Alert Notice #128
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
April 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

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

HPSC BC Home Performance Stakeholder Council
gienow   Gienow Windows & Doors
lennox   Lennox

My thanks to Brian Hart, Wilma Leung, Peter Sundberg, Christine Gibson, Sabine Just, Steve Thorpe, Murray Frank, Jessica Stoikes, George Pinch, Amanda Sturgeon, and Coby Rudolph 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

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************

                                     New BC Home Performance Stakeholder Council
   A group of industry players are working to advance home performance in BC. They have formed a
   Stakeholder Council to share ideas & resources, and to invite input from residential energy retrofit
   contractors, trades, suppliers, manufacturers, associations, and industry experts. You can...
  • Stay connected by adding your name to their mailing list to receive regular news or updates
  • Provide your thoughts & ideas on issues that you see as important for industry development
  • Get involved by attending future meetings or events to network with other industry players
  • Actively participate as a member of an Industry Sector Council
                                                                   Find out more…

Ken's Top Pick

All Decked Out With Proper Balconies
Building Science report All Decked Out says we are adding balconies to everything and people are forgetting that balconies are more than decoration but also have to function. And when we get it wrong it can be catastrophic. It focuses on wood balconies due to their popularity and because they tend to get done wrong more often than concrete and steel balconies.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Mortgage Rate Forecast March 2016
BC Real Estate Association online Mortgage Rate Forecast of March 2016 says financial market volatility is keeping mortgage rates low, and the Bank of Canada is unlikely to act on interest rates this year. (PDF)

Interest Rate Forecast March 2016
Central 1 Interest Rate Forecast says global economic struggles continue, there are more stable financial markets, there is a subdued rate outlook, and Canada’s economy may be booming? (PDF)

Population Growth Varies Widely Across BC
Business Council of British Columbia says in recent years BC’s population has expanded roughly in line with national population growth. Within BC, growth has varied widely across different regions and cities.

Tenant Turnover Rate In Vancouver Housing Market
CMHC says according to the turnover rate pilot study, close to one-fifth of the purpose-built rental stock in the Vancouver CMA, or an estimated 20,553 suites, changed tenants between October 2014 and October 2015.

Quarterly Canadian Resale Housing Forecast
Canadian Real Estate Association forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service anticipates that housing activity will rebalance in 2016, with cooling activity and smaller price gains in British Columbia and Ontario, resulting in slower national price growth.

Playing Home Price Hopscotch In US & Canada
Construction Market Data says February existing-homes sales price data from the Canadian Real Estate Association is sending a lot of people to optometrists to have their eyes checked.

BC Announces Support For Women To Start Career In Trades
Government of BC announced $1.8 million for the Women in Trades Training initiative through the Industry Training Authority to help support women to get the skills and training they need to start a career in the trades.

Dangerous Defects & Professional Liability
Condo Business says hopefully, the potential of direct liability encourages those involved in condominium design, construction and approval to accept accountability for their work and build safe, practical and quality buildings.

2. Business Management

Reducing Anxiety For Home Buyers
Builder Magazine describes three ways to improve customers’ experience and comfort during the sales process.

Components Of Good Marketing Strategy
Duct Tape Marketing says to be sure that you have a good marketing strategy you should pay attention to these components.

6 Trends That Will Change How You View Web Marketing In 2016
US National Association of Remodeling Industry describes their web marketing experts list of the six Web trends you need to know about in 2016.

Selling For What It's Worth
Builder Magazine offers some tips for transforming your sales team’s beliefs from 'We’re charging too much' to 'We’re not charging enough'.

2016 VRCA Construction Salary Guide
VRCA & Hays 2016 Salary Guide provides a cross section of average salaries, with a minimum-typical-maximum range for construction management professionals as well as an overview of some of the trends from the industry.

Average Profit Margin Of US Single-Family Builders
US National Association of Home Builders says industry benchmarks on profit margins, asset levels, and equity positions are important because they allow businesses to compare their performance to their peers, and that can be extremely helpful in identifying areas for improvement and increasing efficiencies.

How To Calculate Your Real Cost Of Labor
Remodeling magazine describes how to calculate your real cost of labour and use that number in your accounts, as they are crucial to accurate estimating and bookkeeping.

Set Rhythm & Flow To Improve Construction Productivity
Engineering News Record says to improve performance in our industry we should think of construction projects as production systems where safety, quality, material, equipment, people and reporting are all tied to the same physical output and production flow.

3. Building Design & Trends

2016 Winners Of BC Georgie Awards
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC provides a list and project information for this year's Georgie Awards winners. Their new home and home renovation projects highlight just some of the quality, skill, professionalism and excellence in BC's residential construction industry.

Boomers Prefer Suburbs & Cul de Sacs
US National Association of Home Builders report found the most-desired community features among the aging generation include parks, walking/jogging trails and proximity to retail centers.

6 Megatrends In Design Driven By Technology
Construction Dive says Gensler, an architecture giant, predicts some factors in the community sector, workplace sector and lifestyle sector that will shape cities in the next 10 years.

Must-Have Design Features For Move-Up Buyers
US National Association of Home Builders describes the must-have design features to entice move-up buyers in 2016, based on expert tips from the International Builders Show.

2016 Interior Design Trends
Proud Green Home says the Delta Faucet Company 2016 interior design trend report captures a range of looks that homeowners, designers and builders can use as they seek ways to reinvent their living spaces.

Paint With All The Colors Of The Year
Remodeling magazine says each year, companies seek to find that one color, or palette of colors, that will help to define what that year will mean to the world. Here’s a look at what a few companies have chosen for 2016.

Appealing To Millennials With Technology In Multifamily
Multi Housing News says in the real estate industry, changing trends have manifested themselves in delayed home-buying and an increase of millennial movement from suburbs to cities.

The End Of the Three-Story Walk-Up Apartment
Multi Housing News says we are seeing the gradual sun setting on the typical stick-built, three-story walk-up apartment.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Roel Schootman of Koel Kitchens and Design says: “I like what you are working on, Your Web site is great.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Changes In BC Building Code Requirements For Windows, Doors, Skylights
BC government bulletin provides a summary of the new requirements in the BC Building Code for windows, doors and skylights. The changes apply to buildings for which a building permit was applied for on or after December 11, 2015. (PDF)

Other Regulations Governing Home Building In BC
BC Government describes some regulations, additional to building codes, that are also used to regulate how specific construction projects are completed.

New BC Building Act Update For Local Governments
BC government provides local governments with preliminary information about: Upcoming changes under section 5 of the Building Act; Amending or repealing building requirements in bylaws; Other aspects of the implementation of the Building Act; The updated timeline for building official qualifications. (PDF)

BC Qualification Requirements For New Residential Builders
HPO bulletin Qualification Requirements for New Residential Builders says as of March 4, 2016, new licence applicants identified as general contractors who will be constructing single-family homes and small residential buildings 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. (PDF)

Risk Of Artesian Conditions While Constructing Below Ground
City of Vancouver bulletin says if you are planning to drill anywhere in Vancouver (whether for geotechnical testing, installing a geoexchange system or for any other reason), you must understand and comply with the applicable provisions of the new Water Sustainability Act and Groundwater Protection Regulation, which were brought into effect on February 29, 2016. (PDF)

Recent BC Electrical Safety Information Bulletins
BC Safety Authority lists their recent information bulletins that provide helpful information and clarification on issues that affect people in the electrical sector.

Submit Employer Incident Investigation Reports Online
WorkSafe BC says after certain workplace incidents, employers are required to conduct a full investigation and submit a report to them within 30 days. You can now submit your report online.

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************
Gienow High Performance Windows can serve your specific needs

By choosing Gienow windows that meet ENERGY STAR performance levels, your customers will reduce their energy costs, help protect the environment, and enjoy increased comfort in all seasons. Gienow offers SOL-R® glass that has a transparent coating which acts as a shield from heat and cold, blocks ultra-violet rays, and provides thermal insulation.
5. Building Science & Technology

Planning Final Grade From Foundations
US Department of Energy describes issues and considerations for final grade slopes away from foundations.

Slope Away From House
Building America Solution Center describes how to direct storm water runoff away from the foundation by having patio slabs, porch slabs, walks, and driveways slope away from the house.

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

Timber-Frame House For Cold Climate
Green Building Advisor describes how framed walls and several layers of rigid foam enclose the frame of this owner-built timber-frame home.

Factors Affecting Homeowner Decisions About HVAC
Emerson Climate Technologies summarizes their research that provides insight into the most important factors affecting homeowner decisions about HVAC equipment.

ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2016 Ventilation & Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings
Purchasable ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2016 Ventilation & Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings defines the roles of and minimum requirements for mechanical and natural ventilation systems and the building envelope intended to provide acceptable indoor air quality in low-rise residential buildings. $64 USD

ASHRAE Guideline 24-2015, Ventilation & Indoor Air Quality In Low-Rise
Purchasable ASHRAE guideline provides information on how to achieve good indoor air quality that may go beyond minimum requirements. It also provides information relevant to ventilation and IAQ on envelope and system design, material selection, commissioning and installation, and operation and maintenance. This publication applies to ventilation and IAQ for human occupancy in residential buildings that are three stories or fewer in height above grade, including manufactured and modular houses. $58 USD

Can Tech Disrupt Housing Business As Usual?
Builder Magazine says although the barriers to digital technology entry are higher than for many other industry sectors, consumers and the way they live in, use, and value homes will drive the agenda.

6. Building Performance Issues

BC House Inspection Opportunity, Volunteer Houses Needed
ASTTBC says their new Field Training Policy for House Inspectors needs to recruit some people to volunteer their homes for field training inspections and/or field assessment inspections. (PDF)

Visible Signs Of Water Damage Or Mold On Materials
Building America Solution Center says whether selecting building materials from a supplier, or installing materials that have been stored on site, it is important for all building professionals to avoid materials showing visible signs of water damage or mold. Installers on site should be especially vigilant to store building materials properly at the construction site and to avoid choosing any moldy or water-damaged materials.

Challenges & Opportunities In Creating Healthy Homes
Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report Challenges and Opportunities in Creating Healthy Homes suggests ways to help consumers make informed decisions. (PDF)

FAQ About Lead In Water
Water Quality Association answers frequently asked questions about lead in water.

If Ants Like Rigid Foam Should We Stop Using It?
Green Building Advisor says rigid foam insulation is routinely used in high-performance buildings, but it also seems to attract carpenter ants.

Rodent Proofing & Insulating A Wall From Outside
Journal of Light Construction describes mouse-proofing surgery on a problem wall bay.

Do Not Install Wall-to-Wall Carpet In Wet Areas
Building America Solution Center describes why and how to avoid installing carpet in areas that are likely to become wet.

Consumers Not Satisfied With Apps That Run Smart Home Devices
Media Post says, based on analyzing about 50,000 smart home device and app reviews over a four-month period, consumers are more frustrated by the applications that dictate, manage and schedule each device than with the actual devices themselves.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Pulte Homes New Zero Net Energy Home Prototype
Pulte Group is unveiling a zero net energy home prototype, a pilot aimed at building new homes for maximum energy efficiency and utility grid load reduction.

Housing Choice & Environmental Impact Online Calculator
UDI online Housing Choice and Environmental Impact Calculator allows Lower Mainland users to calculate the environmental impact of various building types.

Real Estate Foundation Submission For BC Climate Leadership Plan
Real Estate Foundation of BC shares its comments and recommendations for the second round of consultation on the BC Government Climate Leadership Plan. It includes a package of ten recommendations for integrating transportation and land use planning.

Net Zero Energy Builder Boot Camp In Kelowna
CHBA is holding a NZE Builder Boot Camp in Kelowna May 2nd. You can develop relationships with the leading NZE builders, Energy Advisors, and product/services experts who have experience completing NZE homes. You'll also learn about how to sell and market your NZE homes directly from the agency who is working with the NZE Council to develop our NZE brand and sales/marketing toolkit.

BC Energy Leadership Workshops For Elected Officials
Community Energy Association and BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council is presenting Energy Leadership Workshops for Elected Officials in Nanaimo, Kelowna, Kimberley, and Dawson Creek.

Home Performance Sales Leadership Online Training
Mike Rodgers, in partnership with the Home Performance Coalition, presents the online course Home Performance Sales Leadership Training, April 25 - June 5. You’ll receive a full set of tools, templates, and pro formas that can be used in the course and your business immediately. For your capstone project, you will build live dashboard to manage your team of prospects and salespeople.

World Green Building Trends In 2016, Motivators & Obstacles
US Green Building Council says new data reveals that client demand is the top trigger for green building activity, having grown from 35 percent in 2012 to 40 percent in 2015. This shows that building owners recognize the benefits of green, and this recognition is a major driver of green market growth globally.

Health & Well-Being Module For Real Estate Industry
Canada Green Building Council says GRESB, the global standard for environmental, social and governance assessment of real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets, has launched their Health and Well-being Module. It evaluates and benchmarks actions by property companies and funds to promote the health and well-being of employees and their strategy to create value through products and services that promote health and well-being for their tenants and customers.

BC LED Light Incentives In April
BC Hydro is offering rebates on select Energy Star LED light bulbs in April, and they offer some tips on selecting the lighting option that meets your needs.

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************
Lennox Energy Efficient Home Comfort Systems

Lennox’ innovative solutions include energy-efficient, Energy Star approved;
  •  Heating: Furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, air handlers, garage heaters
  •  Cooling: Air conditioners, heat pumps
  •  Indoor Air Quality: Air purification, filtration and humidification
  •  Comfort Controls: Thermostats and zoning systems
Most Lennox products are backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal

8. Building Products & Suppliers

New Technologies Can Be Risky For Builders
Journal Of Commerce says construction is an industry built on unceasing innovation, which often pressures its major players to adopt the latest products, even before the goods or services have been proven to work.

Survey Reveals Top 2016 Landscaping Trends
Construction Dive summarizes the Houzz Landscaping & Garden Trends Study that surveyed 958 registered US Houzz users in February 2016 who had completed an outdoor project in the past 12 months, were working on one or planned to start one in the next six months.

Window & Door Trends
Professional Builder describes top considerations for selecting windows and doors, as offered by builders and architects.

New Window Options With Bold Colors, Greater Efficiency
Qualified Remodeler describes how today's windows are much more than simple glass-covered openings, with homeowners now demanding ever-higher energy performance and design options.

Concrete Sealer Buying Tips
Concrete Network describes nine questions to ask before buying a concrete sealer for your next project.

$100 Digital Upgrades Can Help You Sell Your House
Market Watch provides examples of inexpensive tech upgrades that will help sell a home.

Heat Recovery Ventilation Considerations For Builders
HPO online bulletin describes heat recovery ventilation considerations for builders and designers. (PDF)

Hidden Genius Of Geothermal HVAC Systems
Renewable Energy World describes features and considerations for planning a geothermal HVAC system.

9. Installation Procedures

Getting Kickout Flashings Right
Journal of Light Construction says there is one detail, the kickout flashing at roof-wall intersections, that is done wrong most of the time.

Down & Out Is Rule For Draining The Rain
Energy Vanguard describes some examples and issues with proper installing flashing so it drains properly.

DuPont 4 inch Recessed Window Flashing Install
Construction Instruction online animation describes how to install DuPont Self-Adhered flashing on a 4 inch recessed window.

Electrical Outlets Are A Vital Soundproofing Detail
Journal of Light Construction says no matter how much Quiet Rock or Green Glue is used on a project, the electrical outlets, switches, and holes are the biggest sound-transmission paths that are usually overlooked.

Balancing a Zone System Bypass Duct
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency says the basic procedure for setting the airflow through a bypass duct uses static pressure measurements and equipment manufacturers tables or charts.

Thermostat Placement In Low-Load Homes In Sunny Climates
US Department of Energy report Impact of Thermostat Placement in Low-Load Homes in Sunny Climates says the ideal control strategy, system type, and thermostat location vary with house geometry, climate, and latitude. Typically, only one or two rooms pose comfort problems in low-load homes. Such rooms can be made somewhat more comfortable by changing the thermostat location for a particular house. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

Guides & Resources On Advanced Framing
Building America Solution Center provides online technical guides and other resources on advanced framing.

Online Video Of BC Building Smart With Mid-Rise Buildings Seminar
HPO online video includes all presentations from their seminar Building Smart With Mid-Rise Buildings.

Online Videos On Tips For Engineered Wood
Engineered Wood Association series of short online Video Briefs address key construction tips and topics.

Purchasable Recordings From Previous HVAC Industry Conferences
Air Conditioning Contractors of America sells recordings from their previous HVAC industry conferences.

Online Video Of Lost Art of Steam Heating Seminar
Heating Help online video features Dan Holohan presenting his Lost Art of Steam Heating seminar to General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of New York City.

Top 4 Trends Impacting Global Air Conditioning Market Through 2020
Business Wire says a new report on the global air-conditioning market identifies what the industry research firm says are the four most important trends expected to impact the industry from 2016 to 2020.

New Poll Shows What Consumers Want From Your Website
Remodeling magazine says websites and apps are making modest inroads into the business of finding a pro, particularly among some younger customers, but consumers and pros have different priorities regarding what should be on a site.

11. Conferences & Shows

2016 BC Home Inspector Conference
Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors of BC 2016 Conference will be held in Vancouver, April 29-30.

2016 BC Architects Conference
Architectural Institute of BC 2016 conference will be held in Vancouver, May 16-18. It brings together architects, intern architects, architectural technologists, builders, engineers, interior designers, faculty, students and other members of the design community to learn about new industry and professional trends, technological advances and best practices.

BC Building Officials Association Of BC Spring Education Conference
The Spring Education Conference of the Building Officials Association of BC will be held in Richmond, May 15-18. It will feature plenary sessions, trade show and workshops on a number of building topics. (PDF)

Security Canada West Expo
Canadian Security Association presents Security Canada West in Richmond on June 15. Security professionals from western Canada and the Unites States gather to exchange and review the latest innovations in technology, products and services from leading providers.

12. Education & Training

Beyond Air, Heat & Moisture
BC Building Envelope Council & APEGBC half day seminar Beyond Air, Heat & Moisture will be held in Vancouver on April 21st. It covers Part 5 requirements going beyond heat, air & moisture in the BCBC & VBBL, and speakers specialized in their respective fields will cover fundamentals and discuss criteria for the structural, acoustic & fire considerations for the building envelope.

Construction Estimating
ICBA course on Construction Estimating will be held in Burnaby on April 21-22. Participants will learn skills and knowledge to estimate construction projects and prepare a successful bid. It is designed for construction estimators and those with experience in construction that desire to be estimators or improve their knowledge of estimating, and is Gold Seal certified.

Canadian Spring Training Camp For Building Science
Building Knowledge 2016 Spring Training Camp For Advanced Building Science will be held April 24-26 in Huntsville. The format, venue, and informal setting come together to enhance the sharing of knowledge and experience between participants and speakers. Join with other builders, renovators and industry professionals in discussing issues and topics that challenge the home building industry, today and in the days to come.

Top 10 BC Warranty Claims & How To Avoid Them
Murray Frank of Building It Right is presenting an online workshop Top 10 BC Warranty Claims and How To Avoid Them on June 23rd. Pre-approved for 3 HPO & 3 BOABC CPD credits, this course looks at old and new problems affecting new construction and how to avoid these costly mistakes.

Seminars On Building Science In Renovation & Rehabilitation
Building Science seminar Renovation & Rehabilitation is being held in Westford, Massachusetts in June and September. It provides a highly personal boardroom discussion on the specifics of building science for renovation and rehabilitation. Space is limited to 15 attendees.

Online Course On Design & Control Of Concrete Mixes
Portland Cement Association e-learning program Design and Control of Concrete Mixes was developed for ready-mix concrete personnel who need fundamental yet practical concrete knowledge. The course consists of more than 10 hours of instruction covering materials for concrete, mixing, transporting, placing, finishing, curing, designing, and proportioning concrete.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Five Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Windows 10
IT Business says Windows 10 offers a number of improvements over Windows 8.1, but most users will likely want to make some tweaks to the default settings to get the most from the OS.

Best Tips For Finding Cheap Airfare With Google Flights
Google Flights is a solid tool for booking travel. If you are probably already familiar with its basic functions, there are some other, lesser-known features that can help you squeeze even more out of your travel budget.

Some Cool Construction Time-Lapse Videos
Construction Dive online time-lapse videos offer some very cool insights into how large projects are built.

Dittie For Today: On Work

The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. - Thomas Alva Edison

Quick Links

Subscription Info


© Copyright 2016              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional     Valid CSS!