Alert Notice #68
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 August 20, 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 Brian Hart, Philip Hochstein, John Chepil, Wilma Leung, Cindy Bertram, Ross Power, Matt Millen, George Hawirko, Bob MacKie, Sabine Just, Mary Kenny, Sano Stante, Jeanette Wilkinson, Garry Lowney, Joe Geluch, and Salene Smith 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

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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 Video On Window Installation
BC Building Envelope Council & HPO online video contains all information presented at their seminar covering the latest research and best practices for window installation and replacement.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Housing Market Update August 2012
BC Real Estate Association provides online video with Chief Economist Cameron Muir discussing the July 2012 statistics.

BC More Than Holding Its Own Amid Global Economic Turbulence
Business Council of BC report says over the 2010-2011 period, BC’s real economic growth averaged 3%, the fourth strongest in Canada and among the top jurisdictions in North America. Although growth will ease over the coming 18 months, this resilience will help to sustain provincial economic activity and keep BC in a relatively strong position even in the face of weaker international conditions. (PDF)

Housing Now Third Quarter 2012 Statistics For BC
CMHC Housing Now supplies Third Quarter 2012 summary of housing market statistics for the province of British Columbia, shedding light on housing starts, completions, dwellings under construction, mortgage rates, home prices, absorption rates and economic factors for the province as a whole and for Metropolitan Areas. (PDF)

2. Business Management

WorkSafe BC Announces 2013 Preliminary Rates
WorkSafe BC provides information on preliminary assessment rates for 2013. The average base premium rate is projected to increase by about 5% to $1.62 per $100 of employers’ assessable payroll.

BC Resources On Dispute Resolution
BC Homeowner Protection Office provides information and resources on alternative dispute resolution and residential construction disputes.

Worksite Kiosk Designed To Improve Communication
Journal of Commerce says a research team from the University of Calgary is launching a small start-up company to produce and sell a kiosk, which could improve information management and communication on construction sites.

Tips For Selling To Women
Remodeling Magazine provides some tips for selling to women.

Tips For Suppliers From Custom Builders
Custom Home magazine provides tips from custom builders on how building material dealers can improve their relationships.

What Influences Contractors To Try New Products
Eric Mower & Associates research shows professional contractors are brand loyalists who purchase tools and building supplies based on brands they know and trust, but brand strength isn't the only factor in determining new product adoption.

Free Social Media Webinar For Construction
Construction Marketing Association free webcast on September 18th will evaluate the big four social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter) and new social media marketing options including Google+. Numerous case studies will demonstrate social media best practices.

3. Building Design & Trends

Call for Entries For 2012 Annual BC Georgie Awards
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC has released the Call for Entries for the 21st Annual Georgie Awards, which honour the province's home building, renovation and marketing community.

Winners Of Vancouver reTHINK Housing Awards
Vancouver mayor and members of the Task Force on Housing Affordability have announced the winners of the re:THINK HOUSING affordability ideas competition. Winning ideas embraced concepts ranging from the redesign of city streets and building on top of existing structures, to measures to enable more co-ops and co-housing in Vancouver.

Examples Of Outdoor Spaces
Custom Home magazine online slide show provides some examples of outdoor spaces.

20 Stunning Entryways
HGTV Remodels online slide show describes 20 front door designs.

Examples Of Stone Designs
Builder Magazine online slide show provides examples of projects, ranging from charming cottages to cutting-edge designs, all of which lean on the strength of stone.

7 Tenets Of Universal Design
Remodeling Magazine describes seven principles to evaluate existing designs, guide the design process, and educate both designers and consumers about the characteristics of more usable products and environments.

Will Micro Apartments Go Macro?
Builder Magazine describes how several urban job centers have committed to building tiny, affordable housing units.

Architects Using Pinterest As Promotional & Collaborative Tool
EcoHome Magazine says architects are using Pinterest to share ideas with clients, organize their thoughts, and promote their work.

Model Housing Transportation Plan
US Department of Housing & Urban Development report A Model Housing Transportation Plan provides an understanding of the need for affordable housing near transit and presents strategies and tools to empower stakeholders to implement housing transportation station area plans that will provide benefits to the entire region.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Pat Caporale of Caporale Construction in Victoria says: “BC Building Info is a great source for me. Keep it up."

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Free BC Network Of Regional Safety Coordinators Now Available
BC Construction Safety Alliance regional safety coordinators are now available to assist, for free, contractors who have safety questions or concerns, looking to develop safety programs and materials, or want to prepare for Certificate of Recognition.

BC Regulatory Bulletins On Homeowner Protection Act
BC Homeowner Protection Office online publication Regulatory Bulletin series is intended to help Licensed Residential Builders and others to better understand and interpret the Homeowner Protection Act and its regulations.

CSA Developing New Building Energy Estimation Standard
Electrical Business Magazine says CSA is forming a new technical subcommittee for a Building Energy Estimation Methodology standard, meant for an integrated building design process to determine the impact of design decisions in a relatively quick and cost-effective way. It is expected to be completed in time for reference by the 2015 edition of the Canadian National Energy Code for Buildings for Commercial and Institutional buildings only.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Anatomy Of Sealants & Performance In Different Environments
Building Science online slide show Anatomy of Sealants and their Relative Performance with Building Materials in Different Environments describes physical properties, types of joints, thermo-mechanical effects, use considerations, and failure modes. (PDF)

Proper Water Heater Selection
US Department of Energy strategy guideline Proper Water Heater Selection provides step-by-step procedures for evaluating preferred cost-effective options for energy efficient water heater alternatives based on local utility rates, climate, and anticipated loads.

R-Values For Floor Coverings
Healthy Heating describes heat transfer terminology, and for use when designing radiant floor heating systems it provides a chart with the R-values of a wide range of floor coverings.

Feasibility Of Hydronic Distribution With Fan Coil Delivery
US Department of Energy report A Feasibility Study: Ductless Hydronic Distribution Systems with Fan Coil Delivery, estimates potential energy savings relative to conventional ducted air distribution, and to identify equipment requirements, costs, and barriers. It focuses on ductless hydronic delivery systems that use water-to-air terminal units in each zone. This system type is applicable in all climate regions and can provide sensible and latent cooling and/or heating using a single hot and chilled water source such as a heat pump, or a separate water heater and chiller. (PDF)

Radiant Barrier Fundamentals
Green Building Advisor describes how radiant barriers work, and what can make them not work.

Thermal Metric & Insulation Research Project Summary
Building Science provides an update on their Thermal Metric Research Project, undertaken with a consortium of insulation manufacturers, that is studying the thermal performance of building enclosures under realistic conditions. The Thermal Metric (TM) consortium has undertaken a series of laboratory research projects to: advance the understanding and quantification of building enclosure thermal performance; support the development of a new thermal performance system or metric that credits high-performance assemblies (of all types of construction and insulation materials); support good design and construction practices. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Substances In Built Environment Linked To Asthma
Perkins & Will online report Healthy Environments: A Compilation of Substances Linked to Asthma, identifies 374 substances commonly found in the built environment that are known or suspected asthmagens. (PDF)

Radiant Hydronic Floor Heating In Highly Efficient Homes
Green Building Advisor discusses whether an in-floor hydronic heat distribution system may be overkill for a tight, well insulated house.

Principles & Practice Of Effective Seismic Retrofitting
Bay Area Retrofit online Principles & Practice Of Effective Seismic Retrofitting is rough draft of a book on retrofitting being written to help contractors and engineers understand how to properly retrofit a home in a cost-effective manner. (PDF)

Mitigating Elevator Noise In Multifamily Residential Buildings
Buildipedia provides descriptions of issues and considerations for mitigating elevator noise in multifamily residential buildings.

Water Sensitive Urban Design
CMHC online article Water Sensitive Urban Design provides the rationale for, techniques to address, and case studies of working examples and solutions. It also includes examples of how water and energy management can be better integrated, which can substantially enhance the value (for example, increased revenue, lower operating costs, reduced permitting time, reduced GHGs) and effectiveness of design compared to managing each aspect in isolation of the other. (PDF)

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Residential LED Lighting
Energy Star describes residential LED lighting, and provides information and resources on performance standards, section criteria, and lists of manufacturers.

Expanded Cork May Be Greenest Insulation Material
Green Building Advisor says all-natural expanded-cork board stock insulation is now available in North America. Having been used as a rigid-insulation material for decades in Europe, cork insulation is 100% natural and rapidly renewable as defined by the LEED Rating System.

Grey Water Re-Use Growing
Plumbing & HVAC magazine describes the coming move toward more grey water recycling, especially in cities.

Retrofitting Existing Buildings With Green Roofs
Sustainable Architecture & Building Magazine Retrofitting says retrofitting buildings with green roofs comes with unique challenges, such as structural limitation, waterproofing conditions, and accessibility. It discusses these challenges and offers solutions for architects, engineers, and building professionals.

Battle For Environmental Labels
Slate says the promised land of full environmental disclosure is still far off for a variety of reasons. Manufacturers, retailers, and environmentalists can’t agree on what an environmental-impact label would say. A standardized label with exactly the same kinds of information for all products wouldn't be appropriate, because different products raise different environmental concerns.

Streamlined LEED Certification Options Now Available
Canada Green Building Council describes two new streamlined LEED certification options that are now available, the Streamlined Two-Stage Review Projects, and the Design and Construction Split Review.

Vancouver Zero Waste Conference
Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference 2012, held September 14th, will will look at the impact of design on our waste and our economy.

2012 Market Insights: Building Materials & Green Rating Systems
Light House 2012 Market Insights session Building Materials & Green Rating Systems will be held in Vancouver on September 18th. A panel will discuss whether green rating systems are shaping building technologies or if the pace of technological innovation is dictating the evolution of rating systems. Current and emerging green building technologies will also be presented.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

Recall Of GE, Moffat & Beaumark Dishwashers
Health Canada has announced a recall Of GE, Moffat & Beaumark dishwashers. An electrical failure in the dishwasher's heating element can pose a fire hazard.

14 Designer Drains To Spice Up Your Kitchens & Baths
Builder Magazine gives descriptions of 14 designer drains that will add a measure of cool to your kitchens and baths.

Refrigerant Cycle Air Conditioners
Building Green describes the history and operation of refrigerant-cycle air conditioners.

Hammer Museum
Tools Of The Trade describes the Hammer Museum that contains several thousand hammers used in every imaginable trade.

Overview Of Window Operating Types
Efficient Windows Collaborative describes, with drawings, different window operating types including casement, awning, hopper, slider, and double hung.

Living With Fire Sprinklers
Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition online video Living With Home Fire Sprinklers in California teaches homeowners how fire sprinklers work, how to maintain them, and common myths.

UL Warns Of Counterfeit Fire Sprinkler
UL gives warning of a fire sprinkler that bears a counterfeit UL Certification Mark for the United States and Canada.

Purchasable CD On The Leading Edge of Pervious Concrete
American Concrete Institute sells The Leading Edge of Pervious Concrete CD-ROM. It contains seven papers that were presented at sessions at the ACI 2009 Convention. These include some of the latest research findings on pervious concrete and state-of-the-art examples on the use of pervious concrete. $62 USD

Future Building Management System
Automated Buildings article says the future building management system will change and reinvent what currently is a lethargic industry. As we transition to more complex, higher performing, and energy efficient buildings, it is apparent that traditional building management systems are not up to the task of monitoring and managing today's building operations.

9. Installation Procedures

Online BC Video On Window Installation
BC Building Envelope Council & HPO online video contains all information presented at their seminar covering the latest research and best practices for window installation and replacement.

Over-Roofing With Rigid Insulation
Building Science describes how rigid insulation was installed over the top of an existing roof deck.

How To Replace A Shingle Roof
One Project Closer describes how shingle replacement projects entail several steps to ensure a secure and leakproof roof.

Retrofitting Air Conditioning & Duct Systems In Hot, Dry Climates
US Department of Energy report Retrofitting Air Conditioning and Duct Systems in Hot, Dry Climates focuses on procedures for increasing sensible efficiencies through increased flow rates across the air handling unit and increased indoor coil sizes. When substantial energy improvements result in a significant reduction in design cooling loads, an older and constrictive duct system may allow higher flow rates when combined with replacing an older existing condensing unit with a smaller unit. In practice, however, existing duct systems may need replacement in most cases due to factors such as poor layout, damage, and improper design. (PDF)

Maintaining Multi-Family Roofs
BC Homeowner Protection Office bulletin provides practical information on how to maintain a roof on a multi-family building. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

Online Presentations On Building Science & Technology
Building Science provides free access to their online library of past presentations on building science and technology.

History Of Construction Equipment
Historical Construction Equipment Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving for public education the history of the construction, dredging and surface mining equipment industries.

11. Conferences & Shows

Remodeling Industry Education & Trade Show
The Remodeling Show, held this year in Baltimore from October 9-12, is the annual national trade show, educational conference and networking opportunity for professional remodelers. It features installation clinics, interactive workshops, exhibitor-led product presentations, Business Skills Boot Camps, and breakout seminars.

BC Small Water Systems Mini-Conference
BC Water & Waste Association will host a Small Water Systems Mini-Conference in Kamloops, October 15-16. It is designed to give small systems and micro systems operators valuable resources, tools and tips to help them improve their system administration and operations.

Construction Fair 2012 In Vancouver
Construction Specifications Canada is presenting Construction Fair 2012 on November 21st in Vancouver. The fair will bring together manufacturers, suppliers and distributors for networking and education focused on institutional, industrial, condo and commercial building within the Vancouver market. This free, one-day event will be of interest to architects, contractors, owners, engineers and others who design, build, specify, engineer, renovate or operate in the built environment. (PDF)

12. Education & Training

Annual Report From BC Industry Training Authority
BC Industry Training Authority online 2012 annual report provides a summary of its operations and programs, as well as statistics on apprenticeships and education results. (PDF)

Strengthening The Red Seal Program
Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship report Lessons Learned, Next Steps on Strengthening the Red Seal Program explores enhanced occupational standards and methods of assessment in addition to the existing multiple-choice written examination. (PDF)

Improving Construction Productivity
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Improving Construction Productivity will be held on September 25th. You will learn about several examples of latest technological innovations and productivity enhancement best practices, tools and processes to improve communication and productivity of construction projects.

Construction Contracts & Contract Law
ICBA course Construction Contracts & Contract Law will be held in Burnaby September 27-29. It is designed to teach and familiarize owners, managers, supervisors and project managers with construction contracts and contract law, liabilities and responsibilities of all parties to a contract, compiling and submitting proper extras and claims, and ways and means to avoid conflict. This course is Gold Seal certified. (PDF)

Course On City of Vancouver Zoning & Development By-Laws
Vancouver Community College program examines the City of Vancouver’s Zoning and Development by-laws including residential, commercial and industrial district schedules.

Rediscover Concrete
Cement Association of Canada is presenting Rediscover Concrete seminars across Canada. The morning session is Moving Towards More Energy Efficient & Greener Buildings, and the afternoon is Moving Towards A More Sustainable Infrastructure.

Renovation Business Seminar
Reno Summit educational seminar is coming to Vancouver on November 12th. It will focus on topics that can improve your bottom line right away: Making and managing money, successful selling, and hard hitting marketing at low cost.

Online Education Channel
TED-Ed online educational videos harness talent of the world's best teachers and visualizers, extending great lessons beyond a single classroom to anyone with internet access.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Restore Deleted Files Using Previous Version
Windows Guides describes "Previous Version" the free option in Windows 7 for those needing to undelete or recover lost files.

37 Ways To Promote Your Website
Web Marketing Today describes 37 ways to promote your website. It gives you the basic information, which you can then explore through links to other resources, many of them free.

Heavy Equipment Playground In Las Vegas
Dig This, the first heavy equipment playground in the United States, now makes it possible for adults to relieve stress, have fun, and relive their early excavation days on a much larger scale.

Dittie For Today - On Napping

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

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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada