Alert Notice #115
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
June 2, 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

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My thanks to Brian Hart, Les Scott, Zena Caul, Diana Douglas, Wilma Leung, Ed Hudson, Karen Podolski, Joey Fearn, Connie Howe, Brad Liljequist, Julie Domvile, Ines Pfister, Glenn Duxbury and Michael Bannett 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

Resource Site On Building Science & Technology
Construction Instruction is an industry resource site with information on building science and technology that offers best practices, videos, animated details, articles and more.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Free Webinar On Long Term BC Housing Demand To 2041
BC Real Estate Association has produced estimates of new construction activity by housing type to the year 2041. This free webinar on June 25th with Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist, discusses the long term drivers of housing demand in Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna and the province.

Pacific State Of The Market Report Q1-2015
Urban Development Institute (UDI) Pacific’s State of the Market report Q1-2015 provides up to date statistics and trends on the new home and re-sale housing markets as well as the amalgamation of relevant economic statistics that impact the housing market to keep industry members well informed on the current state of the market. (PDF)

Housing Market Outlook BC 2nd Quarter 2015
CMHC Second Quarter 2015 BC Housing Market Outlook Report says housing starts in BC are forecast to range between 26,400 and 29,800 units this year, rising to 26,100 to 30,500 units in 2016. (PDF)

Bob Rennie UDI Address
UDI provides online video featuring Bob Rennie giving his annual address to the UDI membership on May 22, 2015.

What Millennials Want: Knowledge Is Power
Builder Magazine says as millennials start to enter the housing market, builders need to know what their youngest consumers want in a new home.

New Reality Of Population & Dwelling Patterns In Toronto & Vancouver
Neptis Foundation report Growing Pains: Understanding the new reality of population and dwelling patterns in the Toronto and Vancouver regions says while densification in Greater Vancouver has provoked anxiety and even backlash from some of the region's residents, it's a model for good development that other Canadian cities should follow.

BC Builder Licensing & New Home Enrollment Statistics
BC Homeowner Protection Office summarizes the latest statistics on the number of licenses issued and the number of new homes enrolled in home warranty insurance.

Exploring Best Practices & Lessons Learned With Small Market Units
BC Housing report Research Study Exploring Best Practices and Lessons Learned with Small Market Units looked into small market housing experiences in BC and in other jurisdictions. It aimed to learn what is working well and what is not working as well with small market housing development, and how future development can be informed by this insight. (PDF)

2. Business Management

5 Tips For Model Homes & Design Centers
Builder magazine describes five tips and tricks for your model homes and design centers that will improve buyer satisfaction and help boost home sales.

Canadian Home Buyer Preference National Study Released
Canadian Home Builders Association says results of an inaugural survey of recent new home buyers across Canada, conducted by CHBA in partnership with Avid Ratings Canada, were released this week illuminating the nationwide trends in current home buyer preferences. The detailed report contains comparisons by seven customer segments.

Maximize Your Social Media Outreach
Builder Magazine offers some tips for using social media to get your message out, and some mistakes to avoid.

2015 Federal Budget Highlights For Homebuilding Industry
Canadian Home Builders Association provides their analysis and commentary on key areas of the 2015 Federal Budget that are of interest to our industry.

Tax Relief For Small Businesses In Federal Budget
Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says the 2015 federal budget reduces the small business corporate tax rate from 11% to 9% over the next four years.

Economic Growth & Tighter Labour Markets In BC
Business Council of BC reviews current population projections for BC, shining a spotlight on a few key demographic variables. The findings underscore the steady aging of the population, that immigration plays a significant role in the changing demographic landscape, and that Immigration can help temper the pace but not reverse the reality of population aging.

Labour Market Assessments For Residential Construction Industry 2015-2024
BuildForce Canada’s first annual Labour Market Assessments for the Residential Construction Industry 2015-2024 report shows that renovation and maintenance work will rise steadily as the housing stock ages. With modest growth overall in new housing construction, including declines in some regions, demand for residential construction workers will continue to shift to the renovation sector. (PDF)

BC Builders Lien Act Reform Getting Underway
Journal Of Commerce says BC Law Institute has been tasked with improving the province's Builder's Lien Act that experts say is overdue for updates.

3. Building Design & Trends

Vancouver Island Building Excellence Award Winners
Vancouver Island Building Excellence Awards list their 2015 finalists and winners.

2015 HOUSES Award Winners
Fine Homebuilding describes the winners of their 2015 HOUSES Awards. Each embodies in its own way the values of Fine Homebuilding, including smart design, top craftsmanship, quality construction, and respect for the human and natural environment.

9 Best Ways To Utilize Small Lots
Builder Magazine describes some small-lot and urban infill developments and floor plans that showcase the best ways to make the most of a smaller space.

Top Outdoor Patio Trends for 2015
Zillow describes some hot looks for outdoor spaces that will make you want to linger long after the sun goes down.

5 New Home Trends For 2015
Fortune magazine describes five things happening on the front lines of home design today based on a tour of the season’s trade shows.

16 Modern Bathrooms
Dwell article shows how modern design moves, from creative tile to freestanding tubs, define these 16 sleek bathrooms.

Top 10 Tile Design Ideas For A Modern Bathroom
Trendir describes 10 modern tile design ideas for bathrooms that are trending right now.

Baby Boomer Housing Must-Haves
Multi Family Executive magazine say while blanket statements are impossible for this generation, there are a few common threads that appeal to most of the demographic.

International Examples of Affordable Homeownership
BC Housing International Examples of Affordable Homeownership report looks at three case studies including Shared Ownership Plus, Rent to Buy, and Support for Mortgage Interest. (PDF)

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Ryan Coleman, Founder & CEO of Ecolighten Energy Solutions says: “Great stuff Ken. Always good content and informative!”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Code Interpretation For I-Joists As Air Ducts
Building Officials Association of BC provides an interpretation of BC code requirements for I-Joists and materials in air duct and plenum systems. (PDF)

Fast Tracking Building Permits In Surrey
Canadian Contractor says normally, the City of Surrey takes 4-6 weeks to process a permit. But if contractors join their Registered Builder program, permits can be issued within 10 days.

2015 Guideline Updates Of Changes To WorkSafe BC OHS Regulation
WorkSafe BC shows 2015 new and updated guidelines for the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and Workers Compensation Act.

Changes To Occupational Health & Safety Policies
WorkSafe BC describes two new OHS policies regarding employer incident investigations, and stop work orders policy.

BC Safety Authority State Of Safety Report 2014
Online BC Safety Authority State of Safety Report 2014 provides a summary of the outcomes of inspections, assessments and investigations carried out by BC Safety Authority safety officers for all technologies overseen by BCSA. It describes distribution and characteristics of incidents that occurred in 2014 and outlines activities conducted to prevent additional incidents or mitigate consequences of future incidents. In addition, it identifies areas where safety can be improved.

How Big Is The Underground Economy?
Business Council of BC says Statistics Canada recently published new estimates of the size and composition of the underground economy. According to the agency, hidden economic activity amounted to some $42 billion in 2012, equal to 2.3% of Canada’s gross domestic product.

Wood Mid-Rise In BC Case Study
Naturally Wood online Mid-Rise Wood-frame Residential Construction In B.C. Case Study says since the BC code change, five- and six-storey wood-frame buildings have proven popular among developers, architects and contractors, who see them as a way to increase density at lower cost while reducing environmental impact. In less than five years, the number of mid-rise projects planned, underway or completed has risen to more than 150. (PDF)

Resource Site On WHMIS 2015
WorkSafe BC provides information on WHMIS 2015 and WHMIS 1988. This resource site covers introduction, classification, symbols and labels, MSDSs, legislation, education and training, trade secrets, FAQs, regulation and guidelines, BC WHMIS services providers, and links to other sites with WHMIS resources.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Vitruvius Does Veneers, Drilling Into Cavities
Building Science report says it is instructive to look at the evolution of walls from a water management perspective, so at to decide what the airspace or air gap should be behind a cladding and what the venting geometry should be behind a cladding.

R-Value Changes With Temperature
Construction Instruction technical article describes the difference between two seemingly similar loose fill attic insulations and how their R values vary depending on how cold the attic is, and the interior house temperature.

The Case For Continuous Exterior Foam Insulation
Green Building Advisor blog post says building codes now recognize the increasing use of exterior rigid foam insulation.

Good, Better, Best Weather Barriers
Journal of Light Construction article describes how to choose the right water resistive barrier and use it with a rainscreen.

Understanding The Psychrometrics Chart
Energy Vanguard says the psychrometric chart, in all its many manifestations and with its multitudinous quantities, is a thing of beauty.

Understanding Air Tightness Measurement Metrics
Construction Instruction describes the three preferred metrics used for measuring air tightness of a building: CFM @ 50 Pa; ACH @ 50 Pa; ELA @ 10Pa.

Roof Membrane Substrates
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation describes options, issues and considerations for roof membrane substrates and their impact on roof performance. (PDF)

Materials & Assemblies For Ventilated Building Envelopes In Warm Climates
BEST4 Conference paper Cool Skins: Materials and Assemblies for Ventilated Building Envelopes in Warm Climates presents a new phase of inquiry that further characterizes the thermal behavior of ventilated building skins, with special emphasis on the role of radiation, cladding equilibrium temperature, and behavior of the cladding as an assembly with continuous external insulation. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Problem With Open HVAC Filter Racks
David R Blog says open filter racks are installed to allow for easy filter access by exposing an inch or so of the filter. The problem with this installation technique is it creates a large return duct leak in most systems and can be quite restrictive to airflow.

Sealing A Garage Floor From Oil
Journal of Light Construction describes how to guard against oil stains on a garage floor.

Understanding Indoor Condensation In Your Home
American Architectural Manufacturers Association site helps homeowners understand why and how indoor condensation develops on residential windows and what can be done to mitigate it.

Moisture Control In A Home
US Department of Energy describes issues and considerations for controlling moisture in your home, along with links to more information.

Moisture Performance Of Wood For Durable Design & Construction
Woodworks online slide show presentation Understanding Moisture Performance of Wood: Introduction to Durable Design and Construction discusses wood’s response to relative humidity and liquid water, providing means to address decay and insect concerns, and reduce the potential for in-service shrinkage and swelling. (PDF)

Combustion Safety Testing For Natural Draft Appliances
US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Measure Guideline: Combustion Safety for Natural Draft Appliances Using Indoor Air provides guidance on combustion safety inspection procedures for appliances and heating equipment that use indoor air for combustion and dilution of flue gases in low-rise residential buildings. (PDF)

Thermal Bridging Impacts & Improvement
Building Research Information Knowledgebase report Thermal Bridging: Observed Impacts and Proposed Improvement for Common Conditions seeks to quantify the effects of thermal bridging in commercial facades and then propose alternative solutions to improve performance. (PDF)

Gas & Electrical Equipment Safety In Wildfires
BC Safety Authority reminds homeowners and businesses to take precautions with gas and electrical appliances if fire, evacuation, or loss of power due to fire is expected.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Cost/Benefit Analysis Of A BC High Performance Home
CHBA Net Zero Energy Housing Council online slide show presentation by Insightful Healthy Homes offers a case study on design, construction and cost/benefit analysis of the BC Zen House, a high performance home. (PDF)

Is Passivhaus Right For Cold Canadian Climate?
Green Building Advisor says an owner-builder runs the numbers and wonders whether the strict requirements of the Passivhaus standard make sense for his new house in Saskatchewan.

Habitat Studio NetZero Energy Houses In Ontario
CHBA Net Zero Housing Council online slide show presentation describes various Habitat Studio net zero energy houses in Ontario. (PDF)

Nest Thermostat Operational Data Unveiled
Energy Vanguard blog post summarizes some Nest thermostat data that helps us understand how homes really work.

Is Tesla's Powerwall The Next Big Thing In New Homes?
Construction Dive says homebuilders might one day offer Tesla’s new Powerwall as part of an energy-efficiency package that includes rooftop solar panels and promises to slash a new homeowner’s electricity bills.

Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity
Canadian Hydropower Association, the Canadian Solar Industries Association, the Canadian Wind Energy Association and Marine Renewables Canada have announced the establishment of the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity in the hopes of bringing their different sectors together under one banner.

BC Names Climate Leadership Team
Premier Christy Clark has announced the team providing government with expert advice and recommendations for developing a new BC climate action plan.

What Works For Motivating People To Act On Climate Change
Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions report describes what works and what doesn’t for engaging the public and motivating people to act on climate change solutions. (PDF)

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

New Tools From National Hardware Show
Fine Homebuilding describes some new tools they found at the National Hardware Show.

Tool Test Of 18-Volt Cordless Hammer Drill-Drivers
Tools of the Trade test of 18-volt cordless hammer drill-drivers shows that stronger than ever before, the best of these heavy-duty tools can replace a corded 1/2-inch drill for tough tasks.

How To Clean A Paint Brush
Fine Homebuilding describes how to give a high-quality paint brush a proper cleaning to maintain it for optimal performance.

How To Clean Out Your Air Conditioner Condensate Line
Energy Vanguard describes how to clean out your air conditioner condensate line.

Preservative Treated Wood Use & Specification
Woodworks online slide show presentation Preservative Treated Wood Use & Specification describes how to specify pressure treated wood products, where pressure treated wood is required under the building code, Western Wood Preservers Institute Best Management Practices, and more. (PDF)

Stamped Concrete Costs & Pricing Considerations
Concrete Network says the initial cost to install stamped concrete can vary widely, depending on the prices for materials and labor in your local market and the complexity of the job.

Resource Site On Glulam Beams
Engineered Wood Association site covers glulam header and floor beam concepts and applications from residential construction to large commercial projects.

Summary Of 2015 TecHome Builder Summit
TecHome Builder online summary of their 2015 TecHome Builder Summit provides highlights from executives from top US building companies who attended and more than 60 brands of the industry's leading tech providers. (PDF)

9. Installation Procedures

Window Flashing Technique
Construction Instruction article and animation focuses on the installation of a flashing system that relies primarily on the two layers of metal flashing above the window to effectively catch and drain or redirect water away from and out of the assembly.

Installing Interior PVC Trim
Journal of Light Construction describes a good trim option for damp interior applications.

Take Static Pressure Readings One Step Further
David R Blog describes how to use static pressure measurements to determine potential issues on the airside of an HVAC system.

Combustion Appliance Zone Testing
Building America Solution Center describes procedures and considerations for combustion appliance zone testing.

Trouble-Free Paint Performance
Journal of Light Construction says in many cases, paint problems stem from what the carpenters do before the painters even show up on site.

Simple Door Sweep
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to make a simple door sweep.

Design Matters For Smart Homes
TecHome Builder article provides three steps you can take to ensure proper technology design on your new projects.

Re-Glazing Of All Glass Curtain Wall Buildings
RDH Building Engineering report Re-Glazing of All Glass Curtain Wall Buildings describes a re-glazing project that was completed on an all glass mixed use multi-unit residential building over a luxury hotel, which was fully occupied during the process. Lessons learned will be relevant to glazing designers and specifiers, architects, engineers, glazing contractors and construction managers. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

Podcasts For Construction Industry
AEC Daily offers Online Learning Courses as podcast downloads. Podcast courses are free, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All courses are AIA-certified, and many are recognized by a variety of other leading authorities including Construction Specifications Institute, AIBC, AIBD, BOMI, IDCEC, NKBA and more.

Building Industry Podcasts
Pro Construction Guide provides podcasts of interviews of construction, remodeling, and maintenance pros, as well as info from tool and product manufacturers.

New Kitchen & Bath Lighting Book
The National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced the release of a brand new volume in its Professional Resource Library Kitchen & Bath Lighting: Concepts, Design, Light.

International Window Film Association
International Window Film Association is a unified industry body of window film dealers, distributors, and manufactures that facilitates the growth of the window film industry by providing unbiased research, influencing policy and promoting awareness of window film.

27 Must-Do's For Working Effectively With Aboriginal Peoples
Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. provides free ebook which is a resource for anyone looking to work with Aboriginal Peoples including: the Indian or First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. Some industry registration info required.

Purchasable Energy Systems Analysis & Management Manual
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association sells their Energy Systems Analysis and Management Manual. It provides an overview of a variety of energy-related business opportunities for commercial, residential, and institutional buildings and presents contractors, building owners and operators, facility managers, and system designers with the tools needed to evaluate an existing facility for energy savings potential. It addresses both new construction and retrofits and includes energy conservation management, the energy audit and energy estimating procedures, HVAC system maintenance and indoor air quality, energy management maintenance and monitoring, energy recovery systems and energy recovery system investment analysis. $147 USD

Video On Managing Environmental Risks During Renovation
BC Home Owner Protection Office online video Managing Environmental Risks During a Renovation Project covers the most common environmental risks that contractors, tradespeople and building occupants may be exposed to during the renovation or repair of an existing building.

Insights Into Canadian Mortgage Consumers
CMHC online 2015 Mortgage Consumer Survey shows a majority of mortgage renewers renewed before the scheduled date to avoid a perceived increase in rates, renewers are taking action to pay off their mortgage sooner, homebuyers are two times more likely to use the services of a broker than are homeowners, and mortgage broker market share is trending upwards for most market segments.

11. Conferences & Shows

UBC Construction Industry Innovations Symposium
BC Construction Roundtable says the 2015 CSCE International Construction Specialty Conference will join members of the local construction industry for the Industry Innovations Symposium, on June 9th in Vancouver. Industry leaders will discuss some of the region's most innovative projects and global experts will present emerging trends and technologies in sustainable buildings and infrastructure.

BC Electrical & Mechanical Trade Expo
British Columbia Electrical Association and Mechanical Contractors Association of BC are holding a Trade Expo in Kelowna on June 17th.

Annual Meeting & Conference For Canadian HVAC Industry
Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada annual industry meetings and conference will be held in Windsor, August 26-28.

Modern Hydronics Summit
Modern Hydronics Summit will be held in Toronto on September 10th. The conference and trade show is dedicated to the hydronics market, with demonstrations of latest technologies, informative speakers, networking reception and dinner.

12. Education & Training

Vancouver Lunch With The Legends
UDI luncheon on June 11th features Nat Bosa, Michael Audain and David Podmore, three esteemed gentlemen who pioneered Vancouver's real estate development industry.

Long Term Performance Of Vacuum Insulation Panels
BC Building Envelope Council luncheon presentation Service-Life Performance of Vacuum Insulation Panels in Building Envelope Construction will be held in Vancouver on June 18th. It will outline the issues related to the long-term thermal-resistance of VIPs, present observations from field and laboratory studies, and summarize global initiatives to address this question.

Quality Floor Slab Construction
ICBA seminar Quality Floor Slab Construction, held in Burnaby on July 14th, will provide best practices for the construction of quality concrete floor slabs, as well as practical tips to minimize defects and deliver good quality workmanship.

Online Course On Introduction To Construction Estimating
BuildForce Canada online training course will provide learners with skills and knowledge related to estimating practices, and help them understand the importance of estimates as one of the key first steps in any construction job.

Free Online Course On WHMIS (After GHS) For Workers
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety is offering individuals a free online training session on changes to WHMIS after its alignment with GHS, an internationally consistent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information through labels and safety data sheets.

Professional Technologist Will Recognize & Better Utilize Skills
Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC has announced that Professional Technologist (PTech) will be implemented in BC before the end of 2015. Regulatory bodies and Governments at all levels will look to PTech as a professional credential for work and services requiring an ASTTBC member with an advanced level of technical and professional competency. (PDF)

New Construction Craft Worker Program To Help Aboriginal People
Industry Training Authority of BC says the New Construction Craft Worker program will help Aboriginal People enter skilled trades.

ITA 2015/16-2017/18 Service Plan
BC Industry Training Authority outlines its 2015/16-2017/18 Service Plan. (PDF)

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

13 Reasons Your PC Is Slow
PC Pitstop describes how to fix 13 of the most common reasons your computer is so slow.

80 Twitter Tools For Almost Everything
Hongkiat says there is an abundance of tools, both free and paid, out there that can help you do things like sort your followers, tell you when it is best to tweet (for higher exposure), find out who unfollowed you and more.

Dancing Super Video
Here's some good energy for ya'. Who says the world is falling apart?

Dittie For Today: On Commitment

Never grow a wishbone...where your backbone ought to be. - Clementine Paddleford

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© Copyright 2015              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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