​PenSam to step up scrutiny of partners as €55bn tax scandal unfolds

first_imgAccording to DR, the scandal has cost Denmark’s public purse at least DKK12.7bn (€1.6bn).In Germany, Denmark, Belgium, France and Italy, the activity – reportedly carried out by a network of international financiers and involving some of the world’s biggest banks – may have cost these countries’ treasuries a collective €55bn, according to German non-profit newsroom Correctiv, which coordinated the investigation. “A picture is being painted of blatant crimes that must be pursued by the authorities with toughness” – Torsten Fels, PenSamFels posted his comments after speaking in a news report on Denmark’s TV2 channel in the last few days.He said that PenSam had a responsible investment approach that was based on credibility and decency.“We screen for undesirable elements, but we are also dependent on trustworthy cooperation partners,” he said. “A picture is being painted of blatant crimes that must be pursued by the authorities with toughness.”Fels described the investigation as “a wakeup call for the international financial sector”.Reuters, one of the news agencies involved in the investigation, reported last week that authorities in Germany, Denmark, Austria and Belgium had all opened their own investigations into the fraud.According to Reuters, the fraud involved shares being traded between banks, investors and hedge funds to create the illusion of multiple owners, each entitled to a refund on withholding tax charged on stock dividends. The head of one of Denmark’s biggest pension funds has spoken out to condemn a wide-scale tax fraud uncovered by a media investigation.Danish national broadcaster DR, newspaper Politiken and other European media outlets in the last three months have published articles detailing a withholding tax scam – dubbed ‘Cum-Ex’ – said to have cost European governments €55bn.In a comment on social media network LinkedIn, Torsten Fels, chief executive of labour market scheme PenSam, said: “What we see described in the media is the expression of a sick culture and business ethic in a broad swathe of the international financial sector, to which we are deeply opposed.”Fels added: “We will focus even more on accountability and the screening of our investments and partners.”last_img read more

Wireless Web plan has holes

first_imgIn Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed an ambitious effort to create a Wi-Fi network across the city with a price tag estimated at $52 million to $58 million. The city is in the process of developing a request for proposals on which steps to follow next in developing the program. “It is not a simple task,” said Councilman Tony Cardenas, who chairs the City Council committee overseeing the plan. “We want to look at what has worked and failed in other cities and try to figure out where the technology is going to be in 10 years. We want to build something that’s practical and will last.” More than $230 million was spent in the United States last year, and the industry Web site MuniWireless projects $460 million will be spent in 2007. Without revenues they had counted on to offset that spending, elected officials might have to break promises or find money in already-tight budgets to subsidize the systems for the low-income families and city workers who depend on the access. Cities might end up running the systems if companies abandon networks they had built. The worries come as big cities like Philadelphia and Portland, Ore., complete pilots and expand their much-hyped networks. “They are the monorails of this decade: the wrong technology, totally overpromised and completely undelivered,” said Anthony Townsend, research director at the Institute for the Future, a think tank. Supply and demand Municipal Wi-Fi projects use the same technology behind wireless access in coffee shops, airports and home networks. Hundreds or thousands of antennas are installed atop street lamps and other fixtures. Laptops and other devices have Wi-Fi cards that relay data to the Internet through those antennas, using open, unregulated broadcast frequencies. In theory, one could check e-mail and surf the Web from anywhere. About 175 U.S. cities or regions have citywide or partial systems, and a similar number plan them, according to Esme Vos, founder of MuniWireless. Rhode Island has proposed a statewide network, while one in California would span dozens of Silicon Valley municipalities. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta also want one. Because systems are just coming online, it’s premature to say how many or which ones will fail under current operating plans, but the early signs are troubling. “I will be surprised if the majority of these are successful and they do not prove to be drains on taxpayers’ money,” said Michael Balhoff, former telecom equity analyst with Legg Mason Inc. “The government is getting into hotly contested services.” Most communities, including Lompoc, paid for their projects. Elsewhere, private companies agreed to absorb costs for the chance to sell services or ads. The vendors remain confident despite technical and other problems. Chuck Haas, MetroFi Inc.’s chief executive, said Wi-Fi networks are far cheaper to build than cable and DSL, which is broadband over phone lines. Demand could grow once more cell phones can make Wi-Fi calls and as city workers improve productivity by reading electric meters remotely, for instance. Balhoff, however, believes the successful projects are most likely to be in remote places that traditional service providers skip – and fewer and fewer of those areas exist. Cities, he said, should focus on incentives to draw providers. In Lompoc’s case, officials say construction was delayed about a year once they realized wireless antennas had to be packed more closely together. Then the city learned that its stucco homes have a wire mesh that blocks signals, making Internet service poor or nonexistent indoors without extra equipment. But more importantly, just as Lompoc committed to the network, cable and telephone companies arrived with better equipment and service, undercutting the city’s offerings. “It seemed like we announced we were going to do this and that and the next day we got trucks from the providers doing this and that, when we’ve been asking for years and nothing ever happened,” Lompoc Mayor Dick DeWees said. D.A. Taylor, who runs a software business from her home, said Lompoc’s Wi-Fi service lacks key features she gets through DSL. “It’s a really great idea, but they didn’t spend a lot of time thinking who their target market was,” Taylor said. DeWees acknowledged that Lompoc might have to pull the plug if it cannot boost subscriptions, but he said the city still has an aggressive marketing push in store. Lompoc recently slashed prices by $9, to $16 a month, for the main household plan. Just a few years ago, these municipal wireless projects seemed foolproof. Politicians got to tout Internet access for city workers and poorer households – many programs include giveaways for lower-income families. Some cities bear no upfront costs when a company pays for construction in exchange for rights to use fixtures like lamp poles. Vendors like EarthLink Inc. saw a chance to offset declines in dial-up subscriptions. MetroFi, offering free service, got to join the burgeoning market for online advertising. Google Inc. also is jumping in for the ads, partnering with EarthLink in San Francisco, although the city’s Board of Supervisors is resisting their joint proposal. As projects get deployed, both sides are seeing chinks in their plans. Many cities and vendors underestimated the number of wireless antennas needed. MobilePro Corp.’s Kite Networks wound up tripling the access points in Tempe, Ariz., adding roughly $1 million, or more than doubling the costs. “The industry is really in its infancy, and what works on paper doesn’t work that same way once you get into the real world,” said Jerry Sullivan, Kite’s chief executive. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A $3 million plan to blanket Lompoc. with a wireless Internet system promised a quantum leap for economic development: The remote community hit hard by cutbacks at nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base would join the 21st century with cheap and plentiful high-speed access. Instead, nearly a year after its launch, Lompoc Net is limping along. The Central California city of 42,000, surrounded by rolling hills, wineries and flower fields more than 17 miles from the nearest major highway, has only a few hundred subscribers. That’s far fewer than the 4,000 needed to start repaying loans from the city’s utility coffers, potentially leaving smaller reserves to guard against electric rate increases. And Lompoc isn’t alone. Across the United States, many cities are finding their Wi-Fi projects costing more and drawing less interest than expected, leading to worries that a number will fail, resulting in millions of dollars in wasted tax dollars or grants when there had been roads to build and crime to fight. last_img read more

