Alpharetta (Atlanta, GA) - 135,000 sq ft, 4 story, 150 room ALF-Memory Care.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
As an advocate for children and child welfare services, Cliff Davis is concerned about the overwhelmed state of the foster care system. The children pay a hefty price for the shortcomings of the foster care program. There are a number of reasons for the current problems faced by child welfare departments. Here, we will examine some of the primary issues and seek to understand how we might begin to correct them.
Sadly, some children placed in foster care live in unsafe foster homes where they experience further abuse. Often, children bounce from home to home, with little stability. The long-term impact can be devastating for these kids. Why does this occur?
It is generally not a matter of uncaring child welfare workers. In fact, most people working in this field have a genuine desire to help kids. The problem is an issue of caseload. Child welfare workers are given an extraordinary number of cases to handle. It is not humanly possible for them to give each case the necessary time and attention. In addition, there is a lack of training and education for child welfare workers. Without suitable training, they simply are not capable of performing the job correctly.
There is an enormous turnover rate for child welfare workers. It is as high as 70% yearly in some states. This creates more instability and uncertainty in the lives of children. Information is not easily exchanged between former employees and new employees. Children are consistently dealing with strangers, rather than a stable advocate working for their best interest.
What are the solutions? An obvious answer is to increase funding for the child welfare system, providing an adequate number of workers and giving them correct training. Lowering their caseload and increasing their income would decrease turnover rates tremendously. Simply put, we need more child welfare workers with higher-quality training. The best way to accomplish this is by appropriately funding the foster care system.
If you are interested in helping, please contact your local child welfare office and remember to support politicians who will fight for children’s services and implement programs you believe in.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Retail continues to make up a significant portion of the US GDP. However, the way in which consumers shop is transforming the market. The number of people purchasing products online is increasing tremendously. This shift has retailers rethinking their business plans. Less money is being spent on brick and mortar spaces, and more effort is being put into websites and housing products.
With the considerable increase in online shopping, retailers are seeking more efficient ways to conduct business. One of the current trends, known as “I-tailing” is sweeping the nation. This concept refers to retailers maintaining a small, inexpensive storefront, while keeping the majority of products stored in warehouses. These warehouses are designed to quickly and easily ship products to customers. Overhead cost for a warehouse and website is much less expensive than maintaining large retail spaces. These warehouses are often located in big cities, close to major shipping hubs. Partnerships with shipping companies like UPS and FedEx are an important part of this transformation. The overall cost savings of I–tailing is also encouraging retailers to bring business back to the United States. This could have a positive impact on the US economy as a whole, along with the real estate industry.
Savvy real estate investors and developers are beginning to recognize the potential in the I-tailing sector. They are putting more time, money, and effort into industrial spaces to support this new trend. With the continual growth of the Internet and online shopping, this sector is expected to see continuous growth for many years to come.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Some people find it difficult to make time for an exercise routine. Sitting at a desk all day can be detrimental to your health. Just 30 minutes of activity, five days per week, will have a significant positive impact on your health. It is possible to implement movement and activity into your workday. The idea is to move throughout the day as much as you can. A little activity, once an hour, makes a tremendous difference. Here are some tips and methods to help you implement activity into your workday.
- Place essential items away from your desk, forcing you to get up and walk to them.
- Instead of calling or emailing a colleague, walk to them and speak to them directly.
- Use a restroom on a different floor and use the stairs to get there.
- You can do foot curls and arm stretches at your desk with resistance bands.
- Use the stairs instead of an elevator whenever possible.
- Park far away from the building, which forces you to walk further. If you take public transportation, stop a few blocks away from the building.
- During long meetings, more than 90 minutes, take a five-minute break to stretch.
- Make use of technology and apps that encourage activity throughout the day.
These are just a few ways in which you can improve your physical activity during work hours. A little effort goes a long way. It is important to get some movement during the day. Do not allow your job to keep you from optimal health.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Residential and commercial real estate began to rebound in 2011. 2015 showed significant growth in real estate development. The economic impact of commercial development is often overlooked when we do not take into account pre-construction and post-construction effects. Commercial development has a long-term impact on local, state, and national economies. Here, we will highlight some of the Ways in which commercial development improved the overall US economy in 2015.
The NAIOP conducted extensive research and published a full report. Below are some of their findings.
- 3.2 million American jobs were supported by commercial real estate development. This includes new and existing jobs.
- $450 billion was contributed to the US GDP through commercial real estate development in 2015.
- 429.4 Million square feet of commercial real estate space was built, having a capacity to house 1.1 million workers.
Economists understand the importance and impact of commercial real estate development on the overall US economy. Looking at the growth in 2015 and the first half of 2016, experts project continued growth in this sector for 2017 and 2018. Office, retail, and healthcare construction are among the most in-demand structures. This report is great news for developers in the US.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
We often hear celebrities promoting detox diets as a method to lose weight and cleanse the body of toxins. There has been much debate over whether these cleanses are effective and safe. It is important to understand that there are numerous types of detox diets and various lengths of time a person stays on a program. These factors, of course, impact the effectiveness and safety of any given diet.
Some people choose these diets as a means to lose weight. Many of the more intense detox programs require you to eat very little solid food. The Master Cleanse, for example, is strictly a liquid diet. Obviously, this would induce weight loss. Much of the dropped weight however, is simply water weight and quickly returns when the individual begins eating solid food again.
In regard to removing toxins from the body, it is essential to understand that the human body already has systems in place to remove toxins. We do not actually need help to remove toxins and research shows no significant benefit from detox programs.
Any cleanse that requires you to deprive your body of fundamental nutrients is generally considered unsafe. Many people report feeling tired, mentally drained, achy, and irritable during these periods of deprivation. Some of the milder detox programs are safer and likely more effective. The idea behind these cleanses is to simply improve the body's natural systems for detoxification. In these cleanses, you are not required to starve yourself. You simply eat extremely healthy and take supplements to enhance your body’s ability to remove toxins.
The popularity of detox diets is likely due to the fear of environmental poisons like pesticides and air pollution. The fact remains; our bodies already effectively remove these substances. There seems to be little scientific evidence that cleanses are beneficial, and they may, in fact, be dangerous. Talk to your doctor before starting a cleanse to help you decide if it is right for you.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Image from: http://www.cnet.com/news/dubai-unveils-worlds-first-3d-printed-office-building/
Dubai is known for its unique architecture and structures. So, it is no surprise that this city would be the first to build a 3-D printed office building. Many experts believe 3-D printing is the future of construction.
The office building in Dubai is a fully functional structure. It has electricity, water, air conditioning, and energy-saving amenities. It was printed on a giant 3-D printer measuring 20 feet high and 120 feet long. It took just 17 days to construct and only required about 15 people, including specialists. The cost saving is estimated to be around 50% compared to traditional construction cost.
We can expect to see more of these structures over the next decade. As developers seek cheaper and more efficient methods of building. Right now, the size of the building is limited by the size of the printer. However, larger structures may be built by printing sections and stacking them, similar to Legos. Some of the primary advantages to 3-D printed construction are:
- Time - 3-D construction is estimated to be 50-70% faster than conventional construction.
- Cost - Labor costs are 50-80% less than traditional construction.
- Green - Fewer materials are wasted with 3-D printing, and It is easier to use recycled materials, making these structures more sustainable.
- Custom - 3-D printing allows for more customizable, intricate designs.
3-D printed construction may very well be the future of real estate development. As with any new technology, it will take some time, research, and trial to perfect the method. Those in the real estate development industry should certainly keep a close eye on this technology.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Most health-conscious individuals pay close attention to what they put into their bodies. They understand the importance of items they consume. However, some people overlook the significance of air-quality. Particles and substances in the air enter our body constantly without our awareness. It is often difficult to recognize poor air quality with only our five senses. It is typically not something you can see or even smell. You may be breathing all sorts of harmful particles without knowledge of it.
Just like exercise and diet, consistency is the key. Over time, good habits create positive health results. This goes both ways. Regularly breathing low quality air over lengthy periods of time can have a negative effect on your health. The same way smoking even three cigarettes a day, will have a negative impact, if it is done consistently over am extended period of time.
An air purifier can help alleviate some of these issues. A high-quality purifier will remove dangerous particles from the air. This is separate from a simple filtration system. A purifier specifically targets things like:
- Removes dust
- Removes allergens
- Reduces odor
- Eliminates mold and fungus spores
- Removes airborne bacteria
- Destroys airborne viruses
- Removes toxic gasses and chemical compounds
Each of these functions require distinctive types of purification systems. There are comprehensive air purifiers on the market that can accomplish all of these. It is important to do research to make sure the purifier you select provides the features you desire. Not all purifiers are created equal.
A high-quality air purifier is an investment in your health and future. Consider the long-term benefits and decide if this is an investment you are ready to make.
Saturday, August 6, 2016
While research is inconclusive, many people believe local honey is a natural remedy for seasonal allergies. Honey has numerous health benefits, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to consume it. Here, we will examine the validity of eating honey to help with allergies.
Seasonal allergies create a number of uncomfortable symptoms such as:
- Watery, itchy and irritated eyes
- Runny nose
- Sore Or scratchy throat
- Mild to moderate coughing
- Breathing problems
Pollen is one of the primary causes of seasonal allergies. When a person inhales this allergen, the body reacts, creating the symptoms. The idea behind eating honey to ease allergy symptoms is based on the fact that traces of pollen are found in honey. By consuming small amounts of pollen, your body can build an immunity to it. In order for honey to assist, it must meet the following criteria:
Local - The honey must be from your local region. The exact distance is unclear, but generally speaking, the honey should come from a nearby area which has the same plants that you are exposed to during allergy season.
Raw - The honey must be unprocessed and raw.
Seasonally appropriate - The honey needs to be produced during the season in which you are attempting to remedy allergies. For example, if you suffer from spring allergies, make sure the honey is made in spring.
It is also important to note that the honey needs to be consumed over time. Taking a spoonful one time will not create any relief from allergies. A small amount should be eaten every day to slowly build your body’s immunity to the local pollen. Again, there is no conclusive evidence that this remedy works. However, many natural remedies do not have support from medical professionals. If you like honey, and you have allergies, it’s probably worth giving it a try.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Clifford J Davis is a philanthropist, a state-certified contractor, and a self-employed real estate developer who recently helped build a 20,000-square-foot custom home in Tampa, FL. Cliff Davis enjoys athletic competitions and has competed in ironman and Tough Mudder contests.
A 10- to 12-mile mud race and obstacle course, Tough Mudder is designed to be a challenge that emphasizes cooperation and fellowship. The race is held at locations throughout the United States, including central Florida, an approximate two-hour drive from Tampa, FL.
After completing the course, participants receive a cold beer and take part in social events. The competition is always adding new obstacles, with a few noted below.
- Block Ness Monster – 60 feet of slick barrels through which competitors must push and roll.
- King of the Swingers – a rope swing that can be reached only by jumping from a 12-foot platform.
- Backstabber – a 12-foot peg wall that competitors must scale.
- Cage Crawl – 60 feet of fence with only a few inches of air above a watery trench. Participants must lie on their backs and pull on the fence to drag themselves to the finish.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
One of the primary risks for homeless children is child sexual exploitation. Unfortunately, it is common for kids to get caught up in this industry when they are living on the streets. Foster care is a solid solution to this problem, but many children fall through the cracks. Here, we will examine the problem, causes, and possible solutions to the issue of child sexual exploitation.
How does this even happen? There are four main systemic causes of child sexual exploitation.
- Poverty - Generational poverty and homelessness clearly put youth at risk. Transient, homeless children are prime targets for this illegal industry.
- Family - Dysfunctional family life can create immense trauma for children. This may include mental, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Children often intentionally leave home to escape the dangerous environment. Alcohol and drug abuse are common in these circumstances.
- Media - The media has an impact on young people. They often glorify sex, drugs, and violence.
- Demand - Sadly, there is a demand for child sex exploitation.
What are the solutions?
- Communication - There is a serious lack of information sharing between organizations. Social workers, educators, physicians, juvenile justice workers, and child advocacy groups need better communication.
- Funding - There is a lack of financial support for programs to help these kids. We need more trained professionals.
- Education - The school systems often do not recognize problems and have no comprehensive method for helping the children. Furthermore, we need to educate the public about the problem.
- Decrease demand - Tougher laws to punish adults involved in the child exploitation industry would be helpful in reducing the demand.
The foster-care program is an important piece of this puzzle. Keeping kids off the street is the first defense against child sexual exploitation. Creating a tighter net, to avoid children slipping through, would help them remain safe. This is a systemic societal problem that needs to be approached from various angles. If you are interested in helping, contact your local child welfare office.