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Images from the thermal imaging camera taken at the Dalton Senior Center showing the difference in temperature between the windows and the walls.

Dalton Green Committee Wants to Help Residents Track Heat Loss

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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DALTON, Mass. — The Green Committee on Wednesday voted to request that the town invest in two thermal cameras.
 
The committee could rent them out to residents so they can find where there is heat loss in their homes and be able to make improvements in a targeted and cost-effective manner, committee member Todd Logan said. 
 
The thermal camera attaches to smartphones and costs approximately $230. The committee is interested in buying one for IOS devices and another one for android users. 
 
The committee will coordinate with Town Manager Thomas Hutcheson so he can obtain clarification from the town counsel on any liabilities issues. 
 
If this investment is approved, the committee will determine where to store the devices. 
 
The camera uses infrared energy to display heat signatures. This can capture areas of low temperature that point to voids in insulation and areas that allow drafts. 
 
Logan brought one of his thermal cameras to the meeting to demonstrate how it works. The device is similar to the ones used by professional energy assessors during blower-door tests. 
 
These tests help determine a home's airtightness and informs where energy-saving improvements can be made. 
 
The more people who work to increase energy efficiency by better insulating their homes and reducing interior and exterior air transfer ultimately lowers greenhouse gasses, Chair David Wasielewski said. This will also aid in the town's efforts to increase decarbonization,
 
According to Energy.gov, "establishing the proper building tightness" helps reduce energy consumption, prevents moisture condensation problems and uncomfortable drafts from outside, and controls outdoor contaminants like pests and odors from outside, and more.

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Pittsfield Historical Commission Plans Wahconah Park Project Support

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Historical Commission will draft a letter in support of revitalization efforts at Wahconah Park.

While the proposed project raises and rebuilds the historical grandstand, commissioners recognize it is necessary due to existing conditions.  One member of the panel has expressed a wish to see more historical materials used on the exterior.

"I think that we should be careful here for two reasons. Number one, because we're going to be supporting tearing down a structure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and so to me, that means that our letter should be fairly specific about what we're supporting," Matthew Herzberg said.

"And I think I join most of you, and probably all of you, in supporting this project and thinking that this project is a really great thing for the city."

At the last meeting, Herzberg criticized the exterior brick on the $26.3 million design, as it does not match the current aesthetic, and the community "doesn't necessarily have a strong brick-making tradition."

He read aloud historical documentation that describes the circa 1950 Wahconah Park grandstand as a simple structure consisting of mostly steel.  It states that "the spare utilitarian lines mirror its New England heritage, a functional building set in a beautiful set in beautiful surroundings of mountains, lakes, rivers, and wooded expanses, all of which are in scale with the humankind who lives there."

"I think that the issues with the proposed design for me really highlight the kind of contradiction between what is being proposed and what this was," Herzberg said, explaining that the current structure comes out of the tradition of lighter buildings with wood and metal rather than brick and metal.

Chair John Dickson agreed to draft a letter of support for the commission to vote on at a later date.

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