Alert Notice #64
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 May 31, 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

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My thanks to Garry Lowney, Sabine Just, Jordan Papanier, Wilma Leung, Charlotte Davis, Joey Fearn, Angie Griffin, Glenn Duxbury, Bill Curtis, Pinder Rehal, Louise Dunn, Inga Limatta, Mike Rogers, William Munroe, Rick Fearn, Paul Kish, Melissa Brodus, Sean Rutten, Natasha Watson, Cheryl Carter, Andrew McCallister, and Nancy Argyle 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

Changes Planned For 2012 BC Building Code
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation by BC Building and Safety Standards Branch provides an overview of the new building code items planned for 2012. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Results Of 2011 HPO Survey Of Licensed BC Residential Builders
BC Homeowner Protection Office summarizes results of its 2011 Survey of Licensed Residential Builders. The survey measured satisfaction with the licensing and home warranty insurance systems and the owner-builder exemption, as well as builders’ views related to training, education and research needs of the residential construction industry. (PDF)

Current Analysis Of Vancouver’s Housing Market
RBC Economics Research into Vancouver’s housing market suggests moderation is in store but it's vulnerable to a harsher outcome. (PDF)

BC Economic Outlook May 2012
Business Council of BC online presentation Hoping for the Best: BC's Economic Outlook, provides their view of the economic situation in BC. (PDF)

Investment & Exports Should Quicken BC Economic Pulse In 2012/13
Reed Construction Data says given evidence of strengthening private sector investment, and a gradual improvement in both consumer spending and exports, growth in BC should average in the range of 2.5% to 3% in 2012 and by 2.7% to 3.2% compared to an estimated increase of 2.7% in 2011.

Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update May 2012
Canadian Home Builders Association online Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update for May 2012 offers information on international, national and regional economic trends of interest to the home building industry. (PDF)

Guide To The Over-55 Market In Canada
CMHC online report Housing for Older Canadians: The Definitive Guide to the Over-55 Market Volume 1 Understanding the Market, targets housing developers and non-profit groups interested in developing or sponsoring housing that is specifically geared to older Canadians. The report provides a broad overview of the seniors market in Canada and of trends in seniors' housing arrangements, incomes, and retirement. (PDF)

Boomers Unhappy With Traditional Retirement Communities
Multi-Housing News Online summarizes the study The Next Generation: Understanding What the Boomer Consumer Wants from Retirement Living, that reveals traditional retirement communities might become a thing of the past for boomers, unless some important changes are made.

Customer Experience With Renovating
2011 Avid Ratings Renovation Customer Experience research study reveals the lowest rated experiences reported by renovation customers.

2. Business Management

Customer Reviews An Important Way For Builders To Differentiate
Builder magazine says home builders are going online with a new way to distinguish their companies from the competition, that is by publishing their customer reviews on the Internet for the world to see.

Take Your Own Photos Of Your Work
Moen article by an architectural photographer shares tips for taking great photos of your work.

Three Giant Steps To Success
CHBA Victoria displays industry consultant Ron Coleman's booklet Three Giant Steps to Success, that describes how to grow your business beyond your own limitations. (PDF)

Save Up To $1,000 Through Extended Hiring Credit
Canadian Federation Of Independent Business says federal budget has extended the new hiring credit designed to alleviate the burden on small businesses trying to expand their payroll. If you paid out $10,000 or less in EI premiums in 2011, and there is an increase in your EI premiums in 2012, you will be eligible to receive a credit of up to $1,000.

Contractors Warned About BC PST Transition
Journal of Commerce article says an accounting consultant is advising construction business to increase their investment in capital assets and to cover any additional costs due to changes in the BC taxation system.

Custom App For Smoother New Home Sales
Builder Magazine describes how a builder streamlined his sales process by tapping into the latest technology and creating a little of his own.

Anti-Competitive Behaviour In Tendering
Construction Business article provides construction industry participants with a brief review of the legal traps to avoid in tendering. Falling into these traps could mean stiff penalties and the very real possibility of jail time.

3. Building Design & Trends

Subdivisions Go Urban As Housing Market Changes
USA Today says developers are building smaller neighborhoods in and close to cities on land more likely to be near a train station than a pig farm.

2012 Custom Home Design Award Winners
Custom Home Magazine presents their 2012 Custom Home Design Award winners.

Designing For Aging In Place
Builder Magazine interview with former HUD secretary discusses designing and building sustainable, flexible homes for a rapidly aging population, and the opportunities that exist for builders, developers, and architects.

Kitchen Designs From NKBA 2012 Finalists
HGTV Remodels provides photos of nine kitchen designs from the National Kitchen & Bath Association 2012 finalists.

Built-In Breakfast Nooks
Houzz displays examples of various types of built-in breakfast nooks.

Designs For Powder Rooms
Builder Magazine describes some designs for powder rooms.

Patio Design Ideas
HGTV Remodels displays some stunning patio design ideas, and offers additional information and resources on patios.

Designs For Fire Pits
Custom Home online slide show describes various designs for fire pits, one of the top three features homeowners want for their outdoor spaces.

Luxury Staircases Step Up Home Style
Zillow displays some examples of luxury staircases.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Sean Moss, President, Sean Moss Home Inspection Services says: "I really appreciate all of the information you provide in the alerts that you send out. It is a great resource."

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Modern BC Regulatory System & Certification Of Building Officials
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation from BC Building & Safety Standards Branch provides an update on the modern regulatory system and certification of building officials initiatives. (PDF)

BC Code Requirement For Protection Of Foam Plastic Insulation
Building Officials Association of BC code interpretation says that with conditions, it is acceptable to penetrate the interior finish material or interior thermal barrier with building services such as electrical outlet boxes, main electrical panel, and kitchen & bathroom exhaust ducts. (PDF)

Consultation On WorkSafe BC Classification Policy Review
WorkSafe BC has prepared a discussion paper with draft policies on the classification of firms for stakeholder review and comment. Stakeholders are invited to review the discussion paper and proposed workplan and to provide feedback by July 27.

2012-2014 Fee Changes For BC Safety Authority
BC Safety Authority is increasing fees by 3% each year from 2012 through 2014 for electrical, elevating devices, gas, and boilers, pressure vessels and refrigeration.

BC Parameters For Potable Water Safe For Human Consumption
BC Building and Safety Standards Branch bulletin describes 14 parameters (and their limits) that are commonly found in groundwater and can be considered the baseline in determining potability. (PDF)

BC Engineer Guidelines For Quality Management Requirements
APEG BC describes six quality management guidelines that will apply to all members and licensees providing engineering or geoscience products or services in BC in any sector.

Bylaw For Hydronic Heating Systems In Projects In Surrey City Centre
Surrey council has directed staff to bring forward a bylaw to implement hydronic heating and hot water systems in development projects in the city centre. This bylaw is to include an opportunity for financial assistance for early adopters of hydronic heating and hot water systems in development projects in the City Centre. (PDF)

National Building Code Objective For Accessibility
Canada National Model Construction Code site describes the National Building Code objective to limit the probability that, as a result of the design or construction of the building, a person with a physical or sensory limitation will be unacceptably impeded from accessing or using the building or its facilities.

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    Water Management Of Noninsulating & Insulating Sheathings
    US Department of Energy report Water Management of Noninsulating and Insulating Sheathings discusses approaches to reliably and durably seal the joints in rigid polymeric foam sheathing. It summarizes current research, serves as an information package, summarizes issues that have been experienced with current best practices, and recommends ways in which the best practices can be improved, including some generic details for typical residential building practices. (PDF)

    Masonry Wall Insulation Interior Embedded Beam Simulations
    Building Science report Masonry Wall Insulation Interior Embedded Beam Simulations discusses issues and considerations for durability risk from the hygrothermal behavior of moisture-sensitive wood beams embedded in the load-bearing masonry.

    Air Barrier Applications For Sealants & Adhesives
    Adhesives describes how sealants and adhesives are used to air seal the gaps and joints in air barriers.

    Guidelines For Ventilation Cooling
    US Department of Energy online Measure Guideline: Ventilation Cooling provides information on a cost effective ventilation solution for reducing cooling system energy and demand in homes located in hot-dry and cold-dry climates. It provides a prescriptive approach that outlines qualification criteria, selection considerations, and design and installation procedures. (PDF)

    Design & Construction Guide For Concrete Forming
    Engineered Wood Association free Design/Construction Guide: Concrete Forming contains grade information, form maintenance recommendations, design data and several updated project case studies. Free site registration required.

    Deep Energy Retrofits With Exterior Cladding
    Building Science online slide show presentation Deep Energy Retrofits: Exterior Cladding Research covers benefits of exterior insulation strategies, different methods and materials that can be used in exterior insulation applications, cladding attachment issues, and system limitations. (PDF)

    Managing Drivers Of Airflow & Water Vapor Transport In Existing Homes
    US Department of Energy guideline Managing the Drivers of Airflow and Water Vapor Transport in Existing Single-Family Homes describes how to manage airflow and water vapor transport across the building envelope, control air infiltration, keep relative humidity within acceptable limits, avoid combustion safety problems, improve occupant comfort, and reduce house energy use. (PDF)

    Fun Interview With Dr. Joe Lstiburek
    Inhabitat provides content of interview with building science pioneer Dr. Joe Lstiburek on the good, bad and ugly side of buildings.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    BC Recycling Program Expansion To Additional Lighting Components
    BC LightRecycle program expansion now includes: Lamps (i.e. "lights" or "bulbs"), all technologies including fluorescent tubes, CFLs, LED, HID, halogen, incandescent, etc.; Ballasts, including those containing PCBs; Fixtures, ranging from flashlights to table lamps, chandeliers, “troffers” and street lights; Supply/sales to all users including residential, institutional, commercial and industrial sectors. All generators of end-of-life lamps, ballasts and fixtures will be able to recycle these products through the program's collection system, without charge, after July 1, 2012.

    Water Management At Tub & Shower Assemblies
    US National Renewable Energy Laboratory measure guideline Water Management at Tub and Shower Assemblies describes effective water management practices in the installation and detailing of tub and shower assemblies that will minimize or eliminate water issues within the building cavities and on the finished surfaces. (PDF)

    Rain Control For Healthy, Durable, Low Energy Buildings
    Building Science online slide show describes issues and considerations for rain control for healthy, durable, low energy buildings. (PDF)

    Hardwood Floors Moisture Content
    All About Floors online video gives description of how to assess and manage moisture content on wood flooring jobs.

    Removing Grease From Concrete Floors
    Concrete Network describes how to remove grease contamination from a stained concrete kitchen floor.

    Buckling Of Wood Structural Panel Sheathing
    Engineered Wood Association technical note Buckling of Wood Structural Panel Sheathing describes mechanism and construction features that contribute to sheathing buckling and includes suggestions for correction. Free site registration required.

    Research Reports On Seismic Design For Woodframe Construction
    NEESWood sells research reports related to development of a performance-based seismic design philosophy for mid-rise woodframe construction.

    Cross-Canada Survey Of Radon Concentrations In Homes
    Health Canada final report on a two year cross-country survey of radon levels in homes indicates that 6.9% of Canadians are living in homes with radon levels above Health Canada’s guideline.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Green Marketing Should Go Beyond Energy Efficiency
    EcoHome magazine says green marketing should go beyond energy efficiency, and describes some mistakes builders should not make when marketing their high-performance homes.

    100 Mile House Competition Winners
    Architecture Foundation of British Columbia displays winners of their 100 Mile House Ideas Competition, an international design competition to design a house using materials and technology sourced within 100 miles of the city of Vancouver.

    Retrofitting Existing Residential Neighbourhoods For Deep Greenhouse Gas Reductions
    UBC research project Retrofit Challenge: Re-thinking Existing Residential Neighbourhoods for Deep Greenhouse Gas Reductions, examines a range of different options to retrofit existing residential neighbourhoods for building-related GHG reductions out to 2050. It looks at the GHG reductions achievable under existing policy directions and grant programs, intensive building-level retrofits, and shared opportunities for reductions, including neighbourhood-scale renewable energy systems. (PDF)

    Energy Consumption & Conservation In Mid & High-Rise Residential Buildings In BC
    BC Homeowner Protection Office research report Energy Consumption and Conservation in Mid- and High-Rise Residential Buildings in British Columbia reviews and assesses effects of building enclosure improvements on the space conditioning energy use in typical buildings in the Lower Mainland and Victoria, and to develop better strategies that take into account enclosure repairs, energy conservation and greenhouse gas emissions. (PDF)

    New Energy Benchmarks For LEED Canada For Homes Built After August 1, 2012
    Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has announced that the new minimum for energy performance in the LEED Canada for Homes rating system will be EnerGuide 80 for all homes that register after August 1, 2012.

    Thermal Control For Healthy, Durable, Low Energy Buildings
    Building Science online slide show presentation describes features and considerations for thermal control for healthy, durable, low energy buildings. (PDF)

    Transitioning To Electric Vehicles In Metro Vancouver
    Community Energy Association provides access to the workshop notes and presentations from its Transitioning to Electric Vehicles in Metro Vancouver workshop.

    FortisBC Pilot & Demonstration Programs
    FortisBC Page describes past and present pilot & demonstration programs available to BC customers.

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    Designer Picks Low-Cost Luxury Products
    Builder Magazine displays cool products that are more affordable, as selected by designer Nadia Subaran of Aidan Design.

    Top Trends From 2012 NKBA Design Competition
    National Kitchen & Bath Association gives descriptions of the prevailing trends seen in the 2012 NKBA Design Competition.

    Product Preview Of 2012 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show
    Builder Magazine online slide show previews 12 products that caught their attention at the 2012 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.

    Universal Design At 2012 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show
    Remodeling Magazine describes some of the universal design products from the 2012 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show.

    High Efficiency Lighting Options For Your Home
    National Lighting Bureau online guide Lighting Options for Your Home helps you figure out which of the many high-efficiency, low-cost lighting alternatives to use.

    2012 Editors' Choice Award Winners For Tools
    Tools of the Trade provides descriptions of the winners of their 2012 Editors' Choice Awards for tools, equipment, and technology.

    Tool Test Of 18-Volt Drill/Drivers
    Tools Of The Trade gives descriptions of results of their tool test of 18-volt cordless drill/drivers with 1/2-inch chucks.

    Radiant Based HVAC Design
    Healthy Heating summarizes a literature review that mapped the impact of low temperature heating systems on thermal comfort, indoor air quality, and safety. Low temperature supply elements turned out to have many advantages over their high temperature counterparts.

    New Sweets Mobile App for Design Professionals
    McGraw-Hill Construction Sweets has developed and launched a new mobile app that enables design professionals to search and download specs, CAD, BIM, catalogs, data sheets and more quickly and easily on their iPhones and Android devices.

    9. Installation Procedures

    Bond Breaks Important For Sealant Jobs
    Green Spec provides description on how to address the most common sealant application error, forgetting the bond break.

    Transitioning From Three-Coat Stucco To One-Coat Stucco With EPS
    US Department of Energy online Measure Guideline: Transitioning From Three-Coat Stucco to One-Coat Stucco With EPS has been developed to help builders transition from using a traditional three-coat stucco wall-cladding system to a one-coat stucco wall-cladding system with expanded polystyrene insulation. (PDF)

    Cold Weather EIFS Construction
    EIFS Council of Canada technical bulletin Cold Weather EIFS Construction describes precautions that builders and EIFS contractors must take in colder temperatures. (PDF)

    Maintenance Tips For Central Air Conditioner
    Buildipedia describes how to perform a few simple maintenance tasks and schedule professional HVAC service for a central air conditioner.

    Equipment Sizing For Furnace & Air Conditioning
    Avid Builder article gives description of the equipment sizing process for a traditional furnace and air conditioning system.

    Installing Insulated Siding
    Buildipedia gives explanation on how installing insulated siding on an older home may be the best way to up your R-value.

    10. Information Sources

    Wood Frame Resource Site For Building Industry
    Engineered Wood Association new APA Designers Circle is an educational resource for architects, engineers, builders, and building code officials. The free, subscription-based site offers technical information and recommendations for wood-frame design and construction, along with news, industry events and links to a range of product and design recommendations.

    BC Brownfield Renewal Resource Site
    BC Government Brownfield Renewal website has been created to assist local governments, developers and professionals assemble knowledge regarding brownfield redevelopment in British Columbia.

    Resource Site On Geothermal
    Sonic Drilling geothermal website provides information for contractors, drilling companies, project managers and consumers.

    Resource Site On Hardwood Floors
    National Wood Flooring Association site provides information and resources on hardwood flooring.

    Resources On Indoor Air Quality
    ALA has information and resources on indoor air pollutants, and air quality in the home, workplace, schools, and more.

    Presentation Handouts From 2012 Concrete Convention
    American Concrete Institute offers access to handouts from selected presentations from the ACI Spring 2012 Convention.

    HVACR Heritage Centre Canada
    HVACR Heritage Centre Canada is a online museum offering a variety of interactive and educational information and programs to preserve and promote the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industry's historic achievements.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Pacific Coast Builders Show
    Pacific Coast Builders Show held in San Francisco June 27-28 offers trade show, educational programs, pre-conference intensives, executive-level programs, and more.

    2012 WorkSafe BC Manufacturing Safety Conference
    WorkSafeBC and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters of BC present the Manufacturing Safety Conference in Burnaby, September 20-21. Manufacturing employers, safety professionals, and safety committee members are invited to learn, share, and network at this conference and trade show.

    Interior Design Show West
    Interior Design Show West, held in Vancouver September 27-30, is the West Coast consumer and trade show for contemporary residential design. It showcases local, Canadian, and international furnishings, fixtures and accessories for the design of a home.

    EQuilibrium Housing Forum In Vancouver
    The next CMHC EQuilibrium Housing Forum will be held in Vancouver Oct 23-24. The forum shares results of the EQuilibrium Initiative with the housing industry and consumers to enable increased action on creating sustainable housing and communities across Canada.

    12. Education & Training

    Live Web Feed Of Building Science Renovation & Rehabilitation Seminar
    Building Science is presenting a live web feed of their Renovations and Rehabilitation seminar on June 6th. Dr. Joseph Lstiburek will present on the energy and durability retrofits of low-rise residential buildings, including row houses, walk-ups and single family homes. The cost to register for the live feed is $295 USD.

    Payroll Information Webinar For Small Business
    Canada Revenue Agency free webinar on June 7th outlines employment relationships to help you determine whether a worker is an employee or self-employed. Other topics include source deductions, employer responsibilities, and assessment and penalties.

    Project Planning & Cost Control
    ICBA course Project Planning and Cost Control, held in Burnaby June 7-9, will provide participants with a general knowledge of the process of planning and controlling a project from beginning to end utilizing ways and means of monitoring, saving and controlling costs. (PDF)

    Top 10 Rules For Selling Success
    Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Top 10 Rules For Selling Success will be held on June 20th in Vancouver. It will uncover 10 rules that will change how you think and feel about sales, increasing your selling success.

    Online Course On Confined Spaces Safety Awareness
    Construction Sector Council online course on Confined Spaces Safety Awareness helps workers identify confined spaces, understand the hazards of working in them, and use proper entry controls.

    Canadian Accreditation Program For Geothermal Loop Installers
    Canadian GeoExchange Coalition new addition to its Global Quality GeoExchange Program is a CGC Loop Installer accreditation, valid for both residential and commercial installations.

    13. Computer, Internet & Fun

    10 Must-Have iPad Apps For Office Road Warrior
    IT Business describes their third annual roundup of the best office apps for the iPad.

    Mobile Apps For Home Building Industry
    Builder Magazine displays a number of different mobile apps products and procedures used in the home building industry.

    Why Men Have Big Tool Boxes
    Here's a little video for the Mr. Fix-It around the house.

    Dittie For Today: On Napping

    Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving.

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    © Copyright 2012               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada