Alert Notice #127
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
March 15, 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 Wilma Leung, Joey Fearn, Zana Gordon, Ryan Coleman, Murray Frank, John Maus, Brian Hart, Christine Cunnick, Peter Sundberg, Zena Caul, Paul Shorthouse, Sabine Just, and Christine Gibson 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

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Ken's Top Pick

2016 Masonry Systems Guide (Northwest Edition)
The online 2016 Masonry Systems Guide: Northwest Edition features a comprehensive overview of 8 primary masonry enclosure assemblies, including design details and discussion for each, and standardizes local preferences and best practices for masonry wall systems design and construction.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

2016 BC Construction Industry Survey
BC Construction Association report 2016 BC Construction Industry Survey focuses on trades wages & salaries. They surveyed their membership and subscriber base and received an impressive 900 respondents, all of them BC construction employers or skilled workers. The big picture results are included in the Survey Report. (PDF)

Online BC Property Tax Calculator
BC Government has updated their website with changes to the PTT, including a calculator to show exactly how much is paid under different scenarios.

BC Housing Market Forecast 1st Quarter 2016
BC Real Estate Association 2016 First Quarter Housing Forecast reports that MLS residential sales in the province are expected to edge back 6.3 per cent to 96,100 units in 2016. (PDF)

BC Economic Briefing March 2016
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Economic Briefing says B.C. housing starts surge in February to among highest levels in 25 years. (PDF)

Canadian Regional Housing Report
TD Economics Regional Housing Report says housing in Canada can best be characterized as a three speed market: the booming (Toronto, Vancouver and surrounding areas), the struggling (Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Regina), and the stable (the rest of Canada). (PDF)

Metro Van Cities Land Use & Types Of Buildings
Mountain Doodles breaks down land use in every municipality in Metro Vancouver by category.

Is Real Estate Assignment Always Bad?
Fraser Institute says sellers may be outraged by the resale at a higher price and final ultimate buyers may be peeved by paying more than first selling price. However, although it can be corrupted, assignment can serve a useful function.

Canada Builders Shift From Condos To Rentals
Reuters says amid fears of a bubble in condominium prices in Canada's largest cities, developers say they are shifting from building condos to high-rise rental apartments, as institutional investors look for assets with steady cash flow.

2. Business Management

Nine Millennial Traits That Impact Home Sales
Builder Magazine says many young people are ready to buy a home. Are you prepared to sell to them?

7 Steps For An Effective Social Media Marketing Plan
Duct Tape Marketing describes the seven steps your business must take to create an effective social media marketing strategy.

Price Buying Consumers Always Think Your Price Is High
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor magazine says if you sell your services at or below your true cost and refuse to change, you will not open your mind to the light of knowledge. Instead, you will keep yourself in the darkness which fertilizes the bliss of ignorance.

Five Tips To Avoiding Builder Burnout
Builder Magazine provides a few simple time-management techniques that can help builders stay sane.

Dealing With Angry Customers
Qualified Remodeler describes three solutions for dealing with angry customers.

BC Home Renovation Tax Credit For Seniors & Persons With Disabilities
BC Budget 2016 proposes to amend seniors home renovation tax credit to extend the program to individuals who may be eligible to claim the disability tax credit and to family members living with those individuals. The proposed amendment will be effective for renovation expenses made or incurred under an agreement entered into on or after February 17, 2016.

Raising Minimum Wage Is Misguided Policy, Unintended Consequences
Fraser Institute study, Raising the Minimum Wage: Misguided Policy, Unintended Consequences finds that, despite good intentions, raising the minimum wage will do little to reduce poverty mainly because most minimum-wage earners don't live in low-income households. The study diffuses the notion that the typical minimum-wage earner is a single parent struggling to survive.

2016 Canadian Construction & Maintenance Workforce Forecast
BuildForce Canada 2016 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast offers a 10-year scenario of workforce supply and demand by trade, province and region.

3. Building Design & Trends

Features Most & Least Likely To Show Up In Typical 2016 Home
US National Association of Home Builders national survey asked builders about the likelihood that a number of features would and would not be included in the typical single-family home they will build in 2016.

12 Home Design Trends To Watch In 2016
Construction Dive summarizes comments from two judges from the Best in American Living Awards about the most common design trends featured in the award-winning properties.

Top Ten 2016 Trends For Residential Landscape Architecture
American Society of Landscape Architects survey says sustainable design is the big trend for residential landscapes. The top trend, rainwater/graywater harvesting, reflects a growing consumer demand for beautiful residential landscapes that also save water.

US Housing Preferences Across Generations
US National Association of Home Builders latest study Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to Other Home Buyers, shows most home buyers are focused on features that help them save energy and keep the home organized.

8 Beautiful Bathrooms
Remodeling magazine describes eight marbled, tiled, and glassed bathrooms to give inspiration for any home.

5 Ways To Maximize Storage Space
Dwell describes five modern homes with great ideas on maximizing your square footage.

2016 Remodeling Contractors Of The Year
US National Association of Remodeling Industry presents the 158 Regional CotY (Contractor of the Year) winners from their 2016 competition.

Mid-Rise Residential Wood Construction
CMHC says based on research, advanced construction technologies and innovative wood products such as cross-laminated timber and structural composite lumber, 5- and 6-storey residential construction is becoming accepted in Canada and elsewhere. (PDF)

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Barbara Young, President of 12 Volt Solar Panels says: “I'd like to thank you for the excellent information I've found in BC Building Info. It's one of my favourite readings on the Web.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

New HPO Builder Qualifications Now Into Effect
BC Homeowner Protection Office says as of March 4th, new licence applicants identified as general contractors who will be constructing single-family homes and small residential building in BC under Part 9 of the BC Building Code are required to meet a new qualification standard before a licence will be issued by the Registrar.

Inconsistent BC Uniform Building Code
Victoria Residential Builders Association says to support a uniform code, the province should remove or grandfather the sprinkler regulations of a small number of existing municipalities bypassing the code and cost/benefit. Instead, BC plans to allow all municipalities to opt-in for mandatory fire sprinklers.

BC Directive For Plastic Pipe Venting
BC Safety Authority bulletin confirms the existing code provisions which require the use of ULC S636 certified plastic venting, and allows existing venting to be used with new appliances in specified circumstances.

Submitting Notice Of Project Is A Legal Requirement
WorkSafe BC says submitting a Notice of Project is a legal requirement that identifies: Who is responsible for health and safety on the site; The approximate start and finish date of the project; The approximate cost of the project; Other general information about the project. All new building projects and renovations having a capital expenditure of $100,000 or greater must be reported to WorkSafeBC through the Notice of Project process. Failure to submit a Notice of Project could result in increased enforcement activity and/or a financial penalty.

Consultation On BC Safety Authority Certification Standardization
BC Safety Authority is planning consultation on standardizing their certification programs, targeted to open in 2016. You can now sign up to be notified about updates on this consultation.

BC High-Risk Strategy 2016, Falls From Ladders
WorkSafe BC 2016 construction high-risk strategy is to reduce the rate of injuries in the construction sector by focusing on ladder safety. Their online resources include: Risk assessment checklist for ladders; Resources for ladder safety at work; Stepladder safety in construction (toolbox meeting guide); Ladder Safety Resources for all industries.

Purchasable National Building Code Of Canada
National Research Council Canada sells the National Model Codes and the User's Guide series, now collectively referred to as Codes Canada. Codes Canada 2015 are now available for purchase.

CAN/CSA-A770-16 CSA A770 Standard For Home Inspection
CSA standard CSA A770 Home Inspection is the first Canadian standard on home inspections. The voluntary standard will help home buyers to compare inspection services, and it will establish clear requirements for the inspection of homes.

Updated Specifications & Guides For Tile & Terrazzo Floors
Terrazzo, Tile & Marble Association of Canada sells the new 2016-2017 Specifications Guides for installation and maintenance of tile, terrazzo, hard surface and dimension stone floors.

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5. Building Science & Technology

How Come Double Vapor Barriers Work?
Building Science describes why, in some assemblies, double vapour barriers are actually a pretty good idea. The most famous of them all is a classic compact flat roof. The roof membrane on the top is clearly a vapor barrier, and the membrane on the bottom is also a vapor barrier. The bottom membrane's primary function is that of an air barrier but it's material characteristics are such that historically it has also been a vapor barrier.

How Retaining Walls Work
Journal of Light Construction describes three failure modes must be analyzed when you're engineering a retaining wall.

Electric Radiant Heating
PM Engineer magazine describes some features and considerations for radiant electric heating.

What Is A Thermostatic Radiator Valve?
Dan Holohan explains that a thermostatic radiator valve enables you to control the temperature of a specific radiator, thus giving you greater control of the temperature and comfort of a room or space.

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Is Overlooked Building Material
Fine Homebuilding says autoclaved aerated concrete is an unusual building material with properties that include being a much better thermal insulator than ordinary concrete, lightweight, easy to work with and resistant to fire, insects, and mold.

Misconceptions About Plumbing Venting
PM Engineer clarifies many misconceptions about plumbing venting.

Hygrothermal Building Assessment
Building Green says when a building is examined from a hygrothermal perspective, both moisture and heat flows on, off, and through your building are systematically tracked and evaluated.

Modeling Enclosure Design In Above-Grade Walls
US Department of Energy guideline Modeling Enclosure Design in Above-Grade Walls describes how to model and interpret results of models for above-grade walls, and analyzes the failure thresholds and criteria for above-grade walls. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Foam Insulation, Global Warming Potential, And BS
Energy Vanguard blogger says he has seen this bad information about closed cell spray foam and XPS foam board come up many times in the last six years.

Condo Sound Control
Journal of Light Construction online video provides a concise and coherent description of six steps to effectively reduce sound transmission between condo units.

Radon Considerations For New Home Construction
Jon Eakes online video Radon Control in New Construction describes how tradespeople should satisfy the building code for efficient radon reduction.

Expansion Space For Wood Floors
Journal of Light Construction discusses when you may need an expansion space for wood floors.

Insulation & Air Sealing Challenges
Home Energy Pros online video on insulation and air sealing challenges explains why it’s hard for trade contractors to meet performance requirements and ensure quality installations.

Analysis Of Modular Small-Diameter Air Distribution System
US Department of Energy report Performance Analysis of a Modular Small-Diameter Air Distribution System investigates the feasibility of using a home-run manifold small-diameter duct system to provide space-conditioning air to individual thermal zones in a low-load home. (PDF)

Vertical Differential Movement In Mid-Rise Wood Frame Construction
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation highlights required design considerations for vertical differential movement in mid-rise wood frame construction. (PDF)

Combustible Fenestration In Buildings Of Noncombustible Construction
Fenestration Canada online slide show presentation Fenestration with Combustible Components in Buildings of Non-combustible Construction covers regulatory requirements for fire, challenges, approach, and process. (PDF)

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

7 Steps To Get Your Piece Of The Green Building Market
Green Biz says to make sure your company gets its fair share of this very substantial pie, you need to tell a sustainability story, and you need to tell it in the right way to the right people.

What Is Home Performance?
Energy Vanguard helps you understand what the term home performance really means.

Provide Feedback On Draft BC Composting Toilet Manual
BC Ministry of Health is inviting public input into its draft Provincial Manual of Composting Toilet and Greywater Practice for wastewater practitioners to utilize in the design, installation, and maintenance of composting toilet-based sewerage systems in BC as an alternative to conventional systems.

Technical Requirements For CHBA Pilot Of Net Zero Energy Labelling Program
Canadian Home Builders Association online Net Zero Energy Labelling Program Pilot provides a technical description of the requirements for homes participating in the PILOT program. (PDF)

Wind Energy Myths
Green Energy Futures explores some of the most common myths surrounding wind energy.

Five-Part Webinar On Affordable Housing & Sustainability
Living Future five-part webinar series on affordable housing supports the approach that our future is sustainable only if all people have opportunities to live in healthy and affordable homes.

Getting Your Project to ZEN (Zero Emissions New Building Plan)
UDI breakfast seminar on March 31, Getting Your Project to ZEN (Zero Emissions New Building Plan), features Dave Ramslie introducing the recently developed Housing Choice and Environmental Impact Calculator.

Living Building Challenge Materials Petal Workshop
Living Future seminar on Materials Health will be held in Vancouver on April 6th. Focused on the Materials Petal, a performance area in the Institute's certification programs, participants will learn about projects that are non-toxic, transparent, and socially equitable. The workshop will highlight successful examples of innovative projects from around the globe, identifying innovative products and stories how projects have been successful in changing the materials marketplace.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

Carrier Expands Recalls To Repair Heat Pumps, Air Conditioners
Radiant & Hydronics says Carrier has announced an expansion of a recall for packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps sold under the Bryant, Carrier and Fast brand names.

Viessmann Recalls Vitodens 200-W Boiler Models
Health Canada recall involves Vitodens 200-W gas fired boiler models used for space or domestic hot water heating.

Tools Of Trade: New Tools Unveiled At IBS 2016
Tools of the Trade online video shares some cool tools that were unveiled at the 2016 International Builders Show.

11 New Kitchen Products
Residential Architect describes 11 new kitchen products from Design and Construction Week 2016, including appliances, surfaces, fixtures and more of the latest high-end design for the home.

Todays Tankless DHW Heaters
Plumbing & HVAC magazine says condensing tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular as the price gap with non-condensing models narrows thanks to less expensive and easier venting.

Picking Right Respiratory Protection Device For Remodeling
Remodeling magazine describes how to pick the right respiratory protection device for your remodeling work.

BC Onsite Wastewater Consumer Information Centre
BC Onsite Wastewater Consumer Information Centre provides consumers and property owners with information they need to understand their role and responsibilities in regards to their onsite sewage treatment system.

US Smart Home Market Has Been Struggling
Business Insider says a report has analyzed current US consumer demand for the smart home and barriers to widespread adoption. It finds there are many barriers preventing mass-market smart home adoption: high device prices, limited consumer demand, long device replacement cycles, and the technological fragmentation of the smart home ecosystem.

9. Installation Procedures

Trick For Gluing Drywall
Journal of Light Construction shows how the use of a construction adhesive can reduce the number of fasteners needed (and possibly the number of screw pops) by up to 75 percent.

Concrete Color Ideas & Selection
Concrete Network shows sixteen ways to get color ideas for decorative concrete surfaces.

Online Video Of Best Practices for Window Installation
BC Homeowner Protection Office online video of a Building Smart With Windows seminar covers evaluating window-wall interface details for effectiveness in managing rainwater and risk of condensation on windows, installation, CSA A440.4 Window Installation Standard, and the new Best Practice Guide for Windows and Doors.

Installing Flanged Window Flashing To AMAA A-1 Method
Journal of Light Construction provides pictures and tips on a proper AMAA A-1 method for flashing installation.

Sanding & Prepping Exterior Door
Fine Homebuilding says never assume that a factory-fresh wooden door is ready for finish. Their online video shows how you have to go over every square inch with sandpaper, starting at 150 grit with a random-orbit sander, and then working through 180 grit and 220 grit by hand. Be on the lookout for dents, scratches, and splinters, all of which should be dealt with before you start the dye phase.

Installing Arched Casing
Journal of Light Construction walks you through the layout and installation of three different styles of arched casing.

Hydronics Troubleshooting
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor magazine describes one contractors approach to troubleshooting a hot water heating system on a renovated house.

Assessing HVAC Fan Airflow & Electrical Parameters
Home Energy Pros online video describes how to assess HVAC fan airflow and electrical parameters to EPA Energy Star standards.

10. Information Sources

Electrical Inspector FAQ's
Electrical Inspectors Association of BC provides an Inspector FAQ’s section to possibly answer any questions you may have. If you do not get the desired information or answer from this section you may submit a question using the form provided.

Purchasable Recordings Of 2016 International Builders Show
Mobiltape sells educational session recordings from this year's International Builders Show.

2016 BC Red Tape Reduction Engagement Report
BC Government online Red Tape Reduction Engagement Report for 2016 describes a number of issues identified for government action. (PDF)

Construction Innovation Study Shows BC Behind Curve
BC Construction Association industry study Construction Innovation Project Report reveals the BC construction sector is lagging behind other jurisdictions when it comes to innovation.

2016 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report
Remodeling magazine online 2016 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report compares average cost for 30 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 100 US markets.

Construction Fire Safety Practices
American Wood Council website informs developers, local building departments and fire departments on how to prevent and reduce fire losses in buildings under construction. They offer three free manuals including Basic Fire Precautions During Construction, Hot Work During Construction, and Fire Department Response To Fires During Construction.

Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network: Wildfire Resources
US Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network provides resources for best practices and innovations in fire adaptation concepts.

Purchasable Book On Design & Control Of Concrete Mixtures
Portland Cement Association sells Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures, the reference book encapsulates all there is to know about cement and concrete since the material was used in the mid-1750s to build a lighthouse. This go-to-guide for anyone who works with concrete, from designers to builders to contractors and students, contains overviews of building standards, references, and research. $79 USD

11. Conferences & Shows

Canadian HVAC & Plumbing Industry Show
CMPX, the Canadian Mechanical & Plumbing Exposition will be held in Toronto, March 16-18. It is the national trade show for the heating, air conditioning, ventilation, hearth, plumbing, piping, refrigeration and emerging technologies industries.

Vancouver Real Estate Forum
Vancouver Real Estate Forum, held on March 30th, is an annual conference on real estate investment and management issues. It covers key issues and challenges facing real estate investors, developers, asset managers, brokers and other professionals active in every facet of commercial, industrial, residential and investment real estate.

ASHRAE Vancouver Island Trade Show
ASHRAE Vancouver Island Chapter presents their biennial Region XI tradeshow on April 22nd in Victoria.

Intelligent Buildings & Digital Home Forum
Continental Automated Buildings Association next Intelligent Buildings & Digital Home Forum will be held April 26-28, 2016 in San Diego. It brings together organizations involved in the integration of intelligent building systems and connected home technologies.

2016 Canadian Home Builders National Conference In Kelowna
Canadian Home Builders Association annual national conference, held in Kelowna May 4-6, includes a number of speakers and sessions on business and industry issues, awards presentations, product displays, and social and networking events.

12. Education & Training

R-22 Walls & Insulating For The Future
BCBEC luncheon seminar R-22 Walls & Insulating For The Future will be held in Vancouver on March 17th. It will cover various assemblies which meet the R-22 wall requirement without compromising other aspects of building enclosure performance such as moisture management, air leakage, and durability, and will also present the pros and cons of various different cladding attachment options when using exterior insulation.

Advanced Supervisors Bootcamp
ICBA workshop Advanced Supervisors Bootcamp will be held in Burnaby on March 31st. It will focus on the real-life practice of leadership skills in actual work environments. Participants are encouraged to share their stories of triumph, as well as their challenges, and work as a group to develop an advanced understanding of the art of supervision in the present day work environment.

BC Seminars On Top 10 Warranty Claims
Building It Right presents seminars around BC on Top 10 Warranty Claims in BC and How to Avoid Them. This HPO pre-approved, 3 CPD event has been developed and will be presented by Murray Frank of Constructive Home Solutions in conjunction with the 4 New Home Warranty providers. This 3 hour session will be held in 17 communities around the Province, starting on March 29th.

Microsoft Excel For Construction
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Microsoft Excel for Construction will be presented in Vancouver April 4th. Participants will learn the tools to help them better understand their business performance, examine profitability of various jobs and business areas, plan budgets, and examine business scenarios all through the use of Microsoft Excel.

Webinar On CSA F280-12 Standard: Right-Sized HVAC For NZE Homes
CHBA webinar F280-12 Standard: Right-Sized HVAC for NZE and NZE ready homes, will be presented on April 7th. It will cover why residential space heating/cooling systems should have the appropriate output capacity in low load homes such as NZE home, and how to calculate the heat loss/gain of homes for selecting the appropriate output capacity of a space heating/cooling appliance.

HR Essentials For Small & Medium-Sized Construction Businesses
ICBA course HR Essentials For Small & Medium-Sized Construction Businesses will be presented in Burnaby on April 25th. It covers key pieces of legislation that impact HR, improving employee recruitment and selection process to choose the right candidate through to offering a position, importance of employee policies, and basic rules of performance management, documentation and potential actions prior to termination.

2016 Winter & Spring BC Quality 1st Heating & Ventilation Training Schedule
BC Thermal Environmental Comfort Association has now opened registration for their winter & spring Quality 1st training courses.

Building Science Fundamentals Seminars Throughout US
Building Science presents Building Science Fundamentals seminars in various US cities, designed to provide high-quality, up-to-date building science information to all professionals in commercial, institutional and residential building sectors.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Apps For Carpenters
Fine Homebuilding online infographic describes some apps for carpenters.

20 Websites To Listen To Music For Free
Hongkiat describes 20 websites where you can listen to your favorite music on the go, online and for free. Note that while there are premium options, if you opt to stay with the free version, you will be subjected to ads that help towards keeping the services free.

How Tesla Model S Is Made
So you think you've seen it all in how the future of manufacturing is unfolding eh? Check this online video out.

Dittie For Today...On Learning

Nothing is more powerful for your future than being a gatherer of good ideas and information. That's called doing your homework. - Jim Rohn

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© Copyright 2016              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

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