Heating a New House in Nova Scotia

first_imgIn the Canadian maritime province of Nova Scotia, a GBA reader named Janet is building a new weekend home whose heating system will include both a wood stove and radiant-floor heat powered by a ground-source heat pump. The two-level, 2,000-square-foot house will consist of a walkout basement with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a laundry room, plus an upper floor with a kitchen and living room and another bedroom and bath. The house will be well insulated: R-20 under the slab, R-34 basement walls, R-24 second-floor walls, and R-60 in the attic. The first floor slab will be concrete, which Janet plans to heat with in-floor tubing. On the second floor, Janet will install a wood stove that she plans on using regularly when she’s there.RELATED ARTICLESAll About Radiant FloorsAre Affordable Ground-Source Heat Pumps On the Horizon?All About Wood Stoves “We are unsure of what other heat, if any, we need to install on this level,” Janet writes in a Q&A post. “How much heat can we expect on the 2nd floor from the 1st level in-floor heat?” Installing hydronic heat on the second floor — either in-floor tubing or baseboard radiators — seems like overkill because it won’t be used when the wood stove is running, she says. Would a few baseboard electric units do the trick? That’s the question for this Q&A Spotlight. Ground-source heat is expensive A ground-source heat pump (sometimes called a geothermal heating system) is the “most capital-intensive heating system imaginable,” Walter Ahlgrim tells Janet, and it will do little to make the second floor of the house comfortable. “How many hours a day will you spend in the basement enjoying the warm floors?” he asks. “Or is that money better spent upstairs where you would benefit from it every day?” Ahlgrim says that wood stoves and high-performance houses are rarely a good combination. That said, he adds, without a Manual J calculation to estimate heating and cooling loads, “everyone is just guessing how the system will work.” Peter Engle thinks that the radiant-floor system on the first floor will be enough to keep the second level from freezing, but it may seem a little chilly. “Even a very small wood stove may overheat the space,” Engle says. He also points to the high cost of a ground-source heat pump given the relatively small amount of heat Janet will need in a well-insulated building. The system will cost $20,000 Although Janet is still waiting for a final number, the preliminary quote for a ground-source heating system is C$20,000, which the installer says will pay for itself in between 5 and 7 years. The alternative is a wall-hung electric boiler. One reason that ground-source heat pumps are so expensive is that heat exchange tubing is typically installed in trenches or in wells, either one of which can add considerably to excavation costs. But in Janet’s case, the property will be dug up anyway for the driveway, septic system, and yard. That may help reduce the costs, but the system itself is flawed, writes Andrew C. “Knowing that one should never say ‘never,’ you should never put geothermal into a well-built house with reasonable air-sealing and insulation,” Andrew says. “It costs too much, requires one-off engineering design and installation, and likely (by all accounts) to significantly under-perform calculations. Other than one or two die-hard advocates, few that haunt the GBA website promote the use of geothermal. It can be done correctly, but it’s rare, and still more expensive.” Further, the concrete slab won’t feel warm under foot until the temperature rises to about 80°F, says Dick Russell. “The heat loss from the building will be very low (if it’s properly built), so with little way for the heat to escape, making the entire floor that warm would raise the room temperature to the upper 70s, which would feel stifling,” he says. “Modulating the water temperature to keep the floor in the low 70s won’t make the floor feel warm to bare feet, so why go to the expense of installing all that plumbing in the slab?” Windows could make an important contribution Robert Opaluch raises a new issue: the potential for solar gain through any south-facing windows on the first floor. “If your walkout level faces southward, the south side is longer than east and west sides, and you have more or larger windows facing south, and are not obstructed much by trees or other buildings, or some combination of these … your wintertime solar heat gains could be substantial,” Opaluch writes. “If facing north, very little solar heat gain.” Although windows and doors account for a small proportion of the building envelope, he adds, they often lose as much or more heat than the walls and ceiling. Argon-filled insulated glazing units, or the addition of a suspended-film Heat Mirror insulated unit, is usually a minor upcharge that can improve performance substantially, Opaluch says. “You didn’t mention it, but I hope you are budgeting for good quality windows,” he adds. The mini ductless option Russell installed a ground-source heat pump in his own home in New Hampshire, and has been satisfied with the results. He minimized installation expenses by using a well for the heat exchange, and distributes heat throughout his house with forced air rather than a hydronic tubing in the floor. Even so, Russell wonders whether Janet would be better off with air-source heat pumps instead of the arrangement she’s proposed. “Even with these circumstances, a couple of minisplit air-source heat pumps provide a low-cost and efficient way to heat a superinsulated house and ought to be considered,” he says. This is exactly the plan GBA Editor Martin Holladay would endorse. “There are three things wrong with your plan,” he writes. “One, you don’t want in-floor hydronic heat. Two, you don’t want a ground-source heat pump. Three, you don’t want a wood stove. “Except for that,” Holladay adds, “your plan is fine.” He suggests, as other GBA readers did, that air-source minisplit heat pumps — either ducted or ductless — would heat the house “at a cost that is thousands of dollars less than the equipment you describe, without any of the combustion-air problems associated with wood stoves.” Fine tuning the building envelope Janet plans on insulating the foundation walls with rigid foam, but makes no mention of adding a layer of rigid insulation to the outside of the second-floor walls. The “old school” builder will use housewrap and, Janet assumes, a rainscreen beneath the wood clapboard siding. “Housewrap is a good step,” Opaluch says. “I’d worry that an ‘old school’ builder may not pay attention to the many details that can result in a fairly leaky home.” He points to the importance of air-sealing details for windows and doors, mud sills, vents, attic openings, and other trouble spots. “Two more things to point out,” Yupster adds. “You said R-24 walls but didn’t mention any exterior board insulation to eliminate thermal bridging. Please be aware that if you are just installing R-24 fiberglass batts, which is very common in Canada, then the actual performance of R-24 insulation in framing 16 inches on-center is only R-15.” Don’t use the word “eliminate” when discussing the value of continuous insulation on the outside of framed walls, suggests Dana Dorsett. The proper word would be “mitigate.” That aside, insulating concrete forms might be a good alternative for basement walls. He says a number of ICF foundations can hit whole-wall values of R-34, including one from Logix. Our expert’s opinion Peter Yost, GBA’s technical director, had this to say: I decided to send Janet an email to find out a bit more about her project. She told me that building started this week, that they had an architect help them with the design, and that they do have a builder. Still, I’m afraid there are just too many unknowns here to guarantee the performance of Janet’s home will meet her expectations. How well any heating system services the first and second floor spaces in this home can’t be determined without a lot more information on building enclosure performance, particularly concerning airtightness. With air leakage comprising between 25% to 40% of total heat loss in any home in a cold climate, knowing more about air sealing details, air control layer continuity, and plans for blower door testing is a must. I found this document on the building code for Nova Scotia, indicating that there are three options for meeting the airtightness requirement, one prescriptive (“Clause a”) and two performance-based (“Clauses b and c”) under Section A-9.36.2.9 (1) “Controlling Air Leakage.” While I could not find a required building airtightness number, it sure seems as though Janet and her builder need to get a real handle on this issue. In terms of rainscreen claddings, I found this document on Nova  Scotia building code requirements for vented air space behind all wall claddings. Just as in all Canadian coastal areas, you need a 10 mm (3/8-inch) ventilated rainscreen regardless of what type of cladding you use.last_img read more

Downton Abbey Star Visits Syrian Refugees In Lebanon

first_imgDownton Abbey star Laura Carmichael has joined the campaign calling on world leaders to back a fund to ensure children trapped in emergencies do not miss out on education.Laura visits children in informal learning spaces at Houch El-Oumara tented settlement in Bekaa VallyLaura, who plays Lady Edith in the hit British TV drama series, was deeply moved by a trip with A World at School to Lebanon, where thousands of Syrian children are out of school.The 28-year old actress said: “I met children who have had everything taken from them because of the conflict raging in their country.“They have left their homes and schools and are separated from friends and families. I spoke to mothers who were scared for their children’s future, desperate for them to have an education to give them freedom to rebuild their lives.”Laura cradles two-month-old baby born in Houch El-OumaraThe four-year conflict in Syria has resulted in the worst refugee crisis in 20 years. There are 1.2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a third of them children.Video: Laura Carmichael visits Syrian refugees in Lebanon (small)A World at School Ambassador Laura travelled to the Bekaa Valley, which is hosting thousands of Syrian refugees in tented settlements.Almost all of the children there are out of school, many for up to four years, and the consequences are dire. Out-of-school children are becoming trapped in child labour, early marriage and radicalisation.Laura said: “It was clear from everyone I spoke to that going to school would provide some hope and a chance to rebuild their lives.“Two women, Kawsar and Ghazia, welcomed me into their home and introduced me to their beautiful children, all of them out of school.“Kawsar told me her two sons who had once dreamed of being teachers and doctors were now labouring every day in order to support their family.“You could hear the sadness in her voice that her children were bearing the brunt of the war.“Ghazia, a mother of five, told me both of the eldest boys had to go out to work and provide for their family as their father was no longer alive.“This is not uncommon in these areas, as many children out of school are becoming trapped in child labour, early marriage and extremism.”There is support for children affected by the Syrian crisis. But this is not recognised as a formal education and provides no qualifications for future work.Read more hereSource:A World At Schoollast_img read more

Kinepolis Group NV reaches agreement to purchase Landmark Cinemas Canada LP

first_img Twitter Advertisement CALGARY, Sept.18, 2017 /CNW/ – Landmark Cinemas Canada LP & TriWest Capital Partners are pleased to announce Landmark Cinemas LP has reached an agreement to be acquired by Kinepolis Group NV.  The conclusion of the transaction is subject to customary government approvals. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Kinepolis auditorium (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Login/Register With: Interior at Kinepolis Breda (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Kinepolis Group NV located in Ghent, Belgium, was formed in 1997 through the merger of two family cinema groups and was listed on the stock exchange in 1998. Kinepolis offers an innovative cinema concept which serves as a pioneering model within the industry. Kinepolis Group NV has 48 cinemas, and a total of 500 screens spread across Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Poland. In addition to its cinema business, the Group is also active in film distribution, event organization, on-screen advertising and property management.“Landmark’s significant investment in recliner seating to create an industry-leading movie-going experience aligns directly with similar initiatives by Kinepolis across Europe,” said Neil Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Landmark Cinemas Canada. “Combining with Kinepolis will also provide Canadian movie lovers with greater access to world class cinema experiences.”Eddy Duquenne, CEO of Kinepolis Group, says: “Both Kinepolis and Landmark Cinemas are passionate about offering the ultimate customer experience. The combination of the Kinepolis three-pillar strategy of being the best cinema operator, the best marketer and best real estate manager, its focus on providing an excellent customer experience, also through the use of enhanced customer feedback tools, together with its financial strength provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the growth of the Landmark Cinema network in Canada. Working together, the two groups will be able to create long-term value, resulting in an unparalleled customer experience for the Canadian moviegoers.”“The innovative and entrepreneurial culture that we have been fortunate to build over the past 52 years at Landmark matches perfectly with Kinepolis,” said Brian F. McIntosh, Executive Chairman, Landmark Cinemas Canada.  “Joining the Kinepolis family is a terrific opportunity for Landmark’s people, who will continue to lead the Canadian business and build their careers as part of a global leader in the cinema industry. Our guests and business partners will also benefit from the expertise that Landmark will be able to leverage from Kinepolis.”About Landmark Cinemas Canada LP, Canada’s second largest motion picture, theatre exhibition company.From a single screen in 1965, today Landmark Cinemas continues to provide the perfect setting for Movie Lovers to connect and share the perfect movie-going experience. We are connected to the communities we serve and our Cast and Crew are proud to support Kids Help Phone programs and initiatives. The corporate headquarters for Landmark Cinemas is in Calgary, Alberta. For additional information: landmarkcinemas.comAbout Kinepolis Group NVFor additional information: https://corporate.kinepolis.com/en Interior at Landmark Cinemas 16 IMAX® Country Hills Calgary, AB (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Kinepolis Rocurt (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Kinepolis Rocurt (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Advertisement Coca-Cola Freestyle experience at Landmark Cinemas (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Landmark Cinemas Canada LP, located in Calgary, Alberta, is Canada’s second largest theatre exhibition company. Founded in 1965, Landmark operates 44 cinemas and a total of 303 screens throughout Western Canada, Ontario and the Yukon Territory including five IMAX®, four ‘Extra’ and one ‘Xtreme’ screen. Landmark Cinemas recliner experience (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Advertisementlast_img read more