West Ham have £20million bid for Marko Arnautovic rejected by Stoke

first_imgStoke have rejected a bid of £20million from West Ham for forward Marko Arnautovic.The 28-year-old asked to leave the bet365 Stadium earlier his week, handing in a transfer request, and it is understood the Hammers have made a move.However, with Arnautovic only 12 months into a four-year contract, the Potters have a strong bargaining position and have turned down the London club’s advances.Arnautovic is currently with the squad in Switzerland for their pre-season training camp.The Austria international was linked with Everton last year before signing his new deal and Stoke would be unwilling to have another transfer saga.With the current inflated transfer market, Arnautovic would be expected to command a large fee should Stoke even be tempted to sell.Arnautovic joined from Werder Bremen in 2013 and has made 145 appearances, scoring 26 goals, for the Potters. He netted seven times in 35 games last season. Marko Arnautovic: The Austrian has handed in a transfer request at Stoke 1last_img read more

Erik Karlsson talks chemistry with Burns on Sharks power play

first_imgSAN JOSE — Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi stated the obvious after the Sharks power play broke through with three goals Thursday night. Things worked out well with Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns skating on different units.Both defensemen are super creative, produce a high volume of offense and are used to playing the role of quarterback on the power play. Through the Sharks first six games, they struggled to hit the right notes on stage together.In some ways, it’s like putting Jimi Hendrix …last_img

World-class banking for 2010

first_imgA section of the massive Absa Bank callcentre in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.(Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Wilma den HartighThe 2010 Fifa World Cup will not only boost South Africa’s tourism industry, it will also be an opportunity for the country to show off its sophisticated banking system to the world.According to Nikki Tyrer, Accenture South Africa’s heads of customer relations management, the financial services sector should make the most of this opportunity by offering efficient service to visitors at all times.According to Accenture research, South African banks will be under severe pressure during the World Cup. With more than 3-million visitors expected in South Africa, foreign exchange and ATM facilities will experience much higher volumes of tourist traffic.Coping with this demand will require meticulous planning. Banks should, for example, set up additional exchange counters in branches and ensure ATMs are always online and stocked more often.Tyrer said that while the services locals and international tourists needed may be fairly similar, the visitors could require more help in areas such as language. More than this, plans must be made for situations such as an ATM machine swallowing a foreign tourist’s bank card late in the evening when the traveller is due to fly home the following morning.South African banks could learn from the Bank of China, she said, which set up a multilingual call centre for international tourists as part of its drive to improve customer service during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.All their branches and key staff were given training in business acumen, service etiquette, foreign languages and servicing customers with disabilities. Tyrer said tourists travelling to South Africa are unlikely to prefer a specific bank and all branches will be a key point of contact for many clients. Banks should consider additional signage in foreign languages and employ more floor staff to help with queries.Prof Hennie van Coller, head of the Afrikaans Department at the University of the Free State, says the skills needed for a multilingual call centre can be readily found . “South Africa definitely has all the language expertise needed to set up a facility like this,” Van Coller said.The university’s foreign language departments have already discussed setting up such a facility. He explained that it will also be useful in other sectors such as health, safety and general communication queries.Volunteers from across the county could participate and need not be stationed in one place, Van Coller said. Postgraduate foreign language students could also get involved in the project, which could be structured as part of the courses.Accenture also recommended that banks extend operating hours, step up security and even expand product offerings. For the Beijing Olympics, the Bank of China created targeted products for tourists such as “Olympic Temporary Accounts” and safe box facilities.Other financial services institutions could also step in, which insurance companies, for example, offering short-term insurance against theft, or medical cover.Doret Els, an economist with financial and investment firm Efficient Group, said the financial sector has already started taking steps in the right direction. “The latest development that allows people to pay for fuel with credit cards is very useful to South Africans and foreigners,” Els said.She added that international visitors are used to sophisticated financial systems, which is why electronic banking systems are so important. Most tourists would prefer to make transactions electronically, instead of carrying large amounts of cash on them.Accenture’s research had similar findings. Small businesses and vendors may require point-of-sale (POS) facilities for foreign tourists. Tyrer said financial institutions could supply POS facilities at a reduced rate for smaller businesses.“If we have good financial structures it will attract more investment into the country in the future,” Els said. “This is a great opportunity that South Africa has to leverage.”According to Accenture, the 2006 Fifa World Cup in Germany resulted in an annual GDP increase of 0.7%. Revenues from tourism and travel exceeded US$400-million (R4-billion), with a further $2.62-billion (R512-billion) attributed to retail sales during the four-week tournament.South Africa stands to draw similar benefits for growth and investment, with its GDP expected to grow by about $2.1-billion (R21.3-billion) – a figure many economists consider to be an underestimate. Tyrer encouraged all sectors of the economy to prepare to create a positive experience for tourists, encouraging them to return.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articles2010 to give SA a $2.5bn boost Top marks for SA auditing SA banking net spreadsSA banks overtake global giants Standard Bank on the money Useful linksAccenture South AfricaUniversity of the Free StateEfficient GroupSouth Africa 2010FifaSouthAfrica.info: 2010last_img read more

