Alert Notice #11
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 September 17, 2008


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. Information Sources
10. Conferences & Shows
11. Education & Training
12. Computer, Internet & Fun
13. Industry Survey

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  Glass World

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Same Scene...Seen Through Different Eyes

It's happened too many times in the past, and as much as I might wish or try, chances are it will happen again. You may's that precise moment when the thought occurs that "I know what's going on here, and I think I should do something to fix this." Tip: Don't move too fast.

The most recent reoccurrence of said scenario took place during this year's Buds On Tour. As some of you long-time subscribers may recall, Buds On Tour is the annual "male" getaway for my Son "B" and I, to a location and adventure of his choice. This year B decided we should camp in a rustic little cabin by a somewhat-remote lake up in the mountains of the Fraser Canyon. He also suggested for the very first time that BOT 2008 should consist of three Buds rather than two, and that the third Bud be none other than his girlfriend "A". Given I've experienced almost 30 years of pleasant surprises based on his spur-of-the-moment ideas, the deal was done.

After reaching camp, we unpacked and settled in for four fun-filled days of hey-how-about-we-do-this adventures. True to form, my little boy B (which by the way is quite an understatement, given he is now 6-foot-4, 300 pounds) recommended we hike up to the mountain lookout. As we donned hiking gear, our little female Bud A (which by the way is not an understatement, given she is 4-foot-10 and under 100 pounds) decided she would wear her comfortable sandals. And then it started! B, in his honest, straight-from-the-heart, tell-it-like-I-feel-it style, warned her "You can't wear sandals hiking, your feet will hurt, you should wear hiking boots." But little A, who has grown quite strong by overcoming significant barriers in her life, firmly responded "No, I'll be fine." The journey, and another learning, had commenced.

As we hit the trail, big B continued pressing his point a little louder with "You should listen to me, I've been hiking for years, your feet are going to hurt." It was then I began thinking to myself "Hey dude, lighten up on little A." I was starting to sense my son was being a bit too aggressive, and that as the all-knowing father, maybe I should share some tips on how to treat his mate. But for whatever reason I didn't, and kept on hiking.

We had almost reached the peak when little A turned to me, somewhat sheepishly, and whispered "I think B was right, my feet are hurting, and I've got a blister." No sooner did she sit down so I could apply a bandage, when big B started up again "See, I told you your feet were going to get hurt, you should have worn your hiking boots." That did it! Hearing, once again, these forceful (to me) comments from my own son, I firmly committed to setting him straight about how to talk to his mate. How could he keep ragging on her like that? I knew how to fix this, and I would do this the very first moment we were alone. I am father, and I know best.

Having doctored up little A's blister, we got back on the trail and resumed our final ascent to the peak. But just as we started hiking, little A stopped abruptly, then slowly turned to me. As she looked me in the eye I thought "Oh, oh, here it comes. She's going to let me have it about my son's aggressive attitude." I took a deep breath and prepared for the worst. To my absolute amazement a beautiful, warm, genuine smile spread across her face and she cooed "Isn't he wonderful? He cares so much about me." I was dumbfounded...or just found dumb. All this time my eyes saw B as being too aggressive, and her eyes saw him as being kind and considerate. Thanks for the lesson my dear Buds On Tour. And thanks to whatever force kept me from opening my mouth to fix a situation that needed no fixing whatsoever.

My thanks to Wilma Leung, Richard Kadulski, Jo Fritz, Gemma de La Pena, Herman Rebneris, David Hill, John Chepil, and Dick Van Nostrand for their comments, tips, and resources. I hope you find something of value in this newsletter.

Have a "Top Drawer" day.

Ken Farrish

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1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Database Of Collective Agreement & Wage Settlements
BC Bargaining database provides general statistical information and reports on collective agreement settlements in BC including wage settlements, wage summaries, work stoppages, status of negotiations, calendar of expiring agreements, and more.

CMHC 2008 Housing Outlook Conference Coming To Vancouver & Victoria
CMHC annual Housing Outlook Conferences provide access to timely, reliable, and unbiased housing market information and forecasts. Tailored to the specifics of the local market, they may also enable you to earn education credits. An Outlook Conference will be held in Vancouver on October 30th, and an Outlook Seminar will be held in Victoria in November.

2008 Study Of Product Brands Used By US Builders
Builder magazine 2008 study shows the brands of products used by builders in different regions of the United States. (PDF)

Pacesetter Awards For Custom Home Building
Custom Home presents winners of its Pacesetter Awards program that recognizes custom builder achievements in one of seven aspects of custom home building: management, marketing, customer service, design, innovation, production, and community service.

2. Business Management

Top Five Things To Sell New Homes In Down Market
Building industry trainer Paul Montelongo offers free access to this podcast on The Top Five Things You Can Do Now To Sell More New Homes In A Down Market.

Temporary Foreign Workers Resource Site For Canadian Construction Industry
Construction Sector Council site Temporary Foreign Worker provides industry members with an Industry Guide and a Temporary Foreign Worker Guide, plus it lists top source countries.

Online Community For Workplace Safety
Ansell has launched a free social network where safety managers, foremen, safety engineers, factory and construction workers can meet, share ideas, and work together to pioneer new ways of making workplaces safer and more productive.

Survey Results Of Customer Satisfaction With Remodelers
Qualified Remodeler survey on customer satisfaction in the remodeling industry assigns a value to customer satisfaction, looks at areas of the remodeling process where the relationship between remodelers and their clients commonly goes off the rails, and uncovers remodeling company behaviours or traits that tend to leave customers happy with their remodeling experience.

Finding Competitive Information For Growing Companies
FUMSI article recommends sources of information for, and about, growing companies including who are their competitors, target customers, characteristics of the market, and trends & developments in the construction industry.

3. Building Design & Trends

Podium & Wrapper Style Multi Family Buildings Attractive For 50+ Buyers
NAHB describes a report by architectural and design firm Hord Coplan Macht, that shows podium and wrapper buildings are growing in popularity, driven by consumer interest in urban living. These housing types are especially appealing to 50+ buyers who see them as cost-effective, convenient and safe housing options.

US Architects Say Energy Conservation & Accessibility Are Popular
American Institute of Architects 2008 survey shows there is strong demand for green home design features and products like solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, and water reclamation systems. There is also more focus on making homes more energy-efficient, and less emphasis on investing in special function rooms such as home offices and game rooms.

2008 Winners Of Gold Nugget Awards For Design & Land Use
Builder Magazine provides descriptions and pictures of The 2008 Gold Nugget Award winners for creative achievements in architectural design and land use planning for residential, commercial and industrial projects.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Jo Fritz, President of Team Fritz Clay Roof Tiles says: "Keep up the good work, we are always looking forward to your e-mails. I know it is a lot of work."

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Builder Bulletin On New BC Green Building Code
BC Homeowner Protection Office bulletin for builders describes the new BC green building code changes that apply to residential construction conforming to Part 9 of the BC Building Code. (PDF)

BC Architect & Engineer Associations Comment On 6 Storey Wood-Frame Buildings
AIBC & APEGBC letter outlines their comments and suggestions regarding proposed amendments to the BC Building Code to allow six storey wood-frame construction. They do not see any insurmountable technical issues to six storey aboveground wood-frame construction for residential occupancy. (PDF)

City Of Vancouver Public Open Houses On Laneway Housing
City of Vancouver is hosting two Public Open Houses on Laneway Housing in Single Family Areas - Issues and Options, on Sept 21 and Sept 24. This public process is aimed at getting feedback on the current EcoDensity proposal to allow small ancillary residential units located on the lane of single family lots within the City of Vancouver. (PDF)

No Need To Purchase WHMIS Training Courses & Materials
WorkSafe BC alert to employers says there is no need to purchase WHMIS training courses/materials to comply with the Regulation.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Field Monitoring Of Wall Vapor Control Strategies In Pacific Northwest
Building Science Seminars online slide show describes results of field monitoring of wall vapor control strategies in the Pacific Northwest. (PDF)

Assessment Of Natural Ventilation For Residential Buildings
CMHC research, analysing homes in Ottawa, Vancouver and Saskatoon, looks at how much natural ventilation is common in Canadian homes, and when supplemental mechanical ventilation might be needed. (PDF)

Residential Ventilation Guide
Building Science Press sells the Ventilation Guide that presents a variety of recommendations for improving indoor air quality in residential buildings through controlled mechanical ventilation. $18 USD

6. Building Performance Issues

Pictures Of BC Building Envelope & Construction Errors
National Home Warranty provides pictures of building envelope and other construction errors they have witnessed during inspections, and includes recommendations and proper procedures to prevent these costly errors. (PDF)

Increasing Durability Of Building Constructions
Building Science says examining failures gives us guidance on increasing the durability of building constructions. This digest provides detailed information on durability issues and recommendations.

Online Database On Water Treatability & Processes
US Environmental Protection Agency online Drinking Water Treatability Database has referenced information on control of contaminants in drinking water. It allows access to regulated and unregulated contaminants, contaminant properties, and treatment processes used by drinking water utilities.

IRC Is Evaluating Window & Wall Interface For Risk Of Condensation On Windows
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction research is evaluating the likelihood that condensation will form at the window frame perimeter of an interface assembly.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Results Of Professional Builder 2008 Green Building Survey
Professional Builder magazine gives results of its 2008 Green Building Survey of builder opinions on green building including difficulty in building green, is green building a fad, education sources, home features, and regional distinctions.

EcoHome Magazine Features Trends In EcoHome Building Technologies
EcoHome magazine and Web site from building industry publisher Hanley Wood offers practical advice and guidance, highlights of the latest products and technologies, plus in-depth articles on trends and techniques in energy efficiency, resource conservation, health and comfort, and building science issues of high-performance homes.

High-Performance Home Pitch For Homebuilders
Professional Builder magazine article describes how homebuilder sales teams can make the energy-efficient pitch more appealing to potential buyers.

Vancouver Workshop On Integrated Design Process
Cascadia Region Green Building Council workshop Vancouver Integrated Design Process: An Introduction, covers the integrated design process, both in theory and in practice. Held on October 16th, it explores differences between IDP and conventional design, and how IDP can result in more cost effective, efficient, integrated and elegant projects.

Issues With EnerGuide Contractual Exposure
Canadian Home Builders Association bulletin examines the current state of the EnerGuide Rating System, and describes how a lack of appropriate contractual arrangements will pose significant risks to builders and Home Builder Associations participating in EnerGuide. (PDF)

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    New BC Hydro Two-step Rate Starts October 1st
    BC Hydro two-step conservation rate structure, which takes effect on October 1, breaks the current flat rate into two blocks: A first block of 1,350 kilowatt-hours over a two-month billing period, and second block for all electricity used above that level during the two months.

    Lower Terasen Gas Rates As Of October 1st
    Terasen Gas has received approval from the BC Utilities Commission to lower natural gas commodity rates for the majority of customers in BC. The rate decreases will take effect October 1, 2008.

    Home Entertainment Products Are Moving Outdoors
    US National Association of Home Builders article says the demand for weatherproof home entertainment products is on the rise, in large part because home owners are turning their decks, patios, outdoor kitchens and other outdoor living spaces into full-bore entertainment areas complete with music and wide-screen TVs.

    New Building Products & Materials
    Qualified Remodeler magazine has online archives of their announcements of new building products and materials including roofing, siding, decking, windows & doors, appliances, kitchen, bathroom, cabinetry, and home technology.

    Recalls Of American Flame Gas Valves For Fireplaces
    CSA & American Flame are recalling approximately 12,000 fireplace gas valves in North America. The valves can continue to allow gas flow through the pilot when the valve has been switched off. The recall involves American Flame AF-4000 series fireplace gas valves installed in residential fireplaces made by 12 manufacturers under the brand names: Pacific Energy, Travis Industries, CFM Corporations, Canadian Heating Products, Portland-Willamette, Rasmussen, Chimeneas de Columbia, Twin Eagles, FDM, Inca Metals (Savannah Heating), Even Temp and Valley Comfort. The valves were installed in some, but not all, fireplaces. Date codes included in the recall include 0622 through 0718.

    9. Information Sources

    Online Videos On Building Materials & Procedures
    Finer Homebuilding magazine offers free online videos on building tips, tools, design, materials, interior & exterior construction, and projects.

    Resource Site For Remodeling Industry
    US National Association of Home Builders resource site Remodeling Industry Channel, provides articles and resources on industry news, hot topics, business management, legislation, education, research, links, and more.

    10. Conferences & Shows

    BC Electrix Learning Expo In Vancouver
    BC Electrical Association presents the Electrix Learning Expo in Vancouver on October 1st, featuring an electrical product trade show and seminars.

    Conference & Exposition For Building Owners & Managers In Vancouver
    Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada annual BOMEX conference and trade show, taking place September 30th to October 2nd in Vancouver, provides seminars and product displays for building owners and managers.

    SOHO Small Business Conference In Vancouver
    SOSH SME Business Conference and Expo in Vancouver on October 15th offers seminars and trade show for small and medium sized businesses.

    Vancouver Home & Interior Design Show
    Vancouver Home & Interior Design Show, held at BC Place from October 16 - 19 is the annual fall consumer home show featuring the latest design trends, products, and renovation resources.

    US Conference & Expo On Excellence In Building
    Energy & Environmental Building Association presents its annual Excellence In Building conference and expo in Phoenix, October 22 - 24. It features presentations and displays covering a wide range of building science topics, with a focus on new construction.

    11. Education & Training

    HPO Seminars On Insulating Concrete Forms
    BC Homeowner Protection Office and the BC Ready-Mixed Concrete Association present this 2.5-hour seminar as an introduction to Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) wall construction. Seminars will be held around the province from September to October.

    Vancouver Seminar On Systems Approach To Performance In Single & Multi Family Houses
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction experts present their latest research relevant to the design and construction of low-rise buildings at Building Science Insight BSI 2008, held in Vancouver on October 6th. This workshop addresses roles that ventilation and heating systems, high-performance windows, fire resistant components, acoustic separations and liveable basements play in achieving high performance low-rise buildings.

    12. Computer, Internet & Fun

    List Of Free Software
    Open Source Software has extensive lists of free open source software including antivirus & antispyware utilities, audio programs, business programs, graphics software, financial utilities, and more.

    New Google Chrome Browser
    Google Chrome browser has New Tab page, application shortcuts, dynamic tabs, crash control, incognito mode, safe browsing, instant bookmarks, importing settings, simpler downloads, and more.

    Collect The Dots
    Here's another one of those simple but frustrating timewasters. And I'll bet you can't play this just once. Simply click on the white dot to collect the green dots, but watch out for the red. Oh sure...real simple!!!

    13. Industry Survey

    Today's Survey:   

    Would You Use A Place Online To Make Comments On The New BC Green Building Code?

    The new BC Green Building Code came into effect on September 5th. As it is implemented, some of you may have questions, concerns, ideas, or resources. Would it be of value to you if the BC Building Info Web site had a free place online where you could offer your comments?

    Yes, having this would be of interest to me
    No, this would not be of any value to me

    Last Survey: Are more of your customers interested in energy efficiency?

    • 73% Said: Yes
    • 27% Said: No

    Thanks for your participation

    Ditty For Today

    Experience is a comb that life gives you after you lose your hair. - Judith Stern

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    Copyright 2008               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada