Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category

U.S. Residential Real Estate Sites

November 15, 2008

Check out this article or click on the individual companies below.

Here’s a second post about this too:

The top 10  real estate websites for September, 2008, based on visits, according to Hitwise:


Glittery 16 Million Square Feet Dubai Terminal 3 Is Largest In the World

October 26, 2008



At 16.1 million square feet, Dubai’s International Airport Terminal 3 has not only became the shiniest airport terminal ever, but it’s also the largest in the world, beating the 10.6 million of the previous record holder, the firebreathing Olympic terminal 3 at Beijing International Airport.

Aesthetically, I still like Beijing’s terminal more than Dubai’s, but with 82 moving walkways, 97 escalators, eight skytrains, 82 moving, 157 lifts, and designed to easily handle the Airbus A380 and probably aircraft-carrier-sized UFOs, I’ve to admit it looks mighty impressive.

No slaves were harm in the making of this gigantic building. OK, maybe a few were injured here and there. More images at [Explorer]

Latest Super-Efficient Solar Technology Captures Every Color of the Rainbow [Solar Power]

October 24, 2008



Not surprisingly, there are several ongoing attempts to increase the efficiency of solar cells: IBMs use of concentrator photovoltaics or the University of Delaware’s technology that splits light into high energy, low energy, and medium energy chunks are a couple of examples. The latest breakthrough comes from Ohio State University where a new hybrid material consisting of electrically conductive plastic with metals including molybdenum and titanium has been developed that can absorb energy from all spectrums of visible light at once. Since traditional photovoltaic materials are only capable of capturing a fraction of light frequencies, it is easy to see how this new technology could lead to more efficient solar panels.

Like other solar materials, the hybrid version relies on light that frees electrons emitted from atoms. However, in the hybrid, electrons remain free much longer than before. In fact, it emits electrons in two different energy states—a singlet state and a triplet state. Electrons emitted in the singlet state remain free for a time that is comparable to other solar materials, but electrons in the triplet state stay free up to 7 million times longer. The new material is currently in the development stages, but Ohio State has enough faith in the project to set aside $100 million for the research team to develop a commercial product within the next five years. [Ohio State via Nano Techwire via CleanTechnica via Inhabitat]

Samsung Demos Carbon Nanotube-Based Color E-paper [E-paper]

October 21, 2008

How about this… first the typewriter, then the fax, computer, pdf scans and now… how about electronic / reusable paper to get signatures for offers on the go!  It may take until 2015 before it happens but it’s gonna be cool!


Looks like I really wasn’t wrong when I said e-paper is in the news: Samsung’s just demonstrated its own funky e-paper tech, only this time the display uses carbon-nanotube electrode technology—also a technology that’s in the news. The color carbon nanotube active matrix electrophoretic display (say that after a few pints of beer) works by rearranging charged pigment particles with an electric field, and is one of the first large-scale color displays of its type. Plus it has the advantage of being flexible as well as demanding low power. And since Samsung’s display is 14.3-inches across, it’s making our dreams of next-gen e-books even more tantalizing. [Gizmag]


The Plans for the 1.55-Mile-High Skyscraper in, You Guessed It, Dubai

October 19, 2008


Forget the 3,280 feet-high 200-floor Nakheel Tower because it’s no longer going to be the highest skyscraper in the world. The new upcoming beast is this amazing 1.55-mile-high skyscraper planned for the Jumeirah City project in Dubai. The building is so tall that its main elevator is in fact a vertical 125mph bullet train. This city-in-a-skyscraper will consume 37,000 megawatts per hour per year, with a 15MWH peak usage, but as the plans show, it has been designed to generate most of it using wind, thermal, and solar power:

If completed, the Dubai City Tower, would definitely be absolutely breathtaking. I wonder how many slaves would have to die to complete this one.

Why use an Office Space or Commercial Real Estate Agent?

October 18, 2008
Real Estate Agents are free for the Tenant

Real Estate Agents are free for the Tenant

You will save time
While we search for your office space, you can focus on running your business. The internet is no longer a novelty and everyone is online, however, the internet should not be used as a “Do it yourself media”. The data tends to be overwhelming and conflicting. Pricing and leasing happens so fast, most website simply cannot keep up. You start searching with enthusiasm and are quickly overloaded and bombarded by agents with little or nothing to offer. You will soon resign yourself to the fact paying an agent is worth it, but wait, commercial real estate services and fees are typically paid by the landlord… our services are free!

It’s free
Our service is free to you- the tenant. Office leasing in Toronto is similar to a residential real estate transaction. The owner pays his broker a commission for each lease signed. If we represent you, the other broker splits the commission with us for helping them lease the office space. You can have a professional on your side, protecting your real estate interests, at no cost to you.

It’s smart business
Knowledge of the current market conditions and the leasing process is critical for success. If you represent yourself, you are at an overwhelming competitive disadvantage. The owner has a broker who knows the market and is paid to protect their interests during the real estate transaction. You can level the playing field by appointing an office space expert to represent you–ensuring you will get the best possible deal when negotiating for your new real estate.

New TTC Bus and Streetcar Shelters Finally Erected

October 12, 2008


TTC bus and streetcar shelters finally got a facelift today.

About to get on the Queen streetcar just east of Landsdowne, I noticed a maintenance crew busily working at the spot previously occupied by a bus shelter that had been noticeably absent in recent weeks.

The new bus shelters are an extension of the TTC Next Train Arrival program announced last month that will bring us information such as when the next TTC vehicle is to arrive to the streets of Toronto. The displays on the new shelters will also feed us information on delays, helping us make decisions like “Should I wait for the next vehicle, take a cab or walk instead?”

New TTC bus and streetcar shelters erected in TorontoI asked one of the workers how long it takes to put up the new shelter and he said “about an hour.” He told me they had just completed a section along Dundas and are working on the entire city’s new shelters.

“Eventually, we’ll have LED screens on poles or built into all-new shelters that will show the expected time and physical location of the next vehicle,” said TTC Chair Adam Giambrone at the launch of the One Stop Network initiative last month.

Implementing this sort of plan is long overdue. But just in time for the inclement weather ahead. It may take a little more time before all the new technology such as a digital readout announcing the arrival times of the next two surface vehicles, but it’s coming soon to a TTC route near you.

Getting on the streetcar, it took me past the Dufferin stop, where the old shelter hadn’t even been taken down yet. I wondered when they’d get to that stop. And how they decided which areas needed new shelters first.

Is there a ghost shelter spot in your neighbourhood awaiting a fancy new shelter to be erected? What do you think of the new TTC bus shelters?

Golf + Real Estate

October 8, 2008

They almost go hand in hand.  This is a warning, do not load this game unless you have 20 minutes to spare!

Carbon Nanotube Manufacturing Breakthrough Could Mean Bye-Bye Steel

October 7, 2008

Could this be what they build new office buildings out of eventually?  What do you think?

Carbon nanotubes have been popping on Giz for a while, touted as one of the next wonder-materials—but a new development in their manufacture means they may not remain “future technology” for long. In fact the work of a team at CSIRO and the University of Texas at Dallas means that commercial-scale production of sheets of carbon nanotube “textile” is possible at up to seven meters per minute.

And these are no ordinary textiles either: they’re transparent and way stronger than a sheet of steel. The team’s technique involves chemically-growing “forests” of nanotubes that self-assemble, and is reported in Science currently. If it proves true we may see nanotube materials replacing metals like steel pretty soon—though I’m not sure how many people would balk at flying in a plane with wings you can partly see through. [Physorg]

New Paris Building Casts No Shadows, Generates Electricity

October 6, 2008

Le Project Triangle is one of those buildings that make us think that we may actually drive flying cars one day. To be completed by 2014 in the Porte de Versailles area in Paris, its most impressive feature is that, according to the architects, it won’t cast shadows on adjacent buildings. The trick is the orientation and its shape: While it looks like a massive pyramid from one side, the other side shows that it really is an ultra-thin triangle resembling a shark’s fin:

My guess is that it is oriented in such a way that the sun doesn’t project shadows over the buildings around it. That or it’s made of cloned cells from the Invisible Girl. Architects Herzog & de Meuron say that their stunning structure’s shape will also allow for “optimum solar and wind power generation.”

Le Projet Triangle, Porte de Versailles
Paris, France
2006 –, planned completion 2014

“Le Projet Triangle” is primarily perceived on the metropolitan scale of the city of Paris. Its elevated stature will lend major visibility to the Porte de Versailles and the Parc des Expositions site within the overall conurbation. It will also permit its integration in the system of axes and perspectives that constitute the urban fabric of Paris.

On the scale of the Porte de Versailles site, the project will also play a significant role in the reorganization of flows and perception of urban space. The Parc des Expositions site currently forms a break between the Haussmanian fabric of the 15th district of Paris and the communities of Issy-les-Moulineaux and Vanves, emphasised by the visual impact of the peripheral boulevard.

The construction of an ambitious building on the Porte de Versailles site will mark its opening and restore the historical axis formed by the rue de Vaugirard and avenue Ernest Renan.

The square of the Porte de Versailles is a complex space in its current configuration. Its initial semi-circular organisation is difficult to interpret given the many visual impediments and lack of clearly identified public spaces between the Parc des Expositions and the buildings opposite.

Building on the square itself would intensify this problem of perception: our project therefore proposes to free this space by positioning itself along the avenue Ernest Renan.

This move offers three major advantages :

it permits the creation of a public square between the boulevard Victor and Hall 1 of the Parc des Expositions, by reorganising logistic flows.
It creates a strong link between what are known as the “petit” and “grand” parcs, the two parts of the Parc des Expositions.
It marks the Paris / Issy-les-Moulineaux axis, allowing the urban space to cross the peripheral boulevard by activating the entire facade of the avenue Ernest Renan.
Situated along the avenue, the project is located at the heart of the Parc des Expositions site, set back from the surrounding residential areas. Its volumetry also takes into account the impact of a high building on its environment. Its triangular shape actually means that it does not cast shadows on adjacent buildings. The environmental approach of the project is also perceptible in this simple, compact volumetry which limits its ground impact and allows the optimum utilisation of solar and wind power due to its excellent positioning.

Apart from its structural and technical qualities, the filigree, crystalline nature of the project permits its integration in the system of perspectives formed by the Hausmannian axes. This dialogue with the city is not however limited to its silhouette, but also defines the internal organisation and texture of the project.

The Triangle is conceived as a piece of the city that could be pivoted and positioned vertically. It is carved by a network of vertical and horizontal traffic flows of variable capacities and speeds. Like the boulevards, streets and more intimate passages of a city, these traffic flows carve the construction into islets of varying shapes and sizes.

This evocation of the urban fabric of Paris, at once classic and coherent in its entirety and varied and intriguing in its details, is encountered in the façade of the Triangle. Like that of a classical building, this one features two levels of interpretation: an easily recognisable overall form and a fine, crystalline silhouette of its façade which allows it to be perceived variously.

This “vertical city” district stands in close relation to its environment and is accessible to a highly diverse public. Taking up the analogy of urban squares, it offers each individual the opportunity to enter a complex of spaces open to all on its levels.

The base of the project is open to all, from the square of the Porte de Versailles and along the avenue Ernest Renan which regains the appearance of a Parisian street, with its shops and restaurants. An elevated square, on level with the roofs of Paris, will offer everyone a unique view of the district and the whole city. This visit might then be extended in the higher reaches of the Triangle, from where the entire metropolis can be discovered.

The Triangle will thus become one of the scenes of metropolitan Paris. It will not only be a landmark from which the urban panorama can be viewed, but also an outstanding silhouette in the system of axes and monuments of the city.

Herzog & de Meuron, 2008