Flash and Batt in the Roof

first_imgIs this passage open to interpretation?AJ Builder isn’t so sure that Holladay has it right. He points out that the code provision uses the words “direct contact” in explaining where the impermeable layer of foam has to go. But the batts can then be placed “directly under” that.“If you stand directly under me and I drop my hammer, it will hit you,” AJ Builder writes. “So the language is open to interpretation [in my opinion]. Not saying whether the idea is good… Not against someone seeing if the idea works or not.”Come on, replies Dana Dorsett, “even a first-year weasel lawyer would have a tough time concocting an interpretation that the air-permeable insulation didn’t need to be in VERY close proximity, even though code dos not demand a compression-fit contact with the air-impermeable foam.”But in a broader sense, AJ Builder argues that widely held beliefs about certain building practices aren’t always accurate.“Codes aren’t perfect,” he says, “as some above have stated. In all actuality there are many assemblies that work that one person will say not to do and another one will do and works just dandy. And then there are assemblies that are pushed here, such as putting rigid foam on OSB properly, yet I have taken apart some rotted messes built as such.”He specifically points to the work of Bruce Brownell, a builder in New York’s Adirondack region who uses layers of foam to insulate houses at R-values that shouldn’t work in that climate zone but somehow do.“There are so many times here that R-value of a wall is mentioned, where the R-value is actually way lower due to the fact that it is discontinuous and has a multitude of other problems,” AJ Builder says. “So R-value, folks, is very much a slippery, slippery number to [the] point of losing real value if not fully explained every time it is used…” What’s the science behind the code requirement?Whatever the code might read, the building science in this case is key, Dorsett explains.“Whether it creates a problem depends a lot on how the intervening space is used (if at all), and the ratio of foam-R/fiber-R at the attic floor,” he writes. “Airtightness at the ceiling plane below the floor becomes hyper-critical if the R-ratio isn’t super robust. You can’t go with the IRC minimums for the air-impermeable layer and get away with it.“Foam installers are fond of removing all floor insulation when foaming the roof deck (presumably to meet code), but that isn’t truly necessary in many (or even most) cases in climate zones 5 or lower. (Good luck arguing that with the code inspectors though.)”Atticus LeBlanc would like to bore further into the science. It wasn’t that long ago, he points out, that code required vented attics. “I can’t figure out why the distance between R-12 closed-cell foam under the roof deck/rafters and sidewalls and fluffy R-38 on the ceiling would have an impact on condensation, if any,” LeBlanc writes, “and the insulation to the heated cavity would still be more than required… at least for me in Zone 3.”Holladay responds, “If the attic were perfectly sealed — few attics are — it’s probable that the proposed (illegal) assembly would work well. But if the ‘sealed’ attic had air leaks — infiltration and exfiltration — you wouldn’t get the R-value you expect, and you would have opportunities for condensation or moisture issues.” “Flash and batt” is an insulation technique that combines the air-sealing superiority of spray foam insulation with the cost benefits of fiberglass batts. An inch or two of polyurethane foam seals the cavity and the batt insulation adds R-value without costing an arm and a leg.That’s roughly the plan Dave Frank is considering for the roof of a house — presumably his own house — in Climate Zone 5. But his plan contains a twist: He wants to spray the underside of the roof deck with foam and install the batts between the joists at ceiling level.“My reasoning for this is to (a) get HVAC in the attic within the envelope where rafters can’t be properly vented, and (b) still have insulation on top of the flat ceiling drywall because there is some ceiling radiant heat,” he writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor. “And there’s the added benefit of getting some of the R-value from a cheaper product.” RELATED ARTICLES Frank wonders whether the code requirement for a total of R-38 in the roof will allow the insulation to be separated in this way, as long as the R-value totals for the different layers all add up to the right number.Or is this a case where 2 plus 2 equals 3?That’s the topic for this Q&A Spotlight. A Pioneer of Low-Energy Homes Since 1973Flash and Batt InsulationFine Homebuilding: Why Flash and Batt Makes SenseInstalling Fiberglass RightCreating a Conditioned Attic The code is clear: Your idea won’t workThere’s not much wiggle room here, says GBA senior editor Martin Holladay.He cites a provision in the International Residential Code (IRC), which says the air-permeable insulation (the fiberglass batts) must be installed “directly under” the air-impermeable layer (the spray foam).“The air impermeable insulation shall be applied in direct contact with the underside of the structural roof sheathing as specified in Table R806.5 for condensation control,” the code reads. “The air permeable layer shall be installed directly under the air-impermeable insulation.”And so, Holladay says, if you want to meet the IRC requirement for R-38 insulation, the foam and the fiberglass batts must be in contact with each other. Of course, that shouldn’t stop Frank from adding more fiberglass in the ceiling once he’s installed batts correctly between the rafters. Our expert’s opinionGBA Technical Director Peter Yost had this to say:First, on the code: while the wording of the code may not be crystal clear, the intent is. The insulation layers need to be contiguous (in direct contact). Now, it is true that you can find cases where an air space to the interior of combined insulations makes sense (for example, see Joe Lstiburek’s piece on contiguous insulation schemes, energy efficiency and thermal comfort). But in this case, leaving an air space between them simply introduces a huge convective loop between the ceiling batt insulation and the rafter spray foam insulation. Indeed, 2 + 2 = 3 (or in this case, R18 + R20 ≠ R38).And that is if the ceiling is an airtight plane, only. If it is not, and chances are it is not even close, then the big convective loop in the attic will connect with air leakage from below, and now you have a moisture problem to add to the eroded thermal performance of the attic insulation system.This scenario also assumes that you are willing to pay the cost of spray foaming not only the rafter bays of the roof, but both gable end walls of the attic as well. Depending on the roof pitch, this added gable wall insulation could be just a bit, or quite a bit.This noncontiguous insulation configuration does not meet the code, and for good reason; it won’t work, or at least won’t work as intended or with sufficient energy and economic efficiency.last_img read more

Today’s Medal Hunt

first_imgARCHERYMen’s: Compound teamWomen’s: Compound teamATHLETICSMen’s: Shot put; 100mWomen’s: Hammer throw; 100mCYCLING (Track)Men’s: Sprint; 4,000m team pursuitWomen’s: 210-km scratch race; sprintGYMNASTICS (Artistic)Men’s: Floor; pommel horse; rings.Women’s: Vault; uneven barsSHOOTINGCLAY TARGETMen’s: Double trap singlesPISTOL & SMALL BOREMen’s: 10m air pistol pairs; 25m rapid fire pistol pairsWomen’s: 50m rifle 3 positionsSWIMMINGMen’s: 100m freestyle; 400m individual medleyWomen’s: 100m butterfly; 800m freestyle; solo free routine; duet free routineWEIGHTLIFTINGMen’s 77kgWomen’s 63kgWRESTLINGWomen’s: Freestyle (48kg, 55kg, 63kg, 72kg – repechage)last_img