The power of plant and equipment hire

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The power of plant and equipment hire.

The power of plant and equipment hire

As the South African economy is seeing renewed energy in economic growth in 2018 while under new leadership, the construction industry is poised for increased growth in the medium to long-term, which is now giving way to much needed increase in opportunities for the general contractor in the near future. As the industry awaits positive growth, competition for public and private projects is still the number one factor hindering the growth of small to medium businesses.

In such a highly competitive landscape, a general contractor knows that a successful bid is won or lost on their ability to price a bill of quantities accurately against other potential bidders. Yes, your experience on previous projects will count in your favor, but having accurate knowledge in costing building materials, labor and most importantly plant and equipment usage could be the key to your success in winning your next project or tender. A vast majority of contractors are now opting to rent, hire or lease expensive equipment over purchasing as this gives them the ability to be more versatile or agile in the types of jobs and projects they bid on as well as keeping their business overheads and startup costs lower on repayment, maintenance and storage of equipment that is not being utilized continuously.

If your business has the liquidity to purchase decent quality used equipment, that you know won’t become outdated, will be used continuously on upcoming projects and you can extract the value of owning the assets, then it still has its advantages to buy, but for many small to medium contractors and companies trying to break into new markets or bigger projects this will not be the case and hiring is your best and only option.

Key tips when deciding to hire plant equipment

Knowledge is key

Gone are the days were decades of experience gave you the competitive edge as the internet has neutralized that. Research the latest trends in new technology and equipment available, join forums and industry knowledge share groups online or blog websites, sign up to newsletter and become an expert in the field of machinery and equipment. Having a deep routed knowledge in what is happening in the market and what technology is available at your disposal and price at what it will cost you to hire will give you an advantage when costing your next job.

Build relationships

Source and locate plant and equipment hire specialists and conduct due diligence on all the suppliers you are interested in. Visit their premises, inspect their equipment and the age of the equipment and meet the owners if possible, as feeling comfortable and confident with the people and the company you are hiring from will give you confidence in your bids. Always find multiple suppliers in various areas as you will need to factor in transport and delivery costs to and from your job sites. Always check availability of equipment and machinery before bidding on work and having relationships with hire companies that have a range of choice is preferable. Building good working relationships will also give you much greater flexibility in negotiating rates for on future jobs with prospect of continuous cash flow for the hiring company.

Customer Service

A critical factor in the success of reaching deadlines on jobs is making sure that the company you hire from offers excellent customer service such as on-site or off-site training to machine operators and best practices for safety and inspections, as well as quick turnaround of servicing and repairs, or be able to swap out faulty equipment in order to continue with the work at hand. These factors will give you peace of mind as daily costs increase when a job has to stand still due to faulty or broken equipment and can critically impact your bottom line profits and hitting tight deadlines.

Get your paperwork in order

Make sure that that company you hire from, has the correct paperwork for the machinery and equipment you are hiring including insurance. Sometimes overlooked, but important to know what your liabilities will be in the event that any piece of equipment is destroyed or damaged on-site by one of your operators or employees.

As in most cases, there will be Pros and Cons in Buying or Renting Equipment for your next job, but when trying to scale your business effectively by bidding on bigger projects in various locations here is a recap on the advantages of hiring.

 Lower initial investments
 No maintenance or storage costs once the project is completed
 Access to broader range of equipment
 Use of the latest technology available
 On-site servicing and insurance handle by another party

 

Sources

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Construction Equipment Rental

http://www.equipmentrentalpros.com/resources/construction-equipment-rental-guide.php

 

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About Storm Johnson

I started my journey with Leads 2 Business in 2016 after having a successful career in aviation. I have since found a passion for the construction industry and helping smaller companies break into the larger scale projects/tenders. I am a devoted Sales Executive based in beautiful Cape Town who truly believes Leads 2 Business is the future for any professional within the construction industry serious about growing to their maximum potential through well researched, up to date leads. Uniting one professional to another creating life long business relationships throughout the construction industry.

How is open planning design more energy efficient?

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How is open planning design more energy efficient?

Most of us have heard the term Open planning but what is it?

Open-planning allows air to flows from space to space with minimal barriers between the living areas or no barriers at all.

Did you Know?

Originally homes were designed and built to accommodate different rooms for different functions: the kitchen was for cooking, the dining room was for eating, and the living room was for gathering, entertaining, or relaxing. After World War II, the norm was that homeowners have houses with open floor plans.

Prior 20th Century traditional plan layout. Separate rooms closed in with walls and doors.

2018 Open plan design layouts.

Frank Taylor, mechanical engineer ignited the open plan concept in the workplace calling it the “Taylorism movement” which suggests that open planning design maximises industrial efficiency focusing on worker production only. This shift was massive but people were seen as robots and not human beings. Later with the help of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the Burolandschaft an office that reflected both corporate image and gave way to people’s needs.

Taylorism open plan design.

Burolandschaft open plan design style.

Robert Propst invented the“ action office” cubicle that enhanced many companies liberation strategies with open planning design.

As the daily volcanic household cost of living increases, more and more people have joined the bandwagon trend in living a more eco- friendly and energy efficient lifestyle. Thus enabling big-time savings in their water and electricity bills and giving TLC back to our earth.

To date buyers are more aware of the long-term costs of electricity, in saying that energy efficient design can affect the value of property in the future.

Open planning influences energy efficiency through:

A. Natural Light

In a traditional closed floor plan design, you will come across certain rooms that are limited in receiving natural light from windows. Which therefore results in turning on all the lights like a christmas tree and consuming tons of energy. Open floor plan design lends itself to no walls or barriers, which unblock, allowing the spread of natural sunlight eliminating extra costs. In cooler climate places, the presence of added natural light also allows more heat into the building decreasing furnace costs. Sharing of natural light is also encouraged through open planning so each area receives.

B. Air Circulation

Air flow is maximized in an open plan design with open windows than a traditional design as walls impede air circulation making it hard for fresh air to travel into these separate spaces. Lack of airflow requires air-conditioning and ceiling fans to break through the stuffiness and hiking electricity costs.

C. Flexibility

With more space this allows home and building owners to be more flexible and creates opportunities to change up their living / working spaces to their liking and demands.

D. Reduced Square Footage

An open floorplan will be more spacious that a traditional plan
allowing one to cut down on their square footage. The smaller your
Space is the less energy it requires to heat or cool.

E. Socializing

Open floor planning gives way to open communication and interaction between people and employees and allows parents to keep watch over their children. Traffic flow in open spaces is also more viable.

Allandale Building , Midrand Gauteng
New energy efficient open plan building contributes to 30 % less energy.

The new Cuningham Group office, CA, USA

Factors enabling energy efficiency design in open planning:

1. Orientation

Position your home or office accordingly to climate and geo-graphical layout. Keep in mind wind, sun, heat and cooling factors when the architect designs.

2. Light colours

Choose light colours as they reflect heat and keep out heat whilst darker colour pallet absorbs heat.

3. Roof ventilation and insulation.

Roof tiles absorb heat in hot temperatures and re-radiate them into the building at night. When choosing tiles, opt for foil under them to reduce the slow release of heat into your space. Poorly ventilated roof space can lead to scorching temperatures.

4. Building materials

Glass – sunlight through glass windows become trapped like a greenhouse resulting in higher temperatures and illumination of` the space. Installing double glazed windows and doors.

Concrete floors and brick walls absorb heat from direct sunlight during the day to release it at night and absorb coolness though the night to reduce heat during the day.

5. Water

Choosing water saving features such as solar powered pumps, water tanks and grey water systems help aid in energy efficiency.

6. Landscapes & Plants

Certain Plants and trees can help create a cool zone. If you’re open plan home or office is stationed near a pool or water feature an advantage is that cool breezes pass over the pool and into your space.

Did you know plants genuinely give off cooler shade than shade structure due to their transpiration and evaporation of water from plants leaves?

Diagram showing factors to a more energy efficient home.

Sources:

https://www.ga.fr/en/newsroom/brief-history-open-plan-layout
https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2015/oct/15/history-office-open-small-business-workplaces
http://fortune.com/2016/05/12/the-open-office-concept-is-dead/
https://www.makaan.com/iq/buy-sell-move-property/open-floor-plan-the-pros-and-cons
https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/energy-efficient-home-design

Green offices that keep staff healthy and happy are improving productivity & boosting businesses’ bottom line, finds WorldGBC report

The Transformation of Office Design

http://viewfinder.english-heritage.org.uk/search/reference.aspx?uid=212937&index=696&mainQuery=hospital&searchType=all&form=home

The history of office design

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/despina-katsikakis/the-case-for-healthy-offi_b_12674958.html
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jul/24/ln/FP607240338.html
https://www.kritzingerarchitects.com/copy-of-french-school
http://www.travelandtradesouthafrica.com/2012/11/south-africas-masters-in-contemporary.html

Allandale Building – Waterfall City

http://www.home-designing.com/2012/02/sensational-doesnt-even-begin-to-describe-it/contemporary-open-plan-living-area
http://materialicious.com/2012/09/mill-valley-retreat-with-a-treehouse-feel-by-urrutia-design.html
https://www.lunchboxarchitect.com/featured/energy-efficiency-redhead-alterations/
https://officesnapshots.com/2013/11/08/cuningham-groups-culver-city-warehouse-offices/

 

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About Bronwyn Brown

Blue Sky Thinker ☾ Advertising & Design Manager Photography, Nature & Animal Lover❁

Why we love Green (and you should too)

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Why we love Green (and you should too)

Let’s start with a simple explanation of what green is.

“Going green means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.”

Let’s take a look at some reasons of why we love green:

  • In the long run, you are doing the right thing for the environment. You are creating a cleaner and brighter future for your children and generations after.
  • Anytime you choose to walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation, you reduce (or totally eliminate) the carbon dioxide and particulate emissions created by driving a gas- or diesel-powered car.
  • Cost saving is always a big positive when it comes to going green – this can be achieved by moving over to digital files instead of continuously using paper.
  • Healthier work places for employees is a benefit indeed. Not only do employees think higher of the company as well as the employer, they tend to work for the company a lot longer.
  • By not inhaling all the harmful emissions there would usually be, there tends to be a lot less health issues
  • Tax credits can actually be added by companies that join the going green initiative, this includes using more environmentally friendly products, solar energy and many more.

 

Consumer demand

A company that has made the choice of being green conscious tends to be more in demand not only by consumers but by investors as well. Simply for the facts that it reflects well on them that they are trying to make a difference.
When a company goes green they tend to save money on utility costs. This does not necessarily mean using solar energy alone, you can also replace normal light bulbs with an energy saving light bulb.

Going green tends to help a company’s public image as well.

People tend to talk more about the good a company is doing when it comes to going green. I am sure you would rather have consumers talk about your company in a positive light instead of being known as just another company harming the environment and not caring.
Insurance companies tend to favour green companies more than usual, if your company or home has gone green or is making an effort to do so, some insurance companies tend to offer you a discount on your premiums.

 

Here are some companies that also love green:

1) Greenfin Financial Services (They finance smaller households to acquire solar installations)
2) Coca Cola (Designed new cans that can save up to 15000 tons of aluminium a year)
3) Dell (Most of their packaging materials are recyclable)
4) Honda (Started making more hybrid models available to consumers)

When looking at all the different reasons & benefits of why we love green, I think it is safe to say it really is the better choice.

 

So go ahead and love green we definitely do!!

 

Sources:
http://www.worldwatch.org/resources/go_green_save_green
http://www.thrall.org/special/goinggreen.html

21 Good Reasons To Go Green

10 Leading Companies That Efficiently Went “Green”

 

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About Genevieve Smith

Genevieve Smith, I have been working at Leads 2 Business for just over a year now. I work in the Johannesburg office as an account coordinator.

Quotes about our Environment

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Quotes about our Environment

Sir David Attenborough

There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.

Chief Seattle

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.

Albert Einstein

The environment is everything that isn't me.

Jacques Yves Cousteau

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.

Barack Obama

There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.

Native American Proverb

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children

Thomas Edison

Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge

Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not

Hans Christian Andersen

Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”

Voltaire

Men argue. Nature acts

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature never hurries: atom by atom, little by little, she achieves her work. The lesson one learns from yachting or planting is the manners of Nature; patience with the delays of wind and sun, delays of the seasons, bad weather, excess or lack of water
 
Environment
 

"An environment is all of the conditions, circumstances, that surround and influence life on earth, including atmospheric conditions, food chains, and the water cycle."

The environment is our surrounding that includes living as well as non-living things. The non-living components like land, water, air, temperature influence how animals, plants and we as human beings live in a particular area. Living creatures too are dependent on each other for food and shelter. If any of the environmental elements change, it automatically becomes harder and sometimes fatal for living organisms to survive.

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/david_attenborough
http://www.notable-quotes.com/a/alternative_energy_quotes_iii.html
http://www.brighthub.com/environment/green-living/articles/62807.aspx

 

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About George Harris

I started my incredible journey at Leads 2 Business in 2006. I am the Content Director, custodian of an incredible research team

Some WACKY & BIZARRE sources for Alternative ENERGY!!

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Some WACKY & BIZARRE sources for Alternative ENERGY!!

Did you know?

When I think of Green or Alternative Energy, I think of Wind and Solar Energy! But wind energy is inconsistent, and solar energy can’t be harnessed at night or on cloudy days.
Unfortunately, we live on a planet of finite resources, and we have some really clever scientist who rather than wait for the oil wells to run dry and coastal cities to disappear beneath rising sea levels, are exploring more unusual sources of producing and harnessing renewable energy, and decreasing worldwide dependency on fossil fuels.
With fossil fuels on the verge of being exhausted, the search for abundant, cheap energy is constant, and has led to some pretty strange, surprising and even ridiculous discoveries, some “pleasant” like coffee or chocolate and some “not so pleasant” like poop!

Here are 14 of the wackier ideas for alternative energy in no particular order!

Wacky no 1. PUSH POWER / TEXTING

Everywhere you look these days, people have their heads down, vigorously texting away as though their lives depended on it. Americans sent a whopping 12.5 billion text messages in just one month in 2006, and cell phone users in the United Kingdom send out one billion a week. Although it can be annoying, what if each of those finger taps could generate power?
That is the idea behind Push to Charge, one of the innovative entries into the 2008 Greener Gadgets Design Competition. The concept relies on what’s called piezoelectricity. Some metals can build up an electric charge under pressure, and this effect can be used to generate energy on surfaces like roads, floors and even cell phone screens.
The Push-to-Charge cell phone would feature plastic buttons sitting atop a layer of hard metal. The bottom layer would be made out of piezoelectric crystals, so that each time you pressed a button, the hard metal directly underneath it would hit the underlying crystal like a hammer, creating a small amount of voltage. Small wires located between the layers would convey the charge to a battery for storage.
The same technology could be used in any other product that features buttons, including computer keyboards and video games.
You have to agree that generating electricity simply by typing on a keyboard or keeping in touch with your friends and family is pretty awesome.

Wacky no 2. SUGAR

Did you know?: That sugar can be converted to hydrogen and that it could be a way to fuel a vehicle.
Researchers at Virginia Tech University are developing a way to convert sugar into hydrogen, which can be used in a fuel cell, providing a cheaper, cleaner, pollutant-free and odourless drive.
The method involves combining plant sugars, water and 13 powerful enzymes in a reactor, converting the concoction into hydrogen and trace amounts of carbon dioxide. The hydrogen could be captured and pumped through a fuel cell to produce energy. This process delivers three times more hydrogen than traditional methods, which translates into huge cost savings.
Research is also underway to develop the same technology to create long-lasting sugar-based batteries for laptops, cell phones and other electronics, although it could be another ten years before we begin to see any results from these experiments or before consumers can actually dump sugar into their fuel tanks.

Wacky no 3. LEFT-OVER FOODS

Did you know?: That the food and waste we throw out on a daily basis can be used to generate biofuel which can, in turn, be used as an alternative source of energy.
Our leftover foods such as fruit skins or coffee as well as other organic matter when stored and degraded over a period of time, generate methane and several other gases that can be used as biofuel.
Many small-scale industries have, in fact, started generating electricity with the biogas generated from collecting garbage.

Wacky no 4. BACTERIA (E.COLI)

If you are like ME, the word ‘E. coli’ makes me want to run for the hills!
But did you know?: That this tiny organism commonly associated with stomach cramps and vomiting could actually alleviate some of our energy challenges … by excreting crude oil.
As you know the world is full of bacteria which, like every living organism, have a survival plan for when food is in short supply. E. coli bacteria store fuel in the form of fatty acids, the same fatty acid that is needed for the production of biodiesel fuel.
Scientists removed enzymes from the bacteria to boost fatty acid production and then dehydrated the fatty acid to get rid of the oxygen, which turned it into a type of diesel fuel. That means because of the raw materials it uses, the process will take even more carbon out of the atmosphere than what it puts back in. And these organisms wouldn’t rely on any single agricultural waste, thereby eliminating the controversy over using specific food crops for fuel. Instead, the process would rely on whatever is abundant in the local environment.
The same bacteria that can make us sick can also help save people money and our environment, by providing fuel for transportation.

Wacky no 5. BODY HEAT

 

 

Finally, we’re reverting back to the traditional way of harnessing energy – Natural Body Heat!
Did you know?: The heat your body produces can warm an entire building? At least that’s what is happening in Stockholm and Paris, but Sweden has the most efficient method of harnessing it.
The body heat generated by the 250,000 commuters who crowd Stockholm’s railway station (Scandinavia’s busiest travel hub) each day is immense. This heat used to drift off into the air and was wasted until engineers have figured out a way to harness it and transfer it to a newly renovated office building down the block.
The heat generated by the commuters is captured by the station’s ventilation system and used to warm water in underground tanks. This water is then redirected into the office’s ventilation, thus heating the entire block.

Wacky no 6. HUMAN WASTE (NOT so Pleasant)

Did You Know?: That faeces (poo) contain methane, a colourless, odourless gas that could be used in the same way as natural gas, instead of fossil fuels.
At Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, researchers are working on an alternative to fossil fuels. They’ve developed a state-of-the-art toilet for use in developing countries that employs microwaves to chemically alter human waste into syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. This syngas can then be used in stacks of fuel cells to generate electricity, where one toilet could generate enough energy to power several households.
In Bristol, Australia a VW Beetle car is powered by methane captured from a raw sewage treatment plant. Engineers from Wessex Water estimate the waste from 70 homes can generate enough gas to make the car run for 10,000 miles.
Some companies claim to have found the best source: used nappies, as it’s an unlimited resource. Urea, on the other hand, due to its saline properties, can be easily hydrolysed to obtain hydrogen. Overall, urea is better than simple water for this process.
Urea is also an accessible, non-toxic, organic chemical compound rich in nitrogen. So, humans are constantly carrying around a chemical compound that can produce electricity.

Wacky no 7. Cows

Did you know?: That Cows are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
A 2006 United Nations report estimated that cows, along with other livestock like sheep and goats, contribute about 18 percent of the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. More than cars, planes and all other forms of transportation put together.
That’s largely true because bovine emissions are rich in methane, a gas that’s 21 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
Scientists have already developed a method for extracting methane from cow excrement and converting it to a biogas fuel that’s of sufficient quality to be fed into a standard natural gas pipeline. In California, a company called BioEnergy Solutions uses that method to produce 18,406 cubic meters of biogas from manure, enough to power 200,000 households.
Six hundred cows that produce 18,000 gallons of manure daily are helping a farm in Pennsylvania save $60,000 a year. The waste is used to produce electricity, bedding, fertilizer and heating fuel.
And Hewlett-Packard recently released a study explaining how a dairy farmer could make money by leasing land to Internet server companies, who could power computers with the methane.
In Argentina, a major beef producing nation where the collective herd of 55 million cattle outnumbers the human population, researchers have developed a special bovine backpack that captures a cow’s emissions via a tube attached to the cow’s stomach and discovered that the animals produce between 800 and 1,000 litters of gas each day.

Wacky no 8. VIBRATIONS

Did you know?: That the kinetic energy of people walking, dancing or jumping can be converted into electricity.
Need an excuse to go out clubbing? Club Watt in Rotterdam, Netherlands is using floor vibrations from people walking and dancing to power its own light show. A number of dance clubs in Japan have already implemented this technology in order to make their establishments self-sustainable.
This concept works on the principle of piezoelectricity. Piezoelectricity is produced when stress or strain is applied to an object, which can then be converted to electricity (see wacky no 1).
The technology used in the sustainable dance floors could potentially be applied to other situations, such as a bus or train station, for example, to make the most of kinetic energy generated by movement.
The U.S. Army is also looking at piezoelectric technology for energy. They put the material in soldier’s boots in order to charge radios and other portable devices, doable but not cheap.

Wacky no 9. Jellyfish

Did you know?: Jellyfish that glow in the dark contain the raw ingredients for a new kind of fuel cell.
Their glow is produced by green fluorescent protein, referred to as GFP. A team at the University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden placed a drop of GFP onto Aluminum electrodes and then exposed that to ultraviolet light. The protein released electrons, which travel a circuit to produce electricity.
The same proteins have been used to make a biological fuel cell, which makes electricity without an external light source. These fuel cells can be used on small, nanodevices such as those that could be implanted in a person to diagnose or treat disease.

Wacky no 10. Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes are a form of carbon, similar to graphite found in pencils. They are hollow cylindrical tubes and are 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, but stronger than steel. They are also good conductors of electricity and heat and have a very large surface area.
Carbon nanotubes have a range of potential uses, from armor-like fabrics to elevators that could lift cargo between Earth and the Moon. Recently, scientists from MIT have found a way to use carbon nanotubes to collect 100 times more solar energy than a regular photovoltaic cell.
The nanotubes could work as an antenna to capture and funnel sunlight onto solar arrays. This means that instead of having an entire rooftop covered in solar panels, a person may need just a small space.

Wacky no 11. Coffee Waste (Pleasant)

If you are like me, coffee is a life necessity that you absolutely can NOT go without!
But did you know?: That the cup of coffee that helps fuel you for the day, could soon also be used to produce bio-diesel fuel?
Every year, the global population consumes 600 billion cups of coffee. An average coffee shop throws out 10 kg of coffee every day. However, the coffee grounds that are thrown away can actually be used to produce bio-diesel fuel.
If all coffee grounds could be converted this way, it would create 2.9 million gallons of biodiesel every year. If all of the leftover grounds from Starbucks were reprocessed, they would produce 89,000 tons of such fuel pellets annually, enough to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the coffee-shop chain, as well as help counter rising fuel costs.
There will eventually be a time when your grandchildren will be filling up their car’s fuel tank with some coffee!

Wacky no 12. ALGAE

Did you know?: That Algae has a higher heat content than corn or sugar, making it more efficient as a fuel source?
Algae, yes the slimy green stuff you find at the bottom of a dam, contains cells which produce oil. In fact, half of its body weight is lipid oil. Lipid oil can be harvested and converted into fuel. The resulting biodiesel is more clean and efficient than petroleum and is more sustainable.
Although there are a few obstacles stopping algae fuel from being utilized on a huge scale, much research is being done to overcome these issues. The space that’s required to grow enough algae to produce a significant amount of oil, for example, is one obstacle. As is the fact that conditions, such as temperature, must be exact to enable optimum growth, which may be difficult to control.
The most promising option on this list, however, is algae, which could realistically replace fossil fuels on our planet.

Wacky no 13. ELECTRIC EELS

Did you know?: An Electric Eel can discharge an electrical current of over 400V at once?
Researchers are attempting to find a way to use this electric power of Electric Eels. This mechanism is used by the fish to defend itself from predators and to hunt small fish, but its main purpose is that of a radar system, a replacement for its nearly blind eyes.
A successful experiment was even conducted in Japan where a Christmas tree was lit up using the electricity generated by an eel.

Wacky no 14. Chocolate (Pleasant)

Did you know?: The shells of cocoa beans can also be converted into biofuel?
The waste left over namely cocoa bean shells from a chocolate factory in the U.K. was fed to E. coli bacteria, which resulted in the production of hydrogen. Hydrogen is one of the cleanest fuels, it’s only by-product being water.
The fat from chocolate was also converted into biofuel and used to power a racing car, which reached 130 miles per hour on a racetrack.

Wow!, Who would have thought that we could be saving our planet by drinking more coffee or indulging in chocolate, or by dancing the night away!!

What is your favourite wacky and bizarre alternative?

 

Sources:
http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/11/21/11-bizarre-sources-for-alternative-energy.html
https://www.scienceabc.com/innovation/unusual-alternative-energy-sources-never-heard.html
https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/five-forms-alternative-energy10.htm
https://greenfuture.io/sustainable-living/weird-renewable-energy-resources/

 

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

I joined Leads 2 Business as an Account Executive in July 2011, celebrating my 6th year work anniversary this month. I was part of the dynamic, Sales team in JHB for 2 years and have been in Durban for the remaining 4 years. I am very proud to be part of the L2B family and Legacy!

10 Myths about Green

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10 Myths about Green

Most people want to do their part in saving Mother Earth and preventing global warming, make some sort of difference in the world, even if it is by doing something small. Sometimes, however, the small things that you do, doesn’t always seem to be the right thing. There are so many do’s and don’ts floating around that you seem to feel like a small kid with his mother telling you with a pointed finger “don’t do this”, don’t do that” and “ do this and do that”, that you feel you should just crawl into a little corner and remain there for the remainder of your life.

However, never fear, Mythbusters is here (well, almost)

 

Here are a few Myths about ‘Going Green’ that have been, as they say, busted…

 

Myth: The cost of going green is too much. 

Fact: Truth is that some are costly, however in the long haul, developing some ‘green habits’ will save money. In the long run, you will be saving more than what you realize.

Myth: All paper can be recycled.

Fact: Most paper can be recycled; however, used napkins, paper plates and pizza boxes cannot be recycled

 

Myth: Foods that are organic are more earth friendly

Fact: This is not always the case. It all depends on where it has been grown, for example, local fruits and vegetables grown a few kilometres from your house is better than those that are imported. Buying organic is all about weighing the pro’s and con’s

 

Myth: Always turn off the lights when leaving a room

Fact: Turn off your incandescent lights if you plan to leave the room for more than 5 seconds. Turn off your CFL (Compact fluorescent lamp) if you plan to leave the room for more than 15 minutes. The typical incandescent bulb lasts about 1,000 hours, while a 15-watt CFL bulb lasts 10,000 hours and a 12-watt LED bulb lasts 25,000

 

Myth: It is better to wash dishes by hand.

Fact:  Believe it or not, but using a dishwasher is more ‘greener’ than washing by hand. Run your dishwasher only when it is full. By waiting till it’s full, you make the best use of the water and energy needed to wash your dishes.

 

 

 

Myth: Paper Bags vs Plastic Bags

Fact: In actual fact, neither of these is the greener option, it is better to shop with reusable canvas bags

 

 

 

Myth: Holding on to your great-great granny’s washing machine is a way to recycle.

Fact: Older machines and household appliances uses much more power than the newer generation. Machines have evolved with mankind.

 

 

 

 

Myth: Switching your geyser off saves energy

Fact: Switching your geyser off and back on again actually uses more electricity, think of your geyser as a giant kettle, it has an element that heats your water up. When using some of the hot water, it will be ‘topped up’ with cold water causing the temperature to drop a bit. The element will kick in and re-heat the water to the set temperature. When you switch your geyser off the hot water will slowly go cold. Switching the geyser back on will cause the element to heat up all the water in the geyser, which uses more electricity than needed. If you go away on holiday then it will be plausible to switch your geyser off as to not use electricity. Alternatively, you can switch to a solar water heating system.

 

 

 

Myth: Small electronic devices don’t need to be unplugged

Fact: Any device that is not in use can draw some sort of current, such as a cell phone charger. If your mobile phone is not charging then unplug the charger. Even when they are “off”, TVs, electronic equipment, WIFI routers, and computers continue to draw electricity all day. Put them all on a power strip and shut them totally off at night or when you leave the house to reduce energy use and save money.


Myth: Doing your washing in cold water won’t get your washing clean.

Fact: Washing your clothes in cold water will get rid of any dirt, except for the worst dirt or oily stains (this can be washed in hot water), leaving your clothes looking and smelling clean, but without the energy spent on heating the water.

 

 

There are many simple ways you “can do” to help. Take the leap, take the small step, plant a tree and always remember the 3 RE ’s: ReduceReuseRecycle.

 

 

 

 

 

Together we can help to save Mother Earth and look toward a better future.

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/13-ways-to-go-green-simple-ways-to-save-the-environment/
http://www.isotherm.co.za/switching-off-geyser-really-save-energy/

 

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.

 

About Nadine Vermeulen

I started working at Leads 2 Business in October 2014 in the Leads 2 Quotes Department. I managed all the Daily Tender Bill Requests and followed up on BoQ's for our Daily Tender Subscribers. In 2017, I was promoted to L2Q Assistant and now work with Bill of Quantities for Contractors. 🙂

Common Security Myths

posted in: Did You Know | 0

Common Security Myths

Myth (noun) – An unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution

Use strong passwords and don’t go to sketchy websites, and you’ll protect yourself online, right? Well… That’s a good start. But it’s not quite that simple.
The internet is evolving and so too is cybercrime.

Myth vs Reality:

Myth 1: Firewall + antivirus = total protection
Reality: Antivirus software and a firewall make it difficult for an intruder to get their hands on your information, but you also need to take protective measures. Free only offers basic antivirus and doesn’t have antispam, web filtering and behaviour analysis. Keep your software up to date and patched against vulnerabilities. Combining these technologies with good security habits is the best way to reduce your risk. Remember to lock or log off your computer when leaving your desk, even for a moment.

MYTH 2: Private browsing” is always private
Reality: Surfing the web in private (or incognito) mode prevents the browser — like Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer — from collecting data about your activities. But it doesn’t hide your browsing from your internet service provider and the websites you visit. It also doesn’t hide your IP addresses from web servers and online snoops. Private hides your history from other users on the same computer but it will be tied to your computer.

 

 

 

 

MYTH 3: Infected computers display nasty messages and are very slow.
Reality: The most dangerous hacker is not the one who wants to put a joke or a skull on your screen; it’s the one who stealthily works to take control of your computer and cause damage to your equipment or steal information they can use for their benefit. This type of hacker works to ensure that their activities are not noticed by you.

MYTH 4: I don’t go to dangerous sites, and I check my links, so I’m safe.
Reality: Your browser is the biggest vulnerability. Most recent attacks take advantage of weaknesses in browser-related technologies to compromise your system. By simply visiting a compromised website may be sufficient to allow an attacker to gain control of your system. As if this weren’t bad enough, many legitimate sites are compromised and become sources of infection. Avoid accessing the web from protected systems behind your firewall.

Myth 5: Cyber security? Just leave it to the IT department

Reality: Cyber security is a business risk, not just an IT problem. Setting up the proper technology tools to provide cybersecurity protection are necessary. Organizations, management and staff need to adopt and extend these policies to establish a unified security posture. Staff need to be trained, educated and aware of security risks. Implementing appropriate technical controls to safeguard the information that an organisation holds is the first line of defence against security threats.

Myth 6: My Wi-Fi is unhackable if I hide it
Reality: Most routers give you the option of making your network ‘invisible’. This leaves people believing that since no-one can see their network, no-one on the outside can hack their connection. If someone wants to hack your Wi-Fi, it is quite likely that they have the technical competence to know that most networks are hidden and the know-how to make them visible even though you have hidden the network name. Keep older routers up to date, use strong passwords and check your routers manual to learn how to enable WPA2 wireless encryption on your router.

 

Conclusion

The bottom line is IT security must be a priority for your business, no matter the size of your operation. Based on your industry and security needs, you can work with professionals to customize the appropriate level of coverage for your company. It’s important to remember to apply patches and upgrades and upgrade in a timely manner, but that will only carry you so far. The weakest link in security is still the human element.

Sources:

 

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About Chantélle Naudé

Been with Leads 2 Business for 9 years. Been working in the Leads 2 Quotes department ever since then. I am outspoken, fastidious, funny, people person and animal lover.

Interesting facts about Fire

posted in: Did You Know | 0

Interesting facts about Fire

Doing my diligent research for my blog I found some really interesting facts about fire, and I mean “interesting interesting” not “creepy interesting” like I am a budding pyromaniac looking for ways to burn down the world…..

Hearing the word “FIRE!” would strike fear and panic in anyone’s world. From a young age we are taught to respect (mainly fear) fire, it’s drilled into us how dangerous it can be…..don’t get too close, and more importantly…don’t play with fire (I can still remember that as a child I was told “If you play with fire, you will wet your bed”)…..that saying still pops into my mind when I see people standing around the social fire, maybe poking it with a branch to move the coals around, to get air underneath to make it burn better.

 

DID YOU KNOW? Fire is a triangle! In order for a fire to burn it needs 3 components: fuel, oxygen and heat. If one is missing, the fire dies! Those three components each have different methods of being extinguished. Fuel: remove the source, the fire dies! Oxygen: smother the fire with dirt, sand, chemical agent or blanket, the fire dies! Heat: cover with water, powder or foam, the fire dies!

DID YOU KNOW? A small candle will burn at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit (1000 degrees Celsius). A candle flame is blue at the bottom as this is the freshest source of oxygen and yellow at the top, partly due to the rising fumes from below which partly suffocate the upper half of the flame.

DID YOU KNOW? The flame is the visible part of the fire. The colour of the flame can be a result of what fuel is being consumed. Sodium colours the flame yellow, calcium red and potassium blue. Oxygen supply can also affect the colour of the flames. Low oxygen will give off a yellow glow and a high oxygen fire burns blue. But that is not all. Temperature can also play a role in the colour of the flames. From just visible to cherry red ranges from 980 – 1800 Fahrenheit (525 – 1000 Celsius), deep orange to clear orange 2000 – 2200 Fahrenheit (1100- 1200 Celsius) and whitish to dazzling ranges from 2400 – 2700 Fahrenheit (1300 – 1500 Celsius). Sounds like a rainbow, albeit a very dangerous rainbow!

DID YOU KNOW? Fire makes water? It’s true. Place a cold spoon over a candle and you will observe the water vapour condense on the metal…(I have not tried this because with my luck it will take a while and I will get my fingers burnt as the spoon heats up)

DID YOU KNOW? Earth is the only known planet where fires can burn! There is not enough oxygen anywhere else…..

DID YOU KNOW? Most house fires start in the kitchen and often start from overheated grease and unattended cooking. Electric stoves are responsible for more fires than gas stoves. Well, if that is not a sure sign that there should be a lot more takeout in my life and less dangerous cooking then I don’t know what is…….

DID YOU KNOW? It is unknown who actually invented the fire hydrant. Ironically the patent was destroyed by a fire in the US Patent Office in 1836.

DID YOU KNOW? Mixing cotton wool and super glue is a big No No (unless you are lost in the woods at night and only have a first aid kit with you which has these 2 items and you need to start a fire to keep warm and protect you from any wild animals). Applying enough super glue (cyanoacrylate) to cotton wool results in a rapid chemical reaction that could release enough heat to catch on fire…. (I was not brave enough to test this!)

Fire is mesmerizing, hypnotic, beautiful, scary, destructive, fierce, calming, consuming…. many many more adjectives come to mind.

Do you have any interesting DID YOU KNOW facts about fire? Would love to hear from you.

Sources:

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/11/super-glue-chemically-reacts-with-cotton-and-wool-to-generate-enough-heat-to-start-a-fire/

 

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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

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

posted in: Did You Know | 1

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.
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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: How To Extinguish Different Kinds of Fire?

posted in: Did You Know | 2

How To Extinguish Different Kinds of Fire?

Did you know that in order for a fire to exist there must be four elements present? The four elements are namely oxygen to sustain combustion heat to raise the material to the correct temperature, fuel to support combustion and a chemical reaction – (Oxygen + Heat + Fuel) = Chemical reaction. This very simple formula will determine the extinguishing agent you need to be using in order to put out your fire.

How many people just run for water when there is a fire?

Unfortunately, it is not that simple!

Let me simplify the concept of fire and how we can extinguish these fires:

 

Types of fire:

Class A – Ordinary combustion, these are flammable materials and these fuels the source e.g. Wood, cloth, paper and even your basic day to day trash.

Class B – This fire source uses flammable liquids e.g. petroleum, different kind of tars, oils and even paint.

Class C – Energized electrical equipment/components e.g. Computers, servers, motors, transformers and our daily appliances.

Class D – Combustible metals e.g. magnesium, titanium, sodium, lithium and potassium – these are mainly present in a laboratory environment.

Class K – Cooking oils and greases – We all cook meals with either vegetable or animal fats and these are the components that can start this fire.

Now that we know about and understand the different classes of fire, let’s discuss our different options for extinguishing these fires.

 

The different types of fire extinguishers:

  1. Water – The water extinguisher has a cooling effect on the burning agent causing the fire to burn more slowly.
  1. Powder – Dry powder extinguishers smother the fire and form a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen that is allowing the fire to ignite.
  1. Foam – Foam extinguishers have a cooling effect on the burning agent, creating a barrier between the flame and the fuel that is causing the reaction.
  1. Carbon dioxide – CO2 Extinguishers suffocates the fire allowing it to kill off the oxygen that is reacting with our fuel source.
  1. Wet Chemical – Wet Chemical extinguishers work by creating a layer of foam that prevents the oxygen from fuelling the fire. It creates a cooling effect and kills the fire.

 

The last thing we will be discussing to solve all your fiery situations are which fire extinguisher types to use for the different classes of fire:

Type Class A Class B Class C Class D Class K
  Combustible Materials Flammable Liquids Electrical Equipment Combustible Metals Cooking Oil & Gas
Water x x x x
Foam x x x
Dry Powder x
CO2 x x x
Wet Chemical x x x

 

Sources

http://surreyfire.co.uk/types-of-fire-extinguisher/

http://www.strikefirstusa.com/2016/05/five-classes-of-fires-fire-extinguishers-stop-them/

http://www.femalifesafety.org/types-of-fires.html

 

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.
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About Roxanne Mustard

My Name is Roxanne Mustard and I started working at Leads 2 Business in September 2016. My role in the Leads 2 Business team is as a Content researcher in the Daily Tenders Department.

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