Public forum being held on future of the NPCC

first_imgThis is the public’s opportunity have their ideas and options shared on how they would like to see the facility shaped moving into the future.The North Peace Cultural Centre has long been credited as the hub for performances, classes, conferences and other community events in the heart of downtown Fort St. JohnThis is the first in a series of three discussions about the North Peace Cultural Centre.- Advertisement -The first public forum is being held at the North Peace Cultural Centre on Monday February 23, 2015 – commencing at 7:00 p.m.The public forum is being hosted by the Fort St. John Community Arts Council and the North Peace Cultural Society.For more information, call 250 787 2781 or email [email protected]last_img read more

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How to Insulate a Wood Foundation

first_imgNo, exterior foam is not the best ideaJerry Liebler agrees that solving the water problem is certainly a top priority, but on the question of insulation, Holladay’s recommendations fall short. “I respectfully disagree with Martin, who is openly hostile to PWF!” Liebler writes. “How can he justify the assertions about the origin of the guidelines and their lack of basis in building science? Was he involved in their generation, has he even talked to anyone who was? The best way to insulate your basement is not exterior foam!”The best way to insulate the wall is to follow the AWC’s recommendations, he says, which means fiberglass or, alternately, mineral wool in the stud bays. Jeep also should take care to leave the 2-inch gap at the bottom of the wall, as described in the guidelines to prevent water from wicking into interior finish materials.“The performance of the insulation will be degraded unless you achieve a good air barrier with whatever interior finish material you use,” Liebler adds. “In other words, the drywall should be airtight. Even without an air barrier, moisture in the insulation or condensation are not issues. The design is based on wet wood which will dry out if there is proper drainage. Don’t waste good money on spray foam!”If the guidelines on PWFs are followed exactly, Jeep will end up with a warm, dry, energy-efficient basement far superior to what he’d get with a concrete foundation, Liebler says.Advocating the user of exterior foam on a PWF is “nothing more than a blatant attempt to eliminate the clear advantage (low-cost insulation) of PWF over concrete,” he says, adding, “A PWF differs from interior wood walls in a concrete tub in that drainage is available for any condensate which is not the case in a concrete tub.” Green Basics: Foundation TypesHow to Insulate a Basement WallFixing a Wet BasementWater Tables and BasementsQ&A: How to Protect a Wood FoundationQ&A: Insulating a P.W.F. (Permanent Wood Foundation) There’s No Relief in Sight for Beleaguered Connecticut Homeowners Concrete vs. wood foundationJeep also pokes at the notion that concrete foundations are infallible while there’s something second-rate about a PWF.“When we first heard that the foundation was wood, we were hesitant to pursue purchasing,” Jeep says. “But, after doing some research, PWFs have been around for longer than I’ve been alive. And guess what? They are still standing! Everyone that I have talked to that has actually lived in a PWF said it was extremely comfortable (of course, if it was installed correctly).” He points to an article published by The New York Times last year about problems a number of Connecticut homeowners are having with their concrete foundations.“I’m not saying PWF is better than concrete or vice-versa,” Jeep says. “I’m just pointing out that both work perfectly well as a foundation, if they are installed correctly.”The widely reported problems with foundations in Connecticut were apparently caused by a mineral in the aggregate, but to Dana Dorsett the rare failure is “the exception that proves the rule.”“Barring that sort of problem, concrete may still not be forever, but long enough from a human or U.S. home lifecycle point of view,” Dorsett says. An alternative, as described in the American Wood Council’s guide to PWFs, shows insulated stud cavities, but no external rigid insulation, and a vapor barrier on the upper most part of the wall on the inside.“I’m leaning toward the AWC guidelines because super sealing and insulating the basement isn’t going to ‘make-up’ for the insulating values of the logs,” Jeep says. “Also, the previous batt insulation was there for 36 years and there wasn’t mold… so, it works. If I go this route, I will just have to spend some time insulating the rim joists with rigid insulation and Great Stuff spray foam.“I’m not afraid of digging in and doing the work,” he adds. “I just only want to do the work once.” Take care of bulk water firstThe first order of business, writes GBA editor Martin Holladay, is to make sure water is not getting into the basement. Creating basement bedrooms is not a good idea until this problem has been solved.“This might require re-grading, waterproofing, fixing the footing drains, or changing the backfill to free-draining material,” Holladay says. “Whatever you do, though, you need to solve the water entry problem before you put bedrooms down there.”Trevor Chadwick agrees. “I don’t see how it can be livable until you stop the water problem,” he says. “The only real way to do that is to excavate the perimeter to the footer, and once you are at that point, why wouldn’t you insulate the outside?”Jeep emphasizes that he’s seen water in the basement only once in the year and a half he’s owned the house: “With that said, I completely understand that any water infiltration is really bad,” he says. “And it will be addressed in the next year. I don’t subscribe to the notion that it must be dug down to the footings as it really depends on the soil. Again, we are on sandy soil. Water drainage is fantastic … except when the frost hasn’t let out of the ground. When I described the water coming in and ‘pooling’ in the stud cavities; volume-wise, we are talking a couple of tablespoons.” Looking for value with investmentAn important consideration for Jeep is whether spending a lot of money to insulate the foundation makes much sense when the walls of his log house will never perform as well. Suppose, he says, that after solving any bulk water problems he sprays 3 inches of foam into the stud cavities, for a total R-value of 21 on the basement walls. Upstairs, the exterior log walls will have an estimated R-value of 10 at best.“Are we really gaining anything by spray foaming?” Jeep asks. “Or even stepping it up and doing the ultimate of rigid insulation on the exterior of the PWF? Again, do the ends justify the means? I understand that it’s a great way to insulate … and there is building science behind it to support it. But is it money well spent? Is the return on investment within my lifetime?”With the foundation wall stripped last winter and no insulation whatsoever, Jeep says, the family was comfortable and the electric bills weren’t any higher than those of his neighbors, who also have ground-source heat but live in a house only three years old.center_img RELATED ARTICLES Jeepasaurus, a GBA reader from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, recently bought a log house sitting atop a permanent wood foundation (PWF). Although initially reluctant to buy the house because of this detail, Jeep did enough research to convince him there’s nothing inherently wrong with a wood foundation. The problem is how to insulate it.In a Q&A post, Jeep explains that he has gutted the basement to the 2×6 studs, removing the wood paneling and the underlying gypsum drywall that had covered the walls. The previous owner had installed a vapor barrier behind the drywall and insulated the stud cavities with fiberglass batts. The insulation was damp in a few spots near the bottom of the wall, but there was no sign of mold.The basement is generally dry. The only time Jeep has seen evidence of water there was after an early spring rainstorm when the ground was still frozen. In that instance, some water seeped through the wood sheathing covering the outside of the foundation wall. The plan is to turn the basement into two bedrooms for his children, and for that reason Jeep wants the space to be well insulated and comfortable.Spray foam insulation is too expensive. Jeep has gone through Joe Lstiburek’s book on building in a cold climate and noted the recommendation that the foundation wall be insulated on the exterior with rigid insulation.“I like the idea of the rigid insulation on the exterior,” Jeep writes, “but I’m curious if I would have to install it all the way down to the footing, or if it could be installed from the top plate to 16-18 inches below grade? Then on top of that … how could I make the transition from the logs to the rigid insulation as the rigid insulation will now be sticking out 3 inches? As I stated in the beginning, it’s a log home, with full logs. So, I can’t carry the rigid insulation all the way up to the roof line.” Rigid insulation to the exterior is bestWhen it comes to an insulation strategy, Holladay is convinced the best path is to install rigid foam insulation on the outside of the foundation wall. The next best choice is to spray closed-cell foam on the inside of the wall. Ideally, the insulation should extend all the way from the top plate to the footing, but if that’s not possible due to cost, the upper part of the wall should be the first priority.If foam is applied on the outside of the wall, the top edge should be protected with metal “Z” flashing, installed as close as possible to the bottom log of the house. There also will be some additional details, such as moving or replacing any frostproof sillcocks on exterior walls, or adding exterior jamb extensions and new sills for windows.As to Jeep’s inclination to follow the AWC guidelines on insulation, Holladay adds this: “The choice is yours. The AWC guidelines aren’t based on building science. These guidelines are a compromise. The guidelines were developed in hopes of promoting wood foundations without incurring high expense. As you noted, ‘When removing the batt insulation we could feel it was a little damp near the bottom in a few spots.’ This type of dampness may not matter for an unfinished basement, but it’s not a good idea for a bedroom.” Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost had to say:One of the NAHB Research Center homes — in which my wife and I lived for nearly a year when I started there in 1993 — had a pressure-treated wood foundation. Given this was a demonstration home, the water management details (that were visible) were superior. The basement was never wet but the above-grade portion of the foundation was not air sealed and leaked like a sieve.Like Martin, I prefer exterior rigid insulation because it warms the building assembly to its interior — in this case a wood one.In homes where exterior foundation insulation is installed, the only way I have come up with to deal with the planar difference between the below- and above-grade assemblies is a water table. Some details to consider may be found here. A water table of 3+ inches on a log home probably just won’t work; it will just look too “kludgy.”The starting point for me with this wood foundation would be to meticulously air seal the above-grade portion, including the rim joist area (not knowing how floors are framed in your log home…).You want to air seal and insulate the finished basement so it can be used for bedrooms. For energy efficiency, your instincts that the biggest bang for the buck is where the foundation is exposed above grade is a good one. But there are two other considerations:(1) Thermal comfort: If your uninsulated below-grade walls are pretty much reflecting soil temperatures, let’s say around 55°F, that is too cold for comfort. Are R-19 batts good enough below-grade? I would say yes, so long as the assemblies are air sealed. And since people stand, sit, and sometimes even lie down on floors, it’s really important to insulate the basement floor; again, not so much for energy efficiency, but for thermal comfort.(2) Soil gas/radon: Just about all of Wisconsin is Zone 1 for radon. Air sealing your entire basement exterior surfaces will have a big impact on measured radon levels. I wish I could tell you that perfect basement air sealing would lower radon levels in the basement without active mitigation, but what little research there is (none really published…) suggests that we don’t understand the relationship between basement air sealing and radon levels. Sometimes radon levels go up, sometimes they go down, and sometimes they don’t change after weatherization, including the basement.But you can be sure that air sealing the basement will increase the effectiveness of whatever radon mitigation system you might need to install (if, after your basement renovation project you end up with basement levels equal to or greater than 4.0 picocuries per liter).last_img read more

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6 Supplements to Solve Workplace Focus Problems

first_imgPart of work life is being pulled in too many directions. Rather than let distractions rule your day, you have to learn how to focus.What happens when streamlining your schedule and donning noise-canceling headphones doesn’t cut it? Executive function coaching and cognitive behavior therapy may be great ADHD treatment options. Unfortunately, they’re unnecessary for garden-variety focus issues.So what can you do if you’re struggling to find the focus you need at work? Try the following supplements:1. CaffeineCaffeine is one of the best ways to boost your cognition. A Syracuse University study found that caffeinated participants performed better at a task that required them to focus on flashing numbers. When three odd or even numbers appeared consecutively, caffeinated participants pressed the button faster and more accurately than their peers.  Be careful not to overdo it. The Syracuse study found attention-boosting effects at the one-cup threshold, or about 95 milligrams. At higher amounts, caffeine can worsen anxiety and cardiac problems. It can also be addictive, causing withdrawal symptoms including irritability and poor concentration. If you use caffeine to focus, limit your consumption to two or three cups per day.2. ZincThere’s a reason zinc supplementation is popular among the ADHD community. Although researchers don’t actually understand the mechanism of action, zinc is thought to increase levels of dopamine. Zinc can reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity in ADHD sufferers, but research shows it improves memory and attention for others as well. Unlike caffeine, however, zinc isn’t an in-the-moment solution. To determine whether it might work for you, monitor your zinc consumption for 10 to 12 weeks. Eat zinc-rich foods like beef, fish, pumpkin seeds, and spinach. If you’re struggling to consume your recommended daily value, supplement your dietary intake with a multivitamin. 3. Folic acidA synthetic formulation of folate, folic acid is often added to processed foods like boxed cereal and flour. Like zinc, it’s not a here-and-now solution to focus issues, but it shows promise with continued supplementation. A study published in Scientific Reports discovered that daily folic acid consumption can improve attention and memory in adults with mild cognitive impairment. Your focus issues might not rise to the level of cognitive impairment, but you still might benefit. The Scientific Reports researchers observed a decrease in inflammatory cytokines, which are often released during stressful situations. If your attention issues are related to brain inflammation, you might find long-term relief from folic acid. 4. Bacopa monnieriAlso known as brahmi, bacopa is a plant that’s been used for centuries by Ayurvedic doctors for neurological and behavioral issues. In recent years, Western medical experts have started to experiment with it as a brain-boosting herb. A meta study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology revealed bacopa increases speed of attention in healthy subjects.Although the Journal of Ethnopharmacology survey found supplementing for 12 weeks could improve cognition, other researchers say acute consumption may help with focus for another reason: Bacopa has anti-anxiety properties, similar to those of benzodiazepines. But unlike benzodiazepines, which require a doctor’s prescription, bacopa doesn’t impair motor function or decision-making abilities. 5. AshwagandhaAnother brainpower-building herb with anti-anxiety properties is ashwagandha, a Sanskrit term that translates to “scent of the horse.” Used for thousands of years by Ayurvedic medicine to relieve stress, and improve concentration, ashwagandha’s benefits may trace back to its anti-inflammatory properties. Like most of the other anti-inflammatory herbs in this list, ashwagandha must be taken over time to strengthen attention. In a study of adults over age 35 published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, those who supplemented with ashwagandha twice daily for eight weeks outperformed their peers in memory, executive function, attention, and information-processing speed. 6. Ginkgo bilobaIf you’ve ever smelled vomit in a pristine park, it might have been due to butyric acid released by a ginkgo tree. Despite gingko berries’ smell, some professionals have started taking an extract of gingko leaves to reduce stress and improve cognitive performance. In a study of 48 cognitively healthy adults, researchers found that six weeks of gingko supplementation improved mental processing speed and working memory. Although gingko remains one of the top-selling herbal supplements in the country, beware that some research links it to liver and thyroid cancers. When government toxicologists tested it on mice and rats, they found the increased cancer risk remained consistent across species and sexes. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dangerous to humans, especially at the dose researchers used, but it does call for further research. Your attention issues might not rise to the level of a disorder, but that’s no reason to let them stress you out. Do what you can to eliminate distractions and protect your time. If you still can’t seem to corral your attention, give these acute and long-term supplements a try. Find what works, and watch your productivity soar. Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Related Posts Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Tags:#ADD#ADHD#attention deficit#attention deficit disorder#cognitive disorder#cognitive function#focus#focus problems#nutrition#supplements How to Make the Most of Your Software Developer… New Wave of Online Education: Helping Quiet Chi…last_img read more

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Trust and Integrity Are the Currencies in Which You Trade

first_imgA young salesperson reached out to offer me a favor. He wanted to use his company’s technology to take the list of OutBound 18’ attendees and provide me with insights about each of them before the conference. I rejected his request because I would not betray the trust of the people on the attendee list by giving their information to anyone other than the sponsors. I also had a sense that something was amiss.The young salesperson persisted, tried again, this time sharing the truth. He explained that his company was new and that his CEO had charged with him finding a way to get the attendee list so that they could schedule meetings with the attendees at the event. They believed that their product would benefit the attendees by helping them with outbound sales efforts. The approach the salesperson and his CEO took was a “whatever it takes “attitude, the kind that doesn’t recognize the truth that trust and integrity are the currency in which you trade.I emailed the young salesperson to caution him about his approach. He replied that he was hustling and that as someone who also pushes to build businesses, I must understand. In this, he was off the mark by the very widest of margins.I shared this story with my friend, Jeb Blount, and he confirmed that the company tried to buy a sponsorship but weren’t able to invest. Hearing this from Jeb made a bad story every worse.The story here is a cautionary tale. Had I been duped into providing this non-sponsor the list of attendees, not only would I have betrayed the trust of the attendees, but I would have also created a problem for the sponsors, who invested in the event. His lack of integrity would have become my lack of integrity.There are too many lessons here to recount them all, but let me share a few.There is never a reason to operate from a “whatever it takes” mindset if that idea allows you to do anything that subtracts from trust or throws your character into doubt. Whatever it takes is the mantra of those who are selfish and self-oriented and lack skillful means to get what they want and maintain their integrity.If you allow yourself to become desperate and start looking for the “easy way,” the choice you make to try to avoid the work is probably one that causes you to do things that make you untrustworthy. You protect yourself from ever finding yourself in this situation by not putting yourself in situations where you are desperate.You are better off suffering any negative consequences that come with failing if you leave with your character intact. Once you have established yourself as someone of low character and a willingness to lie to get what you want, you will have a tough time creating relationships.A thief is always a thief, no matter how pleasant they may appear to be. A liar is a liar, even if they are charming, and even when they believe that they are lying for what they think to be a worthy cause.last_img read more

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