An Interview With Martin Holladay, Part 1

first_imgOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTChris Briley: Hey, everybody, welcome to the Green Architects’ Lounge podcast. I’m your host, Chris Briley.Phil Kaplan: And I’m your host, Phil Kaplan.Chris: We’re Mainers…Phil: Speaking of cold climates, we’re pleased to have someone here who’s from a colder climate than us — Martin Holladay.Chris: Hey, Martin.Martin Holladay: Hi. I just drove over from Vermont to see the Atlantic Ocean.Chris: How was your drive?Martin: Well, I came through Crawford Notch, which is always a pleasure, and then through North Conway and Conway, which were less encouraging.Chris: Martin is the senior editor at Green Building Advisor and a contributing editor for Fine Homebuilding.Phil: Everyone’s favorite blog is Musings of an Energy Nerd. If you go on to GBA, you’ll see it’s always the one with the most comments and contentious conversation and exciting stuff. Chris and I are excited to have the opportunity to grill him.Chris: Everyone knows you, but they don’t know you. They know what you write. Now we’re going to beak through the fourth wall… I don’t know… the fourth estate…Martin: I’m a journalist finding myself on the other side of the microphone.Chris: We come at this from totally different angles. Phil and I both went to architecture school before entering the real world, so we got our academic experience first. And you probably came to it from the exact opposite — am I right?Martin: I was a builder and a remodeler. A hippie builder. I had an old pickup truck. I used to have even more humble vehicles before I could afford a pickup truck.Chris: Did you ever have a VW minibus?Martin: No, although my parents did.Phil: Not a horse and a carriage.Martin: No, but I started back in the days before nail guns, back in the 1970s. I was always off-grid, so even when I bought nice power tools, I couldn’t use them at home.Chris: Where did you grow up?Martin: I grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, where my father taught theology in a Protestant seminary. An American family, but we grew up overseas.Chris: Fantastic. So, you got around.Martin: I had the fortune to be able to travel internationally as well as to work and volunteer overseas.Phil: Give us a little rundown. Where have you been?Martin: My family, because we were in Beirut, we did a lot of camping and hiking all over the eastern Mediterranean. My parents liked to travel and camp in remote places. One summer we took a ferry from Italy to Sicily and from Sicily to Tunisia, and we drove across North Africa, through Libya to Egypt, and took the ferry back home to Beirut. We camped in Iraq, we went from Baghdad to Mosul one spring. We always drove through Syria and Turkey, and we went to the Black Sea and the Aegean. It was just a great time, in the 1960s, for independent travel, because there were no political problems that prevented us from crossing borders in those days. It was a wonderful childhood. As an adult, I took a long trip with my brother to Asia. We saved our money and did the hippie backpacking overland-to-India thing. I ended up working as an English teacher in Korea when I ran out of money and needed to earn some to get home. I sold blood in Taiwan, and I worked as a movie extra in India — I got hired in Bombay — and in Hong Kong I worked as an extra, too …Phil: Bollywood! You didn’t dance in any of those movies, did you?Chris: So, listeners — our Indian listeners: If you have any kind of footage of the young Martin Holladay — what was the name of the movie?Martin: The big movie was Kranti. Kranti was a big-budget Indian movie. I finally got the video years later and watched it. I ended up on the cutting room floor. They filmed me in a British army officer’s uniform, a heavy wool uniform in the sweaty Indian sun, and I had to run across the field. I actually died on the battlefield — but I never made the final cut.Chris: I was really looking forward to seeing that. Did you have the same mustache back then?Martin: I did.Chris: So what brought you back to the States?Martin: Well, ever since I dropped out of college in 1974, I’ve lived in the same piece of woods in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, in the middle of nowhere. I’ve had a stable address, in spite my travels. I went to college, and like a lot of back-to-the-land hippies in the mid-70s, we all decided that an academic degree was not as important as the real world, and we wanted to do things with our hands. I read the Whole Earth Catalog from cover to cover, and I was inspired by Stewart Brand’s view of a transformed world, and went out to the woods to do it.Chris: And look at you now. It paid off!Martin: Eventually, a phone line came up the hill, and then they invented the Internet, and I was able to work from home and connect myself more with the outside world. I was no longer so isolated with 4-foot snowdrifts in the middle of nowhere.Phil: So, how has your global perspective affected what you’re covering now?Martin: I suppose I’m aware of how those of us in North America are an unusual slice of the socioeconomic spectrum on the planet. Everyone talks about how 20 percent of the world’s population consumes 80 percent of the world’s resources, and that’s certainly true — and that’s us. We are the ones who are consuming everything. Our energy usage and our material usage are way off the charts in terms of our fair share of the planet’s resources.Chris: So, you probably feel that way more than my wife. I’m picking on her because she never listens to this podcast.Phil: You know, Sheila has her cell-phone number.Martin: It’s one thing to realize it academically, but if you travel a lot in the rural areas in Asia, then you realize that many places — places I visited — are off the grid; they’ve never seen electricity and never will. Most of the world is off the grid. Most of Africa and much of Asia did not have telephones until recently, until cell phones made that leap. People do not have running water; they bring their water in a bucket from somewhere far away. So, when people talk about “green” in America, it’s really hard to say that any of our choices are sustainable — because they’re not. To really have a revolution in which we equitably distribute the world’s resources would change our lifestyle fundamentally.Chris: So, basically, we have to change our ways faster than they change theirs to be more like us… Wait, help me out with this, Phil.Martin: I am not a wand-waver or a solution-finder. If you were to ask me my predictions, my prediction is that the climate will warm very quickly for my children’s lifetimes. The next generation will face a dramatic change in climate and there’s almost nothing we can do to stop it. If we had true political leadership we could stop it or come very close to an adequate response, but none of the leaders are doing it, and therefore it’s a pretty grim future.But I don’t think that we’re to blame, in the sense that…. Look, I’m still driving an 8-cylinder truck. I try to drive as little as possible, and my next vehicle is not going to be an 8-cylinder truck. But I don’t say I have a green lifestyle, because I don’t. I don’t pretend I know what the answer is, because I don’t, and I know I’m part of the problem. It’s very complicated for those of us in the high-consuming West — and I’m one of them.Chris: I’ve seen that bumper sticker, “What would Jesus drive?” — you usually see it on a Prius. But he was a carpenter, so he’d be in a truck.Phil: Martin, you say you don’t have a green lifestyle, but you live off the grid. You consume very little resources. If we all had the same not-so-green lifestyle as you, our planet would be in better shape.Martin: I don’t think so. I’ve often said that people living off the grid don’t have the most efficient use of energy. I depend on a gas-powered generator in the cloudy months of winter. I burn quite a bit of firewood — certainly a lot of BTUs. It’s good that it’s firewood as opposed to oil, but it’s not like I have a low-energy lifestyle. I consume a lot of energy. I think the lowest energy consumption is by people who live without a car in a downtown somewhere where they can walk to do their errands or bicycle. They live in a multifamily apartment building with shared walls. Living in a remote area, my transportation budget is high. I still fly in an airplane every now and then. So these are big problems, and I haven’t come up with good ways to crank down my carbon budget to where it should be.Chris: Here we are on the path to sustainability, whether we want to be or not. Because Mother Nature’s going to smack us to make us be more green. Where do you think we are?Phil: Are we seeing exponential change now? For some of us in the industry, it seems like “Boy! Things are finally getting going!” Is that a delusion? Are we really losing steam?Martin: I think we’re really talking about global climate change. That’s the fundamental challenge of our age, and the fundamental thing that green construction should be trying to respond to. Some of the best writers on the issue are Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker. We are nowhere near coming up with a response that is proportional to the challenge we face. We’re falling flat on our face; we’re not doing it. The greenest house that I’ve ever built and that you’ve ever designed is nowhere near an adequate response to what we’re facing — and that’s just a fact. If you look at our country as a whole — what is our transportation budget? What are our transportation solutions? What is the average residential new building going up consuming? What are our building codes? How about our commercial buildings and schools? They’re woefully badly designed and badly built.Chris: And it would take time to reverse that or change.Martin: And 50 percent of our electricity still comes from coal.Chris: Doom and gloom. The good news, though, is that guys like you and maybe me and Phil — we’re in the nose-diving plane, but we’re at least yanking up on the stick at least, we’re trying to level it off or survive the crash.Phil: I’m going to change gears a little bit. Martin, we have some bad news for you. Since you’ve driven down to visit us in Maine, your house has been destroyed in Vermont. I’m really sorry to tell you this. (Gasp.) We had nothing to do with it, as far as you know, but the good news is we’ve gotten a large insurance check for you — $500,000. It’s a lot. I don’t know if it’s too much; you tell us. So, putting you on the spot, what are you going to do with $500,000? What is Martin Holladay’s next house going to look like?Chris: We’re giving you carte blanche. Knowing what you know now — now you are a wiser Martin Holladay than you were way back — what do you say?Martin: Well, I guess I would follow the advice I usually give. You want to build as small as possible. You want to have a really good envelope and a really low energy budget for your house. Then I’d take the $300,000 I didn’t spend and use that to retire early or work a little less.Phil: We were guessing how much you extra there would be — how much you wouldn’t spend. Between $200,000 and $300,000 that you wouldn’t use.Chris: We decided, “Let’s give him $500,000” — make him say that he would give it back or give some to charity or or retire.Phil: He wanted to retire. He didn’t give it to charity.Martin: Oh, it was a trick question!Phil: So, you’d only spend only $200,000? I’m not going to let you get off that easy.Chris: Yeah, but you’re Mr. Technical. You have a comment for just about everything. Anything someone posts on that blog, you’ve got backup and you know what you want to do. You’ve got to have something percolating. Do you have something preconceived — “Here’s my approach?” Here’s Part 2 of the question: Would you hire an architect? For most people, a new house is a shopping exercise. For 3 percent of the public, they say they want to build or design their own house because they’re sick of living in a big vinyl box or someone else’s old house; and then a certain percentage of those actually hire an architect.Martin: I think you probably know that most American homes are not designed by architects. Architects are involved in a very small minority of residential projects. If I were building a house, I probably would not use an architect — but I’ve thought about houses a lot. I think the average American with a $500,000 check on the kitchen table would probably hire an architect, because they’ve got $500,000.Chris: And they probably don’t know as much as you.Martin: But, you know, every house has to be designed. What you want is a good designer — whether that designer is a builder who knows what he’s doing or a design/build firm or an architect. You could get a good one or a bad one. The trouble is — well, we could talk about architecture schools and I could interview you. Both of you presumably graduated from architecture school…Phil: Presumably.Martin: Did you guys get a good building science education in your architecture school?Chris: No. I think relative to other architecture schools it was good. But, well, we’re of the generation — I graduated in 1994. Phil, when did you graduate?Phil: I graduated in 1991.Chris: My class was the first class in that school that was really starting to get into — well, it felt that way — the green side of things. But it was more like how stuff goes together.Phil: Means and methods. We talked some about chemical systems and building systems, but not that much really.Chris: We had a couple of special classes where a guest came in…Martin: The danger is that somebody could go and hand a big chunk of that $500,000 check to an architect, and end up choosing an architect who doesn’t necessarily know how to design a wall or how — correct me if I’m wrong.Chris: That’s true.Martin: And the same is true of builders. You could get a builder who builds a brand-new house and doesn’t know how to build a wall.Chris: He may have a whole subdivision.Martin: The certificate on the wall doesn’t really tell you much. What you want to do is interview the professionals you’ll be working with and hope they have some answers to your questions, if you’re an educated homeowner.Chris: But a guy like you — back to the original question — when we were thinking of asking you that question, we were thinking you would say, “I’d use an X heating system. I’d probably look at a Larsen truss or double-stud wall or SIPs,” or something like that.Phil: Are there specifics? There have got to be.Martin: Whatever specifics that I come up with are only specific to my climate.Chris: Exactly.Martin: There is a kind of consensus among people building superinsulated, well-built houses in northern New England. We’re tending to see, if they really care about this stuff, that they’re getting R-20 basement walls, R-40 above-grade walls, R-60 roofs, and triple-glazed windows. And many of them are getting an air-source heat pump from Asia, one of the new minisplits, for heating. That’s not the only way to build a house, but more and more people are going in that direction.Phil: But that’s your house.Martin: No. My house is a hippie house put together with sawmill lumber and logs I cut down on my land and fieldstone that I gathered in a wheelbarrow.Chris: Would you do that again?Martin: No, I wouldn’t. If I had that check and I hadn’t been shamed into admitting that I had forgotten about my charity obligations and my spiritual life — I’d have to rethink the answer — after I tithed, and then double-tithed — if I were hiring out the work, and I could afford something different — I’d like to see a better envelope than I have on my 1980 hippie house.Chris: We’re wrapping up this part, Part 1. In Part 2, we’re going to talk about what Phil and I call “sprout follies” — the follies of those who are newly green, those who are new to this, those who are just getting into all this stuff. Sprouts. It’s an optimistic phrase, it’s condescending but it’s optimistic. Soon they will be green, just like the rest of us. Phil, do you have any last questions?Phil: What’s the next big thing in green — the world of green construction? What do you see coming around the corner? Is it the Living Building Challenge? Or toxicity? Or is Passivhaus really going to take off in this country? Or, what else is there? Passive survivability? What are the next big words?Martin: It’s hard to predict. The basic superinsulated approach was nailed down in the mid-1980s, but it still hasn’t been integrated into normal residential construction practice in America. So, I keep telling people, when we’ve learned all of the lessons of 1985 and implemented them, then we can look for something new.I think what we really need to do is educate builders and designers about basic air-sealing techniques — getting the basics down, which we’re still not doing. I don’t see any whiz-bang technological inventions ahead, and I’m very bad at predicting trends. I think the only thing that will change people’s attitudes is a doubling or tripling of energy costs, which is quite possible — although I’ve said that for years and have been wrong most of the time. But if and when energy prices take another huge leap, that will change residential construction in America very quickly. But, that’s about all I’ve got for predictions.Chris: Final question — how much better is Maine than Vermont?Martin: Well, you’ve got the ocean. But you’ve also got more traffic and more tourists. So, is it worth it to look out over the ocean and have to wait for the traffic at the traffic light?Chris: Damn right it is.Phil: That’s going to wrap it up for Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2 with Martin. You know him, you love him (or at least his articles): Martin Holladay. He was in the neighborhood, so he stopped by to chat with Phil and me for this episode of the Green Architects’ Lounge. This is your chance to get to know the man behind some of your favorite blog posts and Fine Homebuilding articles.The Highlights:Background: Hear how he spent his youth abroad and how it has shaped his current views on green building.Green lifestyle: We have a good discussion about Martin’s off-grid lifestyle.State of green construction: How are we doing as a nation? Are we meeting the challenge before us?What would he build? Phil and I try to pin Martin down (not an easy thing to do) on how he would build a new house for himself. Of course, we do this by posing a silly hypothetical question. Part two of the question: would he use an architect?What’s on the horizon for green building? We have a nice discussion on what the future may hold for the green movement. Subscribe to Green Architects’ Lounge on iTunes— you’ll never miss a show, and it’s free!center_img RELATED MULTIMEDIA PODCAST: An Interview With Martin Holladay, Part 2PODCAST: Net-Zero-Energy Homes, Part 3PODCAST: Net-Zero-Energy Homes, Part 2: How to Get to Net Zero PODCAST: Net-Zero-Energy Homes, Part 1: Concepts and Basics Don’t forget to tune in later for Part 2, in which we chat about “Sprout Follies,” the common misconceptions held by those new to green construction. We also make it out to a bar, where we share a beverage and Phil shares his song of the episode.Thanks for tuning in, everyone. Cheers.last_img read more

Dennis Smith’s key plays late help Mavs surge past Thunder

first_imgBREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid “I think there were some times where we did a great job defensively, and obviously there were some other times we broke down,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.DeAndre Jordan, who had 12 points and 17 rebounds, pulled Dallas to 101-99 with a thunderous dunk. The Thunder turned it over but Westbrook knocked away Harrison Barnes’ pass to Doncic. Trailing the play, Jordan grabbed the loose ball and dunked without taking a dribble.George was 12 of 24 from the field but just 3 of 11 from 3 as the Thunder shot 24 percent from beyond the arc. Westbrook missed all eight of his attempts from long range.The Mavericks took their first 10-point lead on a 3 from Doncic while the Thunder went without a field goal for more than six minutes to start the third quarter. The lead reached 13 in the final minute of the third on a 3 from J.J. Barea.The Dallas lead was gone less than four minutes into the fourth quarter, with Oklahoma City getting even at 86 on a floater from Schroder, who scored 19 points.TIP-INSThunder: Lost for first time with George scoring at least 30 points after winning the first five this season. … Westbrook got a technical after he didn’t get a call on a bump from Maxi Kleber when he drove for a layup that was short. … Jerami Grant and Patrick Patterson scored 10 points apiece while Steven Adams had nine rebounds and eight points.Mavericks: Won their 13th out of last 14 home games to improve to 15-3 at American Airlines Center. … Barnes had 16 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith added 10. … G Wesley Matthews missed his second game with right foot soreness. … Smith got a technical for complaining going into a timeout about a no-call when Westbrook made contact with his face.RUSS DUDIt was the fourth time this month that Westbrook has shot less than 25 percent of the field. “Missing and making shots is part of the game, but I got to do a better job and that’s on me,” Westbrook said. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Smith’s key moments came two nights after he failed to get a shot off before the buzzer — and missed it anyway — in a 114-112 loss at New Orleans. It was his first game back after missing 11 with a sprained right wrist.The loss to the Pelicans was the second of two straight games against them, with Dallas winning the first. Now the Mavericks will play two in a row against the Thunder, this time in a back-to-back at Oklahoma City on Monday night.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion“I am just trying to earn my respect in this league,” said Smith, who scored 14 points while backcourt mate and 19-year-old rookie sensation Luka Doncic led Dallas with 25 points.George scored the last 13 points for Oklahoma City and finished with 36, but he missed the pull-up jumper with Smith defending with 2 seconds left. MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES DUELING GERMAN 3sThe first of Dirk Nowitzki’s six points came on a 3 with 34 seconds left in the first quarter, but the fellow German Schroder hit one in transition 5 seconds later to finish the scoring in an entertaining first quarter. Oklahoma City led 28-27 after the first.UP NEXTThe teams finish a back-to-back against each other Monday in Oklahoma City.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Thunder still had a chance with 1.7 seconds left, but Russell Westbrook missed a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer to wrap up a rough shooting night for the 2017 MVP. He was 4 of 22 for nine points with nine rebounds and eight assists.It was the first time since April 12, 2017, that Westbrook didn’t finish in double figures in at least one of those three categories.“We got lucky because he had an off shooting night,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “And knowing him, I’m not looking forward to tomorrow night.”The Thunder led by as many as six in the final two minutes fueled by a pair of 3s from George, but the Mavericks chipped away thanks to missed shots and turnovers by Oklahoma City.Smith’s layup for a 104-103 lead came after he dribbled away from the basket and reversed course to the hoop, easily speeding past Dennis Schroder and hitting the shot over a leaping Westbrook.ADVERTISEMENT Kawhi Leonard, Raptors slip past defensive-minded Chicago Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (1) drives against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. The Mavericks won 105-103. (AP Photo/LM Otero)DALLAS — Dennis Smith Jr. was coming off a last-second gaffe in a Dallas loss when the second-year guard came through with two critical plays in a win over Oklahoma City: one at each end of the court.The 21-year-old hit the go-ahead layup before defending on a miss by Paul George , and the Dallas Mavericks surged past the Thunder late in a 105-103 victory Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion View commentslast_img read more

Man stabbed while sitting at a bar in Barrio Logan

first_img Posted: October 8, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter October 8, 2018 KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Police Monday were searching for a man suspected of stabbing a 39-year-old man in the abdomen in the Barrio Logan area.It happened shortly before 6:15 p.m. Sunday in the 1900 block of National Avenue, located near Chicano Park, San Diego police Officer John Buttle said.The suspect walked up to the 39-year-old man, who was sitting at the bar, and stabbed him in the abdomen for unknown reasons before fleeing the area, Buttle said.The victim was transported to the hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, Buttle said.The suspect was described as a Hispanic man believed to be in his 30s, who was last seen wearing a plaid shirt and blue jeans.Detectives from the San Diego Police Department’s gang unit were investigating the incident. Man stabbed while sitting at a bar in Barrio Loganlast_img read more

Japan restarts second reactor at Sendai nuclear plant

first_img Japan restarted a second reactor at the Sendai nuclear plant on the southwestern island of Kyushu on Thursday (15 October), as the government pushes ahead with an unpopular return to atomic energy in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.The restart of the Sendai No 2 unit marks progress for Japans utilities, which have been hit by huge losses after being forced to shut down nuclear plants for safety checks.Weve actively implemented various safety measures including disaster prevention schemes to never let anything like the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident happen again, chief manager of Sendai nuclear plant Rei Sudou said, after his staff switched on the dormant reactor No 2 at 10.30am.The unit will begin power generation on 21 October and is expected to enter commercial operation from around mid-November. Kyushu Electric Power Co restarted the No 1 unit at the Sendai plant in August after approval from the countrys atomic regulator came following two years of reviews and equipment checks.Anxious to cut fuel bills, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants atomic power to account for 20-22% of the countrys energy mix by 2030, but the goal is widely seen as unrealistic and opposition to nuclear power remains widespread. Opinion polls have consistently shown strong opposition to nuclear power among the public, even as electricity bills surged following the switch to expensive fossil fuels.We will continue to restart nuclear reactors that meet whats called one of the most strict safety standards in the world, respecting the judgement of the governments nuclear authority, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said during a regular news conference on Thursday.The government is unchanged with its determination that we should restart nuclear reactors that meet the safety standards as were currently relying on old fuel generators that are forcedly put into operation, Suga added. Closelast_img read more

Ban on Maggi noodles makes Nestle India bottom line take 60 percent

first_imgHit by the ban on sales of Maggi brand noodles, Nestle India Ltd on Thursday reported 60 percent fall in its net profit and 32 percent fall in its net sales for the third quarter.The company follows calendar year as its financial year.In a media statement filed with BSE, Nestle India said its net profit for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015 was Rs.124.2 crore, down from Rs.311.3 crore for the same period the previous year.The company said it had posted a net sales of Rs.1,736.2 crore for the period under review down by 32 percent over 2014 figures.The ban on sales of Maggi noodles impacted the domestic and export sales.According to Suresh Narayanan, chairman and managing director, the company has restarted manufacturing noodles.After testing the products in three accredited laboratories and their clearance the noodles the company is keen on reintroducing the products in the market, he said.Narayanan said that during the quarter under review, the Bombay High Court had set aside the ban on Maggi noodles and ordered that the earlier batches be tested in three accredited laboratories.As per the test results, the lead content in the product is well below the permissible levels, he said.last_img read more