Alert Notice #70
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 September 30, 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 Gary Hamer, Wilma Leung, Crag Nelson, Maureen McLaughlin, John Chepil, Ward Hubbell, Jeanette Wilkinson, George Pinch, David Killey, Martin Knowles, Rick Fearn, Fred Stitt, Louise Dunne, Sabine Just, Mike Salvador, Jerry Bosworth, Peter Weiss, David Bak, Charlotte Davis, Robyn Kauppila, David Jayaraj, Rachel Sentes, Molly Kray, Ladauna Wilson, Tammy Steller, and Hussein Shokouhi 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

Cladding Attachment Research & Design
Building Science online slide show on cladding attachment research and design discusses the perfect wall, cladding attachment, laboratory research/design criteria, short term deflection, long term deflecton, exterior testng, and masonry cladding attachment. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Housing Change by Structure Type in the Lower Mainland
Urban Futures uses the 2011 census highlights to describe key housing changes by structure type in the Lower Mainland.

BC Mortgage Rate Forecast September 2012
BC Real Estate Association mortgage rate forecast of September 2012 says the biggest change to the mortgage market this year had nothing to do with mortgage rates, but rather with further changes to mortgage regulations. (PDF)

Construction To Lead BC Growth Over Next Five Years
Journal of Commerce says non-residential construction will be the main growth driver in this industry with moderate uplift from the residential sector in the later part of the five-year forecast.

Provincial Outlook September 2012
Royal Bank of Canada monthly provincial economic update says weaker than expected data since the June 2012 Provincial Outlook prompted them to make several downward revisions to their provincial growth forecasts for 2012 and, to a lesser extent, 2013. (PDF)

Housing Market Outlook Canada, Third Quarter 2012
CMHC Third Quarter 2012 Housing Market Report describes nine key factors affecting housing starts, including: low mortgage rates; employment forecast; modest economic growth; increased immigration; ageing population and low birth rate; balanced resale market; stable vacancy rates; stability in the stock of new housing units; changes to government-backed mortgage insurance. (PDF)

Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update October 2012
Canadian Home Builders Association online Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update for October 2012 says the economic outlook is now presenting new home builders and renovators with a higher level of business risk. Household demand is being threatened, not by the possibility of higher interest rates, but by a possible confidence shock coming from a weaker job market. (PDF)

2012 Housing Outlook Conference Coming To Vancouver
The CMHC annual Housing Outlook Conference to be held in Vancouver on November 13th provides access to timely, reliable and unbiased housing market information and forecasts. Tailored to the specifics of the local market, it may also enable you to earn education credits. (PDF)

Underground Economy In Canada, 1992-2009
Statistics Canada study Underground Economy in Canada 1992-2009, shows in 2009 total underground activity in Canada was estimated at $35 billion, an increase of 77% from 1992.

2. Business Management

Canadian MLS Home Price Index
Canadian Real Estate Association online MLS Home Price Index allows you to see trends in home prices for a specific type of house in a given neighbourhood.

Listings Of New Real Estate Developments
Buzz Buzz Home lists new condo and home developments in Canada and the U.S, and provides potential buyers with everything from prices to developer info and floor plans.

Canadian Construction Material Costs Have Recently Been Placid
Journal of Construction says Canadian construction material costs were placid in June, and provides a chart comparing percentage changes in costs over various time periods.

Worker Compensation & Injury Lawsuits
WorkSafe BC provides information on workers' compensation and lawsuit basics, lawsuit categories and costs, occupational diseases and lawsuits, and choosing to claim or sue.

Signs To Look For In Problem WorkSafe BC Claim
Journal of Commerce gives description of how problem WorkSafe BC claims frequently have a number of common elements.

Revised Federal Skilled Worker Program Unveiled
Citizenship and Immigration Canada says proposed regulatory changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program will allow Canada to better select skilled workers who can hit the ground running upon arrival.

Why Construction Companies Should Consider Pinterest
Construction Marketing Association says more constructions and B2B companies are finding pinterest to be very effective in their digital marketing strategies.

Buyer Interest List Converts Local Residents Into Consultants, Then Buyers
Builder Magazine describes how a builder converts an interest list into consultants, then buyers.

How To Ask For A Remodeling Client's Budget
Remodeling Magazine says you can avoid price objections if you know how much a client wants to spend, and offers some tips on how to get them to tell you.

3. Building Design & Trends

2012 Vancouver Island Home Building Award Winners
Canadian Association of Home Builders displays their Vancouver Island CARE Award winners in categories of new homes, renovations, peoples choice, kitchen & bath, commercial, environmental, customer service & marketing, outstanding achievement, and project of the year.

2012 Canadian Urban Design Award Winners
Architecture Canada/RAIC, Canadian Institute of Planners, and Canadian Society of Landscape Architects display recipients of the 2012 National Urban Design Awards. The awards recognize individuals, organizations, firms and projects that have contributed to the quality of life in our Canadian cities and their sustainability.

2013-2014 Paint Colour Trends
PPG Voice of Colour site says bold, vibrant colours top the trends for home decor in 2013 and 2014, as teal and fuchsia dominate.

Pulte Group Reveals Kitchen Design Trends On The Rise
Housing Zone says as the kitchen continues to occupy a more prominent role in the life of a homeowner, the interior design team at PulteGroup has recently identified a series of key design trends that homeowners are moving toward.

Mobile Command Centers Replace The Kitchen Desk
For Residential Pros says we haven’t lost the need to check cookbooks and calendars, to sort and pay bills, or to store the tape, scissors, stamps, and other desk-related items. They describe changes in how and where we do these things.

Homeowner Preference For Energy-Efficient & Low Maintenance Products & Systems
American Institute of Architects survey shows investments within the home have remained focused on increasing energy efficiency, designing outdoor living environments and adding wireless communications systems as home offices remain the most popular special function room.

Is Walkable Urbanism The Next Major Real Estate Cycle?
Atlantic Cities article by real estate developer and George Washington University professor Christopher Leinberger says walkable urbanism is becoming the real estate market.

Pictures Of Landscapes
Dering Hall has an online database of pictures of landscapes.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Glenn Duxbury, CHI, president of Glenn Duxbury & Associates says: "Thanks a million for all your hard work and sharing of all this very practical information."

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Overview of City of Vancouver Green Building Program & Bylaw Requirements
UDI online presentation describes the City of Vancouver's green building program and bylaw components. (PDF)

Vancouver Building By-Law Proposed Change To Location of Gas Vents
HRAI says a proposed change to the 2012 Vancouver Building By-Law involves location of gas vents for heating and air conditioning equipment. The provision would only allow venting vertically through a roof or horizontally through an exterior wall that faces a street or lane including additional restrictions. (PDF)

BC Hydro Changes To Connection Documentation Submittal
BC Safety Authority information bulletin advises electrical contractors that effective September 21, 2012, BC Hydro requires that electrical service connection documentation be submitted via email. (PDF)

Non-Combustible Exterior Cladding For Mid-Rise Combustible Buildings
Building Officials Association of BC online code interpretation Non-Combustible Exterior Cladding for Mid-Rise Combustible Buildings says combustible balconies, guards, fascias, soffits and posts are still permitted. (PDF)

How Much Will WorkSafe BC Insurance Cost?
WorkSafe BC online video describes their classification and rate setting system, and how you can calculate your insurance premium.

Public Review Of Proposed Changes To 2010 Canadian National Model Construction Codes
Canadian National Research Council has announced the fall 2012 public review to focus on proposed changes to the 2010 National Model Construction Codes.

NBC Part 9 Energy Efficiency Requirements Approved
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes has approved the proposed energy efficiency requirements for housing and small buildings into Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada, and these will be published as revisions to the NBC on the national codes website in late fall 2012. The most significant modifications to the proposed changes concerned log home construction, building envelope calculation methods, air barrier assemblies and efficiency ratings for gas fireplaces.

Low Lead Requirements For Potable Plumbing Products In Canada
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating bulletin says a new version of ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1 and CSA B125.3 standards for plumbing fittings that includes NSF 372 low-lead requirements is expected to be published in late fall 2012.

Requirements For Plumbing Fittings Incorporating Electrical and/or Electronic Features
CSA bulletin on Plumbing Fittings Incorporating Electrical and/or Electronic Features provides a list of technical requirements for plumbing fittings that incorporate electrical and/or electronic components/features, where said requirements do not exist in currently published standards. (PDF)

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    External Insulation Of Masonry & Wood Framed Walls
    Building Science research report External Insulation of Masonry Walls and Wood Framed Walls developed baseline engineering analysis to support the installation of thick layers of exterior insulation (2” to 8”) on existing masonry walls and wood framed walls through the use of wood furring strips (fastened through the insulation back to the structure) as a cladding attachment location.

