Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sun Glare While Driving – April 2013

The following relate to the dangers of sun glare while driving and traffic safety in general.  They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).


Anything that takes your eyes off the road is dangerous - esp since 90% of info needed to drive is received thru eyes.


RT @NTSB: Research on what we can & can’t do behind the wheel continues:  &


Another left-turn collision > Hoboken driver blames 'blinding sun' for striking 16-year-old pedestrian

HOBOKEN -- A Hoboken teenager received minor injuries yesterday when she was struck by car as she was crossing Willow Avenue at 13th Street, police reports said.

Police and EMS were called to 13th and Willow Avenue where they met the 16-year-old pedestrian who said she was crossing Willow Avenue inside the crosswalk from west to east with her younger brother, when a turning car struck her, reports said.  The victim said the driver was talking on a phone, reports said.

The 20-year-old Hoboken driver, who was making a left turn from the westbound lane of 13th Street to head south on Willow Avenue, blamed "blinding sun," for the accident, reports said...


Just after sunrise for sure! RT @Hossim: @bobtraffic for e/b drivers, sun in front of us in #Toronto today @sunposition can attest.

>bob summers ‏@bobtraffic: @SunPosition but there are still collisions well after sunrise and not only eastbound. i am wondering if inattention is a bigger factor.

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @bobtraffic Agree, but when you combine inattention with sun glare... deadly, esp during 1st and last hour of daylight.

"Perfect" driving conditions, sunny and clear, are often not so perfect. Be prepared for sun glare.


Sun’s Glare a Possible Factor in Deadly Motorcycle Crash

SACRAMENTO - A motorcyclist is dead after hitting a school bus Monday morning.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what went wrong, but are looking at glare from the sun as a possible factor since the accident happened just as the sun was rising at 6:50 a.m…


RT ‏@DumfriesMutual: Sunny days like today are a reminder to keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your car to reduce sun glare while driving


Sounds like a good idea to me > "Officials now want to ban pilots from using their phones in flight ..."

MOSBY - The pilot of a helicopter which crashed killing four people was TEXTING during the doomed flight, according to a new report.

The medical chopper went down in Mosby, Missouri in August 2011, after running out of fuel - killing pilot James Freudenberg, two nurses and a patient.

A new investigation into the accident has discovered Freudenberg sent 240 text messages on the day of the crash - including 85 while he was carrying out safety checks and behind the controls.

In a report, US safety officials claim the pilot missed two opportunities to notice the helicopter didn't have enough fuel - because he was preoccupied making dinner plans with a friend.

It's suggested he realised fuel levels were low during the first leg of the flight - but he missed the chance to refuel after picking up the patient because he was distracted by further texts.

Officials now want to ban pilots from using their phones in flight and during safety checks…

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @lives2talk Apparently not. Crazy, I know.


Two-car crash injures two in Cass County; sun may be to blame


I guess it's that time of year again in both hemispheres > Sun strike causes crash, driver blinded by sun

DUNEDIN - A truck driver, blinded by the sun, crashed into a parked utility vehicle as he was travelling down Caversham Valley Rd, Dunedin, about 9am yesterday…


Police say sun’s glare may have been a factor in fatal Edmonton truck-train crash

EDMONTON - Police say the victim of a fatal collision Monday morning did not brake before his truck drove into the path of a train at a crossing in the Girard Industrial area of southeast Edmonton...

…The accident happened just before 8 a.m. at a train crossing at 71st Street and Girard Road. The man, who police say was around 60, had been heading south on 71st Street when his truck was hit by the westbound train.

The extremely bright sun and glare are being investigated as potential factors in the crash…


Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – April 2013

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, specific projects, and sun/shade issues.  They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).


New high-rise to go up in downtown Winnipeg but details are still under wraps

WINNIPEG - A new highrise structure is in the works for downtown Winnipeg but most of the details are still under wraps.

Jawad Rathore, president and CEO of Fortress Real Development, said more details will be released soon but he's not yet prepared to say what the building will look like or even where it will be located…

…There have been reports from bloggers and other media that it will be the city's tallest building, surpassing those at Portage and Main — 34-storey Richardson Building which reaches 124.1 metres (407 feet), and the skyscraper at 201 Portage (formerly the TD Tower) at 128 metres (420 feet)…

>Leigh Buchan ‏@lives2talk: @SunPosition I do believe you have a fascination with high-rise developments!

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @lives2talk I do a lot of high-rise (and low-rise) shadow studies, so yes you could say that.

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @lives2talk Oh, and here's my other interest, the role that sun glare plays in traffic accidents...

...Pedestrian in critical condition after driver blinded by sun - 

>Leigh Buchan ‏@lives2talk: @SunPosition What about the impact of tall shiny towers on re-directing sun glare?

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @lives2talk Funny you should ask... I've been involved in those as well.


These Surreal Photos of Hong Kong's Aging Towers Aren't Doctored

HONG KONG - German photographer Michael Wolf captures the aging high-rise culture of Hong Kong, which has more buildings over five hundred feet tall than any other city in the world. The results are so stunning, you'll swear they're somehow faked…


High-rise condos lead the market in Calgary

CALGARY - While the Calgary new condo apartment market is showing a rebound in sales, the direction this trend will take through the rest of the year remains a question mark, says a housing report by Altus Group Economic Consulting.

“In Calgary, we will be watching to see if sales can continue to increase in the face of rising prices,” says the report.

Sales in highrise residential buildings are leading the recovery of Calgary’s new condo apartment market, which stalled when the recession hit, the Housing Report study found…


Residents fear shadow impacts > Frankston residents fear dark days ahead with high-rises

FRANKSTON - High-rise buildings approved in the Frankston area threaten to cast shadows over the beach and cause traffic congestion, residents fear.

Earlier this month, Planning Minister Matthew Guy approved an eight-storey head office for South East Water despite community groups, councillors and Frankston MP Geoff Shaw expressing concerns about its location on public land at Kananook Creek.

Another developer has recently lodged plans to build an 11-storey office tower with shops and residences at Kananook Creek.

Frankston resident Nicole Clarke said the development would cast a shadow on the creek and possibly the beach and cause traffic congestion.

''This will put houses and the creek in the shade for a good portion of the morning,'' she said…


Good sign > Bookends high-rise apartment project could be revived in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE - A proposed downtown Milwaukee apartment high-rise, which stalled during the recession, might soon be revived…


Demand for 4 BR condos result in family high-rises > Families dictate trend for high-rise living

SYDNEY - Developers are rethinking the design of Sydney's newest apartment towers to cater for the growing demand from families wanting to live in high-rise buildings.

At the 30-storey One Australia Avenue at Sydney Olympic Park, the developers are changing the layout of the building to cash in on the growing trend…


Port Moody plan envisions sea of high-rises

PORT MOODY - Rapid transit is bringing rapid changes to the face of Port Moody.

The 100-year-old community is proposing to approve plans for a sea of highrises when the Evergreen Line opens in 2016.

The proposals have caught some off guard and left others wondering what took so long.

Staff’s draft community plan calls for up to 400 hectares of industrial areas to be designated for things like 30-storey residential towers…


Condo Scene: A sneak peek at Tega Homes’ Rhombus Tower in Ottawa

OTTAWA — Marilyn Wilson recently sat down with home builder and developer Spyro Dimitrakopoulos, president and CEO of Tega Homes. He has been building luxury homes and condos in Ottawa for over eight years and is currently working on his first highrise condo project, a development called Rhombus Tower at 111 Parkdale Ave.

There is absolutely no question that Dimitrakopoulos is a forward-thinking and inspiring individual whose enthusiasm for his new rhombus-shaped building is infectious. (A rhombus is a four-sided parallelogram with no right angle — diamond-shaped for the non-geometrically inclined.) Read on to learn all about this fabulous, full-service, luxury condominium…


RT ‏@brad_tor74: Zaha Hadid to design miami most exclusive condo skyscraper

MIAMI - This development has been in the works for some time, and Zaha Hadid, likely one of the world's most famous up and coming architects takes a chance here with a stunning design and ground breaking development for the Biscayne Blvd Hotel and Condo Strip.



Tallest Condo Tower in Canada Planned for Yorkville

TORONTO - The Tallest Condo Ever built is planned for Yorkville, it will be at the site of the Holt Renfrew Department Store on Bloor Street. It will likely tie into planned retail expansion of the store. Bloor Street, is among the most expensive retail shopping streets on Earth, right there and up along with Rodeo Drive, in Los Angeles, Ginza in Toyko, and 5th, Ave in Manhattan. The Condo tower is planned to be 83 mindblowing floors, and over 277 meters…


43-storey high-rise condo proposed for Honolulu’s Kakaako neighbourhood

HONOLULU - A&B Properties Inc. said Tuesday that its planned $200 million mixed-use residential high-rise project on the former CompUSA site in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood will be called “The Collection” and have more than 460 condominium units…

…The Collection will include a 43-story tower with 400 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, a four-story mid-rise building with studios and some one- and two-bedroom units, and 16 two- and three-bedroom townhomes with individual garages…

>Leigh Buchan ‏@lives2talk: @SunPosition It's so big, it might sink the island!

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @lives2talk Ha-ha right. But the top might still be visible.


Tallest office tower in Calgary has made Emporis’ list of most impressive corporate buildings in world

CALGARY - Calgary’s Bow makes international headquarters list.  Designed by Foster + Partners, the Bow is the corporate headquarters for EnCana, a Canadian petroleum and gas producer. The building, which opened last year, stands 50 storeys, or 236 m (774 ft), and includes a large crescent-shaped steel structure—an eye-catching feature of its design.

Industry experts from international building data provider, Emporis, chose structures based on design, aesthetics, and corporate architecture criteria…


Here's a great typo ha-ha > Kenya: State Halts Building of Skycrappers in Kitengela

Read article: 


Floor to ceiling glass, popular in Calgary high-rise condos, benefits from sun-shading devices on exterior

CALGARY - A lot Calgarians are seeing the light these days. Only, they’re not seeking spiritual enlightenment. They merely want to live bathed in ample natural light in a highrise condominium.

Increasingly glass residential towers are a common sight in the city’s skyline, and one central theme for these multi-family residences is large windows that make good use of natural light…

… “If you’re going to have a lot of glass, you’d really benefit from having some sort of sun-shading device on the exterior of the building.” …

“It’s very beneficial to have these passive systems on the building because once the tower is built it’s not going to cost as much to cool the place.”…


Well-intentioned "Guidelines for High Rise Buildings" have led to nationwide building slowdown in India

NEW DELHI - Home buyers across the country find themselves facing escalating project costs and delays in possession because of a little-known office memorandum that the Ministry of Environment and Forests suddenly chose to issue on February 7, 2012.

The "Guidelines for High Rise Buildings" link a building's height to the width of the road on which it is to be located, and the distance from the nearest fire station.

The guidelines, well-intentioned as they might seem with their aim of ensuring fire preparedness in new projects, have ended up leading to a nationwide slowdown in the sector…


City of Toronto has Bird Friendly Development Guidelines > Glass buildings pose threat to birds

IPOH, MALAYSIA - The fast pace of development of different designs of high-rise buildings in many parts of the country reflects Malaysia’s vibrant economy. The advances in glass technology and production have made it possible for architects and engineers to construct buildings with all glass curtain walls.

Unfortunately, buildings that are built with a large amount of glass tend to be a major hazard to birds. Those who have been residing or working in a high- rise building with glass window panels will vouch for these bird collusion incidents.

It's time architects incorporate bird friendliness into their designs…


Bombay high court directs committee to reconsider 14 high-rise proposals in the city

BOMBAY - The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the state-level expert appraisal committee (SEAC) to reconsider 14 proposals to construct high-rises in the city.

These proposals were rejected after the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) issued an office memorandum restricting the height of sky-scrappers (sic).

According to the memorandum, the building’s height has to be based on the width of the road…


Committee approves 45-storey condo tower at Dows Lake in Ottawa

OTTAWA - Ottawa's planning committee has approved a Preston Street high-rise at Dows Lake that, once built, would be the tallest building in Ottawa.

Claridge's mixed-use 'Icon' tower at Preston and Carling Avenue would be approximately 143 metres tall, would hold 250 condo units and have a nine-storey underground parking garage.

The building would be on the north side of Carling between Preston and Norfolk Avenue on a vacant site that was formerly a gasoline service station.

The lots are currently zoned for a building height of 25 metres, but the planning committee voted Tuesday to change the zoning to allow the building at its planned height…

> Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: It would be Ottawa's tallest building. RT @lives2talk: @SunPosition Ridiculous! Way too tall!

>Leigh Buchan ‏@lives2talk: @SunPosition Not that need it! Tallest by how many storeys?

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @lives2talk Not sure. The CBC article referred to it as such.


Empire Communities plans lakeside high-rise towers on former motel strip land in Etobicoke

ETOBICOKE - Empire Communities is putting all the pieces in place for what it plans as a brand new community on one of the few remaining development sites on Etobicoke’s former lakeside motel strip.

Eau du Soleil is “going to be an icon on the Etobicoke waterfront …both from an architectural perspective and amenity perspective,” says executive vice-president, Paul Golini.

For starters, the two towers, 66 and 45 storeys respectively, will have commercial outlets at their base and a new city park on a street evolving with several other residential developments...


High-rise condos have no business in Whitby: residents

WHITBY - Many residents of the Whitby Shores area are against a developer's proposal to build two 12-storey towers and one eight-storey tower at the southwest corner of Gordon Street and Scadding Avenue, pictured. They believe the development does not fit in with the existing look of the area…


Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – April 2013

The following are miscellaneous sun, shade, solar and solar energy facts and comments.  They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).


Can't believe it's been 5 yrs since our SunChips 'solar' billboard was unveiled on EarthDay in Modesto CA

See time-lapse video: 


How much sun does your #Toronto condo get at different times of year? Check here > 


#Torontohenge ! The sun rises in line with #Toronto east/west streets at 6:29 am on Thurs Apr 18. Get your cameras ready!

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: #Torontohenge best on Thurs 18th, but OK a day either side as well. #Toronto sunrise about 6:30 am.

>Shawn Micallef ‏@shawnmicallef: @100thwoman @sunposition Yes….the sun setting one wasn't so long ago. Each 1/4 though.

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @shawnmicallef @100thwoman #Torontohenge occurs 4x/yr. At sunrise in Apr/Aug, and sunset in Feb/Oct.

>Ralph Bouwmeester‏@SunPosition: @LadyScorcher Nice. I've seen awesome pics of #Manhattanhenge. Hopefully the weather cooperates in #Toronto this week. #Torontohenge

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @LadyScorcher That's a great picture of #Manhattanhenge. Yellow Cabs and all :).


RT Kyle Leach ‏@theNadger:  @SunPosition thanks for the Vancouver info!

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @theNadger You're welcome. Our sun tables are updated each month.


Cheers, Ralph