliant building. [11] https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.nibs.org/resource/resmgr/BEST/BEST2_022_WB6-5.pdf [12] http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2019standards/documents/2018_Title_24_2019_Building_Standards_FAQ.pdflast_img read more


December 16, 2019 0

To recharge or not to recharge: a battery of IoT questions

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Well, we technologists pretty much have that Internets thing solved. That series of tubes works pretty well. So well in fact that the carriers are busying themselves trying to bring Gigabit to everybody, though nobody really knows what they’re going to do with it (but we all want to be in one of those special cities). I think we got bored. And you know what happens when a bunch of technologists gets bored, we look for another hard problem to solve.Enter IoT, the Internet of Things. We realized that the Internet, with all of its virtual technology and its climate-controlled data centers, still hadn’t conquered what really matters to all of us – the world we interact with every day – the real world. Now, there’s a set of challenges that’ll keep us technologists engaged for at least another decade.I suggest the primary real-world challenge with the Internet of Things isn’t rooted in inter-networking at all, but with how powering the Things affects inter-networking and software programming, specifically in wireless situations.What do batteries have to do with IoT?We see powering in the world of Consumer IoT often in the form of rechargeable batteries. The iPhone charges for a few hours a day and is able to communicate via TCP/IP protocols over Cellular and Wi-Fi. That doesn’t seem to have changed the networking or software programming approaches too drastically. The Fitbit charges for a few minutes a day and communicates via Bluetooth with another mobile device. There we see a more drastic impact on the networking and software programming models.Daniel Barnes, Director of Product Management, SynapseBut what if I told you the battery had to last for one month without recharge or replacement? How about six months, two years, five years? Well, that’s insane, who would demand a wearable that lasted that long without a recharge?Consider these very real Industrial IoT applications: monitoring field and pest conditions in almond orchards, monitoring cows for sickness, a factory air compressor retrofit for predictive maintenance, over-the-top services such as crane monitoring, motor performance monitoring, or fire extinguisher monitoring. In each of these cases, the Thing is placed into the environment with the expectation of lasting longer than six months (some cases as long as five years) without service or connected power.As an aside, the over-the-top services as a business model is quite interesting. These are traditional product companies that make cranes, motors, fire extinguishers, etc. They have decided to make their products smart and connected to gather additional service revenue or to develop closer relationships with their customers. But they want to continue installing their products without interfering with the existing infrastructure. This alone represents a whole category of Things in the Industrial arena that may need to operate with long battery life.How do you make a battery last that long?You buy a REALLY big battery.That certainly is one way, but often not very practical nor is it cost effective. A more engineered approach boils down to three things:1) Use a low-power processor that has advanced sleep controls.2) Use a low-power RF technology that allows precise control of TX/RX utilization time.3) Control the power utilization of sensor and actuator peripherals.In other words, wake up long enough to read a sensor and send the information and then shut everything back down in as low-power mode as possible. It’s all about managing the power duty-cycle.What are the tradeoffs?Of course, the number one rule of engineering is that to get something you want, you have to give something else up. There are always tradeoffs – in this case trading traditional networking and software programming for a long battery life.Wi-Fi and TCP/IP don’t really help you control the power duty-cycle very well. Wi-Fi takes RF time to lock onto an Access Point. TCP requires a connection handshake before sending data and the overhead of the protocol to make it reliable. All of this costs valuable RF and processor time in the power duty-cycle. It’s time not spent on transmitting data, but on establishing the connection and maintaining reliability. You might consider UDP as an alternative, but it still has excessive overhead and the reliability is now left up to a higher layer where you often lose even more efficiency and introduce more complexity into your application. Some alternative networking approaches to shortening the “ON” duty-cycle include:Fire and forget (if reliability isn’t a big issue, it’s the lowest power option) Time synchronized transmit (to avoid collisions)A backbone of powered repeaters to relay messages (reliability between battery-operated nodes and powered nodes takes less time)These and others are all non-traditional networking schemes, meaning that others schemes have to be employed to ensure reliability. The good news is that there are emerging standards at the physical, link and network layers for managing these things, but they can’t be expected to work the same way as the networking that we’ve come to appreciate. There will be additional tools and algorithms necessary to collect data reliably.Just to add one more level of complexity, traditional OSs don’t support the rapid sleep/wake cycles necessary to conserve this type of power, nor will they work with the limited RAM & flash typical to these constrained processors. The decision-making logic on the Thing will be embedded software and largely event-driven: a programming paradigm traditional IT developers are not familiar with.So the bottom line here is that Industrial IoT will require a significant portion of Things to have batteries and these batteries will need to last for such a long time that reliable networking and programming will require rare expertise.The problem isn’t really how to power an IoT Things Platform, but that an IoT Things Platform ought to make it easy to achieve long battery life. Make sense?This article was produced in partnership with Synapse Wireless Is Voice Search the Next Big Travel Technology … ReadWrite Sponsors Tags:#battery life#IoT#Synapse#wireless power center_img Related Posts 4 Big Reasons Retailers are Racing to Embrace IoT Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more


