3D-Printed Home Can Withstand Earthquakes

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While 3-D printing in the homebuilding industry has largely created prefab houses whose components are created at a factory and then assembled on location, a new technique is letting one company print the house in its entirety onsite.

Let the Machines Do It

Minnesotan to 3-D Print New Home in His Garage

3-D Printer Builds a House in a Day

HuaShang Tengda printed an entire 4,300-square-foot home in 45 days, with walls up to 8 feet thick that are designed to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake.

Curbed.com reports that “construction workers prepared the site and installed the building’s frame, plumbing, and rebar supports.” With the building’s infrastructure prepared, the 3-D printer then created the structure. HuaShang Tengda’s device uses four separate systems to formulate ingredients, mix the concrete, control the transmission, and print the home.

“A specially designed split nozzle,” says Curbed, “spits out concrete simultaneously on the interior and exterior sides of the rebar support, creating a sturdy construction.” The home used about 20 tons of concrete.

The 2008 earthquake in China’s Sichuan province, at magnitude 7.9, claimed nearly 80,000 lives. HuaShang Tengda developed the technique to help make safer homes more widely available.

Source: “3D-Printed Chinese Villa Is Virtually Indestructible,” Curbed.com (July 6, 2016)

Traverse City Top Small Town in USA 4 Years in a Row!

When looking for the Best Small Town for 2016, all signs point north to Traverse City. The town of 14,600 consistently ranks on the annual Livability list of the 10 Best Small Towns (this is its fourth year in a row), and it’s easy to see why. With its freshwater beaches, sprawling vineyards and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, visitors and newcomers have more than enough excuses to quickly fall in love with this Midwestern town.

Traverse City offers residents plenty of places to play and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle. “There are hundreds of square miles of state and national forests, dozens of nature preserves and wildlife refuges for hiking, cycling and beachcombing,” says Michael Norton, Media Relations Director for the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Some of the nation’s finest trout streams are located here, and our lakes and rivers are perfect for sailing, boating, swimming and canoeing.”


Why Traverse City is the Best Small Town in America


While a large part of the town’s economy is based on tourism, Traverse City is still agricultural at its heart. The Traverse City area is the country’s largest producer of tart cherries, harvesting 360,000,000 pounds of them annually. Each July, the town celebrates the cherry harvest with the weeklong National Cherry Festival, complete with fireworks, a parade, live music and pie-eating contests. The town’s location near the 45th parallel also makes it ideal for growing grapes, and there are more than 50 wineries in the Old Mission Peninsula wine region, of which Traverse City is a part. Traverse City also boasts a thriving craft brewing scene, with 18 microbreweries, not to mention the brew pubs and craft brew taprooms. As a result, Livability named Traverse City one of the 99 Best Beer Cities in 2015.

“Traverse City is a great place to indulge the appetite, too. Our restaurants feature a growing cadre of talented and original chefs and some of the best locally-produced wines and craft brews being made in this part of the world. Top chef Mario Batali is a big fan of our food scene – he even bought a house nearby,” Norton says.


4 Reasons Why Traverse City is the City You’ve Always Dreamed of


The town’s diverse range of restaurants, which helped land Traverse City on Livability’s list of the 10 Best Foodie Cities in 2014, are also a great place to people watch, especially for the celebrities that flock to the beach town in the summers. Traverse City’s burgeoning culinary scene ranges from traditional American fare to farm-to-table favorites and ethnic eateries.

Another of the Traverse City’s draws is the diversity in housing and neighborhood options.

Whether you choose to buy a condo in the Downtown District along the bay with its mix of cultural, shopping  and dining options, or a Victorian in the historic Grand Traverse Commons, you’re sure to find friendly neighbors, good schools and access to parks and other quality-of-life conveniences. Traverse City Area Public Schools is the largest school district in northwestern Michigan, and is consistently ranked as one of the top districts in the state. The school system also boasts an award-winning music and performance arts program, provides students with an international education, introducing them to world languages such as Mandarin Chinese and gives families options such as preschool and Montessori programs and Early College and Dual Enrollment to allow high schoolers to earn college credit.

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Ranch For Sale in Interlochen, Grant Township


3 Br 2 Bath, Heated Garage, Double Lot

•  1,115 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm ranch$125,000. Near Lakes & State Land
MLS® #1813658  

– Newer 3 BR 2 Bath home with open floor plan, hardwood floors in kitchen & dining , island kitchen, laundry/mud room, private master suite, central air, high speed cable and internet available, and finished/heated garage set on double lot near State Land, Duck & Green lakes, river, Arts Academy / Interlochen and approx. 20 25 min drive to Traverse City .

Property information

Will Traverse City Build Boardman Lake Avenue?

Will City Build Boardman Lake Avenue?

June 8, 2016
Will City Build Boardman Lake Avenue?

To build or not to build a road connecting Fourteenth Street to Eighth Street: That is the question.

It’s one city commissioners have long discussed – and could soon answer. Consulting firm LSL Planning presented three design options Tuesday for addressing traffic, encouraging economic development and improving placemaking in the West Boardman Lake District. The firm was hired last December to analyze growth scenarios in the neighborhood – including the feasibility of building a new east-west corridor, often referred to as Boardman Lake Avenue.

LSL Planning met multiple times with a stakeholder group of Boardman Lake residents and business owners to assess their needs and desires for the neighborhood. The firm also held public workshops this spring to gather community input. Using that feedback, LSL Planning presented three design options to the public and city planning commissioners Tuesday night.

Two of the proposed scenarios call for the construction of a new 24-foot-wide, two-lane road – which the firm called by the updated name South Boardman Drive – that would follow the curve of the railroad tracks and Boardman Lake to connect Fourteenth Street to Eighth Street (see above). Both South Boardman Drive scenarios – nearly identical except for differing exit points on Fourteenth Street – call for the road to empty onto Eighth Street just east of Lake Street.

To avoid neighboring exit conflict points on Eighth, the scenarios call for Lake Street to be converted into a service drive, with pedestrian and bicyclist access and on-street parking for businesses such as Oryana and McGough’s. The options also call for eventual new residential and commercial development along the corridor.

A separate, third scenario also focuses on turning Lake Street into a more pedestrian-friendly neighborhood drive, and implements traffic-calming measures on Cass Street. But it eliminates the construction of a new east-west road. “It maintains the neighborhood character, and allows for potential redevelopment,” says Robert Doyle of SmithGroupJJR, another member of the consulting team. “But it doesn’t really address any of the traffic congestion issues.”

The three options reflect the feedback of residents, whose opinions ranged from a desire for a high-speed bypass (a scenario that was collectively ruled out due to its negative impact on the neighborhood), to support for a calmer east-west option, to opposition to any new road for fear it would drive traffic into (not away from) the neighborhood.

“At every level, opinions are mixed,” says Planning Division Manager Bradley Strader of LSL Planning. “But there’s a concern about traffic issues from everybody.” Strader says analysis supports South Boardman Drive as an option that would “provide benefit to the city and businesses and neighborhoods. But it’s up to (the community) to decide if those benefits are worth the cost.”

To help city officials make that decision, LSL Planning will put together a detailed cost-benefit analysis for each scenario to present to the city commission by the end of June. Commissioners have stated their intention to use the analysis, as well as the Boardman Lake Trail and Eighth Street redesign plans, to make a decision once and for all whether to pursue an east-west corridor – or kill the concept.

Oryana General Manager Steve Nance, who has participated in the stakeholder meetings, says he’s reserving final judgment until he can review the cost-benefit analysis and details of each scenario. A new corridor “could affect us positively – but it could also affect us negatively,” he says. The road could bring heightened visibility to Oryana, divert traffic away from the quieter neighborhood streets around to the east side of the store, and open up more parking on Lake Street. But depending on its design, it could also hamper access to the store, potentially disrupting the flow of in-out traffic or creating a bottleneck for customers and delivery trucks, Nance says.

“There are ways (a design) could all come together,” he says. “We want to be in a position to support the best course of action.” Nance says he’s pleased to see the city nearing a resolution either way on the long-debated project. “When a business is trying to think about the future, something big like this raises a lot of question marks,” he says. “So it’s nice to be thinking in terms of a decision point.”

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