Alert Notice #119
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
September 9, 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, Mani Singh, Joey Fearn, Hugh Poole, Rob Vicars, Andrea Coutts, Wilma Leung, Kimberly Hurley, Frank Kurs, Bruce Whitney, Julie Domvile, John Hinson, Greg Benua, Melissa Broadus, Jessica Stoikes, Nancy Argyle, Mark Donovan, Malinda Armstrong, Amanda Sturgeon, Victoria Ballentine, Eric Knaak, and Christine Cunnick 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

Online Building Science Presentations From 2015 Westford Symposium
Building Science online slide show presentations from their recent Annual Westford Symposium on Building Science include How Sausage Really Gets Made, Asbestos and Mold, Ventilation in Multi-Family Buildings, Mineral Fibre Insulation as Vented Airspace in Historic Masonry Walls, Air Leakiness of OSB, Bavarian Castles and Tools You Need to Know, The Basics of Moving Air, HVAC in the Real World, and Remediation of ASHRAE 160.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

10 Trends Defining The Construction Industry
Construction Dive has compiled a list of 10 major trends driving the commercial and residential construction sectors.

BC Housing Forecast 3rd Quarter 2015
BC Real Estate Association report Housing Forecast 3rd Quarter 2015 says BC MLS residential sales are expected to reach 100,000 units in 2015. Housing demand has not been this robust since 2007 when 102,800 homes traded hands.(PDF)

BC Regional Economic Outlooks
Central 1 says regional economies in southern BC and Vancouver are anticipated to benefit most from an anticipated rotation towards export-oriented goods and services sectors, including manufacturing, tourism, TV & film and agriculture, as a depreciated Canadian dollar and strengthening US economy lift growth. (PDF)

New Homes & Red Tape In Alberta Calgary-Edmonton Corridor
Fraser Institute study New Homes and Red Tape: Residential Land-Use Regulation in Alberta's Calgary-Edmonton Corridor compares and ranks jurisdictions across the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor on several categories of red tape (construction approval times, density opposition, 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.

House Price Analysis For Canada & 15 Markets
CMHC's overall assessment of the risk of problematic conditions varies from centre to centre due to regional differences in housing markets. Risk detected by the framework is high for Toronto, Winnipeg and Regina.

Long-Term Evolution Of House Prices
Bank Of Canada provides a copy of speech from Lawrence Schembri - Deputy Governor on The Long-Term Evolution Of House Prices: An International Perspective which gives a summary of the evolution of house prices and the underlying determinants of their long-term movements.

Stop Complaining About Housing Prices & Start Looking For Solutions
Ben Myers suggestion to people concerned about housing in Toronto and Vancouver is to stop looking for a scapegoat, stop searching for someone to blame, and start coming up with real, workable plans.

Baby Boomers Driving Luxury Condo Sales
REMI Network says downsizing baby boomers are driving year-over-year gains in luxury condo sales in Toronto and Vancouver. The 401 condos sold for more than $1 million in Greater Vancouver marked a 33-per-cent increase over the same period in 2014.

2. Business Management

BC Webinars On PST
BC Government is offering free interactive webinars for real property contractors about the PST and how it affects your business. Four dates are offered between 16 September and 21 October.

BC Builders Lien Act Reform In Progress
Clark Wilson says the British Columbia Law Institute is undertaking a major law reform project on the Builders Lien Act and has begun a comprehensive review and overhaul of the Act with assistance from an expert volunteer Project Committee.

Agassiz Harrison Area First Nations Business Forum Oct 20-21
Six First Nations in the Agassiz/Harrison area are hosting a business forum on October 20 & 21, in Harrison Hot Springs. The theme is "We're Open for Business". They want to let the lower mainland know that they have land available for development and interested in building partnerships in the real estate, natural resources, industrial and energy sectors. Lots of interesting speakers.

These 9 Words Could Hurt Sales Price Of Your Home
Builder Magazine says a study by Zillow found nine words that could negatively impact home sale prices, and 15 words that could boost them.

Top 10 Reasons To Remodel
US National Association of Home Builders lists what homeowners say are their top 11 motivators for remodeling projects at home.

Developer Launches Personalized Model Home Brochure
Builder Magazine describes a new marketing campaign that gives new home buyers RFID keychains to create customized digital brochures.

It Takes 22 Subcontractors To Build Average Home
US NAHB says 70 percent of builders typically use somewhere between 11 and 30 subcontractors to build a single-family home. On average, 22 different subcontractors are used to build a home.

Building Performance Anxiety & Extended Warranties
Builder Magazine describes how builders could extend home buyer warranty coverage.

Top 5 Ways To Promote A Maintenance Plan To Customers
IE3 says maintenance agreements can keep your company busy, and offers some thoughts on how to promote them to customers.

3. Building Design & Trends

Four Plans With Flexible Master Suites
Builder Magazine shows some versatile rooms attached to master suites that give buyers tremendous lifestyle flexibility.

8 Delightfully Modern Foyers
Dwell presents eight hospitable foyers that welcome visitors and modern design in equal measure.

Builders Can Cater To Pet-Loving Buyers
Construction Dive describes 10 ways builders can cater to pet-loving buyers.

2015 Winners Of US Remodeling Awards
Chrysalis Awards honor the finest remodeling projects in the US that reflect the professional excellence of the residential and commercial remodeling industry. Their 2015 award winning projects are listed here by category.

Canada's First Tiny House Festival
Tree Hugger describes some of the displays at Canada's first tiny house festival, which was part of a sustainable housing development for small homes under 1000 square feet in size, without basements.

10 Ways To Work Aging In Place Into Multifamily
TecHome Builder says things like voice control, biometrics and backup power help baby boomers age in place.

7 Amenities Millennials Look For In A New Condo
New In Homes provides a list of amenities important to this generation of Millennial women dominating the condo market.

Mid-Rise Wood Buildings
Canadian Wood Council site provides FAQs and links to research and information on mid-rise wood frame buildings.

Characteristics Of US Home Buyers
US National Association of Home Builders summarizes their recent American Housing Survey that provides insight into the home buying process.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Abraham Mansouri, Systems Engineer, Mitsubishi Electric Canada said: “I found your website and alert very well designed and informative. It's definitely a good source of information for building experts.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Consumer Protection Disclosure Requirement For Licensed BC Builders
HPO says effective September 4, 2015, applications for a residential builder licence include a section requiring the applicant, or any person in control of the applicant company, to disclose any orders, monetary penalties, convictions or judgments against them with respect to fraud, breach of contract with consumers, or for contravening specified legislation. (PDF)

Choosing General Contractor Or Developer Licence Type For BC Builders
HPO explains how applicants for a residential builder licence will choose which type of builder, General Contractor or Developer, they are and the differences between these classifications. (PDF)

Learning Outcomes For Core Competency In BC Builder Education
HPO bulletin Learning Outcomes for Core Competency Education provides a detailed summary of learning outcomes for each of the seven core competency areas for new builder qualifications. (PDF)

Tarion Introduces New Education Requirements For Ontario New Home Builders
Tarion Warranty Corporation has begun phasing in new education criteria all new builders will need to meet as a condition of their registration in Ontario. The new educational requirements are based on the Canadian Home Builder's Association National Education Benchmarks for residential construction and feedback from extensive consultations with stakeholders.

Revisions & Errata For National Construction Codes
Canadian National Codes provides downloadable versions of revisions and errata for the National Building Code, Fire Code, and Plumbing Code.

History Of Building Size Limits In Canadian National Building Code
Canadian Wood Council online report The Historical Development of the Building Size Limits in the National Building Code of Canada presents a chronological compilation of the development of fire-related building size limits from early Rome to the present in Canada, and is intended to provide a basis to establish the implicit risk associated with the building size limits in the current National Building Code of Canada. (PDF)

New IAQ Guideline Contains Changes For Use Of High Efficiency Filters
ASHRAE says recent research shows that ultrafine particles are more hazardous to human health than originally thought, and therefore higher-efficiency filters should be used, according to the newly published 2015 version of ASHRAE's residential indoor air quality Guideline 24-2015, Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

Legionellosis Standard Provides Guidance On Risk Management
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, is intended for use by owners and managers of human-occupied buildings and those involved in the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service of centralized building water systems and components.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Basic Of Moving Air
Building Science online slide show presentation by BC industry expert David Hill describes issues and considerations for moving air quietly and efficiently, in forced air heating systems. (PDF)

The Problem With Relative Humidity
Energy Vanguard says when calculating relative humidity you really need to know both the humidity and the temperature.

Fundamentals Of Psychrometrics
Energy Vanguard describes how to combine the top nine psychrometric quantities and create the psychrometric chart.

Mastering Dehumidification
Building Performance Podcast on mastering dehumidification discusses macro-drying philosophy, down to the nitty gritty of ERVs and hairdryers and wet spots on your carpet.

Fireplaces & Stoves With Proper Ventilation
Building America describes why and how to ensure that ventilation air is provided directly to the fireplace and conduct combustion safety testing to ensure the fireplace will not be backdrafted by other exhaust fans in the home.

Innovative Passive Ventilation Water-Resistive Barriers
Building Science paper Innovative Passive Ventilation Water-Resistive Barriers and How They Work investigates the hygrothermal performance of wall assemblies with brick veneer cladding as well as manufactured adhered stone veneer with two different types of water resistive barriers.

The Best Way To Cool Your Attic
Energy Vanguard says some people swear powered attic ventilators are the best way to keep their attic cool and reduce air conditioning costs. Apparently they haven’t seen the research about what works better, without the drawbacks.

Fall 2015 BC Building Excellence Research & Education Grant Opportunities
BC Homeowner Protection Office has now opened its Fall 2015 intake period for their Building Excellence Research & Education Grants program. It supports and encourages externally generated research and education that improve the quality of residential construction and enhance consumer protection for buyers of new homes in British Columbia.

6. Building Performance Issues

Must The 3 Little HVAC Pigs Die?
Energy Vanguard describes Robert Bean's presentation on issues and considerations of HVAC system combustion, customization, and complexity.

HVAC Comfort In The Real World
Building Science online slide show presentation by Robert Bean provides detailed theory around human comfort considerations and HVAC systems. (PDF)

Duct Leakage Repeatability Testing
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory report Duct Leakage Repeatability Testing evaluates the repeatability of the three most significant measurement techniques using data from the literature and recently obtained field data. (PDF)

Make Your House Alternative Water Ready
CMHC says depending on where you live, water availability in your area, costs, regulations and technology improvements, installing the components to make your house alternative water ready may be the right decision for you.

Fire Adapted Communities: Nationwide Efforts & Community-Based Tools
Dovetail report Fire Adapted Communities: Nationwide Efforts and Community-Based Tools guides wildland-urban interface communities in addressing wildfire risks. Its approaches include wildfire education, planning, community partnership-building and hands-on activities designed to provide wildland-urban interface citizens with the necessary knowledge, tools and motivation to prepare their communities for inevitable wildfires. (PDF)

Ventilations Systems Issues In MURBS
RDH Building Engineering findings show that the standard ventilation systems widely used in multi-unit residential buildings across North America may not be performing as intended.

Impact Of Delayed Maintenance & Renewals On Buildings
BC Homeowner Protection Office Maintenance Matters bulletin Impact of Delayed Maintenance and Renewals on Buildings says having a planned and coordinated approach to maintenance and renewals reduces the likelihood of premature failures, damage to other assets and the associated emergency costs to repair or restore. (PDF)

Is My Building Fractured Or Just Cracked?
RDH Building Engineering describes two techniques they use when presenting arguments to groups of owners that are split on how to make the right decision about their assets.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Think Before You Use These 11 Green Buzzwords
Builder Magazine article says a new study tests consumer perceptions of 11 common terms used in green marketing.

Marketing Energy Efficiency In Canadian Homes
CHBA online slide show presentation from their recent webinar Marketing Energy Efficiency In Canadian Homes shows three energy efficient features among the top four must haves, and the increasing marketability of high energy performance in the residential sector. (PDF)

Market For Green Building Materials Set To Soar Through 2019
Green Building Elements says a recent study has shown that the market for green building materials has been increasing and will continue to climb at least through 2019, when it is expected to reach $69 billion in the US alone.

2015 LEED For Homes Award Recipients
Architect magazine shows the US Green Building Council 2015 LEED for Homes Awards recipients. The awards honor multi-and single-family residential and affordable housing projects, as well as builders and developers, that represent high-performance homes and technology.

Energy Efficient Northern Housing Guide, Cost Optimized
RDH Building Engineering online Energy Efficient Northern Housing Guide covers the design and construction of an archetype energy and cost optimized single family dwelling for Whitehorse, YT. The guide is intended to be used by the building industry to achieve higher energy efficiency than the minimum code requirements while maximizing cost savings from lower energy use. (PDF)

Proposed Standard To Serve As Backbone Of Valid Building Rating Systems
ASHRAE says while many building rating programs exist worldwide, there is not anything in the industry that standardizes the contents of those programs. Their proposed standard 214P, Standard for Determining and Expressing Building Energy Performance in a Rating Program, is intended to standardize building energy rating programs by requiring the minimum content of any labels associated with rating programs, establishing minimum requirements for rating program documentation and other essential components in rating programs. The proposed standard is open for public comment until Sept. 28, 2015.

7 Cool Summer Solar Innovations for 2015
Renewable Energy World article gives description of some interesting 2015 innovations in solar products and applications.

10-Week Online Course On Deep Energy Retrofits
HeatSpring energy expert and engineer Marc Rosenbaum will begin teaching a 10-week online course on deep energy retrofits on September 14, 2015.

Dollars To Sense Workshops In Vancouver
Natural Resources Canada partner-hosted arrangements with Langara College are offering their Dollars To Sense Workshops that include Energy Management Planning, Spot the Energy Savings Opportunities, Energy Monitoring, Energy Management Information Systems, Recommissioning for Buildings and Energy Efficiency Financing.

BC Oil To Heat Pump Incentive Program
BC Ministry of Energy and Mines Innovative Clean Energy Fund is offering up to $1,700 per home for upgrading from oil heating to efficient electric air source heat pumps through the Oil to Heat Pump Incentive Program.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

How Switching Tires & Rims Can Mess Up Your Ride
Tools of the Trade describes how directional response, steering speed response, ride comfort, road grip, and steering firmness response are all affected by the tires and rims a truck rides on.

Is Internet Of Things A Trend Or Fad?
Builder Magazine discusses how builders and architects do and will create better disciplines and practices around discovery of what people expect in their new homes.

LED Lights Get Cheaper, And Greater Variety Available
BC Hydro says three years ago LED light bulbs cost around $30. Today a LED for your standard light fixture is $10.

Raging Residential Elevator Trend
TecHome Builder says boomers aging in place are changing the residential elevator market.

New Building Technologies Being Researched
US Oak Ridge National Laboratories newsletter describes a wide range of new building technologies currently being researched. (PDF)

Choosing Your Home Inspector
ASTTBC-PI online video Choosing Your Home Inspector describes a house inspection to assist potential house and property inspector clients better appreciate the service they will receive.

Find An ASTTBC Home & Property Inspector
ASTTBC-PI lists their members who are home and property inspectors in BC.

Find A CAHPI BC Home & Property Inspector
Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors of BC allows you to search for a home inspector in BC by region.

9. Installation Procedures

Window Drip Cap Installation
Construction Instruction online animation shows a window install with flashing integrated into the siding.

Step & Kick-Out Flashing At Roof-Wall Intersections
Building America Solution Center describes issues and considerations for installing step and kick-out flashing at roof-wall intersections.

Moving Air Efficiently Through Your Duct System
Energy Vanguard describes secrets to moving air efficiently through your duct system.

Hydronic Heating System Simplification
HPAC magazine article says systems do not have to be complex to be sophisticated, and offers some tips for simplification.

Blowing Fiberglass Insulation Into Attics
Construction Instruction online video shows how to install blown fiberglass insulation into an attic.

How To Replace A Floorboard
Fine Homebuilding says although the tongue-and-groove joints that unite the boards in a wood floor may seem to preclude replacing just one board, the process is pretty straightforward.

Tips For Successful Snow & Ice Melt Installations
HPAC magazine says with proper design and installation, radiant hydronic snow and ice melting systems can provide a safe and reliable way to keep surfaces clear of snow and ice.

Tips For Successful Snow-Melt Project
PM Engineer magazine provides some tips for a successful snow-melt project that will provide safety and avoid liability.

10. Information Sources

Archived Canadian Building Digests On Design & Construction
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction has archived past Canadian Building Digests which are technical reports published between 1960 and 1990. Topics cover virtually every aspect of design and construction in Canada.

DVDs On Roof Framing For The Professional
This Is Carpentry describes Will Holladay’s DVD program, Roof Framing for the Professional, saying he goes a little more in-depth than many others.

Resource Site For Fire Protection Equipment Industry
Fire Protection Technicians Network is an online resource for those in the fire alarm and fire protection technician industry.

Technical Bulletins & Whitepapers On Building Science Issues
RDH Building Engineering provides online access to their technical bulletins and whitepapers on various building science issues, projects and procedures.

First Nation Consultation Guidelines
Indigenous Corporate Training says First Nation Consultation Guidelines provide an overview of First Nation, provincial and federal consultation guidelines.

US House Price Estimator
US National Association of Home Builders single-family detached house price estimator is based on a model developed by NAHB using well-established statistical techniques and data from the American Housing Survey.

11. Conferences & Shows

Internet Of Things & Smart Homes
Connected Plus, held in Toronto on September 28-29, features educational and networking sessions on Internet Of Things, smart home technologies, connected consumer devices, and the latest innovations.

2015 Tile Tech Expo In Victoria
Terrazzo Tile & Marble Association of Canada invites architects, specification writers, contractors and designers to their 2015 Tech Expo in Victoria, on October 23rd. Seminars have been approved for AIBC learning credit and topics include: soundproofing and heated flooring; innovative technologies in ceramic; designing installation systems for thin tile; tile and stone project specification; exterior moisture management; new generation bathrooms and a panel discussion on large format tile.

Canadian National Water & Wastewater Conference 2015
Canadian Water and Wastewater Association presents The National Water and Wastewater Conference 2015 in Whistler, October 25-28.

2015 BC Architects Conference
Architectural Institute of BC 2015 conference will be held in Vancouver, October 28-30. It brings together architects , intern architects, architectural technologists, builders, engineers, interior designers, faculty, students and other members of the design community to learn about new industry and professional trends, technological advances and best practices.

Design-Build Conference & Expo
Design-Build Institute of America presents the Design-Build Conference & Expo, November 2-4 in Denver. It attracts approximately 2,000 industry professionals spanning the entire A/E/C community, including owners both new to and experienced in design-build project delivery.

12. Education & Training

BC Building Smart Seminars On Current Construction Options For BC New Homes
BC Homeowner Protection Office presents Building Smart #22 From the Ground Up: Current Construction Options for New Homes in BC. Held this fall, in locations around BC, the three hour seminar will use a typical BC house as an example to explore a variety of code conforming approaches for each step in the construction process, from excavation through to the final finishes of the house.

Online BC Forum On Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing
BC Safety Authority Gas online forum Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing will be held on September 16th. It will provide an overview of corrugated stainless steel tubing codes and regulations, common non-compliances, and question & answer period.

Construction Law Course
VRCA course on Construction Law will be held in Vancouver, September 17-18. This Gold Seal Certified course helps participants develop an understanding of contract law as it relates to construction and the various CCDC/CCA and other contracts used within the industry. It also covers how the BC Builder's Lien Act works and the other legal means to resolve construction disputes and avoid litigation.

Time Management Workshop
ICBA workshop Time Management will be held in Burnaby on September 18th. You will gain a new mindset, skill-set and tool-set that will optimize your personal productivity by learning how to produce greater results in less time.

Building Smart With Mid-Rise Wood Buildings
Homeowner Protection Office half-day workshop Building Smart with Mid-Rise Wood Buildings will be held in Vancouver on September 28th. It will focus on the design, planning and construction of mid-rise wood buildings in British Columbia.

New Trades Training For Aboriginal People In BC
BC Industry Training Authority says a new trades training program for aboriginal people in BC will begin in fall 2015. The Enhanced Construction Craft Worker pilot program will be offered in two BC communities: Fort St James and Prince Rupert. (PDF)

Grants, Loans, Scholarships Available For Trades Training
Journal Of Commerce says loans and grants are out there for those wanting to pursue a career in trades training. What's missing is a central website, where all the loans and grants are registered.

Essential Skills In Construction: Resource Site For Educators & Trainers
Buildforce new website Sustainable Essential Skills in Construction provides information and resources to help instructors and trainers in the construction industry improve their instructional practice and increase their apprentices' success in technical training.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

10 Simple Internet Security Tips
PC Pitstop describes 10 basic tips to help Windows users enhance internet security.

Updated Free Ci App Of Construction Instructions
Construction Instruction free Ci app has a growing library of over 1,500 instructional videos, animations, and articles including specific manufacturer information and Ci’s non-branded, best practice information right at your fingertips. It can be used anywhere your mobile device or tablet is; on the go, at work, home or even the jobsite.

Background Checks For Nail Guns?
Fine Homebuilding says in Oregon there is a bit of a legal rush going on to clarify some new state gun laws that potentially classify powder-actuated nail guns as a firearm.

Dittie For Today: On Motivation

Make your life a mission, not an intermission. - Arnold H. Glasgow

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