December 21

Almost 200 homes and businesses without power following fault

first_imgAn electrical fault is affecting up to 173 properties in the Ballybofey area this Friday morning.The power outage occurred shortly before 9am in Knock and surrounding areas.The issue has been reported to ESB and crews are currently working on repairs. Is it expected that supplies will be restored by 12.30pm.Almost 200 homes and businesses without power following fault was last modified: December 13th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

December 16

Air Flow Pathways in a Leaky Exterior Wall

first_imgThe leaking air was moving laterally through the battNow, let’s focus in on where the dirt appeared in this batt. Let’s observe. See that part in the red box (Image #3, below)? That indicates air was moving laterally across the stud cavity in the wall. What?!Yes, it’s true. When I first looked at the batt, that pattern didn’t stand out. I saw it only later when I looked at the exterior wall sheathing and saw the pattern repeated there. See the band of dust near the bottom of the cavity in Image #4, below? That’s where the fiberglass batt picked up that band of dirt in the red box in the previous photo.But how is air moving laterally across the stud cavities? Well, we know that air needs two things to move: a pressure difference and a pathway. It also likes to take pathways with lower resistance. So that band of dust on the sheathing is a pathway of lower resistance. You can see the pathway better in Image #5, below.The fiberboard sheathing is bucklingThe sheathing that I discovered in the wall is asphalt-impregnated fiberboard, commonly referred to as Celotex, one of its primary manufacturers. It’s not as stiff as plywood or OSB, and you can see below that it’s not lying flat against the studs. Those gaps create pathways.OK, that explains air moving inside the cavity, but is it connected with air outside the building enclosure? Some people think just the presence of fiberglass is the problem. They’re wrong. The answer is shown in the Image #6, below. The seam between two pieces of fiberboard is open. You can even see what’s on the other side: the brick veneer.It looks like that nail missed the stud. It was probably OK at first, but over the past 46 years, the fiberboard has distorted through a whole lot of wetting and drying cycles. The result is a hole in our building enclosure. And there are more holes everywhere two pieces of the fiberboard meet and at the top and bottom of the wall. That adds up to a lot of leakage area.Where’s the WRB?Also, the fact that I can see the brick veneer on the outside of the building means there’s no drainage plane. No felt. No house wrap. No nothing between the fiberboard and brick. Fortunately, I haven’t found widespread moisture damage resulting from this. (The termite damage is an indication of moisture but it was isolated to the two sides of the window.)How do you fix this? You’ve got several options. You could ignore the problem and put it back together the way you found it. You could spray-foam the whole thing. You could seal the gaps and install fiberglass batts again. I’ll show you my solution next time.By the way, demolishing a bathroom by yourself is a heck of a lot of work. I hauled out 47 bags of debris and a few larger items. The good news is that by the time my wife returned home the following week, I was done with 98% of the demolition. The last photo shows what she found when she walked in there expecting to find the same bathroom she’d left the week before.Lead-safe work practicesNow let me end with a caveat. If your home was built before 1978, it probably has lead paint in it. If you’re doing the work as a homeowner, you’re not subject to the rules of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Program, which applies to contractors, but you you should still work safely. Here are their lead guidelines for do-it-yourselfers. I followed them pretty closely when I was doing the demolition in my bathroom. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, 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. This spring I spent a lot of hours in my bathroom. I was sick. Really. I was sick and tired of having an outdated bathroom that was falling apart. So when my wife hit the road one Monday in late April to drive across the country, I got out my wrecking bar. The lead photo shows what it looked like at the end of my first full day of demolition.I opened up the plumbing wall first. Lots of fun stuff, there. But the real fun came when I opened up the exterior wall. The four termite-damaged studs were part of that fun, but something else was even better.Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” So when I got into the exterior wall, I watched. I live in the Atlanta area in a condo built in 1970. Air leakage hadn’t been discovered yet back then, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening. Check out that fiberglass batt (first two images below) from the exterior wall.Do you see what I see? The black parts are where the fiberglass captured dirt. The dirt was traveling in air that was moving in the wall. Fiberglass is a great indicator of air leakage, and most of the fiberglass manufacturers make it easy for us to see the dirt. They make their product in light colors: pink, yellow, white. (There’s a new trend toward brown fiberglass, though, which isn’t helpful for spotting air leakage. But hey, we’re making airtight houses now, right?) RELATED ARTICLESQuestions and Answers About Air BarriersOne Air Barrier or Two?Is OSB Airtight?Airtight Wall and Roof SheathingBlower Door BasicsPinpointing Leaks With a Fog MachineAir Leakage Through Spray Polyurethane FoamGetting the Biggest Bang for Your Air-Sealing BuckAir-Sealing Tapes and GasketsAir Sealing With Sprayable Caulk New Air Sealing Requirements in the IRCNavigating Energy Star’s Thermal Bypass ChecklistVideo Series: Attic Air SealingGBA Encyclopedia: Air BarriersGBA Encyclopedia: Addressing Air LeaksManaging Lead Paint Hazardslast_img read more

December 16

Stranded In Our Own Communities

first_imgWhen it comes to geographic location, transit demand and supply appear to follow certain spatial patterns. Unsurprisingly, transit supply is highest in city centers and decreases as distance from city centers increases. As a result, transit deserts do not typically occur in city centers or near downtown. In fact, because of the typical “hub and spoke” design of many transit services, city centers often have transit surpluses where supply outstrips demand.The location of transit deserts often does not follow a geographic pattern, although they are usually associated with low-income and remote areas. While planners and engineers may have a rough idea of where supply is low, making service adjustments requires measuring and mapping of transit supply and demand citywide. By JUNFENG JIAO and NICOLE McGRATHAs any commuter who has experienced unreliable service or lives miles away from a bus stop will tell you, sometimes public transit isn’t really a viable option, even in major cities.In our car-loving society, where 85% of Americans use a car to get to work, people who cannot access transportation are excluded from their own communities and trapped inside “transit deserts.” This term, which one of us (Junfeng Jiao) coined, describes areas in a city where demand for transit is high but supply is low.Lack of transit has harmful effects on those who rely on public transit — generally, people who are too young, too old, too poor, or have disabilities that don’t allow them to drive. Mapping these deserts will help agencies adjust transit services and better serve their communities.At the University of Texas-Austin’s Urban Information Lab, our research focuses on refining the methods used to quantify and measure transit supply and demand. We’ve developed clear and concise geographic information system (GIS) methods to evaluate transportation systems, providing alternatives to previous, more complicated network modeling. These methods can quickly be applied to any location, as we have shown in studies of five major cities in Texas and other cities across the United States. By using this method, we found that hundreds of thousands of transit-dependent people in Texas don’t have access to mass transit systems. RELATED ARTICLES Rebalancing transit networksMany cities are now making service adjustments to improve service to transit deserts. For example, Houston’s transit authority, METRO, recently redesigned its bus service as part of a larger “Transit Service Reimagining,” in an attempt to better meet the region’s mobility needs. Evaluation of the new transit services shows that current levels of transit demand and supply are more balanced, though gaps still exist.Identifying transit deserts is even catching on at the federal level. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently launched a new initiative to map transit deserts nationally through a National Transit Map, which will put together data from different transit agencies into a complete feed. By accessing a larger, national look at transit demand and supply, regional agencies will have extra tools available to them when making changes to their local transit services.What these changes will be is hard to say. Expanding existing bus services may be the most cost-effective way to improve transit access. Even in New York City, with its massive subway system, city officials are increasingly turning to bus rapid transit due to the high cost of adding new subway lines.Adding bus lines, increasing service hours, and even streamlining boarding and fares can help improve service and increase access. Integrating bicycling with transit services would be another cost-effective option.As research on transit deserts continues to grow, more precise methods of quantifying the gap between transit supply and demand should develop. More research may provide new views on how the built environment and socioeconomic variables affect transportation accessibility. With careful planning and investment, these transit deserts can eventually transform into transit oases. Beyond city centersCurrent research shows that transit deserts exist all over the country. Cities such as Chicago; Cincinnati; Charlotte; North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; and San Antonio contain multiple communities that don’t have enough transit services to meet existing demand. Even in older cities, where development tends to follow transit lines, there are neighborhoods where the supply of transit is simply not enough.This is a large-scale problem. In San Antonio, the seventh-largest U.S. city by population, some 334,530 people — nearly one-fourth of the population — need access to public transportation in a city that doesn’t even have rail service. In Chicago, where there are high levels of transit dependency all across the city, just three of the transit desert neighborhoods that we identified house approximately 176,806 residents. Even in a city as progressive as Portland, Oregon, thousands live in transit desert neighborhoods.Transit desert analysis for the city of San Antonio. Negative numbers connote areas where demand for transit exceeds supply. Why Is the U.S. Unwilling to Pay for Good Public Transportation?Getting Around Without Fossil FuelsLocation EfficiencyGreen Building Priority #4 — Reduce the Need for DrivingHouses Versus CarsResilient Communities Connecting people to jobs and servicesResearch shows that low-income residents living in sprawling areas have limited transportation options, which constrains their job opportunities and upward mobility. Inadequate transportation keeps people from finding work, which then reduces the productivity of their communities. It also can limit access to medical services, causing health problems to go undetected or worsen.Addressing transit access is one important strategy for tackling broader social problems. For example, welfare recipients are less likely to own cars or have access to transit than the general population. Reducing these transportation barriers would help move them from welfare to work.Although scholars have been studying “food deserts” (areas where residents lack access to nutritious food) for several decades, we have only recently applied this logic to mass transportation systems, despite the fact that food deserts often occur due to lack of transportation.Relatively little research has been carried out to identify and quantify gaps between transit demand and supply. But as counties and cities feel the effects of declining funding from federal and state transportation user fees, they need new ways to target transportation infrastructure investments and ensure limited resources are used in the best way possible. We have found that maps are a promising way to guide these discussions. Mapping transit desertsDetermining exactly who relies on mass transit can be difficult. Existing information depends on census data. As previously noted, people who rely on transit are usually from marginalized demographic groups. They may be elderly, poor, or have disabilities that keep them from driving. Census data do not account for the fact that sometimes these populations overlap (a transit-dependent person could be old as well as poor), so one individual could be counted many times.Also, census data on car ownership are not available at the census block group level, which is the smallest geographic unit published by the U.S. Census Bureau. This lack of data makes it hard to measure transit dependency with accuracy.Measuring transit supply is easier. It relies on data from municipal planning agencies as well as relevant municipal and county GIS departments, which manage spatial and geographic information, analysis tools, and mapping products. These agencies measure variables that include number of transit stops, transit routes, and frequency of service, as well as lengths of sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and low speed-limit routes (which are relevant because some commuters may opt to walk instead of taking the bus). Junfeng Jiao is an assistant professor of community and regional planning and director of the Urban Information Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. Nicole McGrath is a master’s degree candidate in community and regional planning at UT at Austin. This post originally appeared at The Conversation.last_img read more