Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Amazing Office Designs

If you've seen the movie "Office Space" you'd get a sense at how tedious working in an office can be. But for some people, the office is a second home... so why not make it as comfortable as possible? In this post we'll see some amazing office designs, built to ignite the architectural senses.

TBWA Hakuhodo Offices
The problem with the office is that you can be couped up inside when it's such a beautiful day outside. A Tokoyo Ad Agency thought about this and decided to bring the outside inside. Complete with garden, grass lawn and driving range, this ex-bowling alley has been converted to make the indoor environment replicate the outdoor.
Penthouse Offices by Benthem Crouwel Architects
Hovering above the Las Palmas building in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the Penthouse Offices showcase a large curved glass window facing out to the river. The interior is furnished with wood furniture and sleek white walls that create an open space, allowing for a smooth enclosed design.
Manchester Square Interior
The goal by SHH was to make this office feel more like a gentlemen's club. Spanning five stories in a Georgian townhouse in London's West End, these offices are a mixture of work and play. The furniture has been designed for comfort while the interior still attempts to hold faithful a mixture of Victorian and contemporary elements.
White Mountain Office
With a look straight from a James Bond movie, this spectacular office sits buried beneath the city of Stockholm. Once used as an anti-atomic bomb shelter, the space has been expertly converted to house one of Sweden's top ISP companies. Complete with a floating conference room, a secret stone entrance and the ability to protect whoever's inside from nuclear fallout, the White Mountain office would easily be on the property shopping list of any would-be Bond villain!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Will the Carbon Tax directly affect housing affordability?

The deadline date for the introduction of the Carbon Dioxide Tax is scheduled for July 2012, up until that time there will be much speculating on what the impending tax will do to the housing market. The majority of economists agree that the Cardon Tax will lead to a 0.7 per cent increase to inflation which will undoubtedly catch the eye of the RBA, who would consider raising interest rates to combat the rise. The National Australia Bank is forecasting two rate rises in the next year, one in late 2011 and one in May 2012 just before the Carbon Tax is brought in. While an initial 0.7 per cent inflation rise is considered a minimal impact, some economists like JPMorgan Stephen Walters believe there may be unforeseen economic aftershocks once the tax is introduced: "If we see electricity prices go up by 5 per cent rather than 3 per cent forecast, the unions are going to start to push for higher wages in addition to the compensation on offers. That is a clear second-round effect and that is when it becomes material."

The housing sector too is worried about how the Carbon Dioxide Tax will effect housing affordability. The Housing Industry Association - a body representing builders and suppliers of building products is arguing that the Carbon Tax will add an additional $5000 to $6000 to the cost of a new house and land package. This cost will of course be passed on to the customer which has the further potential to discourage home buyers from building their new home. "Increases in the cost of construction materials including bricks, steel and aluminium will be simply passed on to purchasers, pushing the price of new housing higher," REINSW President Wayne Stewart said, "the knock-on effect of this could see the median Sydney house pushed out of the reach of many prospective home buyers."

However, not all economists think that housing will be adversely affected by the Carbon Tax. Tony Wood of The Grattan Institute says, "Whenever industry is given the incentive, it finds ways to do things that cost less than any economist can ever think of." Some industries like aluminum, steel and cement, he argues, will be compensated under the current Carbon Tax scheme. "They should not be allowed just to put their prices up and pass through a carbon price they're not paying for."

What are your thoughts? Do you think the Carbon Tax will directly impact and hurt housing affordability in Australia? Put your comments below.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Support our team in the Oxfam Trailwalk

Picture this challenge: you must run continuously for 17 hours over rugged, precarious and mountainous terrain to reach your goal 100 kilometres away. Could you do it?

That is what our team at aboutlife...100 are attempting to do to raise funds and awareness in the fight against global poverty. The four person team, which includes our super Sales Agent Lynsey Kemp, our sensational Property Management Administrator Mary Tuka, Terry Tyrell Business Development Manager at Russell Investments and Joel Aurisch part owner of AboutLife Supermarket, are participating in the Oxfam Trailwalker.

It is a 100km track that runs from the Hawkesbury district to Sydney through dense bushland and hilly coastal terrain. It runs from 26th August to 28th August and is an extremely gruelling track even for walkers!
And our team is running it!
And they need your donations!

Help support the team as they train their guts out for one of the toughest tests this year. The goal for the team is to raise $10,000 for Oxfam which will aid the organisation by contributing to long-term development and positive change in needy communities around the globe. To show your support you can donate money to the aboutlife...100 team or join the Sarah Lorden Real Estate team at our fundraising Oxfam stall on Saturday 16th July at Loyalty Square, Balmain.

We will be holding a BBQ at the Oxfam stall with sausage sandwiches dripping in delicious fat, just to tempt the aboutlife...100 team and their insanely fit members!