Alert Notice #136
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
October 4, 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, Les Scott, Karen Podolski, George Pinch, Patrick O'Toole, Warren Jones, Andrea Medeiros, Terry Adamson, Melissa Broadus, Mark Sakai, Brenda Williamson, Sabine Just, Wade Mayfield, Ted Sheldon, Janice Costa, Ron Zimmer, Christine Gibson, and Zena Caul 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

Guide For On-Site Moisture Management Of Wood Construction
HPO online Guide For On-Site Moisture Management Of Wood Construction was developed by FP Innovations. It covers moisture-related properties for several categories of wood materials/built-up assemblies, related guidelines about on-site moisture management practices that adapt to suit a range of wood construction projects, and different levels and methods of protection strategies are provided based on durability risk. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Mortgage Rate Forecast September 2016
BC Real Estate Association online Mortgage Rate Forecast of September 2016 says that mortgage rates will rise from their current lows with the five-year qualifying rate reaching 5 per cent by the end of next year. (PDF)

BC State Of the Market Report Q2-2016
UDI/Urban Analytics State of the Market Report for 2Q 2016 has been released with plenty of stats and graphs showing price escalations, supply contraction, and differences in market sectors (building types and regional sub-markets). (PDF)

BC Housing Market Forecast 3rd Quarter 2016
BC Real Estate Association 2016 Third Quarter Housing Forecast says MLS residential sales in the province are expected to post a record 113,000. (PDF)

Affordable Housing Considerations In BC
BC Construction Monitor details how intense the housing supply-demand imbalance has become, and identifies some of the ways of moderating it.

Demand, Supply, Taxes & Housing In Vancouver
Fraser Institute says the best way to make housing more affordable in Vancouver is not reducing sales of existing housing stock but improvements on the supply side that boost new housing construction.

National Housing Statistics
Canadian Real Estate Association says national home sales fell 3.1% from July to August, actual activity came in 10.2% above August 2015, the number of newly listed homes declined 2.7% from July to August, the MLS Home Price Index rose 14.7% year-over-year in August, and the national average sale price climbed 5.4% in August from one year ago.

2016 Q2 Canadian Housing Finance Data Update
CMHC online 2016 Q2 Housing Finance Data Update includes the latest on mortgage credit, bonds, securitization, arrears and more.

Shift From Personal Car Ownership To Shared Mobility Is Well Underway
Fast Company says with the rise of driver services such as Uber and Lyft, a future where fewer people own personal cars isn't that far off. A new report from Deloitte says personally-owned driver-driven cars will still have seven-eighths of the market in 2025. And by 2050, shared mobility will account for 80% of the market, it says.

2. Business Management

Renovation Tax Credit Needed In BC
Victoria Residential Builders Association says it’s time to implement a renovation tax credit that will address a wide range of housing issues.

Get The Most Out Of Customer Surveys
Builder Magazine describes 14 ways to make sure you're benefiting from buyer feedback.

Marketing To Baby Boomers
Multi Housing News says as empty-nesters migrate out of their homes and into multifamily housing communities, understanding how to market to this demographic is critical in getting prospects through the door.

7 Tips For Networking In Construction Industry
Construct Connect offers some tips to effectively network, a vital skill that as an individual could land you your next job or put your company on the path to your next big project.

Why Quality Is Overrated
Builder Magazine says you should focus on specific benefits instead of the overused word, Quality.

Pitfalls Of Customer Provided Equipment
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency says lots of contractors refuse to install equipment purchased separately by a customer. If you decide to take the plunge, you should be aware of the risks and act accordingly.

Tips & Tricks From Remodeling 550
Remodeling magazine interviewed executives at 8 outstanding companies on the Remodeling 550 list to learn a little bit about how they've achieved, and sustained, success.

3. Building Design & Trends

2017 Color Of The Year
Sherwin-Williams has selected Poised Taupe as the 2017 Color of the Year. The color indicates an overall desire for neutrals that bring warm and cool tones together, creating versatility.

Home Design Trends Survey Results For 2016 Q2
American Institute of Architects online Home Design Trends Survey results for Q2 2016 covers home features. This visual format is intended to help you quickly identify emerging trends in home design by using visual cues to scroll over and pull up charts and figures with findings for each quarter.

New US Single-Family Homes Started In 2015 Have More Bedrooms
US National Association of Home Builders says the share of new homes with four or more bedrooms in 2015 increased to 47%.

Increase In Multi-Generational Housing
Real Estate Magazine says multi-generational housing may not be mainstream yet in Canada but at the rate that it’s growing, it may eventually overtake prototypical nuclear family homes.

Sandwich Generation Changing Way People Remodel
MarketWatch says multigenerational living is changing remodeling practices.

Tuxedo Cabinets & Hidden Appliances Among 2016 Top Kitchen Trends
Zillow designers said tuxedo cabinets, out-of-sight appliances and wood paneling are some of the most popular kitchen features this year.

2016 Remodeling Design Award Winners
Remodeling magazine describes the winners of their 2016 Remodeling Design Awards.

Why Seniors Leave Their Homes
CMHC says most seniors have a strong desire to remain in their own home. However, there are a number of factors that make this a challenge and lead many to consider alternative living arrangements.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Garry Lowney, CEA, President of The House Whisperers says: “I find your newsletter a great source of info.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

CIPH & PMI Comments On Proposed Changes To Vancouver Building By-Laws
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating and Plumbing Manufacturers International provided these comments to the City of Vancouver on their proposed changes to their building by-laws. (PDF)

BC Electrical Safety Officer Responses To Recent Industry Questions
BC Safety Authority lists answers to recent questions BCSA safety officers have received from electrical contractors across the province.

WHMIS 2015, The Basics
WorkSafe BC downloadable booklet WHMIS 2015, The Basics is designed for workers. It explains the basics of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), including: Key changes from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015, Classification, Pictograms, Labels, Safety data sheets (SDSs), Responsibilities of workers, employers, and suppliers, Education and training.

Gas Service To Be Disconnected Before Demolition
WorkSafe BC says if you’re planning the demolition of a house or other structure, you must ensure the natural gas service is safely disconnected before demolition begins.

Impact of CSA P.9-11 on Combination System Design
Home Builder Canada magazine says CSA P.9-11 standards outlines a method to assess whether multiple combo system components from the same or different manufacturers are working together to derive maximum system efficiency and to provide a standard metric to compare different system approaches.

Combo Manufacturers Struggle To Get CSA Standard In Codes
Plumbing & HVAC says combination space heating and hot water equipment has improved dramatically since the launch of a new CSA standard five years ago. But manufacturers are wondering why the provinces have been so slow to incorporate it into their building codes.

Canadian National Master Construction Specification
National Research Council Canada describes the National Master Specification (NMS) that serve as a framework for writing construction project specifications. These contain approximately 750 master specifications in both English and French. Each section is designed to be edited from the original master to produce a project-specific document. It is intended for use by the federal government, other public organizations and the private sector in the preparation of construction and renovation contract documents.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Convection In A House
Construction Instruction online animation shows convection air flow in a house.

Conduction In A House
Construction Instruction online animation shows how heat is transferred by conduction in a house.

Mechanical Pressure
Construction Instruction online animation shows negative pressure air flows caused by mechanical pressure.

22 Radiant Myths
Healthy Heating describes 22 myths about radiant under floor heating.

Seven Radiant Heating & Cooling Myths
HPAC magazine says radiant energy and radiant systems myths continue and have expanded.

Introduction To Residential Indoor Environmental Quality
Healthy Heating article describes issues and considerations for residential indoor environmental quality. Note that the password to open the document is displayed just above the article.

Role Of Control Layers In Building Enclosure Design
WoodWorks online slide show presentation by RDH Building Engineering describes the role of control layers in building enclosure design. (PDF)

Vapour Diffusion & Condensation Control In High Performance Buildings
Sustainable Architecture and Building magazine says the correct selection and placement of vapour impermeable materials within wall assemblies is fundamental to their durability, and is increasingly important as we design more highly insulated walls to meet ever more stringent energy performance expectations.

6. Building Performance Issues

Know About CO & Gas Appliances
BC Safety Authority says you should know the signs of CO poisoning, have gas appliances serviced, and install and maintain CO detectors.

Ice Dam Causes & Solutions
Fine Homebuilding describes causes and solutions for ice dams. (PDF)

Heading Off Ice Dams
Green Building Advisor provides suggestions on how to stop ice damming.

Why Reversed Polarity Is A Hazard
BC Safety Authority says reversed polarity results when the hot and neutral wires are flipped around at an outlet, or upstream from an outlet. Fortunately, it is usually easy to repair.

Causes Of Insulation Slumping & Settling
Insulation Institute describes how improper installation can result in conditions which, over time, can allow slumping or settling of various insulation products.

Discovering Water Hammer
PM Engineer says in the beginning, when steam water hammer first showed up, it broke pipes, flanges and valves, and even killed people.

Web Application To Predict Sound Transmission Between Rooms
National Research Council of Canada free soundPATHS software is is a prediction tool for the calculation of direct and flanking sound transmission between adjacent rooms.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

BC Energy Star Workshops For Builders & Building Officials
Community Energy Association will be delivering workshops in a number of BC communities to support homebuilders in learning how to become certified as an Energy Star for New Homes builder. These workshops will also help building officials learn more about energy efficient housing.

Climate Change, What the Construction Industry Needs to Know
British Columbia Construction Roundtable breakfast session Climate Change, What the Construction Industry Needs to Know will be held in Vancouver on October 13th. It covers what the construction industry needs to know and what some of the predictable options are as expected climate change related sea level rise will impact shorelines and the infrastructure of coastal BC.

Selling & Marketing Green Homes
Green Builder Media offers advice from the industry’s best on selling and marketing green homes. CR Herro, VP Environmental Affairs for Meritage Homes gives compelling advice and unique insights into how to turn green building, considered a chore by some builders, into a brilliant business opportunity.

BC Consultations On Energy Efficiency Standards For Products
BC Ministry of Energy and Mines is consulting on proposed amendments to the Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation for General Service Lamps, Small Diameter Directional Lamps, Heat Pumps (Air Source, Split System), Natural Gas and Propane Fireplaces; and Fenestration products.

Canadian Energy Star Heating Equipment
Natural Resources Canada provides information and resources on Energy Star standards for heating equipment.

Choosing The Best Wood Stove Or Fireplace
Ecohome describes how to make sense of fireplace and wood stove specifications and know how to choose the right one for you.

Climate Projections For Metro Vancouver
Metro Vancouver report Climate Projections for Metro Vancouver says temperatures in Metro Vancouver are warming. Global climate models project an average increase of about 3°C in our region by the 2050s. Our ability to adapt to climate change requires specific information on how changes in temperature and precipitation will play out locally, how expected changes may vary throughout the seasons, and about new climate extremes. (PDF)

BC Rebates For New Homes & Renovations
FortisBC offers energy-efficiency rebates for both new homes and renovations.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

More On Western Canada Drywall Tariff Controversy
Canadian Contractor says CertainTeed Gypsum Canada is being hammered in the media by some contractors, despite its stated concern for Canadian jobs and its appeal to Canadian law.

Some New Tools
Home Builder Canada describes some new tools that are available.

2016 Editors Choice Awards For Tools
Tools Of The Trade describes the most interesting and innovative tools of the year.

New Decking Fasteners
Qualified Remodeler describes a variety of fastening systems that offer options for installing beautiful and safe decks.

Testing Cordless 18-Gauge Brad Nailers
Tools of the Trade testing shows gas-powered cordless nailers have some serious competition from their battery-powered cousins.

Hottest Color Trends For Home Exteriors
Remodeling magazine says choosing the right color and combinations for a re-side project is no easy task.

Modern Palette For Indoor Concrete Style
Concrete Network says interpretations of modern style vary from utilitarian and industrial to sleek and bold. Concrete can achieve all of these modern design variations by permitting large geometrical patterns and shapes, while conveying an industrial look using subtle shades of gray. (PDF)

Trends That Mean Good News For Hydronic Industry
HPAC magazine highlights some of the encouraging and more positive trends in the Hydronics industry.

9. Installation Procedures

Building & Trimming Eave Overhangs
Fine Homebuilding describes how attaching the eave to the wall rather than the rafter makes for a faster, straighter, and safer installation.

Dust On Jobsites
Home Builder Canada magazine says construction sites are known to be dusty and dust itself is not only bothersome, it can be deadly, dangerous or even explosive. Any renovator working in an occupied house knows that dust is his number one customer relations issue.

Replacing Rotted Engineered Beams
Journal of Light Construction describes how rotted engineered beams were replaced on a seaside condo.

How To Install A Subfloor
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to install subflooring efficiently and accurately, creating a flat and squeak-free base for all the finish floors to come.

Snow & Ice Melt Systems
Plumbing and Mechanical describes features and design considerations for snow and ice melt systems.

Drywall Screw Bumps With Low-VOC Drywall Adhesive
USG report, developed after drywall screw bump complaints in the US Atlantic region, suggests water-based low-VOC drywall construction adhesives failure to cure and reach a dimensionally stable condition prior to finishing is causing screw buttons. (PDF)

DuPont AAMA Window Install Method C, Flanged Window
Construction Instruction online animation describes the DuPont AAMA Window Install Method C for flanged windows.

Air Sealing & Compartmentalizing Townhouses & Row Houses
Building Science article Air Sealing and Compartmentalizing Townhouses and Row Houses describes why it's not easy to separate townhouses and row houses from one another, and from garages, and of course from the outside.

10. Information Sources

Fall/Winter 2016 Issue Of BC Building Envelope Council Magazine
BC Building Envelope Council online Fall/Winter magazine issue contains industry information and updates.

Presentations From Recent BC Building Envelope Conference
BC Building Envelope Council provides free access to online slide show presentations from their recent industry conference.

BC Seniors Housing Intentions
CMHC report BC Seniors Housing Intentions Survey provides insight into seniors housing needs and preferences; the implications of population aging on housing supply; appropriate housing solutions; and differences in needs, intentions and solutions between urban and rural areas. (PDF)

Determinants of Canadian Seniors Housing Choices
CMHC report Determinants of Seniors Housing Choices explores factors that influence seniors housing choices late in life and how and why they may choose supportive housing. (PDF)

History Of Plumbing
QS Supplies says there’s a very interesting history behind the evolution of plumbing materials used through the ages and up to modern times. Going back all the way back to the time of the Roman Empire, piping constructed of lead and clay was the first reliable material used to deliver potable water to bathhouses, amphitheaters, and private residences all over the Empire.

Guide To Resilient Design For Landscaping
American Society of Landscape Architects online Guide to Resilient Design helps communities become more resilient and come back stronger after disruptive natural events. It is organized around disruptive events that communities now experience: drought, extreme heat, fire, flooding, landslides, and, importantly, biodiversity loss, which subverts our ability to work with nature.

Searchable Database of Lesser Known Timber Species
Lesser-Known Timber Species website allows users to search through more than 200 species and 50 case studies, providing inspiration and guidance for architects and designers looking to use wood in their projects.

BC Aboriginal Small Businesses To Benefit From One-Stop Resource
BC Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction has released the Aboriginal Small Business Resource handout. This one-stop reference handout is tailored specifically to Aboriginal entrepreneurs, and includes information on how to access the range of services and supports available to Aboriginal small-business owners.

11. Conferences & Shows

BC Flooring EXPO 2016
BC Floor Covering Association presents their BC Flooring EXPO 2016 in Langley on October 20th. It features product displays and seminars throughout the day.

BC Business Summit 2016
Business Council of British Columbia hosts their fourth annual BC Business Summit on November 1st. It will convene leaders and decision makers from across the province and the country to examine the global trends impacting the provincial economy and inform a plan forward towards long-term economic prosperity.

1-Day BC Building Industry Trade Show & Seminars
Buildex Express will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on November 3rd. It will offer a tradeshow, networking, and industry seminars.

Building Officials Association Of BC Fall Education Conference
The Fall Education Conference of the Building Officials Association of BC will be held in Richmond, November 16-18. It will feature workshops on a number of building topics. (PDF)

Canadian Construction, Design, Real Estate Show
The Buildings Show will be held in Toronto from November 30th to December 2nd. It combines Construct Canada, Home Builder & Renovator Expo, PM Expo, World of Concrete Pavilion, IDEX Canada, and Real Estate Forum shows.

12. Education & Training

Calendar Of BC Construction Courses In October
Construction Industry Training Network calendar displays various construction courses being held around BC in October.

Fall Prevention Workshop For Construction
WorkSafe BC presents their Fall Prevention Workshop For Construction in Kelowna, on October 15th. You will learn about fall protection solutions and ways you and your crew can stay safe when working at heights.

BC Construction Innovation Bootcamp
Vancouver Regional Construction Association new Construction Innovation Bootcamp will take place in October & January. The series combines expert presentations, peer-to-peer mentorship and the latest research on innovation.

Hazardous Materials In Buildings
BC Building Envelope Council luncheon seminar Hazardous Materials In Buildings will be held in Vancouver on October 20th. This session we will look at some of the hazardous materials typically found in buildings and the responsibilities that building owners, consultants and contractors have to deal with them.

Get the PST Right! PST Issues for the Construction Industry
Construction Industry Training Network breakfast seminar Get the PST Right, Issues for the Construction Industry will be held in Burnaby on October 26th. It will help home builders, renovators and trade contractors understand how PST applies to their business.

Upcoming BC Workshops & Seminars On Wood In Construction
Wood-Works lists their various upcoming BC workshops on wood in construction, including Timber Pre-Fabrication Construction Workshop, Timber Connections Design Workshop, Mid-Rise Design Workshop, and Fire Performance and Alternative Solutions for Wood Structures Workshop.

New Red Seal Occupational Standard Introduced
HPAC magazine says the piloting of the Red Seal Occupational Standard in the Construction Electrician and Steamfitter/Pipefitter trades has been completed. The RSOS, which will take the place of the National Occupational Analysis, has a broad engagement of stakeholders in setting the standard.

2015 Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey
BC Stats says the 2015 Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey shows that relative to the average labour force participation and employment rates for a similarly aged population, the employment outcomes for former traditional apprentices were exceptional.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

11 Hidden Gmail Tricks
Techlicious offers their top tips for getting the most out of Gmail.

Facebook Launches New Website To Help Nonprofits Master The Platform
Facebook has launched a new resource to teach nonprofits how best to use it. It will help nonprofits and NGOs looking to create a presence on the social network, or for organizations looking to up their game when it comes to their existing Pages. The site serves as a simple, accessible roadmap of best practices, with tips and tricks coming from the platform itself.

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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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