Alert Notice #104
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
October 7, 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 Dan Bradley, Wilma Leung, Connie Howe, Sabine Just, Julie Domvile, Tammy Murray, Ed Hudson, Jessica Taglieri, Nancy Argyle, John Maus, and Louise Dunne 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

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Ken's Top Pick

Coquitlam Test Hut Findings On Wetting & Drying Of Exterior Insulated Walls
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show Wetting and Drying of Exterior Insulated Walls by Mark Gauvin describes test procedures and results from his Coquitlam Test Hut. Key findings include drying is slow in all wall assemblies with or without exterior insulation, rainwater management is critical for all assemblies, interior/exterior RH cause wetting, control indoor RH with ventilation, and raising sheathing temperature using exterior insulation helps. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Trends In Home Ownership In Canada & Greater Vancouver
Urban Futures takes a look at rates of home ownership by age and type of dwelling to see if the data supports the anecdotes in regards to the ability of the younger set to become home owners.

Increasing Housing Choice & Affordable Home Ownership In Vancouver
In part 2 of a series on affordability by the Urban Development Institute, UDI discusses four zoning changes that could increase housing choice and diversity.

Not In My Backyard
CHBA Newfoundland and Labrador has created a toolkit for helping stakeholders address NIMBY concerns. They advocate thorough pre-planning and inclusion of the community for all developments.

Mortgage Rate Forecast September 2014
BC Real Estate Association Mortgage Rate Forecast September 2014 says mortgage rates remain at historic lows, the Canadian economy roars back in second quarter, and poor job growth keeps Bank of Canada in neutral. (PDF)

Canadian & Provincial Quarterly Economic Review
HRAI & CIPH online Canadian & Provincial Quarterly Economic Review provides information on economic factors and trends affecting the building and construction industries. (PDF)

Population Projections For Canada, & Provinces 2013-2063
Statistics Canada says the Canadian population will continue to grow, reaching between 40.0 and 63.5 million people by 2063. By 2030, almost one in four persons will be 65 years old or over, compared with 15.3% in 2013. During the same period, the working-age population (aged 15 to 64 years) is likely to decrease according to all projection scenarios.

Amalgamation Of CHBA-Victoria & CHBA-Central Vancouver Island
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC announced the amalgamation of its CHBA-Victoria and CHBA-Central Vancouver Island local associations into one strengthened association: CHBA-Vancouver Island.

Fears Of Overheating Are Driving Canadian Homebuilders To Look South
Financial Post says overheating worries at home are driving Canada's homebuilders south of the border where they buy up rural land, betting on a recovery in the US suburban housing market even as many local players remain on the sidelines. Homebuilders such as Mattamy Homes and Brookfield Residential Properties Inc are buying undeveloped land in Florida, Texas and other states.

Top 10 US Residential Construction Companies
Construction Dive provides a brief overview of the top 10 residential construction companies in the US.

2. Business Management

Turn Online Leads Into Buyers
Builder Magazine says although many builders are aware of the essential elements of an effective website, even the most compelling site can be a sales bust without the correct handling of online leads.

Customer-Obsessed Leadership
Home Builder Canada magazine describes how customer-centric home builders have leveraged the customer experience as a key differentiator from the competition.

Where Costs Can & Should Come Out
Builder Magazine says the best effort to deliver customer value costs a home building company something. What are badly-designed, poorly-managed processes and project portfolios unnecessarily costing you?

Money-Saving Ideas You Wish You Thought Of
Remodeling Magazine ideas submitted to their Cheapskate Challenge contest will give you a great jump start on tightening up your company's budget.

Intercultural Presentation On Working Effectively With Aboriginal Peoples
Bob Joseph online video of his Intercultural Presentation delivered at the Vancouver Board of Trade Aboriginal Opportunities Forum 2014 contains a number of insights designed to help people work effectively with Aboriginal Peoples.

2015-2024 Preliminary Investment Trends Reports
BuildForce Canada provincial 2015-2024 Preliminary Investment Trends Reports highlight expected investment trends. They do so with a view to providing initial insights on how new major projects, sustaining capital and ongoing investment trends may guide construction labour markets. Free site registration required.

Closer Look At In-Demand Occupations
Journal of Commerce says the construction market is highly competitive, especially for those key, sought after positions. Hiring managers are looking for specific qualifications in education and training in their ideal candidates.

How To Collect Invoices & Get Paid On Time
Small Business BC provides seven easy steps to help you get paid on time.

3. Building Design & Trends

2014 Victoria CARE Awards Showcase Finest West Coast Projects
Victoria Residential Builders Association presents the winners of their 2014 Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence Awards (CARE Awards).

Winners Of Vancouver Urban Design Awards
Vancity Buzz displays the winners of the Vancouver Urban Design Awards, a biennial celebration of the best in urban design excellence.

Highlights Of AIA Design Home Trends Survey
Custom Home Magazine says the AIA Home Design Trends Survey reported that as the housing industry continues to recover, homeowners are exhibiting a renewed interest in upgrades, including special function rooms, smart home automation features, and products that promote sustainability.

Boomers & Gen Ys Want Compact Communities & Transit
Urban Development Institute says smart land use planning that integrates jobs, people, and transit, within close proximity to each other, is one of the most important factors that will positively influence economic prosperity, social equity, public health, and GHG emission reductions in Metro Vancouver.

New Homes Must Meet Needs Of Aging America
Custom Home Magazine says builders should look ahead and target younger buyers with universal design features that sell the ideal of aging in place.

Is The McMansion On Its Way Out?
Builder Magazine says as single-family homes get bigger, tomorrow's buyers seem to prefer efficiency and location over square footage.

10 Bedroom Design Ideas
Dwell describes 10 unique bedroom design ideas.

Exploring The Kitchen Design Process
For Residential Pros describes how kitchen designers have to deal with clients’ unrealistic budget expectations, determine whether to employ design fees, keep up with technology, deal with the creative aspects of the job, and business aspects such as handling finances and dealing with business management issues.

LEGO Launches Set Aimed At Professional Architects
Building Design & Construction says all LEGO Architectural Studio elements are simple and clean so that they can be used in as many different types of buildings as possible.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Jenifer Christenson, Executive Director, Built Green Canada says: “I have only discovered your BC Building Info Alerts...they're excellent!”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Building Code Changes Being Implemented December 19th
Architectural Institute of BC displays BC Building and Safety Standards Branch bulletins that describe various BC Building Code changes that are being implemented on December 19, 2014.

BC Sewerage System Practice Manual Version 3 Now Available
BC Ministry of Health online Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual, new version 3, is the main reference source for BC wastewater practitioners responsible for the planning, installation and maintenance of onsite sewage systems.

Improved BC Home Inspector Standards Proposed
The BC government announced that the Province will improve home inspector licensing requirements by creating a common professional standard for home inspectors.

Energy Statements To Be Required On Vancouver City Drawings
City of Vancouver says that effective January 1st, 2015, all drawing sets for building projects subject to ASHRAE 90.1 or NECB are required to include Energy Statements. (PDF)

Public Review On Changes To National Model Construction Codes Fall 2014
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes invites Code users and stakeholders to participate in the fall 2014 public review of proposed changes to the following National Model Construction Codes: National Building Code of Canada 2010 (NBC); National Fire Code of Canada 2010 (NFC); National Plumbing Code of Canada 2010 (NPC); National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011 (NECB). This national public review takes place from September 8 to October 31, 2014.

Codes Consider Proposal To Increase Stair Tread Dimension In Residences
Construction Innovation says the tread dimension of residential stairs will increase if a proposed change in the fall 2014 Canadian National Model Codes public review is approved.

Accessory Apartment Regulations In Canada
CMHC online report Accessory apartment regulations in Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations quantifies the extent to which 650 Canadian municipalities allow accessory apartments or secondary suites and the changes since 2006 at the CMA level. It also investigates the types of policies that municipalities use to regulate accessory apartments and the relative frequency of different approaches such as regulating the size of the suite, the number of people that live in the suite or type of dwelling that can have a suite. (PDF)

New Standard Sets More Stringent Requirements For Geothermal Piping
Plumbing Engineer says to help ensure high quality for geothermal systems, NSF International has published the new American National Standard, NSF/ANSI 358-1: Polyethylene Pipe and Fittings for Water-Based Ground-Source Geothermal Heat Pump Systems.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Controlling Mold Growth In Attics In BC Marine Climate
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation Controlling Mold Growth in Ventilated Wood-Frame Attics in BC’s Cool Marine Climate demonstrates that passive attic ventilation is not enough to control moisture in, and fungal growth on, wood sheathing and framing in well insulated attics in cool marine climates. It discusses code required venting area and distribution, good practice for ceiling airtightness, low to moderate indoor humidity, and mold growth. (Large PDF)

Calculating Effective Thermal Resistance Of BC Rainscreen Wall Assemblies
BC Building and Safety Standards Branch bulletin Calculating the Effective Thermal Resistance of Rainscreen Wall Assemblies provides values for common materials in these assemblies to support the calculation of effective thermal resistance. (PDF)

Five Different High-R Walls
Green Building Advisor describes five high-r walls resulting from Passive House lessons from the Pacific Northwest.

Guidance On Taped Insulating Sheathing Drainage Planes
US Department of Energy online Measure Guideline: Guidance on Taped Insulating Sheathing Drainage Planes describes how to provide durable and long-term water management solutions using exterior insulating sheathing as part of the water management system. (PDF)

Combo Systems For Space & Water Heating
Canadian Heating & Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Institute online slide show presentation describes combo systems design and installation considerations. (PDF)

Cooling Options For Hydronic Applications
HPAC magazine describes options for handling cooling for areas if hydronic cooling is not included in the design or in a retrofit situation.

Myth Of Condensation Concerns With Radiant Cooling Systems
Healthy Heating explains one of the myths perpetuated with radiant cooling systems, that of condensation risk on the cooling surface.

Get Beyond Fear Of Condensation In Radiant Cooling Applications
PM Engineer suggests you get beyond your fear of condensation production and discover the new method of heating and cooling buildings - "thermally activated building systems".

6. Building Performance Issues

Dangers Of Carbon Monoxide As Temperatures Fall In BC
BC Safety Authority highlights dangers of carbon monoxide as temperatures fall in BC.

Natural Draft Water Heaters Have Potential To Be Dangerous
David R Blog looks at why natural draft water heaters have the potential to be so dangerous and what can be done to ensure this type of incident stops occurring.

Research Into Ridge Rot In Unvented Roofs
Building Science online slide show presentation describes moisture issues and considerations for unvented roofs. (PDF)

Housewrap Tape Problems
Green Building Advisor says when used to tape horizontal seams, housewrap tape can contribute to water entry problems.

Air Leakage & Transfer Between Garage & Living Space
US Department of Energy report Air Leakage and Air Transfer Between Garage and Living Space evaluates air transfer between the garage and living space in a single-family detached home constructed by a production homebuilder. (PDF)

Buckling Soffit Boards
Journal of Light Construction says to fix buckling soffit boards you must figure out where the moisture is coming from first.

Achilles Heel Of Zoned Duct Systems
Green Building Advisor article says the way that many zoned duct systems handle excess air can create a few problems.

Hydronics, Is That My Heat I Hear?
Mechanical Business says it takes some thought and planning to pipe a noise-free system hydronic heating system.

Mechanical Systems Rockin & Rollin
HPAC magazine says in seismic zones, all mechanical systems must be designed to withstand seismic events. Mechanical components must be seismically restrained so that they do not become a hazard to the building occupants during a seismic event.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Home Buyers Will Pay Extra For Energy Efficiency
Green Building Advisor says according to a national survey of 116 single-family home builders, developers, and remodelers performed by McGraw Hill in 2013, 73% of those surveyed said that home buyers will pay more for a green home. This is up from 61% in 2011.

Power Smart Compares Then & Now Homes
Power Smart 25th anniversary compares energy, homes and appliances from 1998 to 2014.

North America's Largest Green Wall In Surrey
EcoBuilding online time lapse video shows construction of a 10,150 square-foot double-sided green wall comprising of 50,000 individual plants that has been completed in Surrey.

Which Building Energy Statistics Make Most Sense
Green Building Advisor says some energy experts focus on kWh per square foot per year, but there are lots of other metrics out there.

Green Procurement Requires Balance
Journal Of Commerce says despite the attraction of environmental concern, it is important to bear in mind that like every other guiding principle that is incorporated into the municipal procurement process, implementing green procurement policies infers balancing choices.

Generate 2014 BC Conference On Clean Energy
Generate 2014 is Clean Energy BC's annual fall conference that brings together all stakeholders involved in the Clean Energy industry in BC. Held in Vancouver, October 15-17, this year's theme More Than Electrons will explore the broad value proposition that clean energy projects offer BC.

13 Best Practices For Zero Net Energy Buildings
Northeast Sustainable Energy Association shares Marc Rosenbaum’s 13 strategies that most zero net energy buildings share.

Net Zero Energy Builder Innovations, Part Four
Net-Zero Energy Coalition webinar on October 30th is Part Four of Build It Green’s Net Zero Energy builder webinar series, focusing on cutting-edge net-zero energy projects across North America.

Achieving Net-Zero Low-Carbon Building Energy Solutions
APEGBC seminar Pushing the Limits: What Does it take to Achieve Net-Zero Low-Carbon Building Energy Solutions will be held in Vancouver on November 6th. This presentation outlines a systematic and holistic approach to identifying the best solution for each project with optimal match between different energy sources, technologies and building systems.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

22 New Tools From Milwaukee
Tools of the Trade tool-tester looks at a selection of hand tools, power tools, and accessories that will be released between now and the middle of 2015.

How Your Refrigerator Has Kept Its Cool Over 40 Years
Energy Efficiency Markets describes how the refrigerator has seen tremendous advancements over the last four decades that have made it ever more efficient.

Are You Doing Something Stupid With Spray Foam?
Engineered Wood Association offers a free bulletin on APA Engineered Wood I-Joist Floors and Radiant Heat Systems. Free site registration required.

Will Apple & Nest Take Control Of The Home?
TecHome Builder says Apple’s iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, as well as Nest partner announcements, could mean big things for the smart home.

OSB Offgassing
Journal of Light Construction discusses whether or not toxic offgassing from the OSB in the wood I-joists are a real concern.

Performance Of Tubular Daylighting Devices
Home Builder Canada magazine says compared to conventional skylights, tubular daylighting devices have the advantages of energy savings, lower solar heat gains, and relative ease of installation.

Rethinking Recessed Lighting
Green Building Advisor article says recessed can lights have gained a reputation as the go-to fixture for inexpensive downlighting. But they have their drawbacks. When placed in an upper ceiling and not sealed and insulated properly, they can bleed energy. When improperly insulated, they can present a fire hazard.

24 Products That Will Transform Your Small Space
Dwell describes 24 products that will allow you to jettison your bulky furniture and swap in pieces that are collapsible, multifunctional, and modest in size.

9. Installation Procedures

Sealing & Flashing Metal Roofs
Journal of Light Construction explains how proper treatment of edges, terminations, and penetrations is key to a leak-free metal roof. Free site registration may be required.

Guide To Attic Air Sealing
US Department of Energy online Measure Guideline: Guide to Attic Air Sealing provides information and recommendations for the preparation work necessary prior to adding attic insulation. (PDF)

What’s The Best Way To Insulate Crawl Space Walls?
Green Building Advisor discusses crawlspace insulation options for a builder who is trying to accommodate a customer’s objection to rigid foam insulation.

Basement Wall Tiebacks
Concrete Network describes how helical piers can be used to stabilize bowed basement walls and prevent further damage.

Tailor Made Insulation For Interior Masonry Walls
Building Science says you should insulate uninsulated masonry buildings on the inside very carefully. The big concern is not to screw up the durability or to create moisture problems where none have existed prior to improving the enclosure by insulating it.

Traditional vs Modern Repointing Mortar
Home Builder Canada magazine says when it comes to restoration, it pays to understand the difference between traditional and modern repointing mortar.

Correct Pipe Joining Method
PM Engineer magazine says the correct pipe-joining method will cause less stress throughout a mechanical system, since noise and vibration decreases the life of various system components.

Piping & Control Strategies To Maximize Radiant Effectiveness
HRAI online slide show presentation describes piping and control strategies to maximize radiant system effectiveness. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

Presentations From 2014 BC Building Envelope Conference
BC Building Envelope Council offers online access to the technical presentations from their recent 2014 BC Building Envelope Conference.

Innovative BC Water Tools Available Online
BC Water & Waste Association online tool allows First Nations, industry and members of the public to access science-based information on water supply in the northern regions of BC.

Glossary Of Plumbing Terms
Safe Plumbing provides a glossary of plumbing terms for plumbing industry, clean water, water efficiency, and health & safety.

History Of Plumbing Timeline
Plumbing Manufacturers International describes the history on plumbing in this online timeline.

Articles & Historic Documents On Heating
Dan Holohan's Heating Help site has a Heating Systems Help Center where you can explore hundreds of articles and historical documents that explain the many types of steam, hot-water, radiant, and forced-air heating systems.

iHomes & Buildings
Continental Automated Buildings Association online Autumn 2014 edition of their iHomes & Buildings magazine examines connected devices in smarter home environments and system integration in green buildings. It also describes CABA's latest white paper on achieving zero net-energy in skyscrapers along with examining why open standards matter concerning building energy management.

Tailgate How-To Interviews With Industry Leaders
Fine Homebuilding says sometimes the best way to boost your business skills is to listen to an experienced mentor. In their Tailgate department you will find dozens of inspiring interviews with professionals from every corner of the home industry.

How Anderson Manufactures Doors
Housing Zone provides online video giving viewers a unique glimpse into the Andersen door manufacturing facility.

11. Conferences & Shows

BC Lighting Education & Expo
BC Electrical Association & Illuminating Engineering Society presents their Education and Lighting Expo in Coquitlam on October 16th.

Windoor North America
Fenestration Canada presents Win-door North America, the annual trade show for the fenestration and door industry, in Toronto November 18-20.

JLC LIVE Northwest: Residential Construction Show
JLC LIVE, held in Portland December 3-5, attracts residential construction professionals from across the Pacific Northwest. Attendees come to perfect their skills through live clinic demonstrations and in-depth education sessions, as well as to network with industry experts and exhibitors who showcase trendsetting technology and products.

International Builders Show In Las Vegas
US National Association of Home Builders presents The International Builder's Show in Las Vegas, January 20-22. The largest such show in North America, it features educational sessions and exhibitors of building industry products, innovations, and demonstrations.

12. Education & Training

Building Smart by Mitigating Thermal Bridging
Homeowner Protection Office presents the free half-day workshop Building Smart by Mitigating Thermal Bridging in Vancouver on October 16th. It will provide an overview of the recently published Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide: Analysis, Applications and Insights and include practical examples on how to use its extensive catalogue of thermal performance data.

Supervisory & Management Skills
Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) seminar Supervisory and Management Skills (Gold Seal Certified) will be held in Vancouver, October 27-28. This course is designed to enhance your ability to build a collaborative team culture, build morale, and effectively communicate with people on their job sites.

Builders Lien Act: Refresher & Recent Updates
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association seminar Builders Lien Act: A Refresher and Recent Updates will be held in Burnaby on November 4th. It will provide an overview of the basic requirements of the Builders Lien Act (filing times and procedures, enforcement of liens, holdback trust accounts, recovery on a lien, early holdback release), address some of the thornier issues (liens against tenant improvements, CRA and the lien claimant, insolvent contractor and subcontractor lien rights, claims against the holdback) and talk about recent builders lien cases and issues.

Leveraging Home Automation to Grow Your Business
TecHome Builder free webinar Leveraging Home Automation to Grow Your Business will be presented on November 6th. See how homebuilders are offering home automation systems as standard to differentiate themselves from their competition and sell more homes, as well as more profitable options.

2014 Hygrothermal Analysis Expert Session
Building Science presents its Hygrothermal Analysis Expert Session in Westford on November 19th. The one-day seminar focuses on hygrothermal analysis with Dr. Joseph Lstiburek and a special guest cameo presentation by Dr. Achilles Karagiozis.

Water Leakage Testing Expert Session
Building Science presents its Water Leakage Testing on Windows and Façades Exepert Session in Westford on November 20th. The one-day seminar focuses on water leakage testing for architects and general contractors with Dr. Joseph Lstiburek and Peter Baker.

Reviewing Essential Practices for Plumbing Professionals
CSA Group provides online course Reviewing Essential Practices for Plumbing Professionals that provides an understanding of plumbing systems, their operations, and their relationship to relevant codes and standards.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Construction Simulator 2014
A new game for Android and iOS called Construction Simulator 2014 lets video aficionados try on the job of a construction engineer. In the game, players drive up to 14 different job site vehicles to accomplish tasks from hauling materials to digging up a job site, while maneuvering around obstacles like fences and buildings.

Find Sounds
You never know when this might come in handy?

Helicopter Pilot With A Buzz
I'm pretty sure I would be more than a bit nervous in this situation.

Dittie For Today: On Experience

Experience teaches only the teachable. - Aldous Leonard Huxley

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© Copyright 2014              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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