Category Archives: Main

Japanese architect uses fabric structure to create kindergarten

Tokyo-based architect Yasutaka Yoshimura has designed a kindergarten comprising a fabric structure surrounded by a translucent membrane in the shape of the original warehouse building on a disused industrial site in Japan.

Japanese architect uses fabric structure to create kindergarten

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The kindergarten is located in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture. Yoshimura’s studio in Tokyo was tasked with the transformation of the industrial site into a community centre and kindergarten that welcomes children and their families. The building is called Fukumasu Base.

Other fabric architecture Yoshimura has created includes a diminutive weekend house in Kanagawa, Japan that has views of Mount Fuji on one side and sea views on the other.

Kindergarten structure

The architects originally planned to retain the warehouse structure; however, they eventually came to the conclusion that the entire building must be removed due to the high cost of modernising it to meet current building regulations.

They decided to utilise a huge off-the-shelf structure, which has a gabled form echoing the shape of the original industrial unit and is self-supporting. The framework is wrapped in a waterproof tensile membrane with glazed surfaces in the facades creating windows and entrances.

Fabric architecture

Tensile structures provide light, airy interiors with copious amounts of space. Companies such as specialise in fabric spaces and produce a wide range of attractive structures. The translucent material allows light to filter through the roof and walls, while a system of cables maintains the rigidity of the framework and membrane without any further need for stabilisation, such as unsightly columns and beams.

Kindergarten interior

The interior space of the Fukumasu Base is divided by freestanding wooden structures, providing functional areas for staff and children on the ground floor. Toilets, storage, a nursing room, blackboard area and multipurpose space are also located on this level and are positioned around a central void reaching up to the roof.

Some wooden walls extend up through the floor of the level above, providing enclosed spaces on this upper level. The upper level rooms include a terraced seating room for performances, presentations and plays, and a traditional tatami room.

Exposed stud walls and a mix of dark and light wood provide a simple palette that is complemented by the white painted surfaces. This natural interior combined with the bright and light exterior creates a harmonious building for children to gather and excel within.

Capita to Offer Brokers Mortgage Software for First Time

Specialist software has been making life easier for professionals in many walks of life, as it can handle complex issues or manage back office duties. Now Capita has been working with Tesco Bank to supply mortgage software to the broker market for the first time. The company uses technology and analytics to help clients deliver services efficiently and cost-effectively. By outsourcing operations to Capita, companies in both the public and private sector can save time and expense, with this new platform helping brokers provide a quality service to customers.

Capita to Offer Brokers Mortgage Software for First Time

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Software Saves Time and Money

Now the technology firm has been working with Tesco Bank so brokers can use a portal to search lending criteria, scan and upload documents, and find out how applications are progressing from any device. Using this software makes it easy for the brokers to get in touch by phone, online or by using the webchat service. Capita tailored the software to meet brokers’ needs. For example, if a broker has another appointment, he or she can use the stop and save technology to save a case being worked on, go off to see another client, and then retrieve the first case later from any device. These are useful features for brokers who have a day full of meetings, meaning they can update their documents or notes when they have some spare time.

Other useful functions include the fact that users can see every individual case with a single click. Instant decisions are also possible and support staff can access or update cases thanks to specific log-in profiles.

Benefits of Using Specialist Software

This service by Capita is another great example of how brokers and financial advisers can benefit by using specialist software. It means team members have access to the files so you can delegate work. The ability to access the files from your phone or tablet means you do not need to spend so much time in the office and your records are always updated. You can find out more about back office systems for IFAs by visiting

Such software can also make sure that brokers and IFAs are up-to-date with current regulations and always have all records easily to hand. By automating much of the administration, advisers can also spend more time helping their clients with investments and financial issues.

Leasing considerations: What are the five least ticketed car model types?

If you don’t want to spend a large chunk of money upfront on a car, leasing can be a good option. If you also want to stay off the law’s radar, some choices are better than others. You may want to choose the sportiest car with the largest engine, but there are other considerations.

Leasing considerations

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Attention for the wrong reasons

When thinking about car leasing in Leicester, it’s good to remember that although it’s drivers who commit motoring offences, more upmarket vehicle models tend to attract less police attention. Some car models get more penalties than others.

Analysis has shown that some models seem to get booked for violations over and over again, while others hardly ever get pulled over by the traffic police. Driving offences will push up insurance premiums, so choosing a car that doesn’t attract that kind of attention is a sensible course of action if you want to avoid the hassle and expense of dealing with tickets.

Claims related to a particular make of car will also have an effect on insurance premiums. Any time a particular car model is involved in a traffic incident or an accident, the insurance for that type of vehicle will increase. If you want to get more car for your money, you want to choose an automobile that does not have a history of claims and traffic offences.

Vehicle report

The least ticketed car model according to a recent study is the Buick Encore. This is followed by the Lexus IS350. These are both examples of solid and reliable sedans.

Next on the list is the Acura ILX, followed by the Cadillac ATS. In fifth position is the Chevrolet Express.

Leasing becoming more common

Leasing automobiles has become more popular, as the BBC reported last year. It said that more than 80 per cent of Mercedes-Benz transactions in the UK occurred in some kind of lease.

If you are considering leasing a car in the area, the best thing to do is to consult an expert, such as, to assist with your needs and provide sound advice.

Leasing a car should be a simple process that helps you get from A to B in comfort and safety. Choosing the right vehicle through the right provider streamlines the process.

How Start-Ups Are Looking to Solve US Consumer Debt

One of the biggest problems currently facing the US economy is consumer debt. The average household has over $130,000 in debt and spends nine per cent of its income on interest payments. Part of the reason for increasing debt levels is that over the last few years the cost of living has grown faster than incomes. Medical bills are a particular worry in the US, and many people don’t have enough savings to cover even a $500 emergency.

How Start-Ups Are Looking to Solve US Consumer Debt

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All of that may sound pretty bleak, but thanks to some innovative start-up companies there are paths out of debt for many Americans.

Medical Expenses

Medical costs are the number one cause of bankruptcies in the US, and since 2003 costs have increased by more than 50 per cent. Yet due to billing errors, many patients are actually being overcharged without realising it. A new start-up called Remedy aims to fix this by identifying billing errors and ensuring that people don’t end up paying more than they need to.

Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is a serious problem in the US, with the average household owing more than $15,000. But unlike the UK, where there’s the option of an IVA, the only option to reduce payments may be to seek a lower-rate loan elsewhere.

If you’re asking what is an IVA, it’s an agreement with the lender to reduce the level of payments you make and perhaps ultimately write off the balance of the debt. In the US, bankruptcy may be the only alternative, but start-up companies are helping out with innovative peer-to-peer lending solutions that look at an individual’s history and future earnings potential to structure payments accordingly.

There’s also a move towards shared underwriting platforms that will allow smaller banks to share data on creditworthiness, enabling them to offer lower credit card rates.

Student Debt

Student debt is also a major problem in the US, totalling over $1.3 trillion in 2016. Again, innovative platforms are coming to the rescue with tools like Earnest that allow students to restructure their debt in accordance with their career earning potential.

In future, tools that use artificial intelligence will become more common. These will help consumers stay on track with their debt repayments, issuing alerts and allowing them to avoid unnecessary debt servicing costs.

8 Tips for Using Facebook for Marketing

Facebook is the world’s largest online social community. Online Marketing through Facebook is becoming vital for the success of any business. Marketing activities on Facebook is like a complimentary gift for any website. The approach that you might already be applying on your site can be enhanced by repeating that on Facebook and capturing the 700 million odd users which present a huge market. Continue reading

How Can Guest Blogging Help Your Business?

Looking to promote your business, website or blog? Consider guest blogging for well-known blog or website. Posting guest posts on a host site provides many benefits for both the host site and the guest blogger—as well as the browsers/potential clients who will stumble across your guest post! Guest blogging is becoming more and more popular as a social networking tool that can drive select, targeted traffic to your blog or business site. By providing authoritative, helpful posts on your area of interest, you can build your reputation as a trusted authority in your industry niche. This can lead to all kinds of useful results, like being quoted as an expert in traditional media articles, being called upon to guest-blog on more prominent sites, and of course, drawing more and more potential clients to your website. Continue reading

What Can Go Wrong on My Moving Day?

If you are planning to move in the near future, no matter how much preparation you may put into planning your move, some things are just bound to go wrong. Maybe you hadn’t thought to measure the width of your front door and compared it to the dimensions of that clunky couch you’re moving, or you forgot to replace the window screen you broke a few years back. These small, last minute challenges can be a burden when you’re already stressed, but taking a moment to at least review the most common and unexpected challenges other movers have faced may help you prepare for something you otherwise would be unprepared for. Continue reading