Alert Notice #106
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
November 25, 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 Mark Gauvin, George Pinch, Wilma Leung, Karen Podolski, Mike Kandel, Nancy Argyle. Julie Domvile, Joey Fearn, Ed Hudson, Sabine Just, Brian Hart, Jessica Taglieri, Zena Caul, Connie Howe, Glenn Duxbury, and Diana Douglas 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 From Building America Meetings & Webinars
US Department of Energy online Building America meeting presentations and webinars cover a range of residential building technology and research.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

UDI State Of Market For 3rd Quarter 2014
The UDI State of the Market Quarterly Report Q3 2014, prepared by Urban Analytics, provides up-to-date statistics and trends on the new home and re-sale housing market. (PDF)

BC Housing Forecast 4th Quarter 2014
BC Real Estate Association report Housing Forecast 4th Quarter 2014 says MLS residential sales are expected to rise 15.1 per cent to 83,950 units this year, and are forecast to remain essentially unchanged in 2015, albeit up a further 1.2 per cent to 84,900 units. (PDF)

BC Economic Briefing November 2014
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Economic Briefing of November 17 says home sales in October increased for sixth time in seven months. (PDF)

The Underground Economy & BC
Business Council of BC report The Underground Economy says underground economic activity takes different forms and includes the production/provision of both legal and illegal goods and services. It is a concern for governments because it reduces the tax base and can weaken regulatory regimes intended to protect consumers, workers and the environment. (PDF)

Canadian Economic Update October 2014
CHBA Economic Update says with inflation forecast to remain below the Bank of Canada target range until 2016, the Bank's benchmark rate may well lag increases in the US. A close look at housing markets across Canada provides a more balanced view on current conditions, as in six of ten provinces starts have fallen year-over-year. (PDF)

Canadian Housing Observer 2014
CMHC online Canadian Housing Observer 2014 provides an in-depth review of housing conditions and trends in Canada, and describes the key factors that influence these developments. It discusses condominiums, housing finance and markets, demographic and socio-economic influences on housing demand, housing affordability and core housing need, and sustainable housing and communities. (PDF)

Foundations Of Canadian Housing Better Than Advertised
CIBC World Markets says not only has the rising share of young immigrants lifted demand for housing, but also, official population projections understate the actual number of non-permanent residents in the country by close to 100,000. (PDF)

Top 10 Real Estate Trends For 2015
Construction Dive summarizes the top 10 real estate trends as selected by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the Urban Land Institute.

2. Business Management

How Changes To BC New Home Selling Rules Affect Buyers
BC Real Estate Weekly describes rule amendments to BC’s Real Estate Development Marketing Act that come into play this fall for selling newly built homes.

2014 Annual State Of Residential Mortgage Market In Canada
Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals online Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada reviews trends in the housing market and assesses implications for the evolution of mortgage credit in Canada. (PDF)

Best Practices Guides To Employing Women In Trades
Industry Training Authority online Best Practices Guide to Employing Women in the Trades will help you to create a work environment to get the most out of all of your employees.

Preventing Falls In Residential Construction
WorkSafe BC online animation Preventing Falls in Residential Construction demonstrates effective solutions for common fall hazards in roofing, framing, siding, and formwork.

Why Job Descriptions Matter
Canadian Federation of Independent Business describes how a good job description will allow business owners to create better job postings, set employment expectations and aid in performance management. A free template is also provided.

Duty Of Good Faith & Honest Performance In Contracts
Clark Wilson summarizes the Supreme Court of Canada reasons for extending the principal of good faith to all contracts and by recognizing a common law duty to act honestly in the performance of contractual obligations.

Limitation Of liability Clauses Must Be Carefully Drafted
Journal Of Commerce says a recent decision by the Alberta Court of Appeal underscores the importance of drafting limitation of liability clauses carefully.

Make The Most Of Your Remodeling Marketing Strategy
Remodeling magazine says good work and word-of-mouth advertising can only take your business so far. A detailed marketing strategy can bring in better leads and close more sales.

3. Building Design & Trends

Color Trends 2015
Benjamin Moore describes their 2015 Color Combinations.

Winners Of 2014 BC Interior Design Awards Of Excellence
Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia displays slide shows of the winning projects in their 2014 Awards of Excellence for interior design of residential and commercial projects.

2014 BC Keystone Awards Winners
CHBA Central Interior has announced 19 winning entries in the 10th annual Keystone Home Builders Awards of Excellence.

2014 Custom Home Design Award Winners
Custom Home Magazine presents their 2014 Custom Home Design Award winners.

Homeowners Looking To Add More Home Features
American Institute of Architects survey shows a greater array of technologies and products are gaining popularity as homeowners show renewed interest in upgrades.

22 Deluxe Bathroom Shower Designs
HGTV Remodels provides pictures of showers packed with luxury features, from rain showerheads to built-in seating.

7 Small Bathroom Layouts
Fine Homebuilding provides examples to show you how to update an older small bathroom without altering its footprint.

Top Remodeling Trends Could Change Your World
Remodeling magazine says from the changing face of the country to Wi-Fi–enabled ovens, five trends are reshaping the remodeler’s landscape.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Mark Gauvin, President, Gauvin 2000 Construction Ltd. says: “Keep up the good work, collecting and getting all these building issues together for your followers.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Energy Code Preparation Resources
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC has put together a list of tools available to help prepare builders for the upcoming BC energy code changes. (PDF)

Ask Technical Questions On National Codes
Canadian National Codes centre provides online form where regulatory officials can ask them opinions on the requirements in the model national codes.

2015-16 BC OHS Regulatory Workplan
WorkSafe BC online 2015–16 OHS Regulatory Workplan provides a brief description of the proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation currently being worked on by the Policy, Regulation and Research Division. (PDF)

BC Construction Initiative On Preventing Falls From Heights
WorkSafe BC provides information and resources on its Safety at Work construction initiative on preventing falls from heights.

Proposed BC Silica Regs Withdrawn For Now
Journal Of Commerce says WorkSafeBC withdrew a proposed regulation on Respirable Crystalline Silica, that was scheduled to go to public hearings in June, 2014.

2015-2017 Fees For BC Safety Authority
BC Safety Authority describes their approved changes to the 2015-2017 fee schedules.

Approved Certification Marks For Gas Appliances
BC Safety Authority bulletin contains updated approved certification marks for gas appliances. (PDF)

Performance Class Is Key Concept At Heart Of NAFS
RDH Building Engineering says Performance Class is the master organizing principle within the NAFS standard. They describe why specifiers should be concerned with Performance Class.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Walking The Plank, Wood Floors Over Concrete
Building Science says to make wood and concrete get along we either have to separate the wood from the concrete or we have to make the concrete dry enough not to irritate the wood too much.

Fundamentals Of Heating & Cooling Degree Days
Energy Vanguard explains the fundamentals of heating and cooling degree days, as used in designing HVAC systems.

Hot Water At Any Faucet In 3 To 5 Seconds
Home Energy magazine describes a solution to slow delivery of hot water using is a demand-controlled circulation system with what the industry calls structured plumbing.

Heat Flow Around Basement Foundation
Healthy Heating online Transient Soil Temperature Animation (hourly simulation) shows heat flow around a basement foundation.

All About Basements
Green Building Advisor says it’s perfectly possible to build a great house on any one of these three foundation types, as long as everything is properly detailed. Each type of foundation has advantages as well as disadvantages.

Incorporating Thick Layers Of Exterior Rigid Insulation On Walls
Building Science online Measure Guideline: Incorporating Thick Layers of Exterior Rigid Insulation on Walls provides information on design and construction of wall assemblies that are using thick layers of rigid exterior insulation (in excess of 1.5 inches) that require a secondary cladding attachment location exterior of the insulation to be provided. (PDF)

Avoiding Exhaust Duct Problems
BC Homeowner Protection Office bulletin Avoiding Exhaust Duct Problems explains the importance of a well-maintained system and helps homeowners identify and solve common issues with ducting around the home. (PDF)

Building Commissioning Procedures & Resources
Whole Building Design Guide organizes commissioning information, guidance, and resources under three broad principles including Determine Project Performance Requirements, Plan the Commissioning Process, and Document Compliance and Acceptance.

6. Building Performance Issues

Wood Fire Safety Information & Procedures
Canadian Wood Council provides information on fire safety including introduction, fire resistance, fire-retardant treated wood, flame spread, roof coverings, sprinkler alternatives, and wood in noncombustible buildings.

Fire Protection Of Wood I-Joists Floors
Engineered Wood Association system report Fire Protection of Floors Constructed with Prefabricated Wood I-Joists provides several practical systems for design and construction of fire-resistant floor assemblies built with prefabricated wood I-joists.

Moisture Performance Of Walls In Energy Efficient Homes
US NAHB Home Innovation Research Labs report Moisture Performance of Walls in Energy Efficient Homes focuses on characterization of energy-efficient walls in a sample of new, occupied homes recently constructed around the US in moist or marine climate zones. (PDF)

Analysis Of Installation Faults On Heat Pump Performance
US National Institute of Standards and Technology study Sensitivity Analysis of Installation Faults on Heat Pump Performance found that substantial equipment efficiency is lost due to design and installation deficiencies. It presents faulty practices commonly-performed by contractors and details the resultant additional energy consumption. (PDF)

How Much Should You Worry About Asbestos In The Home?
Energy Vanguard says if you spend a lot of time in the attics, basements, and crawl spaces of older homes, don't mess around with materials that may be dangerous, such as asbestos.

Mechanical Contractors Should Be Aware Of Potential Asbestos Risks
HPAC magazine discusses how much of a threat asbestos is to mechanical contractors.

Impact Of Enhanced Drying & Remediation On Mold In Flooded Buildings
Home Energy Magazine describes a study showing proper remediation and environmental control can eliminate flood-induced mold problems.

Thermal Bridging From Cladding Attachment Strategies Through Exterior Insulation
RDH Building Engineering paper Thermal Bridging From Cladding Attachment Strategies Through Exterior Insulation presents results of three dimensional thermal modeling which quantifies actual impact of thermal bridging in typical exterior insulated wall assemblies. (PDF)

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Green Home Marketing: Just Do It
Builder Magazine says one of the most significant obstacles to green home building today is the prevailing myth among builders that consumers care about energy efficiency only because an energy-efficient home will cost less to operate.

LEED Canada Project Registration Extended Until October 2016
Canadian Green Building Council says the US Green Building Council will allow LEED users to register projects under the LEED 2009 rating system until October 31, 2016. The CaGBC confirms project registration for LEED Canada will remain open until this date. The original date for LEED 2009 registration to close was June 15, 2015.

Concrete Industry Is Prepping For New Version Of LEED
Journal Of Commerce says on the mind of cement and concrete associations in Canada is the introduction of environmental product declarations, or the so-called nutrition labels for materials.

Comparing North American Window Frames To European Frames
Green Building Advisor says thin North American window frames with a high U-factor sometimes perform about the same as European window frames with a lower U-factor.

First Existing Apartment & Condo Buildings With Energy Star Certification
US Environmental Protection Agency describes the first existing multifamily housing properties to earn the new Energy Star multifamily certification for superior energy performance. EPA recognized 17 apartment and condo buildings for leading the industry in reducing energy use, increasing affordability, protecting public health, and combating climate change.

Meeting & Exceeding Energy Objectives In Wood Buildings
Rethink Wood describes issues and considerations for meeting and exceeding energy objectives in wood buildings. (PDF)

BC Wood Stove Exchange Program Benefits Communities
The Province of BC is providing $190,000 to thirteen communities to encourage residents to replace their old wood stoves with cleaner burning models, through the Wood Stove Exchange Program.

Funding For Partnerships To Increase Energy Efficiency Of Canadian Homes
Natural Resources Canada invites eligible organizations to submit a proposal for a Contribution Agreement for cost-sharing of an innovative project, delivered with partners, aimed at increasing the energy efficiency of Canadian homes.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

Giant Recalls Giant & Best Canadian Hot Water Heaters
Health Canada says Giant and Best Canadian hot water heaters voluntary recall involves atmospheric gas water heater models (natural gas or propane) in 30, 40, 50 or 60 gallon capacities.

2014 Editors Choice For Top 10 Innovative New Tools
Tools Of Trade shows their top picks of the most innovative new tools in 2014.

25 Cool Tools From STAFDA Show
Tools Of The Trade looks at 25 of the most innovative new products found at the recent tool dealer trade show.

Segmental Retaining Walls
Concrete Network describes features and considerations for segmental retaining walls that consist of modular concrete blocks that interlock with each other.

High Performance Space Conditioning Systems Part 1
US Department of Energy provides access to the Building America presentations from their webinar High Performance Space Conditioning Systems, Part I.

US DOE: High Performance Space Conditioning Systems Part 2
US Department of Energy provides access to the Building America presentations from their webinar High Performance Space Conditioning Systems, Part 2.

Lineup Of Linear Shower Drains
Journal of Light Construction article covers an installer’s look at options from different linear shower drain manufacturers.

Manifolds For You & Me
Plumbing Engineer describes features and benefits of manifolds that serve as a distribution point for the fluids that carry heat energy in a hydronic system.

How To Choose A Kitchen Faucet
Build describes options, issues and considerations for selecting a kitchen faucet.

9. Installation Procedures

Framing High Performance Roof Overhangs
Journal of Light Construction article provides description on tricky details of framing cathedral roofs in Passive House construction.

Installing Concrete Floors
Concrete Network describes factors to consider when installing a decorative concrete floor.

Installing Mosaic Tile
Fine Homebuilding online slideshow gives a quick overview of what's involved in laying out and installing tile sheets.

Installing Vertical Radon Ventilation Pipe
Building America Solution Center describes issues and considerations for installing a vertical ventilation pipe as a passive radon vent system to prevent the accumulation of radon and soil gasses in the home.

Building Envelope Really Matters In Heat Loss Calculation
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency describes how much building envelope heat loss and infiltration matter in a heat load calculation.

Hydronics System Maintenance Tips
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating provides tips to make sure your hydronic heating system is ready to function efficiently when you need it.

Diagnosing A Boiler System By Ear
Mechanical Business describes some of the sounds you might hear from heating equipment, and how the noise may relate to specific problems.

Curing A Sagging Entry
Journal of Light Construction describes how to fix a sagging entry door.

Connection Solutions for Modern Wood Buildings
US Department of Energy measure guideline Optimizing the Configuration of Flexible Duct Junction Boxes offers recommendations to HVAC system designers for optimizing flexible duct, constant-volume HVAC systems using junction boxes. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

Radon-Resistant New Construction
US Environmental Protection Agency website provides information about radon-resistant construction techniques and other radon resources for builders, contractors and homebuyers.

Resources On Flex Housing
CMHC describes FlexHousing, an innovative approach to home design, renovation and construction that is able to adapt and convert affordably as a household’s lifestyle and needs change. As the needs of the household occupants change, ideally the floorplan, amenities and services of the home can be easily, and cost-effectively adapted.

Apps For HVAC Contractors
CalcuNow provides apps created by HVAC contractors, for HVAC contractors.

Manufacturer Guide To High Performance CSA P.9 Tested Combination Systems
CanmetENERGY report A Manufacturer’s Guide to High Performance CSA P.9 Tested Combination Systems provides guidance to manufacturers of condensing on-demand water heaters. It covers strategies for designing high performance combination systems for space and water heating, and information about certifying performance with CSA P.9 testing.

Preservative Treated Wood Use & Specification
Woodworks online slide show presentation Preservative Treated Wood Use & Specification describes the manufacturing process for pressure treated wood, available products and their differences, and how preserved wood is used in construction. (PDF)

Basics Of Fire Retardant Treated Wood
Woodworks online slide show presentation Basics Of Fire Retardant Treated Wood provides an overview of FRT wood in the US, available products, and examples of typical use, how treatments are impregnated into the wood, how preservatives offer fire protection, and testing required to confirm fire retardant capabilities. (PDF)

Wind-Resistive Design Of Wood Buildings
Rethink Wood report describes features and considerations for choosing wood for wind-resistive construction. (PDF)

7 Reasons Why Buildings Don't Get Maintained Properly
RDH Building Engineering describes seven primary reasons why buildings don’t get sufficient maintenance and why each of these reasons is based on flawed logic.

11. Conferences & Shows

2015 International Wood Symposium
Canadian Wood Council presents their 2015 International Wood Symposium in Vancouver on January 29. The one-day symposium is designed to inspire and educate senior architects, structural engineers, design and construction professionals.

Green Cities Workshop 2015
Taking place in London, Ontario on February 9, 2015, in advance of the FCM Sustainable Communities Conference, the CaGBC Green Cities Workshop will explore both the EcoDistricts framework and examine how LEED complements municipal sustainability policy.

Georgie Awards Celebrate Excellence In BC Home Building
The Georgie Awards of the Canadian Home Builders Association of BC will be held in Vancouver on February 27th. This residential construction awards program highlights and celebrates excellence in home building.

12. Education & Training

How To Be a Better Foreman
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association course How To Be a Better Foreman gives participants the fundamentals of field leadership, organization, crew morale, efficiency, and productivity. This workshop will be offered in Burnaby on November 27th, Victoria on November 28th, and Kelowna on December 12th.

Gas Online Forum: A Review Of 2014 Information Bulletins & Directives
BC Safety Authority is offering the 1st in their series of Gas Online Forums, A Review of 2014 Information Bulletins and Directives, on November 26th.

Ventilation & Condensation Part 3 Buildings Seminar
APEG BC seminar Ventilation & Condensation Part 3 Buildings will be held in Vancouver on November 27th. It focuses on the relationship between ventilation and condensation performance problems within the living spaces of the building, as well as within enclosed spaces of the building enclosure such as vented roof assemblies, parapets, walkways and crawlspaces.

Contractor Responsibilities For LEED Projects
Vancouver Regional Construction Association half-day seminar Contractor Responsibilities For LEED Projects will be held in Vancouver on December 4th. The seminar will provide an overview of how LEED works, the contractor’s specific roles and responsibilities when undertaking a LEED project, documentation requirements, and the practical details of how to navigate the process to successfully deliver a LEED project.

UDI Forecast 2015
UDI Vancouver Lunch presents Forecast 2015 on January 22nd. It features industry leaders with their forecasts for 2015.

2014 BC Trades Guide
BC Industry Training Authority online 2014 Trades Guide positions the trades as an exciting post-secondary option. It offers a visual overview of opportunities in the skilled trades across BC, as well as a guide about how apprenticeship works in the province and the steps needed to get started. (PDF)

Virtual Classroom Connects Students & Instructors
Journal Of Commerce says the Christian Labour Association of Canada and BC government opened a new virtual classroom system designed to bring high tech jobs training to remote areas and First Nations in the province.

Major Insulation Manufacturers Collaborate To Train Contractors
Building Online says top insulation manufacturers CertainTeed, Johns Manville, Knauf Insulation and Owens Corning are working together to create the High Performance Insulation Contractor, a unified training credential for insulation contractors.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Construction Site Apps Provide Real-Time Updates
Journal Of Commerce says at least one construction business owner is wondering why more contractors and tradespeople haven’t logged onto an iPad/web application created specifically for the construction industry.

Free Historical Software Collection
Internet Archive offers online collection of historically important software packages. Many of these software products were the first of their kind, or utilized features and approaches that have been copied or recreated on many programs since. I'll bet some of you remember a few of them!

A Conference Call In Real Life
If you've ever participated in a conference call, this may bring a few "been there" giggles.

Dittie For Today: On Arguing

Sometimes when we argue with a fool, he is doing the same thing. - Author Unknown

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© Copyright 2014              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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