Archive for : May, 2020

Polygon Acquires Hiotlabs AB To Strengthen The Offering In Property Damage Prevention

Polygon has signed an agreement to acquire Hiotlabs AB. Hiotlabs is a Swedish based company offering market leading technology solutions based on Internet of Things and Machine Learning. The solutions consist of sensors and software platform, with the purpose of detecting and preventing water damages in buildings.

With joint forces and by combining technology and Property Damage Restoration Services, Polygon and Hiotlabs will be able to offer their customers end-to-end solutions for Property Damage Prevention.  

“I am very thrilled about this opportunity, which is an important part of our strategy to strengthen our offering in Property Damage Prevention. I am convinced that with our complementary strengths, we will be able to transform the industry,” says Axel Gränitz, President & CEO of Polygon Group.

“I have come to know Hiotlabs as a very innovative company with cutting edge technology and high customer focus Together we will offer new and attractive solutions to our customers and this will enable us to further consolidate our position as the industry leader,” says Caroline Finslo, Head of Business of Development of Polygon Group. 

“After a long and fruitful collaboration with Polygon, I am very happy to become part of the Polygon family and I am excited about our joint opportunities to scale up and offer our solutions across Europe to many new insurance companies as well as to other customer segments. Polygon has a very strong culture and as the industry leader, with key relationships with customers who will benefit from our joint solutions, I consider Polygon as the perfect owner that will make it possible for us to realize our vision and growth ambitions”, says Jonas Deibe”, Co-founder and CEO of Hiotlabs AB.

Jonas Deibe and his team will all continue to work for Polygon to further develop and sell their solutions to the market, in close collaboration with their new Polygon colleagues. 

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See Famous Midcentury Modern Homes From Your Sofa: Restore Oregon’s Virtual Tour

In-person home tours have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the venerable Restore Oregon preservation organization has come up with a new way to experience its 10th annual Mid-Century Modern Design Series: A virtual tour of architecturally significant, Portland area residences, with all the details, from art to interior design, visible as you navigate through the rooms.

“We are really excited to use world-class technology to give Oregonians and the world access to our Pacific Northwest modern masters’ work,” says Jeannette Shupp of Restore Oregon.

The fundraising tour, which can be enjoyed online anytime now through July 26, is possible because of three-dimensional, digital photography and Matterport work by 360 PDX Real Estate Photography.

A ticket ($50, restoreoregon.Tofinoauctions.Com/mcm2020/register/ticket_sales) to the 360°-Virtual Home Tour grants access to three of the Pacific Northwest’s most celebrated early modern homes, which showcase the use of native wood, stone and glass to achieve elegance.

Also included with each ticket is a digital tour book, “Admiring the Masters of Northwest Regional Modern Architecture,” which profiles six stellar architects and displays interior and exterior photographs of one of their projects. Most photos have never before been shared with the public.

The inventive modern dwellings designed decades ago continue to influence today’s coveted open floor plans and desire for a strong connection to the outdoors.

The home tour opens the doors to privately owned residences as well as John Yeon’s monumental Watzek House, which is managed by the University of Oregon’s John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape.

Yeon’s courtyard-centered 1937 Watzek House and Pietro Belluschi’s revolutionary 1938 Sutor House with curved zebrawood walls, both in Portland’s Southwest Hills, are the earliest examples of these renowned architects’ resourcefulness, restraint and reliance on natural materials and light to harmonize with a picturesque setting.

Walter Gordon’s 1953 Copenhagen House in Lake Oswego, which is also on the virtual tour, is another exemplar of simplicity and beauty.

Three other homes do not have a 3D tour, but information and photos are part of the digital tour book.

These include Frank Shell’s 1958 Blosser Whitehead House, with two-story transparent walls in Southeast Portland. The home once welcomed Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, fashion designer Emilio Pucci and the owners’ other Reed College guests.

John Storrs’ 1962 handsome house for a doctor and Jantzen swim cap designer in Southwest Portland is also profiled. The home was recently restored to expose the natural Douglas fir, hemlock and other patinated and textured wood Storrs saw as an “understandable, romantic material.”

Portland interior designer Vicki Simon reinstated the clean lines muddled by a 1980s remodel and executed upgrades that appear seamlessly alongside Storrs’ original vision.

And a 1975 dwelling in Southwest Portland exhibits the pleasing proportions of architect Saul Zaik, an innovative modernist and preservation supporter who passed away on Jan. 4, 2020.

John Storrs

An easy-to-ignore 1962 dwelling in Southwest Portland’s Lynnridge neighborhood has been restored and updated by Vicki Simon Interior Design to reflect architect John Storrs’ original vision. Photography David Papazian PhotographyDavid Papazian Photography

The 10th annual Mid-Century Modern Design Series also has 20-minute webinars ($25 for all) that are accessible on demand.

Topics for the online lectures are the history of Pacific Northwest modernism by Katelyn Weber; buying and selling Pacific Northwest mid-century modern architecture by Marisa Swenson; and design and renovation of the 1962 John Storrs’ house by Vicki Simon.

Restore Oregon’s design series is the nonprofit’s largest educational and fundraising events of the year. The series is sponsored by Portland remodeling company Arciform.

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Restart Of Trailblazing German Soccer League Comes With Plenty Of Risks

Empty seats are pictured at the stadium of German Bundesliga soccer club Borussia Moenchengladbach in Moenchengladbach, Germany, on April 16, 2020. The German Bundesliga will return on May 16. Martin Meissner/Associated Press

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — When the German Bundesliga restarts on May 16 in empty stadiums, it will blaze a trail for other leagues shut down by the coronavirus.

The English Premier League, Serie A and La Liga will all be watching closely as the German competition faces risk factors which could lead to more disruption or another shutdown.

The German league says its plans minimize the risk from the virus. However, it’s aware it needs to remain alert to finish the season in June as planned.

Virus_Outbreak_Soccer_Kalou_Video_63851
Virus_Outbreak_Soccer_Kalou_Video_63851

Salomon Kalou will not be part of the restart of the German Bundesliga. The Hertha Berlin forward is facing criticism for broadcasting a live stream showing social distancing measures being flaunted. He brought his phone with him Monday as he fist-bumped teammates in greeting, clapped hands with fellow forward Vedad Ibisevic, complained about a pay cut, and burst in on another teammate apparently being tested for the new coronavirus. Kalou apologized and was swiftly suspended. Michael Sohn/Associated Press

“Every game day is a chance to prove that we deserve the next game day,” league CEO Christian Seifert said on Thursday.

INFECTIONS

The German restart plan is built around regular coronavirus testing for players and staff, with more than 20,000 samples needed just to finish the season in the top two divisions.

Twelve people, among them players and staff, have tested positive since tests began last week of the 36 clubs in those divisions. Some have subsequently tested negative in follow-ups.

League rules aim both to slash the risk of players getting infected, and to limit the possible spread. Players, and anyone living with them, are asked to limit travel outside the home. Players leave the team bus in masks, and there’s no pregame handshake.

But the plan has limits. Germany isn’t following South Korea’s K-League with a ban on spitting or close-quarters conversations on the field. And if players test positive, clubs don’t have to put the rest of the team in isolation.

Cologne player Birger Verstraete said he found it hard to focus on soccer when the club kept on training after two players and a physio tested positive last week. Contrast that with the K-League, which is imposing a two-week quarantine on any team with a positive test – and its recent opponents, too.

GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWNS

Even if the league’s plan works perfectly, the coronavirus could still affect games.

The same German government meeting on Wednesday which allowed the Bundesliga to resume also outlined a so-called “emergency brake” mechanism. That allows regional officials to reimpose tough lockdown restrictions in their area if there’s a major outbreak with more than 50 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people within a week.

It’s not yet fully clear how those fallback measures might affect training and games without fans.

PLAYER MISBEHAVIOR

Even after the league set down rules, not everyone followed them.

Salomon Kalou has barely played this season, but he’s affected the Bundesliga’s public image more than the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland.

The 34-year-old Hertha Berlin forward posted video online showing him flouting social distancing rules by shaking hands with a teammate and a staff member, and bursting in on a teammate’s coronavirus test.

Kalou apologized and was swiftly suspended, but he and the league’s plan came in for widespread criticism in Germany.

FAN GATHERINGS

Politicians and police are worried about fans turning up to games, even though they’re not allowed in. Games could be shut down in extreme cases.

Several hundred fans of Borussia Mönchengladbach gathered outside the stadium in March for the Bundesliga’s only game in an empty stadium so far. When the league resumes, it will be with security guards inside and outside the arenas.

With the fierce rivalry between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke scheduled for May 16, passions will run high on the opening weekend.

Bremen state interior minister Ulrich Mäurer suggested in March, before the league was suspended, that games in empty stadiums could have to be called off if fans gathered. The police union in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has also raised concerns.

INJURY RISK

A two-month break means players have had to recover fitness in a similar way to preseason training. Being out of practice could mean more injuries.

Some states allowed teams to return to training earlier than others, potentially giving them an advantage.

Werder Bremen, which was slower to return, wanted the restart delayed until May 23, citing fairness and injury risks. It had to settle for its opening game being played on Monday, May 18, as the last of that weekend’s fixtures.

Some teams were still waiting on Thursday for permission to resume full training, rather than working in small groups. With more midweek games than usual, fixture congestion could also pose fitness problems.

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