Alert Notice #103.
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
September 15, 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 Nancy Argyle, Andrew Mattock, Hannah Finch, Wilma Leung, Ryan Coleman, Zana Gordon, George Pinch, Robby Schwarz, Christine Cunnick, Tara Ninmann, Adam Collinge, Daniel Lea, Paul Shorthouse, Scott Doyle, Ravina Bains, Gillian Zimmer, Connie Howe, Glenn Duxbury, Sabine Just, Melissa Pound, and Rob Viccars 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

Presentations Form 18th Annual Building Science Symposium
Building Science provides free online access to the recent presentations from their 18th annual Building Science Symposium, and a whole lot more.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

UDI State Of Market For 2nd Quarter 2014
The UDI State of the Market Quarterly Report Q2 2014, prepared by Urban Analytics, provides up-to-date statistics and trends on the new home and re-sale housing market. (PDF)

Housing Market Outlook BC Region 3rd Quarter 2014
Housing starts in BC are forecast to total 27,500 homes in 2014 and 27,900 homes in 2015 according to the latest data from CMHC Third Quarter Housing Market Outlook British Columbia Region Highlights. (PDF)

BC Economic Briefing September 2014
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Economic Briefing of September 2nd says MLS home sales and prices climbed for a third straight month in June. (PDF)

August 2014 Housing Now Canada
CMHC online Housing Now Canada August 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)

Canadian Interest Rate Forecast
Central 1 Interest Rate Forecast report for August 2014 says geopolitics are a top risk factor, US economy is improving, and low rates forecast into 2015. (PDF)

Results Of Survey Of Condominium Owners In Toronto & Vancouver
CMHC 2013 Condominium Owners Survey shows that 82.9% of the condominium owning households surveyed reside in their unit and 17.1% are condominium investors.

Vancouver Housing Outlook Conference 2014
CMHC presents their 20th Annual Vancouver Housing Outlook Conference on November 4th. It will cover B.C.’s economic outlook and Metro Vancouver’s 2015 new home, rental, and resale housing market forecasts.

Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency
City of Vancouver outlines their proposed Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency. (PDF)

Alternative Sources Of Capital For Affordable Housing
Findings from a joint Real Estate Foundation of BC and BC Housing project profiling research on alternative sources of capital were featured at an international conference in September. The reports are available here.

2. Business Management

Hiring & Keeping A New Home Salesperson
CHBA report provides helpful tips to hiring and keeping the right new home sales people for your company. (PDF)

Sales Team Compensation
Builder Magazine says don’t pay salespeople for performance that doesn’t deliver stellar results.

Mobile Platform Bazinga & Tridel Partner To Redefine Meaning Of Community
Tridel, Canada's largest high-rise condominium developer has announced a partnership with bazinga!, the private social network and utility for residential communities, following a successful pilot project in four of Tridel's recent communities.

Why Builders Hide Their Models
Avid Ratings provides some facts that show why hosting your models on your front page is a huge opportunity to increase home sales.

Accentuate The Positive
Builder Magazine says try the prescriptive way of leading and get away from the restrictive way.

BC Construction Industry Prepares For Prompt Payment
Journal Of Commerce says after watching Ontario get close to passing prompt payment legislation, the B.C. construction industry is starting to gear up for its own legislative push. "Site registration may be required."

Federal Small Business Job Credit Lowers EI Premiums
Canadian Minister of Finance Joe Oliver has announced the Small Business Job Credit that will effectively lower small business Employment Insurance premiums from the current legislated rate of $1.88 to $1.60 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2015 and 2016. Any firm that pays employer EI premiums equal to or less than $15,000 in those years will be eligible for the credit.

Do Labour Shortages Exist In Canada?
Fraser Institute study Do Labour Shortages Exist in Canada?, spotlights demographic and geographic employment trends across the country. It shows that while the breadth of Canada's labour shortage is debatable, tight labour markets exist in certain parts of the country including Western Canada, where employers are taking steps to enhance their existing labour force without hiring new workers.

3. Building Design & Trends

14 New-Home Design Trends For 2014
Builder Magazine shows how demographics and socioeconomic factors play a large role in determining housing’s current new-home design trends.

Multi-Gen Homes On The Rise
TecHome Builder says multi-generational homes are on the rise as economy drives people to shared living solutions.

Inside Chefs' Kitchens
Fine Homebuilding provides some design, organization, and material ideas on chef's kitchens from three professionals.

Home Buyer Wants Vs. Needs
Builder Magazine says new-home design's most notable trends of 2014 are aimed at what buyers want.

55 Patio Bars & Outdoor Dining Rooms
HGTV Remodels provides examples of backyard bar design ideas and outdoor dining options.

