In today’s news, we will look into the fears over housing are at an all-time high in Canada due to the country’s record levels of immigration, but experts believe those fears are unjustified. Meanwhile, you must take a look at the inside of the brand new Lighthouse Writers Workshop building in Clayton, where the students’ writing is being printed right onto the insulation. Additionally, the new headquarters of Atlassian and the “rapid moving river” of sustainability is continuing to pique the interest of an additional 500 individuals.
Experts say housing fears are unjustified despite record Canadian immigration targets
Construction plant executives embrace new immigration targets for builders.
Paul Askett’s Etobicoke plant struggles to find enough workers to build pre-built walls and floors.
He hopes a record number of new Canadians will help. Askett said the assembly floor workforce is routinely 10% short due to rising demand for the factory’s Ontario-installed products.
“It’s a challenge. Indeed. The epidemic changed everything “Askett, Brockport Home Systems’ manufacturing VP.
Construction is one of many industries battling to recruit labor, with 1 million vacancies nationwide.
Canada just announced unprecedented immigration targets: 1.5 million new Canadians in the next three years and 500,000 in 2025. Federal authorities think that will stimulate the economy, but the targets have raised concerns about where all these new people will live given the housing crisis.
Immigration isn’t simply about homes.
Askett says the new targets motivate him because his organization hires and develops new Canadians.
“We’re excited,” he remarked. “We welcome newcomers because we can coach, train, and ideally hire them.”
Vancouver property tax expert Paul Sullivan of Ryan ULC believes Canada needs a stronger plan to improve the economy and provide housing and services for newcomers.
“We create 265,000 homes annually. 500,000 immigrants per year. Before the immigrant invasion, we’re undersupplied “”Sullivan”
“Daycares, transit, and hospitals are also needed. How’s it going? You can’t throw people at it.”
Expert: immigrants won’t affect housing prices.
Some believe a record flood of new residents will drive up property prices, but data specialists say this is unfounded.
Murtaza Haider analyzes immigration and real estate data at Toronto Metropolitan University.
Previous studies suggest the federal plan to add 150,000 to 200,000 immigrants each year (living in three- or four-person households) will have little effect.
“Most new immigrants won’t have funds or savings to buy homes,” he said.
I expect them to exert more pressure on rental demand than housing prices.
New immigrants require two or three years to enter the ownership cycle, said Haider.
If we bring in 500,000 immigrants in 2023 and another 500,000 in 2024, I assume they will put pressure on owned homes in 2026 and 2027.
Past research and the experience during lockdowns when housing markets soared during the pandemic prove immigration does not raise house costs.
By December 2020, there was essentially no immigration to Canada since airports were shuttered.
Decades-long housing shortage
Haider believes the housing shortfall is due to a decades-long inability to build enough homes.
“Governments realize we haven’t created enough low-income housing,” he remarked.
The Canadian construction industry will need more than 1.2 million workers by 2027, according to BuildForce Canada. Baby boomers will leave 29,000 jobs open.
Immigrants accounted for 80% of Canada’s workforce growth between 2016 and 2021. 748,120 of the 1.3 million immigrants accepted to Canada between 2016 and 2021 came for economic reasons.
“Immigration drives Canada’s population growth. Our economy and businesses need more labor to thrive “”Haider,”
Political economist Ricardo Tranjan of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says immigration is vital to more than just the construction industry. Newcomers inject the economy with life, he says, and Canada has historically relied on immigration to meet labor force demands.
“In recent years, we haven’t welcomed enough immigrants into the country, which has contributed to the labor shortage and inflation. So having high targets to recruit more is excellent news.”
Immigrants and permanent residents make up 23% of Canada’s population, a record high.
Statistics Canada says immigrants who came between 2016 and 2021 are younger and have filled employment.
First rental market pressure
Economists say arriving Canadians put pressure on rental markets first, and Tranjan says stronger vacancy and rent regulations might assist.
“Many Canadian jurisdictions have lax rent-hike laws,” he said.
“Rents can rise every year. Few jurisdictions have rent limitations on unoccupied units, driving increasing costs.”
Tsur Somerville, a professor at the Sauder School of Business Strategy, argues that traditionally, newcomers settle in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, where housing markets are already stretched.
“If you bring in a lot of market competitors, the poor would suffer,” he warned.
Experts and builders say additional rental apartments are needed despite some governments expediting construction processes or permitting laneway homes to improve density.
Without workers, builders can’t ease the housing crunch.
Tad Putyra, president of Great Gulf Low Rise, the parent firm of the perennially short-staffed Etobicoke prefab plant Brockport Home Systems, says pre-built walls and flooring help overcome the dearth of experienced craft employees on building sites.
He says Canada’s record-high immigration goals are excellent for business.
He said, “It’s chicken-and-egg.” “We need individuals to develop houses that will be occupied by the builders and vice versa.”
Look inside the new Lighthouse Writers Workshop building in Clayton, where students’ writings appear on the insulation
A construction worker who’d taken a Lighthouse class had an idea: Let students put their comments INSIDE the structure.
“The details matter. Small beauty keeps you going, living. Look for the tiny things to be wonderful.
Alice Pearson composed this on a foam board in the Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s temporary headquarters. It would be carried across a parking lot, embedded in construction, and possibly lost.
Lighthouse became 25 in 2022 and is upgrading its writing seminars and kids programming. Their new $8 million headquarters will open next year in Denver’s Clayton district.
As work began, a construction worker had an idea, said development director Jordyn Jefferson. He’d taken a Lighthouse class, had a piece published, and thought it would be interesting to allow poets and writers to write on the building.
Jefferson said, “That’s delightful.” “We’re all pretty excited about building a building out of words, even if it’s modest. “Words are construction materials.”
Pearson, a member of Lighthouse’s Young Author’s Collective, thought the short sentiment didn’t matter. It was a tiny gesture for something that’s become a significant part of her life.
She said, “Like setting intentions”
Even a witch needs pals.
Abby, who requested anonymity, wrote this passage. For her, it was a reflection on the Young Author’s Collective and serendipitous friendships.
“I didn’t seek out these people; we all met each other via writing,” she stated during their weekly session. “We all get to indulge our witchy sides and meet folks that accept them”
The kids described themselves as the “Breakfast Club,” incompatible in real life but unified here. They’re between 13 and 15 and figuring themselves out in this “judgment-free zone.”
Lighthouse’s expansion aimed to create a safe space. Jefferson said the new facility will have a section for young writers. Their goal is to invite any local youngster, not only the few chosen for Young Author’s Collective.
“We wanted a venue where kids could get tutoring and write creative writing homework after school,” she said. “We wanted to locate somewhere accessible to local schools, where we can improve arts access. We valued that.
“Life’s meaning is to make a difference no one else can,” she said.
Zoe Roberts wrote those phrases on a foam panel as a mantra for when things appear chaotic or dismal.
It represents Lighthouse’s greater ambitions beyond youth initiatives.
The nonprofit’s footprint spread beyond the metro during the pandemic. As they opened zoom classes, they drew students from all 50 states and several continents. They gave workshops for medical staff who needed a place to blow off steam as their hospitals filled with COVID cases, an extension of older writing therapy programs.
Lighthouse’s spokesperson, Alexa Culshaw, said community work sets them differently. Writing and words help people and communities thrive, she said.
“We believe writing is transformative and words are our most significant means of connecting,” she said. We see strength in creative writing, telling your narrative, reading others’ stories, and gaining new views. It’s an effective instrument.
Culshaw said their new three-story home will match their ambition, reach, and ethics.
Jefferson: “The new building is everything.” Growth. New community access. It’s crucial for the Lighthouse’s future.”
500 more individuals are curious about Atlassian’s new HQ and the “fast-moving river” of sustainability
Sydney’s Atlassian Central, slated to be the world’s highest hybrid wood tower, is attracting growing interest and excitement.
500 real estate and construction executives packed a Property Council/Built breakfast briefing on the project last week. They bombarded the panel with questions, which is unusual for such an event.
Atlassian’s distributed work policy, sustainable design, and location as the flagship in the NSW government’s Tech Central innovation cluster sparked attention.
First Built’s project manager, Whitney Forse, summed up the numbers: 39 floors, 75,000 square meters of gross floor area, and a 50% decrease in embodied carbon and operating energy.
She reminded the audience that this is a hybrid timber structure with a steel frame exoskeleton, a concrete core, and four-story timber “habitats” between the mammoth levels.
The panel consisted of members of a team that has worked the vision through 1800 Zoom meetings.
Why is Atlassian building a tower for 5,000 workers – half its worldwide workforce – while advocating a work-from-anywhere policy?
Atlassian’s project director, Bronwyn Zorgdrager, stated Team Anywhere was neither rejected nor mandated remote, hybrid, or office work.
“Flexibility is a choice for employees, and removing the office removes options,” she said.
We’ll have 25,000 employees by 2026. We’d have an issue if everyone came to the office.
Brett Mason, Atlassian’s CEO, called it a “club house.”
“Everything was created around the human scale,” from the four floors in each habitat to the biophilic usage of lumber.
SHoP and BVN are the architects. SHoP associate principal Andreia Teixeira claimed the project’s “vision and intent” came from Atlassian.
The first audience question was about the new YHA hostel in the tower. Would you manage a youth hostel? ”
Brenton McEwan, head of deals and development at Dexus, the building’s developer and ultimately majority owner, said, “YHA has matured.” This YHA won’t have bunk beds or shared bathrooms.
Cost prompted sustainability questions.
“Surprisingly less,” remarked Mason. “Sustainability is a swift river”
Initially, the green premium was $100 million, but it’s now $40 million.
A new electric arc furnace emerged in Luxembourg, bringing competition for green steel, while Boral and Holcim began producing lower-emission concrete.
How is embodied carbon saved? Mason said a comparable structure was modeled at 904kg of CO2 per sq m of GFA versus the Atlassian tower’s 374kg.
Does that include transporting Austrian spruce? Mason agreed.
Wood was popular. Custom fire-tested? Mason added, “We’ve done a shitload of fire testing” Only spruce has the right fire rating.
He noted construction supply chain issues and alluded to Western Sydney building parts. “We’re trying to localize the supply chain,” he stated.
What adds to construction time? Mason said the cycle is a few days slower each floor.
Using digital twins from the start and integrating contractors early provided for “more accurate pricing” and the chance to “iron out difficulties early.”
Part of the building with an openable façade won’t be air-conditioned, reducing operational energy. Would it work in Sydney, next to the country’s busiest rail hub?
Teixeira replied “yes.” The facades can manage “extraordinary situations” . The area will be “wonderful” without AC hum.
Mason said the internal temperature wouldn’t be 22 degrees, “made for men in suits in the 1960s,” but “more like actual life.”
In the US, several IT companies have chosen campus-style housing in the suburbs, but Atlassian has focused on Sydney’s tech corridor south of the CBD.
Martin Place doesn’t suit Zorgdrager’s work style.
Teixeira highlighted that the project’s urban architecture contributed to its success, as many huge US campus developments are “totally separated from the neighborhood.”
Good positions have drawbacks. Where will the homeless go? Question:
McEwan admitted that the project will transform the district and noted that the adjacent defunct Adina Hotel is currently housing homeless people and Ukrainian immigrants.
An American architect rated Sydney’s planning system. Teixeira considered it “amazing” compared to New York and because of the municipal government’ upfront work in the competition process.
She claimed it increases certainty and justice. “Compared to other competitions, it’s far ahead.”
Atlassian is a minority owner and tenant on a 15-year lease, while Dexus and its partners are majority owners.
Zorgdrager: “We turned it into a vision and a plan.” “Dexus was a delivery risk partner.”
McEwan: “The deal structure lets everyone play to their abilities.” We don’t feel we’re taking a disproportionate risk.
Are there project compromises?
Because the client’s concept was clear, we didn’t suffer a large hit, said Teixeira.
Zorgdrager emphasized. She added, “We love the building.”
“Sustainability was on top.” It was first and couldn’t be compromised.”
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we discussed today that while CEOs in the construction industry support increased immigration goals for their industry, some worry that a historic influx of new immigrants will push up housing prices.
On the other hand, the idea came from a construction worker who had attended the Lighthouse course and thought that students could leave their feedback inside the building itself. Alexa Culshaw, a representative for Lighthouse, has remarked that the group’s involvement in the local community is what makes them unique. The written word is vital to the success of individuals and groups.
In addition to that, Atlassian Central in Sydney will be the highest hybrid wood building in the world. Atlassian stood out because of its innovative distributed work model, environmentally friendly building design, and prominent position in the heart of Silicon Valley’s technology industry. Last week at a breakfast briefing, 500 executives from the real estate and construction industries were in attendance and numerous questions were posed to them which is unusual.