Photo: What’s the PointBy Anne Taylor22 August 2013Photo: What’s the PointCathy Withers and Terry Hardwick have a deep passion for Cape Point National Park – and hope to encourage others to stop and smell the fynbos instead of “whizzing by as fast as they can, to get to ‘the Point’ and have their photos taken at the top … before speeding out again and on their way to the next photo op”.That, says Cathy, seems to be no experience at all.Cathy and Terry enjoy exploring the Cape Point reserve on foot.One of five Cape Mountain zebras in the park. Photo: What’s the Point“I have lost count of the times that we have been watching the zebra, or a group of eland, while cars are speeding past nearby, their occupants oblivious to what is only yards from them,” writes Cathy.They share their experiences on their blog What’s the Point? as well as on Facebook and Twitter at @capepointtrails.The Cape of Good Hope is part of the Table Mountain National Park. See the SANParks website for more info: www.sanparks.org Read more on SA.info: Where the two oceans really meet
As South Africa prepares to host the World Economic Forum on Africa in June, KPMG Africa chairman Seyi Bickersteth examines the nine major trends set to influence the continent’s development: demographics, the rise of the individual, technology, interconnectedness, public debt, economic power shifts, climate change, resource stress and urbanisation.Construction workers on site in Lagos, Nigeria, the most populous city in Africa’s most populous country. (Photo: World Bank)Seyi Bickersteth In August 1963 Martin Luther King Jr delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington. And when King said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal”, it was a turning point in American history.At the time King made this speech, Africa was already in the midst of a massive revolution aimed at addressing inequality and oppression across the continent. Decolonisation in Africa began in 1957 and gained momentum in the 1960s, as its newly appointed governments – reimagining Africa’s future – became passionate about a movement towards pan-Africanism. On 25 May 1963 the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union, was formed, with the following objectives:• to promote the unity and solidarity of African states• to coordinate and intensify cooperation and efforts among African states to achieve a better life for the people• to defend the sovereignty of African states, their territorial integrity and their independenceEvery year, 25 May is celebrated as Africa Day, commemorating the ongoing quest for unity as well as the political and economic liberation of African people. While independence certainly hasn’t led to political stability and liberation in every African country – and in some countries there is still a long way to go – this was a huge turning point in African history. Unfortunately, achieving true unity remains a challenge as Africa is made up of 55 very different countries, all at different levels of liberation. That said, governance is progressing and, although it will take more time to navigate through all the complexities, we shouldn’t forsake any movement towards achieving the African dream of pan-Africanism.Today, seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa. The continent is moving more into the global limelight as a promising investment destination, despite preconceived risks of investing in turbulent times. A significant amount of the growth key markets across Africa enjoy is as a direct result of governments being able to successfully implement far-reaching economic and political reforms, creating more conducive business and investment climates.Effective governance is integral to sustainable economic development. The best way to reduce poverty, for example, is through continued economic development. Successful development and economic growth is in turn dependent on a functioning and responsible government committed to implementing change for the benefit of its people.To put this into clearer perspective, while Africa is enjoying a continuous flow of foreign direct investment, it is domestic investment that fuels national economies, and increasing inter-African trade will make the continent more globally competitive.Both of these aspects are well accepted throughout the continent. But there are still too many barriers in the face of political will to make changes towards economic integration. These challenges, however, shouldn’t discourage Africa’s political leaders – it took Europe a long time to establish the European Union. What is needed is stronger economic diplomacy to look after African interests, which in the coming 15 years will likely be influenced by at least one, if not all (and simultaneously), of the following identified mega trends that are expected to have the greatest impact on governments and citizens, alike, to 2030.1. DemographicsEscalating birth rates and higher life expectancy are rapidly increasing the population of Africa where, according to the UNICEF Generation 2030 Africa report, the current 1-billion-plus populous is expected to double within the next 35 years and its under-18 population to increase by two-thirds to almost 1-billion.Unless governments act quickly and collaborate with private and education sectors alike, the growing population is going to significantly intensify existing challenges on creating meaningful job opportunities to address youth unemployment in each market and country. Larger populations who will also live longer will continue to challenge social services and welfare systems.2. Rise of the individualAdvances in global education, health and technology have helped empower individuals as never before, leading to increased demands for transparency and participation in government and public decision-making. These changes will continue and are ushering in a new era in human history in which, by 2022, more people will be middle-class than poor.3. Enabling technologyInformation and communication technology has transformed society in the past 30 years. A new wave of technological advances is creating novel opportunities as well as testing governments’ ability to harness their benefits to provide prudent oversight.4. Economic interconnectednessThe interconnected global economy will see a continued increase in the levels of international trade and capital flows, but unless international conventions can be strengthened, progress and optimum economic benefits may not be realised.5. Public debtPublic debt is expected to operate as a significant constraint on fiscal and policy options to 2030 and beyond. Governments’ ability to bring debt under control and find new ways of delivering public services will affect their capacity to respond to major social, economic and environmental challenges.6. Economic power shiftsEmerging economies are lifting millions out of poverty while also exerting more influence in the global economy. With a rebalancing of global power, international institutions and national governments will need a greater focus on maintaining their transparency and inclusiveness.7. Climate changeRising greenhouses gas emissions are causing climate change and driving a complex mix of unpredictable changes to the environment while further taxing the resilience of natural and built systems. Achieving the right combination of adaptation and mitigation policies will be difficult for most governments.8. Resource stressThe combined pressures of population growth, economic growth and climate change will place increased stress on essential natural resources (including water, good arable land and energy). These issues will place sustainable resource management at the centre of government agendas.9. UrbanisationBy 2030, more than 50% of the population of Africa will be living in cities. By 2050 that will have risen to an urbanisation rate of over 60%. Urbanisation creates significant opportunities for social and economic development and more sustainable living, but is also puts pressure on infrastructure and resources, particularly energy.Agenda 2063: a strategy for Africa’s futureThe pressures of these mega trends will require numerous and varied changes by African governments. Looking across the individual implications of these trends – both in terms of what and how governments may need to change – key themes emerge. While it is inevitable that each country will need to determine the relevance of these changes at a local level, focus should also be given to articulating and establishing common frameworks towards establishing an integrated African approach to these mega-trends.Although there is significant potential strength and inclusive prosperity to be gained from unity and integration, to achieve this, a consolidated approach should be taken to the design of Africa’s governance architecture – and we’re not there yet.In fact, according to a paper by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the level of compliance and implementation of African shared values as elaborated in the norms and standards by the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Community organs and institutions is a key concern, as is the engagement and participation of African citizens in continental and national initiatives to strengthen and consolidate democracy.Aimed at addressing this, the paper by the SAIIA described that the AU is currently producing a long-term development strategy, Agenda 2063, where the draft framework identifies democratic deficit and weak governance as root causes of conflict and impediments to sustainable development.With this in mind, Agenda 2063 aims to:• engender equitable and people-centred growth and development• eradicate poverty• develop human capital• build social assets, infrastructure and public goods• empower women and youth• promote lasting peace and security• strengthen and develop effective, strong democratic development states and• enhance participatory and accountable governance institutions to fulfil the African dreamTo do this successfully, incredibly strong political leadership is fundamental and essential – and a lot can be gained from remembering the path already travelled and where we are today – to influence more informed decisions. Therefore, in reimagining Africa’s future, I dream of an Africa that is transformed through transparent and integrated governance – towards a prosperous future for all Africans.The World Economic Forum on Africa 2015 takes place in Cape Town, South Africa from 3 to 5 June. read more
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Michael E. Russell, 78, of Urbana, was killed in a farm accident on May 15.According to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, Russell was checking a planter for an airline leak in a field off of Route 36 East. The equipment released when Russell was under the planter. Russell was pronounced dead at the scene.Urbana EMS, Mechanicsburg EMS, and the Champaign County Coroner assisted at the scene.For more, visit peakofohio.com.
What is it about the number three? You’ve got the Three Musketeers, the Three Little Pigs, and the Three Stooges. Then there’s three strikes (what every pitcher wants), three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial), and the three kinds of people (those who can do math and those who can’t). And let’s not forget three on a match, three wise men, and threepeats.Today we’ll look at another big three: the three types of heating and cooling loads. Do you know what they are already? Design loadIf you ask a competent HVAC designer what the cooling load on a house is and they tell you it’s two tons, they’re talking about the design load. That means they’ve calculated the amount of cooling needed for the house using plans and specifications for the house or actual field data for existing homes. Mostly the inputs in the calculation are constant (e.g., insulation R-value, house orientation…), but some things change throughout the day or year (e.g., outdoor temperatures) and some can be changed by the occupants (e.g., indoor temperatures). Calculation protocols like ACCA Manual J specify the temperatures you should use in the calculations, and these are called the design conditions. For example, our outdoor summer design temperature in Atlanta is 92° F. ACCA’s recommended indoor summer design temperature is 75° F. For winter, Atlanta’s numbers are 23° F and 70° F.So your design cooling load is how much air conditioning you need when the indoor and outdoor temperatures are at the summer design levels. The design heating load is how much heating you need when the indoor and outdoor temperatures are at the winter design levels. Part loadExtreme loads always seem to get the spotlight, but part load conditions are actually more deserving of your attention. For nearly 99% of the time, the outdoor temperatures will be less extreme than the design temperatures for your location. Think about it. You get up on a summer morning, look at the thermometer, and see that it’s 73° F outdoors. Maybe it’ll climb up to your design temperature in the afternoon, but even then, it won’t stay there very long.So even on a day when you hit the design temperature, your heating or air conditioning system will be operating under part-load conditions most of the day. Another factor is the seasonal change in conditions during the cooling or heating seasons. Early and late in the season, every day will be a part-load day.The problem with part-load conditions is that most heating and cooling equipment operates at fixed capacity. If the cooling load is only 6,000 BTU per hour and you have a 24,000 BTU/hour air conditioner, that AC isn’t going to run very long before it meets the thermostat setpoint. That imbalance isn’t ideal for comfort or dehumidification.As houses get more airtight and better insulated, the imbalance gets worse. With fixed capacity equipment that comes in minimum capacities of 1.5 tons for air conditioners or 30-40 thousand BTU/hr for furnaces, it’s easy to have equipment that may never come near needing its full capacity in small, energy-efficient homes. Then if you overventilate by trying to follow the guidelines of a standard like ASHRAE 62.2-2013, you may end up growing mold in a humid climate.Yes, there are ways around the problems. You can put in some supplemental dehumidification or use two-stage heating and cooling equipment. Or you could go a step further and put in fully modulating equipment like minisplit heat pumps. It’s important to understand the nuances of heating and cooling loads and the ramifications of the type of equipment you choose. The HVAC design world isn’t as simple as it used to be back when you could use rules of thumb or silly protocols like Manual E (shown below). Actually, it never was that simple.The hip bone’s still connected to the thigh bone, which is still connected to the knee bone. That’s three things, so I hope that means I’m in the group that can do math! Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Extreme loadUnless you live in a place like Santa Monica, California — where the temperature is always perfect — you probably understand that design loads are simply a guide. A house will never spend a whole lot of time subjected to design conditions, so if you size your heating and cooling equipment to meet the design loads exactly, you’ll have the wrong size equipment most of the time.Extreme loads happen when you get the hottest or coldest temperatures your location experiences. In Atlanta, we got down to single digits Fahrenheit last year, nearly 20 F° below our design temperature. In the summer of 2012, we set a record with a high temperature of 106° F. Should we install HVAC equipment with the capacity to meet the loads from such extreme temperatures?The answer is no. First, if you do a Manual J load calculation accurately, it’s got some built in padding. The loads you calculate will probably be 15-20% higher than the actual load at design conditions, which gives you a buffer to help meet the extreme loads.Second, unless you live in a leaky, uninsulated sieve of a house, there will be a lag between when the extreme temperatures occur outdoors and when the inside of the house feels the effects. By the time the heat from that 106° F day starts getting to the inside of the house, the outdoor temperature has already dropped. That’s one of the ways insulation and air sealing help you.Third, extreme temperatures occur for about 1% of the time on average. Yes, there will be years with heat waves and years with cold spells, but HVAC equipment sized according to the design loads and ACCA’s Manual S equipment selection protocol should cover you for most of the extreme loads you experience.Extreme loads get more attention than they deserve, in my opinion. If you’ve got a home that’s adequately air-sealed and insulated, properly sized equipment should do fine. If your home isn’t air-sealed or insulated well enough and your HVAC equipment can’t keep up, attack the building enclosure and distribution system before installing bigger equipment. (For more on what you can do if your equipment doesn’t keep up, see the article I wrote shortly after we set the high temperature record in Atlanta, 9 Uncommon Tips for Keeping Cool with a Struggling Air Conditioner.) Load vs. capacityBefore we get into the three types of heating and cooling loads, though, it’s a good idea to make sure we’re all clear on the difference between two words that are easy to confuse: load and capacity. If you’re new to HVAC lingo, it’s easy to miss the distinction so here it is:Load – the amount of heating or cooling a building needsCapacity – the amount of heating or cooling a piece of HVAC equipment can provideWhenever you see the word “load” in the context of heating and cooling, it refers to the building’s needs. When you see “capacity,” it’s what the heating or cooling equipment can provide.Got it? Great. Let’s get to those three types of loads now, knowing that we’re talking about building needs. read more
Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in My comprehensive article on residential ventilation systems, “Designing a Good Ventilation System,” was published back in 2009. A few things have changed in the last eight years, so it’s time to revisit the topic. Code requirements Most building scientists aren’t willing to provide a simple answer to the question, “At what point is a home so tight that the home requires a mechanical ventilation system?” A typical answer is, “It depends — but unless your house is very leaky, it’s better to err on the side of caution and install a mechanical ventilation system.”Building codes aren’t so vague, however. According to the 2012 and 2015 versions of the International Residential Code (IRC), any new home with a blower-door test result of less than 5.0 ach50 is required to have a whole-house ventilation system. This code requirement can be found in Chapter 3, section R303.4, and in Chapter 15, section M1507.1 of the IRC.Since the new IRC code requires homes in all zones except Zones 1 and 2 to achieve an airtightness result of no more than 3 ach50, the code effectively mandates a whole-house mechanical ventilation system for homes in Zones 3 through 8. If you live in Zones 1 or 2, and if your blower door test came in at less than 5.0 ach50, your home is also required to have a whole house ventilation system.The bottom line: If you’re getting your advice from GBA, you’ll be building a tight house — so your house needs a mechanical ventilation system.The building code is vague concerning the details of a mechanical ventilation system; it doesn’t really tell builders what type of equipment is needed to comply with the code. The code is specific, however, about ventilation rates. Here are the minimum airflow… read more