Alert Notice #51
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 August 30, 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

Thanks to our advertisers, these Alert Notices come to you free. Check out what they offer.



  Green Sheet

My thanks to Mark Gauvin, Larry Clay, John Chepil, Wilma Leung, Sharene Rekow, Christine Reid, Brian Hart, Don Vibert, Joey Fearn, Natalie Tarini, Peter Sundberg, Maureen McLaughlin, Brent Wilker, Bill Gies, George Pinch, Abraham Mansouri, Glenn Duxbury, Greg Stolz, Amy Spencer, Ross Woolford, Denisa Ionescu, Bruce Gray, Barry Mohring, and Kay Ostar 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

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************

Lennox Energy Efficient Home Comfort Systems
Lennox’ innovative solutions include energy-efficient, Energy Star approved;
  •  Heating: Furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, air handlers, garage heaters
  •  Cooling: Air conditioners, heat pumps
  •  Indoor Air Quality: Air purification, filtration and humidification
  •  Comfort Controls: Thermostats and zoning systems

  • Most Lennox products are backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal
    Find out more...        

    Ken's Top Pick

    Decks Are Roofs You Can Walk On
    Building Science describes how a deck is pretty much an unvented roof that you walk on. We drain and drain again, provide drainage gaps, slope to drains and add insulation on the top. If we can’t add insulation on the top, we insulate from underneath. When we insulate from underneath, we follow the International Residential Code (IRC) provisions for unvented roofs. Open cell, closed cell, vapor retarders, air impermeable. It is all there.

    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    Economic Analysis Of Removal Of PTT From BC New Home Sales
    Urban Development Institute report Economic Analysis of the Removal of the PTT from New Home Sales says the production of an additional 1,900 to 2,200 new homes, stimulated by the removal of the PTT, is considered likely and achievable. (PDF)

    Bob Rennie 2011 Address To UDI
    Online videos from Urban Development Institute’s 2011 Annual General Meeting features Bob Rennie analyzing whether Vancouver is the most livable or least affordable city in the world.

    BC Housing Forecast Third Quarter 2011
    BC Real Estate Association BC Housing Forecast includes information on MLS residential sales, housing starts, mortgage rates, and regional real estate board statistics and forecasts. It states Multiple Listing Service residential sales in the province are forecast to increase 4 per cent to 77,500 units this year. This reflects a slight downgrade from the second quarter forecast of 78,200 unit sales. (PDF)

    Downgrading Of BC Economic Outlook
    The Business Council of British Columbia has revised down the outlook for the BC economy in 2011-2012. (PDF)

    Canadian Housing Market Trends & Affordability August 2011
    RBC Economics Research report Housing Market Trends & Affordability August 2011 says continued gains in home prices and a slight increase in mortgage rates hurt housing affordability in Canada in the second quarter of this year although not enough to cause undue strain in the majority of markets across the country. (PDF)

    Housing Market Outlook Canada - Third Quarter 2011
    CMHC Canadian Housing Market Outlook provides information on national and provincial housing trends and forecasts as of the Third quarter 2011. It says after moderating progressively since the second quarter of 2010, housing starts have rebounded in the second quarter of 2011. They are expected to moderate again over the course of the next three quarters. Housing starts are forecast to be 183,200 units for 2011 and 183,900 units for 2012. (PDF)

    Consumer Segmentation Provides Insights Into Housing Demand
    Builder Magazine shows how Hanley Wood Market Intelligence forecasts for US household formation, based on household segments, and ownership rates by geographic.

    2. Business Management

    15 Tips To Help Sell Homes
    Builder Magazine describes what three sales gurus suggest to help sell homes.

    2011 Builder Pacesetter Awards For Business Management
    Custom Home magazine describes winners of their 2011 Pacesetter Awards. They selected custom builders who, in a down market, have successfully bolstered their companies while adding disciplines that feed their core competence.

    2011 Remodeling Customer Satisfaction Survey Results
    Qualified Remodeler’s annual Remodeling Customer Satisfaction Survey suggests although most remodelers pride themselves on their customer service and referrals from satisfied clients, homeowners don’t always see it the same way.

    Remodeling Clients For Life
    Remodeling Magazine says annual inspections are one way to develop repeat clients.

    Canadian Home Builder Magazine Now Offers Regional Advertising Options & Rates
    Canadian Home BUILDER Magazine now offers suppliers a chance to target just the Western provinces, or Ontario.

    Best Practice Guide For Online Video
    Online Video Best Practice Guide is aimed at marketers and content owners who are using video as a tool for marketing and sales. The 59-page guide covers all you need to know about what's happening in online video, including best practice tips, tools and and techniques. The report is full of real, practical examples of organsiations already using online video to help you anticipate what will be relevant for your brand. $350 USD

    3. Building Design & Trends

    2011 Gold Nugget Award Winning Homes
    Builder Magazine describes homes that won 2011 US Gold Nugget Awards, parlaying clean lines and natural materials into beautiful spaces great and small.

    Color Forecasts For 2012
    Custom Home magazine describes color forecasts for 2012.

    10 Tips To Value-Engineer Home Designs
    Builder Magazine describes some ways to value-engineer your homes to cut prices down while keeping your design standards high.

    36 High-Tech Home Designs
    HGTV Pro and Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association online slide show describes 36 high-tech home designs featuring home theatres, media rooms, and smart homes.

    2011 Winners Of US Remodeling Awards
    Chrysalis Awards honor the finest remodeling projects in the US that reflect the professional excellence of the residential and commercial remodeling industry. The 2011 Chrysalis award winning projects are described here.

    Designing Master Bathroom Traffic Flow
    Qualified Remodeler says when designing master bathroom traffic flow, recognize a few basic human preferences and personal-hygiene factors and a solution that accommodates owners’ preferences and the structure’s limitations can be achieved.

    Five Concrete Design Ideas For Small Backyard Patio
    Concrete Network displays five decorative concrete options to give your small patio greater visual appeal and functionality.

    Deck Designs For West Coast
    West Coast deck builder Joe Wood's website offers ideas and inspiration for deck builders, including asian style designs using natural materials, a little traditional joinery, as well as western style construction techniques.

    Software For Wood Design
    Woodworks lists US and Canadian engineering software for design of all wood buildings as well as hybrid structures of wood and other materials.

    What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

    Brent Wilker, Marketing Manager, Conasys Inc. says: "We really enjoy your site, great content. Keep up the good work."

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

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    Ask An Expert & FAQ On BC Building Codes
    BC Building and Safety Standards Branch offers Ask An Expert services and FAQs on the BC Building Codes. If your question is not addressed in FAQ then at the very bottom click on Other Inquiries and and enter your question in the online form. They usually respond in seven business days or less.

    BC Adopts 2010 Editions Of CSA B149 Codes
    BC Safety Authority online bulletin says the Gas Safety Regulation has adopted CAN/CSA B149 series of Installation Codes for use in British Columbia. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) published new editions of the CSA B149 codes in January 2010 which are now adopted for use in British Columbia. (PDF)

    Alberta Bulletin On Gas Venting & ABS/PVC Piping
    Alberta Municipal Affairs gas safety bulletin from STANDATA covering direct vent appliances & equipment says the increased application of high efficiency furnaces and hot water tanks in construction has resulted in increased failures due to confusion with similar locations for combustion air and venting piping systems. The accidental installation of ABS/PVC piping on venting outlets that were intended for the combustion air piping is causing venting failures. (PDF)

    Update On 2011 National Energy Code For Buildings
    Canadian National Research Council provides an update on changes to the proposed 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings.

    Upcoming Publications For 2010 Canadian National Model Construction Codes
    National Research Council Canada says the following publications are scheduled to be published in the coming months: August 2011: User’s Guide – NBC 2010, Structural Commentaries (Part 4 of Division B), November 2011: National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011, Summer 2012: Illustrated User’s Guide to Part 9 of the 2010 NBC.

    Window Preservation Standards Collaborative
    Old-window experts have gotten together to create a grass-roots group called the Window Preservation Standards Collaborative that hopes to set formal standards for window preservation.

    New Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy
    Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors has adopted a new Regional Growth Strategy that aims to guide development in the region over the next three decades in a way that enhances the livability of the region while contributing to the overall sustainability of the region’s development.

    ************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************

    Pre-Cast Architectural Stone Exterior – CCMC Approved Rainscreen
    Stonetile is manufactured to replicate some of the world’s finest architectural designs. Engineered to last a lifetime, it can add meticulous and stunning detail to any home you build or renovate.
    Stonetile delivers elegance in look, style, and service.
      Find out more...

    5. Building Science & Technology

    Fundamentals Of Heat Control
    Building Science online slide show describes the fundamentals of heat control. (PDF)

    Fundamentals Of Moisture
    Building Science online slide show describes the fundamentals of moisture. (PDF)

    Enclosures That Work In Very Cold Climate
    Building Science provides description, with drawings, of building enclosure design principles that work in very cold climates.

    Whole Wall Thermal Performance
    Oak Ridge National Labs report on heat transfer through building assemblies provides detailed measurements of the whole-wall R-values of 40 different wall construction types.

    Bold Attempt To Slay R-Value
    Green Building Advisor describes how a group of building science researchers is trying to invent a new metric for measuring the thermal performance of walls and ceilings.

    Choosing High-Performance Wall Assembly
    Green Building Advisor discusses factors around choosing a high-performance wall assembly, and compares double 2x4 walls to a 2x6 wall with exterior foam insulation.

    Are Crawlspaces A Bad Idea?
    Fine Homebuilding article and discussion focuses on the opinion that while sealing a crawlspace is better than not sealing it, crawlspaces themselves may be a bad idea.

    Lstiburek’s Rules For Venting Roofs
    Green Building Advisor online video by Dr. Joe Lstiburek describes proper roof venting as needing an airtight ceiling, lots of air flow, plenty of soffit vents, and deep insulation at the attic perimeter.

    Top 10 Dumb Things To Do In Building Science
    Building Science online slide show describes 10 dumb things to do, including ducts in vented attics, ducts in vented crawlspaces, vented crawlspaces, atmospherically vented gas DHW, building cavities as returns, face sealed windows, basement diapers, manufactured stone veneer without a gap, plastic vapor barriers, and vinyl wall coverings. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    5 Hot Spots For Poor Quality
    Avid Builder describes 5 common poor quality building issues, including stucco, batt insulation, windows, showers, and vapour barriers under slabs.

    Repairing Concrete Foundations
    Concrete Network provides information and resources on repairing concrete foundations.

    Four Ways Water Gets Into Buildings
    Green Building Advisor describes how water enters buildings by bulk transport, by capillarity, by piggybacking with infiltrating air, and by vapor diffusion. Once you get your priorities straight, you can implement strategies to prevent water damage.

    How To Prevent Cracks In Drywall
    Fine Homebuilding describes how to prevent cracks in drywall.

    Helping People With Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
    Green Building Advisor describes house design guidelines for clients with multiple chemical sensitivity.

    Building For High Wind Resistance In Light-Frame Wood Construction
    Engineered Wood Association pamphlet Building For High Wind Resistance In Light-Frame Wood Construction provides simple tips that can boost the windstorm performance of structures, particularly in moderate storm conditions. It shows how to get the best out of studs, plywood, nails, and basic steel connectors. Free site registration required.

    Occupant Comfort In Social Housing Following Building Envelope Upgrades
    Read Jones Christoffersen report describes a typical low-rise Social Housing MURB in Vancouver that was the subject of a case study on the effects of building envelope retrofits on energy consumption and occupant comfort. The building showed signs of extreme interior environments, characteristic of Social Housing MURBs on the west coast of Canada. The results indicated that the increased thermal performance of the retrofitted structure, in combination with the extreme interior conditions, would substantially decrease occupant comfort. (PDF)

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Builders Get Built Green Credit For Using Web Based Manuals
    BuiltGreen certification will now be able to use Conasys’s Home Information Packages to earn points toward certification. Under Section 8.2, Business Practices, builders can earn three (3) points by providing a HIP as an equivalent to a BuiltGreen Home Manual.

    Production Builders Use Size To Green Advantage
    Builder Magazine describes three companies that offer third-party certification and high-performance building techniques to help woo buyers in a down market.

    Improving Accuracy Of Energy Analysis For Residential Buildings
    US Department of Energy paper Assessing & Improving Accuracy of Energy Analysis for Residential Buildings focuses on improving whole-building energy analysis methods that employ annual building energy simulations. These methods involve feld data collection procedures, simulation protocols, and software test suites. (PDF)

    Seeing Red Over Green Roofs
    Building Science says green roof stuff is getting out of hand. It is dumb to do a green roof to save energy, and covering a roof with grass to deal with solar gain is also pretty dumb. And the fact that some cities now require green roofs via bylaw is also dumb. But green roofs should be done because they can be beautiful.

    Energy & Comfort Performance Of Solar Shading Devices
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction describes results of research on several types of window shading devices and their potential to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption and improve conditions that affect occupant comfort. The information provides guidance in the selection of shading devices for particular housing types and energy cost situations.

    Energy Star Purchasing Guide
    Natural Resources Canada online Energy Star Purchasing Guide contains an implementation plan for energy-efficient purchasing, tools on making the business case for Energy Star qualified products, and more. (PDF)

    Climate Science Now Settled?
    Financial Post article by Lawrence Solomon says the science is now all-but-settled on global warming, as convincing new evidence demonstrates. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun, not human activities, as the controller of climate on Earth.

    Financing Green Building & Retrofits
    Light House Sustainable Building Centre presents Market Insights networking breakfast on September 14, Following the Money: Financing Green Building & Retrofits. This seminar brings together a moderated panel of financiers to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with green building financing.

    ************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************

    Green Sheet - Your Ultimate Resource For Construction Data
    Are you a sales person trying to have your products specified?
    Are you a supplier, installer, or subcontractor seeking new bidding opportunities?

    If you are unsure of where your next job is coming from, you can find new
    prospective markets and increase sales using Green Sheet construction data...
                            Find out more..…

    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    Recall Of Air Compressors
    Health Canada recall involves air compressors sold under the Craftsman and Delta Shopmaster brand names. The Craftsman brand compressors involved in this recall are models 919-72412, 919-724121, 919-724122, and 919-72413. The Sears Craftsman brand compressors have a red 15 gallon tank.

    Buying A Portable Generator
    Tools of the Trade describes how to choose the right size portable generator with built-in GFCI protection and, if you need it, clean power.

    Best Products From 2011 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show
    Moen describes Best of KBIS products from the 2011 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, as chosen by a panel representing the top trade and consumer media in the kitchen and bath industry.

    7 Innovative Insulation Materials
    Builder Magazine describes seven innovative insulation materials that are earth-friendly, help boost R-value, and seal your houses.

    Concrete Driveway Mix Tips
    Concrete Network provides tips for proper concrete driveway mix.

    Issues Around Accurate Heating & Cooling Load Calculations
    US Department of Energy online Accurate Heating and Cooling Load Calculations guide can be used for collaborative discussions between a builder, HVAC contractor, and other trade partners to understand the importance of appropriately calculating peak heating and cooling loads, as the first step of HVAC system design. (PDF)

    Hydronic Heating For Low-Load Houses
    Hydronic heating expert John Siegenthaler explains the principles and practice of using hot water systems to heat super energy-efficient homes.

    History Of Radiant Heating
    Healthy Heating provides a chronological history of radiant cooling and heating.

    Document Review For Manufacturers Guides
    Construction Specifications Institute offers the CSI Compliant Document Program for Guide Specifications. It is a program for reviewing manufacturer guide specifications for conformance with the CSI formats and guidelines.

    9. Installation Procedures

    Three Ways to Insulate Attics
    Qualified Remodeler describes three successful approaches to achieving a well-insulated attic.

    How To Insulate Cathedral Ceiling With Mineral Wool
    Green Building Advisor discusses how to insulate a cathedral ceiling with mineral wool, and if the rafter bays of a sloped ceiling are packed with insulation, is venting the roof necessary.

    Common Adhesive Application Errors
    Home Builder magazine offers some tips on avoiding most common application errors for adhesives.

    Maintaining Cladding
    BC Homeowner Protection Office describes regular review and maintenance of cladding that is important to ensure intended performance and appearance. (PDF)

    Maintaining At-Grade & Below-Grade Assemblies
    BC Homeowner Protection Office describes why and how to maintain at-grade and below-grade assemblies. (PDF)

    Jobsite Recycling Of Asphalt Roofing Shingles
    Green Building Advisor says since asphalt roofing shingles have a high petroleum content they have value when recycled from a jobsite.

    10. Information Sources

    Articles & Resources On Roofs
    Fine Homebuilding offers articles and resources for building durable, energy-efficient, and attractive roofs. Access to some articles requires site membership.

    Blog On Paint
    Paint Quality Institute blog provides tips, ideas, and inspiration designed to help with home painting needs. It contains information that will help choose a color scheme, select and properly apply paints and coatings, and creatively employ paint in home remodeling projects.

    Resource Site On Cross Laminated Timber
    Canadian Wood Council offers information and resources on cross laminated timber.

    Fact Sheets On Building Products, Technology & Energy
    Southface Energy Institute site fact sheets cover energy efficiency, appliances, building envelope, insulation, HVAC, ventilation, indoor air quality, water use, solar, lighting, windows, and more.

    Bulletins On Building Envelope Maintenance
    Homeowner Protection Office bulletins Maintenance Matters is a series designed to provide practical information on the maintenance of the building envelope of multi-unit residential buildings including townhouses, low and high-rise residential buildings.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    BC Building Envelope One-Day Conference In Vancouver
    BC Building Envelope Council one-day conference in Vancouver on September 21st will focus on emerging trends in building enclosure design, integrated energy efficient solutions, and thermal performance and regulatory issues. National and local experts will share lessons learned on themes such as building enclosure impacts on the energy performance of new and retrofit buildings, design considerations for wood-frame buildings, air barrier testing and commissioning of large buildings, and reserve fund case studies.

    Vancouver Laneway House Tour
    Vancouver Heritage Foundation presents a Laneway House Tour on October 1st. It includes a collection of ten laneway homes behind existing houses in historic neighbourhoods.

    Internet Marketing Conference In Vancouver
    IMC, Internet Marketing Conference, will be held in Vancouver October 3-4. It covers content, community, campaigns and insights into online marketing.

    BC Window & Door Industry Conference
    Windows and Door Manufacturers Association of BC is holding FWD West, the Fenestration, Window and Door Inaugural Conference on October 6 In Surrey. It includes presentations on New State of the Art for Replacing Windows and Doors, Design and Detailing Considerations for High R-Value Wall Assemblies, Thermal Performance of Three-Dimensional Building Envelope Assemblies and Details, Owners Orientation to C.O.R, and Thermally Modified Wood for More Durable Windows and Doors.

    Canadian Window & Door Industry Trade Show In Toronto
    Canadian Window & Door Manufacturers Association presents Win-door North America, the annual trade show for the fenestration and door industry, in Toronto Nov. 15-17.

    2011 Annual BC Engineers Conference In Kelowna
    Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists 2011 Annual Conference will be held in Kelowna, October 13-15. It offers networking opportunities, professional development, trade exhibition, as well as social events.

    National Conference & Exposition For Building Owners & Managers In St. Johns
    Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada annual BOMEX conference and trade show, taking place September 25-27 in St. Johns, provides seminars and product displays for building owners and managers.

    12. Education & Training

    BC Seminar On Social Networking For Construction
    On October 20th in Vancouver, the BC Construction Roundtable presents The Construction of Social Networking, a seminar on how construction companies can benefit from social networking.

    BC Seminars On Homes For Life
    BC Homeowner Protection Office Building Smart #15 seminar Homes for Life: Building for Now and the Future will be held around the province. It will help builders, designers and others involved in residential construction to meet the changing needs of B.C. homebuyers. It explores adaptable homes that are safe, comfortable, energy efficient and can be customized to meet the needs of homeowners today and in the future. The presentation includes the SAFERhome Standards for adaptable homes which integrates safety and accessibility into the overall design, and strategies for energy efficient homes and sustainable communities.

    BC Courses On Fundamentals Of Moving Air Quietly & Efficiently
    Thermal Environmental Comfort Association of BC presents courses this fall around BC on the Fundamentals of Moving Air Quietly and Efficiently. It improves ones understanding and the skills required to move air through duct systems, from a low of 50 cfm, typical of a small residential ventilation systems up to 2400 the required cfm which must be drawn or pushed through the indoor coil of a 6 ton heat pump's.

    UDI Seminar On Art of Approvals
    Urban Development Institute seminar The Art of Approvals, held in Vancouver on October 21-22 describes how to successfully navigate through the complex municipal process, considering today’s active neighbourhood groups.

    BC Seminar On Quality Management In Construction Industry
    Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC seminar on Quality Management In Construction Industry will be held in Vancouver on November 15. The first part of this seminar will cover the basics of what quality is, how quality differs from grade, how quality has evolved and an introduction to such quality tools as statistical process control and cause/effect charts. The second part will discuss both who is responsible for and how to manage quality in the design & construction phases of a project.

    Changes To Gold Seal Requirements Starting January 2012
    Vancouver Regional Construction Association lists the changes coming to the Gold Seal apprenticeship requirements as of January 1, 2012.

    New Certification For Remodeler Project Management
    National Association of the Remodeling Industry offers the Certified Remodeler Project Manager course.

    New Non-Design Certification For Kitchens
    National Kitchen & Bath Association has launched a non-design certification: the Certified Kitchen & Bath Professional (CKBP). This universal certification was created in response to repeated requests for a certification path that would support builder/remodelers, distributors, fabricators, manufacturers' representatives, and other qualified professionals in the industry.

    13. Computer, Internet & Fun

    5 Computing Mistakes
    PC Pitstop describes the 5 biggest mistakes made by average PC users & how to avoid them.

    Facebook Resources For Business
    Facebook has created a new site aimed at helping small businesses more effectively market and advertise their products on the social network.

    Human Planet
    BBC online video Human Planet takes you to people around the world and shows them in fantastic situations. The photography is absolutely outstanding!

    Dittie For Today - On Wisdom

    A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew. - Herb Caen

    Quick Links

    Subscription Info

    © Copyright 2011               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada