Alert Notice #100
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
July 8, 2014


1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends
2. Business Management
3. Building Design & Trends
4. Codes Standards & Regulations
5. Building Science & Technology
6. Building Performance Issues
7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency
8. Building Products & Suppliers
9. Installation Procedures
10. Information Sources
11. Conferences & Shows
12. Education & Training
13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Thanks to our advertisers, these Alert Notices come to you free. Check out what they offer.

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My thanks to Brain Hart, George Pinch, Wilma Leung, Arthur Lo, Mark Schnabel, Connie Howe, Laura Litchfield, Tara Ninmann, Melissa Broadus, Sabine Just, Kimberly Hurley, Louise Dunne, Zena Caul, Malinda Armstrong, and Jennifer Christenson for their comments, tips, and resources. I hope you find at least a wee bit of value in this newsletter.

Have a “Top Drawer” day.

Ken Farrish

Send Us Your Industry & Product News
These Alerts contain summaries and links to industry news, events, issues, information, products, resources, and more. If you have any new products, events, or information that you would like to have included, just e-mail me at

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Ken's Top Pick

Web-Based Canadian Housing Market Information Portal
CMHC online Housing Market Information Portal provides national, provincial and local housing statistics through a map-based interface and state-of-the-art search function. Users can access historical, current and comparative reports in a range of outputs, including tables, charts, and maps available in PDF and spreadsheet formats.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Supply, Demand & House Prices
Canadian Home Builders Association says two recent media articles have connected the dots between zoning and land-use regulations, housing supply, and house prices. The evidence that such regulations are pushing new home prices up is clear. (PDF)

Monthly Lower Mainland Real Estate Marketplace Update
Rennie Review is a monthly review of the real estate marketplace in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver. They compile data and offer zone updates with information on each area's residential detached and residential attached market. (PDF)

BC Housing Market Update June 2014
BC Real Estate Association provides online video with Chief Economist Cameron Muir discussing the May 2014 statistics.

Drop In Mortgage Rates Boost BC Housing Market
Vancouver Sun says another healthy jump in real estate sales across the Lower Mainland in June is putting some areas on the cusp of a seller’s market.

June 2014 Housing Now Canada
CMHC online Housing Now Canada June 2014 provides statistics on new home market, housing starts, inventories of new and unabsorbed units, building permits, new housing price index, existing home market, MLS sales and new listings, and more. (PDF)

Updated Canadian Resale Housing Forecast
Canadian Real Estate Association has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service for 2014 and 2015.

2014 Canadian Pulse Survey Confirms Top Building Industry Issues
Canadian Home Builders Association 2014 Pulse Survey says new home taxes and development restrictions are driving up costs, and prices. (PDF)

Home Renovation Spending Hits Record $63 Billion
Financial Post says renovation spending has been rising for 15 straight years and reached a record $63.4-billion in 2013. Three of every four renovation dollars are being spent on improvement, not repair.

Provincial/Territorial NTCCC Chapters Across Canada
National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada has made a bylaw change that will allow for the establishment of provincial/territorial NTCCC chapters across Canada. (PDF)

2. Business Management

Selling Through The Lifestage
Builder Magazine breaks down the three categories buyers flow through as their own life circumstances change, and reminds us to stay focused on the big picture of moving buyers through those categories faster toward a sale.

Note On Business Tax Competitiveness In BC
Business Council of BC online bulletin A Note on Business Tax Competitiveness in British Columbia considers several features of the tax system that impinge on business investment, expansion, and job creation. (PDF)

GST/HST Implications Of Construction Of Laneway Housing
Canada Revenue Agency describes GST/HST obligations and entitlements of individuals who construct, or engage another person to construct, a secondary housing unit (referred to as a laneway house) on the individual’s land.

Legal Update On Real Estate Development Marketing Act
UDI describes several improvements and clarifications to REDMA which have been passed with Bill 17, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2014, receiving Royal Assent on May 29th.

BC Development Cost Charge Best Practices Guide
BC Development Finance Review Committee online Development Cost Charge Best Practices Guide encourages local governments to standardize the establishment and administration of development cost charge programs, and provides some flexibility to accommodate a municipality’s specific circumstances. (PDF)

Start To Completion Time Lines For Various Types Of Construction
Reed Construction Data describes what the start-to-completion time frame is for various categories of construction projects.

When To Remove Your Top Sales Producer
Sales Benchmark Index says sales reps that are problem employees can wreak havoc on your company, and offers tips to determine if and when to remove even your top producer.

Do You Tell Yourself These Common Entrepreneur Lies?
Small Business Trends says in order to stay positive, entrepreneurs need to lie to themselves a lot. Unfortunately, this can get them into trouble when they have improbable expectations and surprising outcomes as a result.

3. Building Design & Trends

Deliver Smaller Floor Plans That Live Large
Builder Magazine says scale, proportion, open plans, and flexible spaces make a smaller house look and feel like its million-dollar neighbour.

Clayton Homes Unveils New Gen Now Concept House
Building Online says Clayton Homes recently unveiled its new Concept House, which reinvents the way homeowners live in their homes. It was designed to suit the specific interests and lifestyles of the 19 - 37 age group (Gen Now) and reinvents traditional floor plans to accommodate larger living.

Zero In On Gen Y
Builder Magazine says wooing young buyers is crucial for production builders, and offers insights into pleasing millennials without breaking the bank.

10 Asian-Style Bathrooms
HGTV Remodels provides descriptions of 10 Zen-like bathrooms that add a bit of Eastern influence for a truly unique style.

Unique Concrete Patios & Projects
Concrete Network provides articles, videos, and project ideas for designing outdoor patios.

Accessibility & Outdoor Property Improvements Top List Of Popular Home Characteristics
American Institute of Architects says facilitating greater accessibility into and around the home has become the dominant home layout consideration, while the most popular property improvements deal with enhancing outdoor living areas and blending the indoor and outdoor spaces of the home.

Garage Floor Design Options
Concrete Network provides examples of garage floor coatings and their versatility for customization.

Full-Size 3D-Printed House Under Construction
Digital Trends says a Dutch architectural firm is experimenting with constructing a house that will be made all of panels created with a 3-D printer dedicated to the project.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Larry Clay, President, Clay Construction Inc., says: “I love your Ezine newsletter, lots of good stuff. Thanks for your hard work.”

Please feel free to let others know about BC Building Info.

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

New Vancouver Building Bylaw Delayed To January 2015
City of Vancouver has extended the implementation of the new building bylaw from July 1, 2014, to January 1, 2015. The existing Vancouver Building Bylaw will remain in place until the end of 2014.

Overview Of Illustrated Guide To BC Building Code Section 9.36
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation provides an overview of the new Illustrated Guide To BC Building Code Section 9.36 that covers 9.36.1. General, 9.36.2. Building Envelope , 9.36.3. Heating, Ventilating and Air-conditioning Systems, and 9.36.4. Service Water Heating System Requirements. (PDF)

NAFS-08 & CSA A440S1-09 Fenestration Standards
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation discusses considerations for NAFS-08 & CSA A440S1-09 Fenestration Standards and their relation to determining performance grade and water test pressure. (PDF)

Testing, Certification & Labelling Of Windows & Doors
Building Officials Association of BC provides online slide show presentation describing issues and considerations around testing, certification and labelling of windows and doors from a building inspectors perspective. (PDF)

BC Building Officials Strategic Priorities 2014 & Beyond
Building Officials Association of BC describes their strategic priorities for 2014 and beyond. (PDF)

BC Building Regulatory Modernization Strategy Updates May 2014
BC Housing and Construction Standards presents two discussion papers, published May 2014, that provide more detailed information on the Branch’s proposals to modernize and streamline BC’s building regulatory system.

Standard 9 HVAC Quality Installation Verification Protocols
ACCA Standard 9: HVAC Quality Installation Verification Protocols details requirements, roles, and obligations for participants ensuring that HVAC installations comply with ANSI/ACCA 5 QI 2007 (HVAC Quality Installation Specification) QI Standard. (PDF)

Past & Future Of Ventilating Dwellings & ASHRAE 6.22-2013
Richard Karg online slide show presentation discusses the past and future of ventilating dwellings and ASHRAE 6.22-2013. (PDF)

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5. Building Science & Technology

BC Housing Foundations And Geotechnical Challenges
Building Officials Association of BC online Slide show presentation describes BC residential builder best practices for housing foundations and geotechnical challenges. (Large PDF)

Unvented Crawlspaces & Conditioned Basements
Building America Solution Center describes issues and considerations for unvented crawlspaces and conditioned basements.

Polyethylene Placement Under Concrete Slabs
Green Building Advisor discusses whether or not the poly vapor barrier belongs above or below the rigid foam.

Planning In-Slab Hydronic Heating & Cooling
Construction Specifier describes how radiant systems are ideally suited to a broad range of commercial applications and achieve best results when combined with other energy-efficient solutions in tight building structures.

Guide For Rainscreen Wall & Window Details With Fibre Cement Cladding
National Home Warranty online reference guide provides typical wall and window rainscreen details for fibre cement cladding. (PDF)

Guide For Rainscreen Wall & Window Details With Vinyl Siding
National Home Warranty online reference guide provides typical wall and window rainscreen details for vinyl siding. (PDF)

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam In Construction
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation Sprayed Polyurethane Foam in Construction covers types of foams, comparison between open-cell and closed cell, standards for the foam industry, building code commentary, CUFCA and the quality assurance program, and resources for code officials. (PDF)

Which Gas Furnace Return Duct Configuration Works Best
David R Blog looks at methods used to tie the return ducting into a gas furnace and which options perform the best.

Overview Of Concrete Roof Tiles
Portland Cement Association describes features, benefits and considerations for concrete roof tiles.

6. Building Performance Issues

Controlling Mold Growth In Ventilated Wood-Frame Attics In BC
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation describes issues and considerations for controlling mold growth in ventilated wood-frame attics in BC’s cool marine climate. (PDF)

Roof Venting In A Wet Climate
Journal of Light Construction provides some considerations for roof venting in a wet climate.

Condensation Analysis In Cold BC Climate
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation describes an analysis of interior condensation at interior surfaces of windows and sliding doors in cold climates. A high end hotel resort and spa in Whistler is experiencing condensation issues, and this study and presentation builds on previous engineering reports, building science principles, thermal comfort analysis and ventilation modeling to assess the condensation problem at a representative suite in the hotel. (PDF)

Floor Covering Inspections
BC Floor Covering Association offers two floor covering inspection services: Post installation; Before, during and after installation.

Solutions for Noisy Pipes
Journal of Light Construction describes one easy way to totally eliminate the noise of water inside your drain pipes.

How To Clean Up After A Flood
Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, Restoration and Certification online quick-reference guide provides flood cleanup tips. (PDF)

Floodplain Mapping Funding Guidebook For BC Local Governments
BC Real Estate Association online Floodplain Mapping Funding Guidebook for BC Local Governments provides information on sources of floodplain mapping funding for BC municipalities. (PDF)

Commissioning The Building Envelope
Morrison Hershfield online slide show presentation describes procedures and considerations for commissioning the building envelope. (PDF)

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

BC Home Energy Rebate Offer
Provided in partnership by BC Hydro Power Smart and FortisBC, the Home Energy Rebate Offer provides a wide variety of rebates to help you make it easy to reduce your ongoing energy costs, and improve the comfort of your home.

BC Achieves Greenhouse Gas Emissions Target
British Columbia has reached its first greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 6% below 2007 levels by 2012 as set out in the Province’s Climate Action Plan.

Energy Retrofit Strategy For Existing Buildings In Vancouver
Vancouver City Council has approved the Energy Retrofit Strategy for Existing Buildings and directed staff to initiate its implementation. This report describes a strategy to guide City efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy use in existing buildings throughout Vancouver by 20% from 2007 levels by 2020. (PDF)

Canada Green Building Trends 2014
Canadian Green Building Council report Canada Green Building Trends: Benefits Driving the New and Retrofit Market shows our green building market is growing steadily with owners seeing strong benefits from building green.

