Jumpstart your spread with L2Q

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Jumpstart your spread with L2Q

I must be honest…when I first started working at Leads 2 Business, the department that “freaked me out” the most was by far L2Q. I knew the only way I would overcome my fear was to get myself into L2Q and learn as much as I possibly could. And here I am.

So firstly, what does L2Q stand for? Leads 2 Quotes (L2Q) is an electronic pricing platform used by buyers to send out requests for quotes to their preferred suppliers.

You have the following benefits:

  • One system – which makes it easier and more efficient for you so you don’t have to try and find vendors to provide pricing. It is all right there for you – just by a click of a button;
  • Trade Mapping – where we will code the trades according to your company’s needs;
  • L2Q has the ability to transfer a bill of quantity into various electronic formats;
  • Easy access to a database of vendors / suppliers within different regions;
  • Time saver;
  • We have a support team who will follow up on the requests for quotes and update you accordingly on their response;
  • We upload any drawings that you may have.

The L2Q process is super simple and straight forward and is as follows: Buyers / main contractors will do an L2Q Bill Request on the L2B system, which guides you through the steps such as contract number, description, respond by date, closing date, then on to the trade mapping, attaching files, etc as below:

The bill of quantities can either be attached on the request or the contractors can send it to us directly via e-mail. From there, we will convert it, make it “pretty”, code it into the correct trades and upload it onto the buyer’s L2Q Desktop, for you to begin the process of electrically requesting quotes. This process does take some time, our turn-around times are as follows: Excel bills is a minimum of 24 hours and PDF a minimum of 48 hours.

We then also have Trade Mapping available which is where we will code the trades according to your company’s needs.

You will have the option of selecting your preferred suppliers/vendors. You can earmark the businesses that have given you the best response, service and pricing. Our pricing platform will also start recognising the vendors on our system who have given you the best response to the requests for quotes. So should you not have dealt with a company before, their rating will give you a guideline on their response rate. You can then generate a Control List report which will show you the vendors you have sent to as well as your engagement with them, how they are responding to you as well as the follow ups done by our Control List team.

We understand the time constraints and therefore our directory of over 90 000 companies is expanding and updated on a daily basis which then gives you even more options to your business and ultimately more competitive pricing when submitting a tender.

The e-mails that are sent to the vendors through the L2Q system include your company branding, drawings, addendums, terms & conditions and specifications which bring clarity to the vendors when responding.

In conclusion, Leads 2 Business’ biggest and strongest point of differentiation is our Leads 2 Quotes platform – our very own. I hope that my explanation of the L2Q system has been useful as well as beneficial to you, and that those who have been a bit weary of it, will now grab it by the horns 😉

 

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.

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About Bianca Horne

I started working at Leads 2 Business in May 2013 in the Africa Tenders Department. I worked my way to the Leads 2 Quotes Department in September 2016 and have been there ever since.

3D Concrete Printing

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3D Concrete Printing


Wow…so looking at pictures of 3D concrete printing, I was like:

Is this even possible…and yes, it is.
So let’s have a bit more of an in depth look at exactly what 3D Concrete Printing entails.

Definition: 3D Concrete Printing refers to various technologies that use 3D printing as a core method to fabricate buildings or construction components.


So basically, construction units such as walls or columns can be pre-fabricated off site by means of 3D printing. The completed wall parts will then be transported to the construction site, installed on traditional foundations and reinforced with traditional steel structures or cement. The unpolished walls can then be supplemented with different finishes.

There are numerous 3D printing methods used on a construction scale, which include the following main methods:

  • Extrusion (concrete, cement, wax, foam, and polymers),
  • Powder Bonding (polymer bond, reactive bond, sintering)
  • Additive Welding.

3D printing at a construction scale will have a wide variety of applications within the private, commercial, industrial and public sectors.

Advantages of these technologies include:
• Faster Construction
• Lower labour costs
• Increased complexity and/or accuracy
• Greater integration of function and less waste produced
• Could improve the quality of the end product
• Another advantage is the freedom of design, whereby buildings can be tailored to suit customer needs.

Demonstrations of these technologies have included fabrication of housing, construction components, bridges and civil infrastructure. This technology has increased in popularity in the recent years as new companies have emerged onto the market, such as Yingchuang Building Technique (Shanghai) Co. Ltd or Winsun as it is known. Their entry into 3D printing started in 2005, with the intervention of the spray nozzle, one of the main elements of its first 3D printer. The spray nozzle was used to experiment with cement and other materials. Winsun also set up the world’s biggest 3D construction printer, which is 10 metres wide, 6.6 metres high and 150 metres long…pretty awesome hey 
In 2013, Winsun successfully printed a batch of ten 3D residential houses, whereby they used a special ink made of cement, sand and fibre with a proprietary additive. Winsun has increased productivity and made it possible to save costs, a standard house can now be built for plus minus $30,000. Then the increase in the speed of construction is a huge factor as well, for example, the construction of a two-storey 1,100 sqm mansion took one day to print and two days to assemble…yes I know, incredible right!!

Winsun’s technology is also a lot more environmentally friendly. They source 50% of their ink material from construction waste and mining tailings.
The company’s most important showcase project was the company’s first 3D office. It opened in May 2016 in Dubai for the Dubai Future Foundation. The building was printed in Suzhou, cut into pieces for shipping and transported to Dubai. It was assembled and finished within a few weeks.

Now, the main challenge that faces 3D printing is the scepticism of designers, governments, project developers etc. For some it seems just too good to be true. Winsun then realised that they can win clients over by inviting them to their factory to view the prototypes with their own eyes. They are also collaborating with architects such as Cornell Design Institute, Tongji Design Institute and Jiaotong University to educate designers to incorporate the 3D-printed design into their work, as well as training architects with its textbook on 3D printing.
Below are a few amazing 3D buildings that have been built

Europe’s first residential 3D printed house
World’s first 3D hotel

And that is 3D concrete printing as I understand it and a bit of background into one of the world’s biggest 3D concrete printing companies, Winsun.

I hope your mind is as blown away as mine at the moment 😀

Now get cracking on your new 3D printing building.

Sources:
Lifegate
CNET
Wikipedia
Future of Construction

To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.

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About Bianca Horne

I started working at Leads 2 Business in May 2013 in the Africa Tenders Department. I worked my way to the Leads 2 Quotes Department in September 2016 and have been there ever since.

Did You Know #DYK: Fire Escape Rules in South Africa

posted in: Did You Know | 3

Fire Escape Rules In South Africa

So, after reading many different articles and doing some intense researching regarding fire escape rules in our beautiful country, I have come up with the following and hope it will somehow assist you, should you catch yourself in a heated situation 😉

Just a bit of history…Did you know that one of the very first fire escapes was invented in the 18th century in England? David Maseres invented the machine in 1784 called the “Fire Escape”.

This machine was fastened to a window which allowed a person to descend to the ground, as per the below picture.

 

Abraham Wivell then created an improved design, which included an escape chute.

Furthermore, the “Enclosed Tubular Chute Fire Escape” became accepted in schools, hospitals and other institutions in the 1930s. It was a very easy form of escape as people would literally just slide down it.

And as time went by, it evolved and became more modernised, such as a modern type of evacuation slide which is the vertical spiral escape chute and is commonly used for bigger buildings and structures. Buildings are getting taller and new fire escape techniques are developing. Elevators have been thought of as a possible fire escape for high-rise buildings. Further high-rise fire escape methods include parachutes, external collapsible elevators and slides.

 

Now that we’ve looked at the history and where and when fire escapes came into place, let’s have a look at what it means today.

No one wants to see their house or company go up in flames, therefore there are very strict rules and regulations when it comes to fire safety in South Africa. According to SANS 10400: Part T – the Fire Protection Act says the following: “In order to protect your property and the people in it, South Africa has implemented building regulations to ensure that the buildings are designed, constructed and equipped adequately in the event of a fire”. The Fire Protection Act states the following:

  1. The occupants of the building, including disabled people will be protected;
  2. The spread of fire within the building and to other buildings will be minimised;
  3. Sufficient stability must be insured so there is no major failure of the structural system;
  4. The spread of smoke shall be controlled and minimised; and
  5. Adequate means of access for detecting, fighting, controlling and extinguishing shall be provided.

The SANS Act 10400 Part T can be divided into 4 categories:

  1. Safety Distances;
  2. Fire Resistance: Relating to building material such as structural walls.
  3. Requirements for effective fire protection include:
    • General requirements,
    • Regulations relating to safety distances,
    • Fire performance
    • Fire resistance
    • Fire stability of structural elements or components,
    • Protection of openings,
    • Provision of escape routes,
    • Exit doors,
    • Feeder routes,
  • Emergency routes, dimensions of components of escape routes,
  • The width of escape routes,
  • Basements,
  • Stairways and other changes of level along escape routes,
  • Ventilation of stairways in emergency routes,
  • Pressurization of emergency routes and components,
  • Openings in floors,
  • External stairways and passages,
  • Marking and signposting,
  • Provision of emergency lighting,
  • Fire detection and alarm systems,
  • Provision and maintenance of firefighting equipment,
  • Water reticulation for firefighting purposes,
  • Hose reels,
  • Hydrants,
  • Automatic sprinkler and other fixed extinguishing systems,
  • Portable fire extinguishers,
  • Mobile fire extinguishers,
  • Fire-stopping of inaccessible concealed spaces,
  • Protection of services shafts,
  • Smoke control,
  • Air-conditioning systems and artificial ventilation systems,
  • Lift shafts,
  • Lifts,
  • Firemen’s lift,
  • Stretcher lift,
  • Access for fire-fighting and rescue purposes
  1. Rational Designs: Designing of a structure to ensure the level of safety is sufficient by a qualified person.

 

Now, I think it is very important to have the correct fire safety equipment in your building.

We probably walk pass some of the above items at work every single day and don’t even realise it, but it is vital to know that they are there, where exactly they are and how they are used. It is good to have the necessary equipment to protect the building as well as the people inside it. Therefore, the following equipment will always be helpful:

Alarms – Whether they are heat detectors, smoke alarms or even panic buttons. Heat detectors are generally slower to detect fire than smoke detectors; they are preferably used in smaller spaces where there are higher risks of fire. Smoke alarms are recommended by experts as they detect fires and heat much quicker. Different types of smoke alarms are used such as ionization smoke alarms, which responds to raging fires; photoelectric smoke alarms which respond to a light source; and lastly a combination alarm which is the best recommendation. Ensure that you know where your panic buttons are.

Fire Reels – When outdoors these are generally connected to fire engines or fire hydrants and when inside it is attached the building’s plumbing system.

Fire Extinguishers – Always ensure that you know where these are kept in your workplace as you never know when you might actually have to use one. There are different types of fire extinguishers and the number and type you require would depend on certain circumstances in your building.

Sprinkler Systems – According to Wikipedia, over 40 million sprinkler heads are fitted in buildings each year. Buildings that are completely protected by fire sprinkler systems, over 96% of fire were controlled by fire sprinklers alone. There are different types of sprinklers such as wet pipe systems, dry pipe systems, pre-action, deluge, foam protection, just to name a few.

Fire Exit Signs and Doors – Fire exit signs are a crucial part of an emergency. Proper signage is critical for all fire exits and fire doors. Fire Regulations have stated that fire exits are very clearly marked and should show even when there are power outages.

In the case of an emergency, the last thing you want is for people to run around hysterically. The calmer the people, the calmer the entire situation. Next, let’s have a look at what precautions we can take in the event of a fire:

  • Plan your escape plan. Learn your building’s evacuation plan and ensure that fire drills are done regularly;
  • Ensure that your building’s evacuation routes are displayed;
  • Never lock or block fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways;
  • Know the sound of your building’s fire alarm;
  • Display emergency numbers near telephones;
  • Know where your assembly point is.

 

In conclusion, ensure that you follow all the rules and regulations required by the government and that your fire equipment and systems are regularly tested and serviced. If you ever do find yourself in a heated situation, always be prepared, react immediately, get out of the building and stay out…

Sources:

sans10400.co.za/fire-protection/

www.fireco-sa.com/south-african-building-regulations-fire-protection.html

https://www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/fire-safety-workplace

 

If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.

 

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About Bianca Horne

I started working at Leads 2 Business in May 2013 in the Africa Tenders Department. I worked my way to the Leads 2 Quotes Department in September 2016 and have been there ever since.

Did you know #DYK: Project Role Players

posted in: Did You Know | 0

Project Role Players

Project Role Players

So, Project Role Players… this one got me thinking, a lot… jeepers 🙂 Leads 2 Business works with various of these role players on a daily basis as our Private Projects department goes hand in hand with these project role players. So, I will be giving you a run down of our Private Projects Department and where these project role players, in my understanding, generally fit in.

There are various stages that the projects follow and there are different professionals involved in each stage:

  • Conceptual
  • Procedural
  • Design
  • Tender
  • Awarded
  • Underway

Let’s have a look at each stage and who does what, when and where.

 

Conceptual:

This is the beginning phase of the project: the “Idea” 😉 This is the very early stage whereby an idea could become reality. The following could take place here:

  • Client / Private Developer come into play. They are responsible for the costs of the project and receive benefits of / from completed projects. Their aim is to generate a profit. Without a client, there would be no project.
  • Open Developer are generally for public organisations and would be aimed at social and welfare reasons.
  • Feasibility Study would be done
  • Securing of funding.
  • Depending on the client and the project, some of the professionals could be appointed at this stage already.

 

Procedural:

This stage involves various approvals and authorisations such as:

  • Licensing,
  • Whether Geotechnical Studies have been completed,
  • Whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been completed (EIA is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse).
  • Property Rezoning, which a Town Planner would be responsible for. Is any rezoning required? Town planners are responsible for obtaining the town planning approvals and rezoning the land according to your development if required.
  • Specialist consultants (eg Heritage consultant, Traffic Impact Assessment Consultant, etc could also be appointed in this stage).
  • The professional team could already be appointed

 

Design:

This stage involves detailed design of the development. Majority of the professionals could have been appointed by this stage. For a building project, a Quantity Surveyor and an Architect would be appointed. For a roads or infrastructure project a Civil Engineer would be appointed. Lastly, a project for a bridge, a Structural Engineer would be appointed. A quantity surveyor would be appointed to draw up the bill of quantities and determine what is required to complete the construction of the development. An architect would be responsible for the actual design and work hand in hand, as well as the civil or structural engineer, with the quantity surveyor in order for the QS to compile the BoQ . We like to call the bill of quantities “the shopping list”. The following professionals could be appointed at this stage:

  • Civil Engineer – An engineer who designs roads, bridges, dams and similar structures.
  • Structural Engineer – This is a speciality within civil engineering. They create drawings and specifications, perform calculations, review the work of other engineers, write reports and evaluations, and observe construction sites.
  • Project Manager – The person in charge of planning and execution of a specific project / development.
  • Electrical Engineer – Someone who designs and develops new electrical equipment, solves problems and tests equipment.
  • Mechanical Engineering – This is the branch of engineering that involves the design, production and operation of machinery, and could also involve the air conditioning of a building.
  • Health and Safety Consultant – The person responsible for the health and safety of the workers on site during construction.
  • Fire Engineer – The application of science and engineering principles to protect people and their environments from the harmful and destructive effects of fire and smoke.
  • Estate Agent – A person who sells and / or rents out buildings and is responsible for securing tenants.
  • Interior Designer – Mostly has to do with enhancing the interior of buildings, sometimes including the exterior as well. They work hand in hand with the architect and may even be the architect in some cases.
  • Landscape Architect – Person responsible for the design of outdoor areas, landmarks and structures.

Once the quantity surveyor has drawn up and completed the BoQ, it heads to the client for approval to start getting ready for the tender process.

 

Tender:

This stage pretty much speaks for itself. This is when the tender is released, whether it is an open or an invited tender. If it is an open tender, it will be publicly advertised and if invited, specific contractors are requested by the client to submit their prices. In this stage, the contractor would send out requests for quotes to sub-contractors to obtain prices and then submit their best prices to the client.

 

Awarded:

In the stage, the client chooses the most successful proposal and the main contract is awarded for construction and they are referred to as the main contractor. He would appoint the sub-contractors as and when required. In this stage the main contractor would start getting ready to move onto site and start setting up for construction.

 

Underway:

Construction has started, contractors and subbies would be on site together with the project manager, quantity surveyor, architect, various engineers, estate agent, interior designer as well as the landscape architect.

So… this is my understanding of where project role players fit into the various project phases and hopefully I have cleared up a few things for you too…and as Doris McCarthy says: “You are actually constructing what your head understood about what your eyes saw” and that is how I feel about this topic… so get involved and get cracking Project Role Players 😉

 

References:

https://www.cbd.int/impact/whatis.shtml
https://www.sokanu.com/careers/electrical-engineer/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_engineering
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_protection_engineering
seaoc.org/what-structural-engineer

If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.

To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.

To view more articles, please visit our blog.

Please follow and like us:

About Bianca Horne

I started working at Leads 2 Business in May 2013 in the Africa Tenders Department. I worked my way to the Leads 2 Quotes Department in September 2016 and have been there ever since.

Did You Know #DYK – Simplify and Focus your Leads: How to clean up your Inbox and Old Projects

Simplify and Focus your Leads: How to clean up your Inbox and Old Projects

Simplify and Focus your Leads: How to clean up your Inbox and Old Projects

Simplify and Focus your Leads: How to clean up your Inbox and Old Projects

The last thing you want is for your inbox on the Leads 2 Business system to be overloaded and inundated with e-mails, so to make your life easier, be organised.

We tend to leave things to pile up, and emails flow in faster than they can be sorted out, this could often lead to missing important e-mails….. That is why Leads 2 Business gives you options – To simplify and focus your leads. It will only take a few seconds every now and then, to just systematically arrange your emails into the correct folders provided.

How to clean up your Inbox: Let’s get started

Your inbox can be accessed in 3 different ways on the site:

  • Top right hand corner under your name;
  • Small envelope on the top right hand corner; or
  • On the left hand side just under the Leads 2 Business logo

Once you have opened your inbox, different folders are provided:

 

 

 

  • Compose – new e-mail;
  • Inbox – where your e-mails are received and from here you can categorize them into the various folders under the green Actions button;
  • Important – If you have marked your e-mails as important, they will be saved here;
  • Trash – If you decide to delete e-mails, they are moved to Trash and from here you can also Restore them and they are moved back to your Inbox,
  • RFQ notices – Once the buyer has made changes to a RFQ that was previously sent to you, you are automatically notified via email which you will receive in the RFQ Notices received.

Sent:

  • Monitors – Emails that you have sent to your monitors as well as tenders or projects that you have assigned to your monitors will be displayed here,
  • Professionals – E-mails that you have sent to professionals as well as via the directory,
  • RFQ Notices – E-mails or amendments made to RFQ’s that you have sent as a buyer to the vendors.

Your Team:

A list of your monitors are displayed here and in order to send them an e-mail, just click on the preferred monitor.

Next Step – Cleaning up Projects

Private Projects consists of predominantly large privately funded projects which follow the progress from the procedural stage right through to the completion stage. Our private projects subscribers receive a private project advisory (PPA) whereby they can also monitor the projects of interest in order to receive any notes and updates made to the specific project. Leads 2 Business gives you the option to “Clean up your Projects”, so again, you can be a bit more organised and not have projects floating around that you might not need at that stage.

This is how:

Hover your cursor over your name (top right hand corner) and select Profile Settings, proceed to the last option which says “Cleanup Projects”, and it takes you through to the following page:

Basically this function allows you to remove monitored projects at any stage and if, some time in the future you needed any of them again, there is another option to reinstate them. Select which of the project statuses you want removed, click on “Remove Selected”. If you want to reinstate them, select your choice and click on “Re-Instate Selected”. As easy as that…another great way of getting yourself organised.

Getting organised is a daily struggle. In my humble opinion, it will be easier to get into a daily routine of clearing and organising your inbox 🙂 So…what are you waiting for?

 

If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.

To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.

To view more articles, please visit our blog.

Please follow and like us:

About Bianca Horne

I started working at Leads 2 Business in May 2013 in the Africa Tenders Department. I worked my way to the Leads 2 Quotes Department in September 2016 and have been there ever since.