Alert Notice #124
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
January 5, 2016


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, Dave Ricketts, Vanessa Smith, Terry Adamson, John Maus, Ted Sheldon, Wilma Leung, Sabine Just, Madison O'Connell, Christine Cunnick, Warren Jones, Dave Kyle, Einar Halbig, Karen Podolski, Rick Vlahos, Joshua McNab, and Phil London 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

Mold In Vented Wood-Frame Roofs In Pacific Northwest
RDH Building Engineering technical bulletin Mold in Vented Wood-Frame Roofs in the Pacific Northwest outlines the causes of the common moisture problems in vented wood-frame roofs, as well as potential solutions. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

UDI State Of The Market Report Q3-2015
UDI Pacific’s State of the Market report Q3-2015 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 housing market. (PDF)

Interest Rate Forecast December 2015
Central 1 Interest Rate Forecast says Canada stands to benefit from a more robust economic neighbor and its largest trading partner, though the low loonie also brings negative impacts and, until exports rise on a sustained basis, its slow-to-moderate growth phase will continue. (PDF)

2016 Predictions For Building Industry
Builder magazine provides their outlook on the inflection points they see impacting home builders the most in the 12 months ahead.

What Does BC Construction Industry Need To Do Better In 2016
Journal Of Commerce asked the members of their Editorial Advisory Board how they thought the industry needs to improve in the coming year.

10 Things To Watch For In BC In 2016
Business Council of British Columbia provides a list of trends and developments they believe will shape the BC economy in 2016.

Emerging Trends In Real Estate In US & Canada 2016
PriceWaterhouseCoopers forecast Emerging Trends in Real Estate: United States and Canada 2016 gives a heads-up on where to invest, which sectors and markets offer the best prospects, and trends in the capital markets that will affect real estate. (PDF)

6 Real Estate Predictions For 2016
Property Guys survey of its franchise owners across Canada show their top three predictions for 2016 are bidding wars will be less common in major markets, the 30-39 age group will buy the most homes, and most remain optimistic about the Canadian housing market. (PDF)

Updated Canadian Resale Housing Forecast
Canadian Real Estate Association has updated its forecast for home sales activity for 2015 and 2016.

2. Business Management

New Housing Market Insight Publication
A new CMHC market analysis product, the Housing Market Insight report, provides insightful analysis and answers key questions about the housing markets in Canada’s Census Metropolitan Areas.

13 Development Goals For Leaders In 2016
Smart Blogs describes some 2016 leadership development goals and how to put some best practices in place to help achieve those goals.

Home Buyers Expect High-Speed Service
Builder Magazine asks if you are meeting the needs of customers who are accustomed to on-demand access to salespeople.

Comments On New BC Labour Market Outlook
Business Council of British Columbia says the BC labour market outlook predicts future job openings and various factors that impinge on labour supply. It provides a high-level summary of the revised ten-year BC labour demand/supply outlook.

Onerous Bidding Conditions Were Present In 2015
BC Construction Association says one of the biggest hindrances to innovation and productivity in the construction industry is the inequitable allocation of risk down the supply chain to those least able to support it.

Cyber Security & Construction Industry
Journal Of Commerce online video features a cyber security expert speaking to a group of construction industry stakeholders about the importance of adopting and maintaining sound cyber security practices for their businesses.

Remodeling Projects Impact Report 2015
2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the US National Association of the Remodeling Industry shows median cost recovered on 20 types of remodeling and home improvement projects. (PDF)

Canadian Economy Will Remain Sluggish In 2016
Business Council of British Columbia says after a disappointing 2015 that included a minor technical recession in the first half of the year, Canada looks poised for a somewhat better, but still generally lackluster, performance.

3. Building Design & Trends

Evolution Of Housing In Canada, 1957 to 2014
Statistics Canada says urban growth is not so much moving outward as it is upward, as multi-family dwelling units, especially apartments and apartment-condominiums, have transformed the skylines of Canadian cities.

