A Low-Energy House for Northern Minnesota

first_img BLOGS BY ELDEN LINDAMOOD Foundation and Nailbase Details for a Minnesota HouseInstalling Windows in a Minnesota House Relative Humidity and Makeup Air at a Tight Minnesota HouseA Follow-up From Northern Minnesota Nailbase panels on the exterior side of the 2×6 wallsThe main item that was the subject of the most consideration on this house was the wall assembly (see Image #4, below). Since wall assemblies are often the hottest debate topic here, let’s start with that.For the above-grade walls, I knew I wanted at least an R-45 assembly to meet my energy goals. I also initially wanted stone exterior cladding. As a result, the original plan utilized Quad-Loc ICF wall construction which I arrived at for a number of reasons. I wasn’t comfortable putting a masonry cladding over a high-R wood-framed wall, and I liked the security of a relatively storm-proof and rot proof ICF wall system.The pricing for the stone work came in astronomically high, as did the “Plan B” brick option. This reality, combined with the facts that nobody in my area was familiar with Quad-Loc forms, and the nearest supplier was 200 miles away, started to chip away at the ICF wall strategy.Ultimately, the cost of the concrete for the walls plus the nagging global-warming-potential guilt put the final nail in the ICF coffin. I begrudgingly decided to opt for a wood-framed wall with wood siding over a furred rainscreen.Our design firm has done many double-stud walls with dense-packed cellulose. My builder of choice was also familiar with double-stud wall construction and had proved to be meticulous at detailing an interior vapor retarder/air barrier, achieving impressive blower door results well below my target.However I have been increasingly concerned about the potential for moisture problems with double-stud walls, and more and more interested in continuous exterior foam strategies. I had numerous conversations with other nerdy types about the merits of using the structural sheathing as the air barrier in the assembly and concluded that it was the best strategy. Just like everybody else hoping to grace the world with the “perfect wall” solution, I was off to the drawing board (again).Our office has done a few projects with single-stud walls wrapped in multiple layers of rigid polyisocyanurate foam, and we got quite a bit of feedback from our builders that the assemblies were time-consuming and a bit fussy. Lots of cutting and fitting, long cap-nails required to hold the water-resistive barrier (WRB) in place, and the need for fairly substantial furring to meet the nail holding requirements of most sidings. Regardless, I likely would have pursued this route with my own house, rationalizing that the form was simple and thus it wouldn’t cost much — but then I stumbled onto nailbase panels.Nailbase panels are a product offered by many SIP manufacturers, and they are available in numerous specified thicknesses of EPS foam with a layer of 7/16” OSB bonded to one side only. Usually marketed as a retrofit product, we got to thinking about their potential for new construction.Since we are essentially eliminating the structural component from the SIP, we amuse ourselves in the office by calling them IPs. I never personally cared much for SIP construction because the reliance on glue to hold the whole works together leaves me feeling uneasy. Also, the effort to run electrical and other services in the exterior walls seemed overly complicated. In contrast, the IPs come in 4’ x 8’ sheets, with notches on every panel edge for an OSB spline to connect adjoining panels. There is no internal or panel edge framing. You simply cut them to size, apply sealant to the edges and screw them to the framed structural wall.The following are some things I like about the IP wall:The ability to cut the IPs to size on site allows for easy changes and adjustments that SIPs don’t.Attaching them to the outside of a framed structural wall makes framing the house walls easy, lets me utilize my exterior structural sheathing as the assembly’s air barrier.Keeps the structural sheathing on the warm side of the wall (unlike double-stud walls).Leaves the interior wall cavity open for whatever you want to stuff into it.With the structural sheathing as the air barrier on the exterior side of the wall cavity I also don’t need to mess with airtight boxes or excessive sealants at mechanical and electrical penetrations at the interior.The premium grade OSB that SIP manufacturers use makes furring and/or siding attachment simple.A few of my reservations about the IPs are:Uses a lot of foamThey make a mess when cutting with power tools.With the 8-inch nailbase panel you get an R-29. That alone would meet code in our climate even if I chose to leave the framed wall cavity empty. I chose to fill the cavities with dense-packed cellulose because I wanted the additional R-value and the cellulose installer will be on site to do the attic insulation anyway. I may also decide to insulate the cavities with fiberglass batts myself, and the consequences of a “do-it-yourself” quality job will be minimized by the continuous exterior insulation.With my sheathing nestled within the wall’s thermal boundary, the ratio of exterior to interior insulation is 1.38 (29/21), which is safely above the 0.7 minimum that the IECC calls for to allow a Class III vapor retarder to be used. Thus, my interior vapor retarder will be two layers of standard latex paint on the interior side of all exterior walls. I considered, for a time, that maybe I should still install a polyamide (“smart”) vapor retarder on the warm side, but at the end of the day I convinced myself that it isn’t necessary.I am the kind of person who might cut into my walls in a few years to see how the sheathing looks. When I do, I’ll send in the report. For now, we are going full speed ahead to enclose the structure before the deep Minnesota snow falls. I have already made a few concessions to keep the builder happy, so look forward to those in the next installment. I am an architect. I have spent the last five years thinking about, sketching, drafting, changing, overanalyzing, second guessing, and fretting about the house that my partner Catherine and I would someday build on our rural land in northern Minnesota. This is probably not unlike the experience of many non-architect dreamers, but the difference is that I am armed with AutoCAD and REMDesign energy modeling software to analyze every conceivable scenario.I also like building science. The firm that I work for, Wagner Zaun Architecture, encourages me to learn and think hard about many aspects of building performance, durability, cost effectiveness, and efficiency, and how they all relate to design and aesthetics. This, as many of you will attest, leads to more questions… and fear. If I push the thermal performance, will I compost my walls? The energy model says 12,000 BTU/h is my peak load: Is that really enough? Will the builder laugh at my “brilliant” flashing detail that took me three hours to draw?Despite my background, I am burdened with the same issues that all other dreamers are. I have a not-quite-big-enough budget. I want a house that is not too big and not too small. I want an energy-efficient house with passive solar features that doesn’t look like the awkward love-child of the Saskatchewan Conservation House and an Earthship. I want a house that is beautiful and durable. I want a house that is environmentally sensitive and responsible. I want a house that enters into a conversation with our land, not one that holds dominion over it. I want a house that I will love. A single-story house with a slab-on-grade foundationOn October 12, 2015, the rubber hit the road and we started construction. I can’t endlessly tweak (fuss over) plans and details any longer. The bank owns my soul, and the excavator is on site making a house-shaped scar on our previously pristine site.This installment is an explanation of the concepts employed in the design of our dream house, with reflection on some of the choices and struggles. This will be followed with future ruminations on progress, lessons learned, and concessions made in the face of reality.The “final” design is a one-story, slab-on-grade house (see Images #2 and #3, below). It is a two-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath home with an additional small office for farm operations. The main house is 1,668 gross square feet (1,575 conditioned square feet) with an additional 250 square foot screened porch.As I said, I am a building science nerd, so I’ll cut to the quick. The stats for the house are as follows:Climate Zone 7, with 9,500 HDD and 250 CDDA dead-flat site with good solar exposureUnder slab insulation: a continuous horizontal layer (8 inches) of Type IX EPS (R-35)Walls: 2×6 framed structural cavity wall with R-21 dense-packed cellulose or fiberglass batts, with the structural Zip sheathing serving as an air barrier, and 7 3/8-inch EPS nailbase panels on the exterior (R-29) for a total of R-50Ceiling: Engineered roof trusses with 20-inch-deep energy heel and 24 inches of blown cellulose (R-80)Windows: Duxton Fiberglass windows with 1 3/8-inch triple-pane IGUs with argon gas fill and Cardinal 180 coatings on surfaces #2 and #5; center-of-glass specs: U-factor = 0.13; SHGC = 0.56, VT = 70%Airtightness target: 1 ach50 or lessThe design goal for the house was to take full advantage of the good solar exposure and to reduce the mechanical load to a level where a minisplit heat pump would take care of the majority of my heating needs. Although we have very few cooling degree days, the notion of air conditioning and humidity control is appealing to me, which also prompted the desire to use a minisplit.I wanted to have an all-electric house so that I could eventually offset the majority, if not all of my consumption with photovoltaic (PV) panels. Aside from a propane cooktop (one of the few requests from my very patient partner), which will be fed from a 100-gallon propane bottle, the house will be entirely electric. Although our region’s current electrical grid supply is very coal-dependent and propane is cheaper, I rationalized that I am reducing my load to a point that I can easily offset it with PV later, and I won’t be reliant on a propane delivery truck. Also, I am more afraid of gas than electricity, which may not be totally rational, but I am calling the shots. Elden Lindamood is an architect with Wagner Zaun Architecture in Duluth, Minnesota.center_img A frost-protected shallow foundationThe first item I grappled with was the foundation. I initially wanted a frost-depth stem wall (which is 5’-0” below grade here) just because it “felt right.” However, in the face of incremental cost increases and above-grade wall changes discussed below, I eventually arrived at a frost-protected shallow foundation.Another factor influencing the choice was the very high water table on our site. I have dug many post holes on the site that fill up with water three feet down.Once construction started, we discovered that creating the foundation forms with foam is fairly time-consuming (see Image #1 at the top of the page), and for future projects I want to look into a flat structural slab sitting in a simpler tub of foam. They might require a thicker slab with more steel, but the labor savings might be better than the additional cost to form a thickened-edge slab. RELATED ARTICLES A Superinsulated House in Rural Minnesota Q&A: How risky is a single layer nailbase SIP over a single stud wall with sealed sheathing? Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations Heating and cooling provided by a ducted minisplitThe mechanicals are as follows:Heating/cooling: Ducted Fujitsu 12RLFCD minisplit heat pump, single zone; backup consists of 6 electric radiant cove panels with individual thermostatic controls, totaling 3,450 watts; a small wood stove in the center of the houseDomestic hot water: 50 gallon electric-resistance Marathon storage tank water heaterElectric clothes dryer with through-the-wall exhaustElectric oven with a propane cooktop and a range hood rated at less than 300 cfm; makeup air unit with 1000-watt electric resistance heater tied to the range hood and clothes dryerVenmar E15 HRV, exhausting bathrooms and near kitchen, and supplying into the minisplit supply ducts.I intend to monitor the electrical usage on the main house feed along with the individual radiant cove circuits to determine how often they kick on and under what conditions. We also have 30 acres of poplar woods to feed the woodstove. Poplar isn’t great firewood, but it is free and I’ll have more than enough deadfall to keep us warm after the energy apocalypse.last_img read more

Fusing Green and Universal Design

first_imgA toilet with a 17-inch-high seatWhen choosing a toilet, select one that will use less water. WaterSense labeled toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or superior performance.Select a toilet that is a little taller than the standard toilet which is 15 inches from the floor to the top of the seat. A 17-inch-high toilet seat makes it easier to get on and off, to transfer to and from a wheelchair.Also, install a grab bar on the wall next to the toilet to make transfers safer and easier. The grab bar should be positioned at a height that is convenient for the occupant, generally between 33 inches and 36 inches from the floor. Be sure to reinforce the wall with plywood or wood blocking to secure the grab bar (see Images #4, #5, and #6, below). Consider long-term value when weighing the initial product costWhen comparing prices on products that have green and universal design features compared to those that do not, recognize the benefits to the occupants and the saving in the long run. Universal design features provide more independence, safety, accessibility, and comfort. Green features provide energy and water savings.In view of the benefits over the long haul, the investment in these products becomes an easy choice. Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. works with architects, designers, builders, and consumers that want to create inspired and livable homes (web site: UDDL.com). She is an internationally known speaker, consultant, and author (RosemarieSpeaks.com). Her newest resource, the Universal Design Toolkit, is an illustrated 200-page e-book with online videos and webinars. The concept of universal design has been embraced by architects, interior designers, and other design and building professionals since the 1980s. It is a framework for the design of living and working spaces and products benefiting the widest possible range of people in the widest range of situations without special or separate design. Universal design is human-centered design, accommodating people of all sizes, ages, and abilities. Universal design creates social justice, providing opportunities for more personal activity and mobility.Having lived in the Universal Design Living Laboratory using a wheelchair for the past five years, I have a unique perspective. I have learned the importance of space planning and that small differences in the width of a door, height of a threshold, or slope of a ramp can impact a person’s independence. I have experienced the joy of rolling on hardwood and tile flooring. No longer do I have sore shoulders as I did when rolling on the carpet in my previous home. Safety features like grab bars in the toileting area and shower have kept me from falling, and they make transfers easier. Life is easier when a home includes universal design features and products. RELATED ARTICLES Engineered hardwood flooringWhen the time came to select flooring, we knew that the flooring had to be easy to roll on in a wheelchair or walker. We selected a hickory veneer engineered hardwood flooring with a matt finish to prevent glare. We installed this flooring on a 4 mm. thin acoustic underlay engineered from recycled rubber tires (see Image #2, below). This mat reduces the sound transmission through subfloors and is softer on people’s joints when walking.In a universal design home, there are green options for hardwood flooring. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass and is harder than maple or oak. Eucalyptus is a hard and durable wood that is harder than cherry or walnut.If carpeting is preferred in a home, select one that is easy to roll on in a wheelchair. Choose a carpet with a thin pad underneath and a low pile. One green recycled fiber carpet choice is made of polyester fiber recovered from plastic soda bottles. Wool carpets are also considered green. Incorporating green features and productsWhen my husband and I began the planning process to design our home we wanted to include green features and products in addition to universal design. We were aware that a green home is healthier, conserves natural resources, protects the environment, is more energy-efficient and sustainable. The concept of being sustainable has three components: environmental, economic, and social.In 2009, when my husband and I were reviewing the LEED certification application with the U.S. Green Building Council for our home, we discovered that no points would be earned for the universal design features in our home. I had a discussion with representatives of the USGBC and asked, “How can a home be sustainable if it isn’t accessible?”The USGBC was receptive to my suggestion that points be added to the LEED certification program for universal design features. They hired a consultant who interviewed me and others to create a list of universal design and visitable features that would be added to the next version of the LEED application. Visitable features in a home enable people who use wheelchairs and walkers access into the home through a no-step entrance, a 36-inch-wide entry door, and access to a half bathroom on the first floor.A home that is socially sustainable will serve the family that lives in the home for many years. People will be able to enter the home easily, even if they use wheelchairs and walkers. Universal design features and products improve the occupant’s ability to be independent. When universal design features are incorporated into the home design from the beginning, there is less likelihood that the home will need to be remodeled should the occupants acquire a disability or sustain an injury.As a result of our planning and construction practices, our home earned a Silver LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. It received a Gold rating on the National Green Building Standard certification program through the National Association of Home Builders. Selecting products that support green and universal designWhen we began selecting the construction materials, products, and appliances, we evaluated each of them on the criteria that they be both green and universal design. We read labels looking for the structural components that may offgas volatile organic compounds. We looked for verification that they were energy-efficient, made of sustainable products or recycled materials, and used less water.Here are a few of the products that we selected that are both green and universal design.center_img Universal DesignGreen Building and Aging-in-Place DesignKitchen for a LifetimeVideo: Tile a Barrier-Free BathroomResidential Remodeling and Universal Design Wide doors with lever handlesTo make each room more accessible for people who use wheelchairs or scooters, install 36-inch-wide doors. Also, install lever handles rather that door knobs (see Image #8, below). Lever handles are easier to operate for people with paralysis or arthritis. The cost difference for these wider doors and lever handles is minimal. The benefits are long-lasting, providing for independence and greater access to the entire home.Exterior door thresholds should be ½ inch or lower to be easier to roll over in a wheelchair. The exterior main door should have multiple height peepholes or include glass in the design so that all residents can view the porch to see who is there.Heavily insulated fiberglass exterior doors are a weather-resistant energy-efficient green solution. Select interior doors made from fast-growing wood species like poplar or from lumber certified by a credible third-party certification program like the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. On June 13, 1998, my husband, Mark Leder, and I went for a bicycle ride on a rural wooded trail in Granville, Ohio. After riding for a few minutes, Mark thought he heard a gunshot and slowed down to investigate. As he scanned the scene he saw a large tree falling. He shouted, “Stop!” But the warning was too late. I was crushed by a 7,000-pound tree and paralyzed from the waist down.Coming home from the hospital in a manual wheelchair after my spinal cord injury, I realized how my two-story home intensified my disability. My husband and I knew that we had to sell our home and find something more suitable.In September 2004, we hired an architect to draw the house plans for our new home in Columbus, Ohio. There was a steep learning curve for me in ramping up to build our home. We assembled a team of interior designers and over 200 corporate contributors to assist us. Serving as the general contractors, my husband and I spent 32 months building our home.This home, named the “Universal Design Living Laboratory,” is the top-rated universal design home in North America; earning three national universal design certifications. (Here is the link to take a virtual tour of our home.) Permeable landscape paversWhen selecting landscape pavers, consider those that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They meet pedestrian slip-resistance standards with a static coefficient of friction of 0.8 and offer smooth travel for people using wheelchairs.Permeable pavers allow for rain and melted snow to percolate through the pavers, making these a green choice (see Image #9, below). In an environment with freezing temperatures, these permeable pavers are a great choice since water doesn’t accumulate and they are less likely to ice over and are therefore safer to walk on. Casement windowsA way to save on heating and cooling bills is to install multiple pane low-e windows filled with argon gas. Some types of low-e coatings significantly block the sun’s ultraviolet rays.Casement windows are preferred to double-hung windows due to their ease of operating, especially for a person who uses a wheelchair (see Image #3, below). These windows allow more air circulation due to the size of the operating sash. The window locks must be reachable from a seated position. Adjustable showerheads and hand showersAdjustable height hand showers mounted on a vertical bar provide more benefits than a showerhead mounted on a shower wall (see Image #7, below). Hand showers should have at least a 6-foot-long hose. People who need to be seated in order to take a shower have the independence and greater adjustability to position the showerhead on the vertical bar. This bar on many models is constructed so that it also serves as a grab bar. Additional horizontal grab bars will be needed in the shower for safety.Showerheads on hand showers should be lightweight and ergonomic. Ranges in cost may be due to a number of factors including material composition, integrated technology, size, style, functional design, finish, and the life of the warranty.To conserve the amount of water used to take a shower, select a showerhead that is WaterSense labeled. The specification is that the maximum flow rate value of the showerhead must be equal to or less than 2.0 gallons of water per minute. Water is conserved by mixing more air into the water stream. By installing high-efficiency hand showers, the average household could save more than 2,300 gallons of water per year. Since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, households will also save on energy costs.last_img read more

10 months agoMan City boss Guardiola tribute to Sterling after goalscoring cameo

first_imgMan City boss Guardiola tribute to Sterling after goalscoring cameoby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City boss Pep Guardiola was pleased to see Raheem Sterling on the scoresheet for victory over Everton.Sterling came off the bench to score in the 3-1 win.”Raheem – when he has no time to think in front of goal – he’s always good,” Guardiola said.”The cross was amazing from Fernandinho and it was a great finish. We are not the tallest team in the world but after just a few minutes, it was an important goal for him and everyone. “I see him so calm. I think he has handled the last years in many situations and rumours – not nice things about him or his family or the colour of his skin. I admire him and appreciate that it’s not easy for him.”He’s loved by all staff and in the locker room.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

6 days agoNewcastle boss Bruce: England will happen for Longstaff brothers

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle boss Bruce: England will happen for Longstaff brothersby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United boss Steve Bruce says the Longstaff brothers are capable of playing for England.Sean, 21, and Matty, 19, have never been involved with the national team at any level and, until recently, were not part of the list of young players being tracked inside St George’s Park.But Bruce said: “I think they just have to be given time. They will find their way if they’re playing regularly.”I would think in the next few weeks, if they’re both going to be in the team, then they will come under the spotlight. Gareth has a blueprint of putting young players in and changing it, which is quite refreshing.”So if they keep playing to a certain level, everything will find them, whether it’s international call-ups, new contracts, new cars, the whole lot will fall into place.” last_img read more

In the news today Sept 10

first_imgFive stories in the news for Tuesday, Sept. 10———NEW WEB TOOL AIMS TO HELP FIND MISSING KIDSThousands of children are reported missing across the country each year but only a handful of Amber Alerts are issued, potentially leaving large numbers of people who might be able to help find them in the dark. Now, a new website that aims to reach far more people than is currently the case — especially those who might be close to where the child went missing — is launching today. Based on information provided by police, Missing Children’s Society of Canada’s Rescu website allows users to view all active cases by geographic region. Names, photographs and other relevant data about a missing child is available at the click of a mouse. Users who might have useful information can provide tips by clicking on the name or picture of the child.———HOSPITAL TESTING YOUTH SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAMRising youth suicide rates have prompted doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to launch a clinical trial aimed at testing whether involving families in treatment could prevent deaths across the country. The six-week program involves adolescents who showed up at the hospital’s emergency department before or after they attempted to take their own lives, and recruitment will continuing into next year. Child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Daphne Korczak says randomized trials aren’t as common for mental health problems, especially those involving children, but that’s the gold standard for trials testing medications, for example, and the team is aiming to come up with a standardized strategy.———MANITOBANS GO TO THE POLLS TODAYBrian Pallister is seeking a second mandate for his Progressive Conservatives in the Manitoba election today with a to-do list that includes further cost cuts and reduced taxes. Pallister won 40 of 57 seats, the largest majority government in Manitoba in a century, in 2016 after the former NDP government raised the provincial sales tax and angered voters. Pallister reversed the tax increase in July and launched the election campaign a month later, more than a year ahead of schedule. Opinion polls have consistently suggested a sizable lead for the Tories provincewide, but a tight race with the NDP in Winnipeg, where most of the seats are. The New Democrats have focused on Pallister’s health-care reforms throughout the four-week campaign and have promised to reverse some of the changes.———FEDERAL TORIES READY TO LAUNCH LEADER’S TOURThe Conservative campaign machine revs up in earnest this week, with two events scheduled tomorrow in places where the party aims to increase its support come the Oct. 21 vote. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will fuel up the tank on his campaign bus for a first stop in Trois-Rivieres, Que., one of several Quebec ridings into which the party has been pouring resources to win seats it’s never held in its modern incarnation. From there, Scheer is to move on to the Toronto area, specifically the riding of Vaughan-Woodbridge, newly created for the 2015 election and won by the Liberals. The geographical area, however, had previously been represented by Conservative and former top Toronto cop Julian Fantino. All three federal parties have been in campaign mode for weeks, despite the fact an election has yet to be officially called.———DOCUMENTARY LOOKS AT MEDICAL CARE FOR INDIGENOUS KIDSAlanis Obomsawin releases her 53rd film at the Toronto International Film Festival today. Her film, “Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger,” examines the legacy of a boy from Norway House Cree Nation who was born with a rare muscle disorder. Jordan spent the five years of his life in a Winnipeg hospital because the federal and provincial governments could not agree who should pay for his transfer to home-based care. The case inspired a 2007 law known as Jordan’s Principle, which was supposed to guarantee equal access to health care and services but was continually ignored in ensuing years. The film will also screen at the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival in Halifax, the Calgary International Film Festival, and Vancouver International Film Festival, with more festivals to come.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Trial continues today for David Petersen after he pleaded not guilty on a charge of uttering threats against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Parliament.— Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will release its preliminary housing start data for August.— A public inquest will be held today into the death of Ryan Donard. RCMP said Donard was running from officers when he went into the Fond du Lac River. His body was later found in the water.— Finance Minister Carole James will provide an update today on B.C.’s fiscal outlook. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Canada adds 32300 jobs all full time as jobless rate stays at

