Alert Notice #3
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 March 12, 2008


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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Learnin’ From The Long-In-The-Tooth

When I was growing up (a work still in progress) as a child, I remember people using the phrase "Long In The Tooth" when referring to someone much older than themselves. A little Internet research found that "long in the tooth" does mean old, and is derived from the fact that one can determine a horse's age by looking at its teeth, since a horse's gums recede as it ages causing its teeth to look "long". Sensing you won't enter euphoria as a result of reading about life lessons I get from people with receding gum lines, I'll use the Long-In-The-Tooth term when referring to said elders.

My Mom & Dad are both LITT's. Now both in their 80's, they are being challenged with far more than receding gum lines. They've recently dealt with decreasing body functioning in sight, hearing, balance, mobility, and more. Medical conditions included heart problems, cancer scare, arthritis, stroke, tic douloureux, and dizzy spells. Everyday pains are experienced in shoulders, hips, knees, back, and hands. On top of all this, mortality rears its ugly head when, in what now seems like a regular occurrence, another one of their life-long friends passes away. Knowing Mom & Dad, they probably have a number of other, what they would call "little" things, that they put up with, without "bothering" us.

"So what's the big deal?" you may say. Lots of older people have similar, even worse, life and health issues to handle. True. But the really big deal, and hence the learning for me, is how my LITT Mom & Dad handle their challenges on a daily basis. Sure there are frustrating periods, and times of discontent, but these are by far the exception rather than the rule. The majority of time they simply carry on with life, as best they can, in the way that seems most natural to them...without a whole lot of complaining, and with a whole lot o' love. Therein lies my learnin'.

I learn while watching them practice patience and perserverance, as they search for better understandings of their own and each others situations, feelings, and actions. I learn from their ever-present positive attitude, and their penchant for having fun, whether it be euchre games, re-told jokes, or especially never-before-told-to-us stories of their younger years (some of which carry extra-special value as we find out they also had a wild side). More learning comes my way when seeing them openly communicate with each other, their best friends, and every single one of our family members. This communication talent reached a whole new level recently as Dad nurtured Mom into getting a web cam, so they can now visually connect with their offspring located country-wide. But more than anything, I learn about true love when they hug, kiss, and openly display their affection for each other, even at the dinner table.

When I think of how much I tend to complain about a sore hip, tweaked knee, tooth ache or headache, it all pales in comparison to what these two Long-In-The-Tooth teachers deal with daily. Given that my turn is coming, and I too will some day be LITT, I'm grateful for the lessons I continue to receive from my Mom & Dad. You rock! Hmmm, come to think of it, my gum lines do seem to be receding a bit.

Thanks to the following people for sharing their info & resources: Brian Hart, Ben Van Nostrand, Wilma Leung, Doug Harrison, Herman Rebneris, Matt Van Nostrand, John Vukanovich, Joan Scott, and Einar Halbig. I hope you find a wee bit of value in this Alert Notice.

Have a "Top Drawer" day.

Ken Farrish

Update On The New BC Building Info Site
"Where the BC building industry finds and shares information"

Directory Topics With New Links Added
These Topics in our Directory now have lots of new links:
Building Codes
Siding & Cladding
Top Sites For Information On Building Technology

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    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    Top 100 Western Canada Construction Companies
    Reed Construction Data Canada offers online access to their annual publication The Leaders which ranked, based on total value of projects under construction over a year, these top 100 general contractors in Western Canada.

    2008 BC Provincial Budget Highlights
    BC Government provides a brief overview of key points in their 2008 provincial budget released February 19th including Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax, Climate Action Credit for Lower Income British Columbians, Lower Taxes, and $100 Climate Action Dividend for Every British Columbian.

    Inclusionary Zoning Acts As A Tax On Housing
    US National Association of Home Builders Mandatory studies show inclusionary zoning requiring builders to sell a certain number of homes at below-market prices is a complex market intervention that can act like a tax on housing and worsen the affordable housing problem it is meant to solve.

    Calendar For Upcoming CMHC Market Analysis Reports
    CMHC lists the issue dates of their upcoming releases of national and local reports on housing markets, trends and related information.

    2. Business Management

    Online Resources On Business Management
    US National Association of Home Builders has online articles and resources on business management including best practices, questions & answers, and web links.

    Free Online Magazine On Optimizing Fuel Use
    Fuel Advantage site and online magazine for fleet administrators offers strategies for reducing fuel consumption and costs, industry news, videos, buyers guide, forums, events, US Grants & subsidies, and more.

    Free Project Management & Scheduling Software For Windows
    Open Workbench is an open source Windows-based desktop application that provides robust project management and scheduling functionality. It rivals Microsoft Project in strength and usability, but unlike MS Project it is free.

    Sales & Marketing Articles & Newsletter For Builders & Renovators
    Paul Montelongo, building industry sales trainer, offers a free marketing & sales articles and newsletter for the building industry, with words of wit, warning, and wisdom for your wallet. These contain tips, strategies, concepts and ideas on sales, marketing, personal and professional development, plus recommended resources for your personal and professional growth

    3. Building Design & Trends

    2007 Best In American Living Award Winners
    Co-sponsored by Professional Builder magazine and NAHB, the 2007 Best in American Living Awards show that winning homes have bold colors for interiors and exteriors, smaller size, continuing evolution of outdoor living space, and modular homes offering heightened design.

    US Architects Survey On Home Interior Design Trends
    American Institute of Architects 2008 survey shows kitchens and baths continue as focuses of design activity in homes, and accessibility and sustainable features grow in popularity as upper-end products wane with mounting house price affordability concerns.

    Guides To Designing Better Kitchens & Baths
    Qualified Remodeler article is an excerpted Designing Better Kitchens & Baths guide from the NKBA Professional Resource Library covering designing the grooming center, bathing/showering center tips, planning a sink station, refrigeration center layout, and maximizing cooking efficiency.

    What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

    Mario D Goncalves, Eng., President, Patenaude-Trempe Engineering says: "Thank you for sending this info...always full of very interesting content. Keep up the great work!"

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

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    City Of Vancouver Proposes New Green Homes Program
    The Vancouver Green Homes Program website provides information about proposed City of Vancouver building by-law changes that will impact one and two family dwelling buildings. It covers program goals, how it will work, why greener homes, building by-law amendments City staff are recommending, other components, costs, benefits, and request for public feedback.

    Proposed 2010 & Interim Technical Changes To Canadian National Code
    Canadian National Codes site lists proposed technical changes to the 2010 National Building Code, as well as more urgent interim changes that may be approved.

    Workers Compensation Board of BC Offers Free Downloadable OHS Regulations
    The latest version of the OHS Regulation CD includes all amendments effective up to and including July 26, 2007. Download it for free, or purchase copies from the WorkSafeBC Store.

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    Book On Building Science For Building Enclosures
    Building Science Press book by Dr John Straube and Eric Burnett is an advanced text on predicting and understanding the heat, air, and moisture response of the building enclosure. It covers fundamental physics to more practical applications for all climate regions, with calculations of heat flow, vapor diffusion and air leakage condensation through building enclosures. $75 USD.

    Building Science Research Projects Of The BC Homeowner Protection Office
    BC Homeowner Protection Office provides reports on research projects they have undertaken on a number of building science topics.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Detailing Of Rainscreen Siding
    This article from the Journal of Light Construction Guide to Moisture Control explains how to handle a variety of details for rainscreen siding installation, from what to do around windows and doors to the best way to treat the first and last course.

    Considering Universal Design When Selecting Appliances
    CMHC online guide considers the principles of universal design to help you select an appliance by outlining important design considerations, making helpful suggestions and explaining the safety features of appliances.

    Life Cycle Assessment Tools For Buildings
    Australian Environment department lists tools for life cycle assessment of whole buildings and operational energy modelling, with short descriptions of each plus direct links to their Web sites.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Online Guide To Green Building
    US Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology online guide to green building has information and resources on Resource and Waste Management, Energy Efficient System Integration, Resource Efficient Plumbing, Good Indoor Air Quality, and Low Impact Development.

    List Of BC Grants & Incentives For Energy Efficiency & Green Building
    City Green provides a listing, short descriptions, and links, to BC grant and incentive programs available for those who implement energy efficient and green measures on existing homes, new homes, and multi-unit residential buildings.

    EPIC Sustainable Living Expo In Vancouver In April
    EPIC is the Vancouver Sun Sustainable Living Expo green consumer show and eco-marketplace being held at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, April 18 - 20, 2008.

    US National Green Building Conference In May
    US National Association of Home Builders presents the annual National Green Building Conference where you will find the latest information about the green building market, technical expertise, product developments, and educational sessions lead by some of the most successful builders in the industry.

    Online Training Modules On Energy Improvements For Remodeling
    Toolbase, the site of the US National Association of Home Builders Research Center, offers access to their training modules that describe energy efficiency improvements that can be made in the course of any remodeling project. They cover introduction, building science & systems basics, house as a system, kitchens, bathrooms, space conversions, room additions, and mechanical systems.

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    Tool Resource Site With News, Reviews & Community
    Toologics tool resource site has news about tools, tool forums, tool reviews & buying guides, tool contests, article library, links to resources, and more.

    Canadian Directory Of Certified Hydronics Designers & Installers
    Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating has a database, searchable by province, of certified and registered designers and installers of hydronic heating systems.

    GE Recalls Microwave Combo Wall Ovens Due To Fire Hazard
    General Electric is recalling approximately 92,000 microwave combo wall ovens manufactured under the brand names GE, GE Profile, and Kenmore. The door switch in the microwave oven can overheat and ignite plastic components in the control area, posing a fire hazard to consumers. The lower thermal oven does not pose a hazard.

    Fireplace Designs Are Changing As Seen At Industry Trade Show
    Builder Online article says fireplace designs, except for many European imports, have been largely traditional. But the trend in fireplace design is changing, and the new offerings at this year's Hearth Patio & Barbecue Expo in Atlanta signal the momentum.

    Increases To BC Hydro Residential Electricity Rates
    BC Hydro is applying for rate increases over the next two years, and here they provide information on residential electricity rates including whats happening to rates, how the changes will affect you, when new rates go into effect, who will be affected, why rates are increasing, how customers can reduce the impact on their bills, and resources for more information.

    Terasen Gas Lowers Connection Fees For Natural Gas
    As of January 2008, Terasen Gas lowered its connection fees for natural gas to buildings, and began offering energy efficiency volume credits.

    9. Information Sources

    Free E-mail Newsletters Canadian Housing Technology & Research
    CMHC offers two free monthly e-mail newsletters. CHMC Housing Technology covers technical research highlights, construction details, innovative building case studies and more. CMHC Housing Research contains the latest socio-economic housing research findings and events.

    Journal of Light Construction DVD With All Past Articles
    Industry publisher Hanley Wood offers a purchasable DVD that contains all articles published in the popular Journal of Light Construction from Jan 1986 to present. $99.95 USD

    Housing & Real Estate Market & Industry News With RSS Feeds
    DocuTicker offers a hand-picked selection of housing and real estate market and industry resources, reports and publications from government agencies, NGOs, think tanks and other public interest organizations, also available as free RSS feeds.

    10. Conferences & Shows

    Smart Growth BC Conference In Vancouver On April 18
    Smart Growth BC 2008 conference Making Smart Growth Happen: From Policy to Practice, will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver on Friday April 18th. It will focus on examples from communities of all sizes across BC, strategies for implementing smart growth at local, regional, and province-wide scales, LEED Neighbourhood Design in Canada, affordable housing toolkit, community engagement, smart growth in small communities, and more.

    2008 Housing Renewal Congress In Vancouver, April 2-5
    Canadian Housing and Renewal Association annual congress will be held in Vancouver on April 2-5. For those interested in fostering healthy communities, keynote speakers, plenary sessions, and workshops will challenge traditional thinking and provide opportunites for delegates to share perspectives.

    Building Officials Association Of BC Conference In Kelowna April 20 - 23
    The Annual General Meeting & Conference of the Building Officials Association of BC, held in Kelowna, April 20-23, will include a trade show, plenary sessions, and workshops on a number of building topics.

    11. Education & Training

    BC Government Training Tax Credits For Apprentices
    BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue describe their Training Tax Credits that provide refundable income tax credits for employers who employ apprentices enrolled in apprenticeship programs administered through the Industry Training Authority.

    Textbooks For Vocational Instruction & Training
    American Technical Publishers offers training materials for career and technical education, plus industrial and apprenticeship programs. Their textbooks provide trade information to help build the skills required for employment and advancement in a trade.

    12. Computer, Internet & Fun

    Computer File Extension Types & Resources
    File Extensions details computer file extensions, with easy-to-understand descriptions and a list of their associated applications. Search by extension, view common and most visited extensions, and click for extension categories including audio and music files, game files, system files and text files.

    Internet Search Engine For Finding Videos
    Zuula allows you to search the Internet for videos from a wide range of video sites such as Google Video, YouTube, iFilm, MetaCafe, and DailyMotion. Some advanced search options are also available.

    Have Some Fun Preventing The Cat From Escaping
    This one requires thinking ahead. By clicking on the brightly colored circles in this flash game you can keep the cat from escaping. Easy you say? Good luck!

    13. Industry Survey

    Today's Survey:   

    Are More Of Your Customers Buying Green?

    There is no question that green building is becoming more popular, and green in general is getting much more media coverage these days. But are you actually seeing much of an increase in sales of your green products?

    Yes, our green product sales are increasing significantly
    No, we have not seen a major increase in green sales
    Green is not applicable to our product offerings

    Last Survey: How Do You Think The BC Housing Market Will Perform In 2008?

    • 16% Said: better than last year
    • 52% Said: about the same as last year
    • 32% Said: not as good as last year

    Thanks for your participation

    Dittie For Today: On Committees

    God so loved the world that he did not send a committee. - Unknown

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    © Copyright 2008               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada