Exploding the Myths of Insulating Concrete Form Construction Technology

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The insulating concrete forms (ICF) industry is rampant with inaccurate information. Some have been passed along by industry members, while others represent simple misunderstandings about the technology. Most of these misstatements are made by persons that simply lack the appropriate knowledge behind the information. The toughest part of researching ICFs is not finding the information, but sorting through all of the inaccurate information.

Virtually every aspect of the ICF industry is affected by misstated information, but the most common issues involve discussions of R-Value, waterproofing, and termites and bugs. R-value statements range from R-18 to R-50+. To explode this myth and get a clearer understanding of this myth, you will need a firm understanding of R-value and the difference between PERFORMANCE and TRUE R-values.

Myth 1: R-Value

An R-value is the measure of resistance (R) of heat flow. Heat flow can be resisted by insulating materials such as plastic foams or mineral fibers, or can be slowed by massive dense materials such as thick masonry or concrete. The larger the R-value, the greater the resistance and the better the insulating value.

All building materials transfer heat to some degree. Heat transfer can be measured by any of the following: 1. Conductivity (k); 2. Conductance (c); 3. Transmittance (U); 4. Resistance (R).

The ability of dense materials to retard heat flow depends on their ability to store heat and is measured by specific heat and heat capacity. (BTU per lb. Per degree F; Density lb. Per cu.ft.; Heat Capacity BTU per cu.ft. per degree F)

When it comes to stating R-values in residential construction, the insulation values applied to a wall or ceiling typically refer to the R-value of the insulation material that is installed, not of the wall or ceiling assembly. For example, when a 2×4 stud wall is insulated with R-11 batt type insulation, the builder states that the wall is an R-11. This is not totally accurate and is NOT TRUE since approximately 20% of the wall is not insulated at all. The wood framing and sheathing do have an R-value, but for the sake of making insulation claims, they add very little. The real R-value or PERFORMANCE R-value ends up between R-3 and R-9. Add to this, the fact that the wall is full of penetrations, such as electrical outlets etc. and the fact that the wall itself is basically hollow in nature. This added thought leads to another discussion on air leakage through the wall.

With ICF technology, the TRUE insulation value of the wall is that of the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) since the EPS provides a continuous insulation plane from the footing to the top plate. The insulation value of the EPS is determined by the density and thickness of the material. Some ICF systems have EPS that is of differing thickness (waffle and post and beam systems) that typically average the thickness of the foam. This is, in my opinion, not an accurate measurement since a bucket with a hole in the bottom doesn’t carry as much water as a solid bucket with a hole at the top. Most ICFs utilize EPS foam that has a density of approximately 1.5 lbs pcf to 2.0 lbs pcf. The insulation values differ only slightly in that range and depending on the testing laboratory, provide R-values between R-4 and R-4.5 per inch of EPS thickness.

The claim that ICF walls are an R-50 started a few years ago after the Insulating Concrete Form Association (ICFA) and several members commissioned CTL Laboratories in Chicago to perform some R-value testing and analysis. The summary of the report basically said that depending on the climate zone, the PERFORMANCE R-values for ICF technology is as high as an R-52 when COMPARED to typical wood frame and batt construction. In order to make the comparison correct, one must insure that the comparison is being done vs. the alternative to ICF on the particular project. On average, the performance R-value is much less than the claimed R-50. Research by the consumer must be done to clarify the comparison for the actual project. In short, ICF will PERFORM at an R-50, but that statement is not accurate as far as an insulation value goes.

For more information on insulation values, green building, and energy efficient building, try these websites for research:Energy Star Program, Concrete Homes. Do a Google search to find others many others. It is worth noting that there are many options for research on the internet and that I neither own nor control any of the suggested research links listed in this article.

Myth 2: Waterproofing

Yes, below grade concrete construction should always be waterproofed and this includes ICF technology. Three options include: dimpled membrane, peel and stick membrane, and roll-on/spray-on products. In some jurisdictions in the US, a combination of dimpled membrane and peel and stick membrane or roll-on/spray-on products must be used to meet local building codes. It is best to consult your local building code officials and your local ICF supplier to ensure that you meet the minimum code requirements and use only products that are compatible with EPS.

Myth 3: Termites and Bugs

According to the ICFA, the International Residential Code has provisions in the IRC to allow for foam to be used below-grade. The IRC stipulates in addition to chemical soil treatment, foam can be used below-grade on the exterior of the wall if one of the following requirements is met:

  1. All interior partition walls and roof trusses are built of a non-combustible material such as steel studs or pressure treated lumber.
  2. An approved method for protecting the foam plastic and structure is used.

Polyguard Underseal(TM) XT Waterproofing Membranes has an evaluation report that shows they are an approved method for protecting foam from termites below-grade. Checkout the Polyguard website for additional Polyguard information. Tip, you may want to install an aluminum termination bar along the top edge (AKA: termite stop-ant stop). One benefit, besides stopping insects, is that the termination bar helps out with screeding stucco, etc. over the foam which you will need to protect the exposed area of foam. Also, don’t run your siding down to the grade. This is just another shortcut for ants, termites, and other insects to get up the wall and start nesting behind your siding.

Remember, these insects don’t eat the foam, but they can burrow through it, especially in search of food. Eliminate the food source and eliminate the problem. Wood products can be totally replaced in your new home. There is no longer any reason to use wood products in areas of the US with high termite infestation. Consider steel framing, AZEK Trimboards and V-Buck for your next project and get the wood out! Although many additional myths exist and continue to thrive, it is important that you remain diligent in your information gathering. As you seek additional information, be sure to work with those that have the heart of a teacher. Seek those that have a passion for the industry and both understand and can explain the issues.

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An Information Technology Consulting Company That Is Perfect for a Biotech Firm – 7 Signs

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Small and midsize Biotech companies do not have the financial resources that their larger pharmaceutical counterparts have. This means that they must be even smarter in how they spend. Larger firms have deeper pockets for their projects while Biotech startups and medium sized firms must find investors if they do not have enough in the R&D budget. Thus, due to budget limitations, the small to midsize Biotech companies must find creative methods to use their limited resources while growing their business. The most effective way for them to do this is to make sure that the company they are hiring is a great long term match. When looking for an Information Technology firm to hire, Biotech companies should look for seven major signs.

An Information Technology consulting company that truly understands and embraces their Biotech clients’ needs should be experienced and knowledgeable in serving the Biotech industry. We believe there are seven traits that a successful IT partner should have:

1. They should have an understanding of the biotechnology industry and specific needs that may come up such as regulatory requirements, clinical trial needs, GMP standards, HIPAA (in some cases), FDA compliance, ISO certifications, trade secret protections, vendor relations with proprietary lab equipment manufacturers etc.

2. They should have a leadership background and many years of experience in the industry (over 10 is a good number). They should be able to work with C-level executives as well as line workers so they know the needs at the front line as well as the needs of a growth business at a high level.

3. They must be responsive and agile. In the biotechnology industry, innovation is key and getting to the market faster means reaching profitability sooner and thus, having less need to get additional rounds of funding. In other words, an agile response is equal to time and money saved.

4. They must work closely and strategically with the company. They should not just be on-call technicians who come and fix things without seeing the big picture. There are two distinct needs within every biotechnology company: administrative and research. Therefore, technicians must be able to keep computers working for admin purposes but must also be technologically strategic enough to leverage their knowledge of technology into profits; thus allowing their clients to increase productivity, decrease costs, and get to the market quicker.

5. An Information Technology firm that has their clients’ best interests in mind will consistently be thinking about cost savings. Based on their years of experience, a veteran IT firm will have several methods as to how to cut or even eliminate extra costs dealing with equipment, labor or time, for their client. Thus, by choosing an IT money saving expert, the client will be able to save on expenditures.

6. An efficient IT firm knows how to find creative solutions to a current network issue a client may have and may even be able to foresee related issues in the future and prevent them from happening.

7. An Information Technology firm that is familiar with the nuance associated with proprietary lab equipment is able to understand that they are manufactured differently and that they are unique in their operation. For example, some are standalone units, some work in an active directory domain environment, some operate in a quasi-domain environment, and some come with very lax security protection that should be corrected. The IT firm will also understand that they all require careful security reviews and possibly security changes in order to integrate it to the company network.

As the owner of an Information Technology consulting company in San Diego, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of San Diego based biotechnology companies. Often times, the pains and needs that they share with me are very similar. After all, they are all racing to bring their products to market sooner, they want it done right the first time, and done cost effectively. Some say, with this economy we have to do more with less. I say, you should do more with less – always!

Being well-versed with the biotechnology sector does not give the IT consulting company license to overcharge their Biotech clients. A good Information Technology partner will have a good handle of human resources on their team to appropriately assign the needed resource when that expertise is required on a project.

An IT firm that is dedicated to their client establishes a relationship with them that is more of a partnership. Instead of labeling the client as just another account, an Information Technology consulting company that truly cares for their client’s best interests goes the extra mile for them. Here in San Diego, we once got a call from a client that had a problem with his laptop computer. He could not get it to work and had an important presentation at an executive meeting to do. We took his laptop, fixed it for him and delivered it to his meeting just in time. Our client was very pleased and so were we.

The perfect Information Technology partner for a technology, research and development oriented company is one that can leverage IT and help their client move agilely with the market, get their products to market sooner and, most importantly, do more with less.

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How Mobile App Technology Is Transforming The Healthcare Industry

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Mobile technology has its impact in the Healthcare, Medical, and Pharmaceutical industry. Mobile apps are helpful to the doctors, fitness experts, patients & hospital management staff. Doctors prescribe the patients through apps. Patients can get on-time reminders for medicine & regular health checkups. Mobile health technology has formulated the new ways that doctors can assist patients, health conscious people can remain healthy by using fitness apps. Hospital management staff can easily maintain the stock of medicines, injections & other activity by using Mobile Apps.

Medical professionals other than doctors such as medical practitioners, Hospital Management staff & students also make use of apps for the ease of all sorts of operations & routine tasks.

A survey conducted in the US reveals 62% US smartphone owners have used their phone to get information about a health condition in the year of 2015. Therefore, it is proved that mobile apps belong to Healthcare industry get a good user response.

Let’s Understand How Mobile Apps are Transforming the Healthcare Industry-

Mobile Apps for Doctors-

The medicinal services experts, specialists, Physicians and Medical understudies additionally need to experience some clinical data. For the most part, an application of a therapeutic word reference is helpful for the rehearsing specialists and understudies. For any sort of inquiry in medicinal terms, they can rapidly get the best arrangement.

Medical Apps for Doctors have normal components, for example, Medical news, Drug data and devices, Disease and Condition Information, Medical Calculators, Drug Formulary Information, Continuing Medical Education Courses, Offline Assess, and so forth.

By introducing an application, Doctors can know about the Medical gatherings plans, critical diary articles, meeting news, and so forth. Specialists can refresh themselves about the medications and dose, recipes, scales, etc.

Healthcare Mobile Apps for Patients

Owing to unhealthy food, polluted weather, tight professional schedule & disturbed routine life cycle each individual is suffering from small or big health issues.

Due to unhealthy food consumption, polluted weather, tight professional schedule & disturbed routine life cycle each individual is suffering from small or big health issues. It is better that they know about various wellbeing conditions, maladies, medals and some home cures. Best healthcare mobile applications have a decent accumulation of information including different restorative circumstances, suggestions to take prescriptions, and so on.

In some cases, the patients with an urgent need to call for the Ambulance. The applications can help you immediately when you are in critical condition. When you press the help button in an urgency numbers, get a notice about the urgency made alongside the location.

Indeed, even a Doctor can oversee wellbeing records, arrangements, Patient’s well-being history, the past and current wellbeing condition and so on. The different applications are accessible for the comfort of Doctors. With the assistance of versatile applications for patients, it’s simple for the Doctors to track a record of all patients seek the treatment. Admin department can likewise leave restorative arrangement suggestions to the patients through email, SMS, and direct application notifications.

Some huge clinics likewise oversee itemized information of all patients. A patient’s therapeutic record journal can likewise be overseen through Mobile applications.

Mobile Apps for Pharmaceutical Companies

The pharmaceutical organizations fabricate different medications and a considerable lot of them can offer their meds through the mCommerce application. As an eCommerce business has far to go, Pharmaceutical organizations, likewise have jumped into it.

They encourage you to gather the endorsed drugs from your doorstep with discounted rates. The clients can transfer a photo of the Doctor’s depiction or select diagnosis tests.

At the point when a request for the medicine is dropped, an accomplice retailer contacts the client and convey the correct medications with sensible rates. Best Pharmaceutical applications encourage the clients for well-being and therapeutic charging too.

Hospital Management with the Mobile Apps

Huge and popular international healing centers have numerous wards and treat various patients all the while. They keep an additional a staff of many individuals, including specialists, medical caretakers, ward cleaners, supporting staff, Admin, Security, and so forth. Indeed, even the master specialists from alternate healing centers likewise visit the patients conceded. Consequently, healing centers have a major information to deal with consistently. The superlative application advancement organizations can easily create the full, highlighted applications for the doctor’s facility administration.

Doctor’s facilities put a supply of different medications and solutions, infusions, operational instruments, stretchers and other gear, machines, and so forth. Stock upkeep of numerous drugs is an intense errand. The staff can utilize a particular versatile application for the same. Versatile applications show a rundown of drugs with accessible stock. Administration staff gets the warning for the pharmaceuticals with low stock and out of the stock.

Medicinal mobile applications for Doctors and patients are truly useful from various perspectives. Any medicinal expert just requires the sharp personalities for versatile application development who can comprehend their necessities and fabricate a perfect application.

Mobile Applications for Fitness freaks

In the fast paced life, individuals have turned out to be more cognizant about their wellness and wellbeing. The everyday routine includes exercise in morning and evening and managing calorie intake the applications can help with the nutrition and calorie intake.

Yoga is the best practice for physical and mental prosperity. Introduce yoga application and experience the recordings as you practice the discipline. Wellness versatile applications additionally specify how “Aasans” and “Pranayam” are valuable for wellbeing. The full-included body wellness applications can direct you precisely as the specialists.

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Jobs for Felons in Information Technology – Find Out If You Are a Fit for These Felon Friendly Jobs

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Information technology job opportunities for felons pay well and offer fast career advancement. IT jobs for felons do require extensive technical knowledge but the main advantage to IT jobs for felons is that demand for IT skills is high compared to other industries even during the current economic downturn.

According to the most recent study by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT jobs are expected to grow more than twice as fast as the average for all other occupations. This report takes into account the recent dot-com bust and recovery as well as outsourcing trends. In other words, even with the off shoring of IT jobs and the economic slump, the IT industry is still one of the leading growth industries in the U.S. today.

So what IT jobs for felons are available?

Information Technology is the study, design, implementation and management of computer-based information systems, chiefly software applications and computer hardware.

The IT jobs for felons that are in high demand include computer software engineers, network systems and data communications analysts, systems analysts, and network and systems administrators, again according to the Department of Labor’s report.

Since the IT field is quite large, there is no one personality type that is needed to succeed. There is room for introverted, both technical IT people and extroverted business or sales-oriented IT people.

However, the one quality that all IT people must have is a willingness to keep on learning. The software programs and computer hardware of today will be outdated in a few years so IT professionals must study new technologies constantly.

Jobs for Felons: Information Technology

Information technology is one of those career paths that are suitable for ex-felons because there are a lot of IT jobs for felons available due to the industry’s high growth rate.

If you apply for regular employment then you will definitely have to go through a background check. This can be a problem if the IT job involves handling a lot of sensitive information. Whether you will be able to land a job after the employer finds out about your past will depend on the type of felony, recency and evidence of rehabilitation.

One option you can look into is working freelance. No background checks will be involved since you will not be employed by any company or organization. Freelance IT jobs for felons simply entail looking for clients and working as an independent contractor. This has become very popular among felons because the internet has made it easier than ever before to find freelance IT job opportunities for felons online. You can even work from the comfort of your own home. This is a great option for people who want to spend more time with their families as well as those who have disabilities.

Jobs for Felons: Information Technology

Almost all colleges and universities in the U.S. have IT programs so you will not have any problems finding the right certification, diploma or degree program for you. You can choose to either study on campus or online.

The best high-paying IT jobs for felons do require a bachelor’s degree in information technology and/or certification so keep that in mine if you want to work for the top IT companies.

On the other hand, there are a few companies that offer on-the-job training although this is mostly for entry-level jobs.

For freelance work, you will need at least some certifications and probably an associate degree. Clients who hire freelancers will look at both qualifications and experience so once you have established a good IT work history you will be able to choose from among the better-paying IT jobs for felons.

Information Technology Jobs for Felons: Summary

Information technology jobs for felons are a good choice for ex-offenders because they pay well. IT is also a fast-growing industry with many job opportunities for felons. Information technology is a large field and people of all personality types can succeed in this type of work but you should be willing to learn and master constantly evolving technologies. In addition, you will need to finish a diploma or degree course in information technology to get the best jobs for felons available.

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Information Technology and Textile Industry

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Today, Information technology (IT) plays a vital role in the field of textile industry. Any manufacturing unit employs four Ms that is, Men, Material, Machine and of course Money. To get organizational success, managers need to focus on synchronizing all these factors and developing synergies with in and outside organizational operations. With the increased competition, companies are taking support of IT to enhance its Supply Chain Management (SCM) and using it as a competitive edge. In short, many textile companies are leveraging the technological power to adding value to their business.

Supply Chain Management includes: sourcing, procuring, converting, and all the logistic activities. It seeks to increase the transaction speed by exchanging data in real-time, reduce inventory, and increased sales volume by fulfilling customer requirements more efficiently and effectively.

Why Textile Industries Need IT Support?

Lack of information on demand and supply aspects

Most of the decisions a manager takes are related to demand and supply issues. But unfortunately very few are able to get it, as a result decisions taken carries risk and uncertainty. Excess inventory is one of the most common problems faced by managers which further results in long cycle-time, outdated stock, poor sale, low rates, and reduction in order visibility and finally leads to customer dissatisfaction.

Long procurement time

In a traditional textile industry, procurement process takes a much longer time. So, the retailers need to forecast demand and identify consumption trends at a much earlier stage. Lack of clarity about future can either result in early stock out, delay or overstock.

Supply chain in-competency

With the urge for getting global, apparel and textiles are facing hurdles of inefficiency in carrying out various processes involved right from designing, developing samples, getting approval, manufacturing, dispatching to payment procedures. The total time taken can get extended to one year or even longer. If we calculate, production actually accounts for just ten to twenty percent of the total time. Rest of the time is taken for the information processing from one end to the other.

The trajectory of development of Information Technology has intersected every application in textile industry. From enhancing performance of textile manufacturing and tighter process control, IT has inserted intelligence at every node of textile supply chain.

Step into the global trade

It is a fact that a company going global is opened with lot of opportunities as well as threats in terms of competition, changing trends, and other environmental changes. It necessitates managing every kind of information efficiently and at much faster speed.

Interaction of Information Technology with Textile Supply Chain

Sharing of Information

Proper flow of information among supply chain member is very crucial. Such flow of information can influence the performance of overall supply chain operations. It includes data about customers and their demand, inventory status, production and promotion plan, shipment schedules, payment details, etc. Bar coding and Electronic data interchange are the two information technology tools which can facilitate information integration.

Bar coding facilitates recording of detailed data by converting it to electronic form and can be easily shared among members through EDI system. EDI with its high efficiency is able to replace the traditional ways of transmission like telephone, mail and even fax. EDI enables managers to analyze and apply it in their business decisions. It also helps in expediting order cycle that reduces investment in inventory. EDI based network enables Company to maintain quick response and closure relations with suppliers and customers, who are geographically dispersed. Manufacturers and retailers can share even new designs developed through CAD/CAM.

Supports planning and execution operations

Planning and coordination are very important issues in supply chain management. The next step after sharing information is planning which includes joint design and implementation for product introduction, demand forecasting and replenishment. Supply chain members decide their roles and responsibility which is coordinated through the IT system.

Various software tools like MRP, MRP-II, APSS facilitates planning and coordination between different functional areas within the organization.

Material Requirements Planning (MRP): It helps in managing manufacturing processes based on production planning and inventory control system. Proper implementation of MRP ensures availability of material for production and product for consumption at right time optimizes the level of inventory and helps in scheduling various activities. MRP system uses computer databases to store lead times and order quantity. MRP includes mainly three steps: first assessing the requirement of how many units of components is required to produce a final product; here it applies logic to implement Bill of Material (BOM) explosions. Second step includes deducting the stock in hand from gross to find out net requirement. Finally, scheduling manufacturing activities such that finished goods are available when required, assuming the lead time.

Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRPII) system is a logical extension of MRP system which covers the entire manufacturing function. This typically includes machine loading, scheduling, feedback and Software extension programmes in addition to material requirement planning. It provides the mechanism to evaluate the feasibility of a production schedule under a given set of constraints.

A textile company which has multipoint manufacturing and engaged in global business necessitates something more than MRP and MRP-II like Distribution Requirement Planning (DRP), it has ability to solve both capacity and material constraints and quickly propagates the effects of problems in both backward and forward direction throughout the supply chain.

The Advance Planning and Scheduling (APSS) system includes both material focus of MRP and rapid response scheduling power of MRP-II.

Coordination of logistics flows

Workflow coordination can include activities such as procurement, order execution, implementing changes, design optimization, and financial exchanges which results in cost and time efficiency. The results are cost-effective, speedy and reliable supply chain operations.

IT contributes towards the maximizing the value of textile supply chain through integrating supply chain operations within and outside the organization and collaborating the acts of vendors and customers based on shared forecasts. Internet adds to IT contribution towards supply chain management through coordination, integration and even automation of critical business processes. New system of the supply chain game emerges as a result of business innovation fuelled by the Internet.

Many supplying companies maintain demand data by style, size, fabric and color to replenish inventory at retail outlet. Level of replenishing is predetermined by both parties after reviewing history of sales by product and buying behavior of the community.

New Business Models:

Data mining and data warehousing

Data mining is the process of analyzing data from different viewpoints and summarizing it into useful information that can be used as a basis of monitoring and control, enabling companies to focus on the most important aspects of their business. It allows users to analyze data from many different dimensions, categorize it, and summarize the relationships identified. In short it is the process of finding correlations or relationship among dozens of fields in large relational databases.

Data warehousing is the repository of data and can be defined as a process of centralized data management and retrieval. Centralization of data maximizes user access and analysis.

E-commerce

E-commerce can be B2B (Business To Business) and B2C (Business To Customer). B2C commerce is the direct selling to consumers through Internet. While B2B marketplace can be defined as neutral Internet-based intermediaries that focus on specific business processes, host electronic marketplaces, and use various market-making mechanisms to mediate transactions among businesses. B2B appears to be more prospective than B2C.

E-retailing

The textile-retail giants are adding an Internet shopping-component to their offering. It has affected their distribution and warehousing infrastructure. As a result of going online, retailers have changed their supply chain strategy. High volume products with stable demand are stocked in local stores, while low-volume products are stocked centrally for online purchasing.

Companies prefer a direct route to consumers by closely scrutinizing individual customer’s tastes, preferences, habits, and buying patterns. Instead of waiting for consumers to visit their stores, retailers simply send them e-mails with offers. Internet has facilitated quick response system. With the use of web-enabled technology it is possible to have automatic customer replenishment system.

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