Alert Notice #121
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
October 27, 2015


1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends
2. Business Management
3. Building Design & Trends
4. Codes Standards & Regulations
5. Building Science & Technology
6. Building Performance Issues
7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency
8. Building Products & Suppliers
9. Installation Procedures
10. Information Sources
11. Conferences & Shows
12. Education & Training
13. Computer, Internet & Fun

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

lennox   Lennox
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vsa-enterprises   VSA Enterprises Inc.

My thanks to Murray Bond, Sabine Just, Zana Gordon, Stephen Carlisle, Christine Cunnick, Joey Fearn, Dan Mott, Karen Podolski, Julie Domvile, Rick Vlahos, Wilma Leung, Einar Halbig, Robbie Schwarz, Zena Caul, Cindy Kralt, Dave Finet, Kimberly Hurley, Rick Fearn, Nancy Argyle, Melinda Armstrong and Catalina Bulat 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

Building Science Articles, Papers, Presentations
RDH Building Engineering online articles, papers, and presentations cover a wide range of building science topics.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Top 10 Real Estate Trends For 2016
Construction Dive summarizes the report Emerging Trends in Real Estate for 2016, which predicts trends for the US & Canada.

BC Farmland Or More Homes?
BC Business says the BC Agricultural Land Reserve is undergoing the biggest challenge to its mandate in 40 years, with 616 acres of fallow land in Delta becoming ground zero in the battle. The soils are shallow. Less than a quarter of the land is in production. The irrigation, without a source of water nearby, is negligible.

Michael Ferreira Presentation On 3-Legged Metro Vancouver Housing Market
UDI provides access to the presentation by Michael Ferreira of Urban Analytics with his overview of the current Metro Vancouver housing market which included many sales statistics, as well as an explanation of the three-legged housing market: Buyers, Land, and Municipalities.

Pacific State Of The Market Report Q2-2015
Urban Development Institute (UDI) Pacific’s State of the Market report Q2-2015 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)

Governments Push Housing Costs Higher In Metro Vancouver
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) report Governments Push Housing Costs Higher says fees, red tape, regulatory complexity and unacceptable delays add unnecessary premiums to already expensive housing in Metro Vancouver. (PDF)

New Homes & Red Tape In Ontario
Fraser Institute study New Homes and Red Tape: Residential Land-Use Regulation in Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe compares and ranks jurisdictions on several categories of red tape based on the experiences and opinions of industry professionals.

Vancouver Housing Outlook Conference 2015
CMHC presents their Annual Housing Outlook Conference, Vancouver on November 2nd. It will cover the latest housing market trends and national, provincial, and local housing outlook for 2016 and 2017.

Victoria Housing Outlook Conference
CMHC presents their Annual Housing Outlook Conference, Victoria on November 13. Network with Victoria’s top housing industry professionals and find out CMHC’s provincial and Capital Region housing outlook for 2016 and 2017.

2. Business Management

Home Buyers Top Five Touchpoints
Builder Magazine says one home sale requires an average of 52 touchpoints or encounters with a buyer, according to a new analysis.

Debunking Minimum Wage Myths
Canadian Federation of Independent Business research reveals that minimum wage increases are not effective. Not only does a minimum wage increase kill jobs, minimum wage earners also do not receive the full benefits.

What Matters Most In Leadership
Builder Magazine describes how leaders create a virtuous cycle by recognizing that what they say, how they act, and what they do matters.

Your Biggest Competition Is Not Other Builders
Builder magazine offers seven reasons to show your customers the advantages of buying a new home compared to an existing one.

Visual Guide To Understanding Markup & Margin
Journal of Light Construction article says to successfully price a job, there are a few basic terms you need to understand.

BC Non-Profit Offers New Approach To Apprenticeships
Journal Of Commerce says a new non-profit based in Langley is offering a different approach to tackling the province's skilled labour crunch. SkillSource is a group training organization with a mandate to increase access to trades training and work experience for apprentices. It sponsors and matches apprentices with specific employers to learn the full scope of a trade and build skills.

Top Apps For Builders
Builder Magazine describes applications that power contractors’ most important tool: the mobile phone.

Technology Set To Change Construction
REMI Network describes some top trends in construction technology in 2015 and beyond.

3. Building Design & Trends

2015 Builders Choice Award Winners
Builder Online presents, with pictures and descriptions, winners of their 2015 Builders Choice Awards. Thoughtful design takes the day in this annual showcase of the best residential projects from around the US.

Winners Of 2015 Remodeling Design Awards
Remodeling magazine describes the 18 winners of the 2015 Remodeling Design Awards.

Pantone Releases 10 Colours To Watch For In Spring 2016
Builder Magazine says colour trends are harmoniously shared between fashion and home, so expect to see these 10 shades pop-up in upcoming textiles, furnishings, and interior design.

Lowe's Reveals 2015 US Smart-Home Survey Results
Builder Magazine summarizes Lowe's second annual survey that gauges American smart-home buying behaviors and preferences.

Interior Design Trends & Decorative Concrete
Concrete Network describes six decorating trends perfectly suited for decorative concrete.

7 Minimalist Bathrooms
Dwell describes seven bathrooms that are perfectly clean and simple.

Housing Wants & Needs of Baby Boomers
Multifamily Executive Magazine article describes how boomers look for apartments, and what they're looking for.

4 Ways To Make Tiny House Designs Work
Remodeling magazine shows some ways to maximize space when designing small rooms.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Tony Funk, President of VSA Enterprises says: “Love your site!”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Determining BC Code Compliance Of A277-Certified Buildings
BC Building and Safety Standards Branch bulletin B15-01 Determining Compliance of A277-Certified Buildings clarifies that the BC Building Code applies to factory-built buildings and components and discusses the factory certification procedure. It also offers information on how Code-compliance is verified as part of the certification procedure for factory-built buildings and components. (PDF)

Province Starts Applying BC Building Act
APEG BC says the Province of BC has started to bring sections of the Building Act into force. However, these sections will not result in any immediate changes for construction industry stakeholders.

Overview Of New 2015 BC Building Act
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation on the new BC Building Act provides a general overview of the Act, and reviews the three main changes: consistency, competency, and innovation. (PDF)

BC Consumer Protection Disclosure Requirement For Licensed Builders
HPO bulletin Consumer Protection Disclosure Requirement describes how, 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)

Specifying NAFS For Part 5 & Part 9 Codes
RDH Building Engineering online slide show presentation Specifying NAFS For Part 5 & Part 9 Codes covers NAHS overview, what products NAFS covers, NAFS in Part 5 & 9 codes, and specifying with NAFS. (PDF)

WorkSafe BC Announces 2016 Rates
WorkSafe BC has announced that the average base premium rate for 2016 will remain unchanged at $1.70 per $100 of employers’ assessable payroll.

WHMIS 2015 Program
WorkSafe BC booklet WHMIS 2015 at Work contains general information about the 2015 WHMIS program. It summarizes key changes from the original WHMIS program, describes the three main elements of WHMIS (labels, safety data sheets, and education and training programs), and outlines the responsibilities of suppliers, employers, and workers for these elements. (PDF)

Consultation On Proposed Changes To Penalty Policies
WorkSafe BC has approved the release for consultation of a discussion paper regarding proposed changes to the following policies regarding OHS Penalties: Criteria for Imposing OHS Penalties; Transfer of OHS History; OHS Penalty Amounts; Claims Cost Levies; First Aid Equipment, Imposition of Special Rate of Assessment.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Rethinking Ventilated Attics
Green Building Advisor describes how to stop mold growth in attics in coastal climates.

Ventilation Guidance For High Performance Multifamily
Building Science online Measure Guideline Ventilation Guidance For Residential High Performance Multifamily New Construction provides ventilation guidance that incorporates the requirements of the ASHRAE 62.2 2013 standard. The guideline focus is on the decision criteria for weighing cost and performance of various ventilation systems.

Drain-Waste-Vent Systems
Fine Homebuilding explains how drain-waste-vent systems evolved and the rules and best practices for installing them to ensure that they do their jobs properly. (PDF)

Detailing For Wood Shrinkage
WoodWorks online slide show presentation Detailing For Wood Shrinkage examines shrinkage associated with wall and floor design, and demonstrates how to minimize effects of both shrinkage and differential movement with proper detailing. It describes how to prevent shrinkage induced construction issues such as drywall cracking, window frame wracking, and compromised plumbing lines. (PDF)

Extended Plate & Beam Wall System Concept Investigation
US Department of Energy report Extended Plate and Beam Wall System: Concept Investigation and Initial Evaluation describes a new and innovative High-R wall design that uniquely integrates foam sheathing insulation with wall framing such that wood structural panels are installed exterior of the foam sheathing. (PDF)

Detailing Exterior Walls In Minnesota
Green Building Advisor discusses how best to build an energy-efficient wall design that will be free of mold and last a long time in a cold climate.

Building Enclosure Fundamentals For Wood-Frame Buildings
Woodworks online slide show presentation Building Enclosure Fundamentals and Best Practices for Wood-Frame Buildings explores designing durable, energy-efficient enclosures for mid-rise buildings using traditional light wood-frame construction. (PDF)

Structural Insulated Panels In Alaska
Cold Climate Housing Research Center report Structural Insulated Panels In Alaska provides information about SIPs for homeowners and builders who are interested in a comprehensive resource on their characteristics and use. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Maximizing Replacement Furnace Performance
Ecolighten article from Mechanical Business summarizes their FortisBC-funded research into high efficiency furnace installations, with an aim of learning what can be done to maximize the performance of a system. They list of some of the system and design considerations that can help optimize energy efficiency, while delivering comfort and maximizing equipment longevity, when installing a high-efficiency furnace in a retrofit up-flow application. (PDF)

Standard 5 HVAC Quality Installation Specification
ACCA online ANSI/ACCA 5 QI-2015 HVAC Quality Installation Specification covers design, distribution, equipment installation, system documentation and owner education for new construction and replacement applications. (PDF)

Furnace Condensate Proves Tricky To Manage
Journal of Light Construction says high-efficiency boilers, furnaces, and water heaters produce acidic water that can pose a disposal problem no matter how you handle it.

Sagging Flex Ducts & Air Flow
Energy Vanguard describes why sagging flex ducts are bad for air flow.

Low-Cost Radon Reduction Study
US Department of Energy report Low-Cost Radon Reduction Pilot Study summarizes a primary scoping study on the impact of air sealing between the foundation and the living space on radon transport reduction across the foundation-living space. (PDF)

Internet of Things Poses Opportunities For Cyber Crime
Internet Crime Complaint Center has released a warning/alert on the Internet of Things (IoT). As more businesses and homeowners use web-connected devices to enhance company efficiency or lifestyle conveniences, their connection to the Internet also increases the target space for malicious cyber actors. The FBI is warning companies and the general public to be aware of IoT vulnerabilities cybercriminals could exploit, and offers some tips on mitigating those cyber threats.

Plumbing & Heating Industry Heading Down Dangerous Path
PM Engineer article by Dan Holohan says we’re quickly heading toward a time when the people who work on the equipment, both old and new, may not be able to solve the problems with those systems because, raised on search, they won’t know how to think critically and analytically.

Purchasable Cold-Climate Buildings Design Guide
ASHRAE sells the Cold-Climate Buildings Design Guide that covers cold-climate considerations in HVAC calculations and system design, sustainability, controls, building design, and commissioning from this distinctive climatic perspective. $90 USD

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

New Report Finds Green Homes Sell For Premium
Institute for Market Transformation study shows homebuyers are not only increasingly interested in high-performance homes, or homes incorporating green features, but they are also willing to pay more for them.

It Is Not Really All About That Price
Home Innovation says many builders mistakenly believe that green certified homes are a niche product; that only the most environmentally-conscious consumers care about green features. Instead, they reason, homebuyers are all about the sales price. That might be the case. That is, of course, unless you are selling to one or more of these homebuying segments.

Overview Of Blower Door Tests
US Department of Energy describes how professional energy auditors use blower door tests to help determine a home's airtightness.

BC Real Estate Foundation Submission To 2015 BC Climate Leadership Plan
BC Real Estate Foundation submission to the 2015 BC Climate Leadership Plan says the land-use and infrastructure planning decisions made in communities today will have long-lasting implications for community energy demand and energy costs for decades to come. (PDF)

Webinar On Roadmap To Net Zero Energy Homes In BC
Light House Sustainable Building Centre is presenting a free webinar on November 2nd, to share the findings of their research project The Roadmap Towards Near Carbon Neutral/Net Zero Energy Homes in BC.

Webinar On Energy Star For New Homes, Builder Certification
CHBA BC webinar on Energy Star For New Homes, Builder Certification will be held November 18th. It will cover what is required in building an Energy Star qualified home, the administrative procedures for enrolling a home, and how to access consumer focused marketing tools. (PDF)

High-Performance Buildings & Property Value
Institute for Market Transformation report High-Performance Buildings and Property Value aims to help lenders understand the valuation of high-performance buildings. It examines the relationship between lenders and appraisers and how green features fit into components of value to affect the premiums, collateral risks, and overall market value of high-performance buildings. (PDF)

GLOBE Mentorship Program To Issue New Call For Proposals
The GLOBE Mentorship Program will be providing a select group of British Columbia-based pre-commercial or early stage companies with the professional guidance and assistance to help jump-start their innovative ideas, primarily in the environmental, clean technology, sustainability and renewable energy sectors.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

Canadian Construction Innovations Clearinghouse
Clearinghouse for Construction Innovation in Canada portal provides industry with new innovative solutions ready for use or implementation in the construction marketplace, and also highlights what could be up and coming developments that are yet to be realized.

16 New Products From 2015 Remodeling Show
Remodeling magazine shows you 16 new products from the 2015 Remodeling/Deck/JLC Live show.

Outdoor Fireplace Design Criteria
Concrete Network provides some tips for choosing a backyard fireplace design.

Pulte Test Bounds Of Partner Collaboration
Builder Magazine says Pulte Homes initiative shows the lengths both builders and manufacturers are going to as they try to break with hide-bound competitive practices that isolate and restrain them from understanding moving-target consumers.

Bathroom Products With Functionality, Simplicity, Hygiene
Mechanical Business describes some of the latest trends in toilets, tubs and sinks.

How Manufactured Homes Are Built
Manufactured Housing Association of British Columbia Describes how manufactured homes are built.

Tools Keep Evolving
Home Builder Canada magazine says talking with our tools is already here, and more is coming.

How To Construct Smart Sites Through Wearables
Construction Dive discusses how wearables and data science can revolutionize construction sites.

9. Installation Procedures

Resource Site On Insulation
US Department of Energy provides information and resources on insulation including types, materials, where to insulate, existing homes, new home construction, and radiant barriers.

No EIFS Mechanical Attachment Over Sheathing Membranes
EIFS Canada technical bulletin clarifies that mechanical attachment of an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) over a breather-type sheathing membrane or building paper is not approved by CCMC nor does it meet ULC S716 EIFS Standards. (PDF)

Concrete Countertop Finishes
Concrete Network describes various concrete countertop finish options including marbleized, wood-grained, polished and more.

Don't Caulk Windows First When Winterizing A Home
Energy Vanguard says don't caulk windows first when winterizing a home because it is likely to be ineffective. Two reasons are the big holes are in the floor and ceiling, and the big pressure differences are at the top and bottom of the house.

How To Maintain A Water Heater
Heating Help says by maintaining a gas or electric water heater and replacing old components before a failure occurs, you can both save yourself some money, and potentially even save your life.

Building Smart Canada Connecting BIM Community
buildingSMART Canada offers free membership across Canada to encourage and facilitate the adoption of BIM and open standards in Canada.

Introduction To Wood In Construction
WoodWorks online slide show presentation Introduction To Wood provides introductory review of allowable uses with woodframe construction, structural wood design for vertical gravity and lateral loads, and design best practices. (PDF)

Insulating Fire Sprinkler Systems With Fiber Glass & Mineral Wool
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association describes recommended practices for insulating fire sprinkler systems with fiber glass and mineral wool. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

BC Building Envelope Council Fall Issue Of Online Magazine
BC Building Envelope Council fall issue of their Elements magazine provides information and resources on building envelope technology, issues, products and procedures.

Technical Reports On High R-Value Foundations
Building Science technical reports on High R-Value Foundations are summaries of the results of BSC’s ongoing High R-Value Enclosure research to identify and evaluate residential assemblies that cost-effectively provide 50 percent improvement in thermal resistance.

Industry Articles On Hydronics
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency provides industry articles on hydronics technology, products, issues and procedures.

Technical Bulletins On Asphalt Roofing
Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association online technical bulletins offer information on common maintenance, repair, installation and weather-related topics affecting both residential and commercial asphalt roofs.

Ask The Expert On Asphalt Roofing
Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association online Ask the Expert service allows you to ask your roofing questions to ARMA's panel of experts.

Insulation & Air Sealing Products & Services
US Department of Energy provides links to get product information and locate professional services for insulation and air sealing.

Window Attachments Resource Site
Attachments Energy Rating Council is developing an independent rating, certification, labeling and performance verification program for window attachments. It has information about window attachment products, such as blinds, shades, shutters, drapes, awnings, storm panels, films and solar shades.

Consumer Guides To Appraisals
Appraisal Institute of Canada offers online consumer guides to appraisal services and procedures.

11. Conferences & Shows

2014 BC Construction Safety Conference
The annual Bridging the Gap conference, held November 13-14 in Richmond, is a two-day conference on safety in the construction industry.

Building Officials Association Of BC Fall Education Conference
The Fall Education Conference of the Building Officials Association of BC will be held in Richmond, November 25-29. It will feature plenary sessions and workshops on a number of building topics. (PDF)

Canadian Construction Exposition & Conference
Construct Canada a construction exposition and conference held jointly with PM Expo, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, and Concrete Canada, will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from December 2-4.

International Builders Show In Las Vegas
US National Association of Home Builders presents The International Builder's Show in Las Vegas, January 19-21. The largest such show in North America, it features educational sessions and exhibitors of building industry products, innovations, and demonstrations.

12. Education & Training

Negotiation Skills Workshop
ICBA presents Negotiation Skills Workshop in Burnaby on November 4th. In this seminar you will learn a proven, practical step-by-step approach to win-win negotiations and how to protect yourself from hardball negotiators.

BC Seminars On 2015 Electrical Code Change Training
BC Safety Authority is presenting training seminars around the province on proposed 2015 Electrical Code Changes.

Search Online For BC Licensed Residential Builder Education
BC Homeowner Protection Office online Education Registry for Licensed Residential Builders allows you to search for courses and to see how many points are awarded for completing the course. You can search by the education provider name, area, course, workshop, seminar, etc.

List Of Building Science Education In BC
BC Building Envelope Council lists various courses and resources for building science education.

BC Construction Industry Training Network
BC Construction Industry Training Network is the recognized authority on all construction industry workforce needs including: supply, recruitment, training, retention and best practices.

Private Institutions Expanding Their Trades Training
Journal Of Commerce article says the number of BC private institutions offering trades training is on the rise and, while government says the seats are needed, industry worries that the practical element might be missing.

Alberta Trades Training Goes High Tech With 3D Modeling
Journal Of Commerce article says new 3D simulation software that is being created by he Southern Alberta Institute of Technology will soon help electrical students grasp complex theoretical concepts more easily.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

47 Windows 10 Tips & Tricks
PC Pitstop describes how to get the most out of Windows 10 with these 47 tips & tricks.

5 Best Social Media Management Tools In 2015
Stream Feed offers their list of the five best social media tools to try in 2015.

I'll bet you feel at least a wee bit different after watching this.

Dittie For Today: On Arguing

Before you have an argument with your boss, take a good look at both sides -- your boss's side and the outside. - Unknown

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© Copyright 2015              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

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