December 15, 2019 0

Why Automation is the Only Path Forward for Manufacturing

first_imgElectronic Design is Utilizing AI-Enabled Solu… Related Posts Martin Stein is the founder and managing director of Blackford Capital, which was named Best Private Equity Firm in 2018 by M&A Advisor.Website: https://www.blackfordcapital.com/ Tags:#automation#manufacturing#robotics#systems 5 Industries Destined for Technological Disruption As anyone working in the industry knows, manufacturing is going through a period of significant upheaval. Outsourcing and automation threaten current manufacturing processes, and as plants continue to close in places like Michigan and Ohio, many people on the frontlines are worried about their futures.The Path Forward for Manufacturing — Won’t Include Going BackwardThe industry also has a severe issue with a labor shortage. Job openings are at a 17-year high, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Skilled-manufacturing employees are retiring, and there aren’t enough people in the pipeline to replace them. When there are not enough people to fill all of the jobs in the first place, this, in turn, leads to more outsourcing and more uncertainty.For some companies, this has led to desperate attempts to stabilize the status quo by finding new ways to bring back old jobs. Some are looking to find ways to incentivize companies to bring low-paying manufacturing positions to the United States.These attempts at protectionism are understandable — but if the manufacturing industry hopes to stand a chance — it has to stop clinging to the past. Instead, manufacturing companies need to embrace a future in which automation plays a significant role — and they need to do it now.The Problem With the Status QuoAlongside a labor shortage, productivity has been declining in nearly every area of manufacturing. According to a Boston Consulting Group analysis of the industry, pharmaceutical productivity growth declined by a median 2.8 percent each year from 2011 to 2015 — while electronics and capital equipment didn’t fare much better. In nearly every industry outside of automotive and consumer goods, productivity growth is slowing.While companies might need to make tweaks here and there to improve productivity growth, at some point the speed at which people can produce will hit a wall. Competitors that have invested in automation and robotics will be leaps and bounds ahead by then.Not having enough readily available workers to fill jobs is especially troubling with the prospect of a trade war looming and barriers to trade increasing.The export market will become increasingly competitive, and only those who can scale products and offer the products at the best price will be able to compete. The companies that make it to the top will have run toward automation, not from it.Other countries are already taking proactive steps to gain the automation edge. In 2017, with the backing of the government, Chinese manufacturers increased robot installations by 60 percent, with plans to make 100,000 new robots a year by 2020. If the U.S. isn’t willing to take automation seriously, China is ready and willing to pick up the slack.To compete in a global economy, automation can no longer remain in the theoretical realm.The industry needs to take real strides toward widespread implementation. Only then can it step into a new era in which the U.S. remains a major player.Automation Is the Key to a Better FutureIt’s estimated that a factory outfitted entirely for automation can triple production compared with a factory with only a handful of systems in place. A machine not only has the ability to work faster, but it can work outside the confines of an eight-hour workday and can be regularly upgraded to be even more efficient without sacrificing quality. Automation is the key to true lean manufacturing, pushing costs down and profits up.Automation doesn’t mean that integrating automation into the manufacturing process will usher in some dystopian landscape where machines replace all humans and everyone is out of a job.It’s true that the jobs that exist today may go away, but they’ll be replaced by other positions that require unique human insight and skills. Automation systems will still need personal guides and maintenance; employees can be trained in new areas that are less dangerous, less wearing, and (in many cases) higher-paying.You can already see the benefits that automation has brought to companies willing to adopt it.Matt Tyler, president, and CEO of Vickers Engineering, specifically cites automation as the reason his auto parts business is ahead of its global competitors. He also credits automation for the creation of new jobs in Michigan. As Vickers beat out competitors in places like Japan and Mexico, more work (and therefore more jobs) came to the U.S.The manufacturing sector should view automation adoption the same way NASA viewed the space race. Companies in the U.S. can no longer afford to be uncertain about adopting end-to-end automation — they need to be aggressive. They need to get there first.Where to Begin to fix the Manufacturing ConundrumSaying something needs to be done and doing it are very different things. The transition between a human-led factory floor and a machine-run one won’t necessarily be smooth, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as many may think. Here are a few action steps to embrace when moving deeper into the realm of automation:1. Look at every obstacle through the lens of automation.In a manufacturing business, you tend to deal with the same set of variables, the major ones being quality, yield ratio, cycle time, and productivity. The questions, too, are similar: How do we improve quality? How can we reduce cycle time? And so on. The problem is, many people look at these variables only through the current way of operating. Automation is usually not top of mind when thinking about these issues.For sustainable improvement, automation is often the best answer.Business leaders need to train themselves to look at these issues with automation in mind as a solution, rather than seeing it as a separate entity.”An automated culture directly impacts profitability in various ways,” Tyler explains. “It leads to global competitiveness from a cost-of-labor perspective.Automation tends to mitigate the most significant commodity of low-cost countries, which is their competitive workforce.“Speed and predictability of throughput improve, sometimes dramatically. Quality also improves when the human element is removed and automated gauges perform verifications. Safety is addressed when you move humans further from the manual action of a process, and higher wages are available due to increased margins and the need for less labor.”In some ways, this is similar to how a company should look at diversity.You might believe you have the best people, but if you don’t have a diverse workforce and a diverse management team, you’ll always miss out on valuable perspectives. Diversity needs to be brought into the equation when it comes to hiring. Likewise, automation should be brought into every manufacturing equation. Keep this question in mind: How can we get this process automated?2. Change your approach to training. The Ultimate Checklist on Ways to Prevent IoT D…center_img Of course, if machines are coming in to replace jobs, what happens with the people working for you? Going forward; there needs to be a concerted effort to change how — and for what tasks — people are trained.These new forms of training can be seen in Manufacturing USA Institutes, government-backed institutions that have worked with both the public and private centers to create new curricula for the latest technological advances in manufacturing.Employees shouldn’t be kept in a holding pattern, waiting for their jobs to be replaced.Create training programs, or offer to pay for existing pieces of training, that will allow loyal employees to take the next step into the future alongside you and to help run your newly automated factory floors. Martin SteinFounder and Managing Director of Blackford Capital “For OEM plants to be successful, their supply chains need to be world-class,” Tyler says. “Mid- and small-market suppliers have a tremendous need for automation; robots and integration are now affordable for smaller players. Cost, delivery, and quality can be world-class with automated suppliers. If we can provide capital and training related to automation, we can impact economic development in our communities.”The ultimate goal of automation is to create new opportunities.Without the right training, many workers will be left out in the cold; labor shortages, which shouldn’t be an issue in an automated world, could still plague the industry.3. Look toward the education sector.Manufacturing USA also points to another essential element of automation implementation in the private sector: academia. Universities have long been rich centers for progress and can offer solutions for problems that businesses have neither time nor resources to research.Just as manufacturing is undergoing a paradigm shift, the entire educational system is struggling to figure out its place in an ever-advancing society.Partnering with manufacturing companies in order to problem-solve could offer a path forward for both sectors. Given the right incentive, schools could compete to be the top automation school in the way they compete to be the top medical school or business school today.Some colleges have already begun to take advantage of the opportunities that automation R&D provides. Lawrence Technological University near Detroit, for instance, recently launched an accelerator program designed to offer small manufacturing help with sustainability and long-term growth. How IoT Will Transform Cold Chain Logistics For… “Many business users are becoming more active in local community colleges to ensure robotics and other skills are being taught to the upcoming workforce,” Tyler says. “Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor recently built a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility in the middle of its campus — a beautiful building that is exposing more kids to manufacturing careers than ever before. A large portion of the funds for the facility were donations from local businesses.”Business schools will enter these debates, bringing fresh ideas from the new generation of business leaders.On a larger scale, The Ohio State University — recognizing that 17 percent of the state’s GDP comes from manufacturing — partnered with more than 200 manufacturers and encouraged people in the industry to bring their problems to its doorstep. More manufacturing partners mean more funding for the university, which means more solutions for manufacturers. A win-win situation, to be sure.Automation has the potential to not only advance the industry for progress’ sake, but also to create a sustainable path forward that benefits businesses, employees, and customers. Tariffs and tax incentives may slow the bleeding, but without aggressive moves toward new technology and automated solutions, manufacturing in America will continue its slow decline.Automation is crucial to attracting new employees and bringing in new customers as we propel into the future. It’s time to take a page from companies like Vickers Engineering and take bold steps into this brave new world.last_img read more


December 15, 2019 0