New Technologies Drive Modern Building Designs

www.euronews.com reported that drones, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, 3D-printing, Big Data and the Internet of Things; such are the new additions to the architect’s toolbox that will change the way we

To discuss and debate how to use these new tools, architects and engineers gathered in Copenhagen for the Innochain exhibition 2018.

Hosted by the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the event was organised around the work of 15 researchers who used the latest digital tools to explore new horizons in Architectural design.

Source: Punchng

Stakeholders Validate Technology Plans for Renewable Energy Resources

Industry stakeholders have endorsed three comprehensive sectoral Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) technology plans for renewable energy resources – solar, wind and biomass.

The experts also validated the draft report from the international consultant on development of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) mechanism for Nigerian power sector and the draft grid emission factor calculations for the sector.

Nigeria electricity grid faces many challenges, including insufficient grid-connected capacity to meet demand, inadequate infrastructure to make the country’s abundant gas available for power generation, and an inefficient transmission and distribution system with limited coverage.

Consequently, 50 per cent of the electrical energy consumed in the country is currently produced off-grid by diesel and gasoline generators of all shapes and sizes and there is also high unmet demand amongst the rural population. These energy gaps can be reduced with the country’s renewable energy resource potential such as solar, wind, biomass and hydropower energy.

Essentially, the stakeholders met for a two-day validation workshop in Lagos, organised by United Nations Development Programme under the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) De-Risking Renewable Energy for the Power Sector. The five-year demonstration project is being implemented in Nigeria with the Energy Commission of Nigeria and Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

Speaking at the workshop, the Project Team Leader, Okon Ekpeyong, an engineer, explained that the overall objective of the project is to assist the government in achieving a transformation in the electricity mix such that at least 20 GW of Nigeria’s electricity is generated from solar PV by 2030.

According to him, the project will contribute to the country’s attainment of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) mitigation targets in the energy sector, with expected direct emission reductions of 205,700 tons of carbon dioxide during the projects lifetime and additional indirect emission reductions of between 6.79 and 9.72 million tCO2e.

Okon said the project seeks to develop MRV framework, with appropriate indicators, to measure, report and verify emission reductions that will be generated by the investment in low-carbon activities under the NAMA/NDCs.

“The documents are articulated plan with specific, convincing request for financial and technical resources to help promoted the uptake and diffusion of solar PV, wind and biomass climate technologies in Nigeria and propose a road map or action plan for implementation,” he said.

Okon stated that many on-going energy projects do not consider the critical role of an MRV methodology in assessing the contribution of NAMA implementation to the overall national voluntary greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

NIQS Tasks FG to Create Construction Industry Board

The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has attributed increased cases of building collapse to defective construction laws in the country.NIQS President, Obafemi Onashile, who spoke at the just concluded Southeast zonal two-day workshop, with the theme: “Construction Industry Health and Safety Management”, held at Newton Hotels, Owerri, Imo State capital, noted that Factories Act of 1974 cannot solve the modern needs in the industry.

As an antidote to end such incessant cases, he appealed to the National Assembly to expedite action and pass the bill on “Construction Industry Health and Safety” sent to the lawmakers, by the surveyors.In the event attended by the executives and professionals in the sector from the geo political zone ( Imo, Abia, Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi States), Onashile, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to establish Construction Industry Board (CIB), which will comprise of experienced professionals in the building industry.

His words: “We have told President Buhari that we need to have Construction Industry Board. It will form part of the approach towards solving this problem. We have MoU with relevant ministries and departments. That is the last threshold of it.” Speaking on the causes of collapse buildings, the president said: “NIQS is calling for updating of the Health and Safety laws.

We have put this up as a bill to the National Assembly through the President as an Executive bill. If passed into law, the roles of contractors are spelt out, and collapse of buildings will be a thing of the past.”

He cautioned that professionals in different aspects of the building and construction industry must be engaged by the employers and developers during construction activities. Onashile therefore, urged participants to make good use of the opportunity provided by the workshop to enhance their capacities and pro- activeness in the industry.

