Comparative Toxicogenomics Database

The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) elucidates molecular mechanisms by which environmental chemicals affect human disease.

This is really heavy reading. Admittedly, most of it is over my head but after having our son I've made an effort to better educate myself about Indoor Air Quality.

The database won't be of interest to everyone but I thought I would provide a link to those inclined to learn more.


Air Quality and your Attached Garage

"Starting a car in a garage, even with the garage door wide open, can produce elevated concentration of combustion pollutants that can find their way into your home as "respirable particles."

"... a Health Canada study involving more than 100 houses revealed that houses with attached garages had measurable concentrations of benzene (a gasoline-related pollutant) in the indoor air, while houses with no garages or detached garages had little or no benzene".

Every Calgary home owner and Home Inspector should read the rest of this article over at Midland Free Press. I also want to thank Rob Parker of AmeriSpec Home Inspection Services, for bringing this to our attention.

Good on you Calgary

I salute Calgary's municipal government.

If you live within the city limits, the government will sell you this 80 gallon composter for 24 dollars.

That's about 80% off the price offered by the big box DIY shops.

They will make home deliveries for 12 dollars.

For more details, City of Calgary Online Store

Thanks for the heads up Lori.

Recycling Waste Energy in the Home

I was researching eco-home products and came across this drain water heat exchange, manufactured by Watercycles Energy Recovery Inc. - a Saskatchewan company.

The big pipe is the home drain and the wrap-around tubing connects the cold water supply line to your hot water tank supply point.

You have a hot shower, the hot water heats the drain and passes the energy to the tubing, which pre-heats the water before it enters the hot water tank - recycling energy.

What a great idea. There are many little things we can do to conserve energy.

Go Canada

It is old news but I just read,

"In 2008, the World Economic Forum ranked Canada's banking system the healthiest in the world. America's ranked 40th, Britain's 44th."

I knew our friends to the south could deduct mortgage interest on their taxes. I did not know,

"... home loans in the United States are "non-recourse," which basically means that if you go belly up on a bad mortgage, it's mostly the bank's problem. In Canada, it's yours"
Source: Newsweek (Fareed Zakaria) Feb 16, 2009

We are more liberal than the Americans but we forget, some of our policies are very conservative and rightly so.

Life Expectancy of Home Components

It is summer in Calgary. Few are wondering about the condition of their furnace. Below are some life expectancies of gas furnaces. If you are thinking of getting a new furnace, it is an ideal time to phone and get some quotes. Don't wait 'till the snow flies.

18 years -National Association of Home Builders (America)
20-25 years - Carson Dunlop Consulting (Canada)
17-23 years - Northern Log Builders Association


Calgary Real Estate Market

You have to love this chart. Brookfield Asset Management is a Canadian based company with diversified investments, including Royal LePage and Brookfield Properties. You might not have heard of Brookfield Properties but those in Calgary, could likely find Bankers Hall or the Suncor Energy Centre.

I love watching this stock. I see it as an indicator that the turn around in the Calgary Real Estate market has some teeth. Go Brookfield.


Home Inspection Certification

Calgary Home Inspectors are certified by a number of different organizations. It does get confusing. I recently asked Mr. Claude Lawrenson a few questions on his blog. Among them,

With the plethora of Home Inspection associations and certifications in Canada where can the consumer turn to for "grounding"?

Mr. Lawrenson was kind enough to post a thoughtful and informative reply at Claude's Blog over at Active Rain. To see his reply, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

I appreciate the average consumer won't be interested but it might be useful information for Realtors, Lenders, Insurance Brokers or Underwriters.

Things my Dad taught me

Measure twice, cut once
Think twice speak once
Don't pass the puck in front of your own net
Playing squash - control the T
What ever you do, do with all your might,
...things done by halves are never done right
Never get a second chance, make a first good impression

He was a great guy. I miss him.