Rising insurance cost puts coverage out of reach for many small companies

first_imgThe increasing cost of health insurance is putting coverage out of reach for many small to midsize companies and their workers, even though the rise in premiums this year was the lowest increase in eight years. Since 2001, the cost of premiums has gone up 78 percent, far outpacing a 19 percent increase in wages and 17 percent jump in inflation, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care research group that annually tracks the cost of health insurance. This year, the cost of premiums paid by workers and their employers was up 6.1 percent, while wages rose an average of 3.7 percent and inflation went up 2.6 percent, the survey said. Kaiser estimates that between 1 million and 2 million people join the ranks of the uninsured every year. “There’s no scientific tipping point that you can point to at which health insurance becomes unaffordable,” said Drew Altman, the foundation’s president and CEO. “But it does seem like we’ve crossed a threshold where health insurance is increasingly unaffordable for medium-sized employers, particularly smaller employers and average people this year.” Insurance costs probably will rise again next year, according to the survey. Many of the more than 3,000 companies surveyed said they planned to make significant changes to their health plans and benefits, and nearly half said they were very or somewhat likely to raise premiums. This year, premiums averaged $12,106 for a family of four, with workers paying, on average, $3,281 of that. Premiums to cover a single person cost $4,479, with employees paying $694. Families typically pay 28 percent of their premiums, while single people pay 16 percent, the survey said, and those proportions have been stable. But the amount workers have been paying has nearly doubled since 2001. This year, monthly contributions averaged $273 for families and $58 for single workers. The companies surveyed reported that premiums for families increased 6.1 percent, on average. That’s the lowest growth rate since 1999, when premiums rose 5.3 percent and cost an average of $2,196 for individuals and $5,791 for families. Health care premiums rose 7.7 percent last year, when individuals paid an average of $4,242 and families paid $11,480. This year also marks the fourth year that the increase has slowed. But Altman said it doesn’t mean much when it outpaces wages and inflation, and now companies and employees are dropping insurance. He said that’s why the number of uninsured Americans continues to rise. The Census Bureau estimates 15.8 percent of Americans were uninsured last year, up from 15.3 percent the year before. As costs rise for workers and companies, revenues for health care insurers continue to soar. But health insurance companies are still paying out roughly the same as they have for years, said Charles Boorady, an equity research analyst with Citigroup. So when insurers charge more for premiums, they’re trying to cover what they pay out in claims, he said, and that means profits are fairly level. “The price increase doesn’t looked aimed at expanding margins, it looks aimed at preserving margins,” Boorady said. WellPoint, the nation’s largest health insurer, reported profits were up 11 percent in the most recent quarter, to $835.2 million and revenue rose nearly 8 percent to $15.3 billion.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Ex-Warrior Gilbert Arenas rips Zion Williamson; could it be sour grapes?

first_imgHeads up, Gilbert Arenas is hoisting some wild shots.Not on the basketball court. The one-time Most Improved Player for the Golden State Warriors, Agent Zero has been an NBA retiree going on a decade now. But he still reserves the right to launch — whenever, whyever, however.Same as it ever was.On his podcast this week, Arenas went off on Duke power forward Zion Williamson. With Duke’s elimination from the NCAA Tournament, it seems a foregone conclusion that the Fab Frosh is headed the NBA …last_img

Ginwala helped shape South Africa’s history

first_imgFrene Ginwala helped build and grow the ANC in exile and in the first 10 years of democracy. (Image: George W Bush Institute)Lucille DavieFrene Ginwala helped build and grow the African National Congress (ANC) in exile and in the first 10 years of the democratic Parliament, when she was the speaker. The 82-year-old was in exile for 31 years, and returned to South Africa in 1990.Her crucial role and wise leadership have been well-documented: “Dr Frene Ginwala helped shape the ANC’s and South Africa’s history,” states the Nelson Mandela Foundation.The Presidency adds: “She commanded high respect among members of parliament and the public in her tenure, which spanned the first critical decade of our democracy.” Over the years, she held several high-level positions in the ANC, including member of the top decision making body, the National Executive Committee, and the National Working Committee.Some roles were not always where she saw herself. In a June 2008 interview she said she was reluctant to become the speaker of parliament. “I had not wanted to be speaker, but it was very much his [Nelson Mandela’s] decision, and he had to persuade the leadership about it. I wanted to go to parliament, but I wanted to write and speak and be a member. Anyway I found myself as speaker.”In the first democratic parliament, Ginwala wanted to put the minority parties on the front benches of parliament. She put her proposal to Mandela, the president, and he liked it. “I said to him, ‘Parliament is televised and people will watch it, and if they can see their leaders sitting in parliament there will be an identification.’” As a result the Democratic Party, Pan Africanist Congress and Freedom Front were given the front benches.Joburg bornGinwala was born on 25 April 1932 in Johannesburg, and read law at the University of London, where she received an LLB degree. Later, she received honorary law doctorates from the universities of KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town and Connecticut in the US. Awards given to her over the years include the Global Award for Outstanding Contribution for Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy from the Priyadarshni Academy, India; the Presidential Award from the Black Management Forum; the Woman of the Year 2000 from the Law Faculty at the University of Pretoria; and an Honorary Fellow from Linacre College at Oxford University.She returned to South Africa to train as a lawyer, and soon afterwards, in 1960, the ANC was banned. She went into exile a year or two later, and played a role in helping prominent members of the ANC such as Oliver Tambo escape into exile. Based in Tanzania, Ginwala helped establish the organisation in exile. She also worked as a journalist and broadcaster in Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania, and was the managing editor of The Standard and The Sunday News in Tanzania. She was founder and editor of a monthly journal, Spearhead, in Tanzania, a country to which she would return during her 31 years outside South Africa.In the late 1960s, Ginwala went back to the United Kingdom and started a PhD in philosophy at Oxford University, where she also lectured. While in the UK she gave speeches and wrote articles on the need to boycott the apartheid government that were published in The Guardian and The Economist. She also became a broadcaster for BBC radio. It was a busy time: she was the head of the political research unit in the office of Tambo, then ANC president, and served as ANC spokesperson in the UK on sanctions, the nuclear programme and the arms and oil embargo of South Africa.Ginwala has been the chairwoman of a number of committees, including the Global Coalition for Africa, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (SA), the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum, and the International Parliamentary Union (SA). She is a former member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Panel of High-Level Personalities on African Development, and she has served as commissioner of the International Commission on Human Security. She has actively promoted democracy, good governance, development and human rights, and human security throughout her long life.The case for sanctionsDuring her time in exile, Ginwala wrote several articles on the subject of sanctions. “One such piece, written for the African Studies Centre at the University of Cambridge and published in 1988 is of particular note for the way it shows her growth as an advocate and writer,” reports sahistory.org. “Her legal expertise is clear in her style. She opens with an establishment of the facts and the case against apartheid. She highlights the role of the ANC, the justice of the cause, and the ways in which the claim on the part of the international community that they do not support the apartheid regime is inaccurate because trade and non-intervention assist the apartheid regime. Each argument for sanctions is presented and defended with references to international law and the responsibility of the ‘democratic free world’. Each argument against sanctions is presented and systematically refuted by examples of precedent or fallacies in the argument’s logic.”The article reads like “a simplified legal brief and the organisation is somewhat reminiscent of the Declaration of Independence, no doubt intentional, as the United States was the international hegemonic leader and a significant trading partner for South Africa”.Ginwala has been widely published on issues of democracy, good governance, human rights, human security, anti-apartheid and women’s issues locally and abroad, indicates the Presidency.Destruction of MozambiqueHer parents had left South Africa for Mozambique after she left for the University of London. At that time the country was still under the colonial control of Portugal, but within months the anti-colonial guerrilla movement would begin. Portugal pulled out in 1975.During her years in exile, she spent some time in Mozambique, and in the 2008 interview she talks about the country, pointing out that it had been virtually destroyed during the 1970s and 80s, when South Africa and the then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) armed the resistance group Renamo, causing the country to descend into civil war. The ANC had bases in Mozambique, and supported the pro-Communist Frelimo government. Finally, in 1990, a new constitution was adopted and in 1994 its first post-independence elections were held.“I felt personally very strongly that the frontline states [Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, where the ANC found sanctuary after it was banned in 1960] had suffered immensely for our liberation. Mozambique had been destroyed, virtually. I felt that South Africa ought to acknowledge in a public way what had happened in the frontline states. So when the president of Mozambique [Joachim Chissano] came and addressed parliament, I took it on myself, without any warning or discussion, even with Madiba, to apologise to him for the damage that my country had done to him and his people.”Her action led to demands for her resignation but she approached Mandela the next day and he approved of her apology. “It was very important for me to get that kind of support, because I had really stuck my neck out on that one.”Her term as speaker of parliament ended in 2004. In 2005, she was elected the first chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a post she held until 2009. In the same year she received the Order of Luthuli, given to those who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution. She was also awarded the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan. It is given to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, the promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, and the development in welfare or preservation of the environment.In 2007, she was appointed to head the inquiry into the suspension of the national director of public prosecutions, Vusi Pikoli.She is now in a well-deserved semi-retirement, though she still holds positions on various boards and party structures, and is still involved in the UN and Unesco in an informal capacity. The apartheid regime shaped her life significantly, records sahistory.org. “The blatant violations of human rights and democracy were instrumental in establishing her worldview and her commitment to equality for all races, genders, and demographics… Though the three decades she spent in exile after the Sharpeville Massacre were likely filled with uncertainty and instability, Frene Ginwala earned a doctorate, wrote countless articles, became a widely recognised and esteemed international figure, and played a central role in the toppling of the apartheid regime.”On her return, she was influential in writing the Constitution and establishing a government dedicated to equality and democracy.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — June 19, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Changes are coming to our forecast pattern starting today! We advertised these changes well yesterday and will start to see them develop through the day today. We have a soggy, active pattern on tap over Ohio for the remainder of the week, this coming weekend and early next week. We have no significant changes to our forecast thought process for today through the weekend.Rains expand today over Ohio, working from north to south. However, while we see this as mostly a northern feature off to the west over Indiana, here we are not putting any bias on any part of the state. We think by this afternoon and evening, we should see rain over a large part of the state. Rains continue tomorrow statewide and we can’t rule out thunderstorms. For Thursday, we are trending our forecast dry over the northern half to two thirds of the state, but we cous lee some significant action over the southern third of Ohio. Rain and thunderstorms will be very active in that area, and we have concern about a cluster or two of strong, slow-moving thunderstorms in SW Ohio, from Cincinnati southeast. Those rains and thunderstorms could have some epic rains, if they come together right.Scattered shower and thunderstorms are back statewide for Friday and Saturday. Finally, on Sunday we should be mostly dry. We say mostly, because we do not see a lot of moisture hanging around, but given the action of the preceding days, it would not take much to trigger a renegade shower or two, so we will keep close watch. Monday we can see scattered showers in the south near the river but should be partly to mostly sunny elsewhere.All told, from today through next Sunday at midnight, we are looking for 1 to 3 inches of rain over 95% of the state. We think that parts of Ohio, where those strong storms could develop Thursday, can see a few inches more…potentially up to 4 or 5 inches if things play out just right. That would lead to some flooding potential to pay attention to. See the map above.For Tuesday of next week, we are keeping our forecast dry, but for Wednesday we are inserting scattered showers and thunderstorms. Those likely linger into the first part of next Thursday too, and can add .25”-.75” over 75% of Ohio.The extended 11-16 day period may kick off with a few scattered showers over the state, but then we are dry for the 30th through the 3rd, as our next strong front starts to fall apart. Strong surface high pressure looks to build in over the eastern third of the country over the latter half of the extended period, and that will be tough for any front or moisture to overcome. That leads to a return of warm air for early in July.Speaking of temps, we stay above normal today into tomorrow, but then pull back to below to well below normal day time high temps for this time of year for Thursday through next Tuesday. Temps moderate to near normal and above normal for next Wednesday and Thursday, going into the turn of the month.last_img read more

Bayliss appointed to USB

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue appointed 19 new and 24 returning directors to serve on the United Soybean Board (USB), including Ohioan Charles “Bill” Bayliss from West Mansfield.These farmer-leaders will be officially sworn in for service at the annual USB meeting on Dec. 11, and serve three-year terms.“This year we are welcoming one of the largest classes of new directors USB has ever seen,” said USB Chair and Kentucky farmer Keith Tapp. “We have a strong group of new leaders who will join our ongoing work to innovate beyond the bushel. Each adds new perspective to the board and will help USB’s efforts to create new markets and opportunities for soybean farmers.”Bayliss will join those already serving terms on the board to make a total of 78 directors. USB administers soybean checkoff funds to research, marketing and promotional efforts that maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These farmer-leaders aim to develop new and existing markets and build preference for U.S. soy, specifically in the areas of meal, oil and sustainability. Per the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the number of seats on the board is determined based on bushels produced in that region. Due to yield increases in 2018, USB will increase from 73 directors to 78.USB’s 78 farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit unitedsoybean.org.last_img read more

YouTube Gets a Cloud-Based Video Editor

first_imgIf you have found yourself like I recently have – stuck with video on an iPhone and a netbook, but no real way to edit it – then fret no more, because YouTube has added an editor. While the YouTube Video Editor is certainly nothing to compete with the likes of Final Cut Pro or Premiere, it has the basic functionality needed to finally make it possible for those living the ultra-mobile, ultra-lightweight lifestyle to put their videos online without having to leave all the unwieldy odds and ends. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The editor is simple and intuitive, with a drag-and-drop interface showing a full thumbnail inventory of all of your videos. Editing a video consists of setting a starting and stopping point for each clip, so if you want to select multiple clips from the same video, you simply drag that video to the bar below and repeat the process for each clip. In much the same way, different videos, or clips from those videos, can be spliced together. Of course, rough editing like this can leave some interesting audio, so YouTube also provides you with audio tracks to overlay over the entire video from its AudioSwap library. Two caveats come with using the audio overlay – adding an audio track from the AudioSwap library will permanently erase the audio track on the mashed-up video and YouTube says that it may display advertisements on videos using these audio tracks. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts mike melanson A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#cloud computing#Google#Video Services#web#YouTube 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

A New Multifamily Will Put Passive House Performance to the Test

first_imgA planned multifamily project in Minneapolis will give designers a chance to see just how much of a difference Passive House construction makes when it comes to energy consumption, if not tenant comfort.Hook and Ladder Apartments, named after a nearby firefighting museum, is being planned as a pair of nearly identical looking buildings with a total of 118 apartments. Half the project will be built to a slightly enhanced state energy code, the other half to the PHIUS+2015 standard of the Passive House Institute U.S. According to a post at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Hook and Ladder will be the first Passive House multifamily project in the state.The $20 million project will provide housing for people earning less than 60% of the area’s median income. The developers hope to show lenders and property owners that the added costs of Passive House construction can be offset by lower operating costs, the Star Tribune said.Newport Partners, a California-based real estate firm, will own Hook and Ladder, but Kim Bretheim of LHB Architects in Minneapolis, which is designing it, said that the impetus came from a neighborhood association and Becky Landon, an affordable housing consultant in the area.Construction of the 117,000-square-foot project is expected to start in 2018, Bretheim said by telephone, and take about a year. Heating and coolingHemer called the plans for heating and cooling one of the most unusual parts of the project. On the conventional side, through-the-wall Magic-pak units provide both heating and cooling as well as a fresh air intake.For the Passive House building, designers chose a variable-refrigerant flow (VRF) heat pump system with a half-dozen rooftop compressors and ducted fan-coil units in each apartment. Fresh air will be provided by an energy-recovery ventilator.As for renewables, Hemer said that’s still being studied. The roof of the conventional building may get photovoltaic panels while the Passive House side gets some kind of solar thermal system for hot water.“Right now we’re in the scoping out stage,” Hemer said. “We want to see if we have enough money in our renewable energy budget to cover that system.” With limited sunlight in winter, gas-fired hot water will have to be part of the mix even if the project finds money for the solar thermal system. RELATED ARTICLES “Pricing we have now shows the cost of the buildings is essentially the same,” Bretheim said. “The difference is that one is Passive House, and one has underground parking.”Sharing the same site, the two buildings will have the same mix of apartment types, and draw on the same pool of tenants. Because so many building and site characteristics will be the same, Bretheim said, the project will provide an unusual opportunity compare the performance difference between the two types of construction.Costs for heating and cooling on the Passive House side should be considerably different than those on the conventionally built side, he said. In order to keep out-of-pocket expenses for tenants roughly the same, Newport Partners will pay all monthly utility costs. Maine Gets Another Passive House Multifamily ProjectA Passivhaus Multifamily in Maine Nears CompletionThe Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.Multifamily Passivhaus Project Starts in OregonPassivhaus Apartment Complex Would be a GiantPassivhaus Townhouses Are Underway in Philadelphia The price of parkingBoth sides of the apartment complex might have been built to the Passive House standard had it not been for the need for off-street parking, Bretheim said. The conventionally built side will have an underground parking garage, while the Passive House side will be built partially on a slab with no below-grade parking. Meeting Passive House specs will add roughly 10% to the cost of that building — about what the underground parking cost on the conventionally built side. Keeping construction simpleDesigners looked for ways to keep construction relatively simple so subs won’t be spending a lot of time and money figuring out unfamiliar building techniques.“We wanted to make sure from a cost containment perspective that we were doing it in a simple way that does not leave the subcontractors who have never done this before filling uncertainty with cost margins,” Bretheim said. “We’re trying to build innovative walls consisting of components that people individually are used to building but add up to a cost-effective thermal and airtight barrier.”Differences between the two buildings were detailed by Jeff Hemer, the project manager for Hook and Ladder.The exterior wall assembly for the conventional side of the project is a 2×8 stud wall with 8-inch fiberglass batts (compressed to 7 1/4 inches), commercial-grade Tyvek, and double-glazed fiberglass windows. Hemer said the cavity insulation would have an R-value of 24, with a wall assembly R-value of just under 22. On the Passive House side, walls will be framed with 2x6s and insulated with R-21 fiberglass batts. On the exterior is a 2-inch-thick insulated sheathing combining plywood and polyisocyanurate foam. A layer of OSB on the inside of the stud wall will be an air and vapor barrier. In addition, the wall gets a service cavity on the inside for wiring. Hemer says that the total R-value for the Passive House wall is about 30.Windows on the Passive House building will be triple-glazed vinyl. Windows for both sides of the project are coming from Pella. Cladding on both buildings is a mix of masonry, fiber-cement, and metal paneling.On both buildings, there’s no cavity insulation in the I-joist roof framing but polyiso on top of the framing: R-36 on the conventional side, R-45 on the Passive House side.Hemer said that modeling showed that R-30 exterior walls were enough to meet Passive House requirements. “One of the things we studied was the envelope systems of the buildings,” he said. “The Weidt Group studied a lot of variations of R-values for wall assemblies, roof assemblies, and windows in order to find the sweet spot for those R-values and find that place where it made the most sense to invest in enhancing certain parts. You can build an R-50 wall, but the return on that is so minuscule that it’s not worth the money to do that.”last_img read more

Maharashtra Congress MLAs return to Mumbai

first_imgThe Congress MLAs-elect from Maharashtra, who were staying at a luxury resort near here for the last five days, left by a chartered plane for Mumbai on Wednesday. The newly elected 44 legislators were shifted to the Jaipur resort on Friday and Saturday in an apparent attempt by the Congress to prevent their “poaching”.The MLAs were brought in a bus from the resort to Sanganer airport, from where they travelled to Mumbai in a chartered flight. Amid the high drama over the formation of government in Maharashtra, several senior Congress leaders, including Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot of Rajasthan and Bhupesh Baghel of Chhattisgarh, met the legislators to discuss political developments in the State.‘Comfortable stay’All India Congress Committee general secretary Avinash Pande told presspersons here that the MLAs’ stay at the resort was comfortable and they were happy with the hospitality extended to them. The MLAs had left the final decision on supporting or forming the government on the Congress high command, he said.Mr. Pande said a common minimum programme would form the basis for the appointment of a new government in Maharashtra, for which the Congress was in discussion with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Shiv Sena after the imposition of President’s Rule.‘Coalition needed’ “The view of the MLAs was conveyed to the Congress Working Committee… People in the State have given a fractured mandate and a coalition government is needed there,” Mr. Pande said, adding that the Congress was holding deliberations on how it could play its role in the formation of government.Later, Mr. Gehlot said at the Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters here that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had promoted “instability” in Maharashtra with his hasty decisions. “It was the Governor’s responsibility to deal with the situation created by the hung Assembly… Probably he could not take the right decision despite his own desire.”last_img read more