Alert Notice #122
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
November 17, 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 Ted Sheldon, Melissa Broadus, Jackie Hordle, Ed Hudson, Linda Couch, John Maus, Karen Podolski, Brian Hart, Amanda Sturgeon, Glenn Duxbury, Christine Cunnick, Sabine Just, Kathryn Kubossek, Rachel Leslie, Brenda Williamson, and Rachel Rose 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

Designing A Low-Slope Roof That Works
Green Building Advisor blog post weighs the pros and cons of different roof coverings, types of insulation to use, whether it should go above or below the roof sheathing, and whether the roof should be vented or unvented.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

RDH Group Merging With Building Science Consulting Inc
RDH Group is merging with Building Science Consulting Inc. Effective November 1st they will operate as one integrated firm called RDH Building Science Inc. The merger brings two of the leading building science firms in North America together to provide a combination of research with design and implementation capabilities.

BC Housing Market Forecast 4th Quarter 2015
BC Real Estate Association 2015 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast reports that BC MLS residential sales in the province are projected to surpass 100,000 units this year. (PDF)

BC Housing Market Forecast 2015-2017
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Housing Forecast Update 2015-2017 says BC home prices and sales will climb through 2017, market conditions are strongest in large urban markets, and weaker external economic factors weigh on interior and northern regions. (PDF)

10 Real Estate Trends To Watch For In 2016
Buzz Buzz Home gives a rundown of the trends outlined in Canadian portion of the 37th annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate report from the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

2015 First-Time Homebuyers Survey Results
CMHC 2015 First-Time Homebuyers Survey has been completed. Highlights include first-time homebuyers are two times more likely to use social media to research homebuying information than other mortgage consumers, they are not as confident as repeat buyers, and they are also less certain about where to go if they faced financial trouble.

Do Seniors Want To Rent Or Buy Housing?
CMHC provides statistical information on how housing tenure changes as seniors age.

Older Canadians Trump Juniors In Remodeling Spending
Remodeling Magazine says the 45+ crowd finally has the time and money to remodel, and is hiring professionals to do the job.

Canadian Housing Market Indicators
CMHC online tables of timeline data (1990 - 2014) for Canada, the provinces and CMAs provides annual data on construction, available supply, housing costs and demand influences.

2. Business Management

What Should A Builder Change In Their Company
Builder Magazine says if a home building company seeks continuous improvement, a preoccupation with internal perspectives will result in continuous frustration.

Cost Of Constructing A Single Family Home In US In 2015
US National Association of Home Builders has recently published its latest construction cost survey, which shows that the average home was built on 20,129 square feet of land, had 2,802 square feet of finished space, and sold for an average of $468,318.

Getting Paid & Fixing Deficiencies
Getting paid and fixing deficiencies can be very frustrating. Kuhn LLP Legal Counsel suggests including a clause in your building contract that clearly spells out what constitutes a default on the part of the contractor and the homeowner, and provides a clear mechanism for dealing with these defaults should they arise. (PDF)

Canadian Strategy For Meeting Construction Workforce Challenges
BuildForce report Canadian Industry Strategy For Meeting Construction and Maintenance Workforce Challenges summarizes owners, contractors, labour and government input into a national workforce development strategy. (PDF)

Proposed Pilot Program Could Attract Skilled Foreign Workers
Journal Of Commerce says in Fort St. John the acute shortage has prompted the town to look at putting together a proposal for a pilot project under the BC Provincial Nominee Program that would help bring in badly-needed skilled foreign workers.

Should You Take On That Remodeling Client?
Remodeling magazine describes 12 questions a veteran custom builder uses to judge a prospect.

Google & Amazon Home Services
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency says many service providers are already aware that Google has begun rolling out their own Home Services program starting in San Francisco, which will directly compete with Amazon Home Services. For now, they’ve begun offering limited services such as locksmith, plumbing, and house cleaning, with the expectation to expand both service offerings and service areas in the near future.

Facebook Also Into Home Repair Matchmaking Service
Bloomberg Business says Facebook is the latest technology company that wants to connect you with a handyman who can install a ceiling fan or fix a leaky toilet, following Amazon, Google and a slew of startups seeking ways to make money from the $300 billion home-improvement market.

3. Building Design & Trends

2015 BC Architectural Award Winners
Architectural Institute of BC describes the 2015 winners of the Architectural Awards.

BC Landscape Awards Of Excellence 2015 Winners
British Columbia Landscape & Nursery Association presents annual BC Landscape Awards of Excellence to recognize and profile the high standard of landscaping excellence in BC.

Multiple Generations Opting To Live Together
Builder magazine says new, multi-generational floor plans by home builders like KB Home and Lennar are strategically designed to bring families closer together, while granting each counterpart individual privacy and independence.

Before & After Remodeling Design Award-Winning Projects
Remodeling magazine provides before and after pictures of some recent winners of their Design Award projects for comparison.

6 Steps To Help Remodeling Clients Understand Their Style
US National Association of Remodeling Industry says remodelers can guide clients in understanding what their style is and how to incorporate it into their homes, cohesively.

Five Design Ideas To Help Conceal A Garage
Builder Magazine provides some tips from a garage expert that can help keep the garage hidden in plain sight.

8 Solutions For Tiny Kitchens
Dwell describes eight kitchens that show it's possible to create a functional, full-service workstation in a tiny footprint.

Builder Discovers Untapped Demand In Small Home Market
Construction Dive says this builder wouldn't be surprised to soon see a lot of builders switching over to this type of work.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Dave Miller, President of M-Time Developments says: “Great site!”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Recent BC Building Code Interpretations
Building Officials Association of BC (BOABC) has updated it's site with more of the recent BC Building Code interpretations.

Protection Of Electrical Raceways & Cables Under Roof Systems & Decks
BC Safety Authority bulletin Protection Of Electrical Raceways and Cables Under Roof Systems and Decks provides guidance on the application BC Electrical Code: Sections 2 & 12.

NAFS Canadian Building Code Compliance
Fenestration Canada provides Canadian Building Code compliance information on requirements necessary for a fenestration manufacturer to have its products be compliant with the National Building Code. (PDF)

Research Paper Takes Shot At Compulsory Trades
Journal Of Commerce article says a paper argues that compulsory trades can have negative, unintended consequences, particularly, fewer workers or providers of a service, and more-expensive services or products.

Keeping A Record Of Your CPD Program
BC Homeowner Protection Office regulatory bulletin #14, Keeping a Record of Your CPD Program, explains how and why you need to maintain a record of your CPD activity. (PDF)

Mid-Rise Wood Construction In Ontario Building Code
Morrison Hershfield online report Ontario WoodWorks 2015 Reference Guide: Mid-rise Wood Construction in the Ontario Building Code explains new provisions in OBC and discusses opportunities as well as challenges. (PDF)

New International Code Resource For Water Efficiency
ASHRAE and International Code Council have partnered to publish 2015 WEP: Water Efficiency Provisions of the International Green Construction Code. The publication includes water-related IgCC provisions to support jurisdictions facing critical water challenges and drought.

International Residential Code
The 2015 edition of the International Residential Code is a comprehensive, stand-alone residential code that establishes minimum regulations for one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses using prescriptive provisions. It is founded on broad-based principles that make possible the use of new materials and new building designs.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Insulating Unvented Roof Assemblies
Fine Homebuilding says an unvented assembly can perform well, but it’s important to get the details right to avoid sheathing rot.

Technical Details On Structural Masonry Blocks
Masonry Institute of BC online technical details, viewable online, in PDf, autocad, sketchup, describe key design considerations and construction sequencing for structural masonry blocks.

High Efficiency Air To Air Heat Pumps
CMHC provides features, benefits and considerations for high efficiency air to air heat pumps.

Overview Of Structural Insulated Panels
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show describes features, benefits and considerations for structural insulated panels. (PDF)

Do Boilers For Heating Actually Boil Water?
Energy Vanguard says residential boilers take a fuel like natural gas or fuel oil, burn it to create heat, and then put that heat into water circulating through the distribution system.

Insulating Both Sides Of A Foundation
Green Building Advisor discusses details for adding foam insulation to both sides of a basement wall.

Fluid Applied Air Barrier Membranes
DuPont online AIA Continuing Education Video on Fluid Applied Air Barrier Membranes discusses some of the key differences and performance advantages of these new high performance air barrier chemical formulations in contrast to traditional fluid applied air barrier formulations.

WUFI No Longer Barking Up The Wrong Tree
WUFI is a modeling program for simulating one-dimensional dynamic heat and moisture transfer through a building enclosure. Building Science says it has turned into a useful modeling tool and is getting progressively more useful.

6. Building Performance Issues

Old Floodplain Maps Put British Columbians At Risk
BC Real Estate Association online says only 21% of BC communities and First Nations have access to a floodplain map that is ten years old or less.

Thermal Imaging Helps Locate Enclosure Air Leakage
BRIK online article from Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences describes how an infra red scan can investigate large sections of an enclosure surface in a relatively short amount of time to identify likely leakage location. (PDF)

Legionella Is The New Mold
Plumbing Engineer magazine says an aging population, aging water and increased awareness are just a few possible reasons for a rise in Legionnaires disease.

Simplified Combustion Safety Test Protocol
US DOE online Combustion Safety Simplified Test Protocol study showed that vent system inspection should be the primary element of any combustion safety evaluation, and auditors need appropriate training to recognize vent system deficiencies. (PDF)

Demand For Cooling Spiraling Upward
Fine Homebuilding says by the middle of the century, cooling will require more energy than heating and potentially make global warming worse.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Study Finds Green Construction Is Major US Economic Driver
Building Online says a study shows the green building sector is outpacing overall construction growth in the US and will account for more than 2.3 million American jobs this year.

Myth & Reality Of Clean Economy & Jobs
Business Council of BC says Clean Energy Canada recently released a document titled A Clean Economy and Jobs Plan for British Columbia, which purports to show the BC economy will continue to thrive if the province’s carbon tax is steadily ramped up and a long list of additional regulations and other measures are introduced to further reduce carbon emissions in the province. The Council is skeptical that the CEC’s analysis and projections are plausible.

Market Intelligence Report On Green Building Products In BC
Light House Sustainable Building Centre online Green Building Products in BC: Market Intelligence Report included primary research interviews with BC green product manufacturers across 20 industries including: wood, concrete, roofing, plastics, lighting and counter tops. It highlights the need for consumer education and research and development support across all industries, and paves the way for greater collaboration between manufacturers, industry, consumers, and government. (PDF)

Appraised Value & Energy Efficiency
The Research Alliance online guide Appraised Value & Energy Efficiency: Getting it Right contains recommendations for builders and resources to use with buyers and lenders. (PDF)

Green Roofs In BC
BC Homeowner Protection Office provides information and resources on green roofs.

City of Vancouver Checklist For Energy Efficiency Renovations In Existing Apartment Suites
Vancouver has a simplified form for completing energy efficiency renovations in existing apartment suites. The form, set up as an Excel spreadsheet, is on the City's renovation web page. Click "show more" under Preview of 2014 VBBL Part 11, and click Download the Energy Checklist for Alterations to Residential Suites.

EV Charger That Forms Small Household Microgrid
Microgrid Knowledge says researchers say they are creating an EV charger that will do far more than charge our cars. It would act as a hub connecting several energy sources including the battery, the storage system and the electric utility, forming a small micro-grid system.

Capturing Energy Efficiency In Residential Real Estate Transactions
US Department of Energy white paper Capturing Energy Efficiency in Residential Real Estate Transactions highlights how residential energy efficiency programs can help make energy efficiency visible to home appraisers, real estate agents, mortgage lenders, homebuyers and sellers. (PDF)

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

Top 10 Tile Trends For 2016
Building Design & Construction says supersized tile and 3D walls are among the trending tile design themes seen at Cersaie, an exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings held in Bologna, Italy in October 2015.

Tips For Designing A Concrete Fireplace
Concrete Network provides 10 tips offered from concrete contractors on designing a custom concrete fireplace surround.

Heat Recovery Ventilators
CMHC describes features, benefits, and considerations for heat recovery ventilators.

Resource Site On Wood Sustainability
The Most Natural Resource site lays out the case for wood construction over steel, concrete and bricks. Innovative Wood Products Collaborative notes that as timber grows, it soaks up carbon dioxide. That carbon is stored in wood products, a carbon sink that mitigates climate change.

Smart IAQ Is Breath Of Fresh Air
Techome Builder emagazine article says you can address poor indoor air quality concerns with these smart HVAC products.

Researchers Aim For Smarter People, Not Smarter Thermostats
Science X says researchers from the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan have developed a system that could lead to a new generation of home thermostats that actually teach people how to be smarter about energy consumption. The ThermoCoach system monitors occupancy patterns, then provides the homeowner with suggestions about optimal heating and cooling schedules.

9. Installation Procedures

Attic Air Sealing Guide & Details
Building Science online Attic Air Sealing Guide & Details provides background and approach for prep work necessary prior to adding attic insulation. It focuses on combustion safety, ventilation for indoor air quality, and attic ventilation for durability. The details section provides a scope of work and specification for the air sealing of many points of air leakage in common attic spaces.

Where To Insulate A Home
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association shows where and how to insulate walls, attics, above ceilings with unheated spaces, basement walls, floors above vented crawl spaces, cathedral ceilings, floors over unheated garages or porches, knee walls, and in between interior walls (especially bathrooms), ceilings or floors.

Maintaining Your Heat Recovery Ventilator
BC Homeowner Protection Office describes issues and considerations for operation and maintenance of a heat recovery ventilator. (PDF)

Insulating Radiant Panels
Plumbing and Mechanical magazine describes issues and considerations for insulating radiant panels.

How To Protect Air Conditioner Condenser In Winter
Fine Homebuilding online video describes a clever way to winterize an air-conditioning unit.

Below Deck Spray Foam Insulation For Existing Roofs
Building America describes issues and considerations for planning and installing spray foam insulation below existing roofs.

Strategies For Existing Ducts When HVAC Downsized
US Department of Energy report Overcoming Comfort Issues Due to Reduced Flow Room Air Mixing discusses feasibility of modifying the duct systems using minimally invasive strategies to improve air distribution when HVAC equipment is downsized and ducts are unaltered. (PDF)

Using Infrared In Flat & Low-Sloped Roofing Systems
BRIK article from Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences describes how different roof types and compositions need special considerations to perform infrared thermography correctly. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

Construction Community Network
BuildBoom, an online construction network has officially launched its public invitation beta with a general public date of November 25th. This social platform provides members of the industry a space to connect and create communities around projects.

Resource Site On Air Sealing A Home
Department of Energy site provides information and resources on air sealing, including new home construction, detecting leaks, caulking, and weatherstripping.

Construction Details For Masonry Veneer Walls
Masonry Institute of BC provides online detail drawings for masonry veneer walls attached to block, wood, and steel.

10 Construction Industry Twitter Accounts To Follow
Construction Dive has compiled a list of what they consider the top-notch Twitter accounts in the construction industry to help you stay up-to-date on news and hot topics.

Resources For Multi-Family Homes Energy Efficiency
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy provides information and resources on energy efficiency for multi-family homes.

Database Of Facade Retrofit Projects
Facade Retrofit is a new online database that aims to give AEC professionals a better idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to upgrading a façade in the name of energy efficiency.

Job Search From Multiple Websites
Neuvoo is a job search engine site that indexes jobs from company websites, placement agencies and job boards.

11. Conferences & Shows

2015 Construction Fair
Construction Specifications Canada Vancouver Chapter is bringing together over 100 local manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of construction products. Their 2015 Construction Fair will be held in Vancouver on November 18th.

Solar Canada 2015 Conference & Exposition
Solar Canada 2015 conference and trade show will be held in Toronto, December 7-8, 2015. The program covers industry trends, policies, opportunities, and other developments that will affect the energy market.

Conference For Flooring, Stone & Tile Professionals
Surfaces conference combines industry shows for the flooring, stone and tile professionals. It features newest products, hands-on demos, inspiring trends, key manufacturers, industry suppliers, along with unmatched education and networking. It takes place January 19-22, in Las Vegas.

Concrete & Masonry Industry Trade Show
World of Concrete, the annual international event dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries, will be held in Las Vegas February 2-5. Featuring indoor and outdoor exhibits with suppliers showcasing innovative products and technologies, demonstrations and competitions, and many education programs.

12. Education & Training

Resource Site On Continuing Professional Development For BC Builders
BC Homeowner Protection Office provides information and resources on continuing professional development, including nominees for CPD, acceptable training, education registry, keeping a record, and getting the latest updates.

Webinar On CHBA NZE Labelling Program Pilot
Canadian Home Builders Association webinar on their Net Zero Energy Labelling Program Pilot will be held on November 24th. It will cover Becoming a CHBA NZE Qualified Builder/Renovator, The technical requirements for a CHBA NZE Qualified Home, How to find a CHBA NZE Qualified Service Organization, Who can be a NZE Qualified Energy Advisor and Trainer, and After the Pilot; version 1 of the NZE Labelling Program.

Builders Lien Act: A Refresher & Recent Updates
ICBA breakfast session Builders Lien Act: A Refresher and Recent Updates, will be held in Burnaby on November 25th. It will provide an overview of the basic requirements of the Builders Lien Act (filing times and procedures, enforcement of liens, holdback trust accounts, recovery on a lien, early holdback release), address some of the thornier issues (liens against tenant improvements, CRA and the lien claimant, insolvent contractor and subcontractor lien rights, claims against the holdback) and talk about recent builders lien cases and issues.

Roadmap To Net Zero Energy Buildings In BC
Cascadia Green Building Council presents Metro Vancouver Net-Zero Energy Update, November 26th in Vancouver. They will present a progress update on Vancouver's goal of achieving net-zero energy status by 2030.

Fall Protection Comprehensive
VRCA course Fall Protection Comprehensive will be presented in Vancouver, December 1st. Participants will gain a good general understanding of fall protection systems and which options best meet your business needs.

Builder & Designer Breakfast Workshop On Low Energy Homes
Ecolighten is presenting a breakfast workshop on December 2nd in New Westminster. Local builders and designers can learn about current and upcoming program initiatives and incentives that support the design and construction of high performance homes.

Online Course In Managing Moisture In Building Enclosures
Whole Building Design Guide online course Managing Moisture in Building Enclosures begins with an explanation of moisture management concepts, followed by a review of effective strategies. Then special considerations for hot humid climates are highlighted, followed by air barrier systems in buildings. Free registration required.

Online Courses On Business & Safety
BuildForce online E-Learning Centre provides convenient, affordable and accessible online training to meet the growing demand for skilled construction workers. Courses include areas of business, management, supervision, safety and innovation.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Checking Win10 Compatibility
PC Pitstop describes how to determine if your favorite programs and/or devices are Win10 compatible.

30 Tools To Create Online Quizzes, Polls & Surveys
Hongkiat site has compiled 30 web-based quiz makers that allow you to create and publish quizzes in just minutes.

Concrete Buffer Gone Wild
In this humorous video, some office workers film a construction site that is overtaken by an out-of-control concrete buffer.

Dittie For Today: On Challenges

Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant. - Paul Coelho

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