In pictures: Weston Homes opens £12 million house building factory in Essex

first_imgThe era of the factory-built house has kicked off in earnest after building giant Weston Homes’ £12 million, 75,000 sq ft house-building factory in Essex opened for business today.West Homes claims its huge Braintree Logistics Centre is one of the most advanced in the UK and will enable its customers to choose every aspect of their homes’ internal design and construction.Components for 5,000 homes-a-year are to be made at the facility, which is making bespoke orders for home buyers initially at a rate of 60 properties a day. The factory will begin making all components of a house, effectively making it an end-to-end house factory.“Within the next 10 years technology will allow for new homes to be fully manufactured off-site by robots and computer-assisted engineering tools,” says Bob Weston, the company’s group Chief Executive.This includes sinks, worktops, flooring, wardrobes and bathroom cabinets and Weston Homes predicts it’s the future of house building and that all new homes will be pre-constructed off-site by robots in ten years’ time.“Our Braintree Logistics Centre transforms Weston Group’s logistics and off-site manufacturing capacity and enhances our ability to control our supply chain, improve the delivery of customer specification choices and ensure the quality of the products that form the specification of the homes we sell,” says Shaun Weston, its Managing Director.“Weston Group has a £2 billion development pipeline of 6,000 new homes and this new complex helps us manage this expansion. Streamlined processing and inventory also allows for significant cost efficiencies and reducing the processing time for customer orders.”modular homes Bob Weston shaun weston weston homes January 31, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Land & New Homes » In pictures: Weston Homes opens £12 million house building factory in Essex previous nextLand & New HomesIn pictures: Weston Homes opens £12 million house building factory in EssexHuge facility will make everything for a home apart from the walls and roofs, but will move to full modular construction within ten years.Nigel Lewis31st January 201902,519 Viewslast_img read more

Baker Hansen bans handsets

first_imgAs the UK gets set to relax rules on patients using mobile phones in hospital wards, bakers on the other side of the globe are doing the opposite – by banning mobiles in bakeries. The Australian reported on one, Sam Hansen, who has taken the bold step of banning mobile phones from her Sydney shop, Bakers Delight. The snapping point came after a trainee shopkeeper was hassled by a mobile-wielding customer for – perhaps unforgivably – enquiring what said shopper would like to purchase. “She yelled at him for interrupting her and then apologised to the person she was speaking to on the phone,” Hansen is quoted as saying. “All he was doing was asking her how she was. We’re not robots. We do have feelings.”Hansen now snubs any customers who are on the phone and has put up posters in the shop warning them off. Hear, hear!!But is she going far enough? Stop the Week has learned of a number of mobile ’jammers’ on the market. Imagine the joy of seeing the pained faces of mobile phone abusers as their pointless prattling is cut short while approaching the counter? Sadly regulator Ofcom has banned their use in the UK. Spoilsports.last_img read more

Press release: Foreign Secretary to announce £10 million commitment to build digital skills in the Western Balkans

first_img Email [email protected] This new funding demonstrates the UK’s enduring commitment to the Western Balkans region. We are working internationally to provide young people, particularly young women, with the digital skills necessary to participate in the future economy and fulfil their potential. Importantly it also shows our desire to help the region overcome some of the most difficult chapters in their history and pave the way to an even more prosperous future. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It works with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year it reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. It makes a positive contribution to the countries it works with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 it is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. It receives 15% core funding grant from the UK government. Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook Further information NOTES TO EDITORScenter_img For journalists Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @BorisJohnson and Facebook This £10 million project will run over three years. It expands the British Council 21st Century Schools pilot, enabling primary school age children to develop critical thinking, problem-solving and digital literacy skills. It will run in each of the six Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – reaching 4,500 primary schools and up to one million children. It will help foster the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs by providing computer programming and coding training. Media enquiries Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will today (9 July) announce that the UK will commit £10 million to help build digital skills and employment prospects for young people in the Western Balkans.The Foreign Secretary will make the announcement at the first day of the Western Balkans Summit, joined by European and Western Balkans Foreign Ministers.The funding will see the British Council provide training to children in over 4,500 schools, to bolster digital literacy and core skills across the region. By providing access to a digital education, this funding will help foster the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, both in the Western Balkans and UK.The Foreign Secretary will reiterate the UK’s commitment to the Western Balkans by announcing an additional £1 million to help the region address difficult legacy issues of the past, this includes working to find and identify the 12,000 victims still missing from the conflicts of the 1990s.Speaking ahead of the Summit, the Foreign Secretary said:last_img read more

Avoiding the Sins of the Past

first_imgDuring EMC’s annual customer and partner conference, EMC World, I spoke with numerous CIOs at various stages of moving their organizations’ workloads to the cloud. Those discussions confirmed that forward-looking CIOs recognize cloud’s potential and are eager to share and receive guidance on how best to maximize IT’s value. No surprise, since IDC estimates that at some point this year 80 percent of enterprise applications will be deployed on cloud platforms.Part of these CIOs’ motivation is to keep the IT function relevant and valuable in an environment where end-users not only bring their “consumer world” expectations to work with them – but also have new IT sourcing choices, through “X as a Service” and other public cloud options. This dynamic is exacerbated by “bring-your-own-device” and other mobility and consumerization trends. If an IT organization isn’t actively facing these influences, or lacks the agility to support new business and technology demands, business units may independently (and most already are) roll their own IT as a Service initiatives, thus creating “shadow IT.”Shadow IT is but one of the ways CIOs risk replicating IT sins of the past. Historically, IT often built infrastructure that optimized individual applications but resulted in rigid silos of inefficient, dedicated resources that were expensive to maintain, difficult to manage, and cumbersome to scale as the needs of the organization evolved.Cloud computing provides CIOs with the potential to build an agile infrastructure based on flexible pools of resources that can be shared to support the varied and changing needs of the business. Such a model may take the form of private (internal), public (external), or hybrid (a mix of internal and external) clouds, and include a growing ecosystem of compatible partner platforms that truly enables a consistent cloud experience – independent of where the infrastructure sits and who is managing it. However, even in moving to the cloud, CIOs still risk repeating those sins of the past if they don’t recognize the need to standardize on a consistent cloud architecture.This is a pivotal juncture for IT, and CIOs need to provide the strategic direction to realize the promise of cloud computing. CIOs must recognize that their role can change from a manager of technology assets to a manager of a portfolio of services – enabled by a standardized cloud platform. Without architectural discipline, IT may end up optimizing certain workloads by using a variety of purpose-built cloud-based offerings and public cloud providers, business unit by business unit, leading to “cloud sprawl.”The result? A sub-optimal infrastructure that prevents the movement of data across applications, limits the ability to govern and secure sensitive data and intellectual property, and dilutes the potential of comprehensive analytics.A better approach: standardizing on a common platform, such as VMware and their associated management and orchestration tools, EMC information infrastructure and data protection technologies, or Vblock converged infrastructure for ease of deployment and operations. Standardization makes it possible to federate and move workloads and data easily within a hybrid cloud environment. This common cloud platform provides the architectural flexibility and agility for IT to deliver “IT as a Service” that satisfies end users, while still being able to optimize across the organization. CIO’s thus become an internal service provider to the business, independent of where the infrastructure is located.Adopting this approach to cloud computing requires that the role of the CIO – and indeed of IT – evolve, from tactical technology implementer to strategic technologist and portfolio manager. It means the IT department has to transform from a behind the scenes staff to a front-and-center business unit that functions as an in-house service provider, offering a portfolio of services to the business, driven by service level agreements and evaluated based on business outcomes. In short, capitalizing on cloud is not just about adopting cloud technology; it also requires an architectural framework and the transformation of people and processes in order to avoid repeating IT sins of the past.last_img read more

Super-charged water

first_imgWorks like an antioxidant“Alkaline EO water has low dissolved oxygen, high dissolved hydrogen and functions as an antioxidant,” Hung said. The problem is it can be unstable, he said. Its antioxidant capacity, or OPR reading, can quickly change from a strong antioxidant to a strong oxidation agent.The UGA Research Foundation has filed for a patent on Hung’s process that allows the alkaline EO water to be bottled with its high antioxidant benefits remaining stable for more than six months.“The water isn’t new,” Hung said. “Consumers in Japan, Asia, Europe and the U.S. have been drinking it for years.” What is new is alkaline EO water as a bottled product in the marketplace. “Right now, you have to have an EO water generator to get the benefits of the drinking water,” he said. “And they cost from $1,000 to $3,000, which doesn’t fit into most household budgets. Our invention preserves the healthful properties of the water and makes it so more people will be able to enjoy the benefits.”There is no taste different between alkaline EO water and traditional bottled waters. “That’s the beauty,” he said. “It’s just like drinking water you are use to, but you get many additional benefits.”The EO water shouldn’t cost much more than currently available bottled waters, he said.Manufacturer needed“The next step is for us to find a company that wants to license the technology and begin providing the water to the public,” Hung said.Companies interested in obtaining a license for this technology should contact Gennaro Gama with the UGARF Technology Commercialization Office at (706) 583-8088.Acidic EO water beneficial, tooScientists in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are studying ways to use the acidic EO water produced with the electrolysis process to control food-borne pathogens on plastic kitchen cutting boards, fresh poultry and lettuce, and to fight diseases on greenhouse plants. “This water drastically cuts down the levels of salmonella and campylobacter on chicken carcasses,” Hung said. “It would be a very effective addition to chicken processing plants.”Acidic EO water can be up to 10 times more effective at killing harmful bacteria than traditional methods. Bottled version more affordablecenter_img By Sharon DowdyUniversity of GeorgiaHealth-conscious consumers know the benefits of eating high-antioxidant foods like fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts. A University of Georgia researcher has uncovered a way to provide antioxidant-rich water in a bottle.For 10 years, UGA food scientist Yen-Con Hung has studied electrolyzed oxidized, or EO, water. EO water is created when a saltwater solution goes through an electrolysis process, which separates the water’s positive and negative ions. This makes two forms of water: one very acidic and one very alkaline.last_img read more

How to get the most out of your technology investment

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Adria SalasInvesting in technology resources can be a big decision for a lending institution—or any business for that matter. Depending on the type of resource, it can be a large monetary investment, and training and implementation can impact your short-term operations.Change is not always easy, but as I’ve learned from my experience implementing the AutoPilot loan portfolio management software for multiple financial institutions, it is well worth the temporary disruption in order to experience the kind of efficiency and productivity that a streamlined software program can offer.Click here to learn how you can streamline the collections process in 60 days.However, no matter how robust a software system or technology resource is, your institution will not experience maximum productivity unless your staff is thoroughly trained and using the resource to its full capabilities because, after all, a technology resource is only as effective as how trained and well-versed its users are. continue reading »last_img read more

This week: Highway bill action with credit union relief, more

first_imgNAFCU this week is monitoring next steps in Congress for a House-passed highway bill that would advance association-sought relief on privacy notice requirements and another providing relief regarding certain residential mortgages held in portfolio.H.R. 22, the highway bill, is headed to a conference panel where differences between the House- and Senate-passed bills will be resolved.This multi-year transportation bill passed the House earlier this month and includes an amendment from House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, that advances some NAFCU-supported regulatory relief measures for credit unions, including H.R. 601, the “Elimination Privacy Notice Confusion Act.” H.R. 601 would clarify that consumers will receive privacy notices after opening a new account and when their providers’ privacy policies change.This would be a change from the current requirement for annual notices and addresses a part of NAFCU’s five-point plan for regulatory relief.In other action, the House could vote as early as this week on H.R. 1210, the “Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act,” which would provide a safe harbor from certain qualified mortgage requirements for residential mortgage loans held on a mortgage originator’s portfolio. The NAFCU-backed measure was approved by the House Financial Services Committee in July. continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Australian clinic closes after doctor tests positive for coronavirus

first_imgFour special coronavirus clinics have now been opened in Melbourne to reduce the strain on emergency departments and GP clinics.New South Wales state reported six new cases of coronavirus overnight bringing the total cases in Australia to nearly 70.Australia will release 260,000 surgical masks from medical stockpiles for immediate use, deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly told a media briefing in Canberra.The outbreak has killed more than 3,400 people and spread across more than 90 nations, with seven countries reporting their first cases on Friday. The economic damage has also intensified, with business districts starting to empty and stock markets continuing to tumble.Topics : He saw about 70 patients between March 2 and March 6.”The doctor…most likely acquired his infection in the United States,” Mikakos said.”I have to say I am flabbergasted that a doctor that has flu-like symptoms has presented to work,” she said, adding the clinic has been closed until further notice.Mikakos said patients have been contacted while the passengers on the flight will be contacted as soon as the manifest is available. Australian health authorities said on Saturday they had closed a clinic and were contacting around 70 patients of a doctor who has been diagnosed with coronavirus after recently returning from the United States.The Melbourne-based general practioner returned to Australia on Feb. 29.He became unwell with a runny nose on an internal flight from Denver to San Francisco before flying to Melbourne on United Airlines flight 0060, Victoria State Health Minister Jenny Mikakos told a televised news conference.last_img read more

Russia stares down WWII controversies 75 years on

first_imgRape in GermanyRapes committed by Soviet soldiers as they captured Berlin in April 1945 permeated German collective memory, but are largely overlooked in Russia.A Russian blogger in January was charged with “Nazi apologism” for satirical social media posts that referenced Soviet abuses committed in Germany.In 2016, a newspaper in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad was handed an official warning over an article about atrocities committed by the Red Army during the takeover of the German city in 1945. Ahead of this year’s parade on Wednesday, postponed from May because of the coronavirus pandemic, here are five World War II episodes that continue to fuel tensions.  Topics : World War II erupted after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded and carved up Poland in September 1939 under a secret clause of the pact.The agreement, which remained classified in the Soviet Union until 1989, has been described by Putin as necessary because Western powers had abandoned the USSR to face Germany alone.He has also lauded the pact as a triumph of Stalin-era diplomacy.Putin was angered last year by a text published by the European Parliament saying the pact helped pave the way for World War II. Invasion or liberation?Soviet soldiers are celebrated in Russia for liberating Europe from Nazism, but for some countries in eastern Europe the Red Army is remembered as an occupying force.The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were forcibly integrated into the Soviet Union, and revile Nazi and Soviet forces alike.Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said last month that the war did not end until 1993 “when the last Russian soldier left” his country. Russia says this narrative is an unacceptable rewriting of history and routinely protests at the removal of Soviet-era military monuments in eastern and central Europe. The Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 is a pillar of national pride in Russia, used by the Kremlin to stir patriotic sentiment and rebuff criticism of the USSR and its army.Yet Russia’s state-backed narratives about the war and its legacy regularly lead to disagreements with other European countries.Russia celebrates its victory in World War II every year on May 9 with a massive military parade on Red Square in front of the president and other world leaders. Mass deportations During the war, Stalin accused minority ethnic groups of collaborating with the Nazis and deported hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks, Chechens, Balkars, Germans and others to Central Asia in harsh conditions.Deported populations were rehabilitated after Stalin’s death, but tensions linger with those that returned.Crimean Tatars, for instance, were deported from their homes and as a result opposed Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.Many Soviet soldiers and officers returning home after captivity in Germany were also likened to traitors and sent to forced labor camps. Pact with Hitler The 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler remains a point of contention between Moscow and European countries to this day. Polish massacre One of many points of friction with Poland is the massacre at Katyn, named after a forest near the Russian city of Smolensk where Soviet secret police shot thousands of Polish officers in 1940 on Stalin’s orders.Until 1990, the Soviet Union claimed the executions were carried out by the Nazis.Moscow has since admitted responsibility, but the legacy of the massacre has been overshadowed in Russia by wider Stalinist repressions.In 2010, during a thaw in relations between Moscow and Warsaw, the plane carrying Poland’s president to a commemorative event in Smolensk crashed, killing all 96 people on board.Investigations into the accident have become a new source of tension between the two countries.last_img read more