Alert Notice #67
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 July 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 Rick Fearn, Jessica Worsley, Louise Dunn, David Hill, David Hauser, Wilma Leung, Less Scott, Brian Hart, Maureen McLaughlin, Glenn Duxbury, Sano Stante, Kacey Harris, Amy Spencer, Sabine Just, Fred Stitt, George Pinch, Joey Fearn, Joanne de Vries, Peter Weiss, Emily de Wolfe, Paul Ruess, David Bak and Marni Esson 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


Ken's Top Pick

Online BC Roofing Practices Manual
Roofing Contractors Association of BC online Roofing Practices Manual provides industry information on Roofstar guarantee program, roof system components, built-up roofing, flexible membrane systems, shingled roof systems, architectural metal roofing, waterproofing systems for plazas, promenades and terraces, construction details, and general information.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Centex Introduces New Line Of Homes To Help Renters Become Owners
Building Online says the Independence Series from Centex, one of the US's largest homebuilders, is an innovative series of new homes completely designed to respond to the increasing demand for affordable homes by Generation Y, the largest U.S. demographic.

20 Observations On New Canadian Mortgage Rules
Canadian Mortgage Trends offers 20 observations on the new Canadian mortgage rules, along with a few tips and predictions.

Outlook Forecasts Solid Growth In Western Canada This Year & Next
Conference Board of Canada Provincial Outlook-Summer 2012 forecasts solid growth in Western Canada this year and next. Central and Atlantic Canadian economies will slowly gain traction over the same period.

Provincial Outlook June 2012
Royal Bank of Canada monthly provincial economic update says Western Canada will dominate growth in this country this year and next. All provinces east of Manitoba will show weaker performance than the national average. (PDF)

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

Average Residential Price Changes In Canadian Cities
CMHC chart shows average residential price changes in Canadian cities for each year since 2002.

Government-Imposed Costs Impact Housing Affordability
Canadian Home Builders Association report Government-Imposed Costs Impact Housing Affordability says rising housing prices, based on ever more costly and complex government regulation, and ever increasing government levies, fees, charges and taxes, have caused an extremely serious deterioration in homeownership affordability. (PDF)

2. Business Management

XYZs Of Selling To Gen Y
Builder Magazine describes how Pulte Group has created new products and new sales strategies to sell homes to the next big generation of home buyers.

Pinterest For New-Home Sales? Here's Why
Builder Magazine says Pinterest, the new darling of social networking, may just be the Internet’s gift to home builders.

New BC Limitation Act
Clark Wilson describes the new BC Limitation Act that defines limitation periods within which legal claims must be made. The new Act sets a single limitation period of two years for most claims.

Recommended Guidelines For Selection Of Project Delivery Method
BC Construction Association document Recommended Guidelines for Selection of a Project Delivery Method, analyzes common forms of procurement, outlines key elements of them, and examines the benefits, challenges and problems associated with each. (PDF)

BIM & Your Building Business
NAHB describes how Building Information Modeling allows users, designers, builders and contractors to see both the physical and functional aspects of the design at the same time on their computer screens, as well as any conflicts among the various systems such as plumbing or electrical.

Project Start Questionnaire For Remodelers
Remodeling Magazine describes a project start questionnaire that helps make the handoff from sales to production as smooth as possible by covering key points with clients about various issues which, if not discussed, could cause awkwardness, even irritation, as the job commences.

What A Construction Business Should Do At Start Of Injury Claim
Journal of Commerce article from Council of Construction Associations will help the construction industry properly manage WorkSafeBC claims that otherwise might have long delays in recovery and Return to Work.

Six Steps To Mitigating Potential Loss Due To Construction Site Safety
Home Builder magazine outlines six key risk factors and the steps you can take to mitigate potential losses due to accidents on construction sites.

3. Building Design & Trends

Winners Of 2012 Best Of 50+ Housing Awards
US National Association of Home Builders lists their 50+ Housing Awards program winners, with links to their projects. The awards program honors excellence in building, design and marketing of housing for boomers and beyond.

2012 Small Project Award Winners
Eleven small projects have been selected by the American Institute of Architects as winners of the 2012 Small Project Awards. The Small Project Awards Program recognizes small-project practitioners for high quality work and to promote excellence in small-project design.

2012 Brick In Architecture Award Winners
Brick Industry Association displays their 2012 Brick in Architecture Awards winners, honoring outstanding designs that incorporate genuine clay brick for both aesthetics and sustainability.

2012 Report On Colour & Design Trends
Dunn-Edwards Paints color and design trend report, Simply Renaissance 2013, highlights not only the key colors, textures and designs we'll be seeing next year, but offers insight about how our culture and social climate drives these trends.

Location Matters: Redefining Living In Suburbs & City
The majority of Greater Toronto Area residents would prefer to live in a walkable and transit-accessible neighbourhood in the suburbs or the city that would better suit their day-to-day life, according to an RBC-Pembina Institute study.

13 Kitchen Island Designs
HGTV Remodels displays 13 kitchen islands that you can expand a kitchen's scope, whether it's through storage, appliances, work space or seating.

Blog On Interior Decorating
Remodelista provides information on what goes into that new space, and you can learn a lot about spaces women love from this interior design blog.

Differences Between An Architect, Interior Designer, Decorator
Art, Antiques and Luxury Design Blog defines the differences between an architect, an interior designer, and a decorator.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Bob Deeks, President, RDC Fine Homes says: "I review your newsletter every time it comes out. And your site looks great. It will become a fantastic resource."

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Modern Building Regulatory System Stakeholder Consultation Results
BC Building and Safety Standards Branch online report Results of the Modern Building Regulatory System Stakeholder Consultations show strong support by industry and government stakeholders for a uniform Building Code in BC. There was also strong support for a body of technical experts and for third-party random audits. There was not support for a levy on new housing to fund a new regulatory framework. (PDF)

Resources On New BC Government Bill 14 On Mental Disorders
BC Construction Safety Alliance provides resources on the Government of British Columbia new Bill 14 that revises the Workers Compensation Act as it relates to compensation for mental disorders.

Proposed BC Policy Regarding Employer’s Duty Towards Other Workers
WorkSafeBC is requesting feedback on proposed new policy regarding an employer’s duty towards other workers.

Intents Statements For Canadian National Building Code 2010
National Research Council of Canada online Supplement to the NBC 2010: Intent Statements contain useful information not available elsewhere that helps users understand the rationale behind each code requirement. This contributes to a more accurate interpretation and application of acceptable solutions and a clearer understanding of what alternative solutions should achieve.

June 2012 Changes To Earthquake Design In 2010 National Building Code
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes describes two changes that apply to the National Building Code of Canada 2010. Some original wording can be misinterpreted to mean that structural components of buildings associated with the building envelope do not need to be designed for earthquake unless the building is classified as a post-disaster building. It has been reworded to make it clear that the earthquake design of all structural components must conform.

Water Use Efficiency Objective For 2015 National Building & Plumbing Codes
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes is moving forward with the proposal to add a water use efficiency objective to the 2015 National Building and Plumbing Codes of Canada.

Installation Standard For Doors For Extreme Wind/Water Exposure
American Architectural Manufacturers Association offers the standard-practice guide FMA/AAMA/WDMA 300-12 Standard Practice for the Installation of Exterior Doors in Wood Frame Construction for Extreme Wind/Water Exposure.

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    Thermal Comfort & The ASHRAE Standard
    Healthy Heating describes thermal comfort and the ASHRAE standard for thermal environmental conditions for human occupancy.

    Overview Of Operative Temperature
    Healthy Heating describes operative temperature as what humans experience thermally in a space. It is the combined effects of radiant heat and air temperature.

    The Magic Of Cold
    Green Building Advisor describes how an air conditioner uses electricity to make cold air.

    High Performance Enclosures To Enable Simplified HVAC
    Building Science online slide show presentation covers what a high performance enclosure is, what is a simple HVAC and why you want one, and what strategies work. (PDF)

    Insulated Storm Windows?
    Building Green discusses whether top energy performance can be achieved by combining fairly standard windows with really good storm windows or even a second set of prime windows.

    Integral Waterproofing
    BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation by JRS Engineering uses case studies of two large high-rise projects in Vancouver to describe their process of reviewing and designing the appropriate waterproofing systems. (PDF)

    Innovative Approaches To Municipal Stormwater Management
    Dovetail online report Innovative Approaches to Municipal Stormwater Management describes how to utilize green infrastructure as a cost-effective means to reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Published Insulation R-values Not Consistent With In-Service Performance
    Buildings article by National Roofing Contractors Association says it does not consider the use of long-term thermal resistance to be appropriate for design and in-service purposes. NRCA’s longstanding position is that the published R-values for polyisocyanurate and polyurethane foams are not consistent with actual in-service performances of these products.

    Protect Concrete From Stains
    Concrete Network describes how to prevent stains from construction-related activities on a newly poured slab intended to be an exposed concrete finish.

    How To Detail Unfinished Wood Rainscreen Siding
    Green Building Advisor discusses the issue of how to detail unfinished wood rainscreen siding.

    Calculating Lateral Soil Pressure On Foundation Walls
    Journal of Light Construction describes different soil types and the loads they impose on foundations.

    Site Waste Management Software
    Smart Waste Canada software creates Site Waste Management Plans and monitors waste generation to minimize waste disposal fees.

    Issues With Using Water Heaters As Boilers
    Healthy Heating describes issues, and provides links to more information, on using hot water heaters as boilers and open direct systems used for space heating.

    Do Foil-Faced Building Products Block Cell Phone Reception?
    Green Building Advisor discusses whether or not when you install foil-faced foam or a radiant barrier on your walls or roof, will the foil interfere with cell phone reception in your house?

    How Wildfires Burn A House
    Institute for Building and Home Safety online video demonstrates a wildfire attacking a full-size house, as wind-blown embers ignite various building components.

    Builders Wildfire Mitigation Guide
    Berkeley University online Builders Wildfire Mitigation Guide describes how to make changes to your home and the surroundings to reduce the possibility of damage from wildfires.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    BC Green Building Design & Construction Certificate
    Okanagan College 360-hour program Green Building Design & Construction Certificate gives students the skills and hands on experience to design and create building envelopes with a sustainable focus on the main functions of the design and construction of the building envelope, including solar and thermal control, moisture control, indoor air quality, acoustics, aesthetics, construction waste management and cost effectiveness.

    2012 Eco Home Design Award Winners
    Eco Home magazine describes the 2012 award-winning projects that explore the critical balance between beauty, sustainable materials, and high performance. From new to remodeled homes and multifamily to affordable housing, these projects provide shining examples of design solutions that provide sustainable shelter in a wide range of styles, locations, and costs.

    Highly Energy Efficient Building Envelope Retrofits For Houses
    CMHC report Highly Energy Efficient Building Envelope Retrofits for Houses provides design and construction information for retrofitting existing residential wood frame building envelopes to reduce space heating energy use by 75% or more. It investigates high insulation building envelope retrofits; develops targets for insulation and airtightness values for foundations, walls, windows, doors and roofs; considers building code and zoning implications of changes to the building envelope; and presents details and specifications of practical retrofit strategies for common housing archetypes. (PDF)

    Guideline For Air Sealing Attics In Multifamily Buildings
    US Department of Energy Measure Guideline: Air Sealing Attics in Multifamily Buildings, is intended for building owners, builders, contractors, homeowners, and other stakeholders in the multifamily industry. It explains why air sealing is desirable, explores related health and safety issues, and identifies common air leakage points in multifamily building attics. In addition, it also gives an overview of materials and techniques typically used to perform air sealing work. The guide focuses mainly on challenges found in existing buildings for a variety of building types, from low-rise wood-frame multifamily to mid- and high-rise masonry apartment buildings. (PDF)

    $500 Rebate For Energy Star Tankless Water Heaters
    Replace your aging water heater with a qualifying natural gas Energy Star tankless model and you may qualify for a rebate of up to $500 from FortisBC.

    Is Green Marketing A Luxury For Good Economic Times?
    Green Biz says according to three Penn State University researchers, green marketing over the past 30 years has risen and fallen in lockstep with economic growth.

    Recognition Of Energy Costs & Energy Performance In Real Property Valuation
    Institute for Market Transformation and Appraisal Institute online guide Recognition of Energy Costs and Energy Performance in Real Property Valuation helps appraisers assess energy cost and energy performance in buildings. Methods include billing analysis, identification of equipment and components, and examination of results from engineering simulations. (PDF)

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    10 Stylish Lighting Products For $50 Or Less
    Builder Magazine describes 10 stylish lighting products that cost 50 or less.

    Online Gypsum Assemblies Library
    Georgia-Pacific Gypsum online Assemblies Library is a searchable database that provides detailed information, illustrations and performance characteristics for a variety of wall systems and assemblies using gypsum wallboards, sheathing, shaftliner and backer boards from Georgia-Pacific Gypsum.

    Engineered Wood Handbook & Grade Glossary
    Engineered Wood Association free Engineered Wood Handbook & Grade Glossary explains engineered wood products and common construction terminology in easy-to-understand language. Free site registration required.

    Introduction To Ceiling Fans
    Buildipedia describes features, benefits, and considerations for selecting ceiling fans.

    11 Appliances That Will Blow Your Buyers Away
    Builder Magazine describes 11 appliances that help elevate a kitchen to a status-symbol level.

    Health & Safety Facts For Rock & Slag Wool Insulation
    North American Insulation Manufacturers Association fact sheet presents information on the health and safety research related to rock and slag wool insulation, including the recent International Agency for Research on Cancer review that resulted in an improved classification of these products.

    How To Check Box-Beam Level For Accuracy
    Fine Homebuilding online video describes how to see if bubble vials of a box-beam level are reading plumb and level.

    A Finish Carpenter's Workbench
    Tools of the Trade describes a finish carpenter's workbench with a miter-saw stand that doubles as a door bench and saves space in the pickup.

    2012 EnerGuide Room Air Conditioner Directory
    Natural Resources Canada online guide provides information and resources to help select room air conditioners, and a list of energy efficient models.

    Recall Of Flushmate III Pressure-Assisted Flushing System
    A Joint Recall with Flushmate, Health Canada, and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission involves the Series 503 Flushmate III pressure-assist flushing system installed inside toilet tanks. Approximately 9,400 units were sold in Canada at The Home Depot and Lowe's stores, distributors and plumbing contractors nationwide, and sold to toilet manufacturers including American Standard, Crane, Eljer, Gerber, Kohler, Mansfield and St. Thomas.

    9. Installation Procedures

    Hot Weather Concreting
    Concrete Network provides an overview of hot weather concrete placement, with tips on mix design, handling, and finishing.

    Best Practice Installation For Wood Siding
    Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to reinstall siding with the ability to dry like it had in 1935, using a vented rain screen method on a very well insulated and air sealed house.

    How To Refinish A Wood Deck
    Buildipedia online video describes how to refinish a wood deck.

    Framing A Deck With A Radius
    Fine Homebuilding online video describes how to you make pressure-treated framing conform to a radius for a curved deck.

    Selection, Installation & Preparation Of Plywood Underlayment
    Engineered Wood Association fact sheet Selection, Installation and Preparation of Plywood Underlayment, provides recommendations for the installation and preparation of underlayment under finish flooring in residential and light commercial applications. Free site registration required.

    Overview Of Sealant Types & Maintenance
    Homeowner Protection Office of BC bulletin describes sealant purposes, types, characteristics, uses, and maintenance requirements. (PDF)

    Wood Window Repair, Rehabilitation, Replacement
    Building Science online Measure Guideline: Wood Window Repair, Rehabilitation, and Replacement provides information and guidance about rehabilitating, retrofitting, and replacing wood window assemblies in residential construction. It is intended primarily to help contractors and homeowners understand the options for safely improving the performance of their wood windows.

    Case Studies Of Duct Retrofits & Guidelines For Attic & Crawl Space Duct Sealing
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory report Case Studies of Duct Retrofits and Guidelines for Attic and Crawl Space Duct Sealing focuses on sealing and insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces, with best practices geared toward the mixed-humid climate. (PDF)

    10. Information Sources

    BC Building Info Now Offers Free RSS Feeds
    Our BC Building Info website now offers you free RSS feeds. This new service allows you to receive notice each time a new resource link is added to the site.

    Resource Site For HVAC Industry
    Airflow Exploration Center provides unbiased information on the HVAC industry, tutorials that are geared for varying levels of understanding, a thorough glossary of terms, links to prominent non-profit organizations, and a discussion forum.

    ClimateTalk Alliance For HVAC & Smart Grid
    ClimateTalk Alliance is an organization of companies who are fully committed to developing a common communication infrastructure for HVAC and Smart Grid devices, which will enable the interoperability of diverse systems.

    Resource Site On Commercial HVAC Controls
    Control Trends provides HVAC and industrial controls professionals a place to learn and share information about commercial and industrial controls.

    Links To Research & Technical Resources On Indoor Air Quality
    Healthy Heating provides a list of research and technical resource citations on indoor air quality for industry use.

    Links To Resources On Indoor Air Pollution
    US National Library of Medicine has links to indoor air pollution overviews, glossaries, regulations & policy, specific environments, and bological & chemical agents.

    Resource Site On Indigenous Housing
    Indigenous Housing Gateway is a compendium of resources, tools, papers, and websites on indigenous housing where information can be found that will enable decision-makers and housing workers to make better and more informed decisions.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Annual Meeting & Conference For Canadian HVAC Industry
    Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada annual industry meetings and conference will be held in Halifax August 25-27, offering networking and educational opportunities.

    2012 Wood Solutions Fair In Vancouver
    Canadian Wood Council presents the 2012 Wood Solutions Fair, a one-day trade show and educational event on wood products and construction, in Vancouver on October 23rd.

    2012 Annual Engineers Conference In Victoria
    Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists 2012 Annual Conference will be held in Victoria, October 25-27. It will offer networking opportunities, professional development, trade exhibition, and social events.

    Plumbing & HVAC Trade Show In Vancouver
    Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating presents CIPHEX West trade show in Vancouver on November 7-8 for plumbing, hydronics, HVACR and water treatment industries.

    12. Education & Training

    ICFs & New Building Code
    Independent Contractors & Businesses Association course Insulating Concrete Forms and the New Building Code will focus on ICF basements as well as full wall assemblies, will examine structural performance as it relates to the new code requirements, and will compare energy performance with equivalent wood frame assemblies. Held in Coquitlam on September 19th, the discussion will compare durability issues as well as real life cycle cost analysis. (PDF)

    Course On Radiant Based HVAC Design
    Healthy Heating three day course on radiant based HVAC design, held in Vancouver November 19-21, explores the design principles in energy and exergy efficient indoor environmental quality focusing on integrating architectural, interior design and radiant based HVAC system solutions. (PDF)

    Annual BC Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Surveys
    BC Government annual Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Surveys are conducted with former students who completed the final year of their apprenticeship training in a B.C. post-secondary institutions.

    Canadian National Training Standard: Construction Planning
    Construction HR report National Training Standard: Construction Planning helps trainers integrate planning into training at all levels. For each construction planning step it provides the performance statement, context in which it is performed, the Essential Skills required as a basis for performance and the actual knowledge elements needed to perform the skill. A detailed Essential Skills profile and other background information is included.

    Resource Site On Canadian National Construction Training Standards
    Construction Sector Council site Measure Up presents the case for national standards and provides a forum where organizations and individuals can explore ways to develop and implement them. It looks at the benefits of national training standards in developing a construction labour force with world-class construction skills able to work on projects anywhere in Canada.

    Fenestration Installation Technician Certification Program
    CSA Fenestration Installation Technician, Level 1 (FIT-1) Certification ensures the knowledge, abilities and skills of individuals who will be installing factory assembled windows, exterior doors and unit skylights in residential buildings three stories or less. To become certified, individuals will have demonstrated proficiency in understanding and applying manufacturer installation instructions, general building principles, the CSA A440.4 window installation standard as well as other industry standards and/or best practices.

    13. Computer, Internet & Fun

    Mobile Pro Construction & Scientific Calculators
    DEWALT Mobile Pro is a full-featured calculator and reference tool designed especially for construction professionals. It comes with a construction and scientific calculator plus various calculator templates for everyday area, length and volume computations.

    Ask: Q & A Service
    Ask offers Web search, Q&A, and mobile service fueled by the ability to search the Web for answers or connect with other users for personal opinions.

    Circle The Cat
    Warning...Don't start this if you only have a couple of minutes to spare. It's one very smart cat!

    Dittie For Today: On What You Have

    May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy. - Unknown

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    © Copyright 2012               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada