Alert Notice #71
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 October 22, 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 Jay Lewis, Maureen McLaughlin, John Chepil, Sabine Just, David Killey, Melissa Broadus, Wilma Leung, Lorna Malone, George Pinch, Bob MacKie, Molly Kray, Brent Wilker, Garth White, Monica Olenroot, Kelly Mitchell, and Bruce Bradshaw for their comments, tips, and resources. I hope you find at least a wee bit of value in this newsletter.

Have a "Top Drawer" day.

Ken Farrish

Send Us Your Industry & Product News
These Alerts contain summaries and links to industry news, events, issues, information, products, resources, and more. If you have any new products, events, or information that you would like to have included, just e-mail me at

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    Ken's Top Pick

    Illustrated Guide For Seismic Design Of Houses In BC
    BC Homeowner Protection Office online Illustrated Guide For Seismic Design Of Houses: Lateral Bracing Requirements Part 9 BC Building Code 2012, will assist house designers and builders in understanding and complying with the new BC Building Code requirements applicable to Part 9 houses in high seismic regions in British Columbia. (PDF)

    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    BC Housing Market Update October 2012
    BC Real Estate Association online video with Chief Economist Cameron Muir discusses the September 2012 statistics.

    Report On BC Housing Strategy 2006-2012
    BC Government report on British Columbia’s Housing Strategy 2006 to 2012 provides updates on their six strategies: housing for the homeless; assistance for the most vulnerable; aboriginal housing needs; low income households access to rental housing; home ownership support; building & regulatory system modernization. (PDF)

    Housing Market Outlooks For Canada & Major Centres
    CMHC free Housing Market Outlook reports provide analysis needed to anticipate emerging trends in Canada's new home, resale and rental housing markets. They include forecasts for starts, prices, resales and listings. The Canada edition contains detailed national and provincial outlooks, summary forecasts for each major centre, a five year outlook on housing starts in the second quarter edition and a renovation outlook in the third quarter edition. Major Centre Housing Market Outlook reports provide complementary detail for each local market.

    Economic & Financial Market Outlook
    Royal Bank of Canada Economics Research says Canada’s economy is rumbling along and will likely pick up pace as temporary factors fade away and global growth prospects brighten. (PDF)

    Profile Of Condominiums In Canada 1981-2006
    CMHC report 2006 Census Housing Series: A Profile of Condominiums in Canada, 1981-2006, describes growth in the number of condominiums from 1981 to 2006 and reviews the market share of condominiums in different communities across Canada. It compares the demographic and household characteristics of condominium owners and other homeowners and examines condominium ownership trajectories of different generations. It also reviews factors that might account for the popularity of condominiums, focusing on ease of upkeep and cost differences relative to other owner-occupied dwellings. (PDF)

    2. Business Management

    Elimination Of HST In BC: Transitional Rules For Property & New Housing
    Canada Revenue Agency notice Elimination of the HST in British Columbia in 2013: Transitional Rules for Real Property Including New Housing, provides questions and answers that reflect the tax changes set out in the New Housing Transition Tax and Rebate Act.

    WorkSafe BC Premium Rates For 2013
    WorkSafe BC describes employer premium rates for 2013. The average base premium rate will increase by about five percent, which is the first base rate increase in nine years.

    New BC Limitation Act Comes Into Effect June 1, 2013
    BC Government Limitation Act, a new piece of provincial legislation that sets the amount of time people have to file civil lawsuits, will come into effect on June 1, 2013. This act will set out new limitation periods, including a single, two-year limitation period for most civil claims, such as those that involve personal injury. In addition, there will be an ultimate limitation period for legal matters that may not be discovered right away, in which case people will have up to 15 years to file most civil lawsuits.

    Turn Community Sales Centers Into Community Hang-Outs
    Builder magazine article describes how a developer used an on-site coffee house to interest buyers in their project.

    Overview On Course Of Construction Insurance
    Canadian Wood Council provides an overview on course of construction insurance. (PDF)

    35 Ways To Reduce Expenses Of Your Construction Firm
    Stevens Construction Institute lists 35 ways you can reduce expenses of your construction firm. (PDF)

    Position Contracts Replace Job Descriptions
    Remodeling Magazine article by Remodelers Advantage president Victoria Downing talks about using position contracts to help employees set goals as they come onboard and understand how their job works in conjunction with others in the company.

    Role Of Consultants On Construction Projects
    BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation describes the roles of the consultant on construction projects, and the consultant’s legal responsibilities. (PDF)

    Professional Practice Guidelines For Building Enclosure Engineering Services
    Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC online Professional Practice Guidelines For Building Enclosure Engineering Services set out the standards of practice that a building enclosure engineer (BEE) must generally follow and meet when providing building enclosure engineering services for building projects. (PDF)

    3. Building Design & Trends

    Winners Of 2012 BC Interior Design Awards Of Excellence
    Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia displays slide shows of the winning projects in their 2012 Awards of Excellence for interior design of residential and commercial projects.

    Multigenerational Living To Double According To Pulte Survey
    Builder Magazine says a PulteGroup survey shows that nearly a third of householders are expecting an adult child or aging parent to move in with them.

    Systems Built Housing 2012 Award Winners
    US National Association of Home Builders displays the winners of their 2012 Building Systems Council Awards for excellence in home designs and marketing materials for systems built housing.

    33 Stylish Home Offices
    HGTV Remodels online slide show presents 33 examples of home offices.

    Universal Design Goes Mainstream In Home Building
    Housing Zone says universal design is no longer an unfamiliar concept to home buyers, but they still need sound advice from builders on making their homes livable for as long as possible.

    Structured Parking Gets A Makeover
    Planting Acorns describes some parking structures that are becoming more inviting.

    3-D Printing for Automated Home Construction?
    Journal of Light Construction describes a presentation on how an entire house could theoretically be built in 24 hours using a giant 3-D printer.

    House Snaps Together Like A Toy
    Fast Company describes a house, built from sustainable wood and made using digital software, that is a kit of parts that took just six weeks to construct.

    What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

    Peter Simpson, President & CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association says: "BC Building Info is a credible source of concise, practical, easy accessible data that should definitely be explored."

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

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    Lateral Bracing Requirements In 2012 BC Building Code
    BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation describes the new lateral bracing requirements in the 2012 Part 9 BC Building Code. (PDF)

    2012 BC Code Change Seminars Throughout BC
    Building Officials Association of BC, AIBC, APEGBC, POABC, BC Building & Safety Standards Branch will be presenting a series of seminars throughout the province to introduce and highlight the significant changes found in the 2012 British Columbia Building Code. These one-day seminars, held in November & December, will include a general administrative overview of the building code, changes to Part 3 and Part 9, as well as Part 7 (plumbing) changes. Sessions take place in locations across B.C. from 8:30-5:00. (PDF)

    2012 Guideline Changes To OHS Regulation
    WorkSafe BC shows the 2012 new and updated guidelines for the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and Workers Compensation Act.

    Approved Certification Marks For Gas Appliances
    BC Safety Authority bulletin contains updated approved certification marks for gas appliances. (PDF)

    Common Venting Systems For Category III Or IV Gas Appliances
    BC Safety Authority bulletin Common Venting Systems For Category III Or IV Gas Appliances says CAN/CSA B149.1-10 prohibits common venting of these types of appliances, but describes how such appliances approved for common venting by a recognized certification agency and installed as a sealed combustion system will be considered. (PDF)

    CSA Standard For Accessible Design For Built Environment
    CSA new standard CSA B651-12 Accessible Design for the Built Environment contains technical requirements for making buildings and other facilities accessible to persons with a range of physical, sensory or cognitive disabilities.

    Fire Safety Design In Buildings
    Canadian Wood Council online guide Fire Safety Design In Buildings is a reference for applying the National Building Code of Canada fire safety requirements in building design. (PDF)

    Exposure Registry Program For BC
    WorkSafe BC has developed an Exposure Registry Program as a way for workers, employers, and others to register a worker’s exposure to a harmful substance at work.

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    Building Pressures & IAQ
    Building Science online slide show presentation describes issues and considerations for building pressures and indoor air quality. (PDF)

    Warm Floors & Thermal Performance
    Building Science Insight discusses issues and considerations for constructing warm floors over unheated spaces.

    Radiant Theory
    Healthy Heating describes 20 points every architect, engineer, contractor and their clients should know about radiant theory.

    Online Video Webinar On Advanced Framing
    Engineered Wood Association online webinar explains why advanced framing with 2 x 6 framing is one of the most cost-effective solutions for builders trying to balance energy and structural building code requirements. Builders who utilize advanced framing techniques can optimize framing material usage, reduce wood waste, and, with more wall cavity area, boost over-all wall insulation value while decreasing thermal bridging.

    Moisture & Structural Analysis For High Performance Hybrid Wall Assemblies
    US Department of Energy research report Moisture & Structural Analysis For High Performance Hybrid Wall Assemblies analyzes hybrid wall assemblies that are a combination of exterior insulation, diagonal metal strapping, and spray polyurethane foam, and leave room for cavity-fill insulation. These systems can provide effective thermal, air, moisture, and water barrier systems in one assembly and provide structure. (PDF)

    8 Steps To Better Ventilation In Existing Homes
    California Resave site describes 8 Steps to better ventilation in existing homes. It covers assessing the home, kitchen & bath ventilation, whole-building ventilation rate, whole-building ventilation type, control strategies, duct design, installation, and commissioning.

    All-Wood Podiums In Mid-Rise Construction
    Engineered Wood Association case study All-wood Podiums in Mid-rise Construction provides project summaries, design challenges and solutions, and highlights the economical, structural and sustainable benefits to building an all-wood podium design. Free site registration required.

    Overview Of Fiber Reinforced Concrete
    Foundation Performance online slide show presentation on Fiber Reinforced Concrete covers micro fiber applications in concrete, slab & pavement on grade construction, steel & macro fiber applications, and fiber acceptance criteria. (PDF)

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Quality Assurance Program For Floor Coverings
    Master Floor Covering Standards Institute & British Columbia Floor Covering Association have developed a Quality Assurance Program for the benefit of building owners and operators and design professionals.

    Rating Windows For Condensation Resistance
    Green Building Advisor describes how window shoppers are confused by the two rival methods for measuring condensation resistance.

    Preventing Legionella In Home Plumbing Systems
    Plumbing and Mechanical magazine says the risk of contracting Legionnaires' Disease from residential plumbing is rare, but some inexpensive measures can be taken to prevent it.

    Inefficient Hot Water Piping Layouts Waste Hot Water
    Green Building Advisor says it's time to change building code provisions that allow designers and plumbers to build homes that waste hot water.

    Wind & Perimeter Roof Flashing Uplift
    BC Building Envelope online slide show describes issues and considerations for roof perimeter flashing uplift due to wind. (PDF)

    Field Monitoring Of Continuously Insulated Wall Assemblies In Multi-Story Residential
    BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation describes results of structural and hygrothermal field monitoring of thick continuously insulated wall assemblies utilized in a multi-story residential building in Vancouver. (PDF)

    Keeping Commercial Buildings Dry
    Green Dream podcast with Lew Harriman, director of research at Mason-Grant and author of such books as The Dehumidification Handbook, Measured Home Performance, and ASHRAE Humidity Control Design Guide, talks about the problem of moisture in commercial buildings.

    Evaluating Stakeholder Concerns With 6 Storey Wood Frame Buildings & Fire Risk
    University of Fraser Valley research report Evaluating Stakeholder Concerns with Wood Frame Buildings and Fire Risk evaluates the key stakeholder concerns with the proposed Ontario Private Member's Bill 52, covering 6-storey wood frame buildings. Researchers examined concerns the buildings will present significantly greater risk to life and property than those currently allowed under the existing building code, and were unable to find evidence to substantiate these concerns. (PDF)

    Adhesives & Sealants For Fire Ratings In Low-Sloped Roofing Assemblies
    Adhesives & Sealants article Implications of Adhesives and Sealants for Fire Ratings in Low-Sloped Roofing Assemblies details several low-sloped related test methods and how and where they can be conducted. It discusses various codes that reference test methods and requirement levels that have been set, and includes a description of several test methods and codes required to meet the essential criteria for these roofing assemblies i.e. wind and fire.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    2012 BC Sustainable Homes Award Winners
    BC Homes magazine gives description of the nine BC home builders and renovators that were honoured with awards for their efforts in building and renovating sustainable, healthy, comfortable and energy efficient homes.

    Energy Star Homes Accounted For 26% Of New US Home Construction In 2011
    US Energy Information Administration says homes built to voluntary Energy Star specifications made up about 26% of all new homes constructed in the United States during 2011.

    120 Billion Square Feet Of Energy Efficient Housing Will Be Created Over Next Eight Years
    Pike Research study says energy efficient housing sector will expand rapidly over the remainder of the decade, growing from an annual market value of $14 billion in 2012 to almost $84 billion in 2020. More than 118 billion square feet of energy-efficient residential space will be created over that time period, the study concludes.

    Canadian New Home Labelling Programs
    Home Builder magazine article provides description of 10 new home label programs and 2 energy rating systems in Canada.

    How To Measure ROI Of LEED
    GreenBiz says owners considering LEED certification for their buildings often ask what level of financial return they can expect for their investment in green products and services. The challenge of calculating return on investment is lessened somewhat by the steady stream of reports analyzing the cost of LEED in new and existing buildings, and the financial payback.

    Free Environmental Impact Calculator App For Buildings
    Siemens free Environmental Impact Calculator app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad allows you to estimate your building’s baseline carbon footprint from purchased electricity, natural gas, and heating oil. In addition, you can measure the impact of energy efficiency improvements on an annual basis or throughout the length of the project term.

    Healthy Materials For Building
    Sustainable Architecture and Building magazine says there are many sources of indoor pollution, but often the materials used to make buildings are the root of the problem. This should raise a red flag for the design community to step back and say: we have a responsibility to the best of our ability to seek out and advocate for healthier, less harmful materials, and for manufactures to be transparent about material ingredients.

    Solar West 2012: Conference & Trade Show In Edmonton
    Canadian Solar Industries Association presents Solar West 2012 Conference & Trade Show in Edmonton on November 1st.

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    Choosing Windows
    BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation by RDH Building Engineering provides guidance on choosing windows by balancing U-values, solar heat gain, comfort, and energy. It covers thermal performance, choosing windows for energy and thermal performance, and multi-unit residential and commercial buildings. (PDF)

    BC Quality First Forced Air Guidelines
    Thermal Environmental Comfort Association provides Quality First Forced Air Guidelines that cover the process of sizing and installing a forced air system including heat loss/heat gain calculations, equipment selection and duct sizing, heat gain, heat pump selection, and low pressure duct tables.

    Predicting Twists In Pressure Treated Lumber
    Journal of Light Construction says looking at end grain patterns can help you see whether a piece of treated wood will twist in service.

    Finishing Options For Concrete Flooring
    Concrete Network describes finishing options for concrete flooring including staining, dyes and other topical colors, stenciling, polishing, metallic coatings, and garage floor coatings.

    A Deck Builder's Tool Kit
    Tools Of Trade describes some specialized deck builder's tools that boost productivity and quality.

    2012 Winners Of Lighting Products Competition
    Lighting for Tomorrow describes the winners of their 2012 Awards for solid state lighting and controls.

    Communications Are Transforming Smart Appliances
    Engineering and Technology magazine looks at the way communications are transforming smart washing machines, refrigerators, and cookers and explains how interaction is expanding their repertoire. The new capabilities, however, require consumers to balance convenience with privacy.

    Design Checklist For Standing Seam Metal Roofing
    Roofing Contractors Association article describes common problems with standing seam metal roofing and describes design and installation considerations to eliminate many of these problems. (PDF)

    9. Installation Procedures

    Best Practice For Working Safely In & Around Top Plates
    BC Construction Safety Alliance says there have been serious incidents involving falls from the top plate of residential houses resulting in severe injuries and fatalities among workers. Wanting to improve worker safety, these best practices describe alternative solutions to ensure work is not conducted while standing on the top plate, and pre-planning to identify the hazards and plan your work around these giving considerations to suitable work platforms. (PDF)

    Best Practice For Working With Concrete Fibre Board
    BC Construction Safety Association describes precautions that should be taken to help protect workers exposed to airborne silica levels from concrete fibre boards, also known as fibre cement board, Hardie Plank or Hardie Board. (PDF)

    Sealing Exterior Wood Before Painting
    Journal of Light Construction describes how a water-sealing wood preservative applied as the first coat can prolong the life of a paint job.

    Building A Modern Craftsman Staircase
    Fine Homebuilding online video describes how to build a modern craftsman staircase.

    Pictorial Guide For Installing Batt Installation Around Building Obstructions
    North American Insulation Manufacturers Association pictorial guide describes how to insulate around obstacles such as electrical boxes, recessed lighting, wires and cables, piping, exhaust fans and duct connectors. It shows insulating tips on cutting and fitting insulation batts into places like under stairways, around fireplaces, tubs and showers, and band joists and how to check for compression, gaps, voids or misalignments and more. (PDF)

    Pictorial Guide On Critical Details For Installing Batt Insulation
    North American Insulation Manufacturers Association online pictorial guide on installing batt insulation for attic hatches, ceilings with and without attics, roof decks, around ventilation baffles and chutes, and floors and knee walls with fiber glass and rock wool batt insulation. (PDF)

    Guidelines For Basement Insulation
    US Department of Energy online Measure Guideline: Basement Insulation Basics describes good practices for insulating basements in new and existing homes. (PDF)

    Drywalling Over Interior Foam Insulation On Crawlspace Walls
    Journal of Light Construction forum discusses how to finish a conditioned crawlspace when the local authority is requiring drywall over foam, and the practical way to install the rock in a crawlspace that is only a few feet high.

    10. Information Sources

    Roof Systems & Inspection Resources
    International Association of Certified Home Inspectors online resources on Mastering Roof Inspections cover information on systems and inspection of the five major steep-slope roof-covering materials, including: asphalt composition shingles; metal roofs; wood roofs; tile roofs; and slate roofs. In addition to covering defects from manufacturing, installation, and natural weathering, the articles also cover the accurate identification of wind and hail damage.

    Resource Site On Advanced Framing
    Engineered Wood Association provides information and resources on advanced framing.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    2012 Cold Climate HVAC Conference In Calgary
    ASHRAE 2012 Cold Climate HVAC Conference will be held in Calgary, November 12-12. Those interested in advancing the cold climate building industry can network with individuals from over 15 countries, review the papers describing the latest technology, and learn about the innovations in cold climate HVAC design.

    12. Education & Training

    Overview Of BC Apprenticeship & Programs
    Industry Training Authority of BC site provides online information on apprentices, trade programs, how to start, aboriginal people in trades, women in trades, immigrants in trades, youth in trades, and ITA Essential Skills.

    Safety Planning 101
    Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association seminar Safety Planning 101 will be held in Coquitlam on October 31. It will cover: Creating and maintaining safety programs that are appropriate for the size of your operations; Understanding what is required by law and regulation; Your customers role in health and safety; and Helpful resources and where to find them.

    Transitioning From HST To PST
    ICBA seminar Transitioning From HST To PST on October 31st in Burnaby will review the basics of the new (old) PST, including registration and filing requirements, how PST differs from HST, and important transitional issues dealing with the switch from a single HST to a combined GST + PST.

    Webinar On Adhesives & Sealants In Building & Construction 101
    Adhesives & sealants webinar Adhesives and Sealants in Building and Construction 101 on November 1 explores adhesives and sealants including residential, commercial and infrastructure segments. It covers adhesive and sealant types and technologies, applications that use them, current trends affecting the industry, new advances and opportunities for contractors, architects, engineers, product managers and manufacturers.

    Quality Floor Slab Construction
    ICBA course Quality Floor Slab Construction, held in Burnaby on November 21, provides best practices for the construction of quality concrete floor slabs, as well as practical tips to minimise defects and deliver good quality workmanship. (PDF)

    Wood Design Luncheon Conferences In BC
    In November, Woodworks is presenting Wood Design Luncheon Conferences in Kelowna, Victoria and Nanaimo. Experts are on hand with presentations in the areas of architecture, design and construction in wood. The seminars are tailored for the decision makers in the construction industry: architects, designers, engineers, technologists, builders, and building officials. Suppliers are also on hand with their exhibits to answer questions about wood.

    Glazing Systems for Buildings: Energy Performance & Structural Integrity
    APEGBC seminar Glazing Systems for Buildings: Energy Performance and Structural Integrity, held on November 28th in Vancouver, covers selection procedure for energy efficient windows in the context of overall energy performance of the building enclosure and techniques for assessing and reducing thermal bridges. Topics include tempered and heat strengthened glass, thermal bridging and U-values for windows, solar heat gain coefficients, energy rating systems, and thermal weight. The session will begin with a short introduction to the new Building Enclosure Practice Guidelines.

    Online Training For Workplace Risk Assessment & Control
    CSA webinar on November 28th covers CSA Z1002 standards for Occupational Health and Safety Hazards and Risks–Identification, Assessment, Elimination and Control.

    13. Computer, Internet & Fun

    Desktop & iPad Software Lets Users Carry Thousands of Site Plans
    Engineering News Record says users of a software package called Plan Grid 2.0 are saying they like it because of its ability to hold all versions of project plans and deliver each set quickly on a desktop computer or, importantly these days, an iPad.

    100 Tools, Tips & Tricks To Work More Efficiently Online
    Buffer describes 100 tools, tips and tricks to work more efficiently online.

    Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary
    From fresh-faced interns to top management, everyone drops one of these gems occasionally.

    Dittie For Today

    Happiness is good health and a bad memory. - Ingrid Bergman

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    © Copyright 2012               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada