Alert Notice #118
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
August 11, 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, John Nicol, Sabine Just, Ellen Scobie, Julie Domvile, John Maus, Karen Podolski, Jenifer Christenson, Melissa Broadus, Helen Goodland, Jessica Stokes, Nancy Franco, Mani Singh, Louise Dunne, Christine Cunnick and Sam Yuan 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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Receive E-mail Notifications Of BC Building Code Revisions
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1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

New Homes & Red Tape In Lower Mainland
Fraser Institute study New Homes and Red Tape: Residential Land-Use Regulation in BC's Lower Mainland compares and ranks jurisdictions across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley on several categories of red tape (construction approval times, timeline uncertainty, regulatory costs and fees, rezoning prevalence and the effect council and community groups have on development) based on the experiences and opinions of industry professionals.

Vancouver's Could-Be Micro-Condo Boom
Building Magazine asks if an antidote to Vancouver's housing affordability crisis is being held back by city planners.

BC Market Implications Of Foreign Buyers
BC Real Estate Association report Market Implications Of Foreign Buyers says there are data and analyses from a number of sources that point to foreign investment as insufficient to impact a market as large and diverse as Metro Vancouver, save for a small segment of luxury homes. In addition, significant upward pressure on single detached home values is largely driven by land scarcity and densification policies in the metro region. (PDF)

BC Economic Review & Outlook Mid-Year Report
Business Council of British Columbia says against the backdrop of a choppy and risk-prone global economy and decelerating growth here in Canada, British Columbia is holding its own.

BC Economic Briefing August 2015
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Economic Briefing of August 7th says the labour market paused in July with no growth in employment and a slight uptick in the unemployment rate. (PDF)

BC Construction Innovation Strategy Survey
BC Construction Association's online survey asks you for you input into innovation in the BC construction business, along with a strategy and action plan to help companies large and small benefit from innovation thinking.

Rumours Of Lunacy In Hot Canadian Markets
Canadian Mortgage Trends says in most of Canada, housing markets have been far from hot. Toronto and Vancouver are seeing rapid price growth, but in those two cases, lack of supply is the issue, not mortgage lending.

NIMBY Obstruction & The Density Paradox
Planetizen says a large part of what motivates NIMBYs is a concern for personal mobility. Missing in the discourse about density is the relationship between perceived density and transportation systems. Solutions begin with synchronizing urban design with transportation planning.

2. Business Management

Difference Between Leaders & Managers
Builder Magazine describes how a leader inspires and motivates others to achieve greater potential, and a manager handles, maintains, and supervises the completion of tasks.

New Technology Options Save Time & Frustration
Construction Dive sees a greater use of apps by mobile construction crews whose work takes them into the field and away from traditional computers.

Practice Makes Process
Builder Magazine asks if the big benefit of home builders workflow improvement is better margins or increased velocity.

Lennar Calls $1.1B Multifamily Building Equity Fund A Game Changer
Construction Dive news report says the Lennar $1.1B multifamily building equity fund will allow the big builder to keep apartment and condo complexes in its portfolio after they are rented, creating a new revenue stream.

Residential Construction Site Safety Best Practices Guide
CHBA Calgary online Residential Construction Site Safety Best Practices Guide aims to reduce the number of job site accidents and serve as a tool for builders, renovators and suppliers. It addresses common issues regarding residential construction for both established neighbourhoods and new developments. (PDF)

6 Ways To Retain Your Top Talent
Remodeling magazine says you can keep your best employees with promotions, visibility, and a little appreciation now and then.

8 Tips For Interviewing First Nation Candidates
Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. site provides some tips on how to successfully engage First Nation job candidates.

What' s Wrong With Alberta Increasing Minimum Wage?
Fraser Institute says as the NDP government in Alberta has indicated that it will aggressively increase the province’s minimum wage from $10.20 to $15 per hour over the next three years, ignoring experience and pursuing policies based on good intentions and ideology will not solve the province’s pressing problems.

3. Building Design & Trends

2016 BC Georgie Awards Call For Entries
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC invites all CHBA BC member companies involved in the residential building industry to participate in the 2016 Georgie Awards.

Top 10 Trends From 2015 Houzz & Home Report
Houzz fourth annual Houzz and Home Report offers useful facts and data on renovation, custom building and decorating trends.

Model Home Of Future Will Be Computer Generated
Fast Company says virtual technology has continued to improve, becoming increasingly capable of creating spaces that look uncannily like reality. Now, architects and designers may be able to harness those capabilities to create high-fidelity computer-generated model homes or interior spaces that clients can tour without ever leaving home.

Standout Starter Home Plans To Entice First-Timers
Builder Magazine describes five entry level homes that provide a bit more than the basics.

17 Top Kitchen Design Trends
HGTV shows 17 trends that will bring your kitchen into the 21st century without breaking the bank.

Larger, More Accessible Homes In Demand For Aging-In-Place
American Institute of Architects recent Home Design Trends Survey shows homeowners are increasingly seeking more square footage while simultaneously looking for more accessibility inside and outside of the home.

Casitas Aim To Accommodate Aging In Place
TecHome Builder says these casitas, small guest homes, can be attached to the main home to accommodate aging in place with grace.

Canadian Condominium Features & Statistics
CMHC online Canadian Housing Observer describes condominiums features, pros & cons, and a wide range of statistics on types, occupancy, market share, and more. (PDF)

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Hugh Statham, President, Specialty Contracting, says: “Your website is quite a project. It's good reading”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Q&A Videos On New BC Enhanced Licensing System
BC Homeowner Protection Office online Q&A videos describe key elements of the new Enhanced Licensing System for builders.

No Change In WorkSafeBC 2016 Average Premiums
Business Council of BC says WorkSafe BC recently announced that the average base premium rate in 2016 will be unchanged from 2015, continuing the pattern from last year. The average rate charged to employers is being set at $1.70 per $100 of assessed payroll, exactly the same as in 2015. (PDF)

Consultation On Proposed Changes To OHS Regulations
WorkSafe BC is inviting input into proposed occupational health and safety policy changes, and public hearings on proposed regulation changes including OHS Citations, Employer Incident Investigations, OHS Compliance Agreements, and Stop Work Orders.

BC Gas Contractor Notification Requirements For Completion, Installation, Alteration
BC Safety Authority directive Gas Contractor Responsibilities Gas Notification Requirements For Completion, Installation Or Alteration is being issued by a provincial gas safety manager pursuant to section 30 of the Safety Standards Act. The directive clarifies the notification requirements that permit holders must comply with when submitting declarations for installation permits.

New Version Of Natural Gas & Propane Codes
CSA says new versions of their CSA B149.1-15: Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code and CSA B149.2-15: Propane Storage and Handling Code reflect the latest advances in technology.

Electrical Operating Permit Requirements
BC Safety Authority online information bulletin Electrical Operating Permit Requirements gives an explanation of the requirements and obligations related to electrical operating permits issued by BC Safety Authority. (PDF)

Sprinkler & Fire Alarm Systems For BC Building Officials
Building Officials online slide show presentation Sprinkler & Fire Alarm Systems For Building Officials covers sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, and coordinated system testing. (PDF)

NAFS In Part 5 Of The Canadian Code
RDH Building Engineering says we are using NAFS, the North American Fenestration Standard, only because it is in the National Building Code. So what, exactly, does the Code tell us about the use of NAFS in Part 5, and does this have implications for NAFS compliance in Part 9?

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5. Building Science & Technology

Thermal Enclosure With Efficient Walls & Airtightness
Construction Instruction describes how thorough separation requires high-performance assemblies that control the movement of heat, air, moisture and vapor.

A House Is A System
High Performance Building Exchange online video discusses the need to correctly integrate systems in a cost effective way when developing a high performance home.

Hydrophilic, Hydrophobic, Hygroscopic Materials
Energy Vanguard shares three cool videos about hydrophilic, hydrophobic, and hygroscopic materials.

Crawlspace Best Practices
Construction Instruction describes best practices for building crawl spaces.

Working With Helical Piers
Journal of Light Construction describes how steel piles are an affordable foundation option for small jobs and tricky sites.

History Of Air Conditioning
US Department of Energy online History of the Air Conditioner timeline highlights several key developments in the history of air conditioning, from the first modern electrical air conditioning unit invented by Willis Carrier to the more recent advances in search of new refrigerants and non-vapor compression technologies.

Types Of Tile Flooring
Buildipedia describes the various types of tile flooring.

Corridor Pressurization Based Ventilation Systems
RDH Building Engineering online slide show presentation says corridor pressurization based ventilation systems are often ineffective and inefficient.

6. Building Performance Issues

Survey On Canadian Capacity For Airtightness Testing
RDH Building Engineering and Building Science Consulting online survey for the Canadian National Energy Code for Buildings Task Group on Building Envelopes asks about the current status of issues surrounding whole building airtightness testing of buildings in Canada.

Incorrect Venting Could Have Caused CO Poisoning
BC Safety Authority says while conducting a physical assessment of a newly installed fireplace in a residence, a gas safety officer discovered that incorrect venting material had been used. The non-compliance could have resulted in venting issues leading to carbon monoxide poisoning.

When Homes Can Become Ticking Time Bombs For Owners
Builder Magazine describes why residential development and home building continues to plod along in a parallel, virtually offline universe of materials, practices, and processes.

Fire Resistance Of Gypsum Board Wall Assemblies
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction describes importance of various factors in achieving required fire resistance for walls in multi-family dwellings. (PDF)

Drain Pans Solve Tankless Water Heater Leak Problems
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor magazine says with a suitable drain pan any leak in the tankless system is 100 percent contained.

Building Science Of Septic Drain Fields
Home Builder Canada magazine describes the basics of septic drain fields and the need for proper ventilation to prevent failure.

How Wood Rots
Fine Homebuilding says wood rot is caused by decay fungi that grow when the following conditions are present: temperatures between 40 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, a wood moisture content 30% or greater, and sufficient food. There are two types of rot, brown rot and white rot, each of which is caused by a different fungus and displays different characteristics. (PDF)

Wood Structural Panel & Foam Insulation Systems
Engineered Wood Association research report Wood Structural Panel & Foam Insulation Systems gives description of the issues and considerations for hygrothermal behavior and lateral load. Free site registration required.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Path To Net-Zero Energy Buildings In BC
Pembina Institute report The Path to Net-Zero Energy Buildings in BC looks at the necessary components of a roadmap to make new complex (Part 3) buildings net-zero ready. (PDF)

Net Zero Communities Spring Up In Canada
Green Energy Futures highlights one of the five builders participating in the Natural Resources Canada ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative to build 25 NZE homes in four provinces.

Inside Look At New PHIUS Standard
Green Building Advisor explains how the new Passive House building standard was developed and why it works in North America.

Introduction To Passive House Design & Construction Course
Canadian Passive House Institute West is presenting two, one-day Introduction to Passive House Design and Construction Courses. Held in Parksville on September 17 and Vancouver on September 26, the course covers passive House design fundamentals, super-insulated envelopes, methods for achieving extreme air tightness, passive house quality windows, leading ventilation design principles, and passive house economics and costs.

Applying Energy Codes To Building Envelope Retrofits
Building Design & Construction says when applying current energy codes to existing buildings, a number of issues arise, particularly where the building exterior is concerned.

Smart Thermostat Pilot Program In Vancouver
Vancouver has launched a pilot project to determine the energy/cost savings by using a smart thermostat. Homeowners who purchase one will receive a $125 rebate.

Energy Star New Homes Challenge For New Westminster Builders
Ecolighten has announced a new incentive contest for local home builders in New Westminster. Titled the ENERGY STAR for New Home Challenge and brought to local builders through City of New Westminster's Energy Save New West with sponsorship from BC Hydro and FortisBC, local builders are eligible to access a full package of incentives and administrative support to construct a new home to the ENERGY STAR for New Home standard.

Living Product Expo
Living Product Expo, held September 16-18 in Pittsburgh, is the place for design and manufacturing professionals to learn about game-changing products that will transform the marketplace.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

Connected Home Is Next Frontier In Whole Home Performance
Builder Magazine says we've only just begun to tap the potential of the smart home.

New Products Showcase
Home Builder Magazine Canada describes some new and innovative products.

Types Of Wood Preservatives
Canadian Wood Council describes various types of preservatives.

Special Performance Concrete Admixtures
Concrete Network provides information to help you determine what kind of concrete admixture is best to add to the mix for your next project.

Extruders Dress Up Homes With All The Trimmings
Plastics News says home builders and remodelers have an ever-growing array of synthetic accents to dress up residences as manufacturers take exterior trim from the basic function of covering the transition between siding, doors and windows to new levels.

Keep Glulam Looking Its Best With Proper Storage & Handling
Engineered Wood Association Builder Tip: Keep Glulam Looking Its Best with Proper Storage and Handling, describes best storage and installation practices for glued laminated timbers. (PDF) Free site registration required.

After Lithium-Ion, What?
Green Building Advisor considers what might be better batteries than lithium-ion for gadgets, electric vehicles, and energy storage for the grid.

Brick-Laying Robot Can Build Full-Sized House In Two Days
Gizmag says engineers in Perth, Australia, have created a fully working house-building machine that can create the brick framework of a property in just two days, working about 20 times faster than a human bricklayer.

9. Installation Procedures

Designing & Framing Engineered Wood Floors
Pro Trade Craft online video gives description of the best practices for designing and framing engineered wood floor systems.

HRV System Best Practices
Construction Instruction provides tips and recommendations to make the most of your HRV installation.

Installing Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Building America Solution Center online guide describes how to install a bathroom fan.

Nail-Base Sheathing For Siding & Trim Attachment
Engineered Wood Association guide Nail-Base Sheathing for Siding and Trim Attachment provides an easy method for determining the type and spacing of siding fasteners to satisfy building code requirements when using wood structural panel sheathing as a nail base for siding and trim. Free site registration required.

Prepping For Wallpaper
Journal of Light Construction describes how to prep for wallpaper so it can be more easily removed later if needed.

How To Replace A Floorboard
Fine Homebuilding describes how to replace a wood floorboard.

How To Paint An Old Radiator
Heating Help online forum discusses how to paint an old radiator.

Compact Air Distribution System
Building America Solution Center describes features, benefits, issues and considerations for design and installation of compact duct systems.

10. Information Sources

Residential Construction Best Practices Site
Professional Remodeler has launched Pro Trade Craft, with online videos of on-the-job best practices for residential construction.

FAQs On Stamped Concrete
Concrete Network answers some frequently asked questions about stamped concrete.

FAQs On Drywall & Stucco
Association of Wall and Ceiling Contractors online FAQ answers common industry questions on drywall and stucco applications and procedures.

Gypsum Fire Resistance Design Manual
Gypsum Association sells the Fire Resistance Design Manual that has been referenced by the model building codes as a source of fire resistive designs for more than 40 years. The 2015 edition contains nearly 100 new systems that supplement existing assemblies for walls and partitions, floor-ceiling systems, area separation walls, and many others. $45 USD

Inside View Of Advanced Framing
Engineered Wood Association online Inside View Project of a demonstration home gives building professionals a look at energy-efficient, advanced framing practices.

Home & Garden Tips From Landscape Architects
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) site offers online home and garden tips from landscape architects.

Technical Articles On Roofing
RCI provides technical articles on roofing, including Interface magazine articles, Building Envelope Symposium proceedings papers, and International Convention and Trade Show proceedings papers.

Uber-Urban-Planner Larry Beasley Writes Book
Property Biz says after decades as one of the most high-profile urban planners on the planet, Larry Beasley, retired chief planner for the City of Vancouver along with co-author Jonathan Burnett has written a call-to-arms for cities and suburbs. EcoDesign Cities and Suburbs tackles the two most pressing issues facing our industry: how to build/rethink where we live so that we are making places that are both environmentally sensitive and livable.

11. Conferences & Shows

Architectural Walking Tours of Vancouver & Victoria
Architectural Institute of BC 2015 Architectural Walking Tours program offers unique perspectives of the cities of Vancouver and Victoria.

SME Business Expo
SME Business Expo, held in Vancouver on October 16th, unites business owners, executives, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals to connect, collaborate and do business.

Buildex Express: 1-Day Trade Show & Seminars
Buildex Express will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on October 21st. It will offer a tradeshow, networking, and industry seminars.

CanaData West Construction Industry Forecast Conference
West CanaData Construction Industry Forecast Conference will be held in Vancouver on October 22nd. It provides engaging speakers, rich insights and analysis of construction industry trends.

12. Education & Training

Upcoming Continuing Education Courses For BC Builders
CHBA BC lists its upcoming continuing education courses for BC Builders.

Information For BC Building Industry Education Providers
BC Homeowner Protection Office is compiling a list of organizations interested in applying for Education Provider status. They will be offering email updates with important next steps for educators interested in participating in the enhanced licensing system.

Commissioning HRV & ERV For Advanced Installers
Retrotec free webinar Commissioning HRV & ERV for Advanced Installers will be held on August 13th. It will cover: what it takes to commission a new HRV, what types of tools and protocols are best for testing HRVs, and more solutions to test challenging exhaust fans and ERV's.

Webinar On Marketing Energy Efficiency In Canadian Homes
QUEST & Canadian Home Builders Association online webinar Marketing Energy Efficient Homes, presented on August 18th, covers the latest CHBA study findings and how leading builders and developers are marketing energy efficiency.

Seismic Design Of Wood Light-Frame Structural Diaphragm Systems
Applied Technology Council webinar Seismic Design Of Wood Light-Frame Structural Diaphragm Systems will be held on August 26th. It will provide a general overview of the technical brief, and introduce the basic components, analysis, and design of wood light-frame diaphragms.

Leading People To Peak Performance
ICBA course Leading People To Peak Performance will be held in Burnaby, September 15-16. It will deepen your understanding of leadership, communication, motivation, delegation, engagement and coaching, and help you develop the leadership competencies that are essential for motivating people.

School of Development 2015: Fundamentals of Real Estate
UDI course School of Development 2015: Fundamentals of Real Estate will be held in Vancouver, October 2-3. You will leave with a solid understanding of the development process, starting with acquisitions and ending with construction.

Building Science Experts Session
Building Science presents their Experts Session, November 18 & 19 in Westford, Massachusetts. Day 1 covers Roofs, Attics and Decks for Commercial and Residential and Day 2 focuses on Building Diagnostics and Repairs.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

9 Tips For Faster Wi-Fi Streaming
Techlicious describes nine steps you can take to boost your Wi-Fi speed.

18 Best Blogging Platforms On The Internet In 2015
The Next Web describes the 18 best blogging platforms on the Internet.

Make your Own Music With Dropping Balls
Ball Droppings doesn’t look fancy, but the sounds are really cool, and the simple options let you create dozens, no hundreds, of configurations.

Dittie For Today: On Responsibility

At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that news is not something that happens to other people. He might learn how his ancestors lived and that he himself is no different. In the crunch his life depends on his agility, alertness and personal resourcefulness. - Robert Anson Heinlein

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© Copyright 2015              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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