Alert Notice #61
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 March 28, 2012


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.




My thanks to John Chepil, Monty Woo, Mark Gauvin, Wilma Leung, John Davies, Susan Scott, Maureen McLaughlin, George Pinch, Dave Fehr, Rod Goy, Jennifer Shaw, Jay Lewis, Fred Stitt, Linus Lam, Mary Biddle, Cheryl Cater, Dan Brown, David Bak, Molly Kray, Dawn Smith, Megan Billingsley, Sabine Just, Joey Fearn, Robyn Kauppila, Steve Satow, Laura Porinchak, Angie Griffin, and Peter Weiss 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

    Coquitlam Test Hut Provides Insights Into Moisture In Walls
    Building Science describes some research results from the Coquitlam test hut that give insights into wall systems and moisture.

    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    BC 2012 Construction Labour Market Information
    Construction Sector Council report 2012 Construction Looking Forward provides labour market information for British Columbia. (PDF)

    Economic Analysis of British Columbia March 2012
    Central 1 report Economic Analysis of British Columbia March 2012 says since the recession of 2008-09 the lower Mainland economy has accounted for most, and at times all, of the growth in BC, but that is about to change. Growth prospects in northern BC will improve and those regional economies will contribute more to provincial growth. (PDF)

    BC Mortgage Rate Forecast March 2012
    BC Real Estate Association mortgage rate forecast of March 2012 says while posted mortgage rates fluctuated modestly in the opening months of 2012, a competitive frenzy was unleashed as lenders jostled for market share with headline grabbing promotional offers, such as a 2.99 per cent five-year fixed rate.(PDF)

    Western Provinces Barely Fazed by Economic Uncertainty
    Conference Board of Canada says the demographic and economic clout of the Western Canadian provinces is expected to continue to grow, as the recently-released 2011 Census revealed that the western provinces are a magnet for new arrivals, and strong commodity prices are expected to boost the western economies over the next two years.

    Canadian Housing Market Trends & Affordability March 2012
    RBC Economics Research report Housing Market Trends & Affordability March 2012 says owning a home became more affordable in this country for the second consecutive quarter in the fourth quarter of 2011. (PDF)

    Long Term Canadian Household Projections
    CMHC reports on Long Term Household Projections span the period 2007 to 2036 and include projections of households by age-group, household type, dwelling type and tenure for Canada as well as for the provinces and territories.

    Canada’s Residential Construction Industry Outlook Winter 2012
    Conference Board of Canada report Canada’s Residential Construction Industry: Industrial Outlook Winter 2012, examines the short-and medium-term economic and profitability outlook for Canada’s Residential Construction Industry. Free site registration required.

    2. Business Management

    Referrals Drive Growth For Customer-Focused Builders
    Builder magazine describes how attentive customer satisfaction, from the sale to move-in and beyond, can turn buyers into evangelists.

    Tax Savings For Tradespersons
    Canada Revenue Agency describes several ways tradespersons may be eligible for tax deductions.

    BC PST Transition Rules For Real Property
    BC Real Estate Association questions and answers are intended to provide clarity at a high level for general transition rules for PST on real property.

    Q & A On Elimination Of HST In BC
    Canada Revenue Agency questions and answers will assist you in understanding how the transition from the 12% HST to the 5% GST would apply to transactions that straddle that date.

    Home Buyer's Due Diligence Obligations
    BC Real Estate Association says that while sellers are obliged to make full and complete disclosure of defects not readily discoverable, making the property dangerous or unfit for habitation, buyers are equally obliged to exercise due diligence in investigating properties they propose to purchase.

    Canadian Government Resource Site On Careers & Jobs
    Working In Canada is a Canadian Government resource site for both job-seekers and employers to learn more about the Canadian labour market and more than 500 distinct professions.

    How To Use Respirators Safely
    WorkSafe BC online booklet How to Use Respirators Safely and Start a Respirator Program is for employers, supervisors, and workers who need information on respirators and breathing hazards. (PDF)

    3. Building Design & Trends

    What Women (Home Buyers) Want
    Builder magazine describes how a builder has cracked the code to what design elements and thoughtful details hit home with many female buyers.

    Reviving Interest In Multigenerational Housing
    Builder magazine discusses ideas about the reinvention of multigenerational housing.

    2012 Color Trends
    Paint Quality Institute, a paint resource site from Rohm and Haas, provides a summary of colour trends for each year from 2006.

    2012 Color Forecast
    Sherwin-Williams presents their 2012 Color Forecast, including core palettes inspired by Mother Earth.

    Designing Kitchen Seating Areas
    Custom Home magazine provides examples on some solutions to designing kitchen seating areas that make sense.

    Designing Small & Smart Kitchens
    For Residential Pros describes some design solutions to small kitchens where space demands creative planning so it fits the most important needs of the client's family.

    Bathrooms With Luxury Features
    HGTV Remodels displays some luxury bathrooms features that can transform a bathroom from ordinary to opulent.

    Mid-Rise Construction In British Columbia
    Canadian Wood Council case study Mid-rise Construction In BC, based on the Remy Project in Richmond, gives descriptions of mid-rise building solutions that are currently being developed and refined in BC. (PDF)

    Greater Vancouver renOVATION Award Finalists For 2012
    Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association lists 2012 finalists for the renOVATION Awards program that recognizes excellence in renovation construction and design.

    Annual BC Wood Design Award Winners
    Wood Works describes winners of their annual Wood Design Awards of BC that honor excellence in wood-based projects and recognize the people and organizations that are pioneering and achieving this objective. (PDF)

    What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

    Dawn Smith, President, ASRi says: "Thanks again for your website. It's a valuable resource."

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

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    Location Of Vapour Barrier In Exterior Walls
    Building Officials Association of BC provides interpretation for the location of a vapour barrier in exterior walls in Vancouver (PDF).

    Provide Input Into BC Code Modernization
    BC governemnt is asking for input into the building regulatory modernization, including increasing consistency in building standards across BC, providing Provincial interpretations of the Building Code, introducing a third party audit system for Code compliance and administration, establishing a Provincial evaluation body to consider alternative solutions and product evaluation, and establishing a stakeholder advisory body to advise on matters related to the building regulatory system.

    BC Government Proposal For Certification Of Local Building Officials
    Building Officials Association of BC summarizes how the Province is proposing a system of mandatory certification of building officials. This proposal would require all building officials employed by local governments to meet qualifications and obtain certification from the BOABC, limit local governments to employing only certified individuals as building officials, and limit the functions that building officials could perform to their level of certification. (PDF)

    Submission Re BC Environmental Mitigation Policy
    Business Council of BC provides their submission regarding the current version of the BC Ministry of Environment's proposed Environmental Mitigation Policy. (PDF)

    Canadian National Building Code To Address Power-Driven Nails
    Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, having been alerted that the 2010 National Building Code of Canada requirements for nails and other fasteners do not explicitly address the type of nails used in pneumatic fastening tools, is taking action to remedy the situation. A proposed change to Part 9 of the NBC, recommending addition of an ASTM standard that addresses fasteners used in such tools, is under consideration.

    Evaluation Of SIPS For National Building Code Compliance
    Researchers at National Research Council Canada are developing technical criteria to assist manufacturers of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) to secure evaluation of their products for compliance with the National Building Code of Canada.

    ************************************************* 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

    Hybrid Wall Assemblies
    Building Science online slide show presentation on hybrid wall systems describes research results using combinations of materials and approaches to provide optimum performance. (PDF)

    Advanced Framing Construction Guide
    Engineered Wood Association publication Advanced Framing Construction Guide details several advanced framing techniques, including 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center, insulated three-stud corners, two-stud corners with ladder blocking, wall intersection options, single headers, single top plates, and eliminating unnecessary materials. Free site registration required.

    Perfect Wall, Roof & Slab
    Green Building Advisor online podcast by Dr. Joe Lstiburek talks about enclosure design principles of energy efficient houses.

    HVAC Systems For Low-Load Buildings
    Building Science online slide show presentation covers why low-load buildings are a problem for HVAC systems, solutions that are available, pros & cons of different systems, and how multi's are different than single family. (PDF)

    Hip Rafters De-mystified Using SketchUp
    Fine Homebuilding describes how to demystify hip rafter geometry by visualizing it with SketchUp's digital capabilities.

    High Performance Residential Lighting
    US Department of Energy guideline High Performance Residential Lighting offers methods to greatly reduce lighting energy use through the application of high quality fluorescent and light emitting diode (LED) technologies. High performance lighting strategies may be applied through the range of builder-installed lighting, from the simplest code compliance level to built-in lighting for each room of the house including exterior lighting. (PDF)

    Combined Systems With Tankless Water Heaters
    Building Science online slide show describes considerations for combining solar or condensing boilers with tankless water heaters. (PDF)

    Heat Pump Water Heaters In New & Existing Homes
    US Department of Energy measure guideline Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH) in New and Existing Homes explores issues to ensure that homeowners and contractors have the tools needed to appropriately and efficiently install HPWHs. (PDF)

    Cost-Effective Window Attachments
    Green Spec describes various types of cost-effective window attachments for sun and weather control.

    Overview Of Architectural Aluminum Coatings
    BC Building Envelope Council online slide show describes features, benefits, standards and options for architectural coatings on aluminum. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    HVAC Systems & Indoor Environmental Quality
    Healthy Heating describes papers that present research based information on the influence of HVAC systems on the indoor environments (determined by the building scientists) and subsequently the potential influence on the occupants health (determined by the health scientists).

    Rain Control Strategies
    Building Science online slide show presentation covers rain control risk factors, different strategies of rain deflection, 3 rain control strategies for enclosures, and some construction details. (PDF)

    Check Hoses On Dishwashers & Clothes Washers
    Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors of BC describes why and how to check hoses on dishwashers and clothes washers to avoid an unwanted water problem in a home.

    The Invisibly Universal House
    Builder magazine describes the LIFEhouse, a 1,992-square-foot, ranch-style home that won the National Association of Home Builders Best of 50+ Housing Award. The home can comfortably accommodate a young family with a live-in elderly parent, disabled individuals, aging persons, or even a family with young children or whose adult children have come back home.

    Universal Design Living Laboratory
    The Universal Design Living Laboratory home masters universal design, green building, and healthy home practices, all with an eye toward aesthetics.

    Accessible Design Of Exterior Spaces
    CMHC describes how principles of universal design can be incorporated into many exterior landscape design elements, including decks, play spaces, gardens, and eating and cooking areas.

    Consumer & Industry Resources On Disasters
    US National Association of Home Builders provides disaster information and resources for consumers and builders.

    Seismic Testing Of Two-Story Light-Frame Wood Building
    Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation report Seismic Testing of a Full-Scale Two-Story Light-Frame Wood Building describes testing to develop a seismic design philosophy that will provide the necessary mechanisms to safely increase the height of woodframe structures in active seismic zones of the US. (PDF)

    Canadian Research Consortium For Wood In Mid-Rise Buildings
    National Research Council Canada describes new research into using wood for 5-6 storey construction that will focus on structural integrity, fire safety, acoustics and building envelope performance.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Contractors Turning Away From LEED
    Journal of Commerce says the construction industry in BC and the US is starting to reject the LEED certification process citing it as too costly and taking too long with too many uncertainties.

    Baby Boomers Believe In Sustainable Principles
    Environmental Leader summarizes a study that shows baby boomers believe in sustainable principles and will pay for them.

    Young People Not So Green After All
    New York Times describes two longstanding national surveys of high school seniors and college freshmen that found a decline, over the last four decades, in young people's trust in others, their interest in government, time they said they spent thinking about social problems, and concern about the environment and taking personal action to save it.

    5 Sustainable Homes That Don’t Skimp On Style
    Builder Magazine article describes 5 sustainable homes that show high-performance living comes in all sorts of packages.

    Shades Of Green In Remodeling
    Remodeling Magazine describes how two designers talk about the ways they share green ideas with remodeling clients.

    Energy Star Criteria For HVAC Equipment
    Natural Resources Canada describes Energy Star criteria for air conditioners, boilers, ceiling fans, furnaces, heat pumps, programmable thermostats, ventilating fans, and water heaters.

    Entry Level Training Course For Solar Thermal
    Solar BC describes a 36-hour Camosun College course that covers the basic skills and fundamentals of solar thermal technology. Students will learn how to: identify solar thermal components; conduct steps in a solar site analysis; ensure safe practices and risk management; identify systems for specific climates; and determine methods to install and maintain systems.

    Thermal Performance Of Mid & Highrise Building Envelopes
    ASHRAE BC online slide show presentation by Morrison Hershfield describes thermal performance of building envelope details for mid and highrise buildings. (PDF)

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

    Selling Energy Conservation on its Merits
    Does your company need help with selling customers on the features and long-term benefits of energy saving HVAC equipment?
    Join workshop leader, Gord Cooke, in Burnaby on Tuesday April 17th, for a one-day interactive session packed with group exercises, case studies and role playing aimed at helping you to improve your sales approach.
                                                                                  Find out more…
    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    13 Products From IBS You Really Have To See
    Builder Magazine describes 13 products they feel you really should investigate further to see if they fit into your normal rotation of products.

    13 Products Offering Luxury Appeal, Cutting-Edge Design
    Builder Magazine provides a sneak peak at some of the high-end offerings to be featured at this year’s Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

    13 Kitchen Countertop Styles & Trends
    HGTV Remodels describes 13 kitchen counter trends using materials that could add to your kitchen in both looks and performance.

    Latest In Kitchen Countertops
    Builder Magazine describes some of the latest materials for kitchen Countertops.

    Pros & Cons Of Kitchen Flooring Types
    Houzz describes pros & cons of popular kitchen flooring materials.

    Compare Lumens When Selecting Light Bulbs
    US Department of Energy online video shows how to compare lumens to be sure you're getting the right amount of light, or level of brightness, when shopping for light bulbs.

    Review Of Reciprocal Saw Blades
    Tools of the Trade tested 18 reciprocal saw blades to their limits to determine their ability to cut quickly and resist wear.

    Raising Concrete With Polyurethane Foam
    Concrete Networks describes how a polyurethane injection system offers a new alternative for raising sunken concrete.

    Case For Tall Wood Buildings & Mass Timber
    Canadian Wood Council report Case for Tall Wood Buildings represents the views of the many interviewed developers/marketing groups/contractors/fire chiefs/ building authorities, and introduces a new construction model for tall buildings which utilizes mass timber panels. (PDF)

    BC Wood Enterprise Coalition
    Wood Enterprise Coalition, a partnership of Wood WORKS! BC, FPInnovations, and BC Wood Specialties Group has a mandate to champion the province’s new Wood First Initiative, supporting the movement of innovative products from the lab to the market, and promoting wood education and culture.

    9. Installation Procedures

    Siding Details For Rain Screen Walls
    Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to plan siding details for rain screen walls.

    Pacific Northwest Concrete Pouring Tips
    Concrete Network provides tips for pouring concrete in different seasons in the Pacific Northwest.

    Installing Pervious Pavement
    Buildipedia describes how to choose a mix, prep the site, and install porous pavement.

    10 Tips To Paint Like A Pro
    Fine Homebuilding describes some products and offers some tips for getting the best possible exterior paint job.

    How To Clean A Large Paint Roller
    Fine Homebuilding online video describes how to clean a large paint roller.

    Installing Sidewall Shingles Over Foam Sheathing
    Journal of Light Construction describes how to fasten cedar shingles to sidewalls covered with rigid foam.

    Using Thermostats With Slab Sensors
    HPAC Magazine describes how using thermostats with slab sensors for radiant heating allows for unique comfort control options and strategies.

    New Light In Crawlspaces & Crawl Ceiling Insulation
    Building Science describes issues, considerations, and solutions to installing insulation in the ceilings of crawlspaces.

    Installing Welded Hollow Metal Door Frames
    Buildipedia describes the basics of hollow metal doorframe installation.

    10. Information Sources

    Overview Of Construction Industry In BC
    BC government online Guide to the BC Economy and Labour Market describes, and provides statistics for, the construction industry in BC.

    BC Trades Training Books & Materials
    BC Crown Publications sells training books and materials for the various courses and certifications provided under the BC Industry Training Authority.

    Technical Reports On Plywood
    Engineered Wood Association free technical publications help you design, specify, install and protect APA trademarked plywood in a variety of applications. Free site registration required.

    Outdoor Kitchen Ideas & Resources
    HGTV Remodels provides information, ideas and resources on outdoor kitchens.

    Online Videos & Bulletins On Maintenance Of Multifamily Buildings
    Homeowner Protection Office online videos and Maintenance Matters bulletins provide practical information on maintaining the building envelope of multi-unit residential building including townhouses, and low and high-rise buildings.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    2012 US National Wood Flooring Expo
    National Wood Flooring Association will hold its annual Wood Flooring Expo April 10-13, in Orlando.

    2012 Western Conference On Safety
    2012 Western Conference on Safety includes seminars aimed at everyone from the new safety committee member to the most experienced safety professional. With over 22 sessions, keynote presentations, a 70+ booth tradeshow and more than 1200 attendees, this conference in Vancouver, April 23-24, has something for everyone.

    Annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show
    National Kitchen & Bath Association presents an annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show & Conference in Chicago April 24-26. 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.

    Building Officials Association Of BC Conference
    The Annual General Meeting & Conference of the Building Officials Association of BC will be held in North Vancouver May 6-9. It will have plenary sessions and workshops on a number of building topics.

    2012 BC Architects Conference
    Architectural Institute of BC 2012 conference, held in Vancouver May 9-11, addresses the theme Elevation: Reaching Higher Ground. It represents not only architecture’s physical impact on the built environment, but also the importance of setting new standards for architectural excellence, and raising the level and quality of dialogue around the profession.

    12. Education & Training

    From HST Back To PST/GST
    UDI Pacific presents a Tools of the Trade Breakfast Seminar on the HST to PST/GST transition on March 29. It covers rules, legal questions, and a developer's perspective.

    Exterior Lighting From A Landscape Architect's Prospective
    Illuminating Engineering Society of BC seminar on April 5th, Exterior Lighting from a Landscape Architect's Prospective, provides an overview of landscape architecture, discusses the partnership between landscape architects and lighting designers, and offers thoughts on the past, present and future of lighting in landscape architecture.

    How To Be A Better Foreman
    BC Independent Contractors & Businesses 1-day course on How To Be A Better Foreman, held in Burnaby on April 6, gives participants the fundamentals of field leadership, organization, crew morale, efficiency, and productivity. (PDF)

    BC Seminars On 2012 Code Changes For Safety, Efficiency & Sustainability
    BC Homeowner Protection Office Building Smart #16 seminar 2012 Code Changes for Safety, Efficiency and Sustainability focuses on the key Part 9 code changes of the BC Building Code and the Vancouver Building By-law. Participants will learn about the impact the new requirements will have on various regions throughout the province. This three-hour seminar will be presented in 22 communities across B.C. from April 11 to May 31, 2012.

    Human Factors Approach to Safety and Incident Investigations
    WorkSafe BC workshop Human Factors Approach to Safety and Incident Investigations, held in Richmond on April 19, will help incident investigators, managers, and other safety professionals understand and be able to apply the human factors approach to their investigations and safety management systems.

    Advanced Plumbing Code Workshop
    Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC presents Level 1 Plumbing Code Workshop in Coquitlam, May 3-4. It deals with uniform interpretation of the British Columbia Building Code, Part 7 Plumbing Services, and covers basic drainage, waste and vent (DWV) systems and water pipe sizing exercises. Common deficiencies within all of these systems are also presented.

    Construction Learning Forum
    Vancouver Regional Construction Association will be hosting its first Construction Learning Forum in Whistler May 25-26. The theme is Own the Future with sessions on Leadership, Productivity and Safety. It will be an interactive event, giving attendees the opportunity to network, learn and share ideas. Attendees will learn about new industry trends, best practices and be able to engage in stimulating panel discussions.

    Online Courses On Roofing
    National Roofing Contractors Association online NRCA University offers courses including low-slope roofing, steep-slope roofing, flashing and accessories, and a special course module on impact-resistant roofing that can stand up to hailstorms.

    13. Computer, Internet & Fun

    10 Amazing Mobile Chargers
    IT Business lists some of the best USB chargers around including ones you can install at home, take with you on the plane, or use to charge up while you're at the office or waiting in an airport lounge.

    8 Tips For Twitter Marketing
    Unilyzer provides eight tips for best practices for building long-term high-payout Twitter accounts.

    Gimme Those Chocolate Chip Cookies
    All things come to those who persist...almost.

    Dittie For Today: On Differences

    There are two kinds of people in the world: the Givers and the Takers. The difference between the two is that the Takers eat well, and the Givers sleep well. - Joy Mills

    Quick Links

    Subscription Info

    © Copyright 2012               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada