Green Home and Biophilia

Green Home and Biophilia

Homes, be it in a vertical condominium or in an expansive subdivision, shelter and support life. Green architecture and sustainable development have proven to be more than just lifestyle fads. One’s well-being has taken on the spotlight these days, and in this post, we’ll tackle one not-so-difficult way homeowners can avail and enjoy it.

One can deduce what the BIG word in the title means as most know what BIOLOGY means and have heard of the word PEDOPHILIA.

biophilia

BIOPHILIA is the LOVE of LIFE of living creatures.

It is rooted in psychology, and we’ll not go deeper into it than to know how it affects the design of GREEN HOUSES or GREEN HOMES. There is a specific hypothesis by biologist, Edward Wilson from the book titled, BIOPHILIA (of course), which states that “there is an instinctive bond” between us, humans, and the living systems.

The hypothesis if true, as I believe so, gives more weight to the need for more and aptly-sized view windows. Windows then are not just for ventilation and lighting. They also address a deeper-seated need for us to reconnect with nature — to let nature in our buildings.

The sad fact of development is that most times we force our buildings into nature. Aren’t these too disturbingly familiar? Bulldozers plowing through vegetation and unmindfully ecosystems; behemoth structures blocking light, air and views; bodies of water being piled on upon by reclaimed soil; age-old trees being cut or balled off; mountains being levelled down for airports — human necessities have often called upon decisions and actions that have trampled upon nature with reckless impunity. Apparently, we’ve not just been educated enough, then. Then is the time when climate change’s effects haven’t been felt yet.

Living with Green Home and Biophilia

Now, that we’re hearing of the lessons loud and clear. We’re also, good to be reminded of this relationship we have with nature. It is a love story of love being rekindled after painful realizations of the ails of being apart and being against one another.

Researches have concluded that being able to view the “living” outdoors during the workday is conducive to physical and mental health. Even studies on students agree: those with views of nature score higher in academic tests. Sales of a retail store chain also proved higher when store buildings are lighted by natural daylight. Patients in hospitals with natural elements (ponds, garden) also show higher healing/recovery rates.

Have you been unproductive or sickly lately? Maybe, you’re spending so much time in front of your computer in your 4-walled cubicle. Maybe you’re home has too many walls and less windows. Get out and get some sunshine and fresh air.

Are you in a stage of home selection? Be it in a horizontal village or a multi-storey condominium, having access to gardens and trees, through their parks, walkways, and open spaces are more than a treat. Having windows with views of nature likewise help.

Green architecture is all about life and living happy and healthy lives.

Reference: Green Building A to Z (Understanding the Language of Green Building) by Jerry Yudelson

Home Which Home: Guide for Making the Right Choice

Home Which Home:  Guide for Making the Right Choice

A home is where we shall spend much of our lives daily in much of our lifetime, and maybe that will also be so even for our children.

The home is also, commonly, the biggest expense one makes. Buying a home is like making the right investment: you pay a price, and expect it to provide you dividends, grow in value in time and become a real asset in many ways.

As a licensed real estate appraiser, civil engineer and business development advisor, I present your guide on how we should choose the home that will be of most value now and in the future. For brevity, I listed them down in the bullet points below.

LOCATION

  • It’s a cliché and hyped as the 3 most important things to look out for in real estate, but “location, location, location” does matter greatly. Why? Each point in space is unique. It is irreplaceable. However, uniqueness does not point to absolute good. It can be distinctly the opposite. What qualities then should we look for given a location?
  • One is proximity to all places that’s essential to one’s life and lifestyle. Most would have these in their list, but they’d vary in rank of importance:
    • Places of work or where one makes a living
    • Schools
    • Markets, malls, and shops
    • Café’s and restaurants
    • Churches
    • Parks, playgrounds, theaters, gyms, museums, and game arcades
    • Hospitals and clinics
    • Government offices
    • Transport terminals
    • Beach, mountain, and other natural amenity
  • Two, is safety and security. A home, after all, is also referred to as shelter, a refuge or a safe haven. Ask similar questions to these?
    • … gated community with guards, CCTV, and perimeter fence?
    • Is the area known to be a hotbed for terrorism or crimes?
    • … area prone to flooding, or any natural hazard?
    • Is it in a highly polluted area?

QUALITY

  • Other than LOCATION, QUALITY is the next big word to consider in assessing your home choices. It can refer to any of these:
    • Traffic – how smooth or bearable is the road traffic going to and from the subdivision? How many minutes is the travel time?
    • House structure and finishes – you can verify if the developer undergoes technical testing during their construction. The government regulates the construction of homes and inspects prior to occupancy. The developer is granted the Building Permit and the Occupancy Permit if they are follow the requirements and standards set for safe and quality homes.
    • Aesthetics – “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, true; but certain house designs allow for universal appreciation somehow when they’re simple and clean-cut.

AFFORDABILITY

  • Lastly, the right choice should be one you can well afford. The purchase cost should allow you to live the lifestyle you wish. There should still be enough for your kid’s education, your basic needs, and some life pleasures–shopping, travel and dining for example.

It is important that one consider all of the above. A proper assessment can only be had if you do an actual visit or tripping to the home under consideration.

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Continued Connectedness Via Virtual Meetings

Continued Connectedness Via Virtual Meetings

Video conference Apps, Tools and Tips

Lives and livelihoods need to go on even with the pandemic imposing physical hurdles.
Everyone is advised to keep distance or to isolate as safety comes first. People, however, are social beings, and the need to interconnect and communicate are also vital. Thanks to technology, we are equipped and enabled to reach out with and among coworkers, friends and family.

Here are some tools or apps which you can use for group virtual meetings.

  1. Zoom – one of the most popular apps or websites currently. It, however, has received flak due to discovered security vulnerabilities. It can host max of 100 participants for free.

Learn zoom via PC via youtube tutorial, click to view.

Learn zoom via smartphone via youtube tutorial, click here.

  1. Skype Meet Now – one of the earliest and most-widely used app out there has extended its capabilities. It is free to use and supports up to 50 participants even for long meetings.

Learn Skype Meet Now via youtube tutorial, click to view.

  1. Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams – from the tech giants and works best if you’re a user of their office tool packages
  2. Others – it’s good to know that there are several alternatives, so do check out what best fits your needs. Examples: Jitsi Meet, Slack, Cisco Webex, Starleaf, Whereby, BlueJeans, etc.

You just need a smart phone, laptop, PC or tablet with camera, microphone, and internet connectivity, and an environment conducive for meetings.

Aside from the tools, one has to be prepared as if going to a real, live, face-to-face meeting. The agenda, meeting notes, reports, and presentations should be ready. Send these in advance, if possible, so the actual meeting can be an informed one, and thus, can be shorter. Each one has to behave appropriately. Here are some tips from the St. Leo University Office of Information Technology, I’d like to share:

The 8 Do’s of Video Conferencing Etiquette

  • be courteous to other participants
  • speak clearly
  • keep body movements minimal
  • move and gesture slowly and naturally
  • maintain eye contact by looking into the camera
  • dress appropriately
  • make the session animated
  • be yourself and have fun!

The 7 Don’ts of Video Conferencing Etiquette

  • make distracting sounds
  • shout
  • make distracting movements
  • interrupt other speakers
  • carry on side conversations
  • wear “noisy” jewelry
  • cover the microphone

Real world success can survive with the available tools, positive outlook and established organizational values, mission and vision. Consider the prevailing pandemic as an environment to learn to adapt and beat the challenges.

Housing Loan Approval Tips

Housing Loan Approval Tips

Not everyone who applies for a housing loan, get the approval they want. There are ways, though, that can bring up your chances to obtain a “yes”. One can relate the process to courtship. One needs to show his best self, but his best self should match and pass the desires and criteria of the coveted one.

What then do lenders look for in a housing loan applicant?

  • A sizeable income that can cover monthly amortizations.
  • They seek for stability. It is not enough that one has a source of income, it has to flow in steadily. Although no one is certain of the future, past occurrences help predict the forthcoming outcome. Some banks look at, 2 years minimum, of steady employment.
  • Trustworthiness and reliability: as in all relationship this is a must and needs to be tested and proven. Have you been diligent in paying you other debts or your utility bills?
  • Does the borrower have back-up—a guarantor who can support when the unexpected comes? Guarantors who possess high credit rating can enhance the likelihood of the housing loan approval.
  • Be invested on it. Provide enough equity from your savings to reduce the loan amount. It’s advisable to be ready with your own cash, at least equivalent to 20% of the desired home’s selling price.
  • Be prompt and available. Complete requirements and respond to queries on time, all the time. Don’t let them wait and doubt. Your actions speak volumes about your character.

Go gain the approval that you have well proven to deserve. There’s no such thing as luck in love, and so is there none in housing loan applications.