Henry Gifford Continues His Case Against LEED

first_imgSometimes it seems as if debates about how best to increase the energy efficiency of buildings – and about the relative importance of energy efficiency in green building – are bound to outlive the buildings themselves. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course, for people who want to see green building flourish while building science and building materials improve.One of the developments sparking long and fevered discussion on these subjects is the lawsuit filed against the U.S. Green Building Council by Henry Gifford, an occasional GBA contributor and the owner of Gifford Fuel Saving consultancy. Gifford’s suit, originally filed in October as a class-action, was amended in February to focus on claims of false advertising, deceptive practices, and illegal monopolization, while its original common law, racketeering, and class-action components were dropped. Three plaintiffs also were added to the complaint. Alleging that USGBC misrepresented the performance of LEED certified buildings and altered study results to support its performance claims, Gifford’s suit seeks an injunction against USGBC and monetary damages for lost sales and profits.USGBC answersUSGBC responded in April with a motion to dismiss the amended suit, claiming that the plaintiffs lack standing (i.e. they weren’t among the people actually deceived by USGBC’s building-performance claims) and can’t prove that they were harmed by the organization’s allegedly illegal conduct. USGBC’s argument generally holds up, argues Shari Shapiro, a LEED Accredited Professional and an attorney specializing in green building law, renewable energy, and sustainable buildings. But in one of a series of posts about the suit on her Green Building Law blog, Shapiro also notes that USGBC’s motion to dismiss also claims that the group’s marketing targets building industry and real estate professionals. That claim, she says, is contradicted by the LEED for Homes online scoring tool, announced in the spring, which does indeed market LEED for Homes certification directly to consumers.“Making factually unsupported arguments may weaken the punch of the USGBC’s clearer grounds for dismissal,” she writes, “and provide a toehold for the Plaintiffs to plant seeds of doubt about the rest of the USGBC’s arguments.”Flawed comparisions?That’s some of the legal background to the drama. A broader perspective on the discussions it has precipitated – and a reminder of the durable nature of the debate about energy efficiency, LEED certification, and green building practices – is offered in an article published June 13 by Miller-McCune.com, a news site that specializes in nonpartisan coverage of social concerns.The story points out that the assertions in the suit hinge in large part on Gifford’s analysis of a 2008 study comparing predicted energy use in certified buildings with actual energy use, and with a national average for existing buildings. Conducted by USGBC and the New Buildings Institute, the study drew on data from the Department of Energy’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey of 2007. NBI concluded from the data that LEED buildings are, on average, 25% to 30% more efficient than the national average. By contrast, Gifford’s analysis of the information concluded that LEED buildings are, on average, 29% less efficient.Gifford complained that the study erred by examining performance data only from 121 LEED-certified buildings with willing operators, the Miller-McCune story notes. Also of concern to Gifford is that the study compares data from LEED-certified buildings to data from a range of existing buildings rather than those built after USGBC got rolling in 2000.A path to LEED refinement?Gifford’s criticism has prompted plenty of discussion on building sites, including GBA and BuildingGreen.com, whose editorial director, Tristan Roberts, pointed out to Miller-McCune that many older buildings, particularly those built before 1960, are more efficient than newer ones.In at least one case, Gifford’s complaints prompted yet another analysis of the NBI study. John Scofield, a physicist at Oberlin College, also concluded that LEED-certified commercial buildings are not necessarily more energy efficient than conventional buildings, although his conclusion is based on the fact that LEED tracks site energy (via utility bills), rather than source energy (the on- and offsite energy costs), as a principal measure of building efficiency. Another flaw in LEED, Scofield says, is that had been awarding points for energy efficiency based on projected energy use rather than relying entirely on measurements of the building’s performance once construction was complete.USGBC, since 2009, has in fact moved to implement verification of performance, even though the performance data is not, at this point, being released to the public. In any case, the upshot of the challenges and analyses is that they’ll likely lead to productive changes in the long run, and green building will continue to become a bigger part of the national conversation.last_img read more

3 Tips for Dealing With Rolling Shutter

first_imgThe term “Fix It In Post” has become a cliche at this point, but when it comes to rolling shutter, sometimes it actually is the best option. Depending on the severity of the rolling shutter artifacts, you may be able to fix the image during post-production by using any number of different plug ins for various NLE systems or compositing software. There are dozens of options out there, so I would recommend doing a quick google search to see which tools work best for your camera and software combination. Here’s a video tutorial from TheHowToMac  that demonstrates how to reduce rolling shutter in Final Cut Pro X. With all of that said, I would never rely on fixing your rolling shutter in post. The best results will always be achieved by avoiding rolling shutter artifacts in the first place. But if you are in a sticky situation, it’s great to know that there are some editing tools that can help you deal with these problem shots. If you’re interested in more info on shutters, rolling or otherwise, check out these articles from the PremiumBeat Blog.FCPX Video Tutorial: How to Fix Rolling ShutterHow to Repair Rolling Shutter in Adobe Premiere ProHow Do Camera Shutters Work?How do you deal with rolling shutter issues? Got any tips for your fellow filmmakers and videographers? Share your thoughts in the comments below. DSLR video has improved dramatically over the last few years, but rolling shutter is still an issue. Deal with it using these three tips.No one likes the look of rolling shutter artifacts. They’re a pesky side effect of shooting on DSLRs (or other cameras using CMOS sensors) and have the potential to ruin otherwise fantastic footage. Rolling shutter issues can plague footage in any number of ways, but most often by causing a horizontal skew when whip panning, or the “jello effect” when shooting on long lenses (or handheld). Here’s an example of the jello effect:Rolling shutter skew is simply a result of the speed at which a frame is scanned and captured on a CMOS sensor. Unlike global shutters, which capture an entire frame all at once, a rolling shutter will scan the frame from top to bottom, leaving room for visual artifacting in the frame.In other words, the top and bottom points of any given frame are not captured at the exact same moment, which is why images can appear skewed under certain circumstances.This can be seen in the image below.Image from EngadgetYou might wonder why more manufacturers don’t use global shutter sensors on their cameras, and there are a number of reasons for this. In a nutshell, there is usually a tradeoff in terms of performance between rolling and global shutters. A rolling shutter has issues with skew and distortion (as touched on above), but can have better low light performance and dynamic range.On the other hand, the global shutter may never be able to achieve the same DR as its rolling shutter counterpart, but it would perform much better for handheld work, action scenes, and visual effects work.Image from DSLR Video CollegeVFX shots in particular can be very challenging to deal with when working with footage suffering from rolling shutter artifacts. For a VFX artist to do their work best, they need to be able to accurately track footage and match 2D/3D elements to the source footage – which can be a huge challenge when the source material isn’t stable enough.But even if you aren’t doing VFX work or shooting action sequences, you still need to be careful when shooting on a camera that is prone to rolling shutter problems. A handheld shot using a long lens can turn into complete jello under the wrong conditions, and the skew associated with any number of shooting situations can be a huge distraction in the editing room.The good news is that there are ways to offset the rolling shutter issues associated with many CMOS sensors. Here are three of the simplest ways to work around it:Use a RigImage from 2355 ProductionsThis first point applies most specifically to micro-jitters, which can be an issue with nearly any camera, but can be exaggerated by rolling shutter.Using any sort of stabilizer or rig will always be your best bet when it comes to minimizing micro-jitters. Obviously a tripod or monopod can work perfectly in most instances, but for handheld work things get a bit trickier. As you might imagine, using a shoulder rig is one of the best ways to eliminate rolling shutter (or at least reduce it significantly), but it needs to be set up just right.I have used some DSLR rigs that didn’t have enough counter weight or just weren’t built well enough to absorb some of the shock that would cause micro-jitters, and ultimately they weren’t much better than actually holding the camera. Rigs that are heavier but still well balanced are an absolute must for even the most basic handheld work.Alternatively, you might want to consider a small gimbal-based stabilizer like the Movi M5 (pictured above) or a device like the Nebula 4000. Or, if you are unable to use a rig for any reason, the next best thing would be to use a stabilized lens. Any lens with built-in image stabilization will decrease rolling shutter artifacts substantially, but a well-balanced rig is always going to give better results.Know Your AnglesImage from GSI EngineeringSometimes knowing how not to use a tool is just as valuable as knowing how to use it. Every camera has its limitations, whether in the areas of dynamic range, sharpness, detail, color accuracy, or otherwise. If your particular camera struggles with rolling shutter, then sometimes the best option is to work around its limitations and avoid shooting in situations where the camera is going to have issues.One example of this might involve shooting a moving train. If you were to point your camera at a train that is moving horizontally from screen left to screen right, the image would be very skewed, even if you weren’t moving the camera at all. Just like a whip pan, the sensor would be unable to read the entire image at once and would therefore cause a horizontal skew in the image.While you’re on set, the only option you have (other than shooting on a different camera) is to change your angle. Instead of shooting head on, you could opt to shoot from a 3/4 angle or any number of other positions that would help you avoid the skew entirely. It may feel frustrating that your creative choices are limited, but knowing your limitations will always help you get the best results and avoid issues down the road.Fix It in PostImage from the Connecticut School of Broadcastinglast_img read more


first_imgAustralia openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin are at the crease against India in their World Cup quarter-final match in Motera on Wednesday. Live ScoreAustralia openers Shane Watson and Bad Haddin are at crease against India in the second World Cup quarter-final match at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad, on Thursday.Earlier, Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat. Not an unusual decision considering that seamers won’t have much bounce and carry and it is a good batting wicket. The wicket looks dry and there will be some turn in offer for the spinners.In World Cups, India and Australia have played each other nine times. Australia have won seven times and India have won twice. However, in the knock-out stages of ICC events, they have met four times where India have won thrice and the Australia just once. At Motera, they have played twice and both have won one game each. Teams -India: Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (capt./wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel  Australia: Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt.), Michael Clarke, Cameron White, Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Shaun Taitlast_img read more