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first_imgEducation Minister Joe McHugh has given the go-ahead for a school extension at Robertson National School, Stranorlar.A new permanent classroom will be built to replace a prefab at the 66-pupil school, along with two Special Education Teaching rooms and a fully accessible special needs bathroom.Minister Joe McHugh made the announcement during a visit to the Robertson NS on Friday 21st June. Joe McHugh, TD, Minister for Education and Skills opens the newly refurbished playground at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Photo Clive WassonThe Minister was attending an end of year event with 6th class graduation ceremony. He also officially opened the newly refurbished climbing frame and playground.Parents, pupils, staff and Board of Management were present to hear the announcement that the Minister had given the go ahead for the much-needed school extension.Joanne Rafferty, Tusla, Joe McHugh, TD, Minister for Education and Skills and Brian Bovaird Principal with borthers Eoin, Brógán and Daithí who received full attendance certificates at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Photo Clive WassonJoanne Rafferty, Tusla, Brian Bovaird, Principal , Joe McHugh, TD, Minister for Education and Skills, Bonnie Oliver, Chairperson, BOM, Fintan Keating, St Marys Stranorlar, Principal and Fadhil Mistafa at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Photo Clive WassonPrincipal Brian Bovaird commented on the announcement: “We are absolutely delighted with the announcement today. Our school has grown in pupil numbers in recent years and there will be 66 pupils enrolled in the coming school year, the school accommodation simply isn’t large enough to cater for these increased number of pupils.“We have 5 teachers, with two of them sharing a very small Principal’s office and a group of 26 infants using a very small prefab. Today’s announcement will provide the accommodation that pupils and staff deserve. We are very grateful for the approval by Minister McHugh today – he really is delivering for Donegal!” Clive Wasson was on hand to capture photos on the momentous day for the school:Students try out the new playground at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Photo Clive WassonJoe McHugh, TD, Minister for Education and Skills speaking at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Photo Clive WassonStudents perfroming at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Photo Clive WassonGuests at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Photo Photo Clive WassonBrian Bovaird, Principal at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Photo Clive Wasson6th Years students with their teachers at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Back from left are Laura Gallagher, Cheryl MacBeth, Kathleen McGinty, Brian Bovaird, Principal and Ms Callaghan. Front students Ava, Kelsey Kyra, Lorcan and Cameron. Photo Clive WassonJoe McHugh, TD, Minister for Education and Skills planting a tree at the Robertson National School, Stranorlar annual end of year event with the 6th Year Graduaton Cereomny. Photo Clive WassonMinister gives green light for Robertson NS extension – Picture Special was last modified: June 25th, 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

first_imgQPR appear to have decided against attempting to bring in Robbie Keane or Tim Cahill.Manager Harry Redknapp recently indicated that he was interested in taking striker Keane on loan from LA Galaxy.The Irishman, who played under Redknapp at Tottenham, is potentially available for a loan move now the MLS season has finished.Former Everton star Cahill, now with New York Red Bulls, has also been linked with a temporary return to the Premier League.But Redknapp said: “I haven’t spoken to anyone about Robbie Keane. It’s a two-month job, that’s the problem.“Tim Cahill as well – good player, but it’s two months. What do you do after that?”Click here for our QPR quizSee also:’Let’s have a challenge – come and do something’ Redknapp tells transfer 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_imgA round-up of the latest transfer speculation involving Chelsea, QPR and Brentford…Inter Milan are interested in signing Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi, according to the Daily Mail.Mikel’s first-team chances have been limited, largely because of Nemanja Matic’s excellent performances, and the Nigerian has been tipped to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.The Mail say Inter have identified Mikel, 28, as a possible back-up option should they fail to land Felipe Melo from Galatasaray.Mikel has been linked with several clubs in recent monthsA number of newspapers report that Chelsea have had a bid for goalkeeper Asmir Begovic rejected by Stoke.Italian media reports suggest the Blues and Inter are moving towards a deal for Juan Cuadrado to move to the San Siro on loan from Chelsea.Meanwhile, Everton are looking to sign Brentford wide-man Moses Odubajo, Goal.com claim.Odubajo impressed as his side challenged for promotion last season and is now being touted for a move to the Premier League.Andre Gray has also been linked with a move, with the Hull Daily Mail reporting that Hull City are interested in the Bees striker.It follows recent reports that Gray is a target for QPR, who have not made a move to sign him.Odubajo caught the eye for Brentford last seasonThere has also been speculation over the future of Brentford playmaker Jota, with Swansea City among the clubs reported to be interested.And according to media reports in the Netherlands, Bafana Bafana midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo has rejected a move to Griffin Park from FC Twente.Reports in Spain suggest that Sevilla are interested in QPR midfielder Leroy Fer.Finally, the Daily Express pick up on recent reports that West Brom want Charlie Austin.QPR are still yet to receive an approach for striker Austin despite reported interested from several clubs.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_imgEureka >> Without further adieu, the Times-Standard sports desk brings you the 2016-17 Times-Standard Boys All-Star Basketball Team.We’ve debated and discussed, considered everything we possibly could — from stats to intangibles and all other variables in between — and feel like we’ve come up with a list recognizing the top players in the county.While we had to make tough decisions as to players that are on the list and players that just missed the cut, we are confident that the ones chosen …last_img read more

first_imgAirAsia A320 The multinational search team looking for Indonesia Air Asia flight QZ8501 which disappeared Sunday with 162 aboard has found debris and bodies in the Java Sea.Search teams found the debris trail for the plane 10km from its last known position, south-east of Belitung Island in the Java Sea. Altogether 12 helicopters, 11 planes, and 32 ships from Indonesia Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the US are involved.There were 162 passengers and crew aboard doomed flight, including 16 children and one baby. AirAsia confirmed there were 154 Indonesians, three South Koreans, two French nationals, one Singaporean, one Malaysian and one Briton on the plane. The first hint that the plane had been found came mid-afternoon but the evidence was far from convincing with photographed debris resembling timber floating in the water. Shortly after officials announced objects resembling an aircraft emergency slide, plane door and dozens of smaller white items had been spotted.Any doubts however doubts were quickly dispelled when an Indonesian Air Force official identified a human body in the sea. A search plane also saw a “shadow” on the seabed believed to be of the missing Flight QZ8501, National Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelistyo told a news conference in Jakarta.The Indonesian warship Bung Tomo has retrieved 3 bodies.Indonesian officials have asked relatives of passengers for DNA samples to help identify the victims.WORLD’S SAFEST AIRLINESMH370: MALAYSIA REJECTED EVIDENCEFlight QZ8501 was operating between Surabya and Singapore on Sunday morning when it disappeared in bad weather just 45 minutes after take-off.Severe weather impact is thought to be responsible for the apparent loss of the six year old aircraft. A leaked radar screenshot from AirNav Indonesia, the air traffic controller, obtained by AirlineRatings.com shows that the A320 had critically lost 200km/hour in airspeed and it could no longer sustain flight at the altitude it was flying.Air traffic controllers lost contact with the A320 just five minutes after crew requested a deviation of their flight route to avoid storms. ATC denied the pilot’s request to climb from 32,000ft to 38,000ft but agreed to 34,000ft but just minutes later the ATC radar plot shows the A320 at 36,300ft and climbing.One former A320 pilot who spoke to AirlineRatings.com said the A320 was flying far too slow when it disappeared and it “may have been in a stall.”“Flying slow at high altitude is very dangerous,” said the pilot. Just after the radar plot was taken the transponder signals disappeared indicating a catastrophic failure. The former A320 pilot said that the crew may have been deceived by the aircraft’s radar, which was not the latest model available and may have flown into the centre of a thunderstorm and been hit by a massive updraft. The latest radars are called multiscan and automatically detect thunderstorms.However the plane’s commander Captain Iriyanto was a 20,537 veteran of which 6100 hours was with Indonesia Air Asia. The co-pilot was Rémi Emmanuel Plesel, who had a total of 2,275 flying hours with AirAsia Indonesia.Divers are expected to examine the fuselage which lies at a depth of 45m on Wednesday December 31 and the recovery of the black boxes is expected to be swift.last_img read more

first_imgThe New Age hopes to gain massivereadership quickly.(Image: Bongani Nkosi) Editor Henry Jeffreys said  they are notbiased towards the ANC.(Image: The New Age)MEDIA CONTACTS• The New Age+27 11 542 1222RELATED ARTICLES• Turning up the media volume• Praise for new isiZulu paper• New M&G journalism centre• Uganda’s media industry on a rollBongani NkosiThe New Age, the latest national newspaper to launch in South Africa, has finally hit the streets after delays of several months.The newspaper becomes the most recent to seek penetration into the challenging mainstream print media market. The first print version came out on 6 December 2010, with copies being sold across the country.The paper planned to launch in September, but this didn’t happen. In October it tried again, but efforts were scuppered by the resignation of appointed chief editor Vuyo Mvoko and four other key staff members.Following the setback, a new editor-in-chief, Henry Jeffreys, was appointed and he took up the post on 1 December. Jeffreys has a strong background in Afrikaans newspapers and was formerly editor of the daily Die Burger.The New Age is owned by business moguls with strong ties to the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Many media pundits have predicted that it will serve as a propaganda tool for the party and the government.It’s owned by TNA Media, whose executive chairperson Atul Gupta shares close ties with the ANC and the country’s President Jacob Zuma. TNA’s director Essop Pahad is an ANC veteran and was a minister in the presidency under Thabo Mbeki’s tenure.The paper’s owners have made it clear that The New Age will report on the government in a positive manner, but it will remain objective and it will not act as the government’s agent.It will not be biased towards the ANC, The New Age claims. “We hold no political brief for any political party or formation. We are proudly South African and fiercely independent – and owe allegiance only to our readers and South Africa,” said Jeffreys in a front-page note in the paper.Vow of deeper coverageThe broadsheet newspaper, which sells for R3.50 (US$0.50), is promising to cover all nine provinces in far more detail than any of its competitors. Wider coverage is an identified market gap, according to The New Age.“We aim to give a voice to under-reported rural and semi-rural communities,” said Jeffreys. “We hope we do not fail, especially in our efforts to cover the lesser known provinces.”The paper’s Sunday edition is still on hold, and the launch date will be announced in early 2011.The New Age is forecast to score big from state advertising, which, some have said, will be at the expense of other papers. The launch copy carries adverts from both the government and private sector.Experienced staff roped in Several experienced journalists from the print industry have joined The New Age, some from stables such as Independent Newspapers and Media 24.There’s an enormous expectation of The New Age to cover stories differently from its competitors, noted Xolani Mbanjwa, a senior political reporter formerly of Independent Newspapers.“We have to live up to the expectation that we will offer a different product to what is in the more established media publications,” Mbanjwa said in a statement on the eve of the launch.“For everyone involved it’s been a rollercoaster ride and we’re happy that we have the platform to produce a product that is credible and offers different voices.”Zinhle Maphumulo, the erstwhile Sowetan senior health reporter, said: “Finally we get the chance to prove to sceptics that we are not a government newspaper. We’ve waited a long time to come out.”last_img read more

first_img27 May 2011India’s Suzlon Energy has signed a deal with African Clean Energy Developments (ACED) for the supply and construction of up to 200 wind turbines for the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility in the Eastern Cape, for an undisclosed sum.The facility, which covers over 9 000 hectares and is located about 150km north-east of Port Elizabeth, is one of South Africa’s leading renewable energy projects, having received permission from the Department of Environmental Affairs in May 2010 for the erection of up to 200 wind turbines.The initial deal is 76 of Suzlon’s S88 series 2 Megawatt turbines, with an option to acquire 124 Turbines.“We at Suzlon are delighted to be supporting what is arguably the lead project in South Africa in terms of quality and development timelines,” Suzlon South Africa CEO Silas Zimu said in a statement this week. “The Cookhouse facility will not only provide clean and green energy, but also create many jobs and make a major contribution to local economic development.”Power purchase agreementThe contract is conditional to the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility successfully securing a power purchase agreement under the South African REFIT (Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff) procurement process, due to commence in the coming months.Based on current expectations, installation is expected to commence in late 2011 or early 2012.African Clean Energy Developments is a joint venture between African Infrastructure Investment Managers (a company held by Old Mutual Investment Group and Macquarie Capital) and AFPOC Limited.Significant BEE participationACED is working closely with its partner, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, and with its appointed mandated lead arrangers, Standard Bank and Nedbank, to finalise a financing package which will include a significant portion of broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) ownership.“African Clean Energy Developments, along with its key stakeholders, are pleased to be working with Suzlon Energy Limited on our flagship South African project, the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility,” said ACED managing director Thomas Donnelly.“Suzlon has demonstrated a clear commitment to the South African market, and to local economic development and job creation, two key objectives of the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility.”Emerging markets experienceSuzlon Group MD Tulsi Tanti said that as a rapidly growing economy, South Africa was a very important market for the company, and that they were excited to bring to the table their vast emerging markets experience gained from countries like India, China, Brazil and others.“The country has immense wind energy resources and the government of the Republic of South Africa has demonstrated praiseworthy vision and leadership to exploit this abundant renewable resource to power the nation’s growth,” Tanti said.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_img15 October 2013 South Africa will count on France’s support for the implementation of United Nations Resolution 2033, which calls for closer coordination between the UN Security Council and the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday. Zuma was speaking during a state banquet held in Pretoria in honour of visiting French President Francois Hollande. “South Africa believes that to comprehensively address this challenge of peace and security on the continent, there is a need for closer cooperation between the United Nations Peace and Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council.” He said the resolution accorded the AU “a leading role” in facilitating the resolution of conflicts on the continent, with the support of the United Nations. “At a multilateral level there is a need for us to further intensify our collaboration and partnership. “This we should do … to encourage faster reform of the United Nations, especially the Security Council, so that this important world body can become a truly democratic forum, reflecting the political and other realities of the 21st century.” Zuma and Hollande agreed on Monday that intervention was needed in the Central African Republic to help stabilise the country. Zuma said that relations between France and South Africa would grow from strength to strength following Hollande’s visit. In 2012, more than 120 000 French tourists visited South Africa, an increase of 16% compared to 2011. “This shows great potential, which we will continue to harness,” he said. Among the agreements reached on Monday was for France to supply the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa with more than 3 000 train carriages. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

first_imgAlex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News, which is now in its 20th year. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. In addition to this Energy Solutions blog, Alex contributes to the weekly blog BuildingGreen’s Product of the Week, which profiles an interesting new green building product each week. If I were building a new house today, it would be superinsulated and heated with a high-efficiency, minisplit, air-source heat pump that I could power with electricity generated on the roof. Even if I couldn’t afford the PV panels right away, I might opt for electric heat anyway to avoid the need for combustion in the house (an indoor air quality and safety concern) and to enable easy conversion to solar-generated heat down-the-road.Wood pellet heating systemsFrom an environmental standpoint, avoiding fossil fuels is a great goal. If we can’t heat with solar electricity (or if our heating loads are too large to make that practical — which will be the case with most existing homes), then I’d recommend wood pellets.Wood pellets are clean-burning and renewable. Yes, they emit carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas that causes climate change), but trees sequester carbon dioxide out of the air as they grow — converting it into above- and below-ground biomass. So, as long as trees are grown sustainably — meaning that trees are harvested only as quickly as replacement trees are grown — wood pellets (and cordwood) are “carbon-neutral.”A downside to heating with wood pellets is that electric blowers are used. One of these blowers introduces air into the combustion chamber and another delivers warm air to the room. The result of fan-assisted air supply is very clean combustion — emitting significantly less air pollution than wood stoves that burn cordwood. But those blowers are noisy and we should consider how that electricity is made. Solar electricity is great; coal-generated electricity isn’t.For central heating, a pellet boiler should be considered. Burning pellets heats water that is circulated through baseboard radiators just like oil- and gas-fired hydronic heating systems. Be aware that advanced pellet boilers (most of which are made in Europe) are expensive. With a pellet boiler, pellets can be bought in bulk, avoiding the plastic bags that most wood pellets are sold in. One of the biggest frustrations I have with my pellet stove is the large number of plastic bags that accumulate.If central heating is not required, a pellet stove makes a good heating option. Pellet stoves, though, require filling by hand, while most pellet boilers are more automated. This limits the practicality of pellet stoves for homeowners who are away for more than a couple days at a time during the winter. Be aware that pellet stoves are noisy (from the fans) and they deliver their heat by forced convection rather than radiation. It just isn’t as pleasant to sit in front of a pellet stove as it is in front of a wood stove (where I am as I write this).In rural areas and for homeowners with their own woodlots, wood stoves are an okay option, as long as a modern, relatively clean-burning woodstove is used. Use only dry wood to minimize pollution from wood burning.Next week, we’ll dig into heating options a little deeper, covering systems that use natural gas, propane, and fuel oil. I’ve always gotten a lot of questions from friends, neighbors, and casual acquaintances about energy issues, and those questions picked up dramatically when I started writing this column two-and-a-half years ago. Beginning with this week, I’m going to devote an occasional column to answering some of these questions. (Feel free to e-mail questions to me, mentioning Energy Solutions in the subject line: [email protected])What’s the greenest option for heating my home?This is actually a surprisingly complex question. My first answer is that the greenest heating option is that which uses the least. In other words, reduce the amount of heating that’s required by carrying out energy conservation improvements. Less is better no matter what the type of heat. I tend to include passive solar features with energy conservation — by introducing solar heat through south-facing windows, we reduce the need for other heat sources.But that answer is a bit of a cop-out. In our climate (cold!), we almost always need to provide supplemental heat to keep our houses comfortable. That’s especially the case during very cold weather, which we’re experiencing this week. Nighttime temperatures have dropped well into the minus-double-digits (Fahrenheit) in Vermont over the past week.Electric heat?With an extremely energy-efficient house (R-40 or more in the walls, triple-glazed windows with two low-e coatings, and very tight construction), electric heat can be the greenest option. Electricity? Yes, electricity…but only if the heating loads are very small. With a very low heating load, it’s possible to generate the electricity needed using photovoltaic (solar electric) modules either mounted on the roof or ground-mounted. RELATED ARTICLES Heating a Tight, Well-Insulated HouseShould Green Homes Burn Wood?Understanding Pellet Stoves Are Masonry Heaters a Good Match for Superinsulated Houses?last_img read more

first_imgLawmakers and climate activists in Massachusetts are urging state regulators to add a net-zero provision to statewide building codes. The Massachusetts Climate Action Network, a nonprofit advocacy group, is circulating a letter asking the state’s Board of Building Regulation and Standards to add a net-zero clause to the state’s “stretch” code. Two legislators are pitching the same idea. The stretch code is a second and more stringent tier of the state building code. While Massachusetts towns and cities aren’t required to adopt the stretch code, 262 of the state’s 351 towns and cities have opted to accept this tier of the code. It requires greater energy efficiency in new buildings than the Massachusetts base code.RELATED ARTICLES2019 Is the Year of Energy CodesA Better Way to Encourage Efficient New HomesA Certification Program for Net Zero Energy ProjectsA New Guide for Net Zero BuildersA Business Model for Net-Zero Energy Districts The Climate Action Network organized the appearance of some 40 supporters before a May 7 meeting of the building standards board to speak in favor of a net-zero requirement, Energy News Network reported. At the same time, two state legislators have filed a bill that would require the board to adopt a net-zero stretch code. New buildings would have to meet their energy needs with renewable energy sources, both on and off site. The Network’s letter doesn’t contain any details on the net-zero provision or how it would be phased in. It leaves those details for later, but the group argues that the change would clear the way for Massachusetts communities seeking more aggressive carbon reductions. Legally, communities can’t adopt energy provisions that are any more stringent than the current version of the stretch code. As a result, communities that want to require higher energy efficiency or carbon-natural buildings can’t really move ahead. “We believe that this reform will help achieve the energy efficiency goals we have as a Commonwealth, and encourage Massachusetts communities to develop better, safer, and more climate-friendly buildings,” the letter reads. Rebecca Winterich-Knox, an organizer for the Climate Action Network, said in an email that details of the net-zero requirement would be worked out during the regulatory process in conjunction with the state’s Department of Energy Resources. Not everyone thinks net-zero is a good idea Paul Eldrenkamp, whose firm Byggmeister specializes in high-performance remodels, told Energy News Network that a net-zero requirement doesn’t necessarily mean buildings will use less energy. With enough room on the roof or in the back yard, homeowners with big, inefficient houses could meet a net-zero requirement simply by adding more solar panels. “One of the unintended consequences of net-zero would be that you could build worse buildings and put more [solar] on them,” he said. “I am not a big fan of zero net energy as a building standard.” Eldrenkamp said he would prefer a building code that requires lower energy consumption, such as the Passive House standard. He also said it’s important to chose building materials carefully to reduce the amount of carbon construction adds to the environment. “If we’re investing a huge amount of carbon upfront in buildings that are going to have low operating carbon, we’re better off not building at all,” Eldrenkamp said. In a telephone call, Eldrenkamp said that over time there’s been a convergence of the base and stretch codes in Massachusetts. The International Residential Code and the International Energy Conservation Code are updated every three years, and Massachusetts has followed suit. As a result, the base code has gradually evolved while the stretch code has not been rewritten since it was first enacted as part of the Green Communities Act of 2008. The question now is what a new stretch code should look like, and a net-zero requirement as emerged as one possibility. But, Eldrenkamp said, the proposal has the effect of lumping renewable energy and building performance standards together when they should be addressed separately. “I don’t agree with that,” he said. “Intuitively it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I want consistently good buildings, and I want the whole region working on decarbonizing the grid. I think those two efforts can best be achieved if we’re not trying to conflate or combine the two.” Winterich-Knox said the proposed legislation includes a three- to five-year phase in period for the net-zero requirement for communities that have adopted the stretch code. “But to retain Green Community status,” she said, “all municipalities would have to adopt updated versions of the stretch code.” The net-zero provision would apply to all buildings, residential and commercial. “We believe Passive House standard buildings are the easiest way to get to Net Zero and are proponents for Passive House,” she said. “However, we are focused more [on] making the overall building stock more efficient than on single-family homes.” Stretch code update is possible this year Despite the public push by the Climate Action Network, the building regulations board doesn’t actually have a formal proposal to consider, its vice chairman says. “Nobody as yet has put forward a proposal for discussion about the stretch energy code,” Kerry Dietz, an architect, said in a phone call. “Discussions that have been happening are — basically, at a public hearing, a whole bunch of people were saying to the board that we want a stretch energy code, not what’s in it. There’s no language in front of the board right now.” The board has an energy advisory committee, with representatives from across the industry, that has just completed writing state amendments to the 2018 IECC. Dietz said that group should be authoring a new stretch code for the state, but so far that’s not happening. As to the gradual convergence of the stretch and base building codes, Dietz said that as the family of ICC codes have changed on a three-year cycle, so has the stretch code. “The stretch code has always said, ‘Do better than the base code,’ so the benchmark has been moving,” she said. “What many builders are saying is, ‘Well, we can’t go any further.’ That’s the argument from the industry. We can’t get any better than what the 2018 IECC already says to do … It requires us to do so much.” When is the state likely to revise the stretch code? With any luck, by the end of the year, Dietz said. But for now, she added, “there is nothing in front of the board.”last_img read more