Modernist Design Competition Winners
Custom Home Magazine presents the favorite houses selected by architects and residential design enthusiasts in the 2014 George Matsumoto Prize.

2014 Remodeling Design Award Winners
Remodeling magazine provides descriptions of the projects of the 18 winners of the 2014 Remodeling Design Awards.

Finalists In 2014 Multifamily Pillars Of Industry Awards
US National Association of Home Builders lists the finalists in their 2014 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Tammy Murray, Office Administrator, Menzies Metal Products, says: “Appreciate the updates and diverse content.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

New Revisions & Errata To 2012 BC Building Code
BC Government recent Minister's Order 226/2014 includes a number of revisions and errata to the 2012 BC Building Code, including many internal references in the Code. These revisions also include changes to Letters of Assurance and Division C requirements for information on drawings related to energy efficiency. These new revisions and errata are effective December 19, 2014. (PDF)

What You Need To Know About NAFS In Canada
RDH Building Engineering describes how NAFS, the North American Fenestration Standard, is changing the rules for how windows, doors and skylights are tested and rated in Canada.

Voluntary NAFS Labeling Guidelines For Products With Mullions
Canadian Window & Door Manufacturers Association describes voluntary best practices for NAFS labeling of Composite Unit and Combination Assembly fenestration products having vertical and/or horizontal mullions for Canadian jurisdictions that have adopted the 2010 National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) or a provincial building code based on the 2010 NBCC. (PDF)

BC Gas Contractor Information Guide
BC Safety Authority online Gas Contractors Information Guide provides guidance to current gas contractors and people who wish to become licensed gas contractors in BC. It covers topics such as gas contractor license information and responsibilities, permits, Risk Assessment Program, inspections and inspection requests.

BC Standard Practice Guidelines For Private Inspectors
BC Onsite Sewage Association online Interim Standard Practice Guidelines For Private Inspectors describes what all registered onsite wastewater practitioners or professional private inspectors must do when carrying out inspections. (PDF)

Standard For Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment Systems
Water Quality Association and American Society of Plumbing Engineers new standard WQA/ASPE/ANSI S-803: Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment Systems has been officially recognized by ANSI as an American National Standard.

BC Consultation On OHS Changes Regarding High Risk Violations
WorkSafe BC is asking for input on proposed changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Policy regarding high risk violations. These include work at over 10 feet without an effective fall protection system, entry into an excavation over 4 feet, entry into a confined space without pre-entry testing and inspection, and causing work disturbing material containing asbestos. (PDF)

BC Consultation On Compensation Of Principals
WorkSafeBC is looking for feedback on its proposed policy for compensation of principals, relating to shareholder dividends. At issue is a review of compensation policy to determine if policy should be revised to exclude the payment of dividends to principals in the calculation of their average earnings for compensation purposes. (PDF)

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5. Building Science & Technology

Building Science For The Rest Of Us
Fine Homebuilding describes seven basic principles to make homes safe, durable, and energy efficient.

Building Science Highlights From 2014 Ontario Spring Training Camp
Jon Eakes reports on the Ontario Spring Training Camp 2014, looking at some key parts of building science that work in the field.

Online Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations
Energy2D is a free, interactive, visual multi-physics simulation program that models all three mechanisms of heat transfer; conduction, convection, and radiation.

Using Pen Test For Control Layers
Green Building Advisor describes how to do the pen test, where you simply pick a spot on a section in the plans and trace the control layers for liquid water, heat, and air.

Walls That Work, Detailing For Performance
WoodWorks says with wall systems serving so many functions in a building, they can be a challenge to effectively design. Structural design must be balanced with the need for door and window openings and, at the same time, detailed to limit water and air infiltration. This online slide show presentation describes how to maximize wall performance while reducing cost through a combination of new design methods and time-tested details. (PDF)

What Architects Need To Know About Attic Kneewalls
Green Building Advisor says if you want your building enclosure to perform well, you need to start with good design details for kneewalls.

Tech Spec On Closed Crawlspaces
US National Association of Home Builders online TechSpec presents an overview of benefits, US code considerations, best practices, and solutions for closed crawlspaces. (PDF)

Where, How, Why Of Spray Foam Insulation
Building Performance Podcast discusses the chemistry, the hype, the conspiracy theories, the right way, and the wrong ways to use spray foam insulation.

Seismic-Resistive Design Of Wood Buildings
Architectural Record continuing education offering Seismic-Resistive Design Of Wood Buildings describes considerations for seismic-resistive construction.

6. Building Performance Issues

Moisture And The Quirkiness Of OSB
Energy Vanguard says oriented strand board (OSB) gets blamed for a lot of problems that are really the fault of the designers and builders.

Attic Ventilation & Moisture Research Study
BC Homeowner Protection Office online Attic Ventilation and Moisture Research Study report presents the findings of a two-phase research project that looked at the presence of moisture and mold growth on the roof sheathing of ventilated attics constructed in coastal climates. Phase 1 examined and confirmed through field testing and monitoring that in some maritime climates mold growth may occur even in well ventilated attics. Phase 2 of the study focused on evaluating the factors that lead to moisture collection and mold growth in order to identify design solutions and treatments that would minimize the potential for mold growth. (PDF)

Initial & Long-Term Movement Of Cladding Over Exterior Rigid Insulation
US Department of Energy report Initial and Long-Term Movement of Cladding Installed Over Exterior Rigid Insulation says for thick layers of exterior insulation the use of wood furring strips attached through the insulation back to the structure has been used to provide a convenient cladding attachment location. This report examines the impacts of screw fastener bending on the total system capacity, effects of thermal expansion and contraction of materials on the compressive forces in the assembly, and analyzes cladding movement data from assemblies constructed in an exposed outdoor environment. (PDF)

Factors Affecting Hydronic System Efficiency
HPAC magazine article explains why determining the efficiency of a hydronic heating system is not a simple procedure.

Why Dirt Streaking Occurs Around Your Supply Vents
David R Blog describes how it is possible there is more to dirt streaking around supply vents than just the quality of air filter being used.

Fan Setting Can Increase RH & Cost You Money
Energy Vanguard explains how changing the air conditioner fan setting from auto to on can cause an increase in relative humidity.

Managing Environmental Risks During A Renovation Project
BC Home Owner Protection Office bulletin Managing Environmental Risks During a Renovation Project examines the main sources of hazardous substances in a renovation project and outlines steps you can take to protect your employees and homeowners from exposure. (PDF)

Insulations Role In Controlling Noise
Construction Canada says the best strategy for optimizing acoustic comfort in dwelling units is to address all the possible sound transmission paths in the architectural details so they can be easily incorporated during construction.

What's The Primary Goal Of Maintenance?
RDH Building Engineering says when it comes to maintenance there can often be confusion. Are we required to maintain our building assets to simply reach their expected life? Or are we maintaining to extend their lives somehow?

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Towards Carbon Neutral & Net Zero Energy
In October, Light house is hosting workshops around the province to get stakeholder input into their study Towards Carbon Neutral and Net Zero Energy for Residential Buildings in BC. This study will formulate a road map to achieve carbon neutral / net zero energy residential buildings by 2050. It will provide a series of policies & guidelines for key stakeholders to implement.

Passive House Design: An Introduction
UBC Continuing Studies one day course Passive House Design: An Introduction is designed for everyone involved in sustainability or energy efficiency in the built environment and addresses the fundamentals of: Passive House design, super insulated envelopes, leading ventilation design principles and more. Two courses will be offered, one on October 10th and one on November 22nd.

Third Annual Living Future Symposium In Victoria
The Vancouver Island Collaborative is hosting their Third Annual Living Future Symposium on October 18th at the University of Victoria. This year's theme is Integrated Resource Recovery and Eco-districts. The event will host a combination of presentations, workshops and a discussion panel.

Energy Star Specification For Residential Windows, Doors, Skylights V4.1 February 1, 2015
NRCan online Energy Star Technical Specification for Residential Windows, Doors, and Skylights Sold in Canada Version 4.1 effective February 1, 2015 determines how residential windows, doors, and skylights sold in Canada qualify for the ENERGY STAR initiative. (PDF)

Bonus Air Miles On Select Energy Saving Products
FortisBC provides online coupons to earn bonus Air Miles reward miles when you purchase select energy-saving products at participating RONA stores.

What Is More Important, Air-Sealing Or Insulation?
Green Building Advisor discusses how to best use a limited construction budget on a new house.

Understanding LEED v4 Changes & Implications For Use Of Wood
Dovetail online report LEED v4: Understanding the Changes, Implications for Use of Wood examines three of the standards within LEED v4: 1) Building Design and Construction: New Construction and Major Renovation, 2) Interior Design and Construction: Commercial Interiors, and 3) Building Design and Construction: Multifamily Midrise. For all of these standards, changes to the Materials and Resources and Indoor Environmental categories are identified, and ways in which changes may impact the use of wood in building construction are discussed.

Ontario Apartment Landlords Launch Green Building Standard
Property Biz Canada says the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario created 10 new Living Green Together standards that are an addition to its existing Certified Rental Building program.

Standards For Home Performance-Related Data Collection & Transfer
Building Performance Institute provides updates to its BPI-2100-S-2013: Standard for Home Performance-Related Data Transfer (HPXML) and BPI-2200-S-2013: Standard for Home Performance-Related Data Collection.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

Kidde Recalls Residential Smoke Alarms & Smoke/CO Alarms
Health Canada recall involves Kidde branded AC/DC powered residential smoke alarms and combination smoke/CO alarms, models KN-COSM-IBACA, i12010S-CO-CA and i12010S-CA.

7 New Materials That Could Change How Our Buildings Act
Gizmodo describes some new products that show us where building science is heading, and how, in months or years or even decades, our buildings might act.

Survey Says: Home Insulation Trend Reversal
US NAHB Home Innovation Research Labs presents some survey results showing a home insulation trend reversal.

Making A Dutch Door
Journal of Light Construction describes how to make a Dutch Door from a solid slab.

Talking Tankless
Plumbing Engineer magazine describes benefits, issues and considerations for tankless water heaters.

Off-Site & Modular Construction Explained
Whole Building Design Guide describes features and benefits of off-site and modular construction.

Fibreglass Insulation In Metal Buildings
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association describes features, benefits and considerations for using fibreglass insulation in metal buildings.

Insulated Concrete Form Manufacturers Launch Association
Journal Of Commerce says the new Council Of Insulated Concrete Forms Industries will develop strategic alliances, undertake technical research and raise awareness about the sustainability and resilience of these products. "Site registration may be required."

Log & Timber Homes Council
National Association of Home Builders new Log and Timber Homes Council represents the timber framing industry.

9. Installation Procedures

Which Way With OSB Sheathing?
Journal of Light Construction clarifies when OSB should be installed vertically or horizontally.

Correct Way To Power Sand
Tools of the Trade online video describes the correct way to use a power sander.

Concrete Driveway Repair Options
Concrete Network provides ideas on how to repair a driveway plagued by unsightly cracking, discoloration, settlement or scaling.

7 Tips For Getting Injection & Spray Foam Right
Building Green blog post says quality installation of the two types of site-manufactured foam insulation is no easier than fiberglass batt and no less important, and gives description on how to avoid the most common problems.

Building Surface Temperatures & Your Customer's Comfort
David R Blog says the building side of the duct system has a direct influence on the comfort of your customers, and in order to properly condition the environment your customers live in, you have to understand it first.

ICFs Integrated With Mechanical Systems In Low-Load Homes
US Department of Energy report Insulated Concrete Form Walls Integrated With Mechanical Systems in a Cold Climate Test House says the much higher mass in the ICF wall influences heat transfer through the wall and affects how the heating and cooling system responds to changing outdoor conditions. This report analyzes a range of design features and component performance estimates in an effort to select practical, cost-effective solutions for high performance homes in a cold climate. (PDF)

Tips For Installing A TV Over A Fireplace
Remodeling magazine says in many living and family room designs, it might seem like the best place to install the flat screen television is above the fireplace. But before you do that, the Chimney Safety Institute of America advises you to take a few precautions.

Capping A Chimney Chase
Journal of Light Construction describes how to cap a chimney chase.

Clever Saw Horse Work Station
Tools of the Trade article describes a 21st-century saw horse work station (Tri-Horse) that breaks down easily for transport.

10. Information Sources

BC Residential Construction Performance Guide
BC Homeowner Protection Office has updated their online Residential Construction Performance Guide. It explains how new homes should perform and which defects are covered under home warranty insurance in British Columbia. This includes defects in design, labour or materials. The Guide is designed primarily for conventional low-rise, wood-frame homes.

Purchasable BC Building Access Handbook (2014)
BC Government sells the Building Access Handbook 2014 for $21. The illustrations and commentary in this Handbook have been prepared to assist users of the BC Building Code to understand the diversity and complexity of the Building Requirements for Persons with Disabilities, contained in Section 3.8 of Division B and elsewhere throughout the Code.

Terminology For Built Environment & HVAC
ASHRAE Terminology is a comprehensive online glossary of more than 3,700 terms related to the built environment, with a focus on HVAC&R as well as envelope, electrical, lighting, water and energy use, and measurement terms.

Online Videos On Smart Automated IoT Buildings
Automated Buildings online videos help explain building automation, smart building direction and the internet of everything.

Insulating Ceilings & Attics
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association provides technical tips and critical details for insulating various types and components of ceilings and attics.

Key BC Agency Links For Emergency Management
Emergency Management BC provides link to BC agencies and resources for emergency management.

Conservative Housing & Construction Caucus Newsletter
Conservative Housing and Construction Caucus Newsletter provides interested Canadians news and information about the Caucus's activities and work. It also aims to increase awareness of housing issues and advance a more open dialogue between housing industry leaders and government. (PDF)

11. Conferences & Shows

Annual Heritage BC Conference In Cloverdale
Heritage BC annual conference is taking place in Cloverdale on September 26-27th. This year’s theme, Building Bridges, is about bringing it all together and building bridges across diverse interests, challenges and approaches to heritage conservation in BC.

CanaData Construction Industry Forecasts Conference West
CanaData Construction Industry Forecasts Conference West will be held in Vancouver on October 23rd. It covers how today’s social, economic and political forces are impacting the industry’s future and how you can prepare for it.

Canadian Building Science & Technology Conference
The 14th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology will be hosted by the Ontario Building Envelope Council, October 28-30. It features a trade show and over 70 peer reviewed papers submitted from experts in design, construction, research, and rehabilitation on topics including building innovation, energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and building envelope performance.

2014 Wood Solutions Fair In Vancouver
WoodWorks is presenting the 2014 Wood Solutions Fair in Vancouver on October 30th. It is recognized as the premier event in Canada dedicated to design and construction with wood and wood products.

BC Manufacturing Safety Conference
The 2014 Make It Safe Manufacturing Safety Conference will be held November 4-5 in Burnaby. It provides an opportunity for health and safety professionals to meet and catch up on the latest trends and issues in Occupational Health and Safety.

BCSA Gas Conference 2014
BC Safety Authority Gas Conference 2014, Navigating Educational Pipelines in the Gas Industry will be held in Langley on November 7th. It is for gas professionals who are interested in learning about continuing education and networking opportunities in BC.

BCSA Electrical Conference 2014
BCSA Electrical Conference 2014, Innovative & Sustainable Electrical Energy will be held in Coquitlam on November 14th. It is for electrical professionals in BC who are interested in staying connected to the latest advancements in sustainable energy.

2014 BC Construction Safety Conference
The 9th annual Bridging the Gap conference, held November 14-15 in Richmond, is a two-day conference on safety in the construction industry.

12. Education & Training

BC Seminars On Soils, Excavation, Below Grade Assemblies
BC Homeowner Protection Office presents Building Smart seminar #20 Soils, Excavation and Below Grade Assemblies. It will cover key elements in new BC code requirements for excavation and foundations, tips on working with professional geotechnical engineers, moisture movement challenges, requirements for proper footing and storm drains, and recent changes in the code affecting insulation, soil gas provisions and airtightness.

Webcast On Ventilation & Vapor Control For SPF
Building Science webcast Ventilation & Vapor Control for SPF Insulated Cathedral Ceilings, held on September 23rd, reports on a recent study on unvented cathedral roof designs with SPF insulation.

Sales Skills Workshop
ICBA presents Sales Skills Workshop in Burnaby on September 30th. This seminar will help everyone in your company grasp the strategies and tactics required to meet your best potential clients and close the sale. This course is Gold Seal certified.

Tender, Contracts & Builders Liens: What You Need To Know
Vancouver Regional Construction Association seminar Tender, Contracts & Builders Liens: What You Need To Know will be offered in Vancouver on October 8th. It is designed to provide those involved in the construction industry with the legal foundation to navigate through the tender and constructions phases of a project.

Alternative Apprenticeship System Proposed For BC
Journal Of Commerce says a report prepared for the Canadian Home Builders' Association of BC is floating the idea of a construction apprenticeship program specifically designed for Section 9 home builders in the province.

Transition Plan For BC Industry Training Authority
BC Industry Training Authority describes their transition plan to steer a new approach to skilled trades training in BC.

New Red Seal Construction Craft Worker
Industry Training Authority of BC has announced the introduction of the Construction Craft Worker Red Seal program, BC’s 48th Red Seal trade.

Canadian Accreditation For Engineering Technology & Applied Science Profession
Technology Accreditation Canada provides information and resources for an accreditation model for the engineering technology and applied science profession.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Four 3D Printers To Consider
Builder Magazine says 3D printing is revolutionizing the design and construction industries, and describes four printers for building pros to consider.

File Sharing Gets A Boost
Constructech magazine says two technology companies have recently come together and formed a partnership to improve file sharing in construction.

Birds Of Paradise Project
This is pretty remarkable...and very humbling. Enjoy!

Dittie For Today. On Honour

From long familiarity, we know what honor is. It is what enables the individual to do right in the face of complacency and cowardice. It is what enables the soldier to die alone, the political prisoner to resist, the singer to sing her song, hardly appreciated, on a side street. - Mark Helprin

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© Copyright 2014              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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