Innovations In Sustainable Housing

Innovations In Sustainable Housing

Innovations in sustainable housing are very exciting.  New technologies are enabling a new breed of housing. Innovative approaches to construction, are creating homes that are more resistant to climate change along with many sustainable features. Modular or prefab homes are becoming a popular alternative to traditional new construction methods. Some of the benefits modular/prefab homes can offer are energy efficiency, very little to no construction waste, less use of precious resources, quick delivery times and more affordable price points. Check out the videos of this new unfolding, totally transportable home created by TENFOLD.

Ten Fold Technology

Ten Fold is an IP licensing company that develops technology for people and products that move using patented lever-based systems that transform the shape and utility of your products.

The trend in tiny modular homes that have modern features and large windows such as the one below, created by Vipp Shelter, looks stunning….however, and that’s a big however, before you decide to go this route, make sure that the product  you’re purchasing is created with thought about the natural environment it will be placed in. If for example the climate, sun orientation or existing infrastructures are not considered, then this beauty could turn out to be a lot less desirable. Here’s a great article from Treehugger on what one needs to consider….

Vipp Shelter tiny prefab as precise industrial-era appliance

The Danish company VIPP (famous for its iconic 1939 wastebasket, now in the MOMA) has created a prefab tiny home designed down to the last detail (flashlight included). Their 592-square-foot “plug and play getaway” wasn’t designed to blend into nature, but to float above it; fifty thousand pounds of glass and steel serve as a frame for the surrounding landscape.

Another company that’s making a splash in modular steel home construction is Canadian company, Green Terra Homes. The company makes the case for steel construction over wood construction as follows:

“Wood frames are outdated. It takes forty trees to build a wood frame, and the lumber has to be processed and chemically treated. By comparison, steel is one of the most recyclable products in the world. You can also add solar panels and green roofs to your modular home.  Steel is a lighter, stronger, and straighter material than wood, thereby making is easier to lift and move around without the use of a crane to construct the frame. You can erect the frame yourself or hire an experienced general contractor or framer to provide this service.

Lightweight steel is 100% recyclable and the most recycled product in the world. Steel frame homes are unaffected by humidity or temperature changes which make them energy-efficient. This results in money saved on fuel costs. Lower energy consumption helps the initiative to further conserve our natural resources. It takes six recycled cars to build one steel frame home vs. 40-to-50 trees to build a timber home.   A steel frame home is the optimum choice for you and your family’s health and safety. Contrary to wood, steel does not absorb moisture so it will not rot or grow mold.
The Healthy House Institute recommends steel framing for chemically-sensitive and environmentally-conscious homeowners who are seeking the best possible indoor air quality.   Additionally, steel is non-combustible and therefore a lower fire risk. A wood home burns very fast as the wood fuels the fire. Steel does not contribute fuel to a fire. When exposed to extremely high heat, steel may deform but it will not burn. “
Key features include:
  • Creating value
  • Affordability
  • Design
  • Rapid construction
  • Cost savings
  • Sustainability
  • Made of Steel
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • 100% Recyclable
  • Built to Last
  • Does Not Contribute to Landfill
  • Redefining Prefabricated Homes

Green Terra homes recently partnered with Habitat for Humanity, donating a portion of sales to the non profit.

Another company re-inventing how sustainable homes are built, embracing steel over wood construction, is the Quebec company, Bone Structure. Inspired by the aerospace industry, structures are designed to fit into place without the need for screws, nails or the like. The company is focused on being a net zero energy construction. Although they are more costly than Green Terra or other such companies, their designs are quite stunning!

Project 15-580: Stanford, California

Uploaded by BONE Structure on 2016-07-06.

BONE Structure – Bigwin Island Bare BONE Event

Host Erin McCoy takes a trip to cottage country to visit the BONE Structure Bare BONE Open House event on Bigwin Island on Lake of Bays in Muskoka. Learn firsthand about the innovative new steel home assembly system from BONE Structure.

Marc A Bovet, the founder of Bone Structure gave a TEDX Talk on why houses are ripe for innovation. Our cell phones, computers, cars and most everything today is being what I call “uberized”. Marc is passionate about creating homes that will “stand the test of time”.  Learn more about Marc and listen to his TEDX talk:

Innovation – It’s Time to Take it Home | Marc A Bovet | TEDxLaval

Everything that surrounds you has evolved through innovation. Your cell phone is now a smart phone, your car is now a computer on wheels, your news comes from social media and your newspaper is a tablet. The housing industry can’t afford to ignore innovation or stay in denial mode based on the saying – we’ve always done it that way!

For other cool, innovative, sustainable, urban, architectural inspiration, check out this site and videos by Kirsten Dirksen on

Sunbathed small wooden studio in calm forest near Barcelona

Tasked with building a tiny studio in the hills outside Barcelona, architect Pablo Serrano Elorduy created an all-wooden shelter stunning in its simplicity, efficient thanks to smart design. The orientation takes advantage of Spanish sun for heating: large windows open the South side to winter sun; protective shading blocks direct summer sun.

According to Linkedin, Sunday January 28th 2018;

“Housing costs keep climbing in the U.S. and the trend is sending ripples through real estate. The spike — coupled with the trend of workers seeking employment in the city or looking to switch to remote work — has inspired a few novel projects to make better use of America’s space.  Join the conversation –  #UrbanInnovations

Follow this topic @ #UrbanInnovations





Griffintown Montreal A Neighborhood On The Rise

Featured photos ©Bonnie Meisels

Griffintown Montreal A Neighborhood On The Rise

Griffintown Montreal A Neighborhood On The Rise is about a newly developed sector of Montreal, barely a kilometer in size.  It’s border stretch from north of the Lachine Canal to Notre-Dame St., and east from Georges-Vanier to the Bonaventure Expressway. Real estate wise, this area is part of the borough of Le Sud-Ouest.

An area rich with history and some wonderful architectural buildings, this southwestern part of Montreal stretches back to the 1820’s to the 1960’s as an industrial and working class neighborhood for mostly Irish immigrants.

In 2014, Griffintown became part of an ongoing movement to introduce a “Quartier de l’innovation” to lower Montreal, with the idea to create and foster creativity and entrepreneurship in the city. This focus has attracted a demographic of upscale, professional, high-tech and young millennials,  than the other districts of the Sud-Ouest region.  From a minimal population of 810 in 1971, Griffintown today has an untold amount of  major housing complexes occupied and currently under development. According to statistics Canada ” Griffintown has had double-digit growth, but the area bordered by Notre-Dame, Guy and de la Montagne Streets saw the largest population boom in the metropolitan region, exploding by 642 per cent from 2011.”

Along with all these condo developments and new residents, a whole host of stylish restaurants, artisan bakeries, hotels, boutiques, high end grocers and stores have sprung up. One of the other great features of this neighborhood is if you work downtown, you can cycle to work, stroll out for a microbrew or some fromage Québecois…. The price point of this area is also more attainable for young professionals than it’s nearby Old Montreal.

I recently did a mini video snapshot of the neighborhood as it stands now in 2018. This neighborhood reminds me somewhat of Soho in New York and / or some of the other old industrial sections of Manhattan that went through transformation.

View or download the sales Griffintown Montreal sale stats from 2016 -2017



Popular places to go in Griffintown


La Bête à Pain – 195 Rue Young, Montréal, QC H3C 2E9 –  (514) 509-8937

Yuki Bakery – 1744 Rue William #604, Montréal, QC H3J 1R4 –  (514) 836-9968

Boulangerie L’ Amour du Pain – 323 Mountain St, Montreal, QC H3C 2B2 – (514) 846-4070

Patrice Pâtissier – 2360 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3J 1N4 – (514) 439-5434


Restaurant Le Fantôme – 1832 William St, Montreal, QC H3J 1R5 – (514) 846-1832

HVOR – 1414 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3C 1K9 – 514) 937-2001

Sushi Taxi – 1744 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3J 1M3 – (514) 564-3434

Le Boucan Smokehouse – 1886 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3J 1M6 – (514) 439-4555

Foxy – 1638 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3J 1M1 – (514) 925-7007

Bistro Licence IV – 1524 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3C 1L1 – (514) 938-8084

Chez Sophie – 1974 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H3J 1M8 – (438) 380-2365

Grinder Viandes & Vins – 1708 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3J 1M3 – (514) 439-1130

These are just a small sample of awesome restaurants, there are many more

The 10 Best Restaurants In Griffintown, Montreal

A neighborhood in southwestern Montreal, Griffintown is full of historic buildings, boutiques and restaurants, all within a short walk from the waterfront. Check out this list of restaurants that incorporate the culture and flavor of the city while still taking inspiration from around the world.


West Elm ( Furniture Store) – 995 Rue Wellington #100, Montréal, QC H3C 1V3 – (514) 861-2809

LUDOVIK (Furniture & Accessories) – 1318 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3C 1K7 – (514) 678-6617

Celadon Collection (Furniture) – 170 Peel St, Montreal, QC H3C 2G7 – (514) 932-3306

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams – 1057 Wellington St, Montreal, QC H3K 1V4 –  (514) 788-8801

MUST Concept Store – 186 Peel St, Montreal, QC H3C 2G7 – (514) 509-8871

Ligne Roset Montréal – 197 Rue Young, Montréal, QC H3C 2E9 –  (514) 509-5370

Whether you’re looking for furniture, ice cream, flowers, you’ll find all you’re looking for. View map and listings;

Griffintown Condo Projects

Contact me for more information on any of these projects

Hotels directly in Griffintown

Hôtel Alt Montréal – 120 Peel St, Montreal, QC H3C 0L8 – 855-823-8120

Alt Hotel Rooftop

Montreal Real Estate Stats December 2017

Montreal Real Estate Stats December 2017

Montreal Real Estate Stats December 2017 – The latest Montreal real estate sales statistics via Centris:

The quick market update – key takeaway points via Centris.

  • Four of the six* main areas of the Montréal CMA registered an increase in sales in December 2017 as compared to December 2016.
  • Laval, the Island of Montréal and the South Shore set the tone with strong sales increases of 20, 15 and 15 per cent, respectively.
  • Condominium sales were extremely robust in December, jumping by 35 per cent. In fact, the 978 condo transactions registered last month represent a new December sales record.
  • Sales of plexes (2 to 5 dwellings) increased by 5 per cent, while sales of single-family homes fell slightly by 1 per cent”

The condominium segment just registered its largest monthly price increase in almost seven years,” said Mathieu Cousineau, President of the GMREB Board of Directors. “The number of months of inventory has been falling steadily for two years now, and this is increasingly reflected by an upward pressure on prices. Many areas are even in a seller’s market for condominiums,” added Mr. Cousineau.

Inventory of property for sale fell for a 27th consecutive month. In December, there were 24,520 active residential listings in the Centris® system, a 9 per cent drop compared to one year earlier.

Watch the video and reports on the Canadian Real Estate Market

SOURCE Chambre immobilière du Grand Montréal

According to & Moneysense:


“Canada’s real estate is actually balanced

According to Robert Hogue, senior economist with RBC Economics, there is “limited downside risks to prices in the near term in Canada” as the majority of housing markets, including Toronto, are “in balance.”

Based on the sales-to-new listings ratio—where 50% is a balanced market—the overall Canadian market appears to be balanced, according to RBC Economics December Monthly Housing Market report. Toronto and Calgary are also in balanced territory while Montreal and Vancouver are still leaning towards a seller’s market.”

Source: RBC Economics Monthly Housing Market Update, December 14, 2017

Despite the recent interest rate hikes of 2017 and the new tighter mortgage rules which came into effect Jan 1, 2018, factors which are expected to take the steam out of the Canadian housing markets, not all provinces are equal.

“According to CREA estimates sales activity will decline across Canada (by 5.3%), as a well as in B.C. (by 3.7%), in Alberta (by 2.8%), in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (3.8% and 3.9%, respectively) and in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (by 0.5% and 2.8%, respectively). The two hardest hit provinces will be Ontario, with an almost 10% decline in activity (9.6%) and Prince Edward Island, with a 7.4% decrease in sales activity.

The only provinces predicted to have increased sales activity in 2018—albeit at anemic rates—are Quebec (0.9%) and Newfoundland (1.3%).” Only in Quebec average prices are expected to beat the national anemic rates, with a 4.2% increase in average sales prices.

Based on the prospect of further mortgage rate increases in 2018, buyers would be wise to get pre-approved now, or as soon as possible, since that interest rates will be guaranteed for a period of time while buyers shop. Even if interest rates were to increase, the buyer would be protected by the pre-approval rate given to him/her at the time of their pre-approval.

Check out this article from Macleans,

The 91 most important economic charts to watch in 2018

Paul Cardinal from the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards, told Jamie Orchard of Global News, “the last time growth in Montreal sales outpaced Toronto and Vancouver was in 1998.” “Sales of homes exceeding $1 million rose 20 per cent in Greater Montreal and condos priced above $500,000 were up 42 per cent. The total value of sales grew 13 per cent to $16.2 billion, about half of which was on the Island of Montreal.”

Cardinal forecasts another strong year in 2018 with the number of sales increasing by five per cent. Average prices are also expected to increase almost five per cent. All in all, Montreal capped a strong year with total sales across Greater Montreal increasing 10 per cent to 2,781 in December. While sales on the Island of Montreal increased 15 per cent, it was outpaced by Laval at 20 per cent and on par with the south shore.

Watch the Interview and read the full article;





Chinese Buyers In The Canadian Market

Chinese Buyers In The Canadian Market

Chinese buyers in the Canadian market features the recent report “China to Canada: International Home Buyer Insights”, jointly created by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and, China’s premiere international property portal.

The report uncovers the prospective interest in home buyers from mainland China in terms of  pricing, motivation, and levels of interest between conventional and top-tier real estate in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. The report does take into account the impacts of the recently imposed 15% property transfer tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver.

Some Key Takeaways:

Education was the most commonly cited motivation for Chinese interest in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal followed by personal use.

The single highest motivation for property enquirers interested in Calgary real estate was “own use”, at 62%.

27% of Toronto and Vancouver enquirers, and 23% and 21% of Montreal and Calgary enquirers, indicated that investment was a motivation.

Immigration was the least frequently cited motive.

57% of property enquiries in Vancouver, 67% in Calgary, and 68% in both Toronto and Montreal fell below $655,050 ($500,000 USD) in 2016.

The median prices for property enquiries –$590,200 in Vancouver, $531,115 in Calgary, $458,928 in Toronto and $488,012 in Montreal

After the imposition of the 15% tax in Vancouver, there was a noticeable shift in the market;

Vancouver listings enquiries on fell 81% year-over-year in July 2016, the month the foreign buyers’ tax was announced, and 78% year-over-year in August when the tax took effect.

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada experts observed that increased interest from Chinese property enquirers did not result in matching surges in sales activity from this cohort in alternative markets.

The results were somewhat different in properties 1 Million and over;

In Vancouver property enquiries for real estate over $1 million fell 67% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2016 in the month the 15% foreign buyers’ tax was implemented, but rebounded with an 18% year-over-year increase in the last quarter

Toronto properties over $1 million experienced only a nominal, 2% year-over-year uptick on in the third quarter of 2016 following the implementation of the Vancouver foreign buyers’ tax, before ending the fourth quarter with enquiries up 18% year-over-year

As in the case of the conventional real estate market, rising interest in luxury real estate in Toronto, Calgary and Montreal did not result in matching gains in sales activity.

Read or download the full Sotheby’s International Realty Canada Report




Bitcoin And Real Estate

Bitcoin And Real Estate

Bitcoin and real estate, has anyone actually bought or sold their home with bitcoin? The answer is YES! Bitcoin is already accepted in many retail outlets and restaurants, so it’s no surprise that this has extended to real estate as well. According to an article at CNBC, “it was only a matter of time before the cryptocurrency took on real estate. That time is now. Bitcoin is slowly making its way into closings on everything from Lake Tahoe land in California to Manhattan condos to single-family homes in the heart of Texas.”  Ben Shaoul, president of Magnum Real Estate Group, is a developer  working on a project in Manhattan’s lower east side.  The project offers condos priced between 700k and 1.5 Million U.S. Shaoul is accepting bitcoin as a possilbe mode of payment and may even consider keeping the bitcoin rather than cashing it….He sees the flexibility of his project to be able to accept payment in bitcoin, as a competitive advantage in his marketplace.

The first ever single-family home sale in Texas involving bitcoin was announced last month. The buyer, being comfortable in tech, purchased the home with bitcoin. The seller preferring payment in conventional dollars, wanted the bitcoin to be converted. BitPay, a global bitcoin payment service provider out of Atlanta converted the bitcoins into dollars for the buyer. Given that bitcoin’s value is a moving target day to day, the risk was all on the buyer side. The seller agreed to a fixed price in dollars.

There is still nervousness and confusion about how bitcoins are taxed. Some guidance was issued by the Internal Revenue Agency in 2014, “What they said in that guidance is if you hold bitcoin or ethereum or one of these other convertible digital currencies as a capital asset, when you use that bitcoin to purchase goods or services — so for example, if I were to take $1 million in bitcoin to buy an apartment building or something — to the extent that bitcoin has appreciated since I acquired it, any of that gain, that built-in gain, would be taxed when I used the bitcoin to buy the building,” said Jeremy Naylor, a tax attorney and partner at the firm Cooley.” “It would be similar to selling stock to generate the cash to buy an apartment. In a direct transaction, buyers simply skip the part where they convert the bitcoin into dollars. Using BitPay, the buyers are ‘selling’ the bitcoin, and therefore any appreciation is taxable.”

One of the first deals in the U.S. involved a $1.6 million sale of land — a home site — in Lake Tahoe in 2014 and all of the deals so far have been done without a mortgage. Bitcoin and payments with bitcoin have been around for years, but yet it’s adoption into the real estate market has been slow to take hold. British entrepreneurs Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman launched a bitcoin-priced real estate development in Dubai, and websites are starting to dot the landscape with listings priced in both conventional $$dollars and bitcoin $$dollars. In any case, this is a movement that will only grow with time as the millennials increasing get more invested in the real estate market and the price of bitcoin continues to grow in value.

Read the full CNBC Article:

Bitcoin is finally buying into US real estate

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images Others, however, are not as comfortable with the relatively new currency. The first ever single-family home sale in Texas involving bitcoin was announced last month. The buyer, who works in the tech industry, purchased the newly built home in Austin using bitcoin, but the seller, a custom homebuilder, wanted the currency converted to dollars during the transaction.

On the Montreal front, accounting firm, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton announced on Wednesday that it has made a multi-million-dollar investment in a new consulting firm, Catallaxy, which aims to help companies navigate the bitcoin technology. Francis Pouliot, one of the founders of Catallaxy, has been a driving force behind Bitcoin’s use in Montreal. He helped start the Bitcoin Embassy as a hub for advocates of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Embassy which started in September of 2013, recently closed earlier this year, Catallaxy plans to open its own community space as a sort of successor project, one with the added credibility that comes with a major partner.

“Pouliot compared blockchain to artificial intelligence – a technology area where Montreal is rapidly becoming a leader.”

To understand more about bitcoin and blockchain technologies, watch these videos;

TED Talks: The Blockchain Explained Simply

YOcoin based on the Ethereum Blockchain is Bitcoin 2.0 This is the Future of Cryptocurrency… Sign up and purchase YOcoin at the secure link below. or Feel free to ask any questions Learn more at Facebook- Instagram- Twitter-

The Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology Explained

A block chain is a transaction database shared by all nodes participating in a system based on the Bitcoin protocol. A full copy of a currency’s block chain contains every transaction ever executed in the currency. With this information, one can find out how much value belonged to each address at any point in history.

How the blockchain is changing money and business | Don Tapscott

What is the blockchain? If you don’t know, you should; if you do, chances are you still need some clarification on how it actually works. Don Tapscott is here to help, demystifying this world-changing, trust-building technology which, he says, represents nothing less than the second generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society.