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Seeking NFL Fantasy Football Players-join league-Warriors Only

Click here to join NFL Fantasy Football League Warriors Only

When Prompted enter:

  1. League ID: 352267

  2. League Password: football

Warriors Only will use the following Scoring Options for the 2011-12 Season.

Newly Added Defensive Point Scoring and Defensive Player Positions.

  • Note: The Scoring Options should make for some high scoring games.

    Welcome everyone. If you are like me its been a long long off season and I’m ready for some Football.

    II just updated the scoring options on missed kicks. If anyone has any suggestions or scoring changes let me know. I’ll put it to a vote and the outcome will determine whether its updated or tossed.

    If there is anything else shoot me an email. Are there any super bowl predictions yet? My home Team: St Louis Rams may surprise everyone this year… QB S. Bradford says the team has the Super Bowl in sight… we’ll see and time will tell.

    Best of Luck to ALL.


Offense : Passing Learn More >
  • Passing Yards +1 pt for every 25 yards
  • Passing Touchdowns +6 pts
  • Interceptions Thrown -2 pts
  • Every Time Sacked -1 pt
  • 300-399 Passing Yards Bonus +3
  • 400+ Passing Yards Bonus +4
  • 40+ Passing Yard TD Bonus +1
  • 50+ Passing Yards TD Bonus+1
Offense : Rushing
  • Rushing Yards +1 for every 10 yards
  • Rushing Touchdowns +6
  • 40+ Rushing Yard TD Bonus +1
  • 50+ Rushing Yard TD Bonus +2
  • 100-199 Rushing Yards Bonus +3
  • 200+ Rushing Yards Bonus +4
Offense : Receiving
  • Receiving Yards +1 pt for every 10 yds
  • Receiving Touchdowns +6
  • 40+ Receiving Yard TD Bonus +4
  • 50+ Receiving Yard TD Bonus +5
  • 100-199 Receiving Yards Bonus +2
  • 200+ Receiving Yards Bonus +1
Offense : Kick & Punt Returns
  • Kickoff and Punt Return Yards +1 / 10 yds
  • Kickoff and Punt Return Touchdowns +6
Offense : Miscellaneous
  • Fumble Recovered for TD +6
  • 2-Point Conversions +2
  • Fumbles Lost -2
  • Fumble -1
  • PAT Made +1
  • PAT Missed -1
  • FG Made 0-19 +3
  • FG Made 20-29 +3
  • FG Made 30-39 +4
  • FG Made 40-49 +5
  • FG Made 50+ +6
  • FG Missed 0-19 -2
  • FG Missed 20-29 -1
Defense Team
  • Sacks +1
  • Interceptions +2
  • Fumbles Recovered +2
  • Fumbles Forced +3
  • Safeties +2
  • Touchdowns +6
  • Blocked Kicks +1
  • Kickoff and Punt Return Yards +1 / 10 yds
  • Kickoff and Punt Return Touchdowns +6
  • Points Allowed 0 +10
  • Points Allowed 1-6 +7
  • Points Allowed 7-13 +4
  • Points Allowed 14-20 +1
  • Points Allowed 28-34 -1
  • Points Allowed 35+ -4
  • Less than 100 Total Yards Allowed +6
  • 100-199 Yards Allowed +3
  • 200-299 Yards Allowed +2
  • 300-399 Yards Allowed 0
  • 400-449 Yards Allowed -1
  • 450-499 Yards Allowed -1
  • 500+ Yards Allowed -2
Individual Defensive Player
  • Tackle +1
  • Assisted Tackles .5
  • Sack +2
  • Tackles for Loss Bonus +2
  • Sack Yards +1 / 10 yds
  • Defense Interception +2
  • Forced Fumble +2
  • Fumbles Recovery +2
  • Touchdown (Interception return) +6
  • Touchdown (Fumble return) +6
  • Touchdown (Blocked kick) +6
  • Safety +2
  • Blocked Kick (punt, FG, PAT) +2
  • Pass Defended +1
  • QB Hit +1
  • Interception Return Yards +1 / 10 yds
  • Fumble Return Yards +1 / 10 yds
  • 10+ Tackles Bonus +3
  • 2+ Sacks Bonus +4
  • 3+ Passes Defended Bonus +2
  • 50+ Yard INT Return TD Bonus +8
  • 50+ Yard Fumble Return TD Bonus +8


Save Energy, Save Our Troops

Save Energy, Save Our Troops
Jan 12, 2011 New York Times
A NATO oil tanker truck was blown up by insurgents at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border last week, and while no one was injured, the incident temporarily closed the Khyber Pass, the main supply artery for Western troops in the Afghan theater. This has become an all-too-routine occurrence; in the last nine years some 1,000 Americans have been killed on fuel-related missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Until the Defense Department develops battlefield policies recognizing that energy efficiency contributes to military effectiveness, more blood will be shed, billions of dollars will be wasted, our enemies will have thousands of vulnerable fuel trucks for targets and our commanders will continue to be distracted by the task of overseeing fuel convoys.

As the military’s senior logistician in Iraq for 15 months in 2006 and 2007, I tracked the tremendous amounts of fuel needed to power the generators providing electricity for air-conditioning and other essential uses in shelters hastily constructed of canvas, plywood and sheet metal. Today our troops in Afghanistan are furiously building more of the same. Nine years into that war, they are living more or less as Alexander the Great’s men did 23 centuries ago — in often dangerous and always inefficient tents and shacks.

For many in the military, improving the situation isn’t a priority. “To hell with efficiency, effectiveness is all I care about,” a finger-wagging superior once told me in Iraq. But keeping our bases and units supplied with fuel endangers not just the lives of many soldiers manning the tanker convoys, it also drains $24 billion a year from the Pentagon budget. The solution: a Defense Department policy requiring all structures in the combat zone be energy-efficient.

Upgrading the efficiency at our bases and outposts would not require any new technology. Watch almost any home renovation show and you’ll see spray foam being used to cut energy use significantly. Cured spray foam is nontoxic, fire-resistant and waterproof. (Disclosure: until last month, I was the chief operating officer of an energy consulting company, but I have no financial stake in the issue.)

In 2007, an Army study found that spraying foam insulation on the exterior of inefficient structures would reduce their energy requirements by over 80 percent and improve the quality of life for the troops living in them. Accordingly, we obtained the necessary safety, fire and disposal certifications and began a $95 million effort in Iraq; a study last year confirmed this initiative was saving about $1 billion a year and taking more than 11,000 fuel trucks off the road.

Yet, despite three years of quantitative proof that insulated structures in extreme climates tremendously reduce fuel requirements, there has been little effort to broaden the scope of the initiative.

An across-the-board Pentagon efficiency mandate would have many benefits. First, it would save many lives: there are casualties in one out of every 24 fuel supply convoys in Afghanistan; 47 drivers were killed there last year. It would save money; it costs taxpayers about $66 million a day for air-conditioning in the war zones.

It would also reduce opportunities for the enemy. Some soldiers jokingly call the fuel trucks “Taliban targets,” and for good reason — they are a high-payoff quarry for insurgents using nothing but homemade bombs. In addition, having fewer fuel shipments would allow NATO to take highly trained troops off convoy duty and use them in combat or, even better, send them home.

Why has the Defense Department dragged its feet on energy efficiency? Chalk it up to the impediments to change found in any large organization: passive leadership, lack of accountability, competing priorities. In this case, add skepticism over the data, calls for additional studies and unfounded environmental concerns.

But strong leadership can overcome these obstacles, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates demonstrated in 2008 when he oversaw the acquisition and deployment in Iraq of a new generation of mine-resistant, ambush-protected fighting vehicles, which brought about a decline of up to 90 percent in the deaths of American troops from roadside bombs.

A new energy efficiency policy would not only save lives and cut costs, it would make a powerful statement regarding the Pentagon’s commitment to lowering our dependence on foreign oil. We have the finest troops in history; improving the insulation in their structures would not only keep them more comfortable, it would also go a long way to bringing more of them home safely.

2011 Tax Incentive New Changes for Home and Business

The Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP), sponsored by a coalition of public interest nonprofit groups, government agencies, and other organizations in the energy efficiency field, is designed to give consumers and businesses information they need to make use of the federal income tax incentives for energy efficient products and technologies passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequently amended several times.

Update as of 1/10/11 –

Congress passed, and the President signed, the tax legislation described below in mid-December. To find out more about the changes, see individual pages in the left sidebar. TIAP has also compiled a fact sheet with information about the relevant energy efficiency tax incentives for 2010 and 2011.

Update as of 12/16/10 – Congress About to Extend And Modify Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives for Appliances, New Homes and Retrofits to Existing Homes

Today, or shortly thereafter, Congress is likely to complete action on tax legislation that modifies and extends three energy efficiency tax incentives, as a part of a much larger tax package. These tax incentives will continue to help raise the market share of efficient appliances, HVAC and insulation products, and new homes.

The legislation extends the new homes tax credit to cover 2010 and 2011 – this $2000 credit goes to the home builders and is for homes that use no more than half the energy of homes that just meet the 2003 national model energy code. The credit expired at the end of 2009 but the new bill extends this to cover new homes that are built in 2010 and 2011.

The bill also extends and updates manufacturer appliance tax credits for 2011 – the credit, which goes to manufacturers directly, is extended for one year, and the following criteria now apply:

  • Dishwashers –
  • $25 – models using no more than 307 kilowatt hours/year and 5.0 gallons of water/cycle (this is the ENERGY STAR level effective July 1, 2011)
  • $50 – models using no more than 295 kilowatt hours/year and 4.25 gallons of water/cycle
  • $75 – models using no more than 280 kWh kilowatt hours/year and 4 gallons of water/cycle

Clothes Washers –

  • $175 – top-loading models that meet/exceed 2.2 MEF, and does not exceed 4.5 WCF
  • $225 – top-loading models that meet/exceed 2.4 MEF, and does not exceed 4.2 WCF, or front-loading models that meet/exceed 2.8 MEF and do not exceed a 3.5 WCF

Refrigerators –

  • $150 – models that use 30% less energy relative to federal standard
  • $200 – models that use 35% less energy relative to federal standard

The legislation extends the 25C heating and cooling equipment and building envelope tax incentives for another year but at reduced levels. The new bill extends eligibility to the end of 2011, but reduces the incentive to the original 10% up to $500. Included are provisions which:

  • limit window incentives to $200;
  • limit oil and gas furnace and boiler incentives to $150, plus an additional $50 for efficient furnace fans;
  • limit water heater and wood heating system incentives to $300;
  • loosen the qualification for window incentives (ENERGY STAR windows now qualify);
  • and tighten the specifications for oil furnaces and boilers and gas boilers to 95% efficiency, up from the 90% efficiency in current law.

Congress is likely to consider further extensions of these incentives into 2012 and beyond next year, and TIAP will provide updates as they become available. The existing homes incentives are likely to receive a major overhaul, and there are also likely to be discussions about improving incentives for energy-efficiency investments in commercial buildings, incentives which under current law continue until the end of 2013.

While Congress extended most of the expiring federal energy efficiency tax incentives, they did not extend the incentive for hybrid trucks and buses.

IRS Forms

  • Residential Energy Efficient Property: Form 5695
  • New Homes: Form 8908
  • Vehicle Incentives: Form 8910
  • Commercial Solar Incentives: Form 3468 (Investment Credit) Note: The links above go to the IRS web site. TIAP makes every effort to keep these links up to date. IRS often does not publish new versions of forms until the beginning of the following tax year.

Additional Resources

TIAP Flyers for Residential and Commercial Incentives – Add your organization’s logo and distribute at your next event to spread the word about energy efficiency incentives.

Some additional information on tax incentives can be found HERE!

Extension Service Home Energy Community of Practice Webinar – Presentation by Jen Amann, ACEEE (4/10/2009)

Overview of Federal Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009
*Updated matrix of energy efficiency incentives

RESNET has completed a survey of rating providers regarding the number of homes that their raters certified for the federal tax credit (2007 only). 23,702 homes were certified by RESNET during 2007, which is triple the number of homes certified in 2006. For more information, click here.

NREL Energy Savings Modeling and Inspection Guidelines for Commercial Building Federal Tax Deductions (1.9 MB PDF)

FREE WEBINAR: Sustainable Refurbishment and Solar Heating for the Home

FREE WEBINAR: Sustainable Refurbishment and Solar Heating for the Home

Click here for free registration

Join the authors of Sustainable Home Refurbishment and Solar Domestic Water Heating for an event that offers guidance to anyone wanting to improve the energy efficiency of their home and to professionals looking for guidance on the best techniques and materials.

David Thorpe and Chris Laughton will examine the benefits of engaging in this burgeoning industry and the technologies that can help people save money and reduce CO2 emissions.

David Thorpe has been the News Editor of Energy and Environmental Management magazine for ten years and writes a popular blog – The Low Carbon Kid [http://lowcarbonkid.blogspot.com]. His new book, Solar Technology, is due out from Earthscan in May.

Chris Laughton is Managing Director of The Solar Design Company. He is an experienced heating engineer, author and lecturer, and a regular columnist in magazines, journals and on-line media.

Clean Energy Dirtied by Politicians

In an Age of Compromise, Will Clean Energy Become Dirty?

By Ron Pernick, Clean Edge

RenewableEnergyWorld.com :: Renewable Energy News & Information

Based on the actions of a very active lame duck Congress last month, we could be moving into a new age of compromise. By crossing both sides of the aisle, President Barack Obama was able to pass comprehensive tax legislation, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the START nuclear arms reduction agreement in the final weeks of the outgoing Congress.

As witnessed, compromise can be a very positive and productive thing. But it also has its dark side, where compromise is so skewed it ends up achieving the opposite of what most everyone hoped for or intended. Many point to the Obama healthcare plan as a classic example of where neither side is happy with the end result. Could the same happen for clean energy?

Moving into the 112th Congress, we could see a new age where “clean energy” becomes increasingly “dirty.” There are growing calls not for a national renewable portfolio standard (RPS), but a so-called clean energy standard that includes clean coal and nuclear power along with renewables. In our book The Clean Tech Revolution and in our work at Clean Edge, senior editor Clint Wilder and I have made a strong case for not including these technologies in the clean-tech taxonomy.

But an “all of the above” approach to our energy future may very well be in the offing. The Chinese have been pursuing this approach, spending more on solar PV, wind power, and electric vehicles than just about any other country (and reaping leadership benefits along with their investments), while also supporting the advancement of clean coal and nuclear. It’s not a bad approach, and has worked very well for the Chinese, but is it the right one for the U.S.?

Only One State RPS Includes Nuclear

In our recently released U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index, Clean Edge tracks states on more than 80 technology, policy, and capital indicators, including RPS. And the states take a pretty clear view on how they feel about nuclear as part of a clean-energy future. Of the 29 states with an RPS, only one, Ohio, includes nuclear. Nuclear containment issues and waste storage problems all weigh heavily on the minds of local residents, not to mention greater overall public support for the expansion of renewables over conventional sources.

Arizona, for example, aided by the adamant voice of the state’s solar industry and others, recently put a stop to legislation that would have allowed existing nuclear and hydro facilities to count towards the state’s RPS – which would have effectively killed any incentive to install new renewables.

One of the other big issues facing nuclear power is that you’re always just one accident away from broad social rejection of the technology. People forget about the latest pipeline explosion or the latest coal mine accident, but they don’t do that with nuclear power accidents. This makes the wide-scale adoption of nuclear all the more difficult and potentially impractical.

But let’s face it. Candidate Obama wasn’t against nuclear or clean coal, so we shouldn’t expect much different from President Obama. And his Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, has been vocal in his support of nuclear power, stating that he doesn’t see a way out of our current energy mess sans nukes (see our rebuttal to that here). So the idea of a clean-energy standard that includes both nuclear and clean coal isn’t at all far-fetched. It is an increasingly likely reality.

But we can do better.

China may need to pursue nuclear and clean coal along with its leadership role in renewables, electrified transportation, and efficiency. But the U.S., with its more advanced existing infrastructure and smaller projected demand growth, doesn’t have to. We could be one of the first nations in the world to wean itself off of coal and nuclear while replacing these volatile sources of energy with a combination of cleaner options. Recently, the state of Oregon decided to shutter its only coal plant by 2020, by ratcheting up renewables and efficiency, along with some base-load natural gas. This could be achieved across our entire country.

If we do end up with a broad federal clean-energy policy that includes clean coal and nuclear, then let’s be sure it’s structured so that states can say no to these technologies. Let California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, and others pursue their own strategies to reach low-carbon goals. There’s a reason why so many states have chosen not to include nuclear and clean coal in their targets, and the feds should stay out of the way on this one.

Like many others, I believe that solar, wind, geothermal, smart grid, electric vehicles, and conservation and efficiency, along with intelligent use of conventional sources like natural gas, represent our energy future. Let’s not get distracted by expensive, polluting, volatile, and resource-intensive alternatives. The U.S. can and must lead in the clean-energy revolution, and it can do so by supporting, leveraging, and growing the cleanest of clean technologies.

Ron Pernick is cofounder and managing director of clean-tech research and advisory firm Clean Edge, Inc. He’ll be moderating a discussion on nuclear power between Ralph Cavanagh, NRDC and Peter Schwartz, GBN/Monitor Group, at the upcoming Clean-Tech Investor Summit in Palm Springs.

Dept of Energy 600 Million Biorefinery Projects

Secretaries Chu and Vilsack Announce More Than $600 Million Investment in Advanced Biorefinery Projects

Private company investment brings total to nearly $1.3 billion for 19 biorefinery projects to create jobs and new markets for rural America

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 19 integrated biorefinery projects to receive up to $564 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate the construction and operation of pilot, demonstration, and commercial scale facilities. The projects – in 15 states – will validate refining technologies and help lay the foundation for full commercial-scale development of a biomass industry in the United States. The projects selected today will produce advanced biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts using biomass feedstocks at the pilot, demonstration, and full commercial scale. The projects selected today are part of the ongoing effort to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, spur the creation of the domestic bio-industry and provide new jobs in many rural areas of the country.

“Advanced biofuels are critical to building a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system in the U.S.” said Secretary Chu. “These projects will help establish a domestic industry that will create jobs here at home and open new markets across rural America.”

Joining Secretary Chu, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack noted that USDA Rural Development has selected San Diego, California based Sapphire Energy to receive a loan guarantee for up to $54.5 million through the Biorefinery Assistance Program to demonstrate an integrated algal biorefinery process that will cultivate algae in ponds, and will use dewatering and oil extraction technology to produce an intermediate that will then be processed into drop-in green fuels such as jet fuel and diesel. The actual project will be constructed in Columbus, New Mexico.

“The development of renewable energy is a critical component of our efforts to rebuild and revitalize rural America,” said Secretary Vilsack. “This Farm Bill program is instrumental in increasing our energy independence and expanding new technologies and markets for agricultural and environmental waste material.”

The Biorefinery Assistance Program, authorized through the 2008 Farm Bill, promotes the development of new and emerging technologies for the production of fuels that are produced from non-corn kernel starch biomass sources. The program provides loan guarantees to develop, construct and retrofit viable commercial-scale biorefineries producing advanced biofuels. The maximum loan guarantee is $250 million per project. The loan guarantee will be subject to the availability of funds and contingent upon Sapphire Energy meeting the conditions of the loan agreement.

Of the nearly $564 million in Recovery Act funding announced today, up to $483 million will go to 14 pilot-scale and 4 demonstration-scale biorefinery projects across the country. The remaining $81 million will focus on accelerating the construction of a biorefinery project previously awarded funding. Collectively, these projects will be matched with more than $700 million in private and non-Federal cost-share funds, for total project investments of almost $1.3 billion.

The biofuels and bioproducts produced through these projects will displace petroleum and accelerate the industry’s ability to achieve production targets mandated by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). These investments will help close the gap between the production from the small number of biorefineries currently in operation and the aggressive Renewable Fuel Standard goals for cellulosic and advanced biofuels.

Visit the complete list and descriptions of selected projects.

BIO Feul News from AZ

About Fulcrum BioEnergy
Based in Pleasanton, California, Fulcrum BioEnergy is emerging as a leading company in the development of the next-generation of ethanol production in the United States. The privately-held company focuses on developing, owning and operating efficient, environmentally responsible facilities for converting municipal solid waste and other waste products to a much needed low-cost, reliable and environmentally clean renewable transportation fuel. Fulcrum BioEnergy is on track to become one of the first companies to commercially produce ethanol from municipal solid waste, creating a reliable domestic source of renewable fuels, reducing the Nation’s dependence on foreign oil, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and relieving the pressure on existing and future landfills. For more information, please visit www.fulcrum-bioenergy.com.

Fulcrum BioEnergy Announces Second Long-Term MSW Feedstock Supply Agreement for Its Sierra BioFuels Plant

09/01/2011 Pangea
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imageSierra BioFuels Plant

15-year feedstock supply agreement with Waste Management of Nevada for the delivery of post-sorted municipal solid waste ("MSW") to Fulcrum’s Sierra BioFuels Plant.


Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a leader in the next generation of advanced biofuels, announced today that it has entered into a 15-year feedstock supply agreement with Waste Management of Nevada for the delivery of post-sorted municipal solid waste ("MSW") to Fulcrum’s Sierra BioFuels Plant, the company’s first commercial-scale production facility for converting waste into low carbon ethanol, renewable electricity and other high value chemical products. The agreement will provide feedstock for the plant’s daily requirements, and will afford Fulcrum the flexibility to increase and expand the capacity of the Sierra BioFuels Plant.

The fully-permitted Sierra BioFuels Plant, located in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center outside of Reno, Nevada in Storey County, is scheduled to enter construction immediately creating more than 500 green jobs. When it begins commercial operations in late 2012, the plant will process household garbage into 10.5 million gallons of ethanol annually, providing the Northern Nevada market with a much needed low-cost, reliable and environmentally clean source of transportation fuel. The Sierra BioFuels Plant will also produce renewable electricity to be used by the plant and will have the capacity to produce propanol, a high-value chemical product used as an industrial solvent and chemical intermediate.

"By increasing the diversion of local waste, we are demonstrating a continued commitment to the environment and to the Northern Nevada community we serve," said Waste Management’s Greg Martinelli.

"We are honored to be working together with Waste Management," said Fulcrum’s President and Chief Executive Officer E. James Macias. "This feedstock agreement will be a key component in the success of our Sierra BioFuels project and will set the stage for the future expansion of the plant. Household garbage that would otherwise be landfilled will now be converted into clean, renewable transportation fuel to be used locally – it’s a great story," added Macias.


Waste Management of Nevada is a subsidiary of Waste Management based in Houston, Texas. Waste Management is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America.

US Dept of Energy-Residential Efficiency Webinar 1/18/2011

January 18: National Residential Efficiency Measures Database Unveiled

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies Program is offering a Webinar on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Eastern titled "National Residential Efficiency Measures Database Unveiled." Register now to attend this free Webinar.

The National Residential Efficiency Measures Database project aims to provide a national unified database of residential building retrofit measures and associated costs. This Webinar will provide an overview of the measures database project, progress to date, and planned enhancements for the future.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the database. Target audiences include residential efficiency program managers, Home Energy Rating System (HERS)/audit software developers, home performance contractors, efficiency product representatives, and building science researchers.

Learn more about the Webinar.

provided by: Scotty, Scott’s Contracting

Green Product Evaluation Tips

Here are the first 12 questions you should ask about any green building product you’re evaluating—before you make your selection:

  1. How will it perform its basic function as a building material or product?
  2. How does it compare with products I use now?
  3. Is it code approved?
  4. Is it third-party certified?
  5. Will it contribute toward project certification?
  6. Is it available?
  7. How will it affect my pricing?
  8. Will it increase my level of risk or liability?
  9. How will it improve the level of performance of my homes?
  10. How will it contribute toward sustainability?
  11. Will it require new sequencing or installation skills/trades?
  12. Is it worth the investment for the benefits?

After answering these 12 questions, apply your own experience and expertise to filter out products that would put you outside your comfort zone in terms of unknowns and risks.

Read Complete Article Here: www.ecohomemagazine.com

Optimized and Efficient Window Placement Suggestions for Home Builders

On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 10:18 AM, Scott’s Contracting <scottscontracting> wrote:

Though windows are only one target among several products and practices toward a top-notch thermal envelope, there are still rules of thumb to follow to optimize their impact.

Southern Exposure: An all-day exposure, per the sun’s path. In heating (i.e., cold) climates, leverage it with a better U-factor (ideally 0.20 or less) but less-efficient SHGC (perhaps 0.50 or higher) to boost heat gain in the winter and offset heating energy; use overhangs or other shading devices to cut down gain in the summer, when the sun is higher in the sky. In cooling (i.e., hot) climates, spec windows with U-factors and SHGC ratings of 0.30 or better and use shading tactics. “If I have to choose between blocking the summer sun and some solar gain in the winter, I’ll elect to block it,” says Texas custom builder Don Ferrier.

Western Exposure: Solar gain mostly in the late afternoon. Bob Saxler, architectural marketing manager at Andersen Windows, advises builders to focus on this elevation first, as it is the most difficult to control. If possible, orient the house and floor plan away from this exposure, such as situating utility areas, bathrooms, and, ideally, the garage on that side, and specify small and fewer operable (ideally casement) windows with efficient U-factors and SHGC ratings to mitigate solar gain and provide some measure of passive ventilation. If you have a view to the west, he says, boost the SHGC even more and look for multiple shading opportunities inside and out.

Northern Exposure: In this hemisphere, the least opportunity for solar gain. A dual-pane window with a standard low-E coating on the inner face of the outside pane (cold climate) or the outer face of the inside pane (hot climate), is sufficient. “We always recommend a low-E window for north-facing windows for its insulating value alone,” says Val Brushaber, director of product management, certification, and architectural development for Hurd Windows & Doors. The number and size of windows can be dictated by views, exterior aesthetics, and floor plan as much as thermal efficiency, though fewer windows is always better in that regard. North is also notorious for prevailing winds, so think about air infiltration and passive ventilation through casement windows (instead of hung units) or fixed windows to lessen leakage.

Eastern Exposure: Rich in daylight, but far cooler than its opposite exposure. You can dial up the SHGC rating to 0.40 or more, especially in heating or mixed climates, while a U-factor of 0.30 is plenty to retard thermal transfer through the window.

Article Continues: ecohomemagazine.com/green-products