UPDATED on March 30 to clarify the distinction between the Let Oregon Lead Committee and the Reach Code Committee, which is the actual governmental body responsible for Reach Code development.In July 2009, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed into law Senate Bill 79, which was designed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings planned for construction by authorizing updates to Oregon’s building codes.The basic goal was to bring Oregon code to the level of national model codes, such as California’s Title 24 code requirements. Another important provision of the law directed the state to focus on developing optional code, called Reach Code, that would help push the energy efficiency envelope beyond state requirements. A significant step in that direction was taken earlier this month when members of the group responsible for developing Reach Code – the Reach Code Advisory Committee – unanimously approved adoption of the Passivhaus standard as an option for commercial construction.A coalition of Passive House consultants, green builders, and nonprofit agencies called the Let Oregon Lead Committee also announced that the Reach Code Committee will consider, in an upcoming session, adopting the Passivhaus standard as a Reach Code option for residential construction.Reaching for top performanceS.B. 79 directed the Department of Consumer and Business Services, which includes the Oregon Building Codes Division, to update statewide code in place in 2009 to higher levels of energy efficiency for new commercial and residential buildings. The energy efficiency requirement for nonresidential structures increased 15% to 25%; for residential buildings the increase was 10% to 15%.Energy use in a nonresidential building conforming to the Reach Code’s newly adopted Passivhaus option would be cut by 70% to 90% over a similar structure built to mandatory code, the advisory committee notes in its announcement. While the Let Oregon Lead Committee acknowledges that the new code is an “option within and option,” its purpose is “to incentivize high-performance buildings, and to allow jurisdictions and builders to field test state-of-the-art construction methods.”The committee also said the Passivhaus Reach Code measure was endorsed by 14 nonprofits and 29 business groups, including the Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board, the Oregon Environmental Council, the Climate Solutions advocacy group, Rocky Mountain Institute, and a business alliance called the Voice for Oregon Innovation & Sustainability.Portland-based Passivhaus consultant Graham Wright wrote the adoption amendment, whose Let Oregon Lead proponents include two members also based in Portland: Sam Hagerman, president of the national Passive House Alliance and president of contracting company Hammer & Hand, and Stephen Aiguier, president of Green Hammer, a design and construction firm.Incentives and goalsHammer & Hand’s director of business development, Zack Semke, told GBA that the Reach Code Committee could consider adoption of the Passivhaus standard as a Reach Code option for residential construction as early as next month. Details of compliance incentives, beyond federal tax incentives, are still being ironed out, but Semke noted that projects being built to the Passivhaus standard would in any case qualify for financial incentives available through the state-mandated nonprofit Energy Trust of Oregon, which helps fund energy-saving projects by many of Oregon’s utility customers.A house built to the Passivhaus standard, for example, would conform to Energy Trust of Oregon’s Advanced Performance Home criteria, which would qualify the project for an incentive of $4,000. Other, utility-sponsored programs also are being considered. And Semke points out that local jurisdictions are likely to develop their own sets of incentives for Reach Code compliance – expedited review and permitting, say, or increased height or density allowances.At this point, Semke adds, municipalities cannot vote to make provisions of the Reach Code mandatory, in the way municipalities in Massachusetts can adopt stricter code requirements for both residential and commercial buildings. Pending further approval by the state, however, the Reach Code could be folded into Oregon’s base building code in three years.
FILE – In this Aug. 27, 2014, file photo, Maria Sharapova, of Russia, returns a shot to Alexandra Dulgheru, of Romania, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. Sharapova has been granted a wild-card invitation for the U.S. Open’s main draw. Sharapova is among eight women who were given entry into the 128-player field by the U.S. Tennis Association on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, and by far the most noteworthy. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)Former world number one Maria Sharapova makes her first Grand Slam appearance next week since serving a 15-month doping suspension, bringing renewed passion and resolve to the US Open.The 30-year-old Russian was given a wildcard into the tournament by the US Tennis Association (USTA), a move critics complained about earlier in the season but another key step in the road back for the five-time Grand Slam winner.ADVERTISEMENT “When it comes to tennis, good or bad — there’s really only one thing that I know for certain — I’ve missed it,” Sharapova wrote on the Players’ Tribune website.“Though these last two years have been tougher -— so much tougher -— than I ever could have anticipated… my passion for the game has never wavered. If anything, it has only grown stronger.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSharapova was issued a two-year suspension after testing positive for the banned heart and blood boosting drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the ban on appeal.She said that she had taken it for several years and did not know it had been placed on the banned list at the start of 2016. SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Sharapova has missed three of the past four US Opens, her last visit ending in the 2014 fourth round.The USTA defended its wildcard offer, saying, “Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wildcard selection process.”“Consistent with past practice, a wildcard was provided to a past US champion who needed the wildcard for entry into the main draw.”Former world number one Sharapova won the 2006 US Open as well as Wimbledon in 2004, the 2008 Australian Open and the 2012 and 2014 French Opens.“I’m sure this is a great moment for her to have an opportunity to be back to a place where she has done so well,” seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams said.Sharapova plays catch-upSharapova was bolstered by fans with “Welcome back Maria” signs in Germany and cheering support last month in Stanford, her first US match in more than two years.“I feel like I just want to hug everyone and say thank you,” Sharapova said.Sharapova defeated American Jennifer Brady 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 in her Stanford opener but suffered a left forearm injury and has not played competitively since.“I feel like I’m playing catch-up against everyone who has had a head start,” she said of being hurt during US Open tuneup events. Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding SEA Games: ‘Stand-in’ Ferrera nails hammer throw bronze LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:02PNP to prove activists’ link to CPP NPA00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Sharapova made her return in April at Stuttgart, reaching the semi-finals as a wildcard, but such invitations sparked criticism from some WTA rivals, saying she should have to work her way back without such benefits, some suggesting a life ban.“I’m aware of what many of my peers have said about me and how critical of me some of them have been,” she wrote.“If you’re a human being with a normal, beating heart… I don’t think that sort of thing will ever fully be possible to ignore.”Sharapova was refused a wildcard by French Open organizers and missed Wimbledon with a thigh injury, so the US Open will be her first Grand Slam event since last year’s Australian Open.Shaking off criticism after the French Open snub, Sharapova tweeted, “If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, everyday. No words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams. And I have many.”ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games LATEST STORIES SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief View comments
NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers In this February 15, 2014 photo, men’s 1,000-meter short track speed-skating gold medalist Viktor Ahn, of Russia, gestures while holding his medal during the medals ceremony at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Six-time Olympic gold medalist Ahn and three former NHL players are among 45 Russian athletes and two coaches who were banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns in a decision announced on Friday, February 9, 2018. (AP FILE PHOTO) As well as the 45 athletes, the ruling covers a luge coach and a skeleton coach.The IOC has refused to comment on individual Russian athletes but says it decided who to exclude using a newly obtained Moscow laboratory database with evidence of past doping offenses.It refused to invite some Russians even after their disqualifications from the 2014 Olympics were lifted by CAS last week.Stephen Hess, an international sports lawyer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said the decision was a victory for the IOC.“There is no absolute right to get an invitation from the IOC to come to the Olympics,” Hess said in a telephone interview. “That was within the IOC’s discretion, and they didn’t exercise it arbitrarily. If Russia had an Olympic team, CAS might have said: ‘IOC, the Russians can put them on their own team. You can’t keep them out.’ But Russian doesn’t have an Olympic team.”The IOC pointed to a CAS statement that declared the Russians were not necessarily innocent of doping, just that the evidence was insufficient to ban them. Also, the IOC said, “there were additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered” in last week’s CAS case “that raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes.”US athletes praised the decision and the end to uncertainty around the participation of some Russian athletes.“That is great news,” said US women’s skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender, who placed fourth in the Sochi Olympics — one spot behind bronze medalist Elena Nikitina, who was one of the 45 appealing her ban. U.S. bobsledder Nick Cunningham said he’s tried to not focus on the will-they-or-won’t-they drama surrounding the Russians.“It’s not going to change what happens to me in the next two weeks,” Cunningham said. “If dirty athletes are taken out, then clean athletes will prevail. That’s what I hope.” /kga PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Sports’ highest court rejected appeals by all 45 Russian athletes plus two coaches who were banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns in a decision announced on Friday, less than nine hours before the opening ceremony.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had refused to invite the group of Russians, saying it had evidence of alleged doping in Russian sports.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAfter two days of hearings, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the IOC has the right to set its own standards for who is eligible.CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb, reading from a statement and declining to take questions, said the IOC process “could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision.” The IOC’s vetting process was designed to exclude Russian athletes from the games if IOC officials were not sure they were clean, even if they had not been banned for doping.The IOC subsequently invited 168 Russians to participate as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag in a decision designed to balance the rights of individual athletes with the need for a strong deterrent to doping.The Russian delegation in Pyeongchang declined requests for comment, with spokesman Konstantin Vybornov saying “that’s it — the story is over.”The ruling is a heavy blow to Russian medal chances.Among those excluded are six-time gold medalist Viktor Ahn, the short track speed-skater whose return to his native South Korea for the Olympics had been hotly anticipated by local fans.Also out are cross-country skiing gold medalist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov, as well as potential medal contenders in biathlon, luge, and bobsled.Three former NHL players — Sergei Plotnikov, Anton Belov and Valeri Nichushkin — also lost appeals, though it was widely considered unlikely they would have played even if they had been successful, since the Russian roster is already full.United States Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said the decision was a “a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark and sordid affair.”“You hope justice has been served but how some of these athletes can keep dirty medals from Sochi but be excluded now is hard to reconcile,” Tygart said. “And why the IOC rushed the process on the Sochi medal decisions is unexplainable and a tragedy for clean athletes.”The ruling comes a day after the first Olympic competitions began and ends more than a week of uncertainty for two groups of athletes who lodged last-ditch cases to the CAS. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises LATEST STORIES Read Next Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games01:37Russian envoy: Putin accepts Duterte’s invitation to visit PH01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 City John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Golden State forward Draymond Green fined $50,000 AFP official booed out of forum “The CAS panel found that the applicants did not demonstrate that the manner in which the two special commissions — the Invitation Review Panel and the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group — independently evaluated the applicants was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner. The Panel also concluded that there was no evidence the (commissions) improperly exercised their discretion.”The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency welcomed the decision. The IOC issued a statement saying the decision “supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes.”WADA president Craig Reedie described it as “absolutely correct.”“I am delighted at the decision and the way they expressed it,” Reedie told the Associated Press in a telephone interview. “They have quite clearly understood that there was systemic manipulation of the anti-doping process.“It means the games can proceed. Athletes can get their heads down and go. This particular issue is now behind us.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH ADVERTISEMENT