    Creative Solutions For Ventilation In New Homes
    Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency says ACCA contractors are developing methods that economically meet the ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation requirements for residential applications. The creative solutions reflect the design requirements for specific regions and climates.

    How Smart Vapor Retarders Work
    Building Green describes smart vapor retarders that retard vapor diffusion in less-humid conditions while allowing drying when conditions are more humid.

    Vapor Barriers Redux
    Green Building Advisor discusses whether there are any risks if you build an exterior wall without an interior polyethylene vapor retarder.

    Simplified Wall Bracing Method
    Engineered Wood Association APA report APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method provides building officials, builders and designers with an approach and the supporting technical information to meet the requirements of the 2012 IRC Simplified Wall Bracing. Free site registration required.

    Embedded Pipes In Concrete For Radiant Cooling & Heating
    Healthy Heating provides 30 points on embedded cooling and heating pipes every architect, engineer and contractor should know for radiant cooling and heating systems.

    Secondary Roof Drainage
    PM Engineer magazine describes considerations for good design of secondary roof drainage.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Testing Flashing & Air Barrier Seam Tapes
    Building Green describes how they tested the service life of flashing and air barrier seam tapes.

    Air Leakage Degrades Thermal Performance Of Walls
    Green Building Advisor describes how testing by the Building Science Corporation begins to quantify the problem of air leakage degrading the thermal performance of walls.

    Difference Between Fasteners For Pressure-Treated Lumber
    Fine Homebuilding describes differences between stainless-steel and hot-dipped-galvanized fasteners that are typically recommended for pressure treated lumber.

    Canadian Research Into Contaminants From Attached Garages
    Health Canada and the National Research Council have determined there is a need to provide sound technical solutions that will adequately decrease the transfer of pollutants from attached garages to living spaces, thus reducing the health risks to Canadians. These solutions will provide a significant opportunity for the building industry to identify the most appropriate way of retrofitting garages with sustainable, energy-efficient, and healthy technical options.

    Northern Canadian Mechanical Ventilation Equipment Design & Testing
    CMHC research highlight Northern Mechanical Ventilation Equipment Design and Testing summarizes the analysis of existing codes or standards and/or currently available or emerging ventilation technologies to see if they are capable of addressing identified concerns. It also discusses the need for a Northern HRV performance specification and includes a draft of a Northern HRV technical specification. (PDF)

    Raining, Dripping, Crying Duct Boots
    Green Building Advisor describes why to insulate and seal the duct system. Not doing so can cause the central air conditioner's ceiling registers to drip onto the floor, the insulation liner on the duct in the crawlspace to hold a gallon or two of water, or the office to have spots appearing on the ceiling.

    Circulation Induced Corrosion In Copper Pipe
    Plumbing Engineer magazine says the second most common type of copper tube failure is erosion-corrosion caused by rapid turbulent pipe flow and aggravated by aggressive water quality. This type of impingement failure is more common in circulated hot water systems than in cold water piping.

    Universal Design Principles & Practice In Remodeling
    Remodeling TV online video Universal Design Principles and Practice Richard offers advice on how to design, market, and sell the next age of universal design in a variety of home remodeling projects. It explains how to adapt homes away from the stigmatized idea of accessible solutions in favor of integrated configurations that provide resale value and marketability to a diverse and aging consumer.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Wall Air Sealing & Insulation Methods In Existing Homes
    US Department of Energy Measure Guideline: Wall Air Sealing and Insulation Methods in Existing Homes, an overview of considerations when including wall air sealing and insulation in an energy retrofit project. (PDF)

    Top-Of-Line Windows Are Waste Of Money On Highly Efficient Homes
    Green Building Advisor describes how an engineer investigating ways to optimize the design of net-zero-energy homes concludes that inexpensive triple-glazed windows are good enough.

    Lighting Controls For Energy Efficiency
    US Department of Energy describes how to save energy by using lighting controls to automatically turn lights on and off as needed.

    Canada's Greenest Home Looking For Material Suppliers
    North Vancouver based Naikoon Contracting is attempting to build one of Canada’s greenest homes, striving to break the current record for the highest LEED Platinum score, Built Green BC checklist score, and be one of the first homes to meet the NEW R-2000 certification. They are seeking a wide range of suppliers to provide materials and services, and in exchange for their contribution companies will receive marketing benefits.

    Online Course On Zero Net Energy Homes
    Building Energy Master Series online course Zero Net Energy Homes provides a comprehensive understanding of all of the key components of a zero net energy home including envelope, systems, and renewables, and how they fit together.

    2012 Annual Wind Energy Conference & Exhibition
    CanWEA’s 27th Annual Conference and Exhibition will be held October 14-17, in Toronto. It will bring together experts from all over the world to discuss opportunities and latest developments in the Canadian wind energy industry. The exhibition hall will feature over 250 exhibiting companies and will provide companies with an opportunity to network and generate new business leads.

    Online Solar Energy Event
    Global Spec online Solar Energy event on October 17 explores the latest developments in photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, developments in concentrating solar power, and new applications for passive solar. You will be able to network with peers and suppliers, participate in key educational sessions, and keep pace with today's fast-changing alternative & renewable energy marketplace.

    BC Carbon Tax Salience & Gasoline Demand
    University of Ottawa paper Carbon Tax Salience and Gasoline Demand demonstrates that the carbon tax imposed by BC government caused a decline in short-run gasoline demand that is significantly greater than would be expected from an equivalent increase in the market price of gasoline. It discusses potential explanations for the differential consumer responses to the carbon tax relative to the market-determined price.

    BC Furnace Replacement Pilot Program
    Replace your energy-wasting furnace with a high-efficiency model that's 95 per cent efficient or higher, and you may qualify for a FortisBC $800 rebate. This offer is only available to the first 2,000 applicants or until December 31, 2012, whichever comes first.

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    Prohibited Install Or Use Of Majestic Fireplace Direct Vent Free Standing
    BC Safety Authority new Safety Order advises that certain gas fireplaces manufactured by Majestic Fireplace that have the alternately labeled trade names Insta-Flame or Northern Flame shall not be sold, leased, rented, installed or operated in the province of British Columbia.

    Lumber Prices Set To Surge
    Canadian Business report says North American lumber prices are set to surge in the next couple of years amid a tightened supply from Canada as the US housing market continues to strengthen after years of weakness.

    Review Of Fuel-Powered Framing Nailers
    Tools of the Trade reviews fuel-powered framing nailers from Paslode and Bostitch. Both are designed around an internal combustion engine, so instead of using a hose and compressor they use batteries to ignite fuel dispensed from a gas canister.

    Evolution Of Levelling Technology
    Home Builder magazine provides an overview of the levelling field as it has developed to date, along with a list of the primary hi-tech players.

    Examples Of Concrete Showers
    Concrete Network describes some possibilities for using concrete for shower walls.

    Examples Of Vent Hood Designs
    Custom Home online slide show provides examples of beautiful vent hood designs.

    Guidelines For Transitioning To A Tankless Water Heater
    US Department of Energy online Measure Guideline: Transitioning to a Tankless Water Heater, provides information to help residential builders and retrofitters with the design, specification, selection, implementation, installation, and maintenance of tankless water heaters. (PDF)

    Sprinkler Piping Materials
    PM Engineer magazine explains what to consider before specifying one of the three basic types of sprinkler piping: steel, copper tubing and plastic.

    9. Installation Procedures

    6 Steps To Sheathing Success
    Builder magazine says OSB’s dimensional stability, consistency, sustainability, and wide availability have made it a popular choice for wall sheathing. It describes six strategies to follow to ensure a successful sheathing job underneath the siding.

    Planning Basement Or Crawlspace Insulation
    Green Building Advisor gives description of issues and considerations for insulating basement or crawlspace walls.

    7 Strategies For Smooth Underlayment Installation
    Builder magazine describes seven strategies for installing smooth floor underlayment.

    Top 10 Deck-Building Mistakes
    Fine Homebuilding describes the top 10 deck-building mistakes and how to avoid them for a longer-lasting, safer deck.

    Pitfalls Of Busting Through Concrete
    Plumbing Heating Contractor news says contractors should be wary of any plumbing job that involves breaking through concrete floors.

    Advanced House Framing
    US Department of Energy provides information and resources on advanced framing.

    A Better Way To Suck Up Drywall Dust
    Fine Homebuilding describes how to suck up drywall dust by running it through a water-bath unit to separate the drywall dust from the air pulled into the vacuum.

    Tips From A Commercial Demolition Company
    Green Building Advisor says residential demolition contractors can learn a few things from contractors who tear down large commercial buildings.

    10. Information Sources

    Occupational Health & Safety Magazine
    OHS Canada is a Canadian occupational health and safety magazine, serving people who make decisions about health and safety in the workplace.

    Online Videos On Decorative Concrete Design & Tools
    Concrete Network collection of online videos on decorative concrete design and construction provide useful tips, techniques and instructions.

    Resource Site On Panelized Roof Systems
    Woodworks provides information, case studies, and resources on panelized roof systems.

    Technical Videos On Oil Heating
    Canadian Oil Heat Association offers online videos on technical topics relating to oil heating.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Vancouver Small Business Summit
    Globe & Mail presents the Vancouver Small Business Summit on October 4th. It is geared to entrepreneurs, to kick-start your small or medium enterprise to the next level, and features specialized speakers and panels, various Canadian success stories, and a keynote speaker.

    BC Windows Doors & Glazing Conference
    Fenestration Association of BC (a merger of the Glazing Contractors Association of BC and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association of BC) presents a one-day conference entitled Fenestration West 2012. Conference sessions will cover safety, efficiency and sustainability: the new 2012 BC Building Code; best practices; and more. It takes place Tuesday, October 23rd at the Delta Burnaby.

    Low Impact Stormwater Development In Action
    Credit Valley Conservation conference Low Impact Development in Action, held in Mississauga October 4-5 showcases innovative stormwater management practices in Ontario and across Canada.

    Canadian Brownfields 2012 Conference
    Canadian Urban Institute conference Canadian Brownfields 2012: Making Great Places, will be held in Niagara Falls, October 3-5. The national conference and trade show will focus on the redevelopment of under-utilized properties as a catalyst for sustainable, vibrant and liveable communities. Sessions include a focus on implementing risk management measures, integrating sustainability and economic development, interim uses, and re-investing in downtowns.

    Symposium On Building Envelope Technology
    RCI presents the Symposium on Building Envelope Technology in Phoenix, October 22-23. The two-day educational program offers cutting-edge information regarding design, construction, maintenance and repair of modern and/or older building envelopes.

    2012 BC Construction Safety Conference
    Individuals employed on construction sites throughout BC are invited to this workshop on November 22-24 in Richmond. You can network with peers while learning about and discussing a variety of health and safety issues including those identified in WorkSafe BC’s Construction High-Risk Strategy.

    12. Education & Training

    Free Workshop On Human Resource Essentials For Construction Industry
    ICBA is presenting a free breakfast workshop Human Resource Essentials for the Construction Industry in Burnaby on October 17th, to share effective recruitment and retention methods for the construction industry. (PDF)

    Understanding Terrazzo
    Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Association of Canada workshop Understanding the Terrazzology will be held in Burnaby on Oct 24th. It covers terrazzo basics, installation overview, design and colour selection, green issues of terrazzo, and care and maintenance. (PDF)

    Project Management 1-Day Course
    The Project Management Conference in Vancouver on November 28th is for building owners or managers, contractors, architects, or engineers. It will cover skills and knowledge to stay on top of your work through a more projectized and productive work environment.

    Online HVAC Tutorials
    Airflow Exploration Center online HVAC tutorials, compiled from leaders in the HVAC industry, have been written in an unbiased way and are geared for readers with different experience levels.

    Canadian Resource Site On Apprenticeships
    Apprenticeship Pays site provides a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about apprenticeship in Canada.

    Aboriginal Participation In Trades & Apprenticeship In BC
    Industry Training Authority of BC report Aboriginal Participation in Trades and Apprenticeship in B.C.: Three-Year Review and Future Direction, provides a three-year update on the key actions taken based on the 2009 Business Plan and the outcomes achieved. (PDF)

    13. Computer, Internet & Fun

    Sources Of Free Storage On The Web
    IT Business says you could very likely backup all your important documents online, automatically, for free. Online slide show lists sources of 100 per cent free cloud storage services, with no free trials, no strings attached.

    Social Media Glossary
    IAB online Social Media Glossary provides insight into the language and meanings of all things social, and acts as a supplement to IAB Canada's Standard Glossary of Terms. (PDF)

    Impact Wrench With Power
    Talk about a powerful tool!! Note, this opens in your media player program.

    Dittie For Today

    Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald. - Unknown

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    © Copyright 2012               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada