first_imgWhen the Old Quincy Test Project wraps up in the summer of 2013, undergraduates will return to a re-envisioned House that is more comfortable, more modern, and more capable of hosting academic and social activities. Among the many updates and upgrades, though, is one that’s sure to make students stand up — or rather, lie down — and cheer.“The renewal will completely eliminate walk-through bedrooms in Old Quincy,” said Steve Needham, the project’s program manager. “Students said they wanted more privacy, and this will help.”The renewal of Old Quincy will do a lot more for residents than enable them to get a good night’s sleep. New common spaces will allow for revamped programming — both academic and extracurricular — for students hungry to do and learn more. Updated systems will give residents climate control. (No more throwing the windows open in January to cool sweltering bedrooms.) Energy-efficient upgrades also will help Harvard to achieve its goal of a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2016.“The aim of the project is to test our ideas of what residential life for 21st century Harvard students should look like,” said Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Our goal is not only to modernize the space, but also to take advantage of a once-in-a-century opportunity to renew the living and learning experience, all while preserving the traditions and historic character of the House.”The project is the result of years of planning and consultation between University administrators and planners, undergraduates, and building professionals. Harvard College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds, chair of the House Program Planning Committee (HPPC), said that her group engaged faculty, students, and staff in a yearlong conversation about the mission and purpose of the undergraduate Houses.A rendering of the large multipurpose room included in the Quincy project.“The HPPC explored the ways that the House system could continue to serve the College in the future,” said Hammonds, the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science, and professor of African and African-American studies. “We found that the values and strengths of House life were still relevant to Harvard’s approach to undergraduate education. Even in an age where technology allows students to talk and work with people all over the world, the residential community is still a critical component of the learning experience.”After the committee delivered its findings and recommendations in March 2009, the central administration’s project management group began working with staff from FAS and the College on a test project that would enable planners to roll out design concepts and learn lessons that could be applied to the renewal of other Houses when financial resources allow. Planners determined that the river Houses, the oldest of Harvard’s 13 Houses, were most in need of renewal. Needham said they recommended Old Quincy because its neo-Georgian architecture is typical of the other river Houses, and because its size and characteristics make renewal less complicated.“Old Quincy contains only bedrooms for students and tutors, and doesn’t include any kind of specialized House spaces, like a dining hall or master’s residence,” he said. “This makes the logistics for swing space and construction relatively simple and also gives us the best opportunity for testing design solutions. Living spaces (bedrooms) make up close to 75 percent of the space in a typical House, and Old Quincy contains mostly living spaces.”Once the site of the test project was identified, planners invited students from Quincy and the river Houses to participate in a feedback group that would inform the renewal process. Senan Ebrahim ’12, one of the group’s co-chairs, said he and his classmates made two important recommendations.“First, we let the Quincy renewal project leads and architects know what we wanted to see in the new House,” said Ebrahim. “Second, we made recommendations to the deans about ways to optimize the student experience during the year of construction.”The project is scheduled to begin in late May 2012 and finish in the summer of 2013. During this time, about 180 students will be housed in “swing space” at Hampden Hall, Fairfax Hall, and Ridgely Hall. Each of the Harvard-owned apartment buildings will offer students modern amenities such as in-suite bathrooms, kitchens, and cable hookups. Ebrahim said the interim housing should be a step up for relocated students.“The swing spaces generally provide better accommodations than Old Quincy currently does, so students living there should hopefully have a very positive residential experience,” he said. “The main challenge will be facilitating a great social experience for the students who are living in the swing space. Fortunately, the swing buildings are all relatively close to Quincy, so it is a challenge we should be able to meet — especially by working with the House committee.”Once under way, the test project will substantially upgrade Old Quincy’s look, feel, and function. The renewal will not only eliminate walk-through bedrooms but also will create new single rooms and add elevators for accessibility. Entryways will be connected horizontally via internal corridors to increase student circulation throughout the building.“The renewal will balance continuity of tradition with change,” said architect Stephen Kieran.  “So the historic entryways will remain, but the new horizontal connections between them will enhance accessibility and safety, and also encourage new communities of students, tutors, House masters, and deans.”Some of the biggest changes will occur on the lower level. In addition to new seminar and meeting rooms and practice space for musicians, the renewal will address a perennial concern for students: the need for additional social space. A large multipurpose room with flexible furniture configurations will lead out to an open-air terrace, making it one of the most attractive spaces on campus for events and activities.“The design of the renewed Old Quincy will incorporate social spaces that are larger and easily programmable,” said Lee Gehrke, master of Quincy House and professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School. “Extracurriculars are very important to our students, and we want to encourage and facilitate student activities and organizations by providing spaces that allow them to meet, exchange ideas, rehearse, perform, create, and step out of their comfort zones.Changes to increase energy efficiency will be less visible, but no less important. Although Old Quincy’s exterior appearance will remain the same, the building will be made weather tight. Contractors will blow insulation into the walls and replace existing windows and doors with energy-efficient ones. Needham said the goal is to create a “high-performance building.”“Through all the planning to date, sustainability and energy-efficient operations have been top priorities,” he said. “We’re aiming for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification by using proven technologies and by providing students with opportunities to influence the energy profile of the building through interactive tools and controls.”Perhaps the greatest challenge of the test project — particularly given the pace of technological change — is its mandate to “accommodate the future.” Only 25 years ago, many Harvard College students wrote their papers on typewriters and used a card catalog to locate books in Harvard’s libraries. Few owned a cordless phone, much less a cell. A modernization of student space at that time could hardly have taken into account the need for T1 lines and wireless hubs. Now, the architects of the Old Quincy renewal are planning not for one generation, but for three.“When you do a renewal, you’re anticipating 50 to 75 years before the next one,” said Needham. “So one of our priorities is to build in as much flexibility as we can, particularly in terms of IT infrastructure. We want to incorporate as much technology as possible, but technology that’s proven to work and provide a benefit.”Gehrke has high hopes for the project. He said the renewal will create an “optimal learning environment” for students and provide a safe and welcoming home that encourages connection, study, and exploration.“Learning takes place not only in quiet individual spaces, but also in group study for problem sets, or debating ideas based on a reading,” said Gehrke. “Old Quincy is ideal for this, but right now our space is limited. The test project will create places for new interactions between students and faculty, and also accommodate a student population with diverse learning styles and needs — from quiet individual study to group work in large, technology-enabled spaces. Our hope is that the project’s outcome will be much more than a much-needed upgrade of the building; we want it to reinvigorate the student experience at Quincy House.”Ebrahim supports the project’s embrace of the future — as long as it also preserves the House culture and traditions that he and his classmates love.“Students from all over campus often hang out at Quincy,” he said, “whether at the dining hall, Ping-Pong table, or Grille tables. We want the test project to preserve and enhance that sense of the House being a great place to live and to spend time with friends.”last_img read more

first_imgHarvard’s Widener Library is an unparalleled setting for academic resources and research. But last month more than 500 staff members from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) visited with a different goal in mind: pie.The fall celebration for FAS and SEAS staff brought together colleagues from across 150 departments, centers, and units for an afternoon of live music, conversation, and delicious pies.At the event, staff mingled, enjoyed a live jazz trio, and savored samples of pie including apple, key lime, and chocolate pecan. Photo by Adriana Gallegos“At the beginning of the academic year, we thought it would be important to take a little time to get together, draw a deep breath, and celebrate our accomplishments,” said Leslie A. Kirwan, administration and finance dean for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, in her opening remarks at the Oct. 14 event. “But how to do that when there are over 2,500 of us?”The solution? Widener Library. Kirwan gave a special thanks to Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library and University Librarian, and the Widener Library team. When approached about hosting the fall celebration, Thomas embraced the idea, saying, “I want to have you in my home.”At the event, staff mingled, enjoyed a live jazz trio, and savored samples of pie including apple, key lime, and chocolate pecan. Scattered throughout, images of pie charts depicted the many ways that staff members fit into FAS. Stephanie Nasson, manager of training and outreach in Financial-FAS, tested the group on their knowledge of baking trivia and raffled off pies and cookbooks to staff members. “I didn’t realize ‘special duties as assigned’ could be so fun,” she saidUsually roped off, the Memorial Room in Widener was thrown open, and library staff members were on hand to discuss the Harry Elkins Widener Special Collection, including an up-close look at Harvard’s copy of the Gutenberg Bible.FAS and SEAS staff also had the opportunity to take a tour of the Collections Conservation Lab, where 20 library staff members restore and preserve items in the Harvard Library system — more than 24,000 in the last year alone. From repairing binding to digitizing materials to finding creative storage solutions for items like the “Peruvian Knife Book of Poetry,” the Collections Conservation Lab shared a glimpse into their work.Nyasha Borde, a staff assistant in the philosophy department and a recent addition to FAS, said, “This was actually my first time in Widener Library. I came with my manager and other members in my department. It was great to see so many staff members together, and to realize I knew more people than I thought I did.”Kirwan emphasized how across Schools and divisions, departments and centers, each staff member is valuable to the FAS and SEAS communities. “Invariably, when we’re asked what makes Harvard a great place to work, we say, ‘It’s the people.’ It’s the quality of the people, the spirit of the community, that make Harvard what it is. … Whether you work with SEAS or the College, FAS or DCE [the Division of Continuing Education] … you are — wait for the pun — an important piece of the pie.”last_img read more

first_imgAsia tops Europe as leading region for offshore wind investment in 2019 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:Total investment in offshore wind power projects in Asia Pacific (APAC) came in at almost double that of Europe in 2019, as the fast-moving emerging market eclipsed the sector’s historic heartland for the first time, according to new research from the Renewables Consulting Group (RCG).Led by Taiwan, Japan, and Vietnam, the capital spend in APAC surpassed $10bn, while in Europe just over $5.5bn was invested – a differential largely explained by the “maturity of the [latter] market and intense competition” which have driven down the levelised cost of energy per megawatt by over 50% in recent years, said the UK analysts.Overall, by RCG’s calculus in its Global Offshore Wind: Annual Market Report, Europe saw just under 1.4GW of offshore wind plant reach financial close last year, while for APAC this was nearly 2GW.“Taipei’s offshore wind development plan, supported by a feed-in tariff, is starting to bear fruit [in Taiwan] with five projects reaching financial close in 2019, totaling almost 2GW in cumulative capacity,” said RCG director Lee Clarke, noting that the financial investment decision (FID) reached on the Changfang and Xidao projects in the first quarter of 2020 suggested the “mechanisms and procedures that can be adopted in emerging markets in order to attract investment and lower project costs.”Clarke also spotlighted break-out FIDs for the Vietnamese and Japanese markets, via Tra Vinh 1 and Akita projects, respectively reached the same milestone. Though 2019 was a “particularly strong year” for the APAC region in locking up project investment, other markets “continue to advance,” emphasized Clarke, pointing to RCG’s forecast that 8-13.5GW of cumulative capacity will reach FID in the next four years worldwide.“Europe and the Americas laid the foundations for similar project progress from 2020-2023, with significant lease auctions, power purchase solicitations and legislative changes taking place in the past year. In the UK, France, the Netherlands, and the US, large-scale offshore wind solicitations have positioned more projects closer to financial close than in any previous year in the history of the offshore wind market,” said Clarke.[Darius Snieckus]More: Asia offshore wind power capital spend eclipses Europe’s for first timelast_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Take this simple quiz and find out if you are paranoid enough to qualify for membership in this exclusive, “by-invitation-only” club!Answer Yes or No:Is the United Nations secretly plotting to invade our country and occupy our best golf courses, ruining the American Way of Life?Do you think the IRS is really run by lizard people, who can instantly shift their shapes to look like the rest of us?Do you agree that any government official who promotes the sale of energy-efficient light bulbs is bent on destroying our freedom and should be removed from office?Are those airplane contrails (white vapor trails in the sky) actually “chemtrails”—clouds of toxic chemicals or biological agents being sprayed by hundreds of secret government aircraft for clandestine purposes?Do you believe that America’s enemies can telepathically communicate with goats and other animals?Have you ever, accidentally of course, drunk water containing fluoride (which as everyone knows, saps America’s strength and makes us vulnerable to a foreign takeover)?Do you think the people who control Wall Street have the best interests of investors like you at heart?Is there a secret gay and lesbian plan to break up your marriage?Does the South still have a chance to win the Civil War?Have you, or a trustworthy friend, personally seen aliens abducting attractive, scantily-clad Earth women?If you answered YES to all of the these questions, Congratulations!First of all, you’re in good company: According to recent news reports, millions of Americans actually believe that everything written above is absolutely true.Second, you are now a prime candidate for membership in the National Paranoia Association.What do you do next?Nothing!We’ll be in touch. We know who you are. We know where you live. We know how you scored on this test.As a member of the National Paranoia Association you’ll get paranoid e-mail updates like these:This just in from Portland, Oregon, future site of the NPA’s new world headquarters: Voters there rejected a plan to put fluoride in their drinking water for the fourth time. Way to go, Portland!Scientists have found more than 150 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) on trajectories that might blast the Earth to smithereens. Is this sheer chance? Or is somebody secretly steering these killer asteroids toward our planet?You knew it in your heart—the end of the world is coming. Again. Here are two recent predictions, so you can start putting your affairs in order:2014: World War III is near, based on an ancient Nostradamus prophecy of a fire in the North at the end of the age of the fifth sun. This will occur in “a northern region of a country.” North Korea has the edge now, with London bookmakers putting the odds at 3-2.2037: Evangelist preacher Hal Lindsey, King of Bible Prophecy, says the end is coming, again, and sooner than we think. Hal previously predicted Armageddon in the 1980s, then again in the 1990s. He could be “third time lucky,” as they say.last_img read more

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are not yet reflected in consumer credit scores, according to Craig Wilson, senior director of consulting decision analytics at Experian.However, he describes this nondevelopment as “the calm before the storm.”“Due to CARES Act reporting guidelines, consumers are beginning to migrate up the risk spectrum,” says Wilson, who addressed a virtual roundtable about the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on credit quality, sponsored by the CUNA Lending Council.According to Experian data from the end of January through May 9: continue reading »last_img read more

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I don’t get it.Mayor McCarthy posing next to a local car dealer, each flanked by a provocatively dressed showgirl, in the casino, in a commercial. Not just poor taste, sexist; cheapening to the women and our mayor.Men who pose with scantily clad women should do so in their swim trunks.Meg OpalSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcyEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

first_imgNo Spanish youngster will fail the school year over the coronavirus crisis, and only in “very exceptional” circumstances will anyone have to repeat the year, the education minister said Wednesday.All educational establishments in Spain have been shuttered since mid-March when the government imposed a national lockdown to slow the spread of the virus that has now killed more than 18,500 people throughout the country. With similar lockdowns across the globe keeping an estimated 850 million young people out of school, it has created an “unprecedented challenge” for governments and educators, the UN has said, with authorities now mulling the fate of the interrupted school year.  Students would continue studying from home during the third and final term, she said, without mentioning any possible date when schools would reopen. The announcement came as Spain prepared to extend its month-long lockdown by a fresh two-week period even though officials have said the epidemic appears to have peaked with the rate of deaths and infections slowing.Unlike in other countries, children in Spain are not allowed to leave the house, with people only allowed out to buy food, medicines or for a medical emergency, although those with dogs are allowed out briefly to attend to the animal’s basic needs.  In a televised press conference, Spain’s Education Minister Isabel Celaa said no child would fail the year as a result of the crisis, and that authorities would provide voluntary catch-up programs over the summer. “No child will fail the school year because of COVID-19,” she said, hailing the “patience and immense efforts” being made by children, their families and teaching staff in the face of an “unprecedented challenge”.She said the school year would not run beyond June, when it normally ends and that during the summer break.”Repeating the school year will be a very exceptional measure which will have to be based on a solid and very well-argued case,” Celaa insisted. center_img Topics :last_img read more