Christmas is known as a time of sharing and giving, and with the festive season rapidly approaching, the Vreed-en-Hoop Wesleyan Church is leading the way in demonstrating the true meaning of the season.The church hosted its annual distribution of gifts on Wednesday last at the Vreed-en-Hoop Primary School, and smiles were put on the faces of over 800 children.The church described the occasion as a beautiful time of joyful celebration, as the acts of giving and receiving were expressed, completely filling the hearts of many.This charitable event, among others, has been funded by care-partners andThe Vreed-en-Hoop Wesleyan Church teammembers of the Vreed-en-Hoop Wesleyan Church with the intention to fulfill an obligation to the community to provide sustainable development within the Region.This religious body has, since 2007, established a relationship with the primary school, and has undertaken several humane projects, such as a feeding programme for students coming from underprivileged homes; special academic sessions during the August school break; providing general rules on guidance and counselling; and establishing a state-of-the-art facility for skills training and recreation, in order to respond to other needs of the Vreed-en- Hoop and contiguous communities.The church has set as its goal providing services that satisfy and enhance the quality of life on the West Side, which would mould the minds, change hearts, and build bridges with the people in the region.
0Shares0000Harambee Stars U23 head coach Francis Kimanzi feeds instructions to his players during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on March 25, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – The Harambee Stars Under-23 team faces a mountainous task on Tuesday evening in their quest to earn a place in next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, when they host Sudan in the return leg of their penultimate qualification tie.Stars go into the return fixture needing a win of three clear goals to go through to the next round having lost the first leg 2-0 in Khartoum last Friday, and the team says only early goals will put them firmly in contention. “We were unlucky in the first leg because even though we were playing away from home, we created the most scoring chances but we could not score. We are confident of turning things around in the return leg,” Skipper Mike Kibwage said.He added; “Everyone in camp is psyched up for that game. We will go fully offensive and hope to get an early goal like we did against Mauritius. We have the same quality and I believe we can achieve that.”Kibwage is stepping in to the skipper’s boots in the absence of regular Joseph ‘Crouch’ Okumu who was not released by his club Royal Monarchs and the KCB man has vowed to lead his charges to victory on home soil.“It is a tough task but we are sure we can do it. Everyone is determined,” the former AFC man added.Harambee Stars U23 captain Mike Kibwage during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on March 25, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluHead coach Francis Kimanzi is also confident the team has what it takes to progress to the final qualification round where a meeting between either Nigeria or Libya awaits.“If we can play better offensively and create more opportunities, we will have a good chance. If we can get the first goal early, then we can run the game from there. I am confident enough to say there is a possibility,” the tactician stated.Kimanzi’s pre-match plans have been slowed down with injuries sustained by strikers John Avire and Jaffary Owiti who trained separately from the rest of the pack on Monday, with their involvement in Tuesday evening’s tie being highly doubtful.“We will see about them, there is no panic but for sure you can never replace an individual because of the qualities they bring in. We will tell assess them with the medical team and then make a decision on whether to field them or not,” Kimanzi offered.Harambee Stars U23 striker Piston Mutamba watches on as teammate James Mazembe dribbles during a training session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on March 25, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluIn their place, Kimanzi has already called in winger James Kinyanjui from Mathare United while forward Piston Mutamba went straight into camp after arriving from Ghana with the senior team.Kimanzi explained that Mutamba was part of the team’s plan from the word go but he had to be released to go to Ghana with the senior team after Michael Olunga’s injury.The availability of the two attacking players will be a huge asset to Kimanzi and his squad especially with the number of goals required to turn the fixture around.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Planned Restrictions to public water supplies (Wednesday 29th December 2010)Demand for water remains high throughout the County which is drawing down water in reservoirs. As a result water supply will be restricted in the following areas tonight, note some from as early as tea-time:Whilst these are planned shut downs to conserve water – the public are reminded that other areas may be interrupted at anytime to facilitate repairs to mainsGLENTIES ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas from 6:00pm until 8:00am The RossesGweedoreLeittermacaward AreaArdara AreaGortahork FalcarraghCreeslough Dunfanaghey DONEGAL ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas from 6:00pm until 8:00am BallyshannonBundoranBallintraRossnowlaghFrosses MountcharlesSTRANORLAR ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas from 6:00pm until 8:00am ConvoyCastlefinRaphoeLiffordBallinacorTievebrackGleneelyBallybofey and Stranorlar – supply will also be turned off to the Twin Towns from midnight until 8.00am each nightINISHOWEN ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas from 8:00pm until 8:00amQuigley’s Point to north of Muff villageThree GlensLETTERKENNY ELECTORAL AREAWater supplies will be restricted in the following areas South Letterkenny Area from 8:00pm until 8:00am including Rahan, Ballyboe, Scibley, Lismonaghan, Correnagh, Rockhill,Newmills and ConwallThe following areas of Letterkenny from 8:00pm until 8:00am Glencar Road, Pearse Road, Canal Road, Neil T. Blaney Road andGlenmaquinn Ballyraine Area from midnight until 8:00am including Sylvan Park, Ashlawn, Ballyraine Park, Orchard Grove,Thorndale, Magherannan Heights and Elmwood DownsAltangaddy Group Scheme Ramelton from 8:00pm until 8:00am including Moorfield, Breaghy and Carnisk AreasWater Conservation AppealDonegal County Council continue to record an increase in demand on a number of water supplies in the county during the current cold weather conditions. We suspect the increased demand for water arises fromtaps left runningburst mains which have not yet been locatedleakage in private propertiesThe Water Service in Donegal wish to appeal to the public to help us eliminate such wastage. This will help save water stored in reservoirs and avoid further shortages throughout the county .With the experience from the widespread disruption last winter we are highlighting the following areas in particular where the public can help eliminate wastage of the public water supply:Running taps – please avoid leaving taps running. This is counter productive and will run down available water in storageBurst mains / leakage – any suspected leaks on watermains or wastage should be reported to the County Council at your local public services centre.Vacant properties – please continue to check vacant properties where internal plumbing may be damaged by freezing conditions. Ideally the water supply to vacant buildings should be turned off and systems drained of all water, e.g. where members of the public who are going on holiday during the coming months, we would recommend that they turn off the water supply to their premises and drain all water out of the system before leaving the property.Farming Community – we ask that you check all field connections and turn off leaking drinking troughs. This has proven to be a serious problem in rural areas in recent years. We also ask for your assistance in checking for burst pipes in farm buildings and burst hoses laying over ground. Essentially anywhere on the farm that water may be lostCaravan Parks – another area that is often remote where plumbing may be exposed and water losses can be slow to appear, we appeal to all caravan park owners to turn off the water supply to eliminate wastage.Once again the co-operation of every community is required if we are to avert widespread shortages in water supplies.BREAKING NEWS: FULL LIST OF AREAS HIT BY WATER CUTS TONIGHT was last modified: December 29th, 2010 by gregShare 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)
Hi guys, hope your enjoying your bank holiday weekend and there’s not too many sore heads today!! It’s great we all get to put off the Sunday night fear for one more day!This week I’m talking all things white, I love white and nothing says “summer” quite so profoundly as a white shirt over faded blue denim. One of the best things about white is that it acts as a reflector when you wear it and lights up your face in a most subtle and flattering way. Generally everything goes with white but I do think a critical eye is required when assessing an outfit’s ‘wearability’!!White is an easy one to get wrong in a way that black seldom is – mainly because it can turn transparent at the drop of a hat. Choosing clothing which is of very high quality and has a good lining are essentially when wearing white. I know many woman whom are extremely scared of wearing white because of its one major disadvantage- its ability to attract dirt. But don’t be scared, white is wonderful!I’ve picked out some lovely white pieces from https://www.ladyvb.com/These white culottes and little white crop top are so elegant and cute, perfect for a summer evening out. You could add a splash of colour by adding different coloured shoes or a little fitted blazer or cape with it.Perhaps you’re like me and love the all-white look, I think it’s just so classy, so you could add this white cape to the outfit above. As I said white literally goes with anything and this cape and dress coat are the perfect accessories for over that dress you’re wearing to a wedding or occasion. They can also add an extra classy touch to a simple pair of denim jeans and top.This gorgeous green tulle skirt matched with a simple white crop top (below) is a stunning look for a summer wedding or even a day at the races.With confirmation and communion season in full swing, and vast becoming extremely large celebrations and dressy affairs. It can often be hard to get an appropriate outfit, especially all those mothers/aunts/sisters who put extreme pressure on themselves to look fabulous. I’ve put together a few outfits which could also be worn again on another occasion or outing!How gorgeous is this white frill top on nude culottes? This is just the thing to have you looking on trend for that special occasion.If you’re looking for something simple, classy and elegant for your next night out with the girls or your better half, then this choker neck dress or white co-ord set is just the thing for you. As I said, the great thing about white is it literally goes with anything so you can mix and match the white top with different coloured skirts or add coloured tops to the skirt and suddenly you’ve several different outfits to choose from!Lastly, I’m finishing with some more ladies day inspo- for all you who will be off to the races this summer. This white asymmetric midi dress is extremely striking and really grabs the eye.Let’s be honest the only time we can get away with wearing all white or mixing white with bold colours is during the summer, so ladies take full advantage! As I mentioned all outfits (as well as many more gorgeous items) can be found on https://www.ladyvb.com/Enjoy what is left of the bank holiday guys, whatever your up to.MAIRÉADxx LIFESTYLE AND FASHION WITH MAIRÉAD: ALL WHITE EERRR THANG was last modified: May 2nd, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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)Tags:All whiteclothingcommunionconfirmationDonegal DailyFashionlifestyleoutfit inspirationSpring Summer
Story Links Friday Results Live Results Drake’s Kevin Kelly (Kilcok, Ireland) and Cloud Masibhera (Harare, Zimbabwe) both turned in first-place performances to lead the track and field teams Friday night at Nebraska’s Devaney Sports Center.Kelly bested the field in the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:25.45 to lead the Bulldogs on the first day of competition at the Graduate Classic while Masibhera won the long jump with a leap of 23-10 (7.29m). Masibhera’s winning mark came on his first jump of the competition and the sophomore passed on his final two attempts to win by nearly eight inches. The pair were part of 15 top-10 finishes recorded by the Bulldogs Friday evening. Two others, Victoria Coombe (Centennial, Colo.) Sophia Jackson (Corinth, Texas) advanced to final rounds Saturday with performances in the preliminary heats of the 60-meter hurdles and 60 meters, respectively. In the men’s mile, Josh Yeager (Center Point, Iowa) and Matt Cozine (Mt. Prospect, Ill.) was fifth. The Bulldogs continue competition Saturday starting at noon.2019 Graduate ClassicDevaney Sports Center – Lincoln, Neb.Friday Drake Men’s Results800 Meters8. Xavier Lechleitner, 1:57.301,000 Meters1. Kevin Kelly, 2:25.45Mile2. Josh Yeager, 4:13.905. Matt Cozine, 4:17.2622. Rylee Miller, 4:51.923,000 Meters7. Kyle Brandt, 8:39.5814. Joe Romain, 9:00.6525. Alex Rohlfs, 9:45.92High Jump – Unseeded7. Forest Moses, 6-2.25 (1.89m)Pole Vault – Unseeded9. Alex Klosterman, 12-6 (3.81m)Long Jump1. Cloud Masibhera, 23-10 (7.29m) Weight Throw12. Joey Harkins, 51-0 (15.50m) Friday Drake Women’s Results60 Meters (Prelims)7. Sophia Jackson, 7.9810. Mariah Crawford, 8.04800 Meters6. Meghan Kearney, 2:20.3718. Samantha Jones, 2:42.40Mile10. Millie Bretl, 5:20.8411. Lindsey Rowatt, 5:22.253,000 Meters7. Elizabeth Aho, 10:38.858. Tess Misgen, 10:42.665,000 Meters3. Rachel Selva, 18:30.9960-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)5. Victoria Coombe, 9.1217. Bryce Lang, 10.05Weight Throw7. Lexie Chapman, 58-1 (17.70m)10. Katelyn Williams, 51-3.75 (15.64m) Print Friendly Version
Liam McGettigan and his Canadian business partner plan to crate 40 jobs in Donegal.A world-renowned IT guru is to help create 40 new jobs in Co Donegal with a new free classified ads website.Canadian businessman David Boulette, along with his Donegal business partners, is to set up www.sellm8.com, at the CoLab in Letterkenny’s LYIT.With more than 15 years of experience in software development and with a keen eye for launching highly successful ventures, David has built a portfolio of companies that are today valued at more than $500 million. David has partnered with local businesspeople Bernadette O’Neill and Liam McGettigan, to launch the site next Friday, June 19th.The company’s plan is to take on Ireland’s €4 billion second hand market.All development and support will be based out of Donegal office with the goals of hiring at least 40 high tech jobs within 12 months.Boulette is no stranger to the IT business and his background is seen as a real vote of confidence as ‘sellm8’ looks to take on the bigger players in the Irish market including Done Deal. BigdNetHis company BigdNet is the driving force behind a highly innovative Demand Side Platform responsible for serving more than 10 billion impressions a month for world class brands such as Proctor and Gamble, Toyota, Ford Motor Company, Target, Walmart and many more.David’s record label RMR has signed five major stars since launching in 2014. EverythingAmped is responsible for powering more than 600 mobile apps and 100 websites used every day by millions of people around the globe.Locally, the company will be run by Ms O’Neill and Mr McGettigan.Liam Mc Gettigan, a well known Kilmacrennan man is more likely to be seen swimming in the seas and lakes around Donegal than surfing the internet. But, not only is he the first person to swim the length of Glenveagh National Park Lough, he is certainly no stranger to sport and loves any sporting challenge including taking part & competing in the illustrious world ironman competition in Austria.A keen rugby and gaelic player for many years, Liam now spends time coaching his favourite sports to youth teams in his local community.So in recent months, after a chat in a kitchen in rural Donegal some months ago, with his business partners over a cup of tea, his strengths soon turned to a dream he has in the pipeline for many years to reality.Liam said “With so many of our young people especially in my home county of Donegal leaving our shores because of the lack of employment, I see first hand the young sporting scene desimating when these children get to the age of 18, and now I am delighted to get the opportunity to develop this online business, basing it in my home county of Donegal and over the next 12 months I aim to create much needed employment on our doorstep to manage this national and global online enterprise.” “The key to any successful business is the team who surround you, and I and my business partners are fortunate to have met the right team at the right time, and we are delighted to have the good health, strength, passion and determination to build this & create employment in our county by providing an online service that will benefit everyone.”WORLD-RENOWNED IT GURU TO CREATE 40 NEW JOBS IN DONEGAL was last modified: June 11th, 2015 by StephenShare 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)Tags:David RoulettedonegalLiam McGettiganwww.sellm8.com
ARCATA >> Volleyball is a momentum sport for a reason. The right swing in momentum can change the game for any team, regardless of the score. That is exactly what happened for the Humboldt State volleyball team on Thursday night against Cal State East Bay in Lumberjack Arena.Down two sets to none, the Lumberjacks (12-13 overall, 7-10 CCAA) overcame an unlikely deficit by winning the final three of five sets to put away the Pioneers (13-13 overall, 9-9 CCAA) 3-2 (22-24, 25-27, 25-20, 25-18, …
ALAMEDA — When the Raiders drafted Kolton Miller 15th overall in April, fans were up in arms. The majority seemed to want a defensive playmaker like Florida State’s Derwin James, Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick or Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds. Instead, they got an offensive tackle from UCLA who’s anything but flashy, a shy 6-foot-8, 309-pounder brought in to solidify the offensive line after an uncharacteristically uninspiring 2017.The pick didn’t reverberate through the NFL like other …
An artist’s impression of the new hospital, to be built on the grounds of the Wits School of Education near the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. (Image: Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital) • Lebogang Mashigo Account Manager Meropa Communications +27 11 506 7300 firstname.lastname@example.org • Mandela’s love of children • Madiba’s legacy is forever • Mandela posters show world’s respect • Nelson Mandela – a timeline • Putting children’s rights firstMelissa Jane CookMadiba was praised for his vision and legacy, which would live on through the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. The project took a step closer to fruition when the earthmovers got to work today.Dignitaries, ministers, distinguished guests and schoolchildren attended a sod turning event held at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Parktown, Johannesburg, on a bright, sunny Thursday, 20 March. This ground-breaking gathering was held in a glamorous white marquee. It was complete with a fun photo booth with colourful accessories and a mindful space where people could choose a picture and write a message of grateful thanks or a tribute to Madiba and attach it to strands of chain. The marquee was overflowing and the atmosphere electric.Sibongile Mkhabela, the chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, opened the event, saying she was incredibly honoured to be speaking on this hallowed ground. “In 2009, Madiba sat here, at this space, and blessed and dedicated it to the children of South Africa, and to health care.” Acknowledging everyone present who had contributed in the most generous of ways, she said she would never forget Madiba saying: “As long as there are good men and women in the world, the work will carry on.”Indeed, the work did carry on and the mandate of the trustees, to raise a billion rand, had almost been realised – the trust has raised R570-million towards building the hospital. It will continue its work until the target is met. “After years of fundraising under difficult economic conditions, we are proud to announce we can break ground and start building a hospital.”Mkhabela is the head cheerleader of the initiative, and said: “Having followed our beloved Madiba’s mandate of improving the care of our children, we are proud of reaching this milestone and look forward to building this hospital.” The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust officially celebrated the start of the Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital at a sod-turning ceremony, with dignitaries, ministers and children. (Image: Melissa Jane Cook)The hospitalIt would be a world-class, highly advanced, specialised children’s hospital that would shape the lives of the children in Africa and shape the future of a greater Africa, she said. It would work on a referral basis across all its centres of excellence, which would include pulmonology, cardiology, neurosciences, craniofacial surgery, nephrology and general paediatric surgery.In addition to giving patients access to world-class health care, the hospital would serve as a training and research facility, which would ensure a much wider reach into the region.Professor Adam Habib, the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, said that Wits “will ensure that we have various academic and clinical synergies for the operation of the hospital and for the training and education of high-level clinical paediatric skills in the southern African region”. “The location of the hospital, on Wits land, as well as in close proximity to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, allows for paediatric academic teaching access from the Wits Medical School, maximising operational efficiencies and staffing models.”A promise has been made that the facility will never turn away a child because of an inability to pay; rather, it will give them nurturing care. This was the last wish of Madiba and all present at the sod-turning were assured that his legacy would live on through the hospital. There are only four children’s hospitals in Africa – by comparison, there are 20 in Germany alone, 23 in Canada, and 157 in the United States. The Mandela hospital will lead the way and have the best researchers and top academics, and will be at the cutting edge of children’s health research globally.Future leadersMandela was a champion of children’s rights and always believed they were the future; as such, they should be nurtured. In a powerful display of gratitude, youngsters took to the stage and honoured Madiba and his vision.Michai’h, once a cute two-year-old photographed sitting on Mandela’s knee, is today an ambassador for the children’s hospital and part of the “For kids, by kids” campaign. She stood on stage and said proudly: “We can do this; we can keep his legacy going.” She then threw her fist in the air and shouted their slogan: “Let’s do this.” This campaign is aimed at youth in schools to get them to live Madiba’s legacy by raising awareness and funds for the hospital.Sam Harding, a high school student, was involved in an advertisement that called for beds and highlighted that the hospital would soon become a reality. Wanting to help – he believes that children can make a difference – he donated part of his pocket money to the hospital.Watch the Pushing for Beds 60-second ad:Abundant generosity“It always seems impossible, until it is done,” Mandela once famously said. People have given generously to this dream of his, some even taking it a step further. In April 2013, Matt Silver-Vallance attached himself to 200 helium balloons and went on a Balloon Run, drifting across the Cape Town sky from Robben Island to Table Bay. He said we were a living a part of history and this hospital would be a living monument to Madiba.The list of donors and sponsors is long, yet Mkhabela pointed out that it was not only about money; companies had donated in any way they could. Italtile donated all the sanitary and brass ware; Liberty donated people and office space; Absa created a banking platform for individuals to deposit donations; Barloworld donated diggers and a car – among many others who gave time, money and needed items.PartnershipsHabib, who said it was Mandela’s event and so addressed the audience as “comrades”, went on a trip down memory lane. He spoke about a young Mandela walking through the university grounds in the 1940s. “This is a place where Mandela learned so much. However, the university treated him wrongly, by saying he could never be a lawyer because of the colour of his skin.“This event symbolically is saying sorry for any wrong doings, and to make amends, the university is donating the land that the hospital will be built on. We are making amends for 70 years ago.”The partnership would be three-pronged between the university, the government and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “The collective ills in our society can’t be addressed by any of us, but they can be overcome with collective good,” said Habib. “This hospital is for the services of the population of southern Africa and speaks to the great patriot that Madiba was.”Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi added: “This is a historic day, a historic moment in history. We need to focus on the needs of the children currently and in the future. Today marks the first day Madiba’s dream comes true. We need to protect and nurture our children as he would have done.” He reiterated the government’s support for the legacy project by committing to the operating expenses of the hospital, which would be budgeted through the normal budgeting process of the Department of Health.The crowds gathered outside among schoolchildren to witness the first spade being struck in the ground and the soil upheaved. Behind the spot, a large green field was waiting, waiting to turn into something glorious, something life-changing. “This is an exciting time for the project, and we encourage global citizens to continue to be part of the living memorial to Madiba’s legacy. Together, we can build this hospital and secure Africa’s hopes of a better future,” said Mkhabela.Five diggers were ready for their performance, and small children clapped and jumped excitedly. A song about a legacy boomed in the background, as the earthmovers, branded with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital logo, danced across the field, moving in crazy ways and riding up the slope towards the crowd, scooping into the earth and excavating rich, moist soil – opening a space for Madiba’s dream to become reality.The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is expected to open in March 2016.
A Leaky Old House Becomes a Net-Zero ShowcaseStrategies and Details: Building Details for a Deep Energy Retrofit Study Shows That Expensive Windows Yield Meager Energy ReturnsThe High Cost of Deep Energy RetrofitsNumber Crunching on a Deep Energy RetrofitRemodel Project: Deep Energy RetrofitRetrofits versus ReductionsDeep Energy Retrofits Are Often Misguided Paul Eldrenkamp is the owner of Byggmeister, a design/build firm based in Newton, Mass. Rachel White is the company’s performance manager. This blog, the third in a series of posts about the project, originally was published at the Byggmeister website. The first and second posts are Preparing a Historic Home for the Next 100 Years, and Planning for Net Zero Energy. But with this project we had two things going for us: a relatively accommodating building, and highly motivated homeowners (not to mention our top-notch planning team, led by David Foley of Holland and Foley Architecture).The home’s relatively simple form made it possible for us to superinsulate the building shell and drastically cut air leakage. This drove the heat loss down low enough that we were able to significantly downsize the mechanical system, replacing the existing gas boiler with three minisplit heat pumps for both heating and cooling. (Heat-recovery ventilation ensures a steady supply of fresh air.)Equally important is the home’s unshaded south-facing roof, which supports an 11.7-kW PV system projected to produce 15,000 kWh per year, or 120% of what the house is modeled to consume. (For context: according to the Energy Information Administration, the average Massachusetts household consumes roughly 32,000 kWh annually, or two and a half times as much as this house). Existing houses are a bigger challengeThe same can’t be said for existing homes. On the contrary, retrofitting a home to operate on a net-zero basis is a pretty audacious undertaking. Most of the homes we work on push back hard against such ambition. There are several obstacles, including our relatively harsh climate; the older, architecturally complex character of our housing stock; the frequency with which homes have been renovated without attention to efficiency; and the prevalence of smaller lots, particularly in urban settings. RELATED ARTICLES A few months ago we completed a deep energy retrofit of a house that we hope will be net-zero energy — in other words, that we hope will produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. If we succeed, this will be our first net-zero project.There are two key strategies for designing a net-zero-ready home: you minimize the amount of energy the house needs to operate; and you maximize the amount of energy that the house can produce onsite, usually with a photovoltaic system (PV). In short, you create an energy budget that balances consumption with production.Implementing these strategies on a new home is relatively straightforward. In fact, leaders in the high-performance building industry have been building net zero ready homes for years now, and some are even doing so at market rate. (To learn more about one Massachusetts company, Transformations Inc., that is building market-rate and affordable net zero energy homes, click here.) It’s up to the homeowners to make it workNow it’s up to the highly motivated homeowners to actually make it to net zero — i.e., to live within their energy budget. We are currently in the process of gathering monthly usage and production data to determine how close we get to this goal. We are also monitoring at a more finely grained level, increasing the likelihood that we will be able to get there.With the help of the SiteSage eMonitor system, we are collecting circuit-by-circuit usage data. Monitoring this closely has several purposes, not least of which is it tells us whether equipment is working properly. When a usage pattern looks atypical, we can sometimes use the eMonitor to help us troubleshoot in real-time.We can also use circuit-by-circuit monitoring to help the homeowners develop net zero “habits” — to give them the feedback they need to live within their energy budget. We can let them know when they’re at risk of exceeding their budget and overdrawing their “energy account.”While in many respects living in a net-zero energy home is easier than living in a standard home (for one thing, a well-designed net-zero energy home is far more comfortable from a thermal standpoint), net-zero living does take some adjustment. Much of the conventional wisdom about operations and maintenance, particularly in regards to mechanical equipment, doesn’t translate well to low energy homes.For example, minisplit heat pumps operate most efficiently when they are maintained at a fairly constant temperature. The eMonitor data can help us identify whether the homeowners are laying down a net-zero habit of “setting and forgetting” their minisplits, or are falling back into a habit of using setbacks.It remains to be seen whether we will achieve our goal of net zero energy. If we do, there’s no question that thoughtful operations on the part of the homeowners, supported by monitoring on our part, will have played a key role in getting us there — at least as key as lucking into such an accommodating house in the first place.