LEED for Homes Online Scoring Tool Needs a Lot More Work

first_imgThe USGBC just released its online scoring tool for LEED for Homes, a much-anticipated advance in the program. After months of announcements and requests for people to sign up, the tool was finally available to the public on February 28th. I took some time to run through it, and I can report there are things to like about it, but it needs a lot more work to be truly useful.On the positive side, it is much easier to follow the scoring process and track points and the anticipated certification level compared to the Excel spreadsheet, which I find frustratingly dense and complicated. For those familiar with the program, the tool seems to strike a nice balance between too much and too little information. It gives you the option to select the prescriptive or performance path in all the sections where it applies, such as the EQ section where you can choose between Indoor Air Plus for 10 points or a prescriptive list of items to gain individual points. Similarly, the EA pathway is either through a HERS rating or a long list of prescriptive items. A project can be scored quickly, the logic is straightforward, and the results are easy to read.It seems this tool was developed in response to the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) online tool, originally the only way to score a project in that program. After multiple complaints about the slow pace of that program, the NGBS released an Excel version, which, while still very long, makes the scoring process a little faster. LEED started with, and still requires, an Excel file, but seems to be moving toward an online management system. If completed properly, it may end up being a good decision.How effective is an online scoring tool?So we now have this pretty easy online checklist, but unfortunately, it still has a long way to go to be an effective tool for project teams and certifiers. My initial critique of the tool is that while it is generally easy to use, the complexity of the program makes the tool less effective for those not very familiar with the program. The same prescriptive versus performance path scoring mentioned above could very easily confuse new users. And as you dig deeper into scoring a project, there are multiple ways to pick up additional points, taken in the ID section, for things like exceeding maximums for pest control, framing efficiencies, and many other credits. As currently designed, when you select items that exceed the maximum score for a section, the tool simply points out that you have reached this limit—while instead it could very easily give you the option or even automatically place extra points in the ID section for you.Other oddities of LEED for Homes include the fact that if you use the HERS rating for the EA, you can get what I refer to as “secret” points for installing a very high-performance clothes washer—but this doesn’t show up on either the Excel or online scoring sheets. You have to be “in the know” for these things, a sort of job security for LEED for Homes consultants and raters.Looking to the futureTo me, the biggest problem is the fact that once you are done, all you have is a screen telling you the score and certification level. I have heard that export formats are in development, but right now there is no way to transfer the information to the required certification spreadsheet. I really hope this is the first step toward development of a full-fledged online management tool for LEED for Homes, which can’t come soon enough. The spreadsheet currently used to manage certification is very cumbersome and not very intuitive. For those of us who are now enlightened Mac users, since the spreadsheet was designed in “Windoze Bloatware,” it isn’t yet fully functional in a Mac version. LEED for Homes is scheduled for a major revision in late 2012. Seems like enough time to me to tune up the process, put everything online, and (I know this is wishful thinking) make the whole thing a lot simpler and more straightforward.I mean, a guy can dream, can’t he?For more information on this story, see Richard Defendorf’s report, LEED for Homes Online Scoring Tool.last_img read more

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FAMILY OF SHARKS LOOK FOR NTL TITLE

first_imgFor the Hipperson family, Touch is a normal part of every day life and has been for the last 22 years. This year is special though. Jeb, Tory and Tiffany Hipperson are all playing together with the South Queensland Sharks Mixed Open side, and their mum, Ronda is the manager at the 2005 Asics NTL. For the Hipperson’s who play locally at Southport, Touch has always been something they can share and they have strong memories of playing together as kids. “I remember when we used to do tricks and muck around in the backyard, and it’s great that we now can do that stuff on the field together,” said Tiffany. Having played together for so long, the siblings know each other’s game and capabilities as well as their own. “I think we’re tougher on each other `cos we know what each other is capable of, so when we do something wrong it’s more frustrating,” said Jeb. Knowing each other well is a trait that Tory thinks is especially important when playing mixed touch. “In mixed touch the whole team has to be pretty close in order to be the best, and since some of us are related, we’ve already got that advantage and we push each other harder,” said Tory. While her brothers don’t claim they taught her everything she knows, Tiffany thinks they’ve had a big influence on her Touch success and the boys are proud that their little sister can hold her own on the Touch field. Proud mum, Ronda appreciates the positive impact Touch has had on the lives of her children. “I’m very proud, all of my four kids have made Australian squads and Queensland school teams, and they’ve made so many friends in this sport, friends they will have for a lifetime,” said Ronda. Playing Touch as a family has made the game more enjoyable for all the Hipperson’s. “It’s good getting to play Touch with your family, it’s what Touch is all about really. It definitely enhances the experience,” said Tory. I’m sure a Mixed Open NTL title for the South Queensland Sharks would be something else they wouldn’t mind sharing as a family either. By Lisa Plummerlast_img
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10 months agoAtletico Madrid chief Berta: Lucas wants to stay

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Atletico Madrid chief Berta: Lucas wants to stayby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAtletico Madrid chief Andrea Berta insists Lucas Hernandez won’t be leaving next month.The defender is a target for Bayern Munich.And Marca claimed that the German club would pay the defender’s €80m release clause next month. But Berta says: “I can’t say anything, you will have to ask [Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge [about Bayern’s interest]. “Lucas told me he wants to stay with Atletico. Lucas is a very good player. He’s an important player.” last_img

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Nova Scotia health minister says province providing timely abortion access

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s health minister says he believes there is timely access to abortion services in the province despite calls from advocates to improve access.Randy Delorey said Thursday the province has taken steps to improve access to abortion services, including funding the abortion pill in November 2017 and giving Nova Scotians the option to self-refer for an abortion earlier this year.Delorey said it’s his understanding that most women get “relatively timely access” of within a day or two because of dedicated spots available for ultrasound services at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, which handles 80 per cent of abortions in the province.“The information that I’ve been provided shows that the services being made available are available when they are needed,” Delorey told reporters at the legislature.The call for better access came after The Globe and Mail’s Atlantic bureau chief published an account of her experience hitting multiple roadblocks while trying to get an abortion in Nova Scotia, before eventually flying to Toronto for the procedure.Although Delorey won’t speak to that specific case, he says abortion services are managed by clinicians who are following national guidelines and recommendations.He said clinical guidelines are not managed by the government.“My understanding is there are national clinical guidelines and best practices that set those parameters,” Delorey said. “The question about at what point and when services are provided are not government policy positions … and I will continue to defer to the clinicians to make those appropriate determinations.”In Nova Scotia, patients can have a medical abortion using pills up to the ninth week of pregnancy while surgical abortions can be obtained up to 15 weeks into a pregnancy.The Health Department says three regional hospitals offer abortion services in addition to the primary location at Halifax’s QE II facility.It says physicians and nurse practitioners are able to prescribe Mifegymiso and the department has recorded 62 different prescribers to date.last_img read more

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Building Hockeys Advanced Stats Dream Team

Last week, the basketball website Ballislife.com tweeted a fun exercise, asking NBA fans to pick their dream starting five. The catch? It assigned dollar values to each legend and set up a monetary constraint which no lineup’s total cost could exceed. Do you want Michael Jordan as your starting shooting guard? OK, but he’ll cost you $5 of the $15 you have, so now you have just $10 of cap money to spend on four other players.It’s an entertaining spin on the classic “dream team” debate (although I’ll leave the basketball arguments to others). A few days later, though, Matt Henderson created his own version for hockey, giving us $18 to spend on our post-expansion NHL all-star team:Neil Greenberg, who runs The Washington Post’s Fancy Stats blog, posted his dream team analysis Thursday, and I thought it would be fun to take another look at the pros and cons of dream team building from an advanced stats point of view.GoalieEven at $4, Dominik Hasek is a steal. (As Greenberg noted, Hasek’s save percentage was much better than that of contemporaries like Martin Brodeur, even though Hasek is worth only $1 more than Brodeur by Henderson’s values.) In fact, during his career, Hasek was the outlier of all goaltending outliers. Because of the large influence of random variation in save percentages, most goalies can’t consistently distinguish themselves very much from an average netminder. But Hasek seemed to be the exception. In his career, he allowed 79 percent as many goals per shot as the league did, and was one of the only goalies ever to consistently sustain a very high level of play over a number of consecutive seasons. Hasek’s basically a no-brainer as the goalie for this team.As an aside, if Hasek had not been available, it might have made sense to buy the $1 goalie (in this case, Ed Belfour, a fine goalie who allowed 93 percent as many goals per shot as the league over his long career) and spend more on building a strong lineup of skaters. Because it’s difficult to predict how well a goaltender will play in a given season (much less a series or a game), it doesn’t usually make much sense to sink a huge percentage of a team’s payroll into one of them — a good piece of strategy in this exercise and in life.DefensemenThe four most valuable non-goalie seasons ever according to Tom Awad’s all-in-one stat Goals Versus Threshold (GVT; think Value Over Replacement Player for hockey) belong to Bobby Orr. Orr costs the maximum “salary” here ($5), but the difference between his production at his peak (an average of 45.6 goals above replacement per year in his best five seasons, with a career-high of 49.5 in 1970-71) and that of the next-best defenseman is truly massive. Among the next-best available D-men, neither Paul Coffey, Larry Robinson nor Denis Potvin ever produced a GVT better than 31.1 in any of their seasons.Speaking of Larry Robinson, it’s worth noting that he costs only $2 in salary despite putting up some of the best seasons by a defenseman in NHL history. In 1976-77, Robinson notched 85 points (ranking 12th among all players, not just defensemen) and set the non-Orr record for highest plus/minus in a season with a +120 mark. That performance was worth 30.4 goals above replacement in GVT’s estimation; Robinson also had five other seasons of at least 19.9 GVT, giving him a higher five-year peak than Nicklas Lidstrom despite Lidstrom costing more than twice as much in Henderson’s dollar values.CenterThe second-best non-goalie ever by peak GVT is Wayne Gretzky, who owns the two best non-Orr seasons ever by a skater (each were worth more than 43 GVT). Gretzky also costs the maximum ($5), which, when combined with the salaries of Hasek, Robinson and Orr, will leave only $2 to spread across two wingers. But like Orr and Hasek, Gretzky’s production was such a radical outlier that he’ll be worth the price. (For one thing, there’s plenty of evidence backing up the notion that super-elite playmakers, such as Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, can have a dramatic positive influence on teammates’ shooting percentages.)WingsOn the wings, we’re now essentially “stuck” with $1 pickups Jari Kurri and Johnny Bucyk as Gretzky’s linemates. There are a couple of reasons why this isn’t a bad thing, though. First (and this should be self-evident): Kurri and Bucyk are both Hall of Famers! It’s not like we’re picking from the dregs of the hockey universe here. In fact, Kurri and Bucyk had better GVT numbers in their best five seasons than Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille did in theirs, despite Hull costing four times as much as Kurri and Robitaille costing five times as much as Bucyk. Secondly, statheads have found evidence that — despite the importance placed on strong depth in hockey’s conventional wisdom — building a top-heavy team with a few stars and a bunch of lesser players is not such a bad thing.So, there you have it, the best team our $18 could buy: Hasek, Orr, Robinson, Gretzky, Kurri and Bucyk. According to the average of each player’s best five seasons, our team would produce 200.3 GVT in a hypothetical full season.In a perfect universe, our team would face that of Greenberg (Hasek, Mark Messier, Bobby Hull, Mike Bossy, Lidstrom and Zdeno Chara) and everyone else in the Twittersphere, and settle the matter on the ice. Obviously, that can never happen — and maybe it’s more fun this way anyhow. read more

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Wisconsin steals show on Ohio State senior day

Sunday’s Ohio State men’s basketball game was supposed to be a going out party for William Buford. Fans waved paddles featuring his face and the student section hoisted a massive cutout of the Buckeyes’ lone senior as Buford was honored prior to the Senior Day game against Wisconsin on Sunday at the Schottenstein Center. Instead, the No. 16 Badgers stole the show by defeating the No. 8 Buckeyes, 63-60, as a dejected Buford sat at the postgame press conference with a towel over his mouth, staring blankly at the box score in front of him. “Before the game it was cool,” he said. “But our main goal was to win the game and we didn’t win the game. So that kind of messed with my day a little bit.” Although Buford’s demeanor was somber, OSU still has two more regular season games remaining, along with the Big Ten and national tournament. Buford said he is troubled by the lack of cohesion between the team going forward. “It’s real concerning leading into March,” he said. “I mean, you always want to be together and we should be together by now, but hopefully we learn from this loss.” Coach Thad Matta said he threw the team out of practice Saturday. “They weren’t ready to practice and this team has shown we play like we practice,” Matta said. “It’s been proven. We had two great days of practice going into the Illinois game (an 83-67 OSU win Tuesday) and that’s why I was so upset yesterday in practice because it wasn’t where it needed to be. “The guys have got to look at themselves in the mirror and come back and get ready to go.” Poor team practices have occurred too much this season and the Buckeyes need to learn from the losses that result from them, sophomore guard Aaron Craft said. “It’s not a secret,” Craft said. “Leaving the practice gym you know if we practiced well as a team or if we didn’t. We’ve had that feeling (that we didn’t) probably a little too much than we should have, but once again we have to find a way to learn from it. We have to find a way to move on and refocus and keep our heads up.” Sophomore forward DeShaun Thomas, who had a game-high 23 points in the loss to the Badgers, said the team needs to rally around each other going forward. “It all comes down to maturity and talking to each other, you know, helping each other out,” Thomas said. “That’s what it’s all about. Somebody’s got to step up and just be that guy to say, ‘This is enough,’ and bring us all together.” Craft said there is still enough time for the Buckeyes to come together before postseason play. “We are getting to the end of the season, but there’s still time to get better,” Craft said. “We’re still learning, we’re a young team. I think we can figure it out still.” OSU finishes regular season play this week with two road games: Wednesday at Northwestern and Sunday at Michigan State. read more

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5 things to watch for Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament

2. Do the Buckeyes have a second scorer? Do they even need one?Since Thomas left for the NBA Draft at the end of last season, OSU has been looking to fill the hole he left behind. Junior forward LaQuinton Ross is the predominant scorer for the team, leading the Buckeyes with 15.4 points per game. But Matta’s squad has seen numerous players step up — only to falter — as the second guy. Everyone ­— from senior guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. to junior forward Sam Thompson and junior guard Shannon Scott — have at times looked like the player OSU can look to for points. Scott most recently put up 18 points in a loss against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, but perhaps the Buckeyes don’t need someone to step up on a consistent basis. Were it not for a missed 3-pointer by Craft, OSU would have had an opportunity to advance to the Big Ten title game against Michigan State, a team it beat a week earlier. If OSU has won 25 games this season with a rotation of players scoring behind Ross, what is to say they need a second strong shooter now? If OSU does make a deep run in the Big Dance, do not be shocked to see different names at the top of the scoring sheet following each game. 5. Buckeye post playIt’s no secret that OSU hasn’t looked for much from its postgame all season. Junior centers Amir Williams and Trey McDonald combine to average just 10.1 points per game, a far cry from what Sullinger used to do two years ago. But Williams, the starter, found himself on the bench during the important moments of the loss to the Wolverines Saturday in favor of McDonald. Matta is known for sticking with a hot lineup when his team needs a boost, so it will be interesting to see which player comes to play in the tournament. Winning in the postseason is very difficult without a solid low post game, so for OSU to have a chance, one of (or both) players will need to step up. OSU coach Thad Matta encourages his players during a game against Nebraska March 14 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. OSU won, 71-67.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe Lantern sports editors share their insight on what fans should know about Thursday’s matchup against Dayton in the second round of the NCAA tournament. 1. Does Thad Matta extend his streak of Sweet Sixteens to five?Even with the departure of players like Evan Turner, Jon Diebler, William Buford, Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas, coach Thad Matta has helped the Buckeyes sustain a consistent level of success in the NCAA Tournament. In each of the last four years, Matta has led OSU to at least the Sweet Sixteen — twice advancing even deeper into the Big Dance — the only coach in the country to do so. But this season might prove one of the tougher challenges for Matta. With Dayton in the second round providing a stiff challenge with talented 3-point shooters, OSU will likely have to fight to win their first game. But it is in the next round that looms perhaps the bigger challenge. No. 3-seed Syracuse, who started the season 25-0 before losing five of its final seven games, is heavily favored to advance past No. 14-seed Western Michigan in the second round, and sports a zone defense that is likely to be difficult for OSU to handle. The Buckeyes have struggled at times this season against a zone, and perhaps no one runs the zone better than Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. Not the easiest road for a team that is 208th in the country in points per game. 3. Defense wins championshipsAll the talk of OSU’s below-average offense this season leads to one thing seeming to get ignored: the Buckeyes still have a phenomenal defense. On the season, OSU is 12th in the country in average points allowed per game with just 59.8, and is led by two players who were named to the Big Ten all-defensive team. Craft in particular — who was named Big Ten defensive player of the year for the second time in three years and is the conference’s all-time leader in steals — will be the rock for a defense that will hope to cover the holes created by offensive issues. It is often said that offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. If that is the case, OSU must like its chances to make a run. Although, if the Buckeyes allow more than 70 points to their opponent — second-round matchup Dayton is averaging 73.4 this year — Matta’s squad might be in danger. This season, OSU has only allowed 70 or more points six times, going 0-6 in those games. The Buckeyes are good on defense, but it might not be enough this year. 4. A proper senior sendoffAll season long, players like Thompson and Scott have had nothing but good things to say about the two Buckeye seniors in Craft and Smith Jr. Both were the fastest players in program history to 100 wins, doing so Nov. 29 with a 99-64 win against North Florida in their 119th game for the Scarlet and Gray. After falling to Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament, Craft and Smith Jr. — along with the rest of the roster — watched Selection Sunday in Columbus for the first time in their careers. The team is a No. 6 seed in the Big Dance, the first time its been lower than a No. 2 in the guards’ careers. But sending the two seniors off properly is sure to be on the rest of the team’s mind heading into the second round game against Dayton. An early exit surely will put a dent on their illustrious careers. read more

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Barzagli expects a special game for Bonucci

first_imgLeonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli used to be teammates but the first one moved to AC Milan this summer and now, these two teams are about to face each other at Juventus Stadium.For Bonucci, it will be the first time to stand on this ground as an opponent – Barzagli insisted that it won’t be special for Juventus but for sure, it is going to be special for Bonucci.The Italy defender spoke about his former teammate as he said, according to Calcio Mercato:Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“Bonucci? For us, it won’t make much of a difference but this will be a special game for Leo. He will make his return here in Turin as he will be playing against many of his friends. It will be funny to see him in another jersey but then we will be all business like usual. Real Madrid? We would be making a big mistake if we focus on Real since we first have to play against AC Milan.”“The Rossoneri will give it their all so it won’t be easy for us. Napoli are playing well and they will keep putting pressure on us so we have to focus on one game at a time. We have important objectives to reach. These two games against AC Milan and Real Madrid will be crucial for our entire season….”last_img read more

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Japan ready for Colombia with or without Rodriguez

first_imgAmid the growing uncertainty surrounding James Rodriguez’s availability for Colombia in their World Cup opener, Japan’s Yuto Nagatomo insists that they will not change their approach regardlessThe Bayern Munich loan star produced a man-of-the-match display in Colombia’s 4-1 thrashing of Japan in the 2014 World Cup at Brazil.However, his availability for the Tricolors for Tuesday’s Group H opener appears to be in doubt due to a left calf problem.Rodriguez had been absent from Bayern earlier this season with a similar calf problem and he trained separately from the national squad on Thursday and was absent altogether the next day.But for Nagatomo it changes nothing as Japan prepare for their sixth successive appearance at a World Cup.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.“Nothing changes. Whether (Rodriguez) plays or not, no matter who lines up for our opponents, the way we approach the game doesn’t change,” said Nagatomo, according to Japan Times.“The team and coach (Akira) Nishino have a strategy in place that doesn’t depend on whether a certain player is or isn’t in the opposing lineup.”While the Samurai Blue are prepared, either way, midfielder Genki Haraguchi admitted that they would prefer for Rodriguez to be unavailable for Colombia.“He’s their key player, so from our point of view, if he’s not playing, it makes things easier,” said the 27-year-old.The match will take place at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on Tuesday.last_img read more

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Shakhtar Donetsk boss impressed by Hoffenheim

first_imgShakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca felt that Hoffenheim proved doubters wrong in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw between the sidesIn an enthralling game at Metalist Stadium, Shakhtar twice came back from a goal down to seal a 2-2 draw with Hoffenheim after goals from Dos Santos and De Andrade Barberan cancelled out Florian Grillitsch and Havard Nordtveit’s earlier efforts for the visitors.But, while impressed with Hoffenheim, Fonseca felt that they had given the Bundesliga side a helping hand by some poor defensive work before the break.“We expected such a tough game. I had heard that many people didn’t believe in Hoffenheim but this team have shown they are capable of playing aggressive and attacking football,” the Portuguese said on SportsMax.RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich, Robert LewadowskiMatch Preview: RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 RB Leipzig will have the chance to prove their title-winning capabilities when they host Bayern Munich today at 18:30 (CET).“They played very well. We didn’t defend in the best way as we gave them lots of space.”Goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov’s error to come off the line in a corner-kick enabled defender Nordtveit to give Hoffenheim a 2-1 lead into half-time.“I don’t blame Pyatov – he’s the best goalkeeper in Ukraine,” Fonseca added.Meanwhile, Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann became the Champions League’s youngest ever manager in the game.last_img read more

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