Alert Notice #110
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
February 17,2015


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

Thanks to our advertisers, these Alert Notices come to you free. Check out what they offer.

greensheet   Green Sheet
lennox   Lennox
gienow   Gienow Windows & Doors

My thanks to Arthur Lo, Graham Finch, Wilma Leung, Alison Romano, Tom Murphy, George Pinch, Melissa Broadus, Jessica Stoikes, Diana Douglas, Joey Fearn, Mike Rogers, and Zena Caul 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

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************
Green Sheet - Your Ultimate Resource For Construction Data

Are you a sales person trying to have your products specified?
Are you a supplier, installer, or subcontractor seeking new bidding opportunities?

If you are unsure of where your next job is coming from, you can find new
prospective markets and increase sales using Green Sheet construction data...
                        Find out more..…


Ken's Top Pick

New BC Building Act
The Province has introduced a new Building Act to establish more consistent building requirements throughout BC. The Act proposes to: Streamline Building Requirements by ensuring building requirements are the same throughout BC by establishing the Province as the sole authority to create building requirements; Establish Mandatory Qualifications for Local Building Officials by improving the interpretation, application and enforcement of the BC Building Code by making sure building officials have standard qualifications; Expand Provincial Review by furthering the Province’s ability to review innovative building proposals.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

How BCers View The Year Ahead
BC Business exclusive survey shows how B.C.ers view 2015 on the home front, at the office and in the provincial economy.

BC Poised For Decent Growth In Turbulent World
BC Business Council online Economic Outlook & Review for 2015 projects a 2.6% increase in BC's real GDP and examines the impact on BC's economy of a number of factors including the global economic outlook, a rebounding US economy, declining oil prices and domestic factors such as housing starts and exports. (PDF)

BC Housing Market Outlook First Quarter 2015
CMHC First Quarter Housing Market Outlook British Columbia Highlights report says housing starts in BC are forecast to total 28,300 homes in 2015 and edge higher to 29,000 homes in 2016. (PDF)

BC Housing Forecast 1st Quarter 2015
BC Real Estate Association online report Housing Forecast 1st Quarter 2015 says MLS residential sales are forecast to rise 2.4 per cent to 86,050 units this year and a further 3.9 per cent to 89,400 units in 2016. (PDF)

Canadian Construction Market Intelligence Report Q1 2015
BTY Group online Construction Market Intelligence Report Q1 2015 says the drop in the price of oil may be painful for oil producing provinces, but it is blowing plenty of good across other sectors of the Canadian economy. Consider the growth drivers in this time of lower cost oil, lower value Canadian dollar, and now even lower interest rates. (PDF)

2015 Emerging Trends In US Remodeling Market
Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report Improving America's Housing 2015: Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market describes changing household demographics, industry structure and labor trends, metro and regional remodeling markets, and opportunities for growth.

Are Low Rates The New Normal?
Financial Post says young people are generally borrowers, and middle aged and old people are generally savers. The relative number of savers and borrowers and the size of their need for one or the other have a determinative impact on the market for loanable funds.

What's So Smart About Unaffordable Housing?
Globe and Mail says self-proclaimed smart growth policies have proven the opposite of smart, contributing to an affordability crisis with little to show in the way of a cleaner environment.

2. Business Management

Marketing Strategies That Drive Demand
Builder Magazine describes four builders’ innovative approaches that turn new ideas into features buyers can’t live without.

New-Tech Ways To Sell Your Home
Kiplinger shows new tools to lure buyers with virtual fliers, drones or a 3D view.

Managing Your Business With 7 Key Numbers
Builder Books sells Managing Your Business With 7 Key Numbers. This new book lays out a process that will help business owners see where they stand every day, with every job, by monitoring just seven key numbers that drive all profits and cash flow. $36 USD

Land Transfer Taxes Across Canada
Property Biz shows how transfer taxes work in several provinces across Canada, as well as any first-time homebuyer exemptions available.

Steps To Manage Your WorkSafeBC Claim Costs
Journal Of Commerce says as your WorkSafeBC claims costs go up, so do your assessments. But contractors have the ability to influence, and lower, those costs.

Conducting Criminal Background Checks
Canadian Federation of Independent Business article provides some tips for conducting a criminal background check.

Good & Bad Renovation Contracts
Canadian Contractor magazine provides online video discussing good and bad renovation contracts and payment schedules.

New Council Brings VI Construction Stakeholders Together
Journal Of Commerce article says the newly-formed Construction Council of Vancouver Island is a result of more than 60 construction owners, consultants and contractors from the Island meeting to discuss how to build a stronger regional construction sector that includes more dialogue between the various stakeholders.

3. Building Design & Trends

Millennials Seek Smaller Houses, But Won't Sacrifice Details
US National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says as Millennials begin to enter the home buying market in larger numbers, homes will get a little smaller, laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent.

3 Stages Of Intensification
Architect This City says it's inevitable that we'll eventually see low-rise intensification within established neighborhoods. We started by avoiding them altogether, and then deciding that it was desirable to build along their periphery. But as demand for urban housing continues to increase… it's only a matter of time before we start to loosen the reins on single family neighborhoods.

Hot & Not Home Design Trends For 2015
Construction Dive describes 10 hot trends for the 2015 home, and five that have gone cold.

Contemporary Kitchens Surge In Popularity
National Kitchen & Bath Association says streamlined designs, eclectic touches and multiples of appliances lead 2015 kitchen trends.

Finalists For 2015 NKBA People's Picks For Best Bathroom
HGTV displays the finalists in the National Kitchen and Bath Association's 2015 bathroom competition.

99 Beautiful Kitchen Islands
HGTV displays pictures of 99 gorgeous kitchens with islands for layout ideas and design inspiration.

10 Space-Saving Modern Built-Ins
Dwell online slideshow presents ten space-saving modern built-ins.

Game Rooms Gone Wild
TecHome Builder describes some teched-out game rooms that cater to serious video gamers, sports enthusiasts, even dance partners.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Ken Sawatsky, founder of Kenorah Construction says: “Thanks for your BC Building Info Ken, found some great stuff.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Recent BC Building Code Interpretations
Building Officials Association of BC (BOABC) has updated it's site with more of the recent BC Building Code interpretations.

Public Hearing For Proposed Amendments To WHMIS
WorkSafe BC upcoming public hearing, to be held on February 20, will consider amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation relating to harmonizing Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) to the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

BC Requirements For Naming Qualified Individuals On Permits
BC Safety Authority is increasing the security on how qualified individuals are named on permits. This is in response to feedback and suggestions from contractors and qualified individuals who are concerned about security and preventing fraud.

NAFS Testing Tools For BC Window & Door Manufacturers
RDH Building Engineering online videos discusses new tools that can help manufacturers to reduce the amount of testing needed to qualify many product lines.

BC Hydro Support Of Energy Efficiency Codes & Standards
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation provides an overview of BC Hydro support on energy efficiency codes and standards. (PDF)

First Sustainability Standard For Household Cooking Appliances
CSA news release says the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, CSA Group, and UL Environment announced the release of AHAM 7004-2015/CSA SPE-7004-15/UL 7004-15, Sustainability Standard for household cooking appliances, the first voluntary sustainability standard for household cooking products.

Green & Sustainable Standard For Plastic Piping Components
Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association provides information on their Sustainable Manufacturing Conformity Assessment Program for Plastic Piping Components. It's purpose is to establish requirements for measuring both the existing environmental performance and to drive the continuous improvement thereof by manufacturers of plastic piping system components.

Wood & Environmental Product Declarations
Rethink Wood online course Wood and Environmental Product Declarations explains how an Environmental Product Declaration gives a decision maker an immediate, reliable, and non-judgmental way to evaluate wood's environmental impacts over its life cycle. (PDF)

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************
Lennox Energy Efficient Home Comfort Systems

Lennox’ innovative solutions include energy-efficient, Energy Star approved;
  •  Heating: Furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, air handlers, garage heaters
  •  Cooling: Air conditioners, heat pumps
  •  Indoor Air Quality: Air purification, filtration and humidification
  •  Comfort Controls: Thermostats and zoning systems
Most Lennox products are backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal

5. Building Science & Technology

Basics Of Heat Flow & Heat Loss
Building America Solution Center examines the basics of heat flow and heat loss, including: basics of heat flow; heat loss calculations; common insulation mistakes; effects of heat flow.

Moisture Flow & Its Effects On The House
Building America Solution Center describes the basics of moisture and its effects on the house system, and how geographic location and house type can affect choices of moisture control strategies. It covers four different moisture transport mechanisms and the effects of that moisture flow: bulk water movement; capillary action; air transported moisture; vapor diffusion.

Properties & Position Of Materials In Building Envelope
Canadian National Research Council online Report on Properties and Position of Materials in the Building Envelope for Housing and Small Buildings summarizes computer modelling of different wall systems in different Canadian climates incorporating outboard insulation of an R-4 or higher. The results found that for all of the configurations studied the outboard insulation reduced the risk of condensation by increasing the wood sheathing temperature. (PDF)

Energy Efficient Durable Walls
US Department of Energy online slide show presentation Construction Guide: Energy Efficient, Durable Walls covers strategies to design and build high performance walls, for climate zones 3-5, that increase energy performance and reduce moisture issues in walls. (PDF)

Designing An HVAC System For Cold Climate
Green Building Advisor weighs two options for heating with an air-source heat pump in a cold climate.

Basics Of Pumps
Heating Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine reviews some basics behind system design, pump operation and selection.

Three High Performance Mineral Fiber Insulation Board Retrofits
Building Science report Three High Performance Mineral Fiber Insulation Board Retrofit Solutions describes a high performance enclosure retrofit package that uses mineral fiber insulating sheathing. It describes retrofit assembly and details for wood frame roof and walls and for cast concrete foundations. It is intended to serve contractors and designers seeking guidance for non-foam exterior insulation retrofit. (PDF)

Mini-Split Ductless Heat Pumps
Building America Solution Center describes features, benefits and considerations for selecting and installing mini-split ductless heat pumps.

6. Building Performance Issues

Water Management of Existing Basement/Crawlspace Floor
Building America Solution Center describes issues and considerations for treating bulk water drainage issues and providing additional moisture control measures as needed to address site moisture issues before retrofitting a vented crawlspace to an unvented, insulated crawlspace.

Unvented Roof Assemblies Using Cellulose Or Fibreglass Insulation
US Department of Energy online slide show presentation by Joe Lstiburek discusses several advances in unvented roof technology to condition attics, including the use of diffusion venting and dehumidification. These approaches will allow the use of cellulose and fiberglass insulation systems rather than the current approaches that rely on rigid insulation or spray polyurethane foams. (PDF)

Seismic & Wind Design Considerations For Wood Framed Structures
Engineered Wood Association online previously recorded webinar Seismic & Wind Design Considerations for Wood Framed Structures covers load path continuity, building code updates, and shear wall design alternatives.

Addressing Kitchen Contaminants For Healthy Low-Energy Homes
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories report Addressing Kitchen Contaminants For Healthy Low-Energy Homes identifies barriers to the widespread adoption of kitchen exhaust ventilation technologies and practice and proposes a suite of strategies to overcome these barriers. (PDF)

Clearing The Air
US National Center for Biotechnology Information online book Clearing the Air examines how indoor pollutants contribute to asthma causation, prevalence, triggering, and severity. It discusses asthma among the general population and in sensitive subpopulations including children, low-income individuals, and urban residents. Based on the most current findings, the book also evaluates the scientific basis for mitigating the effects of indoor air pollutants implicated in asthma.

Water Quality & Hygiene
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor says there are many factors that must be considered in minimizing the risk associated with Legionella in building plumbing systems. These range from risk assessment, disinfection methods and effectiveness to system layout and sizing.

#1 Reason Power Attic Ventilators Don't Help
Energy Vanguard says power attic ventilators don't help because using a fan to blow hot air out of the attic doesn't address the radiant heat flow from the roof to the attic floor.

How Long Do Buildings Last?
RDH Building Engineering tracked 1,651 buildings over a 20+ year period and has identified five life stages. These stages apply to all sectors: commercial, residential, industrial, institutional and municipal.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Built Green Canada AGM, EnerGuide Files, Liaison In BC, Reno Program
Built Green Canada provides updates on its AGM, EnerGuide Files, Liaison in BC, and review of its Reno Program.

Convincing Clients To Upgrade To Pretty Good House
Green Building Advisor describes the most compelling arguments for investing in a Pretty Good House that exceeds minimum code requirements.

Top 10 GreenBiz Stories Of 2014
GreenBiz presents their most-read articles of 2014.

2014 Highlights: Why Buildings Matter To Tackle Climate Change
Global Buildings Performance Network online report 2014 Highlights: Why Buildings Matter to tackle Climate Change provides an overview of their 2014 main activities & impacts to mainstreaming sustainable buildings.

Canadian Green Building Case Studies
Canadian Green Building Council case studies describe some projects that are leading the way in terms of innovation, design, performance and energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency Is No. 1 US Housing Concern
Triple Pundit says a poll showed energy efficiency is American homeowners' top unmet Need.

Net-Zero Projects Rising In Numbers
Daily Commercial News says when the idea of net-zero-energy buildings first surfaced a decade or more ago, many people dismissed the notion as simply a good idea that could never be realized. But the naysayers have been proven wrong.

Dawn Of Building Performance Era
UL online report Dawn Of Building Performance Era says an explosion in the use of sensors and monitors by building owners is making them sensitive to the way their properties are using and managing natural resources. Within 10 years, building crews, owners, scientists and occupants will become increasingly aware that reducing energy and water consumption improves business bottom lines. Free registration required.

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************
Gienow High Performance Windows can serve your specific needs

By choosing Gienow windows that meet ENERGY STAR performance levels, your customers will reduce their energy costs, help protect the environment, and enjoy increased comfort in all seasons. Gienow offers SOL-R® glass that has a transparent coating which acts as a shield from heat and cold, blocks ultra-violet rays, and provides thermal insulation.
8. Building Products & Suppliers

2015 Emerging Tech Trends From International Builders Show
TecHome Builder report describes hot technologies that grabbed attention at the 17th annual International Builders’ Show and how builders are adapting to the smart home evolution. Free registration required.

Matt's Take Aways From 2015 International Builder's Show
Journal of Light Construction describes some new products from the 2015 International Builder's Show including several interesting housewraps, a radical caulk, awesome kitchen hardware, and an interesting take on home automation.

Off-Site Construction Techniques Gaining Momentum
Journal Of Commerce says in a world of high construction costs, labour shortages and environmental concerns, some construction experts are envisioning an industry where the majority of construction work is done off site rather than at a jobsite.

Overview Of Electric Motors
Heating Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine provides a basic overview of the common motors used in the HVAC/R industry.

Direct Exchange Geothermal Heating & Cooling
Plumbing & HVAC magazine says a small but growing group of installers are focusing on direct exchange geothermal, or DX for short.

Differences Between Safety & Relief Valves
Radiant & Hydronics says each boiler requires some sort of pressure-relieving device. They are referred to as either a safety, relief or safety relief valve. While these names are often thought of as interchangeable, there are subtle differences between them.

Recommendations For Snow & Ice On Wood Structural Panels
Engineered Wood Association bulletin Recommendations for Snow and Ice on Wood Structural Panels describes APA recommended guidelines for snow and ice accumulation on wood structural panels. (PDF) Free site registration required.

Nest Learning Thermostat Pays For Itself
Energy Efficiency Markets says studies show that homes with Nest Learning Thermostats save an average of 10 to 12 percent on electric costs and 15 percent on central air conditioning, or $131-$145 per year.

9. Installation Procedures

Roughing Out A Steep Site Before Construction
Journal of Light Construction describes how to transform a steep site.

Heat Loss & Heat Gain Considerations
Heating Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine describes how calculating heat loss and gains is a fundamental exercise required in HVAC before other design sequences can begin.

Concrete Floor Overlay Installation
Concrete Network describes how to install decorative concrete overlay or microtopping for restoring and enhancing worn, damaged or discolored concrete, vinyl tile, or wood flooring.

Setting Kitchen Cabinets
Journal of Light Construction helps cabinet installers deal with out-of-level and out-of-plumb surfaces when setting kitchen cabinets.

How To Heat A Garage
Green Building Advisor explores some low-cost options for keeping an attached garage comfortable for both people and vegetables.

Easy Fix For Clogged Spray-Can Nozzle
Fine Homebuilding online video describes how to clear the clogged nozzle of a spray.

Pressure & Expansion Tanks In Hydronic Heating Systems
Heating Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine describes how the often misunderstood expansion tank protects closed hydronic systems.

Synthetic Stucco Without Failures
Journal of Light Construction describes how to install synthetic, or two-coat stucco, directly to a cementitious or OSB backer board.

10. Information Sources

Canadian Housing Construction Activity Stats By Municipality
CMHC provides data on housing starts, completions, and units under construction by municipality for centres over 10,000, in monthly, quarterly, year-to-date, and annual.

Online Videos On Building A Deck
Fine Homebuilding how-to series of online videos provide step-by-step instructions on how to build a better deck.

Online Videos On Siding Best Practices
Journal of Light Construction online videos describe different best practices for installing siding.

Stained Concrete FAQs
Concrete Network provides answers to common questions about stained concrete benefits, appearance, performance and maintenance.

What You Need To Know About Home Performance
Remodeling magazine online videos offer insights on home performance, providing customers with a healthy, energy-efficient home.

Technical Fact Sheets On Wood
Canadian Wood Council provides a wide range of technical fact sheets on wood properties, design, and proper application.

Wood Design Technical Manuals
Canadian Wood Council sells technical manuals on wood design and engineering.

Comparing Government & Private Sector Compensation In BC
Fraser Institute study Comparing Government & Private Sector Compensation In BC estimates wage differentials between the government and private sector, and evaluates four available non-wage benefits in an attempt to quantify compensation differences between the two.

11. Conferences & Shows

Indoor Environment & Energy Expo
IE3, The Indoor Environment & Energy Expo will be held in Grapevine, Texas, March 16-19. The ACCA 2015 conference and IE3 brings together indoor environment and energy professionals for four days of learning, buying and selling, networking, and fun, all designed to help contractors grow and run successful operations.

Canadian Roofing Industry Conference & Trade Show In Vancouver
Canadian Roofing Contactor’s Association and Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia present RoofTech 2015 in Vancouver, May 5-6. It provides a hands-on educational experience for sourcing new products and networking with industry experts across all aspects of roofing.

12. Education & Training

Buildex: Rise, Fall and Potential Rise of BC’s Home Performance Industry
A little bit of shameless self-promotion, that hopefully will interest a few of you. In Seminar W22, the presentation and panel discussion will share insights from past industry experiences, recent industry research, and new industry-led initiatives currently underway to grow the home performance industry and market opportunities in BC.

BC Manufacturing Reps To Advise Government On Trades Training Needs
BC Industry Training Authority has announced the formation of the Manufacturing Sector Advisory Group, which is tasked with the essential role of advising government and ITA on industry-specific issues that are key to skills training. (PDF)

Construction Project Management
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Project Management (Gold Seal Certified) will be held in Vancouver March 2-3. Participants will gain an understanding of the project processes and constraints encountered by project managers. The course will cover project planning, contract process, risk management, estimating, cost control, scheduling, communications, and post-mortem analysis.

Working With New 9.36 Energy Provisions
Fenestration Association of BC workshop Working with the new 9.36 Energy Provisions: Prescriptive, Trade-off and Performance Path Options for Windows and Doors, will be held in Langley on March 12.

Introduction to Blueprint Reading
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association workshop Introduction to Blueprint Reading will be held in Burnaby on March 18th. Participants will learn how to read a set of construction blueprints and specifications. Using both residential and commercial samples of blueprints, participants will gain experience and practical knowledge for their day-to-day work in construction companies. This course is ideal for those who have little or no background in blueprint reading, and it is Gold Seal certified.

Engineering Essentials For Timber Design
Woodworks workshop Engineering Essentials for Timber Design will be held in Victoria on March 26th and Vancouver on March 27th. It is a multi-leveled workshop for the beginner to the advanced in wood design experience. (PDF)

Free Online Courses
Open Education Database lists free online courses from the world's leading universities. This collection includes over 10,100 free courses.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

15 Best Webinar Software Products
Elegant Themes describes 15 of the best webinar software products from around the Web.

150 Web Internet Search Engines
Phil Bradley has updated his list of 180 search engines, with brief descriptions of what each one specializes in searching.

Planet Earth The Way It Should Be: Kindness Boomerang
What goes around comes around!

Dittie For Today: A Tip

If you really want the last word in an argument, try saying "I guess you're right." - Source unknown

Quick Links

Subscription Info


© Copyright 2015              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional     Valid CSS!