He blamed some property developers for not doing enough to halt the trend, insisting that the safety of workers must also be ensured by providing necessary facilities at any construction site in the country.

“The building developers are not carrying out proper roles that they are supposed to carry out in ensuring that competent professionals are engaged.” he insisted.He also harped on the need for the message to cascade to the states of the federation.

Charles Ogugbuaja

Construction Industry: Body Tasks Professionals on New Models

Professionals in the built environment have been urged to embrace new technology in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry (AEC). President, Association of Consulting Architects Nigeria (ACANigeria), Mansur Kurfi Ahmadu said the call became necessary because built professionals cannot afford to exist in isolation.

The architect, who spoke at a pre- event cocktail in Lagos to herald the association’s international conference titled: “Future Trends in ACE industry”, said construction project management software is getting better with more features, hence the need to learn new trends.

Also, former president of the association and chairman of the organizing committee, Tayo Babalakin stressed the need for technology in construction industry.According to him, the future is already here and we as professionals must embrace technology in our works to ensure sustainability.

Mr. Babalakin however, stressed the importance of infrastructure to make it happen.According to him, government has a role to play by setting up infrastructure banks to support infrastructure and give loans at a low rate.
“Infrastructure is capital intensive and we cannot rely on Chinese loan. If we really want to control this, we must make sure that we address the issue of infrastructure funding “, he added.

He said, the essence of the cocktail is to give the sponsors and participants to the incoming international conference a millage to showcase their products before the actual event.On his part, the partner OAC Architects, Mr. Wale Okubadejo, said the event offered architects the opportunity to learn new things and apply them to their works. AEC firms are largely responsible for the built environment because they do both the design and construction of every single structure.

Bertram Nwannekanma

Why National Real Estate Data is A Giant Step in Solving Nigeria’s Housing Crisis

Nigeria has a worrisome crisis of housing deficit, but even worse is the absence of reliable data on this problem. Many believe that it will be difficult to effectively address this problem without the aid of an updatable and reliable data.

There should be dependable information on the number of houses needed for each part of the country and their unique and adaptable specifications. For better management, information on house types, unoccupied houses, deficient areas etc. should be available and used for planning and execution. The importance of data, especially in today’s world can never be overstated. According to the President of Africa Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, those who own data, owns the world.

READ ALSO: UNDER EMPLOYMENT, NOT UNEMPLOYMENT IS INDIA’S BIG PROBLEM

Against this backdrop, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, The German Society for International Cooperation, National Bureau of Statistics, National Population Commission, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria, World Bank, Growth and Empowerment in States, Pison Housing Company, Building Materials Producers Association of Nigeria, Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria and Value chain have established the National Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme (NRE-DCMP).

The programme is to ensure comprehensive collation and management of data for planning, pre-construction, construction and post construction in the sector.

According to the President and Chairman of Council for REDAN, Ugochukwu Chime, the sectoral information would help in policy formulation for the development of the industry and unleash the potentials in the sector for employment generation, inclusive socio-economic growth, and shelter provision in the country. He stressed the need for effective collaborative efforts among stakeholders to ensure that risks and rewards in the built industry could be redistributed with the aim of enhancing organisational efficiency.

According to Chime, the misrepresentation of housing data in the country which has not really helped the sector before now doesn’t sit well with him.

“I have been in different fora where ministers representing different various ministries in Nigeria outside this country were giving different data about the same issue, which is embarrassing.

“We need data for planning; we need to know where we need those houses, so we organised it in such a way that the CBN agreed to work with us to tackle housing sector crisis.

“The data emerged from developers profile and capacity, demand and affordability profile of the market within a given locality and household condition survey.

“We went a step further to ensure that all the parties who are involved in the planning of various aspects have data for it,’’ he said.

Safe to say that introduction of the National Real Estate Data is a landmark achievement with significant expectations in Nigeria’s housing sector. With this, it will be possible to collate property price index nationwide to solve housing problems in the country.

According to Chime, the data collated from national land administrators on pre-construction, construction and post construction activities nationwide would be hoisted on the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC)’s website for public usage. One can only imagine the significance of such accessible pool of data.

Housing

Another impressive fact is that the data had input on land administration and the 37 land administration entities in Nigeria including the improvement that could be brought to bear on them. The collated data included issues of mortgage law and foreclosure law as well as how to standardise operations of various institutions to ensure a developer received a standardized allocation letter.

The collated data according to Chime would also dwell on how to standardise the deed of legal mortgage and deed of assignments in various registries to ensure its financial acceptance.

READ ALSO: NIGERIA NEEDS GROWTH TO DEFUSE POVERTY TIME BOMB

“On affordability we want to know the numbers and the people in the 774 LGAs who need the houses and their affordability reach so that we will stop the issues of having duplexes everywhere or building houses people cannot buy.

“So we can now do targeted construction that can only happen when we have the data on affordability and business data to know the people who are developing the houses.

“We also have housing condition which is the baseline to ascertain the condition of existing houses in the 774 local government or the 37 entities we have in 36 states and FCT.

Housing

“These components are what we have gone on to do by organising the NREDCMP,” he said.

According to him, the association has been able to ensure the various stakeholders have understanding of how all the data they want to work upon were collated, gathered and analysed.

READ ALSO: NIGERIA FACING DAUNTING ECONOMIC CHALLENGES

This has been commended as a giant leap for Nigeria and in addressing the country’s age-long housing crisis.

The president of housing development advocacy network, and convener of Abuja Housing Show Barrister Festus Adebayo has applauded the giant step taken by all stakeholders who are involved in providing for Nigeria for the first time a reliable data that can help us solve the country’s housing problem.

By Felix Ojonugbwa

UN Picks Kenya to Host Smart Housing Prototype

UN Environment, UN Habitat, the Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture and associated partners are working on designs for smart houses, one of which is on display at the UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

Africa is urbanizing fast, as its population grows and many flocks to cities in search of jobs, education and healthcare. Studies show that hundreds of millions more Africans will live in cities over the next three decades.

Many of these new urban Africans, however, are likely to end up in informal settlements. Already an estimated 200 million Africans live in informal settlements—often without access to energy and sanitation.

The growing class of urban poor need access to decent housing. But the challenge is that the global housing sector already emits almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and uses up to 40 per cent of the planet’s total resources. New approaches are clearly needed.

 

As the housing sector grows—and it must grow if we want an equitable world—we need to reduce its environmental impact, not raise it,” said UN Environment Acting Executive Director, Joyce Msuya. “Smart design is the only way to meet our housing needs and stay within planetary boundaries.”

First unveiled at the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly, the 3D-printed modular structure, made from biodegradable bamboo, aims to spark ideas and debate on how future biomaterial processes can help meet the Sustainable Development Goals, Habitat III New Urban Agenda and Paris Agreement.

The pavilion shows how post-agricultural waste—like bamboo, coconut, rice, soy and corn—can be turned into construction materials. It demonstrates solar energy and water systems that make homes self-sufficient and zero carbon. It highlights how micro-farming can be achieved with plant walls. All these features, and more, are integrated, monitored and managed by sensors and digital controls.

“As urbanization gallops forward, people around the world are tired of seeing precious natural habitats paved over with toxic, energy-intensive materials such as concrete and steel,” said Anna Dyson, Director of the Center for Ecosystems in Architecture at Yale University. “In the 21stcentury, global construction practices must innovate towards nature-based solutions for future cities. Our research consortium with East African collaborators is devoted to advancing state-of-the-art locally produced building systems.”

It is fitting that the pavilion is based in Kenya, as the government there has prioritized affordable housing as a key pillar of its Big Four Agenda, which aims to make the East African nation an upper middle-income country by 2030. Over the next five years, the government plans to build over 500,000 affordable houses across the country to meet the ever-growing housing demand.

To achieve the low-cost housing agenda, however, the industry needs to embrace technological changes that will result in the use of innovative sustainable construction, the aggregate effect of which would be to lower the embodied energy and average cost of manufacturing and housing.

“Architecture must address the global housing challenge by integrating critically needed scientific and technical advances in energy, water, and material systems while remaining sensitive to the cultural and aesthetic aspirations of different regions,” said Deborah Berke, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

The pavilion serves as a starting point for those in government and industry to think about what they can do better. It is part of a series of demonstration buildings, which started with a 22-square-meter “Ecological Living Module”, powered by renewable energy and designed to minimize the use of resources such as water. This module was displayed at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2018.

Baraka Jefwa

Data Exchange Framework for Smart Cities Completes First Phase

The exchange aims to help cities use data to improve their decision-making

US Ignite, the non-profit which aims to accelerate the smart cities movement, and technology company, ATIS, have completed the first phase of the Smart Cities Data Exchange framework.

The project began in September 2018 to create a blueprint for the secure and interoperable exchange of data beyond city operational boundaries.

Building momentum

More than 10 community partners and nearly a dozen companies have joined the project working group. The consortium has defined its area of focus and created an implementation plan based on the scenario of exchanging community and economic development data, with an emphasis on datasets that contribute to measures of mobility and livability across a region.

 

Traditional data like municipal budgets and crime reports, as well as new data from sensors, vehicles, and IoT-enabled infrastructure, have the power to improve decision-making processes related to housing, transit, and commercial development at the local level. However, for cities to benefit from this information, they need new data-driven tools to visualise development outcomes and effectively assess neighborhood impact.

“Smart cities will be defined in the near future as much by their digital infrastructure as their physical structures”

Cities also need to be able to share data in an interoperable and secure way with other cities, adjacent communities, federal/state government agencies, trusted partners, citizens, and application developers.

 

“Data sharing is critical to solving problems that naturally extend beyond municipal boundaries,” said Nick Maynard, chief strategy officer of US Ignite. “Whether communities are tackling issues around accessibility, commercial real estate development, or equitable transportation, the solutions all depend on knowing where the pain points lie, and what resources are available for use. Unfortunately, that information doesn’t reside in a single departmental database.”

How the exchange will work

The Smart Cities Data Exchange framework will detail the processes for: taking data from community development source systems (such as traffic sensor data and affordable housing stock), creating a pipeline for data transformation into a common open schema, merging data from across multiple communities, and serving data through APIs, discovery systems, and visualisation tools.

“Smart cities will be defined in the near future as much by their digital infrastructure as their physical structures,” said Mike Nawrocki, ATIS vice president, technology and solutions. “Only by unlocking the data available to them will communities be able to ensure equitable opportunities for economic growth and a higher quality of life for citizens.”

“Data sharing is critical to solving problems that naturally extend beyond municipal boundaries”

In addition to a framework with technical specifications and data-sharing practices, the Smart Cities Data Exchange project team aims to produce a single, highly visual tool that will help communities explore and provide snapshots of development potential on a property-by-property basis based on zoning, development standards, infrastructure requirements, and funding options.

Such a tool would enable communities to analyse land use scenarios in the context of building healthier neighbourhoods, in terms of multimodal transportation, walkability, and ease of access to complementary services.

The new consortium of industry partners includes: AT&T; C Spire; Cisco; Fujitsu; Current by GE; iconectiv; Interdigital; Microsoft; Oracle; Qualcomm; and Verizon.

Community partners include: Austin; Chattanooga; Colorado Springs; Denver, District of Columbia; Independence; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Portland; San Diego and Virginia Beach.

The Smart Cities Data Exchange project welcomes potential partners interested in supporting further development.

How Smart Home Technology Can Advance 21st Century Home Construction—Etoniru

A leading real estate firm in Nigeria, Joe Etoniru and Associates, has called on Nigerians to embrace smart home technology, saying that it gives prospective homeowners the advantage of prioritising which smart home functionalities they want in their homes at the design and build stage. It also said the call became necessary as a result of the convenience and security that the technology offers.

Principal Partner of the firm, Mr. Chidiebere Etoniru, who said these in a chat with newsmen, said smart home technology is already evolving in Nigeria, adding that the firm has built modern homes with the technology in upscale areas in Lagos. His words: “Over the past 10 years, technology has transformed different industries in Nigeria.

From retail to agriculture and the construction industry, they have begun to see their own share of innovation. Smart home technology that used to be popular with tech-savvy CEOs has now been expanded to include the general populace. Have you ever wondered if you locked the doors after you were already in bed or whether you turned off your home appliances after you arrived at work? “Would you like to know what your children are watching or how they fared while you were away? These questions and many more are what smart home technology can answer for you.

From home monitoring systems to light and sound control; smart home technology has just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible in the construction Industry. Smart home “Every home has some form of safety system no matter how rudimentary it might be. From the kind of locks used on the doors to whether or not a burglary proof should be added to the home. In the case of an automated home, there is a chance to take this up a notch. First, you can get a smart lock that reduces the need for the use of keys especially in cases where strangers have to access the home for various reasons.

With most smart locks, you can create a code specifically for a person to use which can be deactivated once the person is done with their assigned task. The closed-circuit door camera that takes pictures of everyone who presses your doorbell is another ingenious way to protect your home against unwanted guests or track who has visited your home and at what time. “

CHARLES KUMOLU

AFDB

AfDB President: People Who Control Data, Will Control Africa, Data is key

  • AFDB President “Coding must be compulsory, at all levels. The currency of the future is going to be coding…We must democratize technology,” Adesina tells Mo Ibrahim Governance Week Information technology must not be the exclusive privilege of the elite

African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Prof. Akinwunmi Adesina, has pleaded for Africans to embrace technology, and governments to urgently move away from “investing in the jobs of the past, but rather in the jobs of the future. A future that is just around the corner.”

Adesina was addressing a debate entitled: The New Tech Era: Job-killer or Job-creator? organised by Africa Report and Jeune Afrique as part of the 2019 Mo Ibrahim Governance Week.

The debate took place in the Sofitel Hotel in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

READ ALSO: LAGOS-IBADAN RAILWAY: CCECC COMPLAINS OF MACHINE BREAKDOWN, SAYS FG

AFDB

“The people who control data, will control Africa. Coding must be compulsory, at all levels. The currency of the future is going to be coding,” Adesina said. “Information technology must not be the exclusive privilege of the elite, we must democratize technology,” he added.

Panelists included Pascal Lamy, board Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and past Director-General of the World Trade Organization; Eric Kacou, an Ivorian businessman and co-founder of ESP Solutions; Chioma Agwuegbo, a Nigerian tech specialist and Zyad Liman, publishing director of Afrique Magazine.

In his welcome remarks, Mo Ibrahim urged the panelists to think about ways to address the “tsunami of young people entering the job market.”

In response to that call to action, Kacou insisted on the need for “a change in mindset to move from BBC or Born Before Computers to rethinking education to teach people how to learn and help them solve problems.”

Panellists acknowledged the critical role the tech industry can play in Africa’s economic transformation through the continent’s digitization. However, they agreed on the urgent need to upgrade the skills of the past, to do it fast, and move away from the social fear of technology.

Research has shown that if governments harness the full economic potential of just the internet, Africa could add $300 billion to its GDP by 2025. Also, 70% of all jobs will have an ICT component by 2020.

Opportunities to transform Africa through technology are endless.  In agriculture, drones can monitor crops, Artificial Intelligence can speed varietal selection, and the Internet of the Things can control smart irrigation systems. Block chains can also aid food traceability.

“We must grab the opportunities…We must democratize technology. Africa should prepare itself. Digital technologies, including Artificial intelligence, big data analytics, blockchains, 3D printing, are already upon us,” Adesina concluded.

The three-hour interactive session ended with members of the audience calling for accelerated policy reforms and creating an enabling environment for innovative technology to thrive.

The issue of data protection, identity protection and fake news and how to turn population into assets, topped discussions.

The African Development Bank has already made big strides in building skills in technology and innovation with its Job for Youth programme.

In all, 234,000 new coders and 130 Coding Centres of Excellence are being created for Africa to participate in the supply side of the digital economy.

The programme is not restricted to coding. The Bank is working with partners in the private sector, such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft, to build technical literacy and arm people at all educational levels with the skills they will need going forward.

To ensure there is a general reskilling of Africans, the Bank has invested EURO 70 million in a technology park in Senegal, to create a regional cluster of tech businesses in francophone Africa.

READ ALSO: 3 SIGNS OF A SHIFTING PROPERTY MARKET

The tech park is expected to contribute to the diversification of Senegal’s economy, creating 35,000 direct and 105,000 indirect jobs.

AFDB

Additionally, the Bank has invested in several funds such as the TLcom TIDE Fund, Partech and African Technology Ventures to overcome the challenge of access to finance for tech entrepreneurs.

The Bank has also provided a US$30 million loan to the Rwandan Government to contribute to the innovation economy through the Rwanda Innovation Fund, focused on funding Tech-Enabled SME’s and to develop Rwanda’s entrepreneurial/innovation ecosystem capacity.

The Mo Ibrahim Governance Weekend kicked off in Abidjan on Friday. Adesina is joining Africa’s most influential leaders and thinkers for this event, which celebrates the continent’s leadership, debates issues of critical importance to Africa, and charts the way forward for the region.

Source: Yinka Okeowo

Expo: REDAN to inaugurate, hoist estate data for housing delivery

The Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) says it is set to inaugurate and hoist its National Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme (NRE-DCMP) aimed at mitigating housing deficit nationwide.

Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, President of REDAN, told newsmen on Thursday in Abuja that the collated housing data would be inaugurated and hoisted during its forthcoming expo scheduled to hold in Abuja from May 7 to 8.

HousingNews reports that NRE-DCMP was initiated by REDAN and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to collate property price index nationwide to solve housing problems in the country.

The surveyor said that the data, collated from national land administrators on pre-construction, construction and post construction activities nationwide would be hoisted on the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC)’s website for public usage.

“We are going to hoist the data on the website of the NMRC who actually is the key party and has done so much in the area of structural improvement to the mortgage process in Nigeria by keying into mortgage laws which they brought about.

Chime regretted that before now there was a big misrepresentation of housing data in the country which has not really helped the sector.

“I have been in different fora where ministers representing different various ministries in Nigeria outside this country were giving different data about the same issue, which is embarrassing.

“We need data for planning; we need to know where we need those houses, so we organised it in such a way that the CBN agreed to work with us to tackle housing sector crisis.

“The data emerged from developers profile and capacity, demand and affordability profile of the market within a given locality and household condition survey.

“We went a step further to ensure that all the parties who are involved in the planning of various aspects have data for it.

He said that the association collaborated with CBN, World Bank, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) , NMRC , Value Chain and other organisations.

“We also collaborated with the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS), National Population Commission (NPC) to be able to have the NRE-DCMP which is a novel thing that has never happened before,” he added.

He further noted that the data had input on land administration and the 37 land administration entities in Nigeria including the improvement that could be brought to bear on them.

He added that the collated data included issues of mortgage law and foreclosure law as well as how to standardise operations of various institutions to ensure a developer received a standardise allocation letter.

Chime explained that the collated data would also dwell on how to standardise the deed of legal mortgage and deed of assignments in various registries to ensure it’s financial acceptance.

“On affordability we want to know the numbers and the people in the 774 LGAs who need the houses and their affordability reach so that we will stop the issues of having duplexes everywhere or building houses people cannot buy.

“So we can now do targeted construction that can only happen when we have the data on affordability and business data to know the people who are developing the houses.

“We also have housing condition which is the baseline to ascertain the condition of existing houses in the 774 local government or the 37 entities we have in 36 states and FCT.

“These components are what we have gone on to do by organising the NREDCMP,” he said.

According to him, the association has been able to ensure the various stakeholders have understanding of how all the data they want to work upon were collated, gathered and analyse.

Source: HousingNews

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