Alert Notice #17
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 April 13, 2009


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. Information Sources
10. Conferences & Shows
11. Education & Training
12. Computer, Internet & Fun
13. Industry Survey

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        Glass World

My Hero Had Character...And Was A Character

By all accounts he was just an everyday dude. But then, not all can account for the way his manhood and manner left such an indelible mark, so deeply imprinted on family and friends. He did so via that most challenging of ways – just by being himself and walking his talk.

Born into the simple life, on a little farm, as part of a large and loving family, he climbed his own ladder of life with an infectious determination and ever-present love of life. Varied and rugged rungs on his work-life ladder included what-today-might-be-called-child-labour chores, teenage military service, operating heavy equipment, factory work, sales, branch management, and resort ownership, all the while being Mr. Fix Anything. However, although fully committed to whatever his work of the moment was, he always considered family, friends, and fun to be the bigger part and parcel of life.

Married early to his childhood sweetheart, they revelled in a long and loving relationship that spanned more than 62 years. As husband and parent his wonderful and oftentimes wacky way of being permanently influenced his three not-so-easy-to-raise offspring, their mates, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. His ever-growing life-long networks of friends comprised of people from all walks of life. But in paying their respects to him, there was definitely a common, happy thread in all comments. To a person, many with more-than-a-slight spark of spirit in their eyes, they proudly purported "he was a helluva guy" and "we had some great times together".

My Hero had character. As a man of his word, expecting the same of others, his starting point was always one of trust. He was kind, caring, always sharing, and well known for helping people with their everyday chores and challenges. His fair and equal treatment of everyone garnered respect from all. Speaking from my own significant-boundary-stretching personal experiences, I can assure you that no matter what a person looked like, did, had, was, or was with, he accepted them just as they were. From this, others and I were blessed with a broader understanding what unconditional love truly means. More so, through his words and actions, he taught us to choose right over wrong, and the important difference between being crazy and being evil.

My Hero was a character. He was in his glory and finest of form whenever hosting parties, BBQs, card games (especially euchre), post-bonspiel celebrations, camp visits, Happy Hour, and our many family get-togethers. His carefree spirit and sense of humour were legendary. Nary a minute would go by at "any" gathering before he would lighten up the energy of the space with a one-liner, joke, or tell-it-like-it-is story. But now, given time to reflect, methinks these fun-loving traits were just smaller parts of his biggest attribute. That being his positive approach to life and living.

Throughout his entire life, my Hero handled all of his challenges and choices with a positive, can-do attitude. Never the victim, he dealt with things head on, and in ways that demonstrated personal responsibility and eternal optimism. Even in his last few years, in spite of losing his sight, hearing, and mobility, he found ways to adjust to these new limitations and make the best of such trying circumstances. Not to mention his continued ability to crack jokes and motivate his offspring. But nothing demonstrated the power of his inner fire more than his last determined effort at "family" time. Somehow he garnered enough strength to await the arrival of his two newest Angels. Then, only four days after tenderly holding his two great granddaughters on his weary old knees...our Hero passed away.

I've read that an elder knows when it is a good day to die. I now truly believe this. In the end, in spite of the deep sadness and loss, there is contentment in knowing that my Hero went in peace, in dignity, and with a smile on his face. I would forever be grateful if the apple that is yours truly were considered not to have fallen too far from the tree of my Dad.

My thanks to John Chepil, Sam Newell, Wilma Leung, Mary Hart, Herman Rebneris, Simone Sunderland, Areef Abraham, Ben Van Nostrand, Leo Lawson, Doug Harrison, Barry Mohring, Mark Ashcroft, John Vukanovich, Jeff Hansen, Bill Morrison, and Mark Gauvin for their comments, tips, and resources. I hope you find something of value in this newsletter.

Have a "Top Drawer" day.

Ken Farrish

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The presentation will include step-by-step construction details in wood frame and other methods of construction.

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1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Canadian New Housing Price Index
Statistics Canada New Housing Price Index for January 2009 says contractors' selling prices decreased 0.6% between December and January, a slightly faster pace than the 0.1% decline observed the previous month.

Housing Market Outlook Canada - First Quarter 2009
CMHC Housing Market Outlook provides information on housing trends and forecasts. With both a national and local perspective, this First Quarter 2009 report provides a two-year forecast of housing starts, sales, prices and key economic indicators. (PDF)

Altus Group 2009 Report On Canadian Housing
Canadian Home Builders Association 2009 conference report from Altus Group provides statistics, trends, and an overview of the Canadian housing markets across the country. (PDF)

Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update
Canadian Home Builders Association April 2009 bulletin provides on overview of the Canadian housing industry and the current economic situation. (PDF)

Canada's Residential Construction Industry Outlook - Winter 2009
Declining housing starts will cut home builders’ profits by almost 20 per cent this year, according to the Conference Board’s Canadian Industrial Outlook: Canada’s Residential Construction Industry – Winter 2009. Free registration required.

Online Video Of Peter Anderson's View Of Canadian Economy In 2009
Canadian Home Builders Association online video summarizes Peter Andersen presentation on the Canadian economy to the CHBA Economic Research Committee in February 2009.

Government-Imposed Charges On New Housing In Canada
CHMC study examined government-imposed charges (GICs) on new housing in Canada. Such costs include the full range of levies, fees, charges, and taxes that are imposed by all levels of government due to the development, sale and ownership of housing. The latest study presents estimates of GICs in 2006 and expands the coverage to 32 municipalities.

2. Business Management

Free Business Management Resources For Builders
Info 4 Builders offers free industry articles and downloads of construction process documents, checklists and forms to assist you in increasing the efficiency of your business.

You Can Trim Fixed Overhead Costs
US National Association of Home Builders article says fixed overhead costs are often really anything but fixed and, in this economic downturn, astute business owners can find many ways to trim their overhead — if they trim wisely and don’t put their business at risk.

Canadian Resource Site On FINTRAC Reporting Requirements For Builders
As of February 20, 2009, all new home builders and developers will have to comply with record-keeping and reporting requirements under the federal Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act. Canadian Home Builders Association has set up this information site as a resource for learning about and complying with FINTRAC requirements.

Articles On Housing Industry In Crisis & Survival Strategies
Builder magazine says the US home building industry clearly faces a market meltdown that threatens the very survival of many companies, and has collected these stories on recent failures along with information on how to survive these most troubling of times.

Keeping Design Phase Of Design-Build On Track
Journal of Light Construction article says despite the greater control you gain with design/build, keeping the design phase on track can be a real challenge.

40 Remodeling Marketing Ideas To Make Your Phone Ring
Qualified Remodeler article offers 40 unique and the tried-and-true tactics that every remodeling-services marketer should consider, particularly in a slower economy.

3. Building Design & Trends

2008 Winners Of Kitchen & Bath Design Competition
National Kitchen & Bath Association displays online photographs showing their 2008 Design Competition winners.

Design For Making The Most Of Basement Rooms
Fine Homebuilding article describes how when a basement is finished with as much care and detail as the house above, the message is that the space is an equal part of the home, not subordinate to it.

Blog & Resources On Small House Living
Tiny House offers information on different tiny or small house structures available, from pre-fab to straw bale, modern to rustic. It includes stories of people living the tiny house life style.

2008 Best Of The Best Remodeling Design Awards
Professional Remodeler magazine presents winners of their 2008 Best of the Best Design Awards, in which the majority of projects featured at least some form of green building practices and products.

What Types Of Projects Need An Architect
Architectural Institute of BC bulletin says the Architects Act is provincial legislation that defines architecture and designates which buildings require an architect by law. It provides links to more information on Buildings Requiring the Services of an Architect, Enforcement Procedures Of Architects Act of BC, and Architect & Derivative Titles & Resources. (PDF)

2008-09 Cost Vs Value For US Remodeling Projects
Hanley Wood's Remodeling Online site provides 2008-09 cost vs. value trends for different remodeling projects in various markets across the US.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Warren Jones, Director of Training & Course Development, CHBA-BC says: "BC Building Info is the best industry website out there. It has so much useful information for people to access."

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Update New BC Code For 6 Storey Wood-Framed Construction
BC Ministry of Housing has announced that effective April 6, 2009, new Building Code requirements come into effect to increase the maximum building height for mid-rise wood-framed residential construction from four to six storeys.

2009 Update On BC Energy Efficiency Act For Building Products
BC Ministry of Energy provides an update on proposed 2009 amendments to the Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation for general service lighting, refrigerators and freezers, gas and electric water heaters and industrial motors, as well as technical amendments to the current standards for windows, doors and skylights and furnaces.

BC Recycling Regulation For Electrical Products & Appliances
Canadian Water Quality Association summarizes BC government legislation to mandate recycling and stewardship plans for all electrical products by July of 2010 and all appliances by July of 2012. (PDF)

Canadian Building Code To Include Energy Efficiency Objective
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes has agreed to undertake work to consider energy efficiency in houses. In addition, the Commission is now updating the Model National Energy Code for Buildings for publication in 2011. In November 2008, the Provincial/Territorial Policy Advisory Committee on Codes advised the CCBFC of its preferred approach, that an objective for energy efficiency requirements for houses be added to Part 9 of the NBC for 2012.

Proposed Canadian Building Code Change On Radon Requirements
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction task force will address changes to the National Building Code of Canada requirements for radon in both large buildings and small buildings. The solution for small buildings would require the rough-in for a future radon exhaust system in addition to a good air barrier system in below-ground assemblies.

Resource Site On Licensing Of BC Home Inspectors
Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority governs BC home inspector licensing and offers information regarding new Regulation, questions and answers, initial qualification, and forms and fees.

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    Understanding Basements
    Building Science digest on basements covers keeping groundwater & contaminants out, insulating, conclusions and links to related documents.

    Air Flow Control
    Building Science Seminar presentation by Dr. John Straube covers why control air flow, driving forces, air barrier systems, airflow within enclosures, air leakage condensation, and tall buildings. (PDF)

    Capillarity & Porous Building Materials
    Building Science technical insight describes how simple, porous materials are capable of wicking water large distances due to capillary suction, and how when water can move large distances only bad things can happen.

    Capillary Moisture Transport & Foundation Implications
    Building Science Corporation online slide presentation describes capillary moisture transport & foundation implications. (PDF)

    Attic Ventilation May Not Solve All Moisture Problems
    Green Building Advisor discusses whether mold on plywood in this attic is the result of inadequate attic ventilation or air leakage. More attic ventilation would not have solved this mold and moisture problem; extensive air sealing will (and reduce the energy bills as well), however.

    2009 Housing Research Projects By CMHC
    CMHC 2009 Current Housing Research report is a directory to ongoing housing research on social, economic and technical issues. It describes research currently underway and provides announcements on newly completed research reports and research highlights. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    How To Minimize Buckling of Asphalt Shingles
    Engineered Wood Association bulletin describes how to minimize the buckling of asphalt shingles to ensure optimum performance of the shingle roofing and reduce callbacks and complaints. Free registration is required.

    Moisture Control For New Residential Buildings
    Building Science paper describes strategies that can be implemented to minimize the risk of moisture damage in new homes. The strategies fall into the following three groups: control of moisture entry; control of moisture accumulation; removal of moisture.

    Attached Garages & Indoor Air Quality
    CMHC describes how attached garages, while convenient, can move vehicle-based pollutants into houses, and covers how to avoid this source of pollution.

    Technical Bulletins On Building In Flood Prone Areas
    US Federal Emergency Management Agency online technical bulletins cover issues and recommendations for building in flood prone areas.

    Testing Fire Performance Of Canadian Houses
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction summarizes their first phase of research into fires in houses to better understand factors that affect life safety of occupants in the event of a fire.

    Radiant-Barrier Paint Has Low R-Values
    Journal of Light Construction Q & A says insulating-paint scams live on to this day, even though researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Florida Solar Energy Center have shown that these so-called ceramic paints perform exactly the same as ordinary white paint.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Recession Refocuses Opinions On Energy-Efficient Products
    Oikos Green Building News summarizes US Shelton Group survey that shows consumers are now willing to buy energy-efficient products and services if they see immediate savings, more so than for protecting the environment.

    How John Straube Would Retrofit Or Build For Energy Efficiency
    Building Science Seminar presentation by Dr. John Straube describes how he would retrofit an existing home, or build a new one, for comfort, health, durability, and energy efficiency. (PDF)

    Metro Vancouver Resource Site On Sustainable Building
    Metro Vancouver offers sustainable building information on design, building rating systems, demolition, renovation, construction, product & service directory, resources, events calendar, and more.

    Resource Site On Green Remodeling
    US National Association of Home Builders site offers information and resources on green remodeling.

    US National Green Building Conference In Dallas
    US National Association of Home Builders presents the National Green Building Conference May 8-10. You will find the latest information about the green building market, technical expertise, product developments, and educational sessions led by some of the most successful builders in the industry.

    Conference On Home Performance For Energy Retrofit Industry
    Affordable Comfort annual US conference for the home performance industry covers a wide range of building science topics, mostly relating to existing houses and buildings. Conference 2009 is in Kansas City, April 27 - May 01.

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    New BC Hydro Residential Electricity Rates
    BC Hydro describes what's happening to rates, why rates are increasing, how you can conserve more and save money, and resources for more information.

    New Terasen Gas Rates
    Terasen Gas has received approval from the BC Utilities Commission to lower natural gas commodity rates for the majority of customers in BC. The rate decreases will take effect April 1, 2009.

    Canadian Home Renovation Tax Credit
    Canada Revenue Agency site provides information on the Home Renovation Tax Credit, including background, what is covered, and procedures to follow.

    Canadian ecoENERGY-Retrofit Program Grants Expanded
    Natural Resources Canada grants for home energy-efficiency retrofits have increased by 25 percent. This program could provide double benefits for homeowners who are also eligible for the non-refundable Home Renovation Tax Credit worth up to $1,350. Now eligible are small semi-commercial/semi-residential buildings where 50 percent or more of the floor space is being used as residences.

    Free Canadian Newsletter On New Heating Plumbing & AC Products
    Canadian Heating Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine offers a free e-mail newsletter on new products for industry.

    Top Ten Issues In Residential Ventilation Design
    Building Science offers some basic, uncomplicated design guidelines that can go a long way to avoiding most trouble spots in residential ventilation systems.

    Free Magazine On Decorative Concrete
    Concrete Expressions is a free magazine that covers products, and trends developing in the concrete industry. Articles include new products, insight from industry leaders, project highlights, contractor profiles, the latest advances in decorative applications, sustainable design and outdoor living, event and training calendar, management tools and more.

    9. Information Sources

    Handouts & Presentations From Conferences On Building Performance
    Affordable Comfort offers online access to a wide range of handouts and presentations from past conferences on building performance.

    Resource Site On Engineered Wood
    APA, the engineered wood association, offers an extensive site pertaining to engineered wood products, including plywood, OSB, laminated veneer lumber, I-joists, rim board, glued laminated beams and more. It covers products, applications, education, media, green topics, as well as a member directory and APA programs.

    Links To BC Green Building Programs, Incentives & Education
    BC Homeowner Protection Office provides links to green building programs and rating systems, energy efficiency programs, incentive and rebates, education and training opportunities, green roof systems, and sources of more information.

    Presentations From BC Building Sustainable Communities Conference
    BC Fresh Outlook Foundation's Building SustainAble Communities conference presentations are available for viewing online. Links are on bottom right of the site Home Page.

    Listing Of Canadian Renewables Resources & Incentives
    Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada offers information and links to renewable energy resources, organizations, and financial incentives.

    10. Conferences & Shows

    Building Officials Association Of BC Conference In Nelson
    The Annual General Meeting & Conference of the Building Officials Association of BC will be held in Nelson on May 3-6. It will include a trade show, plenary sessions, and workshops on a number of building topics.

    CHBA-BC Future Of Housing Conference In Burnaby
    Canadian Home Builders Association of BC presents Future of Housing in BC conference in Burnaby on May 8. Speakers include Andrew Brethour, President of PMA Brethour Group, Louis Howard, Executive Vice President, John. F. Buchan Homes, and Jennifer Podmore, MPC Intelligence Inc.

    GeoExchange Industry Conference & Trade Show In Kelowna
    GeoExchange BC presents their Biennial International GeoExchange Conference & Trade Show from May 13 - 15 in Kelowna. It offers regional and international speakers, trade show, technical papers, site tours, and more.

    AIBC Annual Conference & Exhibition In Vancouver
    Architectural Institute of BC annual conference, May 7-9 in Vancouver, is the largest annual gathering of architects and allied professionals in British Columbia. Conference sessions will address a wide range of timely topics including sustainability, science & technology, health, social responsibility, education, business, sport, cultural heritage and design.

    Canadian Building Science & Technology Conference In Montreal
    The 12th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology will be held in Montreal on May 6-8. It provides a forum for the presentation, discussion, documentation and sharing of relevant building science knowledge and experience for practitioners and scientists involved in the building industry in Canada and the rest of the world.

    2009 Canadian Housing Renewal Congress In Toronto
    Canadian Housing and Renewal Association annual congress will be held in Toronto on April 15-18. For those interested in fostering healthy and affordable communities, the keynote speakers, plenary sessions, and workshops will challenge traditional thinking and provide opportunities for delegates to share perspectives.

    Building For Boomers & Beyond Conference In Philadelphia
    US National Association of Home Builders annual Building for Boomers & Beyond conference will be held In Philadelphia April 27 - 29. This education and networking conference is for industry professionals who serve the 50+ housing market, attracting hundreds of builders, developers, architects, sales and marketing professionals, and others in the 50+ housing industry.

    11. Education & Training

    Course On LEED Canada For Homes In Vancouver
    Canada Green Building Council presents a one-day workshop, in Vancouver on April 24th, providing a program overview of LEED Canada for Homes.

    BC Seminar On Airtightness in Residential Construction
    BC Homeowner Protection Office 2009 Spring Building Smart #11 seminar will provide information on air barriers, the impact of airtightness on building performance and its role in comfort, air quality and energy usage. (PDF)

    Upcoming Educational Courses For BC Construction Industry
    BC Construction Association calendar lists upcoming courses for the construction industry.

    New BC Certificate Of Qualification For Drywall Finisher
    BC Wall & Ceiling Association course results in ITA Certificate of Qualification for Drywall Finisher, for those who prepare, tape, fill and sand all seams, corners and angles, and prepare for and apply all decorative fixtures.

    Canadian Certification For Geoexchange Designers & Installers
    Canadian Geoexchange Coalition offers certification training across the country in four modules: driller, installer, residential designer and commercial designer.

    12. Computer, Internet & Fun

    Free Newsletter With Tips On Microsoft Word
    Allen Wyatt publishes a free newsletter containing just about everything you'd want to know about that puzzling Microsoft Word, regardless of the version you're using, Word 6, Word 95, Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, Word 2003, and Word 2007.

    Track Changes To Web Pages & Blogs
    If you want to keep track of web pages (such as your competitors) for content changes, Trackle is a free service that, up to 24 times a day, sends all found changes to you in one email.

    Have Fun Catching The Apples
    Here's another one of those simple timewasters that keeps you hitting the Play Again button, just one more time. You'll see what I mean.

    13. Industry Survey

    Today's Survey:   

    Do you think the Canucks have any chance of going far in the playoffs?

    Yes, I think they might do well
    No, I don't think they will go far
    Who cares!

    Last Survey: Is The Housing Market Downturn Worse Than You Expected?

    • 55% Said: Yes
    • 40% Said: No
    • 5% Said: Don't know yet

    Thanks for your participation

    Dittie For Today: On Motivation

    People who want milk should not seat themselves on a stool in the middle of the field in the hope that the cow will back up to them. - Elbert Hubbard

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    © Copyright 2009               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada