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Saturday , 25 March 2017

Monthly Archives: November 2014

3D printed concrete coming soon to world’s construction sites

One of the world’s foremost architectural firms and its partner, a leading construction and engineering firm, are confident that it will soon be possible to save a great deal of time and money by creating buildings using 3D printed concrete. The renowned London-based architectural firm of Foster and Partners has teamed with Swedish construction and concrete giant Skanska with the aim of developing viable 3D technology for printing with concrete. The partners have said they hope to develop the world’s first commercial concrete-printing robot within eighteen months. The development work will be taking place in collaboration with Britain’s Loughborough University. The machine, controlled by computer and mounted on a gantry, will ... Read More »

No age discrimination by mortgage lenders (at least not officially)

Can you be too old to get a mortgage? A fairly disturbing trend has been reported in England where new lending restrictions went into effect recently. Banks there are reportedly denying mortgages to applicants in their late thirties and forties because they would be paying off the loans in retirement and presumably more likely to have difficulty doing so. A report by a group that represents England’s banks says that the lenders can’t be sure borrowers will be able to pay back their loans when their only income is a pension. The group is asking for clarification from the government to avoid the “extinction” of mortgages that stretch into retirement. ... Read More »

Health groups urging Canadians to test homes for radon gas

Radon is the forgotten cancer risk. The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) says that radon is second only to cigarette smoking as a cause of lung cancer in Canada. The CCS estimates that 16 per cent of lung cancer deaths, amounting to around 3.000 cases each year, are caused by inhaling radon gas, the colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is found naturally in the environment. It would be quite innocuous were it not for the fact that it is radioactive. Despite the fact that it is present in almost every home in Canada, according to the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (RSIC), almost no one seems concerned about it, probably due ... Read More »

Canada’s housing market not overvalued, not overheated, not overbuilt: CMHC

Just a few months ago the highly respected British journal The Economist wrote that Canada’s housing market was overvalued by as much as 30 per cent and in danger of collapse. As severe as that assessment was, it was nothing compared to what Deutsche Bank said last December; the German bank pegged the overvaluation of our housing market at 60 per cent, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) agreed. The housing market in Canada was the most overvalued of all OECD members, among the most overvalued in the world, and virtually poised for a crash, it said. Not so fast, says Canada’s national housing agency, Canada Mortgage ... Read More »

National Housing Day draws attention to plight of the homeless

A national day whose origins are in a “national disaster” must be one on which emotions are mixed. National Housing Day, “celebrated” November 22 in Canada, has its origins in the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC), which in 1998 called on all levels of government to declare homelessness a national disaster requiring emergency humanitarian relief. It went on to urge the development of a National Homelessness Relief and Prevention Strategy, declaring that Canada’s governments were violating the human rights of the homeless. The TDRC formulated what it called the “1 per cent solution,” a funding formula whereby each level of government would allocate 1 per cent of its budget to ... Read More »

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