Alert Notice #101
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
July 29, 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

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My thanks to Sabine Just, Brian Hart, Wilma Leung, Rick Vlahos, Zana Gordon, Dan Bradley, Christine Cunnick, John Maus, Glenn Duxbury, Joey Fearn, Charles Goldman, Connie Howe, Kelsey Phillips, and Hannah Finch 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

Movement Of Cladding Installed Over Exterior Rigid Insulation
Building Science report Initial and Long Term Movement of Cladding Installed Over Exterior Rigid Insulation covers impacts of different fastener types in the system capacity, impact of screw shaft bearing on the insulation material, impacts of material expansion and contraction on the pre and post compression forces in the assemblies, and if deflection movement for heavier weight claddings can be mitigated by denser fastener spacing. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Waiting For Better Days
Business Council of BC says some of the optimism about the global economy evident in early 2014 has diminished in recent months, causing forecasters to revise down their growth projections. The change is not dramatic, but the tone has shifted in a more cautious direction.

BC Economic Briefing July 2014
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Economic Briefing of July 14th says MLS home sales and prices climbed for a third straight month in June. (PDF)

June 2014 Housing Starts In Canada
CMHC report says housing starts in Canada were trending at 185,939 units in June compared to 184,019 in May.

Quarterly Canadian Regional Housing Report July 2014
TD Economics online Quarterly Regional Housing Report, July 2014, says the Canadian housing market has been heating up this spring, following what was an unusually cold and stormy winter. (PDF)

Central 1: Canadian Interest Rate Forecast
Central 1 Credit Union online Interest Rate Forecast report for June 2014 says there are more signs of growth pickup, there is a sluggish Canadian economy, and interest rates are range-bound near term and rising medium term. (PDF)

Forecasting The Next Neighbourhood Hot Spot
UDI says with some foresight and patience, emerging areas can offer buyers a golden opportunity to tap into great value now and often amazing returns on investment in the future.

Millennials Want To Work From Home
Toronto Star says a new study from Canada's Telecommunications Industry: Industrial Outlook Spring 2014, reveals that more than 70 per cent of full-time workers between the ages of 18-29 would prefer to work from home.

State Of US Nation's Housing 2014
US Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report on State of the Nation’s Housing 2014 says minorities, millennials, and boomers will drive housing in coming years.

2. Business Management

Is It Time To Refresh Your Brand?
Builder Magazine says if it is time to refresh your brand, you can use this case study as a guide to update your company’s presence in the marketplace.

Marketing To Millennials
TecHome Builder provides some suggestions for homebuilders set to harvest the ripening market of twenty-something millennials.

Relationship Value In A Connected World
Home Builder magazine says home building involves complicated systems and lengthy processes, which can often create barriers in the quest for customer satisfaction. They provide some tips on how to replace barriers with bridges.

Construction Material & Labor Costs For 30 US & Canadian Cities
Reed Construction Data provides a comparison of construction material and labor costs for 30 US and Canadian cities.

Questions For Young Construction Professionals
Journal of Commerce online video shows young construction professionals offering their thoughts on the state of the industry and their place as workers in that sector.

What To Say When Clients Ask ‘What’s Your Markup?’
Remodeling magazine says when clients ask, what’s your markup?, answer that question with questions of your own and then show you're the expert.

What Happens When You Ignore Construction Defects?
Journal of Light Construction says contractors who discover construction defects or mistakes in their work face two challenges: ignore them and risk liability, or fix the problems and risk destroying evidence, also known as spoliation. If litigation develops down the road, contractors that destroy evidence, even with the best of intentions, can wind up paying damages in court.

Have You Read The Installation Manual?
PM Engineer describes carbon monoxide deaths and how documentation may save you from a lawsuit.

3. Building Design & Trends

BC Georgie Awards Call For Entries
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC invites all CHBA BC member companies involved in the residential building industry to participate in the 2014 Georgie Awards.

Concrete Patio Colors
Concrete Network provides some ideas for enhancing your concrete patio with color.

Presentations From Housing Alternatives For An Aging Population
Simon Fraser University provides access to online presentations from their recent conference Housing Alternatives for an Aging Population.

US National Healthy Housing Standard
National Center for Healthy Housing new National Healthy Housing Standard provides recommendations to improve the health impacts and safety of existing homes.

Overview Of Multi-Story Wood Frame Structures
WoodWorks online slide show presentation provides an overview of multi-story wood frame structures including introduction, maximizing height and area, understanding shrinkage, and detailing considerations. (PDF)

CanBIM Ready To Launch Accreditation
Journal Of Commerce article says the Canada BIM Council (CanBIM) is poised to launch Canada's first standardized certification and accreditation program for Building Information Modeling (BIM) professionals in late September.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Rob Dumont, President of Dumont & Associates says: “I do enjoy your regular e-mails. Keep up the good work.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

New BC Electrical, Gas, Elevating Devices & Boiler Fees Proposed
BC Safety Authority is proposing an increase of a weighted average of 9% over the next three years to fees for the electrical, gas, elevating devices and boiler, pressure vessel and refrigeration technologies. Additional changes are also proposed for specific fees. Feedback will be accepted until September 15.

New BC Seismic Code Affects Sliding Door Installations
Canadian Contractor says new code for seismic building in BC affects sliding door installations.

BC Safety Inspection Process
WorkSafeBC online video of the safety inspection process helps you know what to expect when a WorkSafeBC prevention officer visits your workplace to conduct a safety inspection.

Contractors Benefit From Better Understanding & Collaboration With Inspectors
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor magazine says a contractor may have a positive relationship with the local inspector, or sometimes it can be a contentious one. While the two parties may be coming at a project from different viewpoints, it’s important to remember that everyone has the same goal: to deliver effective, safe systems in a building.

BC Directive On Appliance Air Intake Clearance
BC Safety Authority says there are instances with-in the CAN/CSA B149.1 Natural gas and Propane Installation Code where further clarity is required regarding minimum clearances. This Directive defines the minimum clearance requirement for appliance air supply inlets (combustion air) in order to resolve installation related conflicts in BC. (PDF)

2012 IRC Code Encourages Risky Wall Strategies
Green Building Advisor says the 2012 International Energy Code promotes R20+R5 walls in cold climates, a recipe for mold and possible rot.

Hydronic Heating Systems Design Requirements
Alberta STANDATA clarifies design requirements of hydronic heating systems, so that an acceptable level of performance may be maintained for all installations. (PDF)

Standard For Maintenance Of Residential HVAC Systems
Air Conditioning Contractors of America online standard ANSI/ACCA 4 Qm–2013 covers maintenance of residential heating, ventilating, and air conditioning applications for one and two family dwellings of three stories or less. (PDF)

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5. Building Science & Technology

Every House Needs Roof Overhangs
Green Building Advisor says a house with improper overhangs can overheat in the summer, can suffer from water entry problems at windows and doors, and can have premature siding rot.

Moisture Control Guidance For Building Design, Construction & Maintenance
EPA online guide Moisture Control Guidance for Building Design, Construction and Maintenance provides building professionals with practical guidance to control moisture in buildings during design, construction and maintenance. It includes specific guidance related to site drainage, foundations, walls, roof and ceiling assemblies, plumbing systems, and HVAC systems as well as methods for verifying the appropriate implementation of the recommendations. (PDF)

Right Way To Build Basements & Crawlspaces
Green Building Advisor describes issues and considerations for building basements and crawl spaces the right way.

How To Determine The Size Of Your Central Air Conditioner
Energy Vanguard describes how to determine the size of your central air conditioner.

Overview Of Air Conditioning Systems
Natural Resources Canada provides information and resources on air conditioning including types, energy efficiency regulations, room air conditioners, central, operating costs, and answers to commonly asked questions.

Overview Of Home Cooling
US Department of Energy describes home cooling with their Energy Saver 101 infographic.

Man’s Early Attempts to Manage Comfort
Radiant Professionals Alliance says mankind has attempted to control the mean radiant temperature known as MRT within the spaces that he has lived since the beginning of mankind. (PDF)

History Of Housewraps & Weather Resistant Barriers
Journal of Light Construction online video takes a look at the history of moisture and air management in exterior walls.

High Performance Roofing Systems
Whole Building Design Guide describes issues and considerations for high performance roofing assemblies. It covers introduction, material descriptions, applications, drawings, emerging issues, relevant codes and standards, and additional resources.

6. Building Performance Issues

CANPLY CertiWood Technical Centre Ceasing Operations July 31, 2014
Canadian Plywood Association and affiliated CertiWood Technical Centre, originally founded in 1950 as the Plywood Manufacturers’ Association of BC (PMBC), will cease operations on July 31, 2014. Operating for over sixty years as a not-for-profit industry trade association, the association has long served Canadian industry by providing third party testing and global certification, product and standards development, and diverse programs for product promotion and market support.

Quiet Plumbing Pipes
Fine Homebuilding online video describes one easy way to totally eliminate the noise of water inside your drain pipes.

Fluid Quality In Hydronic Systems
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor magazine describes how, when a system is drained and filled multiple times, a fresh dose of oxygen rich water is added to the system. With no other iron in the system, the corrosive oxygen laden water attacks cast iron pump volutes, causing premature failure.

Sucking & Blowing Lesson In Duct Leakage
Energy Vanguard says whether ducts leak inside or outside the building enclosure is only one leakage location that matters. Your home is also affected by how much leakage occurs on the return side and the supply side of the duct system.

Performance of Tubular Daylighting Devices
Canadian National Research Council report Performance of Tubular Daylighting Devices shows they can economically admit natural light into areas of buildings that do not have windows or skylights. It outlines features and characteristics, presents research findings that will improve the ability of manufacturers to design and rate their products, and helps specifiers select best-performing products for particular locations and installation geometries. (PDF)

Are South-Facing Skylights A Threat Or Menace?
Green Building Advisor describes how owners of sunrooms have developed a variety of ways to address their buyers’ regret. In winter, the sunroom is cold. In summer, the sunroom is hot.

Solving Moisture Mysteries With Infrared Camera
Journal of Light Construction describes how temperature differences between dry and wet spots can provide important clues.

Materials Corrosion Prevention & Control
Whole Building Design Guide provides information for planners, designers, constructors, and maintainers for assistance in planning, identifying, repairing, or eliminating corrosion during the facilities' life cycle with the objective of reducing overall life-cycle costs, increasing sustainability, and providing improved durability.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Canadian Green Building Keeps Growing
Daily Commercial News says the Canadian green building market has grown in the last few years and is expected to continue its strong growth in years to come, according to a recent report released by the Canadian Green Building Council.

Green Homes Rapidly Grabbing New Construction Market Share
Professional Builder says, according to the latest Smart Market Report from the National Association of Home Builders and McGraw Hill Construction, by 2016 green practices and materials will be involved in nearly a third of the new-home market and will be as common as full basements and vinyl siding.

Vancouver Bylaw Impacts New Home Program Rebates
FortisBC says beginning July 1, 2014, minimum energy efficiency requirements for new residential construction in the City of Vancouver come into effect. As a result, rebates for some models of water heaters, EnerChoice fireplaces and boilers under the New Home Program will no longer be eligible. This includes 0.67 EF storage tank water heaters, non-condensing tankless water heaters, combination boilers and EnerChoice fireplaces with standing pilots.

Which Consumer Segments Will Pay More For Sustainable Products?
EcoBuilding Pulse summarizes an online poll conducted by Nielsen of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries that identifies which consumer segments are most passionate about sustainable practices, and how much that can sway their purchasing behavior.

Financing Energy Improvements On Utility Bills: Market Updates & Program Design
State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network report Financing Energy Improvements on Utility Bills: Market Updates and Key Program Design Considerations for Policymakers and Administrators” breaks down existing on-bill financing programs into categories and evaluates their performance. (PDF)

Webinar On High Performance Enclosure Strategies, New Construction
US Department of Energy free webinar High Performance Enclosure Strategies: Part II, New Construction on August 13th is the second in the Building America series on designing and constructing high performance building enclosures, and will focus on effective strategies to address moisture and thermal needs.

Getting Homeowners Onboard With Home Performance
Home Energy magazine says once homeowners really understand the concepts and benefits of a whole house approach, they are much more likely to get on board and they often end up pursuing multiple efficiency upgrades.

Energy Conservation Standard For Residential Furnace Fans
US Department of Energy new Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnace Fans will dramatically reduce energy use of furnace fans. They circulate heated and cooled air throughout a home, and consume more than twice the electricity in a year as a typical new refrigerator. The new standards will cut the cost to power furnace fans by about 40% and also deliver improved comfort. The standards will take effect in 2019. (PDF)

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

New Products For Home Building
Home Builder Magazine describes its annual selection of new products geared to professionals in the residential construction industry.

Three Innovations For Field Measurement, Modeling, Movement
Construction Executive describes three new tools for modeling, measuring and moving around the jobsite. These include gaming-style controllers for equipment operators, point-and-click laser measurements, and new 3-D modelling software for construction layout management.

Lumber Choices For Porch Floor
Journal of Light Construction describes lumber choices for porch floors.

Designing A Core Plumbing System
Building America describes how to design a compact plumbing distribution system using a core plumbing strategy with all hot water fixtures positioned near and directly piped to a centrally located water heater to shorten plumbing runs and minimize water use in the home.

Tools For Faster Job-Site Joinery
Tools of the Trade describes a few tools to help make finish carpentry joinery faster and more accurate.

New Tool Products
Home Builder magazine describes some cutting edge tools with a unique combination of technology, quality and innovation.

8 Classy Products From 2014 Watermark Awards
Remodeling magazine product editors spotted these eight high-end brands used in this year's Watermark projects.

Ideas For Personalizing Concrete Floors
Concrete Network provides examples of some of the innovative ways you can personalize your own concrete floor.

9. Installation Procedures

Installing Drain Or Sump Pump In Basement Or Crawlspace
Building America Solution Center describes issues and considerations for installing a drain or sump pump in homes with a basement or crawlspace.

Easy, Low-Cost, Drainable Strapping For Rainscreen Siding
Journal of Light Construction describes a clever way to make durable, drainable strapping for rainscreen siding.

Foyer Tile Installation
Fine Homebuilding online video with a veteran tilesetter shows how to mix modern materials and time-tested techniques to install a durable floor in a high-traffic room.

Installing Rigid Soffit Venting
Journal of Light Construction online video series shows how to use using wire screen for installing rigid soffit venting.

For Homes That Look Solid, Entablature Is A Must
Builder Magazine says traditional homes take their design ideas from classical architecture. A prime example is the table or beam, the entablature, that goes across the columns and holds up the roof. That bit of depth above the window head provides visual reassurance that the roof is sufficiently supported.

Ducts In Dropped Ceilings
Building America Solution Center online guide describes the method for installing ducts in a duct chase above a dropped ceiling.

Blasting Rock With A Bullet
Tools of the Trade describes how to blast rock with a bullet.

Stamped Concrete Driveways
Concrete Network provides tips and design ideas for using stamps to add pattern and texture to a concrete driveway.

10. Information Sources

Resource Site On Terrazzo Tile & Marble
Terrazzo Tile And Marble Association of Canada Provides information and resources on tile, terrazzo and marble products and procedures.

OSHA Resources On Demolition
US Department of Labour QSHA site provides information and resources on the health & safety aspects of demolition.

11. Conferences & Shows

International Housing & Home Warranty Conference
Canadian Home Warranty Council is hosting the International Housing and Home Warranty Conference in Vancouver from September 7-10, 2014. The goal of this conference is to promote the benefits of construction guarantees and warranties at an international level.

BC Building Envelope Conference In Vancouver
BC Building Envelope Council conference Building Performance, The Way Ahead will be held in Vancouver on September 24th. The main theme of this event is the performance of the building envelope. Industry experts and educators will explore a variety of topics, including the implementation of the new NAFS window standards, the latest on tall wood buildings, historical restoration, attic ventilation in wet coastal climates, and other emerging trends.

Canadian Manufactured Housing Design & Technology Forum
Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute presents their Building Communities Forum in Ottawa, October 7-9. It provides an opportunity to discover new designs, technologies, products and materials.

Canadian National Design-Build Conference
Canadian Design-Build Institute presents their 2014 CDBI National Design-Build Conference, October 15-17 in Victoria.

Fenestration West 2014: BC Windows Doors & Glazing Conference
Fenestration Association of BC presents the Fenestration West 2014 Conference. It is a highly focused educational, informative and networking event for window and door manufacturers, commercial glaziers, installers, architects, engineers, designers, spec writers, commercial construction contractors and owners. It takes place October 23rd at the Sheraton Guildford in Surrey.

2014 Annual BC Engineers Conference
Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists 2014 Annual Conference will be held in Vancouver, October 23-25. It offers networking opportunities, professional development, trade exhibition, and social events.

CIPHEX West: Plumbing & HVAC Trade Show In Calgary
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating presents CIPHEX West trade show in Calgary, November 5-6. As Western Canada’s largest plumbing and HVACR event, it will feature seminars and a trade show with more than 200 exhibitors including manufacturers of plumbing, hydronics, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, geothermal heating, solar/hydronic combi-systems, fire protection, industrial pipe, valve and fittings, luxury bath and kitchen as well as water treatment products from Canada, the United States and overseas.

12. Education & Training

Construction Business Management
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Construction Business Management, held in Vancouver on September 8-9, will show participants how to improve management and business systems of their construction company.

Hazard Recognition & Control
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) course Hazard Recognition and Control, held in Burnaby on September 9th, is designed to provide participants the required knowledge to understand the principle of hazard recognition and control as well as the methods used to ensure hazards are identified and adequately addressed in the workplace.

UDI School Of Development 2014, The Numbers Behind Development
UDI course School of Development 2014: The Numbers Behind Development, will be held in Vancouver, October 24-25. Instructors will draw from their own experiences to teach you the basics of proforma development, land and project valuation, sensitivity analysis and financing criteria.

Roof System Thermal & Moisture Design
RCI Western Canada course Roof System Thermal and Moisture Design will be held in Langley, November 6th.

Online Continuing Education Units From WoodWorks
Woodworks online continuing education units (CEU's) cover a wider range of wood products, issues and technology.

Free Webinar On Low Temperature Options In Hydronic Systems
Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine free webinar Low Temperature Heat Emitter Options In Hydronic Systems describes how, with proper design, you can create systems that require supply water temperatures no higher than 120° F under design load conditions.

Canadian Industry Collaborates On Hydronics Certification Standards
Heating Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine says Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH), La Corporation des Maîtres Mécaniciens en Tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ), the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and the Thermal Environmental Comfort Association (TECA) are undertaking a coordinated review of their respective hydronics training programs with the goal of creating a national learning standard for hydronics certification.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

19 Most Useful Windows PC Tips
PC Pitstop provides 19 great Windows tips for PC beginners and advanced users.

Hidden Miracles Of Natural World
Wow!. We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes.

When Luck Is On Your Side
Whew! Scary!

Dittie For Today: On Challenges

It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe. - Robert W. Service

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© Copyright 2014              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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