BONE Structure homes are constructed from pre-cut beams that interlock together. The building process generates no waste, and takes under a week to complete. Photo courtesy BONE Structure

Bare BONES

Net-zero technology promises to revolutionize homebuilding

As provincial and federal building regulations become more focused on sustainable development, BONE Structure founder and CEO Marc Bovet has seized the momentum and is helping to reshape the way we think about homebuilding.

After a personal homebuilding project went sour 10 years ago, Bovet, fuelled by frustration, took it upon himself to innovate a better way to build.

He talked to people, researched and looked at the ideology behind Lego, eventually coming to the “aha moment” that formed the premise behind BONE Structure.

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Mia Parres, a high-end residential designer, will join co-host Rob Evans, a self-described master contractor, at this year’s Calgary Home + Design Show, returning to the BMO Centre Sept. 22 to 25. Supplied photo

Heavenly renos

Annual Calgary Home + Design Show comes to town at the perfect time

Alberta’s home renovations sector is booming.

The Calgary Home + Design Show is back for its 34th year.

Seems like a match made in heaven.

Brought about by ongoing economic uncertainty, more Albertans are looking for ways to upgrade their space rather than their place. According to Statistics Canada, investment on residential renovation in the province has increased by 3.8 per cent over the first six months of 2015 to $3.1 billion.

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Apple's HomeKit allows users to turn on the driveway lights, open the front door and change the thermostat through voice activization. Submitted photo.

Speak now

Speech-recognition tech offers in-home potential. But beware

A6

As speech-recognition technology becomes increasingly reliable, it has the potential to become the interface of choice for just about every device we use.

On the surface, it makes sense. After all, people speak at an average of 150 words per minute, while most of us can barely type 40 on a good day.

But as convenient and novel as being able to talk to your computer, thermostat, lights and appliances might be, it comes with a few cautions.

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Marlene Swinton, who served as CREB®'s president in 2001, specialized in condos during much of her real estate career. Looking back, she recalled how the condo sector evolved from being a low-cost housing option to a popular lifestyle choice. Photo by Michelle Hofer/For CREB®Now

Home away from home

Second career was a natural transition for 2001 CREB® president Marlene Swinton

After years of managing her late husband’s architecture practice, Marlene Swinton was looking for a change.

“I wanted to do something different and my cousin said, ‘why not real estate? You know buildings.’ I thought it might be really interesting, so I took a course and I loved it,” said Swinton, who went on to fulfill a 27-year-long career in the industry that included a term as CREB®’s president in 2001.

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Jennifer Weisgerber and Ian Muller rented a townhome in Okotoks for five years before building a three-bedroom home in Auburn Bay last January. Photo by Wil Andruschak/For CREB®Now

From the ground up

Housing experts urge buyers to consider all the options before building, buying 

For Jennifer Weisgerber and Ian Muller, both 25, buying – and building – their first home has been the most important decision of their lives.

Muller, who installs fire sprinklers, and Weisgerber, who works for a company that sells parts for road construction, rented a townhome in Okotoks for five years. Last January, they signed with Morrison Homes to build a 1,700-square-foot three-bedroom home in the southeast Calgary community of Auburn Bay.

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