2016 Best Of 55+ Housing Awards Finalists
US National Association of Home Builders lists the finalists of their 55+ Housing Awards program, with links to their projects. The awards program honors excellence in building, design and marketing of housing for boomers and beyond.

3rd Quarter 2015 Home Design Trends Survey
American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey 3rd Quarter 2015 shows homeowners are seeking community amenities that allow them to remain connected to people and commerce. Walkability, higher density and infill development, as well as access to public transportation are all on the rise.

Boomers & Shifting Needs Of 55-plus Neighborhoods & Homes
Builder Magazine says as more people 55 and older choose or need to keep working, we need to look at land strategy, design, and marketing for them.

The Hot & Not List Of Top Home Features Of 2015 describes 20 features that are most often touted in their listings. These are the stuff that home dreams are made of, with a mixture of classic favorites and rising stars.

Most Popular Homes Of 2015, Indoor & Outdoor
Dwell describes projects that were most popular on this year. The slideshow shows readers favorite homes that blur the line between architecture and the natural world.

Most Popular Homes Of 2015: Small Spaces
Dwell describes five tiny spaces they consider their most popular of 2015.

28 Great Ideas For Kitchen & Bath
Fine Homebuilding describes 28 custom ideas that ingenious builders and homeowners have come up with for common kitchen and bath design problems.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

David Mitten, Executive Director, Siding & Window Dealers Association of Canada says: “I just spent an enjoyable hour or so exploring your web site. Wow, you've gathered together a lot of interesting stuff!”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Codes Amendments Revision 8 Effective December 11, 2015
BC government official document describes BC Codes Amendments Revision 8 that are effective December 11, 2015. (PDF)

BC Codes Amendments Revision 9 Effective December 21, 2015
BC government official document describes BC Codes Amendments Revision 9 Energy efficiency; secondary suites that is effective December 21, 2015.

Transition Period For New BC Building Act Now Underway
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC says sections of the Building Act came into force December 15, 2015. Section 5 specifies that local government building requirements have no legal force to the extent that they relate to a matter covered by a provincial building regulation (such as the BC Building Code). (PDF)

Online Presentations On BC Building Code Topics
Building Officials Association of BC provides online presentations on various topics within the BC Building Code.

Proposed Local Government Act Revision 2015
The proposed revision to the Local Government Act is now available on the BC Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development’s website.

2015 BC Electrical Code Adoption
BC Safety Authority bulletin provides guidance with regard to the use of the 2012 and 2015 Electrical Code editions, permits and performance of regulated electrical work.

Consultation On Proposed Amendments To BC OHS Regulation
WorkSafe BC has opened a consultation period for proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, prior to them being taken to public hearing in 2016.

Changes To Canadian National Plumbing Code For 2015
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating outlines technical changes to the National Plumbing Code for 2015. (PDF)

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5. Building Science & Technology

Joseph Haydn Does The Perfect Wall
Building Science describes features, benefits and considerations for a wall configuration with the thermal control layer outboard of the water, air and vapor control layers, that allow the assembly to be constructed in all climate zones: cold, mixed, hot and humid or dry.

New Vented Crawl Spaces Should Be Illegal
Green Building Advisor says for new homes, vented crawl spaces should be illegal.

FAQs On Radiant Floor Heating
Concrete Network answers some frequently asked questions about concrete floor radiant heating.

Types Of Vapor Barriers
Energy Vanguard defines types of vapor barriers including impermeable, semi-impermeable, semi-permeable, and permeable.

Choosing The Right Water-Resistive Barrier
Green Building Advisor discusses whether there are times when a rubberized asphalt membrane makes more sense than ordinary plastic housewrap.

Essential Ingredients For Kitchen Exhaust & Make-Up Air
Heating Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine describes some issues and considerations for kitchen exhaust and make-up air systems.

Mini Split Heat Pumps Lessons From The Field
Building Science online slide show presentations describes lessons from the field for mini split heat pumps. (PDF)

Lighting Principles & Terms
US Department of Energy describes the basics of lighting principles and terms to help you choose the best energy-efficient lighting options for your home.

6. Building Performance Issues

Alterations & Lack Of Servicing Led To CO Poisoning
A gas safety officer conducted an assessment of a residence after BC Safety Authority was notified about a gas fireplace operating incorrectly. The assessment found a gas-fired fireplace producing high levels of carbon monoxide in the home.

Radon Mitigation In A Leaky House
Green Building Advisor article discusses how to control radon levels in a leaky log home built in the 19th century.

How To Resolve Water Line Noise
Heating Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine describes causes, potential risks and ultimate cure for noisy water lines.

Silencing Noisy Hydronic Systems
Heating Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine describes how to identify and fix the primary culprits behind a noisy hydronic system.

Impact Of Asbestos
WorkSafe BC online video describes the history of asbestos, from its origins as a miracle material to its threat to worker health and safety. It includes personal stories from those who've been directly affected and urges those at risk of exposure to test for the presence of asbestos and only remove it if trained and qualified.

Shoddy Construction & Poor Design Behind Water Damage
Journal Of Commerce says concern is mounting in the insurance industry over water damage caused by faulty plumbing, utilities or construction in highrise strata buildings leading to ramped up deductibles or insurance cancellation.

Mechanical Contractors IAQ Considerations For Healthy Buildings
Mechanical Contractors Association of BC says the two main methods of controlling pollutant levels with the mechanical system include dilution through effective ventilation and removal through filtration.

Air Quality In Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
RDH Building Engineering technical bulletin Air Quality in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings says ventilation in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings is typically provided by a pressurized corridor system; however, considerable evidence suggests that the ventilation design does not perform as intended, resulting in poor indoor air quality and occupant comfort complaints. (PDF)

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Purchasable 2015 National Energy Code For Buildings
Canadian National Research Council sells the 2015 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings. It provides minimum requirements for the design and construction of energy-efficient buildings and covers the building envelope, systems and equipment for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, service water heating, lighting, and the provision of electrical power systems and motors. It applies to new buildings, as well as to substantial renovations in existing ones. It does not apply to farm buildings nor to housing and smaller buildings covered in Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada. $260 Cdn

Canadian Webinars On PV Systems Best Practices & Costing
CHBA Net Zero Energy Housing Council is presenting three webinars on PV best practices and costing. These cover current best practice, roof integrated systems, and use of PV with production builders.

Understanding Living Building Challenge
Living Future online workshops Understanding the Living Building Challenge provide an in-depth introduction to the Living Building Challenge ideology and certificate process. This online workshop consists of 4 live webinars with supplemental reading and activities.

Understanding LEED & Stormwater Management
Light House Sustainable Building Centre webinar Understanding the Ebbs and Flows of Stormwater Mgmt will be held on January 27th. It covers what LEED v2009 requires for stormwater management, and common misinterpretations of the SSc6 credits.

LEED Green Associate Study Course
Douglas College presents the LEED Green Associate Study Course in New Westminster, January 30-31. The two-day course provides foundational knowledge for the LEED Green Associate exam.

Global Conference On Business & Environment In Vancouver
GLOBE 2016, held in Vancouver March 2-4, is dedicated to the business of the environment. It offers three days of sessions presented by sustainability experts, displays of environmental innovations, and global networking opportunities.

BC Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program
BC Air Quality says the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program is designed to encourage British Columbians to change out their older, smoky wood stoves for low-emission appliances including new CSA-/EPA-certified clean-burning wood stoves.

Home Performance Market Innovations & Solutions
Home Energy Magazine discusses how data and partnerships can grow both the market and the home performance businesses to meet demand.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

3D Printing In The Construction Industry
CMHC report 3D Printing and the Construction Industry describes what 3D printing is, applications of 3D printing in the construction industry & residential buildings, potential implications for the home building industry, and future of 3D printing in residential construction. (PDF)

Printable Concrete Coming Soon
Engineering says 2016 looks to be the year that will finally see widespread use of 3D printing production for concrete.

8 Coolest Construction Technology Innovations Of 2015
Construction Dive looks back at the most interesting technological advancements in the construction industry throughout the last year.

2016 AHR Expo Innovation Award Winners
AHR Expo Innovation Awards describes the 10 most inventive and original products, systems and technologies showcased at the 2016 International Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Exposition.

Wearable Technology In Construction
Engineering News Record says in the near future construction workers may find that common assets such as hardhats, safety vests and even the tools they carry, are being infused with new capabilities.

New Thermostats Highlight Growing Home Energy Management Market
Utility Dive says new thermostat offerings include Nest's third generation learning device and Schneider Electric's wi-fi enabled Wiser Air, which can take into account weather forecasts.

Zero Net Energy Intelligent Controls Driving Success
Continental Automated Buildings Association study Zero Net Energy Building Controls: Characteristics, Energy Impacts and Lessons, details how existing and emerging building monitoring and control technologies are helping designers, owners, operators and occupants achieve and maintain zero net energy buildings. Free registration required.

25 New Tools From Makita
Tools of the Trade online slide show describes 25 new Makita tools, many of which won’t be out until later in 2015 or in 2016.

9. Installation Procedures

Landscaping For Shade
US Department of Energy describes how solar heat absorbed through windows and roofs can increase cooling costs, and incorporating shade from landscaping elements can help reduce this solar heat gain.

When To Take Gas Appliance Out Of Service
BC Safety Authority describes how to be prepared with a process for putting appliances safely in or out of service when they have been subjected to a flood, fire or any other form of natural disaster.

Roof Design Considerations
Building Science describes how roofs can be designed and constructed to be either vented or unvented in any hygrothermal zone.

Water Management When Re-Roofing Sloped Roof
Building America Solution Center guide describes considerations for re-roofing an existing home and adding exterior rigid insulation above the roof deck before installing the new cladding to improve the durability and moisture control of the roof as well as to improve thermal performance and provide a conditioned attic.

Durability Of Painting
Building Science report says exposure to sunlight and moisture are the major factors affecting the durability of paint coatings and the durability of the substrate. Ultraviolet radiation, moisture and heat can each lead to the breakdown of the resin in painted surfaces which binds (holds) the pigment to the substrate surface.

Myths Around Thermal Comfort Standards
Healthy Heating discusses several myths around standards that govern thermal comfort.

Cladding Attachment For Exterior Insulated Commercial Walls
RDH Building Engineering technical bulletin Cladding Attachment Solutions for Exterior Insulated Commercial Walls clarifies and provides guidance regarding different cladding attachment systems through exterior insulation for commercial wall applications. (PDF)

Building Enclosure Commissioning
Morrison Hershfield article in Canadian Property Management explains how building enclosure commissioning provides quality assurance and peace of mind for property managers. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

Ask An Electrical Safety Officer
BC Safety Authority lists answers to various questions asked of their electrical safety officers.

Presentations From 2015 Fall BC Building Official Education Conference
Building Officials Association of BC online presentations from their 2015 Fall Education Conference include compliance verification documents, eRSI worksheets, and resources.

Types Of Heat Pump Systems
US Department of Energy provides information on types of heat pump systems.

10 Technologies To Bolster Tiny Apartment Living
TecHome Builder says apartments, especially in urban areas, are often strapped for space. With the right technology, however, every inch will count.

Canadian Private Housing Stock, 2006-2011
CMHC summarizes the main changes in the private housing stock from 2006 to 2011. The first section provides an overview of how Statistics Canada defines and classifies housing units, and the second section discusses major changes in the stock. (PDF)

Comparing Provincial Workers Compensation Systems
The performance of provincial workers compensation systems is the focus of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses second edition of its Small Business Workers Compensation Index.

Qualification Based Selection Of Engineering Services
Association of Consulting Engineering of BC online Qualification Based Selection helps municipalities and other owners implement effective procurement practices for design services.

Certified Rental Building Program Launched In BC
Property Biz Canada says BC has joined Ontario in instituting a Certified Rental Building program designed to assist renters. The CRB program is North America's first and only quality assurance certification program for multi-unit residential apartment buildings.

11. Conferences & Shows

BC Tech Summit 2016
BC TECH Summit, held in Vancouver January 18-19, will showcase the vibrant BC technology industry and build cross-sector opportunities for businesses.

2016 Wood Symposium
The 2016 International Wood Symposium will be held in Vancouver on January 22nd. Created for design and building industry professionals, from design teams to building officials and owners the program covers the future of wood in a built environment of bigger, taller and more complex buildings.

BC Building Industry Trade Show
Buildex, the BC design, real estate, and construction show, held February 24-25 at Vancouver Convention Centre, features products, services, information, and education related to the management, design and renovation of commercial buildings, single family, multi-family, condominium, and community developments.

ACCA Conference & Indoor Environment & Energy Expo
Air Conditioning Contractors of America presents Conference & IE3 Expo in North Carolina, March 10-13. It brings together indoor environment and energy professionals for four days of learning, buying and selling, networking, and fun, all designed to help contractors grow and run successful operations.

Connected Home Conference & Show
TecHomeX, held March 21-23 in Orlando, features products and services that drive the evolution of the connected home to bring smarter, greener, more convenient, more efficient, more secure and more entertaining homes to the market.

12. Education & Training

Builders Lien Act
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Builders Lien Act will be held in Vancouver on January 20th. It will provide participants with the knowledge and background to understand the rights, remedies, and processes created by the Builders Lien Act.

New BC HVAC Code Requirements Workshop & Webinar
HPO workshop and webinar New BC HVAC Code Requirements will be presented on Janusry 20th in Burnaby. Developed following recommendations from builders who participated in a BC Local Energy Efficiency Partnership Initiative, it covers how the industry is moving ahead to meet new HVAC code requirements, how to design and select HVAC systems and equipment, and an exchange of ideas and lessons from industry professionals.

Introduction To Blueprint Reading
ICBA seminar Introduction to Blueprint Reading will be held in Burnaby on January 21st. Using both residential and commercial samples of blueprints, participants will gain experience and practical knowledge for their day-to-day work in construction companies.

Home Energy Design And Performance Solutions
GVHBA Builders Breakfast Series presents Home Energy Design And Performance Solutions in Surrey on January 28th. Attendees will learn the process of mechanical design and energy consulting.

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

School of Development 2016: The Numbers Behind Development
Urban Development Institute (UDI) course School of Development 2016: The Numbers Behind Development will be held in Vancouver, February 26-27. At the end of this course, you’ll possess a good understanding of proformas from various perspectives (valuation expert, developer, or lender) and have expanded your professional network.

New BC Builder Bulletins On Continuing Professional Development
BC Homeowner Protection Office has released new bulletins on Continuing Professional Development including Claiming Points, Claiming Active Practice Points, Accessing Training from Suppliers and Employers, Participating in Research and Education Development, Searching for Training, and Types of Acceptable Training.

Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey
BC Stats says most of the 2,027 former traditional apprenticeship students who were surveyed in 2014 had a positive outlook on the education they received; 93 percent said they were very satisfied or satisfied with their in-school training.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

How To Speed Up Microsoft Outlook
Make Tech Easier says Microsoft Outlook can slow down with regular use and data storage. It will start taking more time to launch, navigate between folders or even to send new emails. Here are some tips for speeding it up.

Helping Fliers Avoid Change Fees
New York Times says airline change fees have become so extreme that a cottage industry has emerged offering a way for travelers to avoid the charge.

Helium Beer Test
This helium beer test is guaranteed to get you giggling.

Dittie For Today: On Choice

If we are to be really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world. We cannot avoid meeting great issues. All that we can determine for ourselves is whether we shall meet them well or ill. - Theodore Roosevelt

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© Copyright 2016              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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