Alert Notice #36
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 October 18, 2010


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. Building Products & Suppliers
8. Installation Procedures
9. Information Sources
10. Conferences & Shows
11. Education & Training
12. Computer, Internet & Fun

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I'm Looking At Lightening Your Link Load

A number of you have mentioned that this little ol' newsletter is not as little as it used to be. Or, more specifically, that there are often too many links in it for you to read through, given your limited time. Guess what? I agree.

It seems that each time I start putting together the next issue of this hope-it's-a-good-resource rag, I find there are more and more links that I've recently stashed into my personal packrat database. As a side note, I know I could easily reduce the number of these new-found links if only I had the wherewithal to quit my regular review of so many web sites/pages (currently there are 545 on my weekly hit list). But, alas, such reduction in pack ratting is not within the realm of possibility for this info-addicted closet librarian. So here's the plan...

Rather than sending out an ever-enlarging BC Building Info newsletter every month or so, I'm hoping to reduce the size of it by sending one out to you every two weeks or so. An additional benefit is that this should also help get you some of the more important items/links in a more timely manner. Hopefully this better serves your needs, and fits within your busy schedules.

As always, feel real free to let me know if you have tips or suggestions on how I can improve this newsletter, or the BC Building info web site. Much appreciated.

My thanks to Mark Gauvin, Abraham Mansouri, Wilma Leung, Laura Aaron, Barry Mohring, Joe Verhulst, John Chepil, Linda Hart, Tom Hawkins, Brent Wilker, Dan Mott, George Pinch, Dave Fisher, Tami McEwan, Brian Hart, Ben Van Nostrand, Amy Spencer-Chubey, Greg Stolz, and Jennifer Shaw 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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1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Housing Market Update
BC Real Estate Association online video with Chief Economist Cameron Muir discusses the September 2010 statistics and provides an in depth look at population growth and the housing stock.

BC Mortgage Rate Forecast September 2010
Mortgage rates have followed bond yields down, providing unexpected mortgage relief for BC households, so says this BC Real Estate Association mortgage rate forecast. (PDF)

Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update October 2010
Canadian Home Builders Association Economic Update for October 2010 offers information on international, national and regional economic trends of interest to the home building industry. (PDF)

Housing Market Outlook Canada, Third Quarter 2010
CMHC Canadian Housing Market Outlook provides information on housing trends and forecasts. It says after rebounding in the second half of 2009 and early 2010, housing starts are expected to moderate in the second half of 2010.

2010 Canadian Housing Observer
CMHC Canadian Housing Observer presents a detailed review of housing conditions and trends in Canada and of key factors behind them. The report is supplemented by online data tables and analysis, and Housing in Canada Online is accessible to anyone interested in exploring trends further or in conducting additional analyses of housing conditions.

Provincial Current Trends
Royal Bank of Canada monthly provincial economic update charts and tables pinpoint developments in labour markets, consumer and business markets, and inflation for each province. (PDF)

Concerns Of Slowdown In Canadian Housing Market
Journal of Commerce says the housing market in Canada continues to be relatively healthy, but there is growing caution about the months ahead.

This In Not The Beginning Of A Free Fall For The Canadian Housing Market
Conference Board of Canada says the housing market has lost its lustre. No doubt about it. However, this will not lead to a free fall for Canada’s housing market. This country will not experience home price declines to the tune of what we have witnessed in the United States over the past few years.

Trends 2011 Seminar
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association is presenting its sixth annual Trends seminar on December 7th in Burnaby. Trends 2011 will feature a panel of seasoned industry experts who will offer insights into the forecasted economic performance for Canada, British Columbia and Metro Vancouver, speculated housing activity, demographics and demands of the 2011 homebuyer, and explore the changing trends in real estate marketing.

2. Business Management

BC HST Resources For Builders & Buyers
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC offers links to HST resources for both builders and buyers.

HST Misconceptions
Business Council of BC provides their views around common misconceptions about the HST. (PDF)

Remaking Of New-Home Sales Team
Big Builder magazine describes strategies for hiring, training and building a new home sales team.

Builders Explore New Approaches To Model Homes
Builder Magazine says expensive merchandising has given way to more cost-effective alternatives during the present downturn.

Sales & Marketing Ideas Magazine For Housing Industry
US National Association of Home Builders Sales & Marketing Ideas digital magazine is now available via an e-mail newsletter as an interactive PDF document. It features articles for new home sales and marketing professionals by top experts in the industry on such topics as sales and marketing trends, market research, advertising, marketing plans, model merchandising and sales management. Paid subscription required.

Presentations From American Housing Conference 2010
Hanley Wood online presentations from 2010 American Housing Conference describe latest housing industry and business management trends.

Purchasable Book: Beyond Warranty, Building Your Referral Business
US National Association of Home Builders book Beyond Warranty: Building Your Referral Business will teach you how to align buyer expectations with the service they receive, create a limited warranty document, develop and use warranty and maintenance guidelines effectively, structure warranty service procedures especially for your market, create an efficient repair process, and make service a positive experience for home owners. $45 USD

Guide For Manufacturers In New Product Adoption In Housing
US Department of Housing & Urban Development guide is designed to assist manufacturers in transferring new innovations into the home building industry. Containing lessons learned through interviews, focus groups, and case studies, this guide takes an inside look at today’s home building industry and provides tips for manufacturers looking to commercialize an innovation. (PDF)

Tips On Google AdWords For Service Pros
Blue Collar Radio Network podcast with Tony DiLorenzo AKA The Dent Dude describes strategies for how he has been using Google AdWords to drive traffic to his paint-less dent repair services for 6 years.

3. Building Design & Trends

Home Offices & Outdoor Living Spaces Are Top Choices
American Institute of Architects survey of Home Design Trends found that homeowners are increasingly requesting highly functional specialty rooms over single-purpose rooms that end up being used infrequently. Cost-saving and resource-efficient systems and other elements that make everyday living easier also are in greater demand, architects report.

Shift In Long-Held Housing Tastes & Trends
Builder Magazine says the economy and jobs are reshaping the household picture, as Gen Yers delay buying and boomers age in place. Among all groups, walkability and transit dominate the wish list.

Brights Return To Color Palette
Custom Home Magazine says recession-era color trends, those that reflect a need for comfort, familiarity, and order in a disorderly world, are picking up punctuations of stronger hues.

Top Designers Share Kitchen Design Trends
Custom Home Magazine says kitchen appliance manufacturers Sub-Zero and Wolf have collaborated with three notable designers to identify current kitchen design trends and predict future directions for the space that has become the heart of the home.

Vancouver Island Home Building Award Winners
Canadian Association of Home Builders of Victoria displays their Vancouver Island CARE Award winners in categories of new homes, renovations, peoples choice, kitchen & bath, commercial, environmental, customer service & marketing, outstanding achievement, and project of the year.

2010 Multi-Housing Excellence Award Winners
Multi-Housing News describes winners of their 2010 Excellence Awards, that recognize the multifamily industry's most noteworthy people, companies and properties. (PDF)

2010 Remodeling Master Design Award Winners
Qualified Remodeler offers pictures and descriptions of their 2010 Master Design Award Winners.

Suppliers Should Be Aware Of 7 Trends Shaping America's Homes
Pro Sales magazine describes seven trends that are shaping America's homes. Product suppliers should be aware of these changes which include big builders setting a new course, Energy Star changes, think small, Generation Y, WINKs, multigenerational housing, and universal design.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Abraham Mansouri, Systems Engineer, Mitsubishi Electric Canada says: "I found your website and alert very well designed and informative. It's definitely a good source of information for building experts."

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

New Code For High Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures Delayed To October 2011
The implementation date for the new BC Building Code standards for high-efficiency plumbing fixtures has been changed. The standards will come into effect on October 3, 2011 (rather than October 4, 2010), to "address implementation issues and to better coordinate with the next edition of the Building Code". The original code requirements are here...

BC Approach To Energy Efficiency For Windows & Glazing
BC Building Envelope Council conference presentation slide show describes BC’s market transformation approach to energy efficiency for windows and glazing. (PDF)

Upcoming Changes To Part 10 Of BC Building Code
BC Homeowner Protection Office slide presentation by Murray Frank describes upcoming changes to Part 10 of the BC Building Code, and emerging green technologies.

Canadian Energy Code Invites Public Review Of Proposed Changes
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes invites code users and stakeholders to participate in the review of proposed changes for the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011. This national public review takes place from October 4 to November 26, 2010.

Roadmap To Assist Review Of National Energy Code HVAC Changes
Canadian Home Builders Association Roadmap Part 2 provides information to assist you in the review of proposed changes to the National Energy Code proposed requirements for HVAC and service water heating. (PDF)

Clarification Regarding High-Density Polyethylene Pipe
Canadian Geoexchange Coalition document presents an analysis of the different standards covering high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe used in the geothermal industry. (PDF)

Guidelines for Combustion Safety Testing
US Residential Energy Services Network guidelines describe their standards for completing combustion appliance testing and writing a work scope as part of a comprehensive home energy retrofit. The guidelines cover gas leakage testing, worst case depressurization test, carbon monoxide testing, and work scopes for contractors. (PDF)

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5. Building Science & Technology

Guide To Building Energy Efficient Homes In Marine Climate
US Department of Energy Building America Best Practices guide, 40% Whole-House Energy Savings in the Marine Climate provides helpful information on: the business case for energy efficiency; whole-house approach to building science; energy-efficiency construction recommendations; site documentation for supervisors and how-to field guides on specific energy-efficiency measures; and case studies.

Proper Design Of Wall & Roof Systems
Building Science online slide show presentation describes context for residential construction, moisture control, energy transfer, wall systems, and roof & attic systems. (PDF)

Vapor Retarders & Vapor Barriers
Green Building Advisor describes vapor retarders and vapor barriers, and answers persistent questions about vapor diffusion.

Using Rigid Foam As A Water-Resistive Barrier
Green Building Advisor describes some pros, cons, and considerations for using foam as a water resistive barrier.

Overview Of I-Joist Engineered Floor Systems
Remodeling TV online video on engineered floor systems discusses I-joists and demonstrates what you need to remember when choosing engineered lumber for projects.

Connection Solutions For Wood-Framed Structures
Woodworks online slide show describes wide variety of connectors available for wood framed structures and how they can be used most effectively to meet a specific design need. (PDF)

History Of Superinsulated Houses In North America
BC Building Envelope Council provides online slideshow by Martin Holladay from Green Building Advisor that provides a chronological account of important developments in superinsulation techniques from 1972 to 1986. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Guide For Moisture Control In New Homes
US Environmental Protection Agency technical guide for moisture control in new homes covers water-managed site and foundation, wall assemblies, roof assemblies, and interior water management.

Prevent Ice Dams With Air Sealing & Insulation
Green Building Advisor describes how to prevent ice dams with air sealing and insulation, and says installing roof ventilation and rubber membranes are admissions of defeat.

Exterior Insulation & Moisture Accumulation In Retrofit Of Exterior Walls
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction studied the effect of adding different exterior thermal insulation materials on the hygrothermal response of wood-frame walls in a cold climate. It showed that the air and vapour permeance of the exterior insulation materials not only affected the flow of moisture to the outside during wintertime periods of air exfiltration but also affected moisture inwards flow during humid early summer conditions. (PDF)

Basics Of Sound Control
Journal of Light Construction online video reviews key principles of sound control and demonstrates helpful tips for installation.

Safe Handling Of Ethanol In Geothermal Loops
Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada says sectors involved in the geothermal industry must be aware of the hazards associated with the use of an ethanol-water flammable liquid mixture including installers, maintenance personnel, designers and others involved in the HVAC and geothermal industry.

Preventing Exposure To Lead-Containing Paint & Coatings
WorkSafe BC manual Lead-Containing Paint and Coatings: Preventing Exposure in the Construction Industry, is for employers, supervisors, and workers who may come into contact with lead-containing paint and coatings in the construction industry. It provides information about lead and assists employers in developing an exposure control plan and suitable safe work procedures. (PDF)

Role Of Diaphragms In the Mitigation Of Natural Hazards In Low-Rise Wood Frame Buildings
US Forest Products Library describes how diaphragms are components of low-rise wood frame buildings that resist lateral forces due to wind and earthquakes. (PDF)

Wood Durability, Preservation & Treated Wood Issues
Wood Products Council online presentation covering wood preservation & treated wood issues explains attack mechanisms to wooden construction materials, proper uses of preservative wood, organisms with capabilities of degrading wood, and use of biocidal/pesticidal formulations for protecting wood from degradation. (PDF)

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7. Building Products & Suppliers

Ryobi Recalls Cordless Drills Due To Fire Hazard
Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of 455,000 Ryobi cordless drills. The recall indicates that the switch on the drill can overheat posing a fire and burn hazard. The drills were manufactured in China and sold at Home Depot Stores January 2001 to July 2003.

Canply Easy T&G Plywood Should Not Be Mixed With Others
Certiwood Technical Centre bulletin says CANPLY EASY T&G roof and floor plywood panels should not be mixed with any other T&G panels. They list the risks in mixing T&G profiles that do not exactly conform to the patented characteristics, shape, and dimensional tolerances of EASY T&G. (PDF)

Interesting Designs For Exterior Trim
Builder Magazine describes how some interesting trim gives a home personality, and today's material options include many more choices than wood.

Tile Trends & Tricks
HGTV Pro offers tile design photos with tips & tricks for choosing the best tile for your home.

New Products Displayed At CIPHEX West 2010 Trade Show
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating describes innovative new products and technologies that were displayed at their CIPHEX West trade show in 2010. (PDF)

Laser Levels & Measuring Tools
Tools Of The Trade provides an overview of various laser levels and measuring tools.

Overview Of Rigid Foam Insulation
Green Building Advisor describes rigid foams that can be used in walls, roofs, and foundations including expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, and polyisocyanurate.

New Options & Efficiencies In Appliances
Qualified Remodeler magazine describes new appliances that make life easier with a wider range of options and efficiency.

Top 100 Products Are Masters Of Efficiency
eBuild describes the sustainable materials that dominated their Top 100 list as pros seek to improve the performance of the building envelope & HVAC.

Data & Reports On Building Materials
US National Association of Home Builders has online data and reports on building materials prices, trends, issues, and more.

8. Installation Procedures

How To Scribe Beadboard Wainscot Around Window Trim
Fine Homebuilding online video describes how to scribe beadboard wainscot around window trim.

Installing Control Joints In Concrete
Concrete Network online video describes some concrete groover tools and how to install control joints.

Exterior Trim Details That Last
Fine Homebuilding article by a restoration carpenter explains how to use foam backer rod, caulk and nylon-filament erosion mat to protect exterior trim from water damage.

Design Basics For Window Trim
Remodeling Magazine describes a few basic considerations in the design of appropriate window trim.

Roof Framing Measurements
Journal of Light Construction online video by framing veteran Mike Sloggatt describes importance of accurate measurements for roof framing.

Venting A Roof Without Eaves
Fine Homebuilding Q & A says the easiest way to add venting to a roof without eaves is installing a venting drip edge.

Online Guide For Advanced Air Sealing
Oikos Green Building Library online guide explains basic principles of air sealing and illustrates these principles with details for basic wood frame construction.

9. Information Sources

Help Desk For Expert Support On Engineered Wood
Engineered Wood Association Product Support Help Desk is a free service available to answer questions pertaining to the specification and application of engineered wood products and systems.

Information Sheets On Wood Properties & Design
Woodworks provides online information sheets on wood properties and design including Designing for Earthquakes, Designing for Fire Protection, Designing for Wind Resistance, Designing Wood Schools, Durability and Service Life, Structural Properties and Performance, Wood and Building Codes, and Wood and Green Building.

Links To Geoexchange Organizations & Resources
Canadian GeoExchange Coalition offers links to industry information, organizations and resources.

Resource Site On Concrete Walls
Concrete Network provides information and resources on concrete decorative walls and retaining walls.

10. Conferences & Shows

BC Housing Affordability Symposium In Richmond November 1-2
Canadian Home Builders Association BC is presenting a Housing Affordability Symposium in Richmond November 1-2. It brings together stakeholders to openly discuss barriers and solutions to housing affordability in BC. Unlike the issue of affordable housing, which deals with issues of social housing, this symposium is solely focused on market housing affordability to lower housing costs or remove barriers of entry for all British Columbians.

CIPHEX West Plumbing & HVAC Trade Show In Calgary November 3-4
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating presents CIPHEX West trade show in Calgary on November 3-4 for plumbing, hydronics, HVACR and water treatment industries.

Windoor North America: Canadian Window & Door Industry Trade Show In Toronto November 16-18
Canadian Window & Door Manufacturers Association presents Win-door North America, the annual trade show for the fenestration and door industry, in Toronto November 16-18.

Bridging The Gap: 2010 BC Construction Safety Conference In Richmond November 19-20
Individuals employed on construction sites throughout BC are invited to this workshop on November 19 & 20 in Richmond. You can network with peers while learning about and discussing a variety of health and safety issues including those identified in WorkSafe BC’s Construction High-Risk Strategy.

Get Contagious Marketing Conference In Vancouver November 19
British Columbia Association of Integrated Marketers presents Get Contagious Marketing Conference In Vancouver on November 19th. It provides a venue where leading marketers and creative thinkers alike get to share not only the spotlight, but also, more importantly, their ideas and inspiration.

11. Education & Training

Basic Construction Estimating Course
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course on Basic Construction Estimating on October 23rd will provide students with a basic understanding of estimating knowledge, tendering procedures, taking off quantities, pricing of labour and materials, procuring sub-trades pricings, and closing of tenders. This course is intended for those already in the construction estimating industry.

Concrete 101 For Residential Construction
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association is presenting Concrete 101 on October 27th. This interactive workshop will review common issues affecting concrete in residential construction, including cracking, finishing and curing, and will also offer some preventative measures to ensure that these issues are minimized.

BC Seminars On Insulating, The Cold, Hard Facts
BC Homeowner Protection Office fall 2010 Building Smart seminar Insulating, The Cold, Hard Facts will focus on buildable solutions with market-available materials and specifics of how to design and construct roofs, walls and basements that meet or exceed more stringent energy performance requirements. These changes will potentially impact the way homes are framed, detailed at openings and penetrations, how airtightness will be achieved, and materials chosen for insulating and vapour diffusion control.

Course On Fundamentals Of Real Estate Development
Urban Development Institute Pacific Region course titled School of Development; Fundamentals of Real Estate Development, to be held in Vancouver on October 29th and 30th will cover the five key components of real estate development. This intense two-day course will give you a solid foundation in understanding the development process through interactive classroom exercises based on real modern-day scenarios. (PDF)

Seminars On New Canadian Construction Documents
Canadian Construction Documents Committee will be hosting a series of seminars around BC pertaining to the release of its new contract forms. CCDC members will explain the key provisions and philosophies behind these contract forms. Topics will include the schedule of services that are considered necessary for Construction Manager projects; important considerations that apply if a Construction Manager is required to perform part or all construction work; construction estimates; administration of trade contracts; and insurance requirements.

Trade Seminars On Tile Topics
Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Association of Canada tile trades seminars in Burnaby cover topics such as showers, large format tile installation, estimating/blueprints, exterior installations, and layouts. (PDF)

Seminars On Building & Renovating To Avoid Mold
CMHC one-day workshop Build and Renovate to Avoid Mold, held in Nanaimo on November 1st and Delta November 2nd, is intended for the builder, renovator, architect, health or housing inspector, appraiser and other housing professionals. Case studies of mold in new and older houses are presented followed by fundamentals of mold to enable one to understand why mold grows and how to avoid problems with mold.

Air Tightness In Large Buildings
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC seminar Air Tightness In Large Buildings on November 10th will examine key questions regarding air tightness of the building enclosure. It will address why air tightness is important and include an overview of the methods of measuring air tightness and the significance of measurement protocols.

Canadian Housing Research Council Webcasts
Canadian National Housing Research Committee free webcasts November 15-16 provide updates on recent housing research. Working Groups covered include Distinct Needs, Homelessness, Sustainable Housing and Communities, and Housing Data.

12. Computer, Internet & Fun

Carpenter's Favorite iPhone Apps
Journal of Light Construction describes some iPhone apps that are useful in the carpentry business.

How To Calculate Degree Days Online
Wolfram Alpha describes how to calculate degree days using its search engine capabilities.

How To Cut A Board
With a little bit of training you too may be able to cut a board just like this dude...maybe!

Dittie For Today: On Humility

If you are all wrapped up in yourself, you are over-dressed. - Kate Halverson

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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada