The Madrid derby returns, a game that has been involved in arbitrary controversies in recent times and more with the arrival of video arbitration. So far this season, Madrid and Atlético are two of the teams that have experienced the most intervention of this tool, but it is the whites who have ‘suffered’ more corrections to the referees against them.The Zidane team has experienced nine irruptions of video arbitration this season. Of which three were in favor (goal canceled by Brais Méndez for offside Aspas, the VAR forced to repeat the Ramos penalty that Soriano stopped when he was ahead and a goal annulled to De Jong for a previous foul) five against and an identity error (a yellow one shown to Valverde that was for Jovic). The interventions against were the following: a red to Modric for an entrance to the heel of Denis Suarez; a poorly annulled goal to Gerard Moreno for offside that ends up on the scoreboard and three goals voided for offside, one to Jovic against the Osasuna, another to Hazard before Betis and Casemiro to Valladolid. On the part of the rojiblanco group, in total it has experienced eleven interventions. Five went in favor (He awarded three penalties, the expulsion of Kang-In Lee for a serious abrupt game entry and validated a goal to Esteban Burgos that had been overturned for offside), four against (He annulled a penalty by Joao Felix, granted a maximum penalty against Atlético and annulled two goals for offside, Costa and Correa) and two ratifications by the referee after consulting the monitor.Last season Atlético claimed, both in the first round and in the second round, that the VAR should have entered to signal plays in its favor, but that it did not. In the first clash he sent a letter asking for explanations from the Technical Committee of Referees and in the second he published several tweets about plays in which they thought the VAR should have entered. Estrada Fernández, derby referee, has been corrected during this season in a match of each team. The Catalan collegiate was rectified from the VOR twice in the Celta-Madrid of the first day (to cancel the goal of Brais and show the red one to Modric) and he was recommended to review the goal of Betis to Atlético. He went to the monitor, but ended up granting Bartra’s goal even though he played in the Alex Moreno’s hand. An erroneous decision since all the goals in which there is a hand, even if it is involuntary, must be annulled. In total, Estrada has experienced nine interventions this season, the most in LaLiga with Gil Manzano.
The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has sharply reacted to the recent audit report from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the Ministry.MFDP said the Commission “chose the path to the style of the sensational rather than an objective and professional reporting.” According to the Ministry, this way of doing things has now become the standard practice of the GAC.GAC in its audit reported by some media outlets, accused the MFDP Minister Amara Konneh and his Comptroller and Accountant General of not providing supporting documentations for some transactions. “We noted during the audit that out of the total selected sample of US$4,123 payment transactions, the Comptroller and Accountant General did not provide supporting documents for US$3,419 payment transactions for various components in the financial statements amounting to US$209,790,651.04,” GAC report said.The GAC audit report, which contains this statement, is the Special Procurement Audit Report of the Ministry of Public Works and the Audit Report of the Consolidated Financial Statement of the government for the Fiscal Year 2012/13. The Ministry said while it views the GAC reports as being “critical to our collective determination to improve the public financial management system of the government, our attention has been drawn to a number of conclusions derived from the report and reported on by the media to the effect that public resources have either been unaccounted for or abused. These very disturbing insinuations could and should have been prevented had the Commission acted reasonably in incorporating some of the pertinent clarifications provided by the MFDP.”However, MFDP said it remained committed to implementing the recommendations of the audit exercise and has, as a matter of policy, begun instituting some of the recommendations as contained in the Auditor General’s report. The Ministry also charged that for the GAC’s audits to be seen as credible, “the basis for institutional improvements, handling of the audit process has to be treated with the outmost degree of professionalism, mutual respect and good faith for system improvement.” “In this respect, the MFDP wishes to register for the record, a number of issues raised in the audit report that are not only questionable and in some instances laughable, but creates a misleading impression that either public resources have been squandered or the public trust compromised.”Included in its response, the Ministry listed four areas, including audit integrity, material issues with Public Works Audit, material issues with audit report of the Consolidated Financial Statement and ancillary issues, which it said need clarification because of some of the confusing conclusions stemming from the Auditor General’s report. The Ministry’s press release is published in detail on pages eight and nine of today’s edition.One internal auditor, a public financial analyst, who asked to remain anonymous, rhetorically asked when contacted for his opinion on the audit, “Why should everyone have problems with the GAC audit reports? It needs to look at the ways, methods and procedures of its material gathering.” He, however, noted that it is also a human tendency to “cry wolf.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
That’s still slightly less than BC’s record total of $2.6 billion dollars in 2008, but was more than double BC’S 2010 total.The first monthly sale of the year in this province is scheduled for next Wednesday, and advance reports indicate it will offer 25 parcels covering just over 32,000 hectares. According to the Calgary Herald, Alberta oil and gas producers have started 2011 with that province’s largest opening auction of conventional drilling rights in at least 15 years.Results posted on the Alberta Energy website yesterday afternoon show the oilpatch spent $155 million on licences and leases covering 286,000 hectares at $543 per hectare.Several multimillion-dollar bids were received.- Advertisement -The highest was for $16.8 million or $6,600 per hectare for a 2,500-hectare licence to drill near Fox Creek.Another cluster of high bids was made for a region north of Grande Prairie.The sale total was more than three times the $46 million spent in the January auction last year, and continues a trend that resulted in sales last year delivering the highest ever payout to the provincial treasury of $2.4 billion.Advertisement
A court spokesman said he did not know whether this would be added on to the 2.1 billion shillings that Ronaldo had agreed to pay Spain’s taxman under a deal reached in June with the player’s lawyers.Sporting sunglasses and a smile, accompanied by his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, Ronaldo arrived at the court in northeastern Madrid for a brief hearing.He was handed a two-year jail sentence immediately reduced to a fine of 365,000 euros and another penalty of 3.2 million euros, according to the sentence.Accused of having avoided paying 5.7 million euros in taxes due on his image rights between 2011 and 2014, Ronaldo has already paid the taxman 6.7 million euros for what he owed plus interest, the sentence read.That — plus the court fine — comes to more than 10 million euros.In June, the player’s lawyers and Spain’s taxman came to an agreement that Ronaldo would pay a grand total of 18.8 million euros.That amount was not mentioned in the sentence but a source at the court, who refused to be named, said Ronaldo would have to pay 18.8 million euros in total, giving no further details.Contacted by AFP, tax authorities, prosecutors and lawyers representing Ronaldo refused to provide any information.It is unclear whether the remaining amount is a separate administrative fine.– ‘Very well’ –“I am very well,” the five-time Ballon d’Or winner told the crowd of reporters gathered outside of the court as he left the hearing. He signed a few autographs before leaving in a black van.The court refused the player’s request to appear by video or to enter the building by car to avoid the spotlight.Ronaldo grinned and signed autographs outside the court © AFP / OSCAR DEL POZORonaldo, who last year joined Italian champions Juventus, smiled broadly as he arrived at the court dressed in black trousers, a black turtleneck and dark sunglasses, holding hands with Rodriguez.Police officers escorted him.He had played for Juventus on Monday night, missing a penalty as the Italian league leaders eased past bottom club Chievo 3-0.– Offshore companies –Madrid prosecutors opened an investigation into Ronaldo in June 2017 and he was questioned in July that same year.“I have never hidden anything, nor have I had the intention of evading taxes,” he told the court then, according to a statement from the sports agency which represents him, Gestifute.Prosecutors accused Ronaldo of having used companies in low-tax foreign jurisdictions — notably the British Virgin Islands and Ireland — to avoid paying the tax due in Spain on payments for his image rights between 2011 and 2014.Ronaldo’s tax troubles come from his time at Real Madrid, where he won two league titles and four Champions Leagues © AFP/File / GABRIEL BOUYSHis lawyers argued there had been a difference in interpretation of what was and was not taxable in Spain, and deny any deliberate attempt to evade tax.But under the deal between Spain’s tax authorities and his lawyers, Ronaldo pleaded guilty to four counts of tax fraud.Ronaldo is one of several footballers to have fallen foul of Spain’s tax authorities in recent years.Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, once Ronaldo’s big La Liga rival, paid a two-million-euro fine in 2016 in his own tax wrangle and received a 21-month jail term.The prison sentence was later reduced to a further fine of 252,000 euros, equivalent to 400 euros per day of the original term.– Alonso faces trial –Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid teammate Xabi Alonso was also in court in Madrid on tax evasion charges © AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOURonaldo’s former Real Madrid team-mate Xabi Alonso appeared at the same Madrid court on Tuesday, for the first time, on a separate tax evasion charge.Public prosecutors are seeking a five-year jail sentence and a fine of four million euros.The trial was suspended while the court considers whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case.“I never hid anything, I have to defend myself,” Alonso, 37, told reporters as he left the court.Ronaldo is also facing accusations in the United States where a former American model accused him of raping her in Las Vegas in 2009.Ronaldo and Rodriguez left court after the star was sentenced. © AFP / OSCAR DEL POZOPolice in the US city recently asked Italian authorities for a DNA sample from the footballer.Ronaldo has always denied the accusations.In a New Year’s Eve interview with Portuguese sports daily Record, he said he had a “calm conscience” and was “confident that everything will very soon be clarified”.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at the court in Madrid with girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez © AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUMADRID, Spain, Jan 22 – Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo avoided jail on Tuesday but was ordered by a Spanish court to pay Sh416mn ($4.1 million) for committing tax fraud when at Real Madrid, part of a broader Sh1.9bn (18.8-million-euro) payout.The court sentenced him to a two-year jail sentence that it immediately reduced to a fine of Sh42mn (365,000 euros), which adds on to another penalty of Sh368mn (3.2 million euros).
Ian Hendon 1 Leyton Orient have appointed former captain Ian Hendon as their new manager.Hendon succeeds Fabio Liverani after the Italian left the position following the club’s relegation from League One.The 43-year-old, who made 130 league appearances for the Os between 1993 and 1997, will officially take up the role on July 1.“Orient is a club that means a great deal to me – I hope that fans will remember the commitment I showed as a player, and know they can expect the same dedication from me as head coach,” he told www.leytonorient.com.Hendon has previous managerial experience at Dover and Barnet and has most recently been working as first-team coach at West Ham under Sam Allardyce.He added: “I’ve got a lot of experience of the lower leagues, having played at every level during my career and worked in League Two as player/manager, but having spent a few years working in the Premier League I have learnt a huge amount that will stand me in good stead for this new challenge.“I hope to be able to bring some stability to the club and help rebuild after the disappointment of last season. Promotion is the priority, but reconnecting with the fans is also important. Having met the president, I was impressed with his own long-term plans for the club, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Naomh Padraig Club Notes: CLUB LOTTOThe eleventh Club Lotto draw of the year took place on Easter Monday at the clubhouse. The numbers drawn were 12, 14, 25 and 31. There was no jackpot winner on the night meaning next week’s jackpot increases to €2700. Five players matched two numbers, with each receiving €20. They were: Pauric Gibbons (Tir O Neill, Lifford), Cathal McGowan (Edenmore), Declan McCullagh (Ballindrait), Peter McDermmott (Lifford) and Patricia McShane (Strabane).THE WEEK GONE BYThe Men’s Senior team played host to Naomh Ultan of Dunkineely on Saturday past. The game finished in a draw on a scoreline of 1-8 to 2-5.The Men’s Reserve team opened their account for the season with a two point victory over Naomh Ultan Reserves. Final Score: Naomh Padraig Lifford 0-12 0-10 Naomh Ultan. THE WEEK AHEADU-14 Ladies, U-16 Ladies and Minor Ladies training continues on Monday evenings at the Training Pitch in Rossgier (6PM to 7PM) and Wednesday evenings at the Lifford Community Centre (7PM to 8PM). All players are asked to contribute €2 towards the cost of each training session.Men’s team training continues as normal on Mondays and Thursdays at the Training Pitch in Rossgier. All players are asked to be on the pitch, ready to begin training at 7:20PM sharp on both nights.On Tuesday night, our Under 16 boys team play host to St. Marys of Convoy in their third league game of the season at Pairc MacDiarmuid in Lifford. Throw in 6:30PM. All players are asked to be at the pitch for 6:30PM.On Friday night, our Under 16 boys team travel to Robert Emmets of Castelefinn in their fourth league game of the. Throw in 6:00PM in Castelfinn. All players are asked to be at Pairc MacDiarmuid for 5:00PM. Players bus leaving Pairc MacDairmuid at 5:15PM. Under-8 and Under 10 team training continues every Saturday morning from 11AM to 12PM at the Lifford Resource Centre AstroTurf. Any children born between 2005 and 2009 are more than welcome to attend. All players are asked to contribute €2 towards the cost of renting the Astroturf.On Saturday, both our Men’s team travel to Moville for round 3 of the league. Throw in for the Senior game is 5:00PM, while the Reserve game throws in at 6:30PM.GAA NEWS: NAOMH PADRAIG LIFFORD EARN VALUABLE POINT AT HOME TO NAOMH ULTAN was last modified: April 7th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:GAANaomh PadriagNoticesSport
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farmers across Ohio are feeling the brunt of last spring’s unprecedented rainfall. Finding hay that is both affordable and sufficiently nutritious has been one roadblock this year for farmers.In addition, a nutritional deficiency could be sneaking into their herd during this record-breaking year in agriculture.“Some of the hay’s quality is so low, the animal could actually starve with their hay right in front of them,” said Ted Wiseman, Ohio State University Extension educator.The enormous amount of rainfall last spring left many farmers unable to get into their fields to harvest hay before it became too mature. The longer the hay matured in the field, the lower its nutritional value got, Wiseman explained.There are other nutritional alternatives to replace hay in a herd’s diet. A farmer could use corn as a protein source, for example, if protein is what the hay is lacking. Wiseman advises farmers and ranchers to get their hay nutritionally tested as a first step toward making sure their herds are getting the nutrition they need.After testing the hay, a nutritionist can determine the nutrients the herd could be lacking, and can help set up a strategic feeding plan. This plan could include supplementing with other feeds to provide the vitamins or nutrients hay doesn’t have enough of.“There are plenty of other alternative feeds that we can give that provide nutrients,” Wiseman said. “The most important part is knowing what you have in your hay now and knowing what you need to make up that nutritional difference.”In addition to excess rainfall, farmers should watch out for cooler temperatures—particularly frosts that are occurring now. Frosts can poison certain grasses livestock feed on, said Mark Sulc, an OSU Extension forage specialist.“Herds should be removed from pastures of sorghum grass species after a killing frost and even after a non-killing frost. Toxic levels of prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide) can be produced in those plants after a frost, which can lead to death of animals,” Sulc said.Sulc advises leaving livestock off of the pasture for at least five days after a killing frost, and for two weeks after a non-killing frost.While getting your hay’s nutrients tested or taking your livestock off of the pasture might seem like going the extra mile, it will ultimately ensure your herd’s overall health and best performance given the forages you have on hand, Sulc said.Along with the worry of hay with fewer nutrients, farmers are facing another lingering issue: skyrocketing prices for hay.The challenge of getting good-quality hay this year has driven up its price — significantly. Hay prices have been much higher than in years past. Wiseman warns that prices will continue to rise as we head into the winter months, making hay an extremely hot commodity.For full details on managing this potentially dangerous situation, visit forages.osu.edu.
Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Editor’s note: This story is part of a series we call Redux, where we’ll re-publish some of our best posts of 2009. As we look back at the year – and ahead to what next year holds – we think these are the stories that deserve a second glance. It’s not just a best-of list, it’s also a collection of posts that examine the fundamental issues that continue to shape the Web. We hope you enjoy reading them again and we look forward to bringing you more Web products and trends analysis in 2010. Happy holidays from Team ReadWriteWeb!In an age when gross-out sites like goatse are just a click away, a number of services offer parents the information they need to find quality online entertainment. While past generations were raised on unfiltered television and video games, today’s parent take a more active role in the process of media consumption.AOL’s PlaySavvy: PlaySavvy is another site that offers parents a chance to check out age-appropriate kids games. Similar to What They Play, this site lists the ESRB ratings next to games and information is categorized by topic and gaming system. Products for console favorites like Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii are often featured on the site. AOL also offers parents daily articles and a section to view the most popular games. Parents’ Choice: Established in 1978, this site is run by the Parents’ Choice Foundation – a nonprofit organization that offers awards to the top children’s media and toys. Some of the award categories include websites, video games, DVDs, software, television programming and toys. This site definitely skews towards narrative-based educational materials. If your kid has a shorter attention span, you might want to visit PBS Kids instead. Common Sense Media: Common Sense media is a nonprofit organizations dedicated to offering parents reviews and suggestions on appropriate content. The group produces movie, website, TV, game, book and music ratings as well as a number of educational tools for classroom use. The site can be personalized for kids between the ages of 2-17 years old and it’s available in English and Spanish. This site tends to weigh the benefits of mainstream media sites. PBS KIDS Island: This site offers parents reading resources, videos and games in English and Spanish. While the majority of the content is best queued up by a parent or teacher, the videos are of particularly high quality and completely commercial free. National Geographic for Kids: This site offers kid-friendly games, videos, stories and activities for nature lovers. The same photography that has made National Geographic a hit with grownups is likely to please kids. Not surprisingly, the video content is equally compelling. Discovery Kids offers a similar experience and is a great site for visual learners.Totlol: Totlol is a parent-moderated version of YouTube. The site offers video options specifically designed for children and even offers “age optimized interfaces” to ensure that kids of different ages get the most appropriate content. In 2008, ReadWriteWeb covered Totlol’s beta launch. As of today the site charges a $3 per month subscription fee or $54 until your child grows up. Photo Credit:Swaminathan Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Lists#NYT#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… In an ironic twist of fate for 2009, Fox’s IGN Entertainment, a company known for its game reviews of products like Zombie Apocalypse acquired What They Play. The newest member of Fox Interactive is touted as the “family guide to video games” and offers reviews, warnings and suggested products. Under the umbrella company of What They Like, What They Play uses the “Entertainment Software Rating Board” (ESRB) to warn parents of games containing explicit lyrics, cartoon violence and drug references. dana oshiro
That said, if Farm House decides that it’s a good idea to increase the R-value of the wall assembly or reduce thermal bridging between the studs, he could take the advice of Steve Knapp and use Zip System insulated R-sheathing, which combines structural sheathing with foam insulation.R-sheathing can take the place of conventional OSB or plywood sheathing. It comes in various thicknesses, with R-values ranging from 3 to 12.“But I see no reason to try to convince you.” RELATED ARTICLES Consider fossil fuel useBrendan Albano asks Farm House to consider the benefits of reducing the use of fossil fuels: a better insulated building will need less heat, and less heat means a lower carbon impact.“Reducing your use of fossil fuels (and other non-renewable resources) is an ethical choice from an intergenerational equity (a.k.a., ‘think of the children’) point of view,” Albana writes. “If exterior insulation is an effective way for you to do this, then it would be ethically responsible for you to add exterior insulation.“Whether or not that line of reasoning is important enough to you to justify the expense is a question only you can answer.”But the introduction of fossil fuels into the discussion raises additional questions, replies Dorsett.