Empower Shack low-cost housing project nominated for UK design prize

first_imgAn innovative, low-cost housing solution that could help to alleviate South Africa’s housing shortage has been long-listed for the Royal Institute of British Architects International Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious design awards.Using affordable materials such as iron sheeting, plywood and hollow-core bricks, the Empower Shack is a modern and affordable multi-storey structure that is minimalist and focused on function, safety and affordability without losing its aesthetic appeal. (Image: Urban-Think Tank)CD AndersonCalled Empower Shack, the project was launched in 2013 by a team of South African and international architects and designers under the name Urban-Think Tank (U-TT).The result of the group’s main Empower Shack project, which takes a fresh approach to using affordable materials such as iron sheeting, plywood and hollow-core bricks, is a modern and affordable double-storey structure, complete with balcony, living area, kitchen and bedrooms. The structure is minimalist and focused on function, safety and affordability without losing its aesthetic appeal.More than 20 prototype units have been built in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.“Although alternative schemes have emerged since the official shift in housing provision in 2004, the challenge still lies in developing a scalable, transparent and replicable model that addresses real demand, market dynamics and municipal planning objectives,” say the designers on their website.The Empower Shack design attempts to address these challenges. The housing units occupy a smaller portion of the usual slum dwelling footprint, leaving fire break spaces that give emergency services easy access.The houses are arranged around a sanitation core, providing water and toilets on site. A second level or even a third can be added if needed, to accommodate different family sizes.The denser accommodation means land is used more efficiently and guarantees residents can remain at the same site, keeping community ties intact. Community members who live in the units also become long-term stakeholders in the project.Using affordable materials such as iron sheeting, plywood and hollow-core bricks, the Empower Shack is a modern and affordable multi-storey structure that is minimalist and focused on function, safety and affordability without losing its aesthetic appeal. (Image: Urban-Think Tank)In addition, the project hopes to widen residents’ economic and social possibilities. Integrated livelihood programmes include community workshops and renewable energy and water management training.Micro-financing schemes are built into the planning tools, allowing residents to take out small, ethical loans when building an Empower Shack or adding another storey.“The building units are priced to meet meaningful financial contributions from recipients by designing generous but robust living spaces and service cores that meet building code obligations through fit-for-purpose bridge contracts,” say the designers.Using affordable materials such as iron sheeting, plywood and hollow-core bricks, the Empower Shack is a modern and affordable multi-storey structure that is minimalist and focused on function, safety and affordability without losing its aesthetic appeal. (Image: Urban-Think Tank)In the long term, Urban-Think Tank hopes to influence government housing policy and provide access to diverse housing for South Africa’s gap market.The Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) International Prize is awarded to a building that best exemplifies design excellence and architectural ambition.“Most importantly, this significant selection of the 62 [global] projects illustrates the meaningful impact and transformative quality that well-designed buildings can have on communities, wherever they are in the world,” said Riba president Ben Derbyshire during the announcement of the nominees.The winner of the prize will be announced later in the year.For more information about Urban-Think Tank and the Empower Shack, visit the website here.Source: Huffington Post, Dezeen Architecture website, Urban-Think TankWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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How to Insulate and Air Seal an Attic Hatch

first_imgThere’s a subset of issues in the realm of home efficiency that falls into the category “out of sight/out of mind.” The boiler in the basement, how much insulation is in the attic … as long as these issues stay out of your view, no problem. So what’s up with attic hatches, then?Even though attic hatches can be huge air leaks and sources of radiant heat loss, they are rarely fixed. An attic hatch is usually located in a hallway or closet where the homeowners see it daily. Yet…I mean, once the homeowners fire up a blower door and whip out their infrared camera, the problems with attic hatches are pretty obvious. Wait — what … ?That is the stealth problem with attic hatches; they appear fine but are actually a huge heat loss. An attic hatch can have finished trim and paint, look perfect, and still be a giant heat sink. In the summers, it will radiate heat down into the house and in the winter, heat and warm air will escape. So what to do?The goal is two-fold: air sealing to prevent air-transported heat loss and beefing up the insulation. No puny single fiberglass batts for us. For the purpose of this, we’re assuming an uninsulated 2′ x 2′ plywood hatch with finish molding over the rough-cut hole. RELATED ARTICLES CAD Detail from the GBA Library: Air sealing at attic hatchHow to Insulate and Air-Seal Pull-Down Attic Stairs Q&A: Attic access: What is the best way to maintain an airtight seal? How to insulate and air seal an attic access hatchAir seal the trim – The first step is air sealing the finish trim and enclosure around the attic hatch. Carefully pull down the finish trim. (Pray that the installer used finish nails and not, say, ring-shank nails.) Set aside the trim and, using caulk for smaller gaps (less than 1/4″) or foam sealant for larger ones, seal the gap between the attic hatch framing and the rough cut drywall. (I have to be just a shade vague there, as the drywall can either butt up against the hatch frame or lap over it).Apply a bead of caulk on the inside and outside edges of the trim, and then reattach it.Air seal the hatch perimeter – The plywood hatch rests on a small wood strip lip. The standard air sealing recommendation is to install a compression bulb weatherstrip. This can also be beefed up to a sealing gasket like the one on your refrigerator door. Gaskets are generally more durable and produce a tighter seal.Insulate the hatch – Cut foam board to 1/2″ less than the size of the hatch on each side. Foil-faced polyiso is the greenest and best-performing of the rigid foam options. Apply a bead of foam-compatible glue to it and attach it to the plywood hatch. Wash, rinse and repeat until you have added at least 4 inches of foam (but preferably 8 inches + of foam).Fasteners – Add a handle and several hook-and-eye fasteners situated so that when the hatch is forcefully pulled down, it tightly compresses the gasket.Attic hatches are the “Purloined Letter” of house efficiency problems. They’re in plain sight but rarely addressed adequately. Insulate and air seal your attic hatch to save money and improve your house’s comfort. BLOGS BY ERIC NORTH Can Switching to a Dual-Flush Toilet Save Heat?Essential Energy-Audit EquipmentThe Journal of Poor HomebuildingFiberglass versus CelluloseCape Cod Style Homes Are Difficult to Heat Erik North, the owner of Free Energy Maine, is an energy auditor and home performance specialist in Westbrook, Maine. He is also the author of the Energy Auditing Blog.last_img read more

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Financial Tips for a Stress-Free Relocation

first_imgMake use of your resources: Knowledge is power – and knowledge is also the most important tool you have at your disposal when PCSing. Conduct research on the new location you are moving to and shop around for the best deals on housing, cars and other purchases early on in the moving process. The internet is a great source of information on both your new location and any obstacles you might be facing while planning your move. It’s also a good idea to tap into your network of friends and family to get first-hand information from anyone who has lived at this location in the past or currently resides there. There are also numerous organizations on base to help with your transition, such as the Airman & Family Readiness Center that offers a Plan My Move tool.Following the tips listed above and staying positive and focused throughout the PCS process is sure to make your relocation experience less stressful and virtually hassle-free. Treat relocation as a valuable life lesson that allows you to practice your flexibility and planning skills and remember to share best practices of your moving experience with those around you to help them in their time of transition. Have an emergency fund: It is important to have an emergency fund that covers 3-6 months of expenses regardless of if you are relocating or not. However, during relocation an emergency fund can provide you with an unprecedented level of financial security. Many of the costs associated with relocation are reimbursed but you are not likely to receive reimbursement for many weeks after they have been incurred. Knowing that you have a cushion to cover any short term financial needs associated with the move can give you the peace of mind to focus on other important matters such as finding accommodation or researching school districts. By Ayesha Haider, BA, MBA, AFC CandidateRelocation is a challenging time for even the most seasoned service members who have experienced numerous PCS moves. In addition to the emotional difficulties of leaving friends and familiar surroundings behind is the burden of starting from scratch in a foreign location. While finances may be the last thing on your mind during this hectic time, the following tips are sure to ensure a smoother, less stressful relocation for you and your family:Photo by Chris WaitsReally know what your expenses are: On the surface, the expenses associated with relocation may seem fairly obvious but there are many other “hidden” costs of relocation that are often overlooked and may result in a stressful relocation experience. Basic examples include, fuel (if you are driving to your new location), furniture/appliance replacement (for damaged items not covered by insurance), and costs associated with buying/selling a house or car. Some less obvious examples include the costs of living “on the go” such as eating out more. Keep track of your expenses by creating a list of potential expenditures associated with the move. This can even be a brainstorming activity for the whole family and a great way to introduce your children to the basics of financial management. Update your bank and utility accounts: it is crucial that your banking institutions and credit card companies are aware of your move and have your new address as soon as possible. This prevents them from sending sensitive information to an older address that may be occupied by another tenant now. It also prevents credit card companies from freezing your account due to transactions you make while on the move. In addition to your financial accounts, remember to close any utility accounts under your name that you will no longer be using. To avoid penalty fees for early termination of contracts, refer to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Create a new budget for your new life: A new living situation is most likely going to have an effect on your financial situation as well. You may be paying more or less rent, have a higher or lower BAH, and may have less disposable income as a result of one spouse having to resign from their job as a result of the move. Once you’re settled into your new home, be sure to create a new budget to reflect these changes and to see how they affect your saving and investment goals.last_img read more

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Studio Binder: The Call Sheet You Won’t Throw Away

first_imgStudio Binder is the intelligent call sheet creator you never knew you needed.I’m going to go ahead and say it… call sheets are a pain. Nonetheless, they are a necessary part of the film production process. If you’re not already familiar with the term, a call sheet is simply a form designed to communicate important production information to your crew.A typical call sheet will have call times, emergency contact information, parking info, and more. It answers most of the routine questions that crew members may have about a production location so you, the director/producer/AD, can focus on other areas of the production process.Practically speaking, there’s nothing incredibly complex about a call sheet; they just take time to fill out. However, the time spent filling out your call sheet could be used to focus on other areas of your production.A screenshot of the free call sheet template found here on PremiumBeat. Traditionally, call sheets have been filled out by hand or computer, then emailed as a PDF to the crew. A simple search will yield hundreds of free PDF call sheet templates including our very own free call sheet template here on PremiumBeat. But all of these documents have the same problem — you must fill them out by hand. This is the problem that Studio Binder looks to fix.What is Studio Binder?Studio Binder is an online call sheet creator that optimizes the creation, organization, and distribution of call sheets. Studio Binder makes creating call sheets easy through a sleek and minimal interface. The service allows you to easily create projects and assign contacts to various roles in the production. Studio Binder will save your contacts into their database. This will easily allow you to assign crew members to future productions.After assigning roles and creating your contacts, it’s time to begin filling out the call sheet. The call sheet works almost like filling out an online survey. You will be prompted to fill out various fields like title, location, and nearest hospital, but unlike traditional PDF call sheets, Studio Binder is intelligent. When you begin typing in a location, the address will autofill using, presumably, an online address API.The same is true for nearby hospitals. Instead of having to lookup the hospital address or phone number, Studio Binder will autofill the hospital name as soon as you begin typing the name. Studio Binder will even automatically show what the weather will be like for your location at the time on the call sheet.After you fill out necessary fields, it’s time to create the daily schedule. Studio Binder makes scheduling a breeze. Using their easy calendar system, you can drag and drop cards for scenes, important events, and moves. It’s incredibly easy to use. In fact, I find it much easier to use than similar calendar services like Google Calendars.Studio Binder also allows you to send personal messages to individual crew members in their call sheet email. After you complete the call sheet, Studio Binder will automatically send a custom email to the cast and crew in your list. By far the best feature is the email tracking inside of Studio Binder. As the creator of the call sheet, you can monitor who has opened their email and who has confirmed to be there. No more “I didn’t see the email!”What We (Honestly) ThinkWe aren’t paid to write reviews here on PremiumBeat. We choose to review tools if they look promising to the industry. Studio Binder is one such tool. Studio Binder has the power to radically improve your production process. Through sleek design and a wonderful user experience, Studio Binder doesn’t just make creating call sheets not boring… it actually makes it fun.The only negative that we can see with Studio Binder is the price. You can only send 15 call sheets a month using the free plan. They have paid plans that range from $5 a month (35 call sheets), all the way up to $285 a month (800 call sheets). They are also offering PremiumBeat readers 25% off a 3 month subscription if you just use the code ‘PREMBEAT’ at checkout.I highly recommend at least checking out the free version to see if Studio Binder might be a good fit for your next production. Studio Binder has also let us know that they’ll bring online file sharing to their service in the near future.What’s your experience with Studio Binder? Do you know of any other helpful tools for creating call sheets? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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Gilas holds closed-door practice anew

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending 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 Hawks end 8-game skid, beat struggling Cavaliers Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Read Next QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa For the third straight session, Gilas Pilipinas held closed door practices on Monday morning at Meralco Gym.Twelve of the 15 players initially named by coach Chot Reyes attended the session as the Philippine national team started the twice-a-day practices.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Present for the day are June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva, and Gabe Norwood, returnees Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi, Kevin Alas, and Troy Rosario, cadets Roger Pogoy, Mac Belo, and Carl Bryan Cruz, and rookie Kiefer Ravena.Japeth Aguilar was absent for the session following a dental procedure, Matthew Wright is attending Phoenix’s first practice under coach Louie Alas, while Jio Jalalon is still nursing an LCL injury.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 shutoutGilas Pilipinas returned to the court after taking a day off on Sunday.The national team is preparing for the 2019 Fiba World Cup qualifiers slated later this month. Naturalized player Andray Blatche is scheduled to join the squad on Nov. 13.last_img read more

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Clemson LB Ben Boulware Calls Out Twitter Troll, 3 Years Later, Regarding His Success

first_imgBen Boulware tweet.ben boulware takes on twitter trollClemson junior linebacker Ben Boulware, a former four-star recruit, has accomplished a great deal in his short career. Monday, he made sure that one of his doubters recognized that fact.Boulware, who was named Orange Bowl defensive MVP after his performance against Oklahoma, tweeted out a list of his accomplishments and tagged a Twitter troll who told him, back in 2012, that he would never even start for the Tigers.ACC champ, Orange Bowl MVP, 1st Team All-ACC…I hope you didn’t think I was going to forget @TrippWilliams60 pic.twitter.com/1l0j9abN2p— Ben Boulware (@benboulware7) January 25, 2016 Boulware likely still has one goal left in college – to win a national title. We’ll see if he can prove everyone wrong again in 2016.last_img read more

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Guardiola discusses Manchester City prospect

first_imgFollowing last season’s impressive outing, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola discusses City’s prospects for the year ahead, stating that as many as five other teams could prevent him from becoming the first manager in a decade to retain the title.“We can do our job, yes, but maybe Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea can do their job better and win,” he said, according to France 24.“Forget how much Liverpool have spent because they may have spent a lot, but last season they were a good team as well.“Maybe Tottenham could not spend because of the stadium, but there is Chelsea with Jorginho, Kovacic and Kante in the middle, and Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Morata up front so you cannot say they are not contenders to win.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“Or Manchester United. People ask how will they do, but I know a little bit about the manager and in that situation how good they handle that. Arsenal are other contenders too. That’s why it is nice.“But if we do our job, we will be there. We were the best last season, definitely, there is no doubt about it.“We can be excellent, but others can be too ? there can be six contenders.”last_img read more

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Hughton Decisions favored Liverpool

first_imgBrighton manager Chris Hughton felt that the bulk of decisions went Liverpool’s way in their 1-0 home defeat to the league leaders.Mo Salah converted from the spot to give Liverpool a crucial 1-0 win at Brighton after the Egyptian was judged to have been fouled by Pascal Gross.Hughton, however, had no complaints about the penalty but believes that plenty other decisions favored them.“There’s no intent and referees have a hard job, but sometimes you feel things go your way and sometimes you feel some of the decisions don’t go your way,” Hughton told Sky Sports.“I felt today it was one of those days. No malice or anything towards the referee but I thought the bulk of decisions favored Liverpool today.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“On the balance of play, I thought we deserved something.“They are such a good side and the opportunities they had were when we were trying to get back into the game and put bodies forward and made the game a bit more open. I thought we restricted them to minimal chances.“Pascal Gross’ chance [a shot in the second half] was probably as good as any of their chances.“We were always in the game and discipline was really good from the team, which it has to be because they can open you up.“In the latter part of the game we went for it a bit and showed a real intent to get back on level terms and I thought for the feel of the game that we deserved something.”last_img read more

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Grand Bahamian men Arrested for collaboration in Killing of Turtle

first_imgHe then led authorities to a restaurant where he had sold the turtle meat for $160.  The business partners at that establishment were subsequently arrested for purchasing the protected species.All three were taken to the West End Police Station for questioning and are expected to face charges on Friday morning.  The Freeport detachment is led by Lieutenant Commander Chappell Whyms and forms a strategic part of the Force’s Northern Command.  The Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s mandate of Guarding our Heritage extends to protecting our endangered species and environment.Release: RBDFHeader: Grand Bahamian man being led away by Defence Force Marines on March 7, 2017. He was allegedly responsible for the beheading of a loggerhead turtle, a species that has been protected by law since 2009.First insert: The stored packages of the loggerhead turtle in the cooler at a restaurant in Grand Bahama. A total of three individuals were arrested for their roles in the killing of the endangered species.Second insert: The shell remains of a loggerhead turtle which was beheaded on March 7, 2017 in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Three men were arrested for the incident seen on social medial. (Photos courtesy of RBDF Northern Detachment) (For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and view our Youtube channel) -rbdf- #GuardOurHeritage #MarlinSpike #operationconservation Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, March 8, 2018 – Grand Bahama – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force acted quickly in partnership with the Department of Fisheries when a particular gruesome video of a man beheading a loggerhead turtle, a species that has been protected by law since 2009 surfaced yesterday on social media.  Less than twelve hours after the video aired, three Grand Bahamians have been charged with violating Section 244 of the Fisheries Jurisdiction & Conservation 2009 Section 29 that is Subject to Regulation 32, where “no person shall take, have in his possession, buy or sell — (a) marine turtles; (b) marine turtle parts; or (c) marine turtle eggs.”A four member team from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s section detached to Freeport led by Chief Petty Officer Fred Smith collaborated with Assistant Superintendent of Fisheries Clement Campbell and located the man identified in the video as a native of West End Grand Bahama. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

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