Jul 15, 2020

Property and fintech startup iknowa launches new platform

property
iknowa
Fintech
construction
Dan Weatherley
3 min
Property
Property and fintech startup iknowa launches a revolutionary platform for homeowners, property developers and tradespeople...

Fintech start-up, iknowa launches a revolutionary new platform for homeowners, property developers and tradespeople

The London-based tech startup leverages AI, ML, and cognitive technologies to address inefficiencies, transforming the way building and renovation projects are procured and performed for homeowners, property developers and tradespeople.

iknowa, a property and financial technology startup, that is making building and renovation projects easier, safer and more efficient, today, announced its availability in the greater London area.

Historically, tradespeople have struggled to generate quality leads through existing referral websites that charge fees, regardless of if the tradesperson gets the job or not. Similarly, homeowners and developers have struggled to find quality tradespeople due to the inability from existing platforms to comprehensively verify the quality, workmanship and expertise of tradespeople.

iknowa’s patented software applies ML & AI to assist homeowners, property developers and tradespeople in analysing project quality and performance to proactively address issues before they arise. Through automation and optimisation, the platform reduces time and money spent on administrative tasks, while enhancing the posting, quoting and management, for all user groups.

Connected and underpinned by a banking infrastructure, iknowa’s applied algorithms handle proprietary methods of ranking user groups and organisation performance to improve project quality and support business development. Project-related data is securely stored to increase trust, reduce waste and improve quality.

“For too long, the construction industry has lagged behind when it comes to tech adoption that increases overall efficiency, transparency & simplifies project processes. iknowa equips homeowners & tradespeople with innovative, transparent and cost-effective tools, freeing users from repetitive and time-consuming tasks so that they can spend more time on what they do best and what they love. iknowa is well-positioned to bring big tech experience to the home construction and renovation industry with a platform that provides a better experience and safety to all stakeholders.” - Allar Ahtmann, Chairman and CEO of iknowa

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Benefits for Tradespeople

iknowa’s platform offers tradespeople continuous personalised support in building a reputable business portfolio, while providing them with a free and simple way to find and quote on jobs. Combining AI and standardised frameworks, iknowa easily enables tradespeople to convert quotes into project plans through integrated project management tools, reducing time and money spent on administrative taskswhile guaranteeing payments for jobs won. iknowa creates personalised pathways for junior tradespeople, providing them with new and unique opportunities to gain experience while enabling established tradespeople access to skilled junior talent. The platform’s intelligent infrastructure is built in a way that serves homeowners more than any other service on the market, which, in turn, increases the consistent workflow for our tradespeople.

Benefits for Homeowners/Property Developers

iknowa offers a user-friendly, free and simple way to post building and renovation jobs. The intuitive platform enables homeowners and property developers to compare tradespeople for hire and receive quotes. Using iknowa AI assistance, users can track and manage job progress while ensuring protected payments through a secure escrow account. iknowa provides continued personalised support to homeowners and property developers throughout the entirety of the project.

"Technology adoption is influenced by its nature to be complementary or disruptive to an industry. At iknowa, we chose to work with our market to create a platform built upon trust, transparency and safety. Put simply, our users want a solution that provides opportunity, while eliminating the current associated risks. iknowa is the only company that is dedicated to addressing the concerns related to quality, reliability, and miscommunication associated with the building and renovation projects, head-on while simplifying the otherwise convoluted building and renovation industry.” - Keano Chang, President and COO of iknowa

About iknowa

iknowa is a London-based property and financial technology startup that is disrupting the outdated home construction and renovation industry by connecting homeowners and property developers with over 500 validated tradespeople while providing unprecedented access to project status and data. Through AI and ML, the platform provides all parties with continuous support to ensure successful projects.

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Jun 17, 2021

Why engineers must always consider human-induced vibration

Vibrations
Engineering
design
Structuralintegrity
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Human-induced vibration can lead to a number of effects upon the structure and its users

Human induced vibration, or more accurately vibrations caused by human footfall, often conjures images of Millennium Bridge-style swaying or collapsing buildings.

But in reality, the ‘damage’ caused by human-induced vibrations is less likely to ruin a structure and more likely to cause discomfort in people. Though not as dramatic as a structural failure, any good engineer wants to make sure the people using their structures, be it bridges or buildings or anything in between, can do so safely and comfortably. This is why human-induced vibration must be considered within the design process.

Resonance v Impulse

There are two ways that human-induced vibrations affect structures: resonant, and impulse or transient response. Put simply, resonance occurs when Object A vibrates at the same natural frequency as Object B.

Object B resonates and begins to vibrate too. Think singing to break a wine glass! Although the person singing isn’t touching the glass, the vibrations of their voice are resonating with the glass’s natural frequency, causing this vibration to get stronger and stronger and eventually, break the glass. In the case of a structure, resonance occurs when the pedestrian’s feet land in time with the vibration.

On the other hand, impulse or transient vibration responses can be a problem on structures where its natural frequencies are too high for resonance to occur, such as where the structure is light or stiff. Here the discomfort is caused by the initial “bounce” of the structure caused by the footstep and is a concern on light or stiff structures.

Engineers must, of course, design to reduce the vibration effects caused by either impulse or resonance.

Potential impacts from human induced vibration

Human induced vibration can lead to a number of effects upon the structure and its users. These include:

  • Interfering with sensitive equipment Depending on the building’s purpose, what it houses can be affected by the vibrations of people using the building. Universities and laboratories, for example, may have sensitive equipment whose accuracy and performance could be damaged by vibrations. Even in ordinary offices the footfall vibration can wobble computer screens, upsetting the workers.
     
  • Swaying bridges One of the most famous examples of human-induced resonance impacting a structure occurred with the Millennium Bridge. As people walked across the bridge, the footsteps caused the bridge to sway, and everybody had to walk in time with the sway because it was difficult not to. Thankfully, this feedback can only occur with horizontal vibrations so building floors are safe from it, but footbridges need careful checking to prevent it.
     
  • Human discomfort According to research, vibrations in buildings and structures can cause depression and even motion sickness in inhabitants. Tall buildings sway in the wind and footsteps can be felt, even subconsciously by the occupants. It has been argued that modern efficient designs featuring thinner floor slabs and wider spacing in column design mean that these new builds are not as effective at dampening vibrations as older buildings are.
     
  • Jeopardising structural integrity The build-up of constant vibrations on a structure can, eventually, lead to structural integrity being compromised. A worse-case scenario would be the complete collapse of the structure and is the reason some bridges insist that marching troops break step before crossing. Crowds jumping in time to music or in response to a goal in a stadium are also dynamic loads that might damage an under-designed structure.

How to avoid it

As mentioned, modern designs that favour thinner slabs and wider column spacing are particularly susceptible to all forms of vibration, human-induced or otherwise, but short spans can also suffer due to their low mass. Using sophisticated structural engineering software is an effective method for engineers to test for and mitigate footfall and other vibrations at the design stage.

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