“The ‘future generations/fossil fuel’ discussion can go a number of different ways,” he says. “Higher wall performance can be had with lower initial and long-term carbon emissions by staying away from foam altogether (which has a very real carbon footprint) and using cellulose as the cavity fill (which is net-carbon-negative and sequesters carbon), or rock wool (low carbon footprint relative to any foam) and/or using only electric HVAC equipment combined with renewables-only electricity (site sourced or purchased).” Another approach with Zip-R sheathingDorsett has one more idea for reducing thermal bridging without the use of a continuous layer of foam. Farm House could start with conventional framing using 2x4s. Then, rip sheets of 2-inch Zip R to widths of 1 1/2 inch and 3 inches, and glue them to the inside of the framing to create a total stud wall depth of 5 1/2 inches. (The 3-inch strips are for doubled-top plates and other areas where studs are doubled.) Use conventional insulation designed for a 2×6 wall.“That brings the framing fraction up from about R-4.2 to about R-14, cutting the heat transfer through the 2×4 framing by more than 2/3, and the whole-wall performance improves by about 15% compared to a 2×6/R-20 wall at the same wall thickness,” Dorsett says.The idea is derived from an article by Stephen Bonfiglioli in Fine Homebuilding magazine.Following up on Dorsett’s suggestion, Gordon Franke writes that he ran some calculations on heat flow comparing the Bonfiglioli wall to several other options (see image #2, below).“If my calculations are correct, the Bonfiglioli [wall] insulates better than a 2×4 wall with 1 1/4 inch of exterior insulation,” he says. “One might say, ‘Well, 1 1/4 inch is too thin.’ However, a 2-inch layer only buys you a 3% improvement compared [to] the Bonfiglioli wall.“In my own renovation, I can implement the Bonfiglioli wall myself over a couple of weekends for the cost of some EPS strips, 1x3s, and the upgrade from 2×4 to 2×6 batts. That seems like nothing compared to the additional complication and expense of including an inches deep layer of insulation on all exterior walls.” Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing From Fine Homebuilding: Breaking the Thermal Bridge Can Exterior Foam Insulation Cause Mold and Moisture Problems? Installing Mineral Wool Insulation Over Exterior Wall SheathingThe Exterior Rigid Foam is Too Thin!Combining Exterior Rigid Foam With Fluffy InsulationHow to Install Rigid Foam SheathingChoosing Rigid FoamWalls With Interior Rigid Foam A question of diminishing returnsFarm House has given some thought to the environmental impact of his new home and the need to reduce fossil fuel emissions.“That’s a given for me,” he says, “but I don’t have an unlimited budget and I am certain that at some point during an envelope design, one starts spending money for very incremental improvements in performance.”So, while recognizing that exterior foam insulation increases the whole-house R-value, the question is whether it makes “good sense.” Farm House wants to know whether a radiant barrier he’s apparently planning on including will offer the advantages he’s hoping for.Further, he asks, “Is increasing the stud-to-siding R-value from 6.5 to 13 going to have a significant impact? For example: What percentage of heat loss or gain is expected through the 25% of the exterior walls that’s made up of 2×6 studs? (If it impacts the answer, my goal is to achieve between 1 and 2 ach50.)“We all know that an internal combustion engine is an glorified air pump,” Farm House continues. “The faster you can get the air to go from intake to exhaust, the better the performance. At some point, though, you’re spending silly money to increase performance that can only be justified if you race NASCAR every weekend. Catch my drift?” Questions about plans for a heat pumpFarm House says that he’s planning on “spending some serious $$$” for a Trane XV20i variable-speed heat pump. Good idea? Maybe not, says Dorsett.The smallest model of that air-source heat pump has a capacity of 2 tons, he says, and although it’s able to modulate its output, it has a turndown ratio of about 2.5 to 1, Dorsett says, “which could be sub-optimally oversized” for a higher performance house of about 2,500 square feet in Climate Zone 3.“In a new house design, it’s not super hard to hit the 2,500-square-feet-per-ton of cooling range, and even a code-minimum house can hit the ton per 2,000 [square foot] range, even with full sun exposure,” Dorsett says. “The minimum modulated output of the 2-ton Trane XV20i is about 10,000 BTU/h at 95°F outside and even higher at lower outdoor temps. That means it can’t really modulate at high efficiency if your load at your 1% design condition is only 12,000-15,000 BTU/h.”He adds that the “framing fraction” of 25% in exterior walls would account for roughly half the total heat transfer in walls.“But the walls are only a fraction of the total heat gain and heat loss, and with 2×6/R-20 construction staying at code-minimum, … the total window area can account for as much heat transfer as the total wall area (or more),” Dorsett says. “These sorts of issues are why modeling the house with BEopt can be useful, since you can then determine the bang-for-your-buck of different component upgrades.” Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost thinks:There’s lots of good analysis and advice built into this Spotlight. I agree with Dana Dorsett that BEopt modeling can provide good guidance and useful sensitivity analysis around the key elements that Farm House is considering.For my money — and based in no small part on the work that Building Science Corporation has done for high-performance design in Climate Zone 3 — here are the three most important design considerations for homes aiming for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and thermal comfort:Airtightness. Even without much information on the actual design, in my experience the continuity of the building enclosure air control layer is easiest to do on the exterior. You certainly can get this in many ways, but the Zip wall system is a good option. Another advantage of this approach is that a continuous exterior air barrier protects from wind-washing at corners.Better windows and solar shading. BEopt would certainly show this, but windows tuned by location and aspect and properly shaded give a big performance boost in Climate Zone 3. In a recent analysis I did using Climate Consultant 6, exterior shading of windows and doors alone pulled around 25% of annual hours into the ASHRAE 55 thermal comfort parameters.HVAC. All ducts and equipment should be inside the conditioned space, and the systems should be designed using ACCA Manuals J, S, and D. This was not mentioned in the Q&A exchanges, and it’s critical to high performance (energy efficiency, IAQ, and thermal comfort). Achieving a high-performance HVAC system is easy if it is identified as a driver of design and if you have an HVAC contractor who can deliver the design. Not our job to sell anything“First of all,” says GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, “it’s your house. You can build it any way you want, as long as your local code enforcement official is happy. I don’t see any reason to convince you of anything.” Skip the exterior foam and invest in PVDana Dorsett won’t try to convince Farm House, either. He suggests using BEopt, free energy-modeling software available from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Then, given the good solar exposure that’s apparently available on the house site, Farm House could compare the return on investment for spending the same amount of money he’d need for insulated sheathing for a rooftop solar array, calculated at $3 a watt before any subsidies.“In U.S. Climate Zone 3, it’s possible (with a decent design) to hit net-zero energy with 2×6 (R-20) walls, no exterior insulating sheathing, and with a PV array that fits comfortably on a sun-drenched house, using better-class heat pump technology properly sized for the modest loads,” Dorsett says.He refers Farm House to a Building America research paper for more information. That study suggests that an R-20 wall in Climate Zone 3 — but times have changed.“That document was created in 2009/2010, when PV cost $7-8/watt and was 15% efficient, whereas now it’s $3/watt and ~20% efficient, requiring less rooftop real-estate to deliver the same amount of energy,” Dorsett says. “And, better-class heat pumps at that time were running HSPF 10-12 with SEER in the teens, whereas current better-class ductless minisplits are in the HSPF 12.5-14 range, with SEER well north of 20.”With those two advances in technology, Farm House could aim for the R-value recommendations that Building America suggests for a milder climate zone (Zone 2) and still hit net-zero performance. A 2×6 R-20 wall framed at 16 inches on center with a rainscreen gap between the sheathing and the siding would work; so would a 2×6 R-23 wall insulated with rockwool batts (but with no rainscreen).“So, skip the exterior insulation and concentrate the investment where it pays more,” Dorsett says.Farm House might still consider the more rigorous Climate Zone 3 recommendations for other building assemblies, while aiming for a building envelope testing at less than 1 air change per hour at 50 pascals in a blower-door test, plus a heat-recovery ventilator. A simple house shape minimizing corners would also help. Writing from Climate Zone 3, Farm House seems to have worked out many of the details for the dream house he plans to start building in a few months.“Plan to live in it for 30+ years,” he writes in a post at the Q&A forum at Green Building Advisor. “The house will have Zip System sheathing and will be well insulated on the inside. I will just leave it at that. Not interested in installing rigid foam on the outside of the roof sheathing. (I have my reasons, so please don’t try to convince me otherwise.)“So, house fully exposed to sunlight. One inch rigid foam with foil facing. Strapped with fiber-cement siding.”That’s the plan: no rigid foam on the roof, but 1 inch of rigid foam on the exterior walls, plus a vented rainscreen and siding.The Farm House challenge? “Sell me on all the reasons this [rigid foam on the walls] is worth the time and cost.”