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Wednesday , 29 March 2017

Monthly Archives: October 2015

Architect warns, build more effectively, intelligently, with robots

One of the world’s most avant-garde and outspoken architects believes that robotic construction and 3D printing are the future of architecture. Wolf Prix, founder of the Austrian architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, is currently completing work on an art museum in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Part of the building, which has the typically complex shape favoured by Prix in his design, is being assembled by robots, using plans generated by a building information modeling (BIM) system. The architect says the work the robots are doing would normally take 160 workers eight months to complete: instead, it will take eight workers twelve weeks. Speaking to Dezeen Magazine, Prix said robots can ... Read More »

Report urges more infill, small-scale housing for Toronto

Toronto could make big strides in solving its problem of a lack of housing diversity by thinking small. A report from the Pembina Institute and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association argues that making it easier to build small-scale homes on the city’s many laneways, and to add secondary suites in existing houses, would add new housing options without having a significant impact on the look and feel of low-rise residential streets. Basement apartments, attic apartments, granny suites and infill townhouses are already common in many areas. Zoning by-laws and other restrictions, however, often impede their development, and the development of laneway housing, in other areas. The report, titled Make Way ... Read More »

Study finds fewer teens are texting while driving

If we can believe the people who agreed to talk about their driving behaviour to University of Regina researchers, fewer teens these days are texting while they drive. The percentage of youths who reported texting while driving dropped from 27 per cent in 2012 to 6 per cent in 2014, the researchers found. The frequency of the texting behaviour ranged from “sometimes” to “almost always.” The bad news is that though the numbers of texters were down, those who texted and drove were also more likely to speed or talk on the phone while driving. Males text more than females, but both groups talk on their phones equally often when ... Read More »

Straw buyers and other types of mortgage fraud

What if one of your adult children (or nephews, nieces, or grandchildren) came to you and asked you for help in buying a home, and what if that “help” would consist in allowing your name to appear on the mortgage application? You have good credit and solid finances, but your would-be homebuyer relative doesn’t. If your good name appeared on the application, the mortgage would be sure to be approved. Your child would get the home he or she wanted, pay the mortgage, and no one need be any the wiser. What would be the harm in that? The harm would be that you had just participated in mortgage fraud ... Read More »

What wealthy buyers want in real estate

One group that is not deterred by rising prices in the real estate market is the wealthy. The number of homes sold in Toronto at $3 million and over was up by 61 per cent in the first seven months of this year, according to RE/MAX, and the trend shows no signs of slowing. The realtor says that foreign buyers, especially Chinese, are playing a big part in the luxury home market in Toronto. High demand from the foreign buyers, coupled with limited supply, is causing more homes to reach the “higher dollar threshold” that defines luxury homes. What do luxury home buyers look for in a home? Typical family ... Read More »

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