Alert Notice #116
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
June 30, 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 Wilma Leung, Brian Hart, Karen Podolski, Julie Domvile, Joey Fearn, Vanessa Smith, Ryan Coleman, Louise Dunne, Bob Joseph, Connie Howe, Sabine Just, Malinda Armstrong, Mark Fielding and Robbie Schwarz 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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  Indigenous Corporate           Training Inc.

        Free Webinar On Working Effectively with Aboriginal Peoples®

You are invited to a free, one hour webinar on Working Effectively with Aboriginal Peoples® with Bob Joseph, President, of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. Held Friday, July 24th at 10:00 am PDT, It will cover pre-contact & post-contact history, and present the business case for working with Aboriginal Peoples. You will receive hints, tips, suggestions, and answers to your questions that will help you in your work with communities.

Ken's Top Pick

R22 Effective Walls In Wood-Frame Construction In BC
BC Homeowners Protection Office online Illustrated Guide To R22+ Effective Walls in Wood-Frame Construction in BC was developed to assist home designers and builders build walls of low-rise wood-frame residential buildings with R22 or greater thermal performance.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Housing Forecast 2nd Quarter 2015
BC Real Estate Association report Housing Forecast 2nd Quarter 2015 says housing demand across the province this year is expected to produce the highest level of unit sales since 2007. (PDF)

Economic Analysis of British Columbia June 2015
Central 1 report Economic Analysis of British Columbia June 2015 says BC is to be a growth leader for Canada over next three years and low interest rates and energy prices maintain steady consumer spending and housing gains. (PDF)

Mortgage Rate Forecast June 2015
BC Real Estate Association online Mortgage Rate Forecast of June 2015 expects Canadian mortgage rates to be relatively constant in 2015. (PDF)

2015 UDI Development Industry Legends Discuss Trends
UDI online video Legends of BC's development industry features Nat Bosa, Michael Audain, and David Podmore discussing development industry trends and projections.

Canadian Provincial Forecasts
CIBC forecast says the Bank of Canada understandably is counting on a natural sequence of stronger non-energy exports and increased investment to save the day. But the reality is that it will take time for the most meaningful benefits of a more competitive exchange rate to arrive. (PDF)

Many Faces Of Canadian Housing Market
CIBC report The Many Faces of the Canadian Housing Market examines the market in absolute terms as opposed to the popular practice of comparing it to the pre-recession US. The focus is on the characteristics that make the Canadian market unique and multidimensional. (PDF)

House Price Analysis & Assessment For Canada & 12 Markets
CMHC shows results from its House Price Analysis and Assessment framework, which is designed to detect the presence of problematic conditions in Canadian housing markets. Low overall housing market risk is observed for Vancouver, as none of the individual risk factors are currently detected.

May 2015 Housing Now Canada
CMHC online Housing Now Canada May 2015 provides statistics on new home market, housing starts, inventories of new and unabsorbed units, building permits, new housing price index, existing home market, MLS sales and new listings, and more. (PDF)

2. Business Management

Four Points To Customer Navigation
Builder Magazine article describes a prospector's path to a buyer's needs, wants, willingness to sacrifice, and expectations.

Choosing Custom Home Options Online
ConstrucTech article says Benchmark Communities is looking to make choosing residential features simpler in its Northern and Southern California neighborhoods through the use of an online options selection program.

Perfecting The Process Of Home Building
Builder Magazine says achieving Centers of Excellence means focusing on the how, not the what, of home building.

Design-Build The Future Of Your Business
Journal of Light Construction says the design-build process you use on your projects can work for your business as well.

2015 Big 50 Remodeling Winners Share Their Tricks Of The Trade
Remodeling Magazine online video features their Big50 winners sharing their tricks of the trade at the 2015 Remodeling Leadership Conference. They highlighted the power of the Internet and social media in engaging customers, and underlined that attuned employees are the cornerstone to success.

Payroll Information For A New Small Business
Canada Revenue Agency provides online video series describing payroll policies and procedures for a new small business.

7 Strategic Business Numbers You Need To Know
Small Business BC says KPIs are critical across your business, but no more so than in your financials. They are the critical numbers that need to be maintained and measured daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually or on a project-by-project basis, to help you monitor and predict the overall health and efficiency of your overall operations.

Sales Taxes When Doing Business In Another Province
Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses describes which sales taxes apply when selling or buying in other provinces or territories.

3. Building Design & Trends

10 Award-Winning Standouts With Interior Inspiration
Builder Magazine shows 10 Builder's Choice/Custom Home Design Award-winning projects that feature the best of interior design, details, and materials.

8 Key Home Trends & 1 Industry Game Changer
Construction Dive says architecture and planning group KTGY used research and feedback from builders and customers to determine several new home design trends driving today’s market.

5 Spacious Kitchens
Dwell describes five modern kitchens that allocate plenty of room for guests and helpers.

New Gray Products To Look For In 2015
Remodeling magazine says gray is replacing beige as the new favorite neutral.

US Housing & Community Design 2015 Winners
US Housing & Urban Development presents 2015 winners of their HUD Secretary’s Awards For Housing & Community Design.

Explosion In Seniors Demands Housing & Community Adaptations
Urban Land Institute takes a look at the pending, dramatic growth in senior households, both homeowners and renters.

Homeowners Get Ready To Age In Place
Wall Street Journal says baby boomers spend on improvements that will allow them to stay in their houses longer.

2014 Characteristics Of New US Housing
US Department of Census compiles a list on the characteristics of new housing completed in a specific year. The stats provide some interesting insights into what builders feel are the most in-demand features that might interest buyers. (PDF)

115 Years Of American Homes
Imove online interactive timeline illustrates huge construction changes through 115 Years of American Homes, such as the incorporation of electricity and indoor bathrooms, along with small revelations like shag carpet, breakfast nooks and vaulted ceilings.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Simone Sunderland, President, Green Sheet Construction Data says: “I have really been enjoying scanning through your newsletters”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

New Resource Site On BC Building Codes
BC Government provides information on codes, changes, errata & revisions, appeal, bulletins, regulations, publications, and more. Key items include the Building Act, Codes, Other Regulations, Accessibility, Energy Efficiency, Building Code Appeal Board, Safety Standards, Forms & Resources, and Contact Information.

Alternative Solutions For BC Building Officials
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation on Alternative Solutions For Building Officials covers roles & responsibilities, elements of alternative solutions, evaluation techniques, acceptance criteria, peer review, documentation, liability issues, and site work. (PDF)

Vancouver Guidelines For Alternative Solution Peer Reviews
City of Vancouver describes its Guidelines for Alternative Solution Peer Reviews that will generally only be permitted where the City feels that the specialist technical expertise required for a fair and effective evaluation of an Alternative Solution should be provided by independent experts. (PDF)

NAFS Window Standards Enforcement & Compliance Issues In BC
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show summarizes comments received from BOABC members, building officials and window manufacturers regarding enforcement and compliance issues regarding Article of the BC Building Code. (PDF)

BC Public Review Of New Standards For Doors, Windows & Skylights
BC Housing and Construction Standards branch says while fenestration industry associations were heavily involved in developing the model National Building Code and the relevant standards, the industry has found the new regime more challenging than they had anticipated since it came into effect in December 2013. They would like to hear from you before June 25th via online survey.

Selection & Use Of Piping As Per 2012 BC Building Code
Building Officials Association of BC online chart shows how to select piping for various uses as per 2012 BC Building Code. (PDF)

2016 WorkSafe BC Rate Consultation Sessions Around BC
WorkSafe BC is holding rate consultation sessions at various locations around BC throughout July. You can learn more about the 2016 proposed rates for your industry, injury trends in BC, and what you can do to reduce injuries, claim costs, and your insurance rate.

Asbestos Enforcement Initiative
From June 1st to December 31st WorkSafe BC prevention officers will conduct planned inspections of residential demolition and renovation worksites to ensure homeowners, prime contractors, hazardous material survey contractors, asbestos abatement contractors, and consultants are informed and equipped to safely remove asbestos containing materials and are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Chubby Checker & Fat Man Do Permeance
Building Science says vapor permeance needs to be re-thought, as vapor transmission at the exterior of a wall assembly is not always straightforward. We have to worry about how much can get out as well as how much can get in. And things change as thermal resistance goes up and air leakage goes down.

Online Enclosure R-Value Calculator
RDH Building Sciences online R-Value calculator allows you to quickly and accurately calculate the overall effective R-value of a building enclosure.

Clearing The Air
Construction Instruction describes types of air filters and how they can have a lasting effect on indoor air quality for your customers. (PDF)

Investigating Solutions To Wind Washing Issues
US DOE report Investigating Solutions to Wind Washing Issues in Two-Story Florida Homes provides results from a second-phase research study of a phenomenon generally referred to as wind washing. Wind washing is the movement of unconditioned air around or through building thermal barriers in such a way as to diminish or nullify the intended thermal performance. (PDF)

Performance Panels: Concrete Forming
Engineered Wood Association describes features and benefits of Plyform concrete forming panels, designations, and available overlays. Free site registration required.

Building With Ducts In Conditioned Spaces
Earth Advantage Institute online guide Building with Ducts in Conditioned Spaces will help designers, architects, general contractors and sub-contractors work together to install ducts inside the thermal boundary to reduce heating and cooling costs, increase energy efficiency, improve occupant comfort, and if skillfully done to also reduce construction cost. (PDF)

Breathe Easy With Whole-House Ventilation
Construction Instruction says whole-house ventilation systems should be a standard feature in your homes. (PDF)

Quantities In Psychrometrics Chart
Energy Vanguard defines the main psychrometric quantities, and which commonly used terms you should avoid.

6. Building Performance Issues

Advanced Rainscreens
Construction Instruction says new research, code requirements, and material assemblies are driving strategic changes towards rainscreens. (PDF)

How To Fix Discolored Concrete site provides three tips for hiding blotches and streaks or changing a concrete floor colour.

Sound Masking Technology Makes Noise In Multi Family
TecHome Builder says sound-blocking technology used in businesses is being used in multi family dwelling units to reduce sound between units and allow apartment dwellers more peace and quiet.

Radon Gas Is Hiding In Residential Renovations
Canadian Contractor says as a renovator or contractor, you’re often exposed to dangerous chemicals that can cause serious harm to your health, but one of the most serious hidden dangers you may not think of is Radon gas.

De-Mystifying Indoor Air Quality
Construction Instruction describes some causes of IAQ problems and what you can do about it.

Fire In The Woods Or Fire In The Boiler
Science Direct sells the report Fire in the woods or fire in the boiler: Implementing rural district heating to reduce wildfire risks in the forest–urban interface. It gives description of how communities surrounded by forests have an opportunity to combine community wildfire risk abatement with bioenergy development. $36

Last House Standing Online Game
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes online game Last House Standing makes the case for resilient construction to the next generation of homeowners and homebuilders, that how and where you build are fundamental for disaster survival.

Transitions Between Non-Combustible & Combustible Piping
Building Officials Association online slide show presentation on reaching a consensus on transitions between noncombustible and combustible piping covers introduction, transitions, building types & requirements, firestopping, and interpretations. (PDF)

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

How To Sell Zero Net Energy Homes
Builder Magazine says builders of energy-efficient homes should use words that appeal to consumers, not turn them off.

Net Zero Row Houses In Alberta
CHBA Net Zero Housing Council online slide show presentation describes a net zero row house project in Alberta. (PDF)

Goldman Sachs Is Our Best Bet Against Climate Change
Green Building Advisor says although it's not everyone's first choice as a White Knight, the financial giant can help transform the renewables market.

Strategies To Achieve Low-Energy, Multi-Unit Residential Building Designs In Canada
CMHC research Energy Simulations of Strategies to Achieve Low-Energy, Multi-Unit Residential Building Designs in Different Regions of Canada assessed the insulation, glass and metal wall assemblies, airtightness and building systems characteristics for a selected multi-unit residential building to achieve very low levels of space heating energy consumption in cities across Canada. The study illustrates the extent to which the design of multi-unit residential buildings would have to be improved to reach a very high level of energy performance. (PDF)

LEED Certification Ups Condo Resale Prices
REMI Network says LEED certification boosts the resale price of a Toronto condo anywhere from five to 14 per cent, according to a special TD Economics report released May 12. The report also found that the green building status had a mixed impact on a unit's monthly maintenance fees and the number of days a unit sits on the market before selling.

2015 Caring For The Metro Vancouver Air
Metro Vancouver report 2015 Caring for the Air is an annual publication that provides information about air quality and climate change issues in the region, as well as programs that protect public health and the environment, improve visual air quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (PDF)

Does Canada Have An Economic & Environmental Carbon Bubble?
Business Council of BC online slide show presentation Does Canada have an Economic and Environmental Carbon Bubble includes a review of the top global oil producers, Canada's place as an energy exporter, global energy consumption trends, energy transitions and some implications of lower fossil fuel prices. (PDF)

Webinar On Taking Action On Chemicals Of Concern
Living Future webinar You Are What You Breathe: Taking Action on Chemicals of Concern will be held on July 23rd. It provides a primer on chemicals of concern in the built environment, an overview of the tools that are driving the development of healthier building materials and a contrast of the approaches of Living Building Challenge, LEED and Green Globes to this issue.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

A Still Moderate Core For US & Canadian Construction Material Costs
CMD Group describes history and recent performances of construction material costs in both the US and Canada.

History & Future Of Fenestration
Building Research Information Knowledgebase online slide show presentation History and Future of Fenestration discusses a new vision for window performance, centered on Net Zero Energy Fenestration and the Transparent Intelligent Facade and discusses future technologies including dynamic fenestration, highly insulating dynamic fenestration, and dynamic fenestration with integrated facades. (PDF)

Tools Keep Evolving
Home Builder Canada says whether you're removing deck boards or measuring a floor plan with your smartphone, these manufacturers have designed products to make your workday easier.

Hybrid Ductless Heat Pumps For High Performance Electric Homes
US Department of Energy online slide show from their webinar New Construction Hybrid-Ductless Heat Pump Study focuses on the use of ductless heat pumps as a hybrid all-electric heating system in new high-performance homes. In a DHP/hybrid heating system, the DHP fan coil is located in the main living area in combination with electric resistance zone heaters located in the bedroom zones. (PDF)

Guidelines For Concrete Placement Planning, Field Testing, Sample Collection
BC Ready Mixed Concrete Association online Best Practice Guidelines for Concrete Placement Planning, Field Testing, and Sample Collection is a planning tool for field testing and sample collection of Portland cement concrete. (PDF)

Packaging The TecHome With Good, Better, Best
TecHome Builder says building the TecHome means making decisions about what to offer customers and how to offer it.

Modular Apartments Offer Modern Solutions
REMI says modular apartment construction is an emerging technology that's gaining traction in cities across North America.

State Of Kitchen & Bath Industry Report
National Kitchen & Bath Association sells its State of the Industry Report, providing strategic insights into kitchen and bath business. $500

9. Installation Procedures

Hot Weather Concreting
Concrete Network provides an overview of hot weather concrete placement, with tips on mix design, handling, and finishing.

Installing Craftsman Porch Columns
Journal of Light Construction describes how to trim out a front porch using modern techniques to achieve an old-school aesthetic of craftsman columns.

Air Sealing Around Window & Door Rough Openings
Building America online video describes how to air seal around window and door rough openings.

Painting Steel Roofing
Journal of Light Construction says painting the cut edges of steel roofing wouldn't be a bad idea.

Analyzing Design Heating Loads In Superinsulated Buildings
US Department of Energy report Analyzing Design Heating Loads in Superinsulated Buildings shows that heat lass manual MJ8 significantly oversizes heating systems for superinsulated homes and that thermal inertia and internal gains should be considered for more accurate load calculations. (PDF)

Integrated Heating & DHW With Tankless Gas Or Electric
Building America Solution Center describes features, benefits, issues and considerations for design and installation of integrated heating and hot water with tankless gas or electric water heating.

Structural Welding Requirements & Building Officials
Building Officials Association Of BC online slide show on Structural Welding Requirements & The Building Official covers What Makes a Good Weld , What the CWB is, Structural Steel Requirements, CWB Certification, Pre Engineered Building Requirements, A660 Certification, How to verify Certification, and Common Questions. (PDF)

Managing Renewals Projects In Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
Homeowner Protection Office online guide Managing Renewals Projects in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings will assist owners, strata councils and co-op housing managers to understand the benefits of developing a comprehensive renewals program to maintain the physical integrity and appearance of their building.

10. Information Sources

BC New Home Statistics
Homeowner Protection Office of BC provides online statistics for the new homes including Registered New Homes, Licences Issued & Renewed, and Warranty Insurance Claims.

Purchasable Book On The Elements Of Building
Fine Homebuilding recommends the new book The Elements Of Building that talks turkey to remodelers and small homebuilders about the business of building. $37 USD

100 Breathtaking Buildings That Represent The Future Of Architecture
Architectural Institute of BC online video presentation by Marc Kushner provides examples of where you’ll be living soon, from glass tree houses to inflatable buildings.

Resource Site On Field Test Best Practices
US National Renewable Energy Laboratory resource site Field Test Best Practices is a dynamic tool for collecting, documenting, and sharing best practices for field experiments and long-term monitoring of residential building systems.

BC Resource Site On Radon
RadonAware, a website operated by the BC Lung Association, provides information and resources on radon risks, considerations, and solutions.

Stock Glulam Resources
Engineered Wood Association offers an online resource kit on stock glulam beams, providing information and case studies that inform end-users on non-custom glulam beams and showcase the material’s capabilities.

Literature & Case Studies Of Jurisdictions That Permit Secondary Suites
CMHC report Literature Review and Case Studies of Local Jurisdictions that Permit Secondary Suites documents approaches used successfully by local governments across Canada to allow or encourage the creation of secondary suites in residential areas. (PDF)

Updated Privacy Guidance For Stratas
BC Information and Privacy Commissioner has released an updated version of Privacy Guidelines for Strata Corporations and Strata Agents. It clarifies how personal information should be treated when strata corporations receive requests for correspondence related to a complaint. (PDF)

11. Conferences & Shows

BC Safety Authority Open House & BBQ In Victoria
BC Safety Authority is holding an open house and BBQ at their Victoria office on July 10th. You can connect with your local safety officers and client service representatives, while you enjoy lunch and learn about what's new at BC Safety Authority.

BC Building Envelope Conference In Vancouver
BC Building Envelope Council 2015 conference Building Fundamentals, Put Into Practice will be held in Vancouver on September 23rd. It will examine how fundamentals in the building envelope industry are put into practice. Industry professionals will explore new and existing technologies, the legislated Building Act and case studies from a range of areas, including building energy requirements, below grade construction, spray foam insulation and the living building challenge.

Interior Design Show West: Consumer & Trade Show In Vancouver
Interior Design Show West, held in Vancouver September 24-27, invites design enthusiasts to experience what’s new in the world of design, to learn from the wealth of creative talent, and to see inspirational exhibits, influential speakers & leading products in the world of design.

Canadian National Design-Build Conference
Canadian Design-Build Institute presents their 2015 CDBI National Design-Build Conference in Toronto, October 14-16.

12. Education & Training

Building Science For New Homes
CHBA Okanagan course Building Science For New Homes will be held in Kelowna, July 13-14. It provides an overview of building science issues and sound business practices. It is required to become a certified R-2000 or Energy Star builder, and the suggested course for participating in the EnerGuide for New Homes and Built Green programs.

Construction Estimating
ICBA course on Construction Estimating will be held in Burnaby July 20-21. Participants will learn skills and knowledge to estimate construction projects and prepare a successful bid. It is designed for construction estimators and those with experience in construction that desire to be estimators or improve their knowledge of estimating, and is Gold Seal certified.

BC Industry Sector Advisory Groups Formed To Advise On Trades Training
Industry Training Authority has formed eleven Sector Advisory Groups to represent significant trade sectors in British Columbia. These have the essential role of advising government and ITA on industry-specific needs that are important to skills training in the province. (PDF)

Online Video Course On Installing & Trimming Doors
Taunton online video workshop Installing and Trimming Doors covers strategies and techniques for mastering the art of door hanging. From typical pre-hung doors to twin, oversized, and pocket doors, it shows steps to achieving perfectly fitting doors that swing true whether they are hollow-core or solid, typical height or 8-foot tall.

Online Course On ASHRAE 62.2 Ventilation For Single-Family Dwellings
HeatSpring online course ASHRAE 62.2 Ventilation for Single-Family Dwellings covers Where ASHRAE 62.2 is headed, how to calculate ventilation requirements, how to optimize equipment selection, and valuable tools and calculators are included.

Your Path To Landscape Architecture
American Society of Landscape Architects offers career information including Is Landscape Architecture Right For Me, What Does A Landscape Architect Do, Why Is Their Work So Important, Where Can I Study, How Do I Learn More, and Diverse Voices.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Boost Your WiFi Signal
Bob Rankin provides 10 tips for a better WiFi signal.

4 Greatest Online Collaboration & Project Management Tools
Small Business Trends article says be it a small team working on a single project or scheduling a large group of projects, these affordable solutions provide leeway to businesses of all sizes to keep their projects on track.

Swat It
Just swat it. Bet you can't stop after 10 seconds!

Dittie For Today: On Motivation

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, but a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

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© Copyright 2015              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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