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My thanks to Mark Gauvin, Wilma Leung, Jamie Rose, Aaron Wise, Sabine Just, Ryan Coleman, Rob Dumont, Jim Cory, Louise Dunne, Martha Pena, Maureen McLaughlin, Glenn Duxbury, Sharene Rekow, Loie Trill, Jack Parsons, Anthony Silvestri, Bob Daley, George Pinch, and Andrew Lake for their comments, tips, and resources. I hope you find at least a wee bit of value in this newsletter.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ken's Top Pick
2012 Canadian Housing Observer Review Of Housing Conditions & Trends In Canada
CMHC 2012 Canadian Housing Observer presents a detailed review of housing conditions and trends in Canada and of key factors behind them. It examines the state of housing at national, provincial/territorial, and metropolitan levels, and discusses influences on housing demand, current market developments, housing finance, housing affordability, and other topics.
BC Home Owner Grant Threshold Rises
BC Government says more than one million home owners in British Columbia may be eligible to receive the entire Home Owner Grant again this year as the Province is increasing the threshold for the Home Owners Grant to keep pace with rising property value assessments.
BC Mortgage Rate Forecast December 2012
BC Real Estate Association mortgage rate forecast of December 2012 says Canadian mortgage rates have held steady since the end of the second quarter, and they anticipate they will continue to do so over the next year.(PDF)
Provincial Outlook December 2012
Royal Bank of Canada monthly provincial economic update says transitory disruptions affected growth in 2012 and these unanticipated developments have altered the outlook for the affected provinces as they enter 2013. (PDF)
Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update January 2013
Canadian Home Builders Association online Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update for January 2013 says economic uncertainty has risen to an uncomfortable level and risk management will be an important issue this winter for Canadaís new home builders and renovators. (PDF)
2013 Canadian Construction Forecast
On-site Magazine examines what 2013 might mean for the construction industry, and what topics and issues could have the greatest effect on the industry, including the different challenges and opportunities that will come from Canadaís various regions.
7 Top Trend Caveats For 2013 Luxury & Affluent Market
Residential Pros says for remodelers and builders whose target market is the affluent and upscale, the American Affluence Research Center cautions not to be unduly influenced by coming-year predictions about this demographic.
Booming Business Opportunity With Boomers
Multi-Housing News says leading-Edge Boomers will not settle gracefully into quiet retirement and move into traditional seniors housing communities for years, if they ever do.
Creating Communities Where Baby Boomers Want To Live
Builder Magazine says for baby boomer buyers who are hurtling toward the last stages of their lives with a fear of loneliness, their children out of the nest, and the prospect of leisure time around the corner, the idea of moving somewhere with a vibrant community, where they can imagine living, not dying, might be the surest way to sell them a house.
Builder Information Requirements For GST Transition Period
Canada Revenue Agency Info Sheet: Elimination of the HST in British Columbia, Builder Information Requirements for the Transition Period explains the written information that a vendor (including a builder or an agent of the builder) must provide to a purchaser of new housing, or an interest in such housing, in B.C. where a written agreement of purchase and sale for the housing or interest is entered into on or after February 17, 2012 and before April 1, 2015.
Changes To Employment Insurance In January 2013
Service Canada describes the new Employment Insurance (EI) maximum and premium rates that will come into effect on January 1, 2013. The changes will see the annual maximum insurable earnings increase to $47,400 from the existing $45,900, which will increase the maximum weekly EI benefit rate to $501 from $485, among other changes.
Completion Issues & Builders Liens
Construction Business magazine article says the BC Builders Lien Act treats completion, whether it be the substantial completion of a contract or subcontract or the completion of an improvement, as a critical trigger for the commencement of lien filing and holdback release periods. The current version of the Act introduced new provisions which helped to clarify the criteria applicable to identifying the achievement of the completion milestone. However, those provisions did not end all uncertainty concerning the tests for completion, and in fact gave rise to some new questions as to how they operate in relation to each other.
Housing For Older Canadians
CMHC series of guides Housing for Older Canadians was developed to address the housing needs of Canadians aged 55 and older and is intended for developers, project sponsors and industry stakeholders. The three online volumes include Understanding the Market, Responding to the Market, and Planning the Project.
Calgary Productivity Project Wins New Life With Industry Funding
Journal of Commerce describes how several general contractors are making a significant financial contribution to support a unique research project at the University of Calgary, which develops innovative tools and best practices to improve construction productivity.
Sharpening Your Website for 2013
Builder Magazine provides some ideas, gleaned from website design and development professionals, to make your website one of the sharpest tools in your box.
Lennar Launches myLennar iPad App
Building Online describes how Lennar Corporation, one of the US's leading homebuilders, provides their myLennar iPad App that is not just a new home search tool, it is an application that guides the consumer through the new home process, evolving with them, as they shop for, purchase and eventually own their Lennar home.
Construction Cost Cheat Sheet For Remodeling Clients
Remodeling Magazine describes a cheat sheet that helps establish a protocol for discussing a realistic budget with remodeling clients.
Colour Forecasts For 2013
Custom Home magazine says colour forecasts for 2013 run the range from jewel-toned emerald to pastel green-blue to tropical blue and just a squeeze of lemon.
10 Top Design Trends Of 2012
Builder magazine took a look back on 2012 design trends and describes what they thought were the top 10 most impressive.
Top 10 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends For 2012
HGTV Remodels displays their top 10 kitchen & bath design trends for 2012 that include fixtures, finishes, materials, color palettes, technology, shapes, focal points and overall geometry that talented designers factor into their plans.
Pictures Of Interior Design
Dering Hall has an online database of pictures of various types of interior design, searchable by style and section of house.
Density, Accessibility, Neighborhood Amenities Define Community Design Trends
American Institute of Architects says as the US housing market improves, households look for simplicity and affordability in home styles.
Finalists Of 2013 Best Of 50+ Housing Awards
US National Association of Home Builders lists the finalists in their 50+ Housing Awards program, with links to their projects. The awards program honors excellence in building, design and marketing of housing for boomers and beyond.
2013 Wood Design Awards Call For Nominations
Wood Works BC has issued the call for nominations for their 2013 Wood Design Awards, with a deadline of January 25. Various categories honour the creators of new projects that push the limits of wood design in structures that demonstrate excellence in the use of wood. Winning projects showcase the special qualities of wood such as strength, durability, beauty, versatility and cost-effectiveness. Credit is given to the complete project team, including the architect(s), engineer(s), contractor(s), client(s) and all primary consultants.
Videos On BIM, Value & Cost Of Implementation
Construction Business online videos discuss the uptake rate of BIM in the Canadian construction industry and what needs to be done to accelerate adoption, benefits of BIM to the construction and architecture industries, and the challenges in adopting this new technology.
What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?
Richard Kadulski, Architect, and publisher of Solplan Review says;
"BC Building Info is a neat and concise source of information. Lots of useful information that is technically sound."
Please feel free to let others know about BC Building Info.
Overview Of North American Fenestration Standards & 2012 BC Building Code
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation Windows, Doors, Skylights: BOABC: North American Fenestration Standards & 2012 BC Building Code covers introduction to Fenestration Association of BC, industry readiness to meet NAFS challenge, new concepts in NAFS, enforcing NAFS and what you should know about labels, and working towards more effective code compliance. (Large PDF)
Revisions & Errata For Canadian National Construction Codes
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction now has free downloadable versions of revisions and errata for the National Building Code, Fire Code, and Plumbing Code.
Federal Commission Says No To Building Code Changes For Wildfire-Prone Areas
Canadian Press says a federal commission has rejected proposals to change Canadaís national construction codes to better protect communities from destructive wildfires. The changes would have required builders in areas prone to forest fires to use less flammable building materials, to space buildings farther apart and to keep them clear of trees and vegetation.
Proposed Changes To Canadian Energy Star Standards For Fenestration Products
Natural Resources Canada describes proposed changes to the Energy Star technical specification for fenestration products, with a proposed effective date for these changes of March 1, 2014.
Accreditation Criteria For Building Departments In BC
Building Officials Association of BC document outlines requirements for obtaining and maintaining International Accreditation Service accreditation of governmental entities responsible for enforcement of the Building Code and other enactments related to Health, Safety, and Accessibility for persons with disabilities, fire protection of buildings and facilities as well as other enactments relating to enhancing the quality of life within their jurisdictions, such as fire, zoning or traffic laws. (PDF)
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Spray Polyurethane Foam For Building Enclosures
Building Science online slide show presentation Spray Polyurethane Foam for Building Enclosures describes design and installation considerations for various types of wall systems and applications. (Large PDF)
Overview Of Spray Foam Insulation
EcoHome Magazine describes what to look for in spray foam insulation to crank up the performance of your homes.
Product Options For Insulating Stud Cavities In Existing Homes
Green Building Advisor article provides description of five wall insulation options for existing homes including loose cellulose, dense-packed cellulose, loose blown-in fiberglass, dense-packed fiberglass, and injection foam.
Historical View Of Why We Ventilate
ASHRAE BC online slide show presentation by Dr. Max Sherman from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides an historical view of why we ventilate. (PDF)
Why We Ventilate
ASHRAE BC online slide show presentation by Dr. Max Sherman from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory covers what ventilation is, what IAQ is, functions ventilation provide, how much we need and why, how ventilation standards should be made, and role of ventilation in buildings. (PDF)
Types Of Mechanical Ventilation
Green Building Advisor says options for mechanical ventilation include an exhaust-only system, a central-fan-integrated supply system, an HRV, and an energy-recovery ventilator. It describes the design criteria that each system achieves.
Mutifamily Ventilation Retrofit Strategies
Building Science Corporation report Multifamily Ventilation Retrofit Strategies describes a series of field tests on ventilation systems they installed in a mid-rise, multifamily affordable housing project that was undergoing a major energy audit and retrofit. (PDF)
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)
High-R Walls For Remodeling: Wall Cavity Moisture Monitoring
US Department Of Energy report High-R Walls for Remodeling: Wall Cavity Moisture Monitoring focuses on the performance of wall systems, and in particular, the moisture characteristics inside the wall cavity and in the wood sheathing. While this research initially addresses new home construction, the goal is to address potential moisture issues in wall cavities of existing homes when insulation and air sealing improvements are made. (PDF)
Lateral Performance Of Roof Truss-To-Wall Connections
US Forest Products Laboratory report Evaluation of the Lateral Performance of Roof Truss-to-Wall Connections in Light-Frame Wood Systems benchmarked the performance of traditional roof systems and incrementally improved roof-to-wall systems with the goal of developing connection solutions that are optimized for performance and constructability. (PDF)
Universal Design For Kitchens
For Residential Pros describes a few simple tips that can help create a kitchen that is functional for every user, and that follows universal design guidelines.
US Healthy Housing Reference Manual
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online Healthy Housing Reference Manual provides information and resources on all aspects of healthy housing.
Field Evaluation Of Occupants Use Of Programmable Thermostats
US Department of Energy study Field Evaluation of Programmable Thermostats found that only people with a strong motivation to save energy or money or both can benefit from energy saving features of programmable thermostats. The rest of the population is likely to use them to maintain a comfortable temperature in their houses. (PDF)
Human Thermal Model For Improved Thermal Comfort
Human Thermal Model is a new technique developed by Senior Scientist Riikka Holopainen from VTT in her doctoral thesis, which can be used to design and create optimal indoor environments for low-energy buildings. One of the novelties of the method is the fact that it allows scientists to measure how different solutions are likely to affect human thermal comfort and the energy efficiency of buildings at the design stage. (PDF)
Predicting Energy Use & Operation Cost Of HVAC Air Filters With VAV
UBC student research report Predicting the Energy Use and Operation Cost of HVAC Air Filters Under Variable-Air-Volume Operation developed a model that allows for accurate comparisons of the energy use and operation cost of different filtration solutions using knowledge from existing filter testing. (PDF)
Test Method For IAQ Impact Of HRV & ERV
National Research Council of Canada describes a test method for evaluation of IAQ impact of balanced residential ventilation devices that incorporate heat recovery ventilation and/or enthalpy recovery ventilation. (PDF)
Overview Of BC Government's Energy Efficiency Measures
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation on BC Government's Energy Efficiency Measures covers why energy efficiency?, policies and regulations, market transformation approach, regulated energy efficiency standards for windows and glazing assemblies, evaluation and impacts, Fenestration BC model specification, and energy rating study. (PDF)
BC Online Home Energy Calculators For DHW, HVAC, Appliances
FortisBC provides online access to home energy calculators for DHW, HVAC, and appliances. The Energy Comparison Tool lets you calculate your home energy costs for water heating and space heating and cooling, and then compare the cost difference between natural gas, oil, propane and electricity. The appliance cost tool identifies the approximate annual energy cost for a variety of home appliances, lighting, water heating and space heating and/or air conditioning systems including natural gas and electricity.
New Green Products
Builder Magazine archives their articles and slide shows on new green products.
Contractor Guide to Developing an Environmental Program
Associated General Contractors online