Alert Notice #7
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 June 19, 2008


Contents:

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. Information Sources
10. Conferences & Shows
11. Education & Training
12. Computer, Internet & Fun
13. Industry Survey


 
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What This Ol' Mentor Meant...To Each & Every One Of Us

What on earth could this diverse cross-section of building industry dudes have in common? What, other than food (and not free food to boot), could possibly entice them to take time out of their busy schedules for a casual evening get-together?

Seated around the table was a number of well-known BC builders, renovators, architects, engineers, manufacturers, salespeople, building scientists, consultants, and trainers. The reunion, as most do, began with inevitable so-what-are-you-up-to-these-days dialogues. Shortly, babble turned to the latest industry issues, changes, news, and events. Following naturally, at least in the case of this proudly self-proclaimed lunatic fringe group, were conflicting opinions as to how our industry and the universe in general should be re-arranged. But all was eventually cut short, given our real reason for being there. We had assembled for one purpose only...To pay tribute to Al, a very special person who had affected, in more ways than one, both our business and personal lives.

As our honoured octogenarian sat quietly, humble-as-always, a stream of "Al" tales and tributes flowed forth. Every single person made at least one comment about his knowledge of building science and his promotion of using appropriate technology. Long before it came into fashion, Al was a strong supporter of energy efficiency, green building, and the building science of treating the house as a system. Contrary to his times, he pressed for more environmentally responsible design of roads, subdivisions, and houses - all while stressing consideration for housing affordability. Some recalled his pioneering of co-op housing developments, smaller affordable homes, the R2000 program, and even the building of a demonstration house within a 24-hour period.

Another common thread evolved around stories of how Al was always "thinking out of the box" and open to finding and using new building materials, systems, and procedures. But at the same time as being an innovator, he was always quick to point out that proper testing of products and processes, realistic development of codes, and credible industry training were necessary parts of the overall process. To this end, Al nurtured most of us, at least once, to "get involved". Which leads to another pattern obvious to those in the room. Al had helped instil in all of us, both the need for, and the value of, giving something back. As he was one of the original founders of our home builders association (you oldies may remember HUDAC), he walked his talk. He was instrumental in getting each of us involved in one way or another in committees, Boards of Directors, consumer education, industry training seminars, and community volunteer projects.

But recollections were not limited to his building technology prowess and industry contributions. More importantly, tales were told of how Al had touched us at a deeper level. There was an overriding sense of reverence in the room as we shared how, in his own simple and unassuming way, leading by example, Al had influenced us and helped us grow not only as business people, but also as human beings. Words people used to describe their experiences and learnings from Al included honesty, integrity, commitment, sharing, caring, creativity, practicality, common sense, lifelong learning, and much more of the same. At times when some of these more personal feelings were offered, a few tears of gratitude could be spotted falling from the corners of a couple of older eyes. That says it all.

My wish is that you may be so fortunate, at some time in your career and life, as to have a person such as Albert Koehli to learn from and grow with.

My thanks to John Chepil, Einar Halbig, Herman Rebneris, George Pinch, Eric Burnett, Brian Hart, Wilma Leung, Mark Gauvin, Ben Van Nostrand, Denisa Ionescu, Bob Muir, Shirley Chow, and Lisa Toyne for their tips and resources. I hope you find a wee bit of value somewhere in this newsletter.

Have a "Top Drawer" day.

Ken Farrish
:o)


Update On The New BC Building Info Site
"Where the BC building industry finds and shares information"

Directory Topics With New Links Added
These Topics in our Directory now have lots of new links:
Building Systems: Factory Built
Building Systems: Site Built: Concrete
Building Systems: Site Built: Other


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    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    Canadian Housing Market Outlook For Second Quarter 2008
    CMHC Housing Market Outlook for second quarter 2008 summarizes Canadian housing trends and forecasts with both a national and local perspective. It provides a two-year forecast of housing starts, sales, prices and key economic indicators. (PDF)

    Looking At Tomorrow In Technology, Buildings & Industry
    Building Science digest says examining trends is useful as an aid to understanding the direction the building industry is headed, and where it might end up. It describes a series of changes and possible changes that may influence the building industry and society.

    Online Webcast Of May 2008 Conference On Future Of Housing Industry In BC
    BC Homeowner Protection Office online Webcast and Podcast of presentations from their May 2008 conference on Next Generation: Future of the Housing Industry in British Columbia includes presentations by Kerry Jothen on changing forces affecting market housing demand and labour supply, Michael Geller on impact of new and emerging technologies, and David Podmore on BC development industry achievements and future challenges.

    2008 Report On Canadian Renovation & Home Purchase
    CMHC 2008 Renovation and Home Purchase Report summarizes surveys conducted in ten major Canadian centres. It provides information on prior year renovations in all ten centres, and intentions to buy or renovate a home for five centres. (PDF)

    2. Business Management

    Need For Intelligent System For Construction Process Automation
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction reviewed technologies that could lead to greater construction efficiency by integrating life-cycle stages of construction including conception, design, construction, and operations and maintenance, and by improving the flow of resources. The report assesses changes that might include tracking the location and status of materials, equipment, personnel, and other resources that would facilitate delivery on demand.

    Compare Courier & Mail Rates For North America
    ShipGooder provides an easy, fast search engine to get the best shipping rates by comparing local, regional and national courier companies.

    Selling The Design In Design-Build
    Journal of Light Construction article describes how a small initial design contract can lead to a big job.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Gen Y Are Hot Prospects For Urban Styled Apartments
    US National Association of Home Builders article, from a speech to professionals in the multifamily industry, says there is something more than a little different about the 20-somethings of Generation Y.

    Smaller Size US Houses Selling Well In 2008
    Money magazine article says soaring fuel costs, environmental concerns and aging baby boomers may alter what Americans want in a home.

    Lifelong Learning Is A New Trend in Senior Communities
    US National Association of Home Builders article describes how lifelong learning is a new trend in senior communities, and what some builders are doing to consider this.

    Best Remodels Of 2008 From Fine Homebuilding
    Fine Homebuilding magazine describes some renovations that caught the eye of their editors in 2008.

    Presentations From US Conference On Mixed Use Projects
    Georgia State University provides online audio podcasts and slide presentations from their February 2008 Urban Development Conference on legal, land use, financing, and environmental challenges of mixed use projects.


    What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

    Jennifer Shaw, Program Director of Built Green BC, says: "This is great Ken. Really good information and I like how it is organized."

    Feel free to let others know about BC Building Info.

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    New Revisions & Errata For 2005 National Construction Codes
    Canadian Institute for Research in Construction has downloadable versions of June 2008 and December 2007 revisions and errata for the 2005 National Building Code, Fire Code, and Plumbing Code.

    CCBFC Looking At How To Add New Objectives To Canadian National Codes
    Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes has approved the formation of a task group to determine how requests for addition of new objectives to the national model codes should be addressed. Contact information is included here if you want to receive updates or participate in the process.

    Best Practice For Safety With Silica Dust From Fibre Cement
    BC Construction Safety Network bulletin describes best practices for safety from exposure to silica dust when working with fibre cement siding & board. (PDF)

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    Online Digests Covering Building Science Topics
    Building Science, from Dr. Joe Lstiburek & Dr. John Straube, offers online digests that are papers on specific building science topics written for a broad range of users. Expert advice is given with a focus on establishing an understanding of the theory and translating this theory to practical information.

    Research Reports On Building Science & Technologies
    Building Science site of Dr. Joe Lstiburek & Dr. John Straube offer free access to their building science & technology research reports that have highly technical and specific information written for researchers but accessible to professionals.

    BC Survey Of Opinions On Proprietary Rainscreen Systems
    BC Institute of Technology students completed a web-based survey of building industry professionals to get their opinions about proprietary rainscreen products including if they seem to perform as advertised, did they like using them, and would the products ever replace traditional strapping. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    BC Bulletin On Dangers Of Exposure To Asbestos In Vermiculite Attic Insulation
    Workers Compenstion Board of BC bulletin describes vermiculite insulation that may contain asbestos, problems caused, steps to prevent exposure, and sources of more information.

    Concrete Floor Problems With Sand Over Vapour Barrier
    Building Science article describes problems when placing a layer of sand over the top of a plastic ground cover under a concrete slab.

    Overview Of Residential Hoists & Ceiling Lifts For Accessibility
    CMHC fact sheet describes types of residential hoists and ceiling lifts that are commonly available in Canada, and issues to consider when choosing and installing a hoist or ceiling lift in a house, condominium or apartment.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Find Energy Efficiency Programs & Financial Incentives In Canada
    Natural Resources Canada directory of energy efficiency and alternative energy programs in Canada allows search for programs of the Canadian government, provincial and territorial governments, major electric & gas utilities & companies, and major municipalities in Canada.

    Listing Of Classroom & Online Courses On Green Building
    US Green Building Council site Greenbuild 365 lists classroom and online educational offerings, podcasts, resources, and plenaries & master speaker presentations from their annual Greenbuild Conference & Expo.

    Updates On Changes To Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations
    National Resources Canada bulletins provide updates on proposed changes and amendments to Canadian energy efficiency regulations for energy consuming building and household products.

    Webinars On Liability Of Building Green
    Green Building Initiative is offering three webinars on liability issues of building green. You can register for any or all presentations; June 24: Risk and Liability in the Construction Industry; July 16: Regulatory Issues that Add to Construction Risk; August 27: How Insurance Plays a Role in Construction Risk.

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    BC Coupons For Savings On Enerchoice Gas Fireplaces
    Terasen Gas lists EnerChoice natural gas fireplace manufacturer coupons, with savings up to $150, available until August 31 for the regions of Lower Mainland & Squamish, Interior, East Kootenays, Fort Nelson, and Revelstoke.

    New BC Directory Of Building Products & Services
    Builder Architect magazine new online CoolShowrooms site provides listings (paid), descriptions, and pictures of BC providers of building products and services.

    New Resource Site On Landscape Architecture In BC
    Sitelines, a new Web site from the BC Society of Landscape Architects, provides information and resources on landscape architecture including education and careers, newsletters, project examples, and supplier listings.

    Maple Chase Recalls Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Combo Alarms
    Ontario Electrical Safety Authority in cooperation with Maple Chase Company is notifying the public that Maple Chase has announced a voluntary recall of Firex branded 10000 series carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and 12000 series smoke/CO combo alarms. About 36,000 units were sold across Canada.

    9. Information Sources

    Thompson Okanagan Project Data Now Available From Green Sheet Construction Data
    A provider of building permit information, Green Sheet Construction Data, has announced the addition of Zone 4, the Thompson Okanagan, to their project information services that include updates on New Projects, Pre Bids & Tenders; Project Updates & Bid Results; Building Permits

    Free Newsletters On BC Health & Safety Regulations & News
    Workers Compensation of BC offers free newsletters for different industry sectors, on health & safety information; news releases; regulation, guideline & policy updates; and incident summaries.

    10. Conferences & Shows

    Pacific Coast Builders Show In San Francisco, June 24 - 27
    Pacific Coast Builders Show held in San Francisco from June 24 - 27 offers trade show, educational programs, pre-conference intensives, executive-level programs, and more.

    BC Recycling Industry Conference & Trade Show In Vancouver
    Recycling Council of BC annual zero waste conference in Vancouver from June 25 - 27 features workshops, presentations, trade exhibits, networking opportunities, tours, and awards.

    11. Education & Training

    BC Seminars & Professional Development Events For Industry
    Some of the professional development seminars offered by the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC will be of interest to the broader building industry. Upcoming sessions include Politics in Project Management, June 24, and Fundamentals of Capital Project Cost Control, July 10.

    BC Residential Construction Industry Training Organization
    Residential Construction Industry Training Organization of British Columbia (RCITO) promotes, develops, coordinates and manages the delivery of industry training and trades qualifications in the BC residential construction industry by responding to the skills and training needs of employers and workers.

    12. Computer, Internet & Fun

    List Of Popular Software & Free Online Alternatives
    Invest In Tech newsletter lists 25 free online alternatives to big brand software.

    Search Engine For Information On Windows Operating System
    Windows Secrets newsletter offers their online Google Custom Search engine to query Web sites that specialize in Microsoft Windows related information.

    Have Some Fun Parking This Car
    So you think you are good at parking a car eh? So did I. Seems simple enough at first, but given the number of times I crashed methinks my insurance rates will be going up.

    13. Industry Survey

    Today's Survey: Is our BC housing market slowing down?

    There are an ever-increasing number of news reports about our BC housing market starting to slow down. Are you already seeing, or expecting to see, a market slowdown?

    Yes, I see the market slowing down
    No, our market is as strong as ever

    Last Survey: Would you get value from a BC newsletter on green building?

    •  81% Said: Yes
    •  19% Said: No

    Thanks for your participation


    Dittie For Today - On Patience

    It takes about twenty years, to make an overnight success. - Denis Waitley


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    © Copyright 2008               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada