Alert Notice #42
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 February 21, 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 Ross Woolford, Peter Sundberg, Wilma Leung, George Pinch, Daniel Denk, Tony Funk, Richard Fearn, Garth White, Peter Francis, John Chepil, Glenn Duxbury, David Kelly, Gil Yaron, Graham Finch, Joanne De Vries, Amy Spencer-Chubey, and Larry Clay 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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    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

    BC Housing Market Update February 2011
    BC Real Estate Association online video with Chief Economist Cameron Muir discusses the January 2011 statistics and an in depth look at the differing BC market conditions.

    Housing Now First Quarter 2011 Statistics For BC
    CMHC Housing Now publication summarizes housing market statistics for the province of British Columbia, shedding light on housing starts, completions, dwellings under construction, mortgage rates, home prices, absorption rates and economic factors for the province as a whole and for Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations. (PDF)

    Housing Market Outlook Canada, First Quarter 2011
    CMHC Canadian Housing Market Outlook provides information on national and provincial housing trends and forecasts as of the first quarter 2011. (PDF)

    Canadian Provincial Outlook Winter 2011
    Conference Board Of Canada Provincial Outlook Winter 2011 says most Canadian provinces are turning their attention to reducing fiscal deficits this year, which will restrain government spending and weaken their economic growth prospects in 2011.

    BC Construction Costs To Stabilize In 2011
    Business In Vancouver says a Vancouver-based cost and project management consultancy believes 2011 will be a good year for the construction business, and they also expect stabilization in the residential sector to help the construction industry and has said a moderate level of wage increases will help firm up costs.

    2011 US State Of Housing Industry Survey Results
    Builder Magazine annual State Of The Industry survey describes a new reality for builder businesses and their markets.

    David Podmore Is BC Residential Construction Person Of Year
    BC Homes Magazine Residential Construction Person of the Year for 2010 is David Podmore, chairman and CEO of Concert Properties in Vancouver.

    2. Business Management

    Pitfalls Of Incomplete Contract Documents
    BC Construction Association describes four of the major causes for construction claims and best practices for complete contract documents. (PDF)

    Resource Site On HST In BC
    BC Government site on HST offers information, resources, and an opportunity to provide your input.

    Consumer Impacts of BC’s Harmonized Sales Tax
    Business Council of BC study looked at the impact of the HST on BC consumers and households, and concludes that the HST is not a tax grab and that its overall impact on the prices including taxes paid by consumers is very modest. (PDF)

    Skills & Attributes That BC Employers Are Looking For
    BC Business Council report 2010 Biennial Skills and Attributes Survey highlights the skills and attributes that major BC employers are looking for in new hires. (PDF)

    Canadian Resource Site On Construction Careers & HR
    Canadian Construction Sector Council (CSC) is a national industry-led organization who are committed to the development of a highly skilled workforce that will support the future needs of Canada’s construction industry.

    Online Calculator For Drywall Materials
    Fine Homebuilding online calculator will tell you the amount of drywall sheets, joint compound, fasteners, and joint tape that is needed for a remodeling or building project.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Consumers' Home Priorities Shifting
    Custom Home magazine summarizes Better Homes and Gardens' annual survey showing consumers have shrinking interest in smaller homes and continued emphasis on affordability and energy efficiency.

    20 Kitchen Design Ideas
    Builder Magazine says as other rooms are eliminated from downsized plans, their functions are naturally migrating to the kitchen, placing more pressure than ever on this culinary zone to perform double or triple duty as the home’s primary living space.

    2011 Design Trends For Kitchen & Bath
    National Kitchen & Bath Association survey revealed key design trends for 2011. Results of this survey suggest there will be some changes in the direction that kitchen and bath styles will take this year.

    National Kitchen & Bath Association 2011 Design Finalists
    HGTV Pro displays pictures of the projects selected as finalists in the 2011 National Kitchen & Bath Association Design Competition.

    6 Kitchen Design Ideas That Really Cook
    Granville magazine spotlights six kitchen design features you might not have thought of, from practical details to nice-to-have features.

    36 Beautiful Rooms That Make Life Easier
    HGTV Pro says controlling home technologies can sometimes be a challenge, but you can simplify things, and improve efficiency, by consolidating all controls into one system. This online slide show describes 36 smart designs that give you ideas for a home.

    New Research Shows Emerging US Trends in Home Design
    US National Association of Home Builders survey says smaller homes with lower prices and more green features will be the predominant force in the marketplace.

    As Boomers Turn 65 Universal Design Takes The Spotlight
    Builder magazine says baby boomers were the first generation to grow up in the suburbs, but now that they are turning 65 those same suburbs may be ready to turn against them. The reason is that a majority of homes are not designed in a way that will safely and comfortably accommodate their owners as they get older.

    What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

    Tony Funk, President of VSA Enterprises says: "Love your site!"

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

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    New Code For High Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures Effective October 2011
    The implementation date for the new BC Building Code standards for high-efficiency plumbing fixtures will come into effect on October 3, 2011. The new high-efficiency toilets (HETs) or dual-flush toilets will be required in new residential buildings or when renovations involving plumbing fixtures occur, and whenever urinals are installed, new high-efficiency urinals (HEUs) will be required.

    BC Code Appeal For Attachment Of Wood Shingles Over Capillary Break
    Building Code Appeal Board Decisions of January 20 says it is the determination of the Board that the attachment of cladding, including wood shingles, to sheathing conforming to Article through an intervening material providing a capillary break and conforming to Clause is acceptable.

    BC Building Code Appeal Board Decisions
    BC Building Code Appeal Board lists their appeal decisions that involved a dispute or disagreement between an Authority Having Jurisdiction (Building Official) and an owner or his agent (designer, builder, etc.) over interpretation or application of the B.C. Building Code.

    Amendments To BC Health & Safety Regulations Effective February 1, 2011
    WorkSafe BC lists amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation that become effective on February 1, 2011.

    Changing National Code Requirement For Swinging Doors
    Canadian Window & Door Manufacturers Association says requirements for doors to meet the national building code have been part of the code for about 20 years, but they were never enforced. It is anticipated that the requirements in the 2010 NBC will be enforced, as the new version comes into effect across Canada. Building code officials are going to be aware of the new requirements, which indicate that there must be a clear indication on the door that it complies with the code, which means that doors will require a label to demonstrate compliance with the code.

    New Smoke Alarm Requirements In 2010 Canadian Building Code
    Canadian National Research Council describes changes in the upcoming 2010 National Building Code for smoke alarm requirements. Homes built to the new Code must have hardwired smoke alarms with a hush button and a 9-volt battery backup that kicks in during power failures, and also requires a smoke alarm in all sleeping quarters as well as adjoining hallways.

    Canadian Electrical Inspection Code For Existing Residential Occupancies
    CSA standard C22.6 No. 1, Electrical Inspection Code for Existing Residential Occupancies, is a new voluntary Canadian standard developed to establish a minimum level of safety in existing residential occupancies. The standard is limited to existing installations and does not overlap or conflict with the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I.

    Strata Corporations Survey On BC Strata Property Act
    BC Government is offering strata owners and residents an opportunity to shape new regulations that improve accountability within strata corporations through a public consultation survey.

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    Air-Vapor Moisture Physics
    Building Science online slide show presentation describes the theory behind air-vapor moisture diffusion and condensation, problems caused, and solutions. (PDF)

    Questions & Answers About Air Barriers
    Green Building Advisor covers some common questions about the often-perplexing topic of air barriers, which are mandatory in most homes, but often tough to install.

    Current State Of High R-Value Enclosures For Residential Buildings
    Building Science report reviews and summarizes current state of understanding and research into enclosures with higher thermal resistance, so-called High-R Enclosures.

    Construction Details For Sealed Crawl Space
    Green Building Advisor construction details describe how to seal air and water leaks for a mold-free, energy-efficient sealed crawl space.

    Construction Details For Dry Comfortable Basements
    Green Building Advisor online construction details describe how to construct a basement that insulates against water, weather, and radon gas.

    Dense Pack Walls But Not Ceilings
    Building Science says dense packing walls typically results in remarkable performance, but dense packing of unvented cathedral ceilings or unvented flat roofs is a problem.

    Effective U-values & R-Values For Tapered Insulation
    RDH Building Engineering bulletin presents theory and calculation methods used to develop tables of effective R-values for tapered insulation. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Proper Wall Bracing Methods
    Builder Magazine online slide show describes methods of proper wall bracing, a strategy that is critical to a home’s structural performance.

    Controlling Ice Dams
    Building Science describes strategies to control ice dams by keeping the roof deck below freezing when the outside temperature is below freezing.

    Return-Air Problems
    Green Building Advisor says in homes with a single central return-air grille, return air often struggles to find its way back to the furnace.

    Research House For Environmentally Hypersensitive
    CMHC prototype house has been designed and constructed to demonstrate and provide an opportunity to evaluate a range of innovative features which can help achieve a clean indoor environment while reducing the cost of housing for people who are environmentally hypersensitive and others who suffer from allergies and respiratory diseases, such as asthma.

    Controlling Mold & Mildew
    Engineered Wood Association publication Mold & Mildew outlines characteristics of mold and mildew, effect they can have on a structure and its inhabitants, and methods for prohibiting their growth. (PDF)

    Water, Air & Vapor Management In Wall & Roof Assemblies
    Woodworks online slide show presentation covers three different ways how liquid water, water vapor and air differ in both their physical properties and how they behave, three levels of risk with water, air and vapor movement, four pitfalls with how today's buildings are being designed and built to protect against air and moisture, and three alternative moisture and air barrier design solutions. (PDF)

    BC Resource Site On Power Outages
    BC Hydro provides information on power outages including Report an Outage, Current Outages, Planned & Restored Outages, Outages on Your Mobile, Prepare for an Outage, Outages & Your Business, How Power is Restored, and RSS Outages Feeds.

    Structural Analysis Of Sandwich Foam Panels
    US Oak Ridge National Laboratory research work on Structural Analysis Of Sandwich Foam Panels was to develop a basic concept of a new generation of wall panel technologies which will have R-value over R-20 will use thermal mass to improve energy performance in cooling dominated climates and will be 100% termite resistant. (PDF)

    Effectiveness Of Stormwater Source Controls In Urban Watershed Revitalization
    CMHC research highlight focuses on stormwater source control activities at three sites within the Don River watershed. It applied the hydrologic model to three sites to assess the outcomes of different residential developments and other measures on stormwater and how innovative practices can mitigate adverse the environmental impacts of stormwater. (PDF)

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Beazer To Achieve Energy Star For Every New Home
    Homes USA, Inc., one of the country's top 10 homebuilders, announced that 100 percent of the homes they start after February 14, 2011, will have earned the ENERGY STAR seal of approval, meeting strict government standards for energy efficiency and comfort.

    Online Tour Of Net-Zero Home Features Of Builder Concept Home 2011
    BULDER Concept Home 2011, the KB Home GreenHouse, was on display during this year's International Builders Show. This online tour of the home features 3D floorplans, exterior wall cutaways, popup product information and more. The home was been designed and built to achieve net-zero energy use and the highest levels of resource efficiency.

    Cold Climate Deep Energy Retrofit
    Building Science describes a comprehensive renovation resulting in a projected 74% energy use reduction in a two-family residence of circa 1925.

    CSI Site For Listing & Finding Green Products
    GreenFormat is the Construction Specifications Institute site for listing and finding properties of green products that affect sustainable performance in buildings.

    2010 Sustainability Survey Results For BC Local Governments
    Fresh Outlook Foundation's Community Sustainability Snapshot: 2010 Survey Results for Local Governments can be used by communities to help them make important social, cultural, environmental, and economic decisions well into the future. (PDF)

    Reports & Studies On Climate Change & Housing Industry
    US National Association of Home Builders provides information, research and reports on climate change as it relates to the housing industry.

    Are Energy Codes Working?
    Green Building Advisor says to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy codes will have to become more stringent, and they’ll need to be enforced.

    2011 Market Insights On Green Building Risks
    Lighthouse Sustainable Building Centre in Vancouver presents Market Insights seminar Contracting to Build Green-What You Need to Know to Manage Risk, on March 8th. It features a specially convened panel looking at the risks associated incorporating green requirements into construction, retrofit and leasing contracts.

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    Flooring Products From Surfaces 2011 Trade Show
    Custom Home magazine describes some of the coolest, most interesting, and most beautiful floor covering products and emerging and evolving trends in wood, stone, porcelain, glass, concrete, and other flooring materials they found at the SURFACES 2011 flooring industry trade show.

    Home Area Networks In Smart Grid
    Continental Automated Buildings Association slide show presentation describes the theory, features and benefits of home area networks in the emerging smart grid initiative. (PDF)

    Small Sewage Treatment System Now Available In BC
    Janda Busse Small Size Sewage Treatment System is now available in BC. It is designed on the basis of the German industry norm DIN 4261 part 2 and comprises two treatment steps; namely pre-treatment and aeration.

    Selecting Insulation For Roofs, Walls, Floors
    Green Building Advisor describes how to choose the right insulation for roofs, walls, and floors.

    Guide To Performance Rated Wood Siding
    Engineered Wood Association offers free access to their Product Guide for Performance Rated Wood Siding that describes features, wide variety of patterns and textures that are available, and recommendations for finishing and refinishing exterior siding. Free site registration required.

    Why Don't More Builders Use More SIPS
    Builder Magazine discusses why more builders don't use structural insulated panels.

    Design & Construction Considerations For Glulam
    Woodworks online slide show describes important Glulam considerations for design and construction professionals. (PDF)

    LED Lighting Getting Better & Better
    Green Building Advisor describes how light quality and long-term performance of LED lighting, from some manufacturers, is improving rapidly.

    9. Installation Procedures

    Advanced Framing Benefits & Procedures
    Building Science online slide show presentation describes history of advanced framing, overview, benefits, and implementation. (PDF)

    Deployment Of Advanced Framing At Community Scale
    Building Science report investigates implementation of advanced framing in both production and prototype built homes built in a variety of climate regions across the USA.

    Replacement Window Installation Guide
    Siding & Window Dealers Association of Canada describes their approved method of installing replacement windows. (PDF)

    Tips & Resources On Window & Door Installation
    Fine Homebuilding offers articles, information, and tips on installation of windows and doors. Some articles require site membership to view.

    Installing Fiberglass Batts Correctly
    Green Building Advisor describes how to install fibreglass Batts correctly.

    How To Hide Rough Drywall Finish Showing Through Paint
    Journal of Light Construction describes one cause and solution for hiding rough drywall finish that is showing through paint.

    Finishing An Outside Corner
    Fine Homebuilding describes how a pro creates a smooth finish by applying the right amount of compound and pressure to the corner bead.

    10. Information Sources

    Construction Industry Radio With News & Interviews
    New Construction Strategies Radio is a radio network resource for everyone involved or interested in the construction industry. They interview experienced thought leaders from every sector of the construction industry, and related business and academic communities.

    BC Technical Publications On Building Technology
    RDH Building Engineering offers access to their reports and bulletins on building enclosure components, internal research projects, publications, articles & papers, 4-D build details, and presentations.

    Canadian Resource Site On Hydronic Heating
    Canadian Hydronics Council provides online information and resources on hydronic heating systems and suppliers.

    Information & Resources On Stained Concrete
    Concrete Network supplies online information and resources on stained concrete products, applications, and procedures.

    Free Newsletter On New Business Ideas, Trends & Innovation
    Helped by a network of 8,000 spotters, Springwise editors scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Hearth Patio & BBQ Expo
    Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo, Held in Salt Lake City March 2-5 is North America's largest indoor-outdoor living showcase. Hearth, patio and barbecue manufacturers and suppliers exhibit and demonstrate their latest home heating solutions; grills, grilling accessories and fully-equipped outdoor kitchens; casual patio furniture and outdoor accents; water and landscape features; all-weather entertainment products and more.

    Canadian Water & Wastewater Symposium
    WaterTech, held in Banff April 13-15, is a water technology transfer event for all industry sectors that have an interest in the technical aspects of water and wastewater. It offers presentations, networking sessions, keynote speakers, and an exhibition area.

    Annual Wood Solutions Fair In Vancouver
    Canadian Wood Council presents the annual Vancouver Wood Solutions Fair, a one-day trade show and educational event on wood products and construction, on April 14th.

    Canadian HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical & Lighting Expo
    MCEE, eastern Canada's largest plumbing, HVACR, hydronic, electrical and lighting industry expo will be held in Montreal April 20-21.

    Annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show
    National Kitchen & Bath Association presents an annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show & Conference in Las Vegas April 26-28. It is the world’s largest international trade event focused exclusively on all aspects of kitchens and baths specifically serving kitchen and bath dealers, designers, architects, remodelers, wholesalers and custom builders. It is the ultimate destination to discover the latest products, designs, trends and education that the industry has to offer.

    12. Education & Training

    Webinar On Economic Outlook Of BC In 2011
    Real Estate Institute of BC webinar Economic Outlook of BC in 2011 on February 23rd will include analysis of the economy in British Columbia, where the real estate industry is heading and predictions of economic conditions in 2011.

    Seminar On Where We Are & Where We Are Going With Costs
    Urban Development Institute Pacific Region luncheon seminar CO$T$; Where we are & where are we going, on February 24th, will summarize development costs over the past few years and provides insight on where costs are likely to go in the next 12 months, and will also provide a review of government imposed charges, processing times and other municipal requirements.

    Course On LEED Canada For Homes
    Canada Green Building Council presents LEED Canada for Homes course in Vancouver on February 25th. This full-day workshop provides essential knowledge of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Canada for Homes Rating System.

    Seminar On Numbers Behind Housing Development
    Urban Development Institute School of Development presents The Numbers Behind Housing Development on March 18th in Vancouver. The facilitator, two developers, an appraiser, and a banker will draw from their own experiences to teach you the basics of proforma development, land and project valuation, sensitivity analysis and financing criteria.

    13. Computer, Internet & Fun

    Free Online Grammar Checker, Proofreader & More
    PaperRater is a free Web service, its sole mission is to help you improve the quality of your writing. Whether it's a term paper, a commercial report, an academic paper, or just a memo, PaperRater sorts out spelling errors, identifies bad grammar and clumsy phrases, offers suggestions to improve your writing style, even checks for possible plagiarism.

    Online Forms For Designing Collecting & Analyzing HTML Form Data
    Adobe FormsCentral is an online forms service for designing, distributing, collecting and analyzing data from HTML forms. Potential uses include forms for feedback, event registration, mailing lists, resarch, memberships, etc.

    Worlds Most Creative Buildings
    Oddee Blog on the oddities of the world has pictures and descriptions of the worlds most creative buildings, featuring some truly unique structural creations.

    Dittie For Today: On Character

    Life is like a grindstone and whether it grinds you down or polishes you up depends on what you're made of. - Unknown

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    © Copyright 2011               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada