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On January 1, 2012, Guaymas Company established a stock option

On January 1, 2012, Guaymas Company established a stock option plan for its senior employees. A total of 550,000 options were granted that permit employees to purchase 550,000 shares of stock at $23 per share. Each option had a fair value of $6 on the grant date. The market price for Guaymas stock on January 1, 2012, was $23. The employees are required to remain with Guaymas for four years (2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015) in order to be able to exercise these options. Guaymas’ net income for 2012, before including any consideration of compensation expense, is $870,000.
1. Compute the compensation expense associated with these options for 2012 under the fair value method. Note that the period of time that the employees must work to be able to exercise the options is four years.
2. Interpretive Question: You are a Guaymas stockholder. What objections might you have to Guaymas’ employee stock option plan?


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Much of the debate in developmental psychology revolves around the issue of nature versus nurture big question is how much…

Choose and describe two treatment options for psychological disorders.March 31, 2021

Much of the debate in developmental psychology revolves around the issue of nature versus nurture big question is how much of our human traits, characteristics, and behaviors stem from genetics and how much are influenced by our environment. Please select an issue or topic that generates this kind of debate. For instance, the issue of intelligence constantly spurs arguments about whether intelligence is based on genetics or from one’s environment, or perhaps both.
Choose your own issue where there is a debate about nature versus nurture. Examples may include whether certain disorders are more genetically based or stem from one’s environment, such as schizophrenia or autism. You may also choose a specific behavior that has created this kind of argument. For instance, are certain gender differences between men and women due to genetics or environment?
Choose your own issue or topic and explain why there is such a nature versus nurture argument around it. Justify your response. For topics such as sexual orientation or subjects of a personal nature, please make sure to present your arguments from an academic perspective and not merely from a personal reaction or opinion to the issue.

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Holistic Urban Initiatives; Stad van de Zon – City of the Sun

Holistic Urban Initiatives

Stad van de Zon – City of the Sun, Heerhugowaard, the Netherlands


Stad van de Zon – An Overview

Stad van de Zon, also known as the City of the Sun is located in the residential area of Heerhugowaard, a city in the Netherlands. This project is a part of the urban development “HAL Location” which covers an area between three cities, which include Heerhugowaard and its two surrounding cities of Alkmaar and Langedijk. Stad van de Zon was designed to be a net zero CO2 emissions area and they tried to achieve this by installing 2.45MW of photovoltaic systems, three wind turbines of 2.3 MW each and surrounded by 100 hectares of forest for carbon sequestration. Together with photovoltaic projects in Alkmaar and Langedijk the project was aimed to have a total installed peak power of 5MW. This project is one of the largest photovoltaic housing projects in the world. The construction of this residential project started in 2002 and was completed in 2009.

The Vision of the project is to become completely carbon neutral by 2030 by reducing their energy consumption, generating more of renewable energy, and creating resilience over time. The goal of becoming carbon neutral will be achieved only by generating renewable energy. Replacing the vehicles that are powered by fossil fuels to reduce the emissions is yet to be considered. In that regard, at present the city does not permit any boats or sails operating on fossil fuels in their recreational areas.  The project is already on the path of becoming carbon neutral and the only tactic used for becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is using solar and wind energy.

Regional Context of the Project

Stad van de Zon is located 30 miles north of Amsterdam. The application of photovoltaic systems is done all over the Netherlands but the pilot project for the photovoltaic system was first carried out at Heerhugowaard and later adapted by the neighboring cities.

Stad van de Zon falls in the temperate climate zone which receives an average of 1,900 sunshine hours during a year from April to October. The population of Heerhugowaard is 51,253 and its area is 123 hectares. Heerhugowaard has a widespread water body of 170 hectares around it and a forest area of 100 hectares.

Stad van de Zon is built on a square island 700*700 square meters in area, which was a vacant piece of land surrounded by a lake before the construction. This project is 1.30 meters above its surrounding water level and has nearly 3,000 housing units which are passively designed and energy efficient as per the ISO standards. This project was completed under the jurisdiction of Han Ter Heegde, the mayor of Heerhugowaard. Stad van de Zon is no longer a plan, its today’s reality! It demonstrates positive local change triggered by the strong political support from the mayors.

Project Mastermind and the Design Team

In 1992, upon the request of the provincial government, the cities of Heerhugowaard, Alkmaar and Langedijk developed a new town called HAL-location. Ashok Bhalotra, a well-known urban planner from Kuiper Compagnons, Rotterdam was invited and introduced sketches for a city based on solar energy in 1993. Based on this a “structural sketch” was made for the HAL-location, as well as the name “Stad van de Zon” was born.

The sun became the starting point for urban and architectural design. To stimulate and educate architects a design workshop “PV-Atelier” was organized. Apart from being the urban developer of the City of the Sun, Ashok Bhalotra is also the architectural supervisor in the HAL-area. A great number of architects have been involved in the 5MW project including BEAR Gouda, Nowotny Rotterdam, INBO Woudenberg, 19 Het Atelier Zwolle, Roy Gelders Amsterdam, Hans Wagner Amsterdam, BBHD Schagen, Taneja Hartsuyker Amsterdam and Van den Oever Zaaijer & Partners Amsterdam.

Unique Features and Innovative Strategies

Stad van de Zon is built on a square island surrounded by a high-quality water management system and a recreational area. Studies show that Stad van de Zon is entirely energy self-sufficient and creates all the energy it consumes. This project is one of the largest photovoltaic communities worldwide and generates all of its electricity through photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. This project was inaugurated in 2009 by the Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands. Stad van de Zon is the largest partner in the European Sun Cities project and also one of the largest urban-scale photovoltaic projects globally. This project helped the Dutch achieve their Sustainable Energy Target set for the country, of producing 20 percent of their total energy from renewable energy sources and reduced their CO2 emissions by 30 percent. The Sustainable Energy Target aimed only at producing renewable energy at a national level and not at becoming carbon neutral.

Photovoltaic Details

In total 25,000 photovoltaic panels were installed covering an area of 50,000 square meters and these panels were installed on the flat and inclined roofs at an angle of 45 degrees. These panels are connected to the grid and have a rectangular framed module. The photovoltaic cells are made of crystalline silicon and the entire photovoltaic system costs 15 million USD.

Total Energy Data

2.45MW of energy is produced from the photovoltaic panels and 6.9MW of energy from three wind turbines. Together they produce 9.35MW of renewable energy. However, this 9.35MW of renewable energy is not sufficient to make Stad van de Zon completely carbon neutral. This total energy of 9.35MW offsets just 1/3rd of the total CO2 emissions (9,092 tons/year) and the rest of the emissions are offset by carbon sequestration done by 100 hectares of forests surrounding the city. Stad van de Zon generates 9,092 tons of CO2 emissions per year out of which only 2,500 tons of CO2 emissions are offset by producing renewable energy (9.35MW). Rest of the 6,592 tons of CO2 emissions are sequestered by the 100 hectares of forest. The carbon neutral aim of Stad van de Zon will help offset all of its CO2 emissions by generating more of renewable energy from solar and wind energy sources.

The table below shows the total energy generated from photovoltaic panels in the three cities of Heerhugowaard, Alkmaar and Langedijk in the year 2008 (soon after the project completion).

Project Expenses

The total project costs which include the construction of the units and the photovoltaic systems is €140 million i.e., 200 million USD out of which 50 million USD were invested in creating a high-quality water management system and the recreational area. This project is funded by the Dutch government, Province of North-Holland, and the European Commission under the Fifth Framework Program.

Design Process – Transition from a vacant piece of land to a New City

Sun was the nucleus of the design for Stad van de Zon. As the project is a new development, 80 percent of the houses have N-S orientation to optimize their chances of capturing solar energy. As all the photovoltaic panels are mounted in the N-S direction, the grid iron pattern of the island is slightly skewed from that of its surroundings. This orientation tactic helps in maximizing the winter sun from the south and also cuts the heat gain on E-W facades in the summer. All the streets and houses have a grid iron pattern, and the houses are built to be eco-friendly, featuring photovoltaic panels, high-efficiency insulation, and heat pumps; these are some other tactics that are used to reduce the energy consumption and help the city in achieving its carbon neutral goal. These passive design tactics are comparatively cheaper than the solar systems and play a very important role in reducing the energy consumption of a household.

Embankments of both Carré – Main Square Island and the smaller islands on the periphery are trimmed with octagonal stones called Basalton. The inspirations for this are the piers at North Holland beaches of the North Sea. The project has made a provision for collecting and recycling rainwater. Roads are traffic free because the cars are either parked behind the houses in the garage or in their basements.

As the photovoltaic systems are installed in a new housing district, the grid has been designed and realized in line with all needs. As per several research done by photovoltaic agencies, grid problems are not to be expected nor have been occurred up to now.

High Quality Water Management System at Stad van de Zon.

Apart from the solar and wind energy initiative, a great deal of attention is put into the city’s water management system. The large water presence in Stad van de Zon serves as water storage, for recreation and as a natural “sink” for carbon neutrality. The large pond surrounding the island is utilized as a recreational pool and a rainwater buffer. A specific water system has been created for the area, which is not connected to Heerhugowaard’s food-rich and polluted water. The system is fed almost entirely by relatively clean rainwater running off from the city’s roofs. The ground level here is raised to prevent seepage of polluted water and the system is equipped to handle large differences in water level during various seasons.

During the summer, the water level can drop by 40 cm compared to the average level and during the winter, the water level can be up to 30 cm higher than the average of 3.30 meters below sea level. As the design accommodates such a degree of flexibility in water level fluctuation, this means the city is ready for greater than expected precipitation volumes and dry periods caused by the climate change. In unusually dry summers it might be necessary to let in water. To prevent this from harming the water quality, a water purification system has been installed at the entry point, where the incoming water passes through a de-phosphorization and sedimentation pool.

The city’s area is divided into three parts: one part is reserved for water; one part is built-up, and one part is used for nature and recreation. The area reserved for nature includes a labyrinth of streams for purifying the city’s water. In that labyrinth, with its natural banks and large quantities of water plants, the water is purified in a natural manner. A circulation pump has been positioned on the southern edge of the recreation pool. The water quality is monitored and if the water becomes too polluted, it can be pumped through the purification system at the inflow point to improve the quality.

As Stad van de Zon is situated at the lowest point of the area and possesses extra buffering capacity; the recreation pool can also serve as an emergency storage. All the surface water is used for canoeing or sailing electric boats. Boats powered by fossil fuels are not permitted in Stad van de Zon.

Facilities on the Island

The City of the Sun has all its facilities to provide a complete environment. These facilities are located at the centre of the island and they include schools, kindergarten, shops, a cafe and a restaurant, a medical centre, a drugstore, and a community centre. Heerhugowaard South has a large outdoor sports complex, a sports hall and a multifunctional sports and leisure centre. Most facilities are commercial investments, such as the multifunctional sports and leisure centre “Sport Lagune” and the music hall “Waerdse Tempel”. The city council of Heerhugowaard paid for the soccer fields and the community centre. The total costs of these facilities for the city of Heerhugowaard were 8.1 million USD.

Barriers to the Project

Getting the project financed was the greatest challenge in the process. One of the early goals of stakeholders of the project was that the size of project would help to reduce photovoltaic prices in the Netherlands, but the project has had very little influence on the price of photovoltaics, especially because the market in Germany became dominant for production of photovoltaic panels. Initially, the inhabitants were not very interested in the photovoltaic project, but the introduction of net-metering increased their interest. Net metering is a billing mechanism that gives credit to the residents that use solar energy system for the electricity they give back to the grid. So, in case of this project, the residents with photovoltaic systems generated more energy than they consumed during the day and this system really increased the resident’s interest in this project.

In the Heerhugowaard project the municipality had the lead. There are three major subsidizing bodies: the Dutch government, the province of North Holland and the European Commission. The time frames of both the national and European subsidies turned out to be too narrow for the real development of a new town. This continuous mismatch in the time span caused several problems for the project. This project also faced some major financial crisis which lowered the projects total energy generation target of 3.75MW to 2.45MW.

Studies show that the project developer, although very cooperative and wishing for low energy buildings, was very demanding. The developer wanted to avoid future claims caused by uncertain and unproven construction methods. In some of the previous large-scale Dutch photovoltaic projects, the photovoltaic modules were used as the water-proof layer in the roof construction, causing problems of leakage and condensation. In Heerhugowaard, the project developer insisted on a watertight construction, fully separate from the photovoltaic system. This requirement raised the price of the project. Furthermore, the project developer had to guarantee the functioning of the photovoltaic systems to the future owners. The European Union, as subsidizer of the project, required 6 years of guarantee as a minimum. Before purchasing the house, the owner/occupier had to sign a contract to maintain the photovoltaic system for at least 10 years. This was a “product guarantee” not a “power guarantee”.

From a purely technical point of view, there were no problems in the design and realization of the project. However, one of the barriers in the process was lack of knowledge of photovoltaic by the urban designer. Many of the architects had no experience with photovoltaic and some had no knowledge of photovoltaic. As a result, the energy coordinator of Heerhugowaard had to participate in the design process and educate the design team about the photovoltaic systems and keep them high on the project agenda.

Opportunities Presented by Overcoming the Barriers

Heerhugowaard is one of the few municipalities with an energy coordinator whose primary task is to improve the energy efficiency of municipal buildings. He also had close contact with the Provincial Renewable Energy department. The municipal department of housing in Heerhugowaard had set a goal of decreasing the living costs for tenants. Energy was an important component of total living costs at that time, so reduction of energy consumption contributed substantially to reduction of living costs as well as providing environmental benefits. Furthermore, a local project developer/building contractor wished to develop low energy houses as much as possible. In cooperation with the project developer, the municipality, the provincial energy department, and the future tenants; several solar houses were designed and built for the social rental sector.

The 5MW project received numerous awards, handed out by Novem, the Dutch Organization of Energy and Environment. In December 2000, Heerhugowaard received the

Energy Award (category: new buildings) for the level of innovation of the project and the perfect example it could set for other cities.

Key Stakeholder Involvement and Challenges

Both the province and the three municipalities involved in the HAL-location had high ambitions with regard to quality of building, quality of living and above all energy and CO2 reductions. The application of photovoltaic was strongly supported by a national research program on solar energy, financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and coordinated by the national energy agency. The Dutch government ended their national subsidy program halfway through the project which caused major problems. These problems had to be overcome by innovative financial schemes. Keeping this project on track for that length of time was very challenging and involved many problems.

Community involvement was achieved by the involvement of the future tenants in the design process. They were selected as being willing to live in a solar powered house. The schedule of requirements was prepared by about 30 parties involved in the process of urban planning. Future partners were involved in the process at a very early stage, as it would reduce future objections. The high level of ambition created enthusiasm in politicians, the involved parties, and the citizens.

Five main project developers that have been involved in the 5MW project and gained experience with photovoltaic systems are: Vos Alkmaar B.V., Bouwfonds Property Development, Bouw Combinatie Heerhugowaard, Henselmans Building Entreprise and Bink Bouw B.V.  All parties in the construction had a function in stimulating each other. All parties had their own reason to find a solution for the rising problems. Thanks to the complexity and cooperation of the project, the project still exists and is a huge success.

Project Success and Key Takeaways

This project is an excellent but rather expensive initiative to capture natural source of energy, but this initiative helped in operating an entire town completely on solar and wind energy. Solar energy has been the nucleus of the project. Majority of the houses have appropriate orientation due to development of a new town. Besides the initial cut back in the total energy generation target, the project faced several financial ups and downs. But the planning authority developed a solid plan to survive these changes in the subsidy schemes from the Dutch government. They gave developers the freedom to apply the best techniques they believed in. In addition, they developed flexible energy goals to sustain the changes during the construction and changes in the project requirements. More importantly, this project involved a long-term commitment between the crucial partners of the project and received strong political commitment from mayors and city council members to achieve its goals and make this project a successful demonstration module globally.

With the City of the Sun, Heerhugowaard made a statement. Not only in the means of urban planning with a square island surrounded by a high-quality water management system and a recreational area nearby the houses, but also by its renewable energy achievements. With the addition of the climate sustainable water system the City of the Sun is probably the first Kyoto-proof urban area in the world as per the studies.

Project Replicability and Adaptability

From a coal and gas country the Netherlands is slowly changing into a country of wind and solar energy. One of the strategies used in this project is as simple as installing PV Panels on the roofs of the houses. This strategy can be replicated in any area that receives sufficient sunlight. New constructions can orient their buildings in a proper way to maximize their solar benefits and apply passive design principles to save energy. Germany and UK have already adapted this strategy and the Chinese government has announced its intention to adopt and apply this system in China.

Learnings from Cities & Sustainability Course Seminar with respect to the Project

This project promotes sustainable practice as it generates energy from renewable sources and this new development will create resilience over a period by continuing to generate energy to supply their demands. This project demonstrates the use of passive and active design principles beginning with the easiest and cheapest strategies such as utilizing proper building orientation for maximum solar benefits and passive design for houses to the most expensive active strategies such as installing photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. Although the project relied heavily on the solar and wind systems which are the most expensive strategies on the pyramid, but these active strategies brought maximum benefits to the town in terms of cleaner energy generation and carbon offset.  This project maintains its sustainability goals and resiliency by applying these strategies along with carbon sequestration to offset the CO2 emissions of the city.

Apart from the passive and active design strategies, the project adopted the solar access law which helps each unit receive a certain amount of sunshine to generate solar energy at any time during the day, month, or year. In addition to this, component thinking metrics mentioned in the course seminar are applied in the design and planning of Stad van de Zon. These metrics include city with integrated green areas, city as power station of renewable energies, city built and managed with the inhabitants, city of minimized energy consumption and city integrated into the surrounding region.


There are no major flaws in the design or the initiative in general, apart from the fact that the active strategies used here are very expensive. This project has a very straight forward approach to capture wind and solar energy and offset the CO2 emissions by creating a balance between vegetated and urbanized areas. As discussed in the beginning of the paper, this project is already on the path of becoming carbon neutral and they aim to achieve this goal by 2030 by reducing their energy consumption and generating more of renewable energy. This will help them maintain their sustainability goals and become a resilient city with time. The success of this project led to the neighboring cities of Stad van de Zon to adapt these design principles. In addition, this project offers an inspiration to other cities worldwide to capitalize on the renewable sources of energy. In my opinion, if a country which receives moderate amount of sunshine can design and operate a city entirely on solar energy; then any other town or city globally can adopt this strategy and achieve success in improving their environmentally quality, reducing their carbon footprint, minimizing the damage done to the ecosystem and provide a better quality of living for their residents.


Describe how lighting is used to enhance or detract from the production.

Writing Assignment:

Media Analysis

You are required to submit the FINAL copy of this assignment, but you may first submit an optional DRAFT.

For this media analysis, you will analyze how one part affects the whole media production.

Note that you should select only asingle piece of media; you should not be discussing more than one film, for example.

You should choose one 1 of the following parts to explore:


Explain how the production you chose fits into its genre.


Analyze how the camera’s use (camera angles, for instance) affects the overall production.


Describe how lighting is used to enhance or detract from the production.


Analyze how the actors OR the characters themselves enhance or detract from the production.


Explain what the symbols are and how their usage affects the overall production.


Describe how the music enhances or detracts from the media production.


Analyze how the sound effects enhance or detract from the production.

Special Effects:

Explain what special effects are used and how they affect the viewing experience.

Comparison to a Literary Work:

(Note: This option may only be chosen if the film you choseis also in print form.) How are the book and film similar? How are they different? Which is better, and why?

Your purpose in this assignment is to explain how or why something works; therefore, you shouldnotinclude a full summary of the media production.

Instead, you can provide context where needed so the reader understands what is happening.

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Hypothesis |

Write the null and alternative by hypothesis for the following research question:

Is exam anxiety correlated to exam performance?


Calculate the correlation between the two variables. Will you reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis, why?


Consider a topic that you might consider for your dissertation. Provide the topic and explain why it is important to study.


Write a quantitative research question, the null hypothesis, and the alternative hypothesis to study the topic you provided.


Determine the inferential statistic you will use to reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis.


Use  APA guidelines, in text citations and a reference page


Building Energy Modeling and Simulation

Building Energy Modeling and Simulation

This paper discusses two types of building modeling tools used for planning individual buildings and neighborhoods based on various parameters such as proper orientation, massing, solar access, shade and shadow analysis, wind direction, and thermal comfort. First part of the paper discusses an older modeling technique used to provide solar access[1] to the existing and new buildings at an individual, community and citywide scale. And the second part of the paper focuses on a modern-day modeling software that includes the features of the older modeling tool and in addition to that offers a wide range of services to aid decision-making process right from the concept design to finalized building design.

First modeling tool described is “Solar Envelope” – a method of creating a balance between population density and solar access. This was developed and refined by Ralph Knowles, professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture and author of three fascinating books on this topic. Solar Envelope can be defined as a set of imaginary boundaries, enclosing a building site, that regulates development in relation to the sun’s relative motion. The concept of solar envelope was developed in the 1980s. Solar envelope is conditioned in space and time; it assures solar access to the properties surrounding a given site. Solar envelope accomplishes this by limiting the size of on-site buildings, thus avoiding undesirable shadows above a boundary along neighboring property lines. According to Knowles, the buildings designed within this boundary will not overshadow their surroundings during critical times of the day and year. His research shows that, if generally applied as an instrument of zoning, the solar envelope will not only allow potential growth but will open new aesthetic possibilities for architecture and urban design. [1][2]

In the past, buildings were designed to adapt to the local climate through a consideration of their location, orientation and shape, and appropriate building materials. This resulted in many vernacular building styles in different parts of the world. In contrast, most modern buildings look the same wherever they stand. They are made from the same materials, they follow forms that are driven by fashion rather than by climate, and are most often randomly located and oriented, indifferent to the path of the sun and the prevailing wind conditions. [1]

In an urban environment, building orientation is generally determined by street layout, and one building can easily overshadow another. High-rise buildings further complicate solar access. Solar envelope can design individual buildings or as a single envelope for a group of houses, a neighborhood, a district or even an entire city. When the solar envelope is applied in line with existing buildings, new construction will always be shaped and proportioned with reference to the older ones. Solar envelope allows architects to design according to sunlight without fear that their ideas will be cancelled out by future buildings. Solar envelope also recognizes the need for development and high population densities and so it defines the largest container of space that would not cast shadows off-site at specified times of the day. [2]

Geometry of the solar envelope

Solar access to an individual building is determined by four factors: latitude, slope, building shape and orientation. But solar access to a city is determined by seven factors, the previous four plus the height of the buildings, the width of the streets, and the orientation of the streets. Solar envelope is not only defined by the path of the sun, but also by fixed parameters set by the designer. Choosing these will determine the balance between solar access and development potential. The limits for the solar envelope derive their vertical dimensions from the sun’s daily and seasonal movements. Thus, unlike other massing tools, solar envelope can develop both vertical and sloping spaces. As a result, the buildings and city blocks that fill these imaginary solar envelopes are more likely to have unique shapes. [2]

Above figures show projects with solar envelopes on grid-iron and curving streets. [1]

Despite being an innovative and easy-to-use tool, solar envelope falls short when it comes to designing contemporary buildings, which require consideration of parameters other than just solar access. Hence, the second part of the paper focuses on a modern-day tool – “Autodesk’s Ecotect Analysis” that includes solar envelope’s features and provides additional analyses such as shadow and reflection, wind direction, thermal comfort, carbon emission, and cost analysis to help users in creating sustainable designs.

Introduction to Ecotect

Ecotect Analysis is a comprehensive Autodesk software offering concept-to-detail sustainable design and analysis tool. It provides a wide range of simulation and analysis functionality to improve performance of new and existing buildings. Ecotect is an innovative building analysis software package featuring a user-friendly 3D modeling interface fully integrated with solar, thermal, lighting, acoustic, and cost functions. Ecotect Analysis is primarily used by students and professionals in architecture and environmental engineering field to evaluate a building’s performance through simulation and powerful 3-dimension feedback to explore environmental factors such as sun path, daylight, ventilation; etc. [3]

Ecotect[3] can calculate and visualize solar radiation on building surfaces throughout the year at a neighborhood scale as well as simulate sun penetration into individual rooms to help with shading design. Ecotect is flexible and suitable for early-stage designs. Users can build 3D models directly in the software and export it to more detailed modeling tools. [3]

Ecotect Analysis was created by Dr. Andrew Marsh of Square One Research Centre in Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom. In June 2008, Ecotect was acquired by Autodesk to add to an array of tools that can augment the Revit BIM environment. From March 20th, 2015, Autodesk incorporated some of the Ecotect Analysis functionalities into Revit product family to offer a comprehensive sustainable analysis experience. This change allowed Autodesk to shift resources, maximize development efforts on BIM and cloud-based solutions for building performance analysis and visualization. Users with Autodesk Ecotect product license have access to other web-based software such as Autodesk Green Studio, DOE OpenStudio to evaluate alternative energy efficiency techniques and carbon neutrality. [4]

Key Features of Ecotect Analysis

Ecotect performs five key functions – modeling and visualization, central repository for all building data, analysis functions, import and export capabilities and working with other validation tools such as EnergyPlus, Radiance, and OpenStudio. [9] Ecotect manages wide range of tasks from solar analysis, sun and shadow studies, daylighting and lighting, thermal performance, whole building energy analysis, to weather normalization. The interactive sun path tool in Ecotect allows the user to study the impact of natural light and shadows on the exteriors and interiors of the project for any location. Ecotect can create solar studies for any moment in time, and for any specified time range. The heating and cooling load design feature in Ecotect is based on ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals. Ecotect can calculate the thermal loads by taking into account internal loads, solar gain, and the effect of the building envelope. It can analyze the effects of occupancy, infiltration, and equipment. [5] Ecotect offers an interactive approach to select different surface materials and compare the resulting changes to internal lighting levels, reverberation times, hourly and monthly heat loads at different times of the year. It allows the user to add new openings at any time to see their effect on daylighting, thermal response, and overall building costs. [5]

Conceptual and schematic design phase is the perfect time for deciding the building form, environmental factors, and the choice of materials. Ecotect can study the future thermal performance of the building and suggest relevant adaptations in order to maintain occupant comfort. Designers can use Ecotect to generate vital design information even before the building form has been considered. Ecotect can incorporate detailed climatic analysis, confirm longitude and latitude and time zones to evaluate the impact of solar radiation, available sunlight, and prevailing winds. [5] Ecotect can be used to locate and orient the project site and calibrate weather impact on the building. It can provide 3D stereographic sun paths on the model and calculate overshadowing from adjacent properties. Ecotect can analyze wind direction, wind speed, air temperature, and relative humidity. [6] Ecotect offers comparative analysis of simple sketch models to aid the decision-making process from the beginning. Ecotect targets the earliest stages of design, a time when simple decisions can have far-reaching effects on the final project. For maximum benefit, Ecotect should be used during a project’s concept design phase and as the project is finalized, it should be exported to more focused validation tools such as EnergyPlus, Radiance, and OpenStudio to calculate accurate savings. [7]

Modeling a Building in Ecotect

Building energy analysis requires spatial information which is essentially a simulation of energy moving in and out, through the rooms and volumes within a building. In the past, this information was manually calculated from 2D drawings. Today, all this information is available in a Revit model which is much easier to interpret than other 2D drawings. These 2D drawings can be exported to Ecotect to speed up the simulation process. Ecotect can be applied at the beginning of a design process and can be repeated innumerable times during different phases of a project when change is still possible. [6]

For creating a thermal model, Ecotect offers a set of specific guidelines –

  • Use single planes to create rooms and zones irrespective of the material thickness.
  • Each room or zone with adjacent rooms should have an overlapping surface for thermal calculation.
  • Ecotect only cares about floors, windows, voids, and partition elements as they have very specific roles in a thermal analysis.
  • External shading systems should be created as a separate thermal zone.
  • Objects outside thermal zones or overlapping non-thermal zones are considered as underground or adiabatic surfaces.

Creating a thermal model in Ecotect requires all building elements to belong to a zone, so it is relatively simple to count the number of floors, walls, and windows within each zone. Using zones, Ecotect can automatically calculate which zones are adjacent to each other as well as the exact surfaces through which inter-zonal heat exchange takes place. Each zone can define their own set of internal conditions such as occupants, lighting, equipment loads, and thermostat set points. [8]

Ecotect does not impose a limit on the number of zones created, but if the model is exported to other tools such as EnergyPlus or Radiance, there might be a limit on the number of zones. Hence, the user is expected to know the variations within each tool. Also, more zones will take longer time for calculation and create more data to deal with.

As the complexity of a model increases, it can be exported to a range of application-specific tools for more detailed analysis. Ecotect supports a wide variety of formats such as Radiance, a radiation-based lighting simulation package from Lawrence Berkley Laboratories, VRML for interactive 3D visualization, the DOE-2 and EnergyPlus thermal simulation tools from the US Department of Energy and a range of freeware ray-tracing rendering tools. [9]

Computer-Based Sketching Experience in Ecotect

Ecotect can produce simple and quick hand sketch models that can be used for both general and detailed analysis. For this functionality, Ecotect had to move away from the traditional CAD-like environment that focuses on drafting rather than modeling. Ecotect can store geometry from one element and apply it in the future. It can recognize change in the parent element and reduce data entry time by making subsequent changes for all the elements related to the parent element. [10]

Visual Feedback within Ecotect

Architectural design process is visual in nature, especially during the early stages where the building form is still being established. Ecotect can show solar and lighting calculations in visual formats. However, there are a majority of calculations that are not inherently visual, but there are ways to make them more so. For example, when using ray-tracing techniques, Ecotect can display each ray as it is generated and provide an indication of how the calculation is progressing. This allows the user to identify anomalies in the display. Such techniques can be implemented for surface area, volume, daylighting, and acoustic calculations. [10]

Calculations within Ecotect

In Ecotect, all calculations are based on basic assumptions and default values set by the user which can be changed at any time. Inexperienced users or those requiring a quick result, need to fill only a certain level of information. As the design is gradually resolved, more detailed information can be added to the model, making the results more accurate. In Ecotect, ground temperatures are automatically calculated by dropping 10 graduated depth bands 7 feet below ground to interpolate between hourly and annual average ground temperature. [10]

Miscellaneous Settings within Ecotect

In addition to creating thermal zones, Ecotect requires type of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system used within the space. These systems can be chosen at a conceptual level for calculating comfort and space loads. Ecotect also allows the user to enter a coefficient of performance (COP) for any system to estimate overall energy requirements. Ecotect aims at generating most efficient building design with lowest possible space loads by applying passive techniques. It also allows the engineer to choose most efficient and appropriate mechanical systems to meet any outstanding loads that cannot be met by passive means. [8]

Ecotect Strengths & Weaknesses

Ecotect is capable of importing complex geometries from CAD and other 2D formats and offers some modeling tricks to simplify them to a certain degree. Users have found Ecotect fast and easy-to-use. The simple and intuitive interface of Ecotect has proved beneficial for the students to evaluate their designs. With appropriate integration into courses, students can understand concepts of simulation as a whole. But if they become too reliant on Ecotect, they can fail to develop their own intuitive judgement of the environmental conditions within their building. Hence, it is important for the users to understand the principles behind Ecotect’s calculations so that they can make estimates and detect where errors might be occurring. [10]


Modeling and simulation tools are different from rating systems and best practices; instead of offering strategies, modeling tools predict energy consumption of proposed designs and allow the users to make adjustments until a satisfactory energy profile is reached. They inform designers about the project’s performance against the rating systems, provide instant feedback on decisions, and consider trade-offs between design elements. [11] Tools like Ecotect offer simple and appropriate mechanism for assisting both inexperienced and advanced users for modeling and evaluating sustainable designs.


Describe how Canadian Family Law Differs in Each Province and Territory.

How Canadian Family Law Differs in Each Province and Territory.

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Discussion: Designing Qualitative Research | Economics Write


Discussion: Designing Qualitative Research
As you recall from earlier weeks, various philosophical orientations hold unique epistemological and ontological assumptions. These assumptions return to the forefront of attention when considering how to evaluate the rigor or quality of various qualitative research designs.

Typically, when speaking of validity, qualitative researchers are referring to research that is credible and trustworthy, i.e., the extent to which one can have confidence in the studys findings (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Generalizability, a marker of reliability, is typically not a main purpose of qualitative research because the researcher rarely selects a random sample with a goal to generalize to a population or to other settings and groups. Rather, a qualitative researchers goal is often to understand a unique event or a purposively selected group of individuals. Therefore, when speaking of reliability, qualitative researchers are typically referring to research that is consistent or dependable (Lincoln & Guba, 1985), i.e., the extent to which the findings of the study are consistent with the data that was collected.

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

For this Discussion, you will explain criteria for evaluating the quality of qualitative research and consider the connection of such criteria to philosophical orientations. You will also consider the ethical implications of designing qualitative research.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4
Post an explanation of two criteria for evaluating the quality of qualitative research designs. Next, explain how these criteria are tied to epistemological and ontological assumptions underlying philosophical orientations and the standards of your discipline. Then, identify a potential ethical issue in qualitative research and explain how it might influence design decisions. Finally, explain what it means for a research topic to be amenable to scientific study using a qualitative approach.


Discussion Question



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Resiliency in children – Essay Furious

Research the Health-illness continuum and its relevance to patient care

March 31, 2021

Choose one of the following topics and write a 1,400-1600 word paper summarizing the current professional literature on the topic. Many of these topics are broad and you may choose to focus your research on a more specific area of the topic, such as children showing resiliency when dealing with divorce. With instructor approval, you may select a topic that is not on the list below.

  • Resiliency in children
  • Gender differences in infancy and childhood
  • Effects of day care
  • Attachment styles
  • Causes and effects of child abuse and neglect
  • Effects of divorce on children
  • Prenatal influences
  • Prematurity, medical interventions, and long-term outcomes
  • Pros and cons of grade retention
  • Language development
  • Media influences on children
  • Influences on school readiness
  • Bullying causes, preventions, and interventions
  • Development of creativity
  • Sex differences in mental abilities
  • Effects of parental death on children
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Gender differences concerning aging
  • Midlife crisis
  • Adapting to life changes during adulthood
  • Developmental issues related to nontraditional families
  • Caring for aging parents
  • Victimization of the elderly
  • Death with dignity
  • Right to die

Required-at least four references from professional peer-reviewed journals.

Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment.


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