Alert Notice #130
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
May 17, 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 Mark Gauvin, Mark Sakai, Wilma Leung, Christine Gibson, Brian Hart, Coby Rudolph, Ted Sheldon, Malamarie Sinha, George Pinch, Ryan Coleman, Jared Ridge, John Maus, Zena Caul, Michael Henry, Sabine Just, Ron Zimmer, Sam Yuan, Christine Cunnick and Matt Banner 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

How Buildings Age
Building Science says if you don’t do the water control don’t insulate. If you don’t do the water control and you insulate you are basically euthanizing your building.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Stats: Price Of New Housing In BC
BC Stats says British Columbia saw the New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rise 0.3% in March, the tenth consecutive month with an increase. The NHPI was 3.8% higher than in March 2015.

House Price Increases By Lower Mainland Municipality
Urban Futures online chart shows that as the number of listings decline in the face of rising sales, year-over-year prices have responded by moving upwards by an average of 23% across the Lower Mainland region. The fastest increase in benchmark prices was in Tsawwassen, at 32%, followed by 29% in West Vancouver. The slowest growth was seen on Bowen Island, at 11%, behind Pitt Meadows at 15%.

Housing Market Assessment For Vancouver
CMHC quarterly Housing Market Assessment provides updated results that evaluate the extent to which there is evidence of problematic housing market conditions in Vancouver. (PDF)

How To Make Vancouver More Affordable? More Building Permits
Fraser Institute says there is no single, easy to spot cause for Vancouver’s growing housing costs. Low interest rates, population growth, and the region’s liveability encourage demand. But one factor, constraints on the housing supply, is often overlooked.

Residential Building Approval Processes In Metro Vancouver
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association & UDI online Getting To Groundbreaking is an annual report on the residential approval process in Metro Vancouver. This year's publication, focused wood frame apartments, covers processes, experiences, and policies of residential building approvals with the purpose of identifying best practices to bring housing to market. (PDF)

BC Economic Outlook For 2016
Central 1 online slide show by Helmut Pastrick, Chief Economist provides their BC Economic Outlook for 2016. (PDF)

Economic Analysis of BC 2016-2018
Central 1 online Economic Analysis of BC 2016-2018 says robust BC house sales and rising prices will continue through 2018. (PDF)

Investment In New Housing Construction In Canada
Statistics Canada says in BC in February, new residential construction investment rose 21.8% year over year to $765 million. Construction spending on apartment and apartment-condominium buildings led the advance, rising 49.5% to $335 million. Higher investment in single-family dwellings and row houses also contributed to the gain.

2. Business Management

New 55 Website Better Engages With Active Adult Homebuyers
Building Online says Taylor Morrison's new 55+ website better engages with active adult homebuyers.

Keywords That Sell Homes Fastest
Market Watch says keywords that help sell homes faster and at higher values include the terms Shaker cabinet, subway tile, farmhouse sink, and Craftsman-style.

Online Reviews Gone Wild
Home Builder Canada magazine says online customer reviews are now more important than ads on TV, branded websites, print ads, and media.

How To Retain More Clients With Email Marketing Campaign
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency says email marketing campaigns are the easiest ways to remind folks you remember them and care about having their business.

BC Newly Built Home Exemption From Property Transfer Tax
BC Government says the Newly Built Home Exemption reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase a newly built home.

Big Issue With Fixed Price Contracts
Kuhn LLP says fixed price construction contracts can be effective tools for contractors in marketing their services to budget-conscious home owners looking for price certainty. However, the changing nature of most projects can create significant hurdles for contractors to jump through in order to satisfy their clients and maintain profitability. (PDF)

Labour Market Assessments For Residential Construction Industry 2016-2025
BuildForce Canada online Labour Market Assessments for the Residential Construction Industry 2016-2025 report provides an assessment of labour market conditions for residential construction to 2025 based on the current LMI system. (PDF)

US Government Regulation Costs 24% Of Price For New Home
US National Association of Home Builders estimates that, on average, regulations imposed by government at all levels account for 24.3 percent of the final price of a new single-family home built for sale.

3. Building Design & Trends

2016 GVHBA Ovation Awards Winners
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association lists the winners of their 2016 Ovation Awards.

2016 CHBA National Awards For Housing Excellence
Canadian Home Builders Association has announced the 2016 winners for its National Awards for Housing Excellence.

2016 StairCraft Award Winners
Stairbuilders & Manufacturers Association describes winners of its StairCraft Awards that recognize the finest staircase projects in the US and Canada.

Most Seniors Choosing To Age In Place
CMHC says a large majority of seniors are choosing to age in place; that is, to continue to live in their current home and familiar community for as long as possible even if their health changes.

Flexible Floor Plans For Narrow Lots
Builder Magazine describes some versatile layouts that hold wide appeal.

New LA Project Redefines Detached Housing
Builder Magazine says under Los Angeles small-lot ordinance, this developer constructed single-family houses eight inches apart.

Breaking Down Homeowners' Remodeling Must-Haves
Remodeling magazine describes design/build firms hottest trends and their clients' most frequent requests.

History Of American Housing
North Carolina home builder is making its mark with an interactive graphic on its web site that details the history of American housing.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Craig East, CFO at Primex Manufacturing says: “I continue to read/san through your 'blasts'. Well done! Keep up the good work.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

New BC Code 9.32 Ventilation
A refresher for you on a hot topic...the BC Building and Safety Standards Branch bulletin 9.32. Ventilation describes new BC Building Code requirements for the ventilation of residential dwelling units, such as houses, apartments and secondary suites. These came into effect on December 19, 2014. (PDF)

What BC Builders Need To Know About Owner Builder Projects
BC Homeowner Protection Office bulletin explains the level of involvement a construction professional may have in building a home under an Owner Builder Authorization while complying with the Homeowner Protection Act. (PDF)

Vancouver Demolition & Abatement Reporting Requirements
Vancouver City bulletin explains applicable by-laws and regulations, permit and reporting requirements for hazardous materials management in demolition and additional environmental requirements. (PDF)

Propane Vessel Owner Or Operator Requirements In BC
BC Safety Authority says owners of propane storage tanks require an operating permit for each tank in BC.

NFRC Thermal Modeling Of Windows
Fenestration Association of BC says with increasing standards and regulations by codes and municipalities, it is easy for glazing manufacturers, producers, distributors and installers to find themselves lost when it comes to understanding thermal performance requirements. (PDF)

Online Risk Awareness Resources
WorkSafe BC online Risk Awareness allows you to find risk awareness pages, with specific risk advisories providing additional information. The web pages also feature a database you can search to find risk advisories associated with your industry.

BC Legal & Building Bylaw Course
Building Officials Association of BC course BC Legal & Building Bylaw is intended to provide the necessary background material to allow participants to provide knowledgeable input into the bylaw drafting process.

Regulatory Issues For Manufactured Tiny Houses
Home Builder Canada magazine says a discussion paper from Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute has identified several factors to consider about where some types of tiny houses fit in the regulatory context.

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5. Building Science & Technology

An Air Barrier Is NOT A Product
Energy Vanguard says there’s no such thing as an air barrier product you can purchase. There are only air barrier systems that have to be assembled.

No Sweat Ductwork In Attics
Building Science describes options, issues and considerations for placement of ductwork so as to prevent sweating on ducts.

Right Sizing HVAC Equipment With CSA F280-12
Ecolighten says to address right sizing HVAC systems, there is a Canadian Standards Association standard on how to properly size HVAC equipment that is nationally recognized and referenced by all Canadian Building Codes. It is called CAN/CSA F280-12 Determining the Required Capacity of Residential Space Heating and Cooling Appliances.

4 Types Of R-Value
Energy Vanguard says if we use R-value to describe only the insulating properties of the insulation we install we neglect the insulation value of the other layers in a building assembly. In a wall, those layers include drywall, sheathing, cladding, and air films. They add to total R-value.

Building Materials With High Moisture Content Not Enclosed
US Department of Energy says if interior walls are enclosed (e.g., with drywall) when framing materials and insulation are wet, the trapped moisture can lead to problems for the home.

History Of Post-Frame Construction
US National Frame Building Association online infographic shows just how far the industry has come since the colonial Jamestown days.

Real World Evaluation Of Vapor Permeable Air Barriers
RDH Building Science online slide show presentation Vapor Permeable Air Barriers: Real World Evaluation Of What Works, What Doesn't and Why looks at real world testing of various types of vapour permeable liquid and self-adhesive air barrier membrane products and identifies potential strengths and weakness of these types of products.

Troubleshooting In Design Of Construction Details, Walls
Morrison Hershfield paper Troubleshooting in Design of Construction Details, Walls presents a systematic approach to identifying potential performance problems of walls at the design review stage. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Acoustic Performance Of Building Envelope
BC Building Envelope Council slide show presentation The Acoustic Performance of The Building Envelope covers fundamentals of acoustics, single number ratings, acoustic performance of windows, and composite acoustic performance of the building envelope. (PDF)

How To Soundproof Interior Walls
Ecohome online video show how to reduce sound transmission through interior partition walls.

Compartmentalization In Multifamily Buildings
Green Building Advisor says in a large residential building you don't want any air leaks between apartments.

New Registered Exterior Wall Observer Program
RCI has expanded its focus from roofing to the entire building envelope (roofing, waterproofing, and exterior walls), and saw the need for the development of an exterior wall observer designation. Quality assurance observers monitor the construction process to ensure that exterior wall systems stay in compliance with approved construction drawings, specifications, and best-practice or warranty-stipulated installation procedures.

Gas Furnaces Not To Be Used For Construction Heat
HRAI says furnace manufacturers have agreed to revise their gas furnace installation manuals to state that their furnaces are not permitted to be used for construction heat effective September 1, 2016. (PDF)

Durability Of Galvanized Roofing Nails
Journal of Light Construction says a US county has suspended approval of some electroplated nails after University of Florida testing shows rapid corrosion of many brands.

Volatile Organic Compound Exposure In Roofing
WorkSafe BC bulletin describes issues and considerations for volatile organic compound exposure during asphalt roof installation. (PDF)

Fire Safety During Construction 5 & 6 Storey Wood Buildings
Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has developed the best practice Guideline: Fire Safety during Construction of Five- and Six-Storey Wood Buildings in Ontario. (PDF)

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Seven Stylish Energy-Efficient Floor Plans
EcoBuilding Pulse magazine describes seven stylish energy-efficient floor plans that are designed with green features and offer wide appeal.

High Performance Houses & Energy In BC
Pacific Energy Innovation Association online slide show presentation High Performance Houses and Energy: Where we are at & where we are going, describes the current state of leading edge building science and technology for new homes in BC. (PDF)

Guide To Integrated Design & Delivery
Commission for Environmental Cooperation online Guide to Integrated Design and Delivery describes how to lower the environmental impact of construction projects. (PDF)

Understanding Embodied Energy In Design
Architect magazine says architects know how to manage the energy generated and consumed by a building during its working life, but what about energy used to create it?

New Home Program Extension To 2018
FortisBC has announced the extension of incentives for the New Home Program to support the construction of Energy Star new homes. Construction of qualifying homes must be completed by March 31, 2018.

Webinar On 5 Canadian Net Zero Energy Builder Success Stories
This free Webinar on June 9th describes results of the NRCan & Owens Corning initiative, Net Zero Energy Communities. It aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of building NZE housing communities addressing the challenges specific to production housing, and to act as a platform for the broader adoption of NZE homes across Canada. The 5 Canadian builders included Mattamy Calgary, Reid's Heritage Homes, Minto Communities, Construction Voyer, and Provident Developments.

Vancouver Airtightness Training
Small Planet Supply hands-on workshop Vancouver Airtightness Training will be held in Vancouver. Four course date options include June 25, July 16, August 13, or September 17. This workshop was developed for the City Of Vancouver by the air-tightness experts at RDH Building Sciences, Red Door Energy and Small Planet Supply. Attendees will work with a wide range of air-sealing materials and get a deep understanding of available materials, and how they perform.

Commercial Banks Could Spur Big Investment In Energy Efficiency
Institute for Market Transformation provides some insights into how lenders view energy efficiency finance and the steps needed to encourage industry change.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

LED Bulb Choices & DIY Lighting Fixture Tips
Ecohome online video shows how to choose LED bulbs and offers some DIY installation tips.

Raised-Heel Trusses
Engineered Wood Association free bulletin Raised-Heel Trusses for Efficient, Cost-Effective, Comfortable Homes, describes features, benefits and considerations for raised-heel trusses, also known as energy-heel trusses. Free site registration required.

HVAC Control & Comfort Options For Production Builders
TecHome Builder says considering the wide range of products that are either too expensive or too limited in their abilities, production builders have a lot to consider when heating and cooling for the mass market.

Choosing Between Ground & Air Source Heat Pumps
Ecohome says as a general rule ground source heat pumps may be better for very large homes and those in very cold climates. Air source are definitely more cost effective in small, efficient homes and any moderately sized home in temperate climates.

Air Conditioning In The 21st Century
HPAC magazine says with the prime HVAC sales season starting in earnest now, it is important to remember that air conditioning contractors must be committed to providing the best possible comfort along with the most efficient cooling systems. But here is the thing: a great deal of Canada’s housing stock built in the last 50 years cannot be cooled efficiently using a conventional furnace and split system air conditioner.

Tubing Options
HPAC magazine says you can look for polymer tubing to soon dominate the market worldwide.

Why Internet Of Things Might Never Speak A Common Language
Fast Company says a single standard for smart homes and other connected devices sounds great, but some of the biggest tech firms don’t seem interested.

Get Ready For Spring Projects With These New Tools
Remodeling magazine describes six tools that will help you make the transition from winter projects to spring with ease.

9. Installation Procedures

Layout Lines For Exterior Walls
Journal of Light Construction describes how to layout lines for exterior walls so as to get everything straight and square now to avoid headaches later.

How To Attach A Thick Layer Of Exterior Insulation
Green Building Advisor discusses whether or not extra-long screws will sag over time, if used on thick exterior insulation.

Installing Insulation & Air Sealing
Construction Instruction online animations show how to install some insulation and air sealing products.

Design Flaws That Can Rot Your House
Energy Vanguard says those of us in the world of building science know that when materials on the outside get wet, they stay wet longer now because buildings are better insulated. When water gets into that exterior sheathing or the framing behind it, things rot.

Exploring Aspects Of Radiant Tubing Depth
PM Engineer describes the effect tubing depth has on the thermal performance of a heated floor slab.

Quick Way To Calculate Heat Load For Replacement Equipment
Green Building Advisor describes a 15-minute way to calculate design heating load when sizing replacement equipment.

Renewing Old Decking
Journal of Light Construction offers four pro tips on getting a new finish that your customers will love.

Tips For Cleaning & Maintaining Paint Brushes
Remodeling magazine online video shows how to increase the longevity of your paint brushes.

10. Information Sources

Economic Impact of BC Development Industry
Urban Development Industry online infographic outlines the positive impact the industry has on the provincial economy. The property development industry creates 107,000 jobs and annually generates $17 billion in GDP.

BC Wood Associations Provide Technical & Product Support
Journal Of Commerce says BC is home-base to some of the world's foremost research and development facilities. Within that spectrum are two forest product research and marketing organizations providing Western Canadian contractors with expertise in wood construction while three others also provide strong support.

Insulation Institute Experts
North American Insulation Manufacturers Industry Association list their industry experts who provide technical support to their industry.

Certification Of HVAC Products
Air-Conditioning Heating & Refrigeration Institute provides unbiased evaluation of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and commercial refrigeration equipment. They list their certification programs here. (PDF)

Antique Radiant Applications
Radiant Professionals Alliance describes some historic documents showing how hydronic and radiant has progressed since it’s inception many years ago.

Report On Quality Of Documents Workshops
In 2015 the Canadian Construction Association embarked on a series of Quality of Documents workshops across Canada to explore and discuss the issue of poor quality documentation, its potential causes, and, perhaps most importantly, potential solutions to address the issue.

Compilation Of 2015 Canadian Housing Observer Articles & Statistics
CMHC online Housing Observer 2015 Digest includes a compilation of selected articles and is complemented by 31 housing and housing finance data tables. (PDF)

Maintaining Concrete
Concrete Network provides online how-to information for maintaining concrete slabs, floors, and countertops.

11. Conferences & Shows

Construction Specifications Canada Conference 2016
Construction Specifications Canada annual conference will be held in Halifax, May 25-29. It offers a wide range of educations opportunities, association meetings, and sponsor displays.

BC Energy Connections 2016
BC Sustainable Energy Association conference Energy Connections 2016 will be held in Vancouver on June 3rd. It will bring together citizens, community groups, businesses, and government agencies to inspire and inform British Columbians to take action and implement solutions in clean energy generation, energy efficiency and conservation, and low carbon transportation.

2016 Congress For Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors 2016 Congress will be held in Toronto, June 24-26.

Sustainable Civil Engineering Conference 2016
Civil Engineering 2016 is an International Conference on Sustainable Engineering that focuses on sustainability concepts implemented in design, construction and maintenance in any civil engineering structure. Held June 20-22 in Capetown, South Africa it welcomes researchers, architects, engineers and scientists from around the world.

12. Education & Training

Free Information Sessions On Enhanced Licensing System For BC Builders
BC Homeowner Protection Office is holding free Information Sessions around the province, providing updates on the Enhanced Licensing System for BC Builders.

Proposal Development Workshop
Construction Industry Training Network 1-day Proposal Development Workshop will be presented in Burnaby on May 26th. It addresses proposals in response to a formal Request for Proposals (RFP), Request for Qualifications (RFQ), Request for Information (RFI) from vendors, proposals prepared to address a potential business opportunity as well as less formal estimates and quotes.

How To Be A Better Manager
Construction Industry Training Network course How To Be A Better Manager will be held in Burnaby, May 27th. This one-day workshop focuses on you as a manager and the skills you will need to be successful in your role. You will leave this course with an action plan for being a better manager.

HVAC Systems & Impact On Indoor Air Quality
Indoor Air Quality Association quarterly chapter meeting, held June 2nd at BCIT, has the theme of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems and their Impact on Indoor Air Quality.

Electrical Conference On Protective Equipment
BC Safety Authority 2016 Electrical Conference: Protective Equipment, How Codes & Regulations are Keeping Us Safe will be held in Langley on June 8th. It is for electrical professionals who are interested in learning about the different codes and regulations pertaining to protective equipment and their impact to safety.

Courses On Mid-Rise Wood Buildings
WoodWorks describes courses available on mid-rise wood buildings.

Online Certified Vinyl Installer Certification Course
The Vinyl Siding Institute now offers experienced vinyl siding installers the online Certified Installer course that prepares students for the VSI Certified Installers Exam, which is also available online.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Removing Unwanted Windows 10 Features
Bob Rankin says Windows 10 comes with a myriad of new features in the core operating system and in standalone apps bundled with it. They can make Win10 confusing for some users; others are leery of features and apps that seem to invade privacy. If you don’t want a feature or app, you can get rid of it in most cases, but not all.

21 Ways Automating Dropbox Can Save You Time Every Day
Some of Dropbox's underused features include commenting on files, bookmark storage, podcast hosting, and creating photo albums. There's even some pretty impressive team collaboration and PDF annotation tools that many people haven't tried yet. In other words, if you use Dropbox to its full potential, you could save yourself a lot of headaches.

Skyscraper Construction Workers Goofing Around
Some of these photos of construction workers high in the air are terrifying. Some show workers goofing around and others are just doing their jobs.

Dittie For Today: On Challenges

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. - Theodore I. Rubin

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© Copyright 2016              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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