LEED v4 Canadian Alternative Compliance Paths Now Available
Canada Green Building Council describes LEED v4 Alternative Compliance Paths (known as ACPs) for Canadian projects.

User Guide To Canadian National Energy Code For Buildings 2011
Canadian National Model Construction Code Documents first edition of the User’s Guide to the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011 is designed to complement the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011 by providing additional background information as well as detailed examples and calculations. It describes the various compliance approaches in the NECB and presents examples of trade-off path calculations.

Air Leaks From House To Attic Need To Be Sealed
Green Building Advisor says if a house has an attic, there needs to be an air barrier that keeps the attic space separate from the rest of the building.

Guide To Condensing Boilers
Building America Solution Center online guide describes considerations for selection and installation of condensing boilers.

Webinar On Net Zero Builders Innovations, Part Two
Net Zero Energy Coalition's free August 21st webinar Net Zero Builders Innovations, Part Two will feature builders sharing their reasons for building Net Zero Energy, project costs, new technologies, and business implications.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

Recall Of Hitachi Pneumatic Nailers
Health Canada has recalled 25,300 Hitachi pneumatic nailers, indicating that they can jam and override the safety switch that permits only one nail to fire at a time, posing a risk of injury.

MIT CityHome Project Re-Thinks Small Space Versatility
At MIT, two researchers have devised beds, desks and cooking areas that tuck themselves away in a modular unit that also can move to change the space.

17 Odd & Unusual Tools From NHS
Tools of the Trade describes number of interesting and unusual tools from the recent National Hardware Show that could be useful to tradesmen.

10 Questions On Tankless Water Heaters
TecHome Builder article helps demystify tankless water heaters and what builders and homebuyers should know.

Hydronic Comfort In 20th Century
Radiant Professional Alliance describes how hydronic systems changed when electricity became available to the cities. (PDF)

Radiant Is More Efficient Than Forced Air
Contractor magazine says based on the results from energy simulations of different home types, in six regions of Canada, ICF Marbek reported this last January that annual energy savings of up to 18% could be realized with radiant heat.

Stamped Concrete Overlays
Concrete Network describes how to resurface existing concrete with a stampable concrete overlay.

Caring & Maintaining Concrete Floors
Concrete Network provides decorative concrete flooring maintenance tips, cleaning guidelines and advice for fixing flaws and discoloration.

Professor Testing Google Glass For Construction Projects
An associate professor of construction science at Texas A&M says supervisors at construction sites might perform their duties with help from a wearable computer.

9. Installation Procedures

Roofing With Asphalt Shingle
Journal of Light Construction describes details and roofing best practices that will help ensure a durable asphalt shingle roof.

Installing Insulation In Unvented Attics
Building America Solution Center online guide describes issues and considerations for installing unvented attic insulation.

Best Practice For Stucco Parapet Caps
Journal of Light Construction describes the best practices for capping stucco parapets.

How To Easily Drill A Hole In Ceramic Tile
Fine Homebuilding describes a better way to drill a hole in ceramic tile.

Installing Concrete Slab Over Polyethylene
Building America Solution Center guide describes issues and considerations for installing concrete slab over polyethylene.

Cutting Glass Tile
Journal of Light Construction describes some tricks to cutting glass tiles.

Free RETScreen Ground Heat Exchanger Design Tool
NRCan free Ground Heat Exchanger Tool is used to help size and cost the ground heat exchanger for a ground-source heat pump system for ground-coupled (horizontal and vertical closed-loop) or groundwater heat exchangers.

Alice The Tunnel Boring Machine Keeps On Digging
Journal of Commerce says tunneling at a maximum distance of 10 metres per day, it's going to take Alice, the Evergreen Line's tunnel boring machine, at least 200 days to create a two-kilometre underground train route from Port Moody to Coquitlam.

10. Information Sources

Presentations From Spring Technical Summit
Best Practices Research Alliance offers access to online slide show presentations from their recent summit where industry experts focused on How We Build and the Future of Homebuilding.

2015 International Codes & References
International Code Council is now offering the complete line of 2015 international codes and references.

Development Of Building Science Power Words
US Department of Energy is developing a Building Science Translator that provides a glossary of power words for use across the industry. The goal of using power words is to consistently reinforce the value message of high-performance homes based on the consumer experience rather than the engineering function of home systems.

Online Videos Of Past Seminars For Building Managers
Professional Association of Managing Agents provides on-line versions of recently offered seminars.

Prescriptive Guide For Residential Deck Construction
American Wood Council online Prescriptive Residential Deck Design Guide provides details, span tables, guardrail requirements and other provisions for constructing a residential deck in accordance with the International Residential Code. The guide also contains recommended good practices for deck construction that are not specifically code requirements. (PDF)

Inspection & Maintenance Of Commercial Building HVAC Systems
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association online Standard Practice for Inspection & Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems is based on ANSI/ACCA/ASHRAE 180 Standard and will help building owners and operators select a contractor to perform maintenance on their heating and cooling systems. (PDF)

Survey Of International Tall Wood Buildings
ThinkWood report Survey Of International Tall Wood Buildings summarizes 10 tall wood buildings from the perspectives of owners, designers, regulators and builders. (PDF)

11. Conferences & Shows

Architectural Walking Tours of Vancouver & Victoria
Architectural Institute of BC 2014 Architectural Walking Tours program offers unique perspectives of the cities of Vancouver and Victoria. Those interested are invited to take advantage of six distinct tours in each city.

Interior Design Show West
Interior Design Show West, held in Vancouver September 25-28, is the West Coast consumer and trade show for contemporary residential design. It showcases local, Canadian, and international furnishings, fixtures and accessories for the design of a home.

2014 BC Architects Conference
Architectural Institute of BC 2014 conference, held in Vancouver October 8-10, brings together architects and other members of the design community to learn about new industry trends, technological advances and best practices.

Buildex Express: 1-Day Trade Show & Seminars
Buildex Express will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on October 15th. It will offer a tradeshow, networking, and industry seminars.

12. Education & Training

Free Wall Bracing Webinar Series
Engineered Wood Association free five-part series will cover multiple aspects of wall bracing, including bracing for higher seismic and wind zones.

Retrofitting Central Space Conditioning Strategies For Multifamily Buildings
Building America Program free webinar Retrofitting Central Space Conditioning Strategies for Multifamily Buildings on July 16 will focus on improving the performance of central space conditioning systems in multifamily buildings. Presenters will discuss hydronic heating strategies and the evaluation of thermostatically controlled radiator valves.

Legal & Tax Tips For Incorporation
Small Business BC seminar Legal & Tax Tips For Incorporation will be held in Vancouver and on webcam on July 28th. You can learn how and when the best time is to move from a proprietorship/partnership to an incorporated company, and gain knowledge on setting up the legal entity of a corporation.

Site Surveying 101: Introduction to Leveling
ICBA course Site Surveying 101 Introduction to Leveling will be held in Burnaby on August 15th. It is designed for construction personnel interested in learning skills and principals to successfully run level loops, transfer and establish benchmarks on construction sites, and determine the elevations of objects independently and/or relative to each other. This course is Gold Seal certified.

Gold Seal Certification Expands Owners Designation
Canadian Construction Association says as industry continues to evolve, including increased collaboration and the introduction of new project delivery mechanisms, the Gold Seal Certification program has expanded its Owners’ Project Manager Designation to ensure it remains relevant to the needs of the industry and stakeholders.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

2014 Constructech Apps
Constructech magazine online 2014 Constructech App Catalog describes various apps to help you get the job done.

5 Ways To Access PC Files Over The Internet
How To Geek describes some secure, easy-to-use solutions on how to make your computer files available over the Internet.

Chinese Fireworks Display: New Years 2013
The Chinese are not only the inventors of the fireworks they are still the masters. Check out this awesome show from New Years 2013.

Dittie For Today

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't. - Erica Jong

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© Copyright 2014              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

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