Red-faced letter day

first_imgObiter reported a few months back on the dangers of fingers slipping on keyboards, with our chief typo correspondent David Wershof of Wiseman Lee informing us of an unfortunate client who confused ‘possible’ with pissible’ on his BlackBerry, with tragic consequences. Now the vigilant Wershof has noticed that it is not just the proximity of ‘o’ and ‘I’ on the keyboard that causes trouble; next-door neighbours ‘r’ and ‘t’ know how to wreak some havoc as well. See if you can spot what happened in this interpretation clause sent to Wershof by a big commercial firm: ‘The obligations of or restrictions on the tenant… are without prejudice to the obligations of… the guarantor or to the tights of the landlord under any other clause.’ The tights of the landlord? Obiter wonders whether this particular lease was for anywhere near Sherwood forest. Keep it coming, Wershof.last_img read more

Building on Flickr: La Defense offices in Almere

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

How to improve a building’s EPC rating

first_imgIf proposed legislative changes come into play next year, buildings with an EPC rating of F or G will become unlawful. With this looming over the industry, and about 20% of non-domestic properties already in this bracket, energy saving measures need to be considered and implemented now. Thermal breaking technology could be the answer, but when is it better to demolish existing properties, and is the construction industry taking thermal breaking seriously enough in light of industry movements?Generally speaking, commercial properties and dwellings built before the 1980s have poor insulation qualities, and many contain dangerous substances such as asbestos. Although today’s buildings use more revolutionary materials to provide insulation, these energy saving methods can be made redundant if cold bridges within a building’s thermal envelope are not correctly isolated.In certain situations, depending on cost, using an effective thermal bridging solution can bring a dilapidated building back to life to meet the new EPC ratingsIn some cases, it is more cost effective to demolish a building and rebuild it completely, rather than update it with insulation solutions. Contractors will often come across projects where too much damage has been done to a structure due to lack of insulation, such as damp and mould issues, and unfortunately in these cases, demolition will be the best option. However, in certain situations, depending on cost, using an effective thermal bridging solution can bring a dilapidated building back to life to meet the new EPC ratings.In light of legislative changes, designers are being forced to consider solutions to protect buildings from falling into an F or G category, saving them from demolition or costly renovations. For example, when a building’s envelope is penetrated to attach cladding or an external fixture such as a balcony or masonry support, a thermal bridge can be created. Using a structural thermal break to thermally isolate the connection penetrating the building, effectively prevents any heat transfer.The characteristics of these materials include ultra-high strength fabric reinforced thermo setting resins, to combat long term creep under exceptional loads, and closed cell moulded polymer compounds to eradicate moisture absorption. Improved awareness of design coupled with thermal modelling can be used to save buildings already in this low rating category by updating the connection points where heat transfer occurs.Having these solutions available to contractors and architects is imperative for creating energy efficient structures for the future, whether they are being renovated or created from scratch. A correctly designed thermal break can offer up to an 80% reduction in heat loss, which can improve a building’s EPC rating dramatically, helping the 20% of commercial properties that currently fall into the F or G bracket.Although the changes for 2018 are only proposed, it is definitely a subject that all professionals in this construction field should be made aware of and actively work towards. The building industry has been showing sure signs of heading in the direction of creating a more sustainable future for construction by creating thermally isolated, efficient structures, while reducing carbon emissions as much as possible.Overall, the importance of creating thermally isolated buildings to reduce costs both in terms of energy and potentially expensive renovation projects, simply cannot be overlooked. Protecting structures designed by architects from being demolished or declared unlawful, is a huge part of the industry that needs to be focused on ahead of these changes. Making this information widely accessible to those who need it, is the first step in creating a more reliable and efficient future for the construction world as regulations become tighter.Jonathan Shaw, managing director of thermal breaks specialists Armadillolast_img read more

Slater and Gordon set to cut fee earner roles in Birmingham

first_imgNational firm Slater and Gordon is continuing its move to centralising services with planned cutbacks at its Birmingham office, the Gazette understands.The firm has placed 12 fee earner roles at risk as it stops all non-personal injury operations from the city.As has happened with closures in Leeds and Sheffield, the firm is moving to a new model where several services are run from central hubs in Manchester and Liverpool, with a more limited presence retained in a handful of other offices. The consolidation is a legacy of expansion drives by the previous owners, who bought several firms across the country and pursued a policy of spreading face-to-face operations to almost 20 sites.A spokesperson for the firm said that alongside the development of digital platforms, Slater and Gordon has moved to a structure of specialised centres of excellence for consumer legal services.She added: ‘This enables us to provide the very best possible service to our customers. We have identified that we can simplify our operations in line with this approach and consequently will be assessing whether to discontinue handling non-personal injury files in Birmingham.’She explained that the firm’s Birmingham office will continue to service its growing personal injury business, and the proposal is to relocate the work from the 12 affected individuals to other locations across the UK.She added: ‘We are working with our impacted colleagues to explore opportunities for them in alternative offices and we will ensure that customers see no change in the excellent service they receive throughout this process.’The decision comes 13 months after Slater and Gordon announced it was expanding its Birmingham office to include a new family law team, headed by Joanne Green, who  transferred from the London office.last_img read more

Debt burden tempers SNCF growth in 2017

first_imgFRANCE: Announcing its results for 2017 on February 27, SNCF Group reported revenue of €33∙5bn, up 4∙2% on the year before ‘thanks to commercial momentum’ driving strong growth in passenger and freight traffic. Combined with ‘strict financial discipline’ and a cost-cutting programme that generated €830m of savings in 2017, this saw EBITDA increase by 16% to reach €4∙6bn.However, this performance remained ‘insufficient’, according to the group, given the structural losses at its infrastructure division SNCF Réseau where net debt grew by 3∙8% year on year to reach a ‘massive’ €46∙6bn.The ‘transformation’ of train operating division SNCF Mobilités continued during 2017, when ‘its business rebounded as the economy picked up’ and revenue grew by 4∙7% to reach €31∙8bn. Revenue at long-distance passenger business Voyages SNCF was up 8∙6% at €7∙4bn, where revenue from domestic high speed services grew by 8∙7%, Thalys was up by 12∙0% and Eurostar up 8∙1%.Revenue from Paris commuter services, TER regional services and the Intercités network of conventional long-distance passenger trains was up 2∙5% at €8∙1bn, while freight business SNCF Logistics reported a 3∙1% increase in revenue which reached a total of €10∙2bn in 2017. EBITDA at SNCF Mobilités was up 30% year on year at €2∙8bn.Revenue at SNCF Réseau was up 0∙9% at €6∙5bn, including €3∙6bn of income from track access charges paid by SNCF Mobilités, up 1∙9% on the year before. Reflecting the opening of three high speed lines and a 2∙1% increase in train-km operated on the national network in 2017, EBITDA at SNCF Réseau was up 1∙6% at €1∙9bn. With a self-financing capacity of €1∙9bn and total investment of €5∙2bn, net debt increased by 3∙8% to reach €46∙6bn.SNCF Group President Guillaume Pepy said that the 2017 results reflected the state railway’s efforts to tailor the service it provides to meet the expectations of passengers, local authorities and businesses. ‘We’re becoming more competitive’, he said, noting that ‘our three priorities are unchanged: accelerating modernisation of the network and rolling stock; making our offer more robust to serve customers better; and delivering better, more personalised customer information.’last_img read more

Ghana to host African First Ladies on sexual rights Conference

first_imgGhana will host African First Ladies at a conference on sexual health and rights from Wednesday to Friday.The conference is part of a long-term process aimed at building and fostering regional dialogue on sexual and reproductive health and rights, according to a statement released from the office of the West African country’s First Lady on Monday.Some of the First Ladies that are expected to participate in the conference are from Kenya, Ethiopia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Chad, Sudan, Madagascar and Mozambique.About 500 participants representing various stakeholders and constituency groups across the African continent would also be attending the conference.During the three-day meeting, the first ladies will, under the umbrella of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), launch a united continental “All-in” adolescent HIV campaign, a collaborative effort of OAFLA, the Ghana AIDS Commission and the global “All-in” partners such as UNICEF, UNFPA and UNAIDS.The launch would urge governments to prioritize and improve the provision of integrated HIV and sexual reproductive health services to adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19.The conference will be opened by President John Dramani Mahama. Enditem Ghana’s First Lady Dr Lordina Mahamalast_img read more

South Africa completes 2 million COVID-19 tests with record daily surge…

first_imgSouth Africa’s COVID-19 cases reach 2028 South Africa COVID-19 – REUTERS Checking temperatures in a Durban township in South Africa.PHOTO/APSouth Africa has completed over 2 million tests for COVID-19 amid a record high single-day surge in cases, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said Thursday.Of 2,000,569 tests completed, 56,170 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, Mkhize said in his daily update.“This is an enormous achievement that we can all be proud of as South Africans,” said Mkhize.As mass community testing has been gaining momentum, South Africa also saw rapid rises in confirmed cases and virus-related deaths.As of Thursday, a total of 238,339 cases were reported with 13,674 new cases recorded over the past 24 hours, the highest single-day surge since the outbreak in early March, said Mkhize.“Regrettably, we report a further 129 COVID-19 related deaths — one from Northern Cape, 26 from KwaZulu-Natal, 28 from Eastern Cape, 37 from Gauteng and 37 from Western Cape,” the minister said, adding that the nationwide death toll has reached 3,720.Gauteng has overtaken the Western Cape to become the country’s hardest-hit province with 81,546 cases, said Mkhize.The Western Cape was ranked second with 74,815 cases, followed by the Eastern Cape with 44,432, and KwaZulu-Natal with 19,630.Related COVID-19 cases in South Africa approaching 100,000center_img South Africa reports 99 new COVID-19 caseslast_img read more

Bolidt lights the way to cruise ship creativity

first_imgBolideck® LED offers designers a high degree of flexibility as it is available in a wide range of different formats. This allows the client to integrate LED lighting within a larger deck space or deck design, or alternatively to create specific functional features, in sports courts or exits for example. Bolideck® LED also allows deck lighting to be programmed to form different patterns, or to vary the intensity of individual LEDs. This opens up almost endless possibilities for designers to be creative in terms of shape, colour palette and mood. Bolideck® LED lighting can also be made invisible when turned off. Sea News, April 8 “Feedback from passengers and crew on Mein Schiff 2 has been very positive,” says Jacco van Overbeek, Director, Maritime Division, Bolidt. “Following on from this initial installation, Bolideck® LED has attracted a lot of interest within the market and has been specified for several additional cruise vessel projects, with installations due to take place over the coming year or so.” Along with Bolideck® LED, Mein Schiff 2 features over 10,000m2 of Bolidt products onboard, continuing the company’s close relationship with TUI Cruises as it expands and enhances its fleet. Other products used include Bolideck® Future Teak, Bolideck® Select Soft and Bolideck® Select Hard. “With any number of lighting patterns possible, Bolideck® LED brings additional freedom of expression for cruise ship interior designers. But it could also be used as a means to enhance safety,” adds van Overbeek. “As with all our products the important thing is that it can be seamlessly integrated with other systems onboard.” Bolideck® LED is the latest variation of a decking solution which has established itself as the cruise industry market leader. Featuring integral LED lighting, the unique product has made a big impression after its first installation onboard the 2,894-passsenger capacity TUI Cruises vessel Mein Schiff 2. Bolideck® LED onboard TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 2 (Image Courtesy: Bolidt)center_img Installation of the novel artwork floor required close cooperation between the shipyard, Meyer Turku, Bolidt and SPT Finland, while the vessel was under construction at the Finnish yard. The project’s success depended on the fitting of the LED lighting with the right sequencing and at the optimum time in the production process to enable Bolidt to complete the striking flush decking finish. New additions to the Bolideck® range of ship deck covering solutions from Bolidt are illuminating design thinking across the cruise ship and superyacht sectors, with a first delivery of Bolideck® LED leading to follow up orders from several owners. Bolideck® LED was developed in-house at the company’s research and development centre, which has a long-standing reputation for innovation and creativity. Van Overbeek concludes, “In these uncertain times we need innovation more than ever before and, in this regard, Bolidt has a unique track record that will help it and its partners in the maritime sector find a way forward.” Bolideck® LED has been deployed to striking effect in one bar and in a number of passenger access areas on Mein Schiff 2. It is also part of a stunning ‘floor diamonds’ artwork on the ship, developed in partnership with ICArt and design studio SOFTlab. Author: Baibhav Mishralast_img read more

GAME NOTES: UWF hosts UNA in NCAA Second Round

first_img Share Chelsea Palmer leads UWF with 39 points, one shy of the 10th-most all-time for a UWF player in a single season (Photo by Bill Stockland) GAME NOTES: UWF hosts UNA in NCAA Second Roundcenter_img   PENSACOLA, Fla. – After winning the eighth Gulf South Conference championship in program history, the No. 2 West Florida women’s soccer team returned to the UWF Soccer Complex to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament.It’s the 11th NCAA Tournament appearance for the Argonauts and the first since missing the NCAA postseason for the first time under 12-year head coach Joe Bartlinski last season.UWF received a first-round bye and hosted a match between South Region No. 3 North Alabama and No. 4 Valdosta State. UNA defeated VSU 1-0 Friday night to advance to play UWF Sunday at 1 p.m.Live Audio and Statshttp://client.stretchinternet.com/client/uwf.portal#2012 Women’s Soccer Game Notes:8/30 vs. Belmont Abbey, Mount Olive 9/6 vs. Rollins, Florida Southern 9/13 @ Union, North Alabama 9/20 vs. Christian Brothers, Delta State9/27 @ Alabama-Huntsville, Shorter10/4 vs. West Alabama, No. 7 Armstrong10/11 vs. West Georgia, Valdosta State10/20 @ West Alabama10/25 @ West Georgia, Valdosta State11/1 GSC Tournament11/10 vs. North Alabama NCAA Second Round NotesUWF is 2-0 against UNA this season, defeating the Lions by a combined score of 8-1. UWF won on the road 4-1 on Sept. 16 and at Ashton Brosnaham Park in the GSC Championship game 4-0 Nov. 4.UWF is 8-1-0 at home, 17-0 against South Region opponents and 14-0 against GSC opponents this season. The Argos’ respective unbeaten streaks date back to last season. The Argos have a 20-game unbeaten streak against South Region opponents and a 16-game unbeaten streak against GSC opponents. In addition, UWF is 5-0 against teams from the South Region that advanced to the NCAA tournament, with a pair of wins against UNA and VSU and a 2-1 win over South Region No. 2 Rollins at the Ashton Brosnaham on Sept. 7Tale of the transfersJunior transfers Shelby Bush, Chelsea Palmer and Sashana Campbell have added a spark to a UWF offense that lost leading scorer Tina Murray (15 goals/10 assists) who recorded 40 points in 2011.Palmer (13/13) leads the Argos with 39 points followed by Bush (13/5) with 31 points and Campbell (9/6) with 24 points.Last season the Argos scored 2.67 goals per game and 2.38 assists per game. This season the Argos are up to 3.40 goals per game and 2.5 assists per game.Bush, Palmer and Campbell each made an All-GSC team.Iron WomenSenior Tori Fish has started 59 consecutive games for the Argos dating back to the 2010 season. Senior Rachel Cutts has started 57 consecutive games dating back to 2010, and sophomore Kelly Andres has started every game of her career at UWF with 38 starts.Bartlinski near the top in win pct.With a 19-1 record entering the NCAA Tournament, Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year Joe Bartlinski improved to 198-27-14 overall at UWF. His win percentage of .857 ranks him third all-time in Division II behind Grand Valley State’s Dave Dillanni at .890 and Seattle Pacific’s Chuck Sekyra at .864. In all divisions, Bartlinski is seventh all-time in win percentage.In his 12th season as the head coach for the UWF women’s soccer team, Bartlinski won at least 19 games for fourth time and won a GSC championship for the fifth time. UWF has now advanced to the NCAA tournament for the 10th time under Bartlinski. In addition, he is 83-4-1 alltime in the GSC, going undefeated seven times in conference play. In 2004, UWF’s season was cut short due to Hurricane Ivan.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

The Indians Must Determine Which Route They’re Taking with Francisco Lindor This Winter

first_img Casey Drottar The Cleveland Indians have a massive elephant in the room. To date, they’ve only moderately addressed it.Said elephant is the contract status of All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor. With only two years of team control remaining on his deal, the pressure is starting to increase with Cleveland when it comes to how he and the team will move forward.So far, the Indians have danced around this topic, insisting they expect him to be their starting shortstop in 2020, that they’re seeing how things play out for now.If you ask me, though, we’ve already hit the point where waiting this situation out is no longer a valid option. Whether it’s a contract extension or a trade, figuring out which route they’re taking with Lindor should be the Indians’ main goal this winter.On the surface, such a statement feels extreme. After all, Lindor doesn’t become an unrestricted free agent until after the 2022 season. At the very least, Cleveland should hang on to him this season and make one last attempt to win a World Series before figuring out his future with the team.Unfortunately, this is a luxury the Indians don’t have. This is basically because delaying the decision doesn’t make any sense, regardless of which way they want to go.From an extension perspective, the biggest hurdle is the gap between what Lindor wants and what Cleveland thinks it can afford.Lindor (rightfully) believes he’s worthy of a massive extension, while the Indians (questionably) believe they’re unable to offer that. It’s a situation which has remained relatively unchanged for the past few years.Knowing this, you have to ask – if Cleveland is still exploring its ability to extend Lindor, what would be the point of shelving that until next year?The number Lindor wants isn’t going down. Another All-Star season in 2020 is only going to pad that amount. Likewise, if the money he’s asking for exceeds the Tribe’s limits now, that probably isn’t going to change next winter.Lindor knows what he wants. The Indians can either meet that number or they can’t. Now is the time to come to that conclusion.Should Cleveland still be serious about an extension, it needs to figure out the exact amount Lindor is demanding. This isn’t as simple as presenting a number the team feels comfortable with and seeing how he reacts. The Indians have to determine what it’s going to take to keep him long term and explore what needs to be done to make that a reality.If Lindor isn’t giving exact numbers, Cleveland can use contract extensions other players netted last year as baselines. Offers accepted by Bryce Harper (13 years, $330 million) and Manny Machado (10 years, $300 million) ought to serve as accurate benchmarks, though my guess is Lindor will angle for a little more than that.At the end of the day, if the Indians are still balking at those numbers, it’s doubtful waiting until next offseason will result in a change of heart.With that in mind, kicking the can down the road also hurts Cleveland if a trade is what the team decides to do.Dragging this ordeal out any longer, and doing so with the knowledge that an extension is out of the cards, is basically just voluntarily damaging Lindor’s trade value. With less years of team control comes less appeal for other teams to offer massive returns.What the Indians can fairly demand in exchange for their star shortstop will only diminish from here. Dealing Lindor is going to result in significant fan backlash no matter when it happens. The only way Cleveland can curb this vitriol is getting the best possible returns.This isn’t something the team can do next winter, or even at this season’s trade deadline.As you can see, waiting hurts the Indians no matter what they want to do with Lindor. It’ll cause his monetary value to increase if they’re hoping to extend him, and his trade value to drop if their intention is to move him.So, despite the fact Lindor still has a couple more seasons of team control remaining, the real time to decide his fate has already arrived. Cleveland either needs to get serious about an extension, or it needs to start working the trade market.Waiting any longer will only backfire for the Indians, regardless of which direction they’re leaning. Related TopicsCleveland IndiansfeaturedFrancisco Lindorlast_img read more