Alert Notice #41
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
February 1, 2011


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 Dan Mott, Richard Kadulski, Wilma Leung, Roy McIlveen, Christine Reid, Gary Hamer, John Chepil, Lisa Matthaus, Glenn Duxbury, Jan Field, Abraham Mansouri, Amy Spencer-Chubey, Jay Lewis, Rick Mum, Trish Wuttunee, Greg Stolz, George Pinch, Monty Wood, Hans VanNuland, Brent Nichols, Richard Fearn, Dave Fisher, Mark Gauvin, Garry Lowney, Cristina Senjug, Jack Parsons, Hilary Hanna, and John Davies 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

    Sill Pans Minimize Water Entry Into Walls
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction research shows that installation of sill pans in window framing minimizes risk of water entry into walls and should be part of a moisture management and protection strategy.

    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    Construction Expected To Lead BC Economic Growth In 2011
    Journal of Commerce summarizes report by Credit 1 Credit Union economist Helmut Pastrick that the construction industry will have the highest growth rate among domestic industries in 2011, driven by an increase in private non-residential and residential investment.

    Higher BC Homeowner Grant Threshold
    More than one million BC homeowners with homes valued up to $1.15 million may be eligible for the full homeowner grant amount as the Province raises the threshold by 10 per cent for the 2011 tax year.

    New Canadian Housing Price Index For November 2010
    Statistics Canada New Housing Price Index rose 0.3% in November 2010 following a 0.1% advance in October 2010.

    Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update February 2011
    Canadian Home Builders Association Economic Update for February 2011 offers information on international, national and regional economic trends of interest to the home building industry. (PDF)

    Housing Market Outlook Canada, Fourth Quarter 2010
    CMHC Canadian Housing Market Outlook provides information on national and provincial housing trends and forecasts as of the fourth quarter 2010. (PDF)

    Housing Conditions of Canada's Seniors
    CMHC report on Housing Conditions of Canada's Seniors uses 2006 census data and data from the 2006 Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics to discuss the housing conditions of senior households, defined as households with primary household maintainers aged 65 years and older. (PDF)

    Small Builders Are Mainstay Of US Housing Industry
    US National Association of Home Builders study shows small home builders are the mainstay of the US housing industry, with a sizable number of self-employed mom-and-pop operations.

    State Of US Nation's Housing 2010
    US Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report on State of the Nation’s Housing 2010 says improved affordability for first-time homebuyers and extraordinary government intervention helped spark a turnaround and drove all of the increase in existing home sales last year, but record foreclosures continue to pressure markets and millions of homeowners.

    2. Business Management

    Four Idea Starters To Plug Into Gen X & Y
    US National Association of Home Builders describes how to remain relevant and competitive in today’s tech-savvy landscape, by adopting new marketing strategies to target Generations X and Y.

    Sales Information & Resources For Remodelers
    Remodeling Magazine offers information & resources on sales for the remodeling industry.

    Email Marketing Awards Winners 2011
    Marketing Sherpa lists their 2011 Email Marketing Award winners that includes campaign descriptions, sample emails, results metrics and on-point analysis from the judges. (PDF)

    Career Information & Job Descriptions
    O NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more.

    Red Tape Reduction Commission Wants Your Input
    Canadian Government has formed the Red Tape Reduction Commission, and wants to hear from you on how and when federal red tape impacts your business, and what your ideas are to reduce the burden.

    2010 US Single-Family Builder Compensation Study
    US National Association of Home Builders book The 2010 Single-Family Compensation Study gives builders results they can use to benchmark what they pay their employees against current industry averages. It is divided into two sections that present the survey findings from two different perspectives: a broad view comparing average total compensation and benefits across all positions and also a more detailed view of each individual position's average compensation and benefits. $130 USD

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Paint Color Trends For 2011
    Paint Quality Institute new Paint Colour Trends For 2011 says homeowners, seeking comfortable & serene spaces, will reach for a variety of casual neutral & pastel hues to create warm & inviting spaces.

    2010 Georgie Award Finalists
    Canadian Home Builders Association of BC displays pictures of the finalists' projects for the 2010 BC Georgie Awards of the home building industry.

    10 Homebuilding Trends You Won't See In 2011
    Builder Magazine describes 10 design fads that won’t make their mark in 2011.

    Design Trends In Multi-Generational Housing
    Housing Zone describes some of the trends appearing in multi-generational housing.

    Six Decorative Concrete Design Trends For 2011
    Concrete Network describes six concrete design trends for 2011 that offer the latest in-vogue looks for decorative concrete.

    8 Kitchen & Bath Design Tips For 2011
    eBuild provides 8 tips for how to shape kitchens and baths to the 2011 buyer, whether he or she is single, attached, or 50-plus.

    CEDIA 2010 Audience Choice Awards For Media Rooms
    HGTV Pro displays the winners of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association Audience Choice Awards for the best media rooms of 2010.

    Preferences Shifting for 55+ Homebuyers
    A joint study by the 50+ Housing Council of the National Association of Home Builders and the MetLife Mature Market Institute shows the recession has made 55+ buyers more practical when selecting a new home. Design considerations have become less important, and financial concerns have become more prominent.

    What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

    Wilma Leung, Sustainability Synergizer, says: "Thanks for another high quality issue of BC Building Info"

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

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    Second Plane Environmental Separation Not Needed On Part 3 Buildings In BC
    BC Building Code Interpretation Committee confirms that code does not require Part 3 buildings to have a second layer of environmental separation behind the cladding. (PDF)

    Fall 2011 BC Building Code Changes Relating To Windows
    Window and Door Manufacturers of BC lists proposed changes to the BC Building Code for 2011 that relate to window and door installation.

    BC Electrical Incident Reporting Requirements
    BC Safety Authority directive describes reporting requirements for electrical incidents. (PDF)

    Proposed BC Water Sustainability Act
    BC Government Water Act Modernization includes a proposal for a new Water Sustainability Act that would replace the current Water Act. This paper summarizes key policies of the proposed new Water Sustainability Act, and provides an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to comment on the proposed policies which will form the basis for the legislation. (PDF)

    BC Local Government Bylaws & Building Regulations
    BC Building & Safety Policy Branch provides information and resources on the new Community Charter and local government bylaws that include building standards.

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    Future Of Window Technology
    Building Science article describes advances in window and curtainwalls.

    Crawlspace Configurations & Options
    Home Energy Magazine says Building America and others have done a lot of research around the country on crawl spaces, and by looking at this research we can learn a lot about which crawl space configuration works where.

    R-Value & U-Factor
    Wikipedia describes R-value and U-factor as measurements of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry.

    Pros & Cons Of Advanced Framing
    Green Building Advisor discusses the pros and cons of advanced framing.

    Advanced Framing Deployment In The US
    Building Science report investigates the implementation of advanced framing in both production and prototype built homes built in a variety of climate regions across the USA.

    Benefit Of Heat Pumps & Hydronics
    Energy Vanguard says heat pumps and hydronics are a great team for high performance homes.

    Thermal & Hygrothermal Analysis In Building Envelope Commissioning
    Read Jones Christopherson paper focuses on several case studies where thermal analysis and hygrothermal simulation software aided in the evaluation and adjustment of several building envelope designs. The software aided the commissioning process in several ways.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Reducing Drywall Cracks
    Journal of Light Construction describes how to get rid of most drywall pops and cracks with panel adhesive, floating corners, and the right beads and joint compound. (PDF)

    Moisture Performance Comparison Of Residential Exteriors
    NAHB Research Center study compared moisture resistance among typical residential exteriors, and evaluated brick veneer as the highest in moisture resistance and dryness. The study aimed to determine how exterior cladding can impact the moisture content of the wooden components in wall construction. Of the eight wall systems tested, accounting for approximately 90% of the cladding systems used today, brick veneer wall assemblies performed the best overall in controlling moisture. (PDF)

    Online Calculator For Wood Dimensional Change
    Canadian Wood Council online calculator for dimensional change in wood can be used for both single wood member and wall modules.

    Downside To Lumpy Attic Insulation
    Green Building Advisor says if attic insulation isn't raked smooth, its performance will suffer.

    Cross-Canada Survey Of Radon Concentrations In Homes
    Health Canada study Cross-Canada Survey Of Radon Concentrations In Homes summarizes year 1 data that indicates there are several regions of the country where indoor radon is more prevalent. The current estimate of the percentage of Canadians living in homes above the 200 Bq/m3 guideline based on the year 1 dataset is 7.4%. (PDF)

    Guide For Radon Measurements In Residential Dwellings
    Health Canada provides online guide describing products and procedures for radon measurements in residential dwellings.

    Above-Sheathing Ventilation Benefits With Tile & Metal Roofing
    Exterior Contractor says tile roofing and metal-shingle products generally are installed on a batten/counter-batten frame system, creating an air space between the underside of the roof product and the roof deck. Tests have shown the natural airflow reduces heat gain through the roof sheathing when compared to direct-nailed roof products with no air space, and provides a reduction in heat loss that takes place in colder climates when compared to direct-to-deck installed roof products.

    Good Bad & Ugly Of Basement Moisture
    Building Science online slide show describes issues and solutions to foundation and basement moisture problems. (PDF)

    Top 20 Design Faux Pas In Concrete High Rise
    Morrison Hershfield presentation looks at the current state of concrete high rise envelope design in the Vancouver area. It puts the spotlight on the top twenty areas of design and construction “faux pas” that give rise to water ingress problems. It points out the issues and delivers practical approaches to head off the problems. The presentation focuses on the mating of concrete elements with the roofing, window wall, curtain wall and metal panel cladding systems that make up the majority of today’s high rise apartment building envelopes. Free registration required.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Top Ten Green Building Trends To Watch In 2011
    Earth Advantage Institute describes its selections for top ten green building trends to watch in 2011, ranging from affordable green to lifecycle analysis of materials.

    2010 LEED For Homes Award Winners
    US Green Building Council gives description of the recipients of its 2010 LEED for Homes Awards, recognizing projects, developers and home builders who have demonstrated leadership in the residential building marketplace.

    How Do They Decide a Building Is Green?
    The Tyee provides a guide to green building certification systems in Canada.

    Are Challenges To Green Building Codes On The Rise?
    Green Building Law Update says a trend seems to be developing across the US in the green building world. Traditional builders and manufacturers are fighting against green building codes and programs, and you can expect an increase in these types of challenges in 2011.

    Glass, Glazing & Window Energy Performance
    ASHRAE BC online slide show presentation on window energy performance covers a physics review of radiation, glazing performance indices, glazing options, implications of glazing selection, and energy rating. (PDF)

    Home Dashboards Help Reduce Energy Use
    Green Building Advisor describes how a display in your kitchen can show your home’s real-time electricity use.

    Zero Waste Challenge Conference In Vancouver
    Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Challenge Conference 2011 on March 10th will feature keynote speakers, presentations on regional success stories, and discussions on strategies and actions to increase solid waste reduction, reuse and recycling in the region.

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    Gienow High Performance Windows can serve your specific needs
    By choosing Gienow windows that meet ENERGY STAR performance levels, your customers will reduce their energy costs, help protect the environment, and enjoy increased comfort in all seasons. Gienow offers SOL-R® glass that has a transparent coating which acts as a shield from heat and cold, blocks ultra-violet rays, and provides thermal insulation.


    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    11 New Products From 2011 International Builders Show
    Builder Magazine describes 11 new products from the International Builders, including a residential vehicle-charging station, an inside-outside fireplace, and a hidden deck-fastening system.

    Colour Chart For Approved Types Of 2lb. Medium Density Sprayed Polyurethane Foam
    Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association colour chart for 2lb. medium density sprayed polyurethane foam provides a visual reference of colours of all approved products to identify what product is being installed in a building. (PDF)

    All About Water-Resistive Barriers
    Green Building Advisor describes how to choose between asphalt felt, Grade D building paper, housewrap, and a few exotic WRBs.

    Free Idea Catalogs On Concrete Uses
    Concrete Network offers free catalogs with design ideas for concrete floors, patios, pool decks, concrete homes, sinks, countertops, and more.

    Recall Of White-Rodgers Programmable Digital Thermostats
    White-Rodgers and Health Canada announced a recall of White-Rodgers programmable digital thermostats with model number 1F85RF-27x or 1F88-xxx (where each x is a number), and date codes beginning with 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 and 1001 through 1039.

    9. Installation Procedures

    Backerboards Are Winners Against Water In Showers
    Green Building Advisor says there are a lot of options for sheathing tub and bath surrounds, and describes which ones stand up and out in terms of durability and environmental footprint.

    Sill Pans Minimize Water Entry Into Walls
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction research shows that installation of sill pans in window framing minimizes risk of water entry into walls and should be part of a moisture management and protection strategy.

    Ducts For Forced Air HVAC Systems
    Green Building Advisor describes how to keep air ducts short, direct, and inside the conditioned space.

    Online Video On Duct Sealing
    Home Energy Pros online video Duct Sealing for Comfort, Energy and Indoor Air Quality shows how ducts move air, where common leaks are, and how to fix them.

    Options For HVAC Return Air Pathways
    Green Building Advisor describes several options for creating return-air pathways so air pressure between rooms is balanced to get good air quality and comfort from a forced-air HVAC system.

    Garbage Bag Airflow Test For Duct Airflow
    CMHC fact sheet explains how to make and use a simple garbage bag device to measure airflow coming out of supply air diffusers and flowing into return air grilles.

    10. Information Sources

    Resource Site On Foam Sheathing
    Foam Sheathing Coalition provides information and resources on foam sheathing materials, applications, and procedures.

    Resource Site On Fiberglass & Mineral Wool Insulation
    North American Insulation Manufacturers Association offers information and resources on fiberglass, rock wool, and slag wool insulation.

    Resource Site For Hydronic Heating
    Hydronics Industry Alliance site has individualized sections for heating contractors, builders and remodelers, architects and engineers, and homeowners. The website details the benefits and applications of hydronic heating and answers frequently asked questions.

    Purchasable Condominium Manual: 3rd Edition
    Government of British Columbia Publications sells The Condominium Manual: 3rd Edition. This informative, plain language book has become the standard guide for condominium owners, including strata council members and investors, and real estate professionals across the province, including licensed strata property managers. It captures all significant legislative changes and court cases since 2004, explains the December 2009 amendments to the Strata Property Act, and updates the law in connection with dozens of court cases since the last edition. It also provides extensive new coverage concerning repairs, lawsuits and arbitrations, and insurance. $50 CDN

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Radiant Heating Industry Conference In San Antonio
    Radiant Professionals Alliance conference and trade show Built Environment Systems Technology will be co-located with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and Indoor Air Quality Association Indoor Air Expo, February 15-17, 2011 in San Antonio, TX. The technical program includes sessions on integrated comfort systems, radiant cooling, controls and geothermal.

    BC Real Estate Convention In Vancouver
    Held in Vancouver, March 11-12 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the BC Real Estate Convention offers free admission to its showcasings of the BC real estate market and industry, suppliers of products and services, seminar speakers, and opportunities in the real estate market.

    Business Career Fair In Vancouver
    SFU Business and the UBC Sauder School of Business will host the 7th annual Business Career Expo on March 25th at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre. With over 1,000 business students in attendance, the BCE is an excellent platform for employers to showcase their organization, establish a profile amongst students and make personal contact with highly qualified professionals.

    12. Education & Training

    Fraser Valley Home Builders Educational Forum
    Canadian Home Builders Association of the Fraser Valley is presenting a one-day Home Builders Educational Forum in Abbotsford on February 9th, featuring seminars that cover a wide range of building topics, as well as product displays. (PDF)

    BC Course On Principles of Construction Management
    Independent Contractors and Businesses Association presents Gold Seal Course on Principles of Construction Management, February 18 & 19, which is designed to teach and familiarize supervisors, owners, and construction managers how to manage the business and projects together as a team to assure profit and success. (PDF)

    Online Course On Basics Of Ceramic Tile
    Terrazzo Tile & Marble Association of Canada offers online course on the basics of ceramic tile. (PDF)

    One-Day Course In Mobile Marketing
    Interactive Advertising Bureau Canada is offering a one-day course in mobile marketing in Vancouver on February 16th, designed to provide registrants with both the information needed to build a mobile marketing strategy, as well as a detailed look at the different tools and tactics that can be used to harness the power of mobile.

    Construction Education Network
    The Construction Education Network of the Construction Specifications Institute is a network of Registered Education Providers offering high-quality education programs to professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction related industries.

    13. Computer, Internet & Fun

    Online Video School & Information
    Vimeo Video School is a fun place for anyone to learn how to make better videos. It has both instructions on how to make better videos and a directory of video tutorials

    Find & Watch Movies Online
    Movie Monitor site tracks tens of thousands of movies that are available to watch online, either for free or for pay. It tracks availability, quality and pricing of on-demand, streaming and downloadable movies across the web's leading providers. You can watch over 150,000 movies online.

    Idiot Test
    Need I say more?

    Dittie For Today

    Remember that the faith to move mountains always carries a pick. - Author unknown

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    © Copyright 2011               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada