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Insulating a Raised Slab

first_imgPlanning a new house in Pender County, North Carolina, Jason Dennis finds the aesthetics of a crawlspace appealing, but not the potential problems. Instead, he’s thinking of pouring a slab over compacted fill inside his foundation walls — a raised slab. The Climate Zone 3 house will be a simple rectangle, 50 feet by 39 feet, with a wraparound porch on two sides. Dennis wants to know whether the raised slab approach is a good idea, and how such a foundation should be insulated.RELATED ARTICLESPolyethylene Under Concrete SlabsPlacing a Concrete Foundation on Rigid Foam InsulationChoosing Rigid FoamInstalling Rigid Foam Above a Concrete Slab “Would insulating the slab be necessary for my climate zone?” Dennis asks in a Q&A post. “If so, how should insulating be done? Rigid foam underneath like with a non-raised slab?” Those are the questions that get us started on this Q&A Spotlight. Insulate the slab perimeter In referring Dennis to an earlier article on this topic, GBA Editor Martin Holladay says it’s possible to eliminate the horizontal insulation underneath the slab. But in Climate Zone 3, Dennis should not skip the vertical insulation at the slab’s perimeter. Holladay had written: “While it could be argued that insulation might be useful in Climate Zone 3, it really isn’t needed in warmer climates, where an uninsulated slab helps lower air-conditioning bills compared to an insulated slab.” How deep should the insulation go? If Dennis adopts that plan — rigid insulation vertically against the inside of the stem wall but no insulation underneath the slab — the question becomes how far down the insulation should go. “The insulation should extend down to the footings, or if they end up being very deep, a couple of feet below the exterior grade,” Malcolm Taylor replies. The foam can be beveled at the top edge so it’s not visible on the inside while bringing the concrete all the way to the edge of the floor to support any flooring that might be installed, as the illustration below shows. Alternately, a step can be created in the stem wall for the vertical foam, as the illustration at the top of this column shows. Leave the insulation full thickness Jon A points out that in the illustration above, the stem wall is the same thickness as the stud wall above it. “Will this truly be the case?” he asks. “Typically a poured wall has a notch formed into it just like Martin’s detail [the one at the top of this page] shows. I like to leave the vertical slab insulation full width (with no bevel) and sticking out past the wall plate slightly.” Jon A doesn’t understand how the exposed edge of the foam will affect the installation of flooring; the edge of the foam will certainly be lost under the edge of the drywall and baseboard. Plus, he adds, if the pieces of foam are cut accurately and set so they are dead level, they make a great gauge to screed the concrete floor to. The notch in the stem wall would be the same, whether Dennis omits the horizontal insulation or not, Jon A says. “Regardless of whether you fully insulate under the slab you will still need a small strip of insulation where the slab sits on the foundation wall,” he says. “The goal is to thermally isolate your slab from your foundation wall.” Adding the vapor barrier A vapor barrier should be installed immediately below the slab so the concrete is in direct contact with the vapor barrier, Holladay says. That’s the case whether or not there is any horizontal insulation below the slab. But the vapor barrier can end at either the top or the bottom edge of the slab. “Either way will work — the difference is minor,” Holladay writes. “The polyethylene is a vapor barrier, not an air barrier. In any case, it’s a good idea to seal the perimeter crack (at the perimeter of the slab) with caulk after the concrete is cured, and you don’t want a flap of polyethylene in the way when you apply the caulk.” Block or poured concrete? Dennis also wonders whether there are advantages to using poured concrete walls instead of concrete block for his foundation. To Trevor Chadwick, it’s an open-and-shut case. “The only reason to use block is that sometimes it’s cheaper,” he writes. “Other than that, poured is superior in every single way.” How so? wonders Aaron Beckworth. “Every single way meaning what?” he asks. “I would expect block would be less expensive and may be preferred by some builders. Without sound reason, why ask a builder to deviate from what they are comfortable with?” In addition, block may be less intimidating for a do-it-yourselfer who’s working without a crew. Cost and local building practices are the reasons to use block, says Taylor, but a solid concrete foundation wall will perform better. Chris Duncan adds this: “A block foundation is harder to build for owner-builders and probably for professionals too,” he says. “And I think a poured foundation is stronger unless you do a lot of extra work with rebar and filling the block openings with concrete. Even then it’s not as strong. All the examples I’ve seen of failed foundation walls were block walls.” Our expert’s views Peter Yost, GBA’s technical director, had this to add: Do we need insulation under the slab in mild climates? The heating and cooling energy in a mild climate arising from ground-coupled heat transfer is incredibly complex. Being connected to the earth as an infinite heat sink is not a good thing during the heating season but certainly can be a good thing during the cooling season (see this study by the Florida Solar Energy Center). But we be won’t solving that puzzle in a GBA blog. What about the tapered edge perimeter insulation detail? I don’t see the tapered edge perimeter insulation really working. I don’t think it’s feasible to taper the concrete to a thin edge, and I don’t think a thin edge would hold up over time. Do we need slab perimeter insulation in mild climates? I don’t think there is much of a debate regarding the importance of slab edge insulation in Climate Zone 3. But locating that insulation gets interesting. See the illustration below for a solution proposed as part of a Building America project, with annual energy savings estimated at 13% for mild climate locations (Sacramento and Santa Maria, California; Reno, Nevada; Atlanta, Georgia; and Fort Worth, Texas). This comes from the 2010 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficient Buildings – “The Last Big Leak: Exposed Slab Edges.” Is there another approach that solves the thermal bridge problem at the slab perimeter? I got to talking with architect Steve Baczek about insulating slabs and whether it makes sense to flip the insulation and concrete slab, per his detail below. In this assembly, the rigid foam insulation is above the concrete slab. (Image credit: Steve Baczek) “It works just fine and eliminates the thermal bridge at the perimeter,” says Steve. “I have even done a recent project or two where we eliminated the concrete slab, since it’s not really structural.” See detail below. With the approach shown above, the non-structural concrete slab is eliminated completely. (Image credit: Steve Baczek) It certainly makes sense to have the insulation underneath the slab for radiant floor heating. But other than that, just why do we pull the concrete slab into conditioned space rather than pushing it out? Which is easier: DIY concrete block or cast concrete? As a remodeler doing quite a few small additions, garages, and utility buildings, we did a lot of flat work because it’s really pretty straightforward — not requiring much skill, frankly. Laying block, on the other hand, takes a lot of skill: buttering the blocks, maintaining courses, keeping everything square and level. For that reason, we rarely did it.last_img read more

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How to treat symptoms from the webinar: Evidence-based guidelines for the nutritional management of adult oncology patients

first_imgPhotospin.com by David Castillo Dominiciby Robin AllenWe listened to such valuable information on nutrition and the treatment of cancer.  I have decided present some highlights that we ran out of time to discuss.  The following are highlights from the Webinar:Evidence-based guidelines for the nutritional management of adult oncology patientsManaging symptoms of Cancer treatment:Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss, CachexiaSeveral small meals per dayHigh-protein foods firstLargest meal when hungriestKeep food interestingPush high-calorie foods and beveragesProtein shakes, milkshakes, smoothiesEnteral feeding or TPN may be necessaryDysguesiaBitter or metallic tasteMoist and naturally sweet foodsMarinate meatsAdd small amounts of sugar to foodsSour candiesRinse mouth and brush teeth several times a day to keep taste buds cleanMucositisUlceration/soreness of tongue and throatEasy-to-swallow foodsRoom temperatureAvoid smoking and alcoholRinse mouth regularly DysphagiaDifficulty swallowingSmall, frequent mealsPuree foods, thin out mashed foodsDeep breathes before trying to swallow, exhale or cough after swallowingPlenty of fluidsSLP to help learn effective swallowing techniquesNauseaSmall amounts often and slowlyAvoid eating in stuffy room, or has strong odorsFewer liquids with mealsSip liquids throughout the dayConsume food and beverages at room temperature or coolerSit upright when eatingDry toast or crackers in morning before getting upAvoid eating for 1-2 hours before RT or chemoAnti-nausea medicationsTrack when nausea occurs and what is causing it VomitingDo not eat or drink until vomiting is under controlSit upright for a period of time after vomitingOnce controlled, small amounts of clear liquidsOnce clear liquids can be kept down, full liquid dietCarbonated beverages may cause fullness, bloating or burping, triggering vomitingDiarrheaAvoid dairy if increase indigestion and diarrheaEat small amounts of food and liquids throughout the dayDrink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydrationAvoid very hot or very cold foodsDrink liquids at room temperatureEat plenty of foods and liquids high in sodium and potassiumClear liquid diet during first 12-24 hours of onset For more information, you can listen to the recording on the event page.References:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hed.23599/abstracthttps://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/staying-active/nutrition/nutrition-during-treatment.htmlhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hed.20447/fullhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21142/fullThis blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.last_img read more

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Odisha rivers in spate after heavy rain

first_imgHeavy rain has lashed most parts of Odisha, especially southern districts, since Saturday sending rivers like Vansadhara and Rushikulya into spate, cutting off roads and flooding many areas.Two women died in a crop field and nine others sustained injuries when lightning struck at Mahaguda village under the Bhanjanagar sub-division of Ganjam district. A mother-daughter duo were injured in lightning strike at Rajamatu village in Nabarangpur district. One person was missing after being swept away by the swirling waters of the Nagabali river.Water level risingThe water level was steadily rising at all six river gauge sites of Vansadhara and Rushikulya. The water level in Rushikulya was rising at three river gauge sites – Sorada, Madhabarida and Purusottampur. Other rivers, Baitarani in Keonjhar and Hati in Kalahandi, were swelling due to heavy rain received during the past 24 hours. Many areas in Kalahandi, Ganjam and Rayagada districts were inundated following heavy rain.Kotraguda in Vansadhara basin received 234.8 mm of rainfall while Purusottampur in Rushikulya basin recorded 165 mm of rain. A low pressure area that formed over northwest of the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a well-marked low pressure area. “Heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at a few places in southern Odisha district with extremely heavy rain at one or two places over Rayagada, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nuapada and Nabarangpur districts,” said H. R. Biswas, head of Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar.last_img read more

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Acclaimed Bengali writer Nabanita Deb Sen dies at 81

first_imgAward-winning poet, writer and acclaimed teacher Nabanita Deb Sen passed away in her south Kolkata residence on Thursday night after prolonged illness. She was 81.Her parents, both poets, were associated with Rabindranath Tagore and thus Ms. Deb Sen often said she knew that “one of the signatures of growing up is to write poetry”. Her first collection of poems came out in 1959, the year she was married to economist Amartya Sen. The couple had two daughters and separated later.A Sahitya Akademi and Padma Shri awardee, Ms. Deb Sen taught for many years in the Comparative Literature department of the Jadavpur University and was a favourite among students.Her travelogue, Truckbahone McMahone [On a Truck Alone to McMohan], provides an entertaining and delicate description of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Ms. Deb Sen, in her early twenties, hitchhiked up to Tawang in an Army truck to write the all-time bestseller of Bengali literature.Lamenting her demise, writer Shirshendu Mukherjee said Ms. Deb Sen had a “huge pool of material” which could not be used due to her ill health. “Besides losing a friend, I would say I will be missing her writings,” Mr. Mukherjee said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said “her absence will be felt by her myriad students and well-wishers”.last_img read more

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The depth in Indian boxing catches the eye

first_imgTalk of depth in Indian sport, the 2010 Games have been a revelation. In the see-saw battle between the hosts and England to finish second in the medals tally, India did lose some gold medals which were almost taken for granted.One thought Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi or Leander and Sania Mirza would certainly win gold medals as also Ronjan Sodhi in double trap.But as if to make up for the loss of these, came the solid showing from the Indian boxers on Wednesday. Agreed, Suranjoy Singh, arguably the brightest talent in Indian boxing, walked in and out of the ring without having to land a punch as his opponent failed to show up because of an injury.That set the tone for the next two gold medals from boxing, with Manoj Kumar and the powerhouse called Paramjeet Samota rocking the Talkatora Stadium.So what is it about Indian boxing that we can now conveniently overcome the disappointment of Vijender Kumar and Akhil Kumar not making it to the final stage?I think the depth in the sport was always there. Now, it’s just that the boxers are getting the right support from the federation and the Indian government to hone their skills and gain from the exposure-cum-competition tours.Suranjoy’s achievements in the last four years are quite impressive and it was sad the paying public did not get to see the 52kg boxer showcase his talent.For sheer consistency, he has earned the nickname ‘Chhota Tyson’. It’s a nickname which has caught on among the boxing lovers and now finds its way into headlines as well! However, old timers will always remember ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson as someone who was heavier and more mean inside the ring.advertisementSamota has again shown consistency and, being in the highest weight category, he looks pretty good on his feet and in his approach.At a time when babus in the sports ministry are still calculating how much they will have to cough up for all the medals won, one must appreciate the efforts put in by coach B.I. Fernandez. On your TV sets, it is Indian coach G.S. Sandhu who does all the talking, and he is good at PR!But the man who stays tucked away from the media is Fernandez, who was almost taken away from India after the Beijing Olympics by Cuba, from where he hails. Luckily for Indian boxing, he returned to help the talented bunch. The results are there for all to see.last_img read more