first_imgOTTAWA – The economy delivered 32,300 net new jobs last month as Canada generated a rush of full-time work that helped keep the national unemployment rate at its record low.Statistics Canada said Friday the jobless rate stayed at 5.8 per cent in March for a second-consecutive month — and for the third time since December — to match its lowest mark since the agency started measuring the indicator in 1976. The only other time the rate slipped to this level was 2007.The March gains were driven by a surge in full-time work. The labour-market survey showed the workforce added 68,300 full-time positions, while the number of part-time jobs decreased by 35,900.However, the data also reveal that 19,600 of the new employee positions were created in the public sector. By comparison, the number of private-sector workers declined by 7,000.Average hourly wage growth, which has been under close scrutiny by the Bank of Canada ahead of interest-rate decisions, strengthened in March to 3.3 per cent, up from 3.1 per cent the previous month.The central bank, which will make its next rate announcement later this month, has repeatedly highlighted wage growth as a key indicator. Wage growth has been moving upwards since it bottomed out at 0.5 per cent in April 2017.Central Canada saw the biggest job gains in March as the two largest provinces — Ontario and Quebec — each added more than 10,000 net new positions.Quebec gained 16,000 net new jobs, including 28,600 full-time positions, while Ontario added 10,600 net new jobs, including 16,300 full-time positions.For Ontario, however, the gain only represented a 0.1 per cent increase compared to the previous month. Quebec saw growth of 0.4 per cent.By percentage, Saskatchewan and Alberta each saw solid monthly growth. Saskatchewan’s labour force expanded 0.7 per cent, while Alberta’s grew 0.4 per cent.The youth unemployment rate dipped last month to 10.9 per cent, down from 11.1 per cent in February, following a net gain of 17,700 new jobs.By industry, goods-producing sectors added 21,700 positions, mostly in construction. Services sectors created 10,600 jobs, with the bulk of the increase coming from new positions in public administration.Compared with 12 months earlier, the national workforce grew 1.6 per cent following the creation of 296,200 jobs — with the entire increase fuelled by 335,200 new full-time positions.But the latest numbers still suggest there are signs that Canada’s red-hot labour market could be starting to cool down, as widely expected.Statistics Canada said employment declined by about 40,000 jobs over the first three months of 2018 for a decline of 0.2 per cent.— Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

Twitter removes accounts linked to Alex Jones Infowars

first_imgTwitter has removed some accounts thought to be used to circumvent a ban on conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and Infowars, the company said Tuesday.A Twitter spokesman confirmed that the accounts had been removed but provided no additional comment. The company says it usually does not discuss specific accounts.Twitter permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope in early September, later than many other tech companies such as Apple and Facebook. It said it based that action in reports of tweets and videos that violated its policy against abusive behaviour.The ban underscored the difficulty many social-media services face in trying to consistently apply their rules against harassment and other bad behaviour. It was also likely from the start that Jones and his supporters would find ways to get around Twitter’s ban by setting up new accounts or posting from existing accounts that were not part of the initial purge.Twitter said Tuesday it would continue to evaluate reports regarding other accounts potentially associated with @realalexjones or @infowars and would take action if it finds content that violates its rules or if other accounts are used to try to circumvent their ban.As of Tuesday afternoon, an account for Alex Jones podcasts was still up on Twitter, as was another called “InfowarsFeed” that hasn’t tweeted since 2008.Other tech companies, including PayPal, YouTube, Apple and Spotify, have limited or banned Jones’ activities on their sites.Infowars has said the moves are intended to sabotage the site just weeks before the midterm elections.On Twitter and elsewhere, Jones has done such things as describe survivors of a shooting in Parkland, Florida, “crisis actors” and saying the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 was fake. He had about 900,000 followers on Twitter. Infowars had about 430,000.last_img read more

Edmunds Black Friday isnt what it used to be

first_imgOver the last decade, Black Friday weekend became a bona-fide sales event in the car business. In 2015, for example, it accounted for more than 18 per cent of all car deals made that month.But Black Friday isn’t the sales juggernaut it once was.Just as other retailers now push “Early Black Friday” sales right after Halloween and online brands hype their Cyber Monday specials, carmakers have morphed Black Friday into Black November — and beyond. In 2017, Black Friday weekend represented less than 14 per cent of the month’s sales. Edmunds analysts expect this downward trend to continue this year.For car shoppers, the trend translates to greater flexibility and less stress. Here’s what you need to know about getting a great deal.THE LEFTOVER EFFECTThe sales season is extending partly because carmakers are more willing to let outgoing models linger at dealership lots.The trend showed up in earnest early this year. In March 2018, roughly 28 per cent of new vehicles sold were brand-new 2017 models. Compare that with the previous five years, where leftover inventory made up just 12 per cent of March sales on average.Edmunds analysts predict that at least 20 per cent of new vehicles for sale early next year will be 2018 models. Based on inventory levels of new 2018 models currently on dealer lots, expect to see a good supply of new 2018 midsize sedans, midsize SUVs and compact SUVs as late as March 2019, along with specials to move them out.If you’re a bargain hunter, that’s good news. Instead of having to shop on just one weekend, you have more time to snag a great deal.SHOULD I BUY NOW?Start price-shopping immediately if you know the make and model you want. Once you’ve got a good feel for how much the car will cost now, you may want to pull the trigger if you fall into any of these categories:— You’re planning to lease your next vehicle: Because of the way leases are calculated, waiting isn’t likely to help you.— Your local dealership is running an aggressive promotion: It’s possible that a dealership selling the brand you’re after might have a unique sales goal to hit. It could offer Black Friday incentives to get you to buy now. Free iPads, televisions or in-house zero per cent interest loans are some of the perks dealerships have used to entice shoppers in years past.— You’re looking for something specific: The longer you wait, the less selection you’ll have. While prices on 2018 models may continue their slide through the first quarter of 2019, a low price on the wrong vehicle is a bad compromise.— The vehicle you’re eyeing has a special low-interest rate offer: Interest rates are rising, and that trend is expected to continue. If you’ve found an attractive price on the right car, and the interest rate is a good one (given the times), you might want to make a deal. If you wait for a lower selling price but get saddled with a higher interest rate, you haven’t done yourself any favours.SHOULD I WAIT?You may want to consider holding off on your purchase if you fall into any of these categories:— You plan to purchase with cash: As cars languish on dealer lots, chances are that good prices will go even lower. If you’re paying cash and aren’t concerned with rising interest rates, waiting may save you money.— Your vehicle needs are flexible: Most of the hot products are going to be sold first. If you don’t mind selecting from what’s left in exchange for a lower selling price, it may make sense to wait.— Your credit is iffy: Maybe you can’t get a low interest rate now because of your credit profile, but you still want to get a heavily discounted clearance vehicle. Use this time to improve your credit standing so you’ll be able to take advantage of clearance pricing and a low interest rate in early 2019.EDMUNDS SAYS: Black Friday is still an excellent time to buy a car. But unlike the doorbuster deals at your local big-box retailer, the Black Friday specials at a car dealership are likely to be around well after the holiday weekend.____This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Matt Jones is a senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds. Twitter: @supermattjones.Related links:— A Car Shopping Plan for Holiday Weekends https://edmu.in/2lRtrUo— 25 Tips for Easier Family Car Shopping https://edmu.in/2hdlGH3— The Best Time to Buy a Car https://edmu.in/2hswWmBMatt Jones, The Associated Presslast_img read more

People vote aginst divisive politics in Chandni Chowk

first_imgNEW DELHI: Chandni Chowk is one of the 7 Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi. Voting for Lok Sabha election in Delhi was held in a single phase. Voting in Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency is in the sixth phase on May 12 and counting is on May 23.Voting recorded till 6 pm was 62.69 per cent and the figure may slightly go up as polling continued at several places way beyond the deadline. Polling also started late on some booths while there were reports of EVM malfunctioning in different parts of the city. While , in the 2014 election in Chandni Chowk, 76.15 per cent or 9,82,275 voters had exercised their franchise. Of the 25 contestants who were in the fray, 22 had lost their deposits. After the delimitation of parliamentary constituencies in 2008, Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency was divided into ten Vidhan Sabha segments namely Adarsh Nagar, Shalimar Bagh, Shakur Basti, Tri Nagar, Wazirpur, Model Town, Sadar Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Matia Mahal and Ballimaran. In 2014 Lok Sabha election, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Dr Harsh Vardhan had won the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency with a margin of 1,36,320 votes. Dr Harsh Vardhan had bagged 4,37,938 votes as against Aam Aadmi Party’s Ashutosh who bagged the second spot with 3,01,618 votes. Congress leader Kapil Sibal was pushed to the third spot with 1,76,206 votes. Ramzan, when Muslims observe a total fast, coincided with the polling in Delhi but did not seem to deter voters in the Chandni Chowk area of the old city, save in the early hours. However, as the day progressed, people came out to cast their votes and numbers started increasing in the evening. Around 20 per cent of people living in the area are Muslims. Chandni Chowk is one of the major markets in the city but it wore deserted look on Sunday, when it remains closed. As the polling day fell of a Sunday, this could also account for the lesser numbers, said Mohammad Asif, a trader in Meena Bazar near the Jama Masjid. Meena Jasotani, 47, a resident of Chandni Chowk, said she voted for the development by the Centre. Communal discord also weighed on the mind of several voters.last_img read more

How Two GradeSchoolers Set Off A Tennis Revolution

Evonne Goolagong (left) and Peaches Bartkowicz at Wimbledon in 1970. Daily Express/Getty Images By Carl Bialik When Peaches Bartkowicz and Chris Evert put their left hands above their right hands to grip their tennis racquets, they were girls in grade school unknowingly defying tennis orthodoxy to hit backhands the way that felt most comfortable. Today, more than half a century later, a little girl who hit backhands without using both hands would be the one defying tennis orthodoxy. One-handed backhands have almost completely disappeared from women’s tennis. And that’s thanks in part to the success that Bartkowicz and Evert had with their two-handed backhands. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed The two-handed backhand’s dominance has continued: Its users have won 35 of the last 36 women’s major titles. Every woman in the top 10 and 48 of the top 50 use it. It’s also become the dominant backhand in men’s tennis, though with accomplished one-handed holdouts such as Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem. (Tennis-nerd note: Every player occasionally hits backhands with one hand, especially in defensive positions, either to slice the ball or when forced to take a hand off the racquet to reach the ball. What we’re talking about are how players hit the backhand when they have time to get to the ball and drive it offensively.)Bartkowicz and Evert hit their backhands with two hands because they felt just one didn’t give them enough strength. The two-hander took over pro tennis for similar reasons. Using their off hand on backhands lets players hit with additional power, which gives the ball more speed and spin, especially in concert with the latest racquet and string technology. The one-hander’s advantages — better feel for the ball, more equipped for wide reaches and low bounces, smoother transition to one-handed backhand volleys at net — count less in a game played rarely on low-bouncing, volley-friendly grass and usually contested behind the baseline.The two-handed backhand is especially valuable when returning serves, as the extra support helps to absorb and redirect powerful, high-bouncing shots. Tennis analyst Jeff Sackmann has shown that in men’s pro tennis, players with two-handed backhands get the return in play more often, and win the point more often when they do. Data collected through Sackmann’s crowdsourced Match Charting Project for the women’s game shows the same general trends: Players with two-handed backhands have more success returning serves than do players with one-handed backhands. It’s hard to reach firm conclusions because there are simply so few women hitting one-handed backhands.The dearth of top women using one-handed backhands may be the most compelling data point demonstrating the two-handed backhand’s dominance: If it weren’t the best option, more women would be hitting backhands with one hand. Tennis, like all sports, has its share of domineering coaches, but it is also primarily an individual and individualistic sport. Players command their own games and choose the shots and tactics that will win the most. That makes tennis a sport that breeds innovation, whether it’s among pros at a Slam or among two young girls who chose the backhand that best suited them. And if the one-handed backhand ever makes a comeback in women’s tennis, it might begin with a girl defying orthodoxy and taking one hand off the racquet.Emma Morgenstern contributed research.This is part of our new podcast series “Ahead Of Their Time,” profiling players and managers in various sports who were underappreciated in their era. In the latest installment in our documentary podcast series Ahead Of Their Time, we look at Bartkowicz and Evert, the innovators who brought the two-handed backhand to women’s tennis in a major way. Evert’s story is well-known: She rode her backhand, accuracy and focus to 18 Grand Slam singles titles. Bartkowicz’s is more obscure: After an extraordinary juniors career, she never reached a Grand Slam semifinal as a pro and played her last Slam soon after turning 22. But Bartkowicz’s backhand was ahead of her time. When she was just 12, a photo of her swinging with two hands at the Southern Girls Tennis Tournament appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal. The caption began with the all-caps “TWO HANDS!” and called the shot a “baseball backhand.” When she won the 1965 U.S. Open girls title, The New York Times commended her “tremendous marksmanship” with that shot. By the time she closed out her junior career without a loss at the 1967 U.S. Open, the Philadelphia Inquirer called her “the foremost exponent of the two-handed backhand in women’s competition.”Evert is nearly six years younger than Bartkowicz and was unknown when Bartkowicz’s baseball backhand became famous. But Evert soon surpassed her older rival. She played her first Grand Slam at the 1971 U.S. Open — just two months after Bartkowicz played her last major at Wimbledon — and made the semifinals at age 16. In 1974, Evert won her first two Grand Slam titles, and the first two on record by a woman who hits a two-handed backhand. (A few notable men used two-handed backhands in the 1930s and 1940s, but the shot had mostly fallen back out of favor among men, too, when Bartkowicz and Evert were starting out.) By the time Evert won her last major, in 1986, her signature shot was tightening its grip in the sport, thanks also to its use by men’s champions Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg. And two years after Evert’s retirement, Monica Seles won three of four majors while using two hands on both backhands and forehands.By 2014, when The Economist tracked the decline of one-handed backhands in the pro game, just one woman with a one-handed backhand had won a major since 2008: Francesca Schiavone, at the 2010 French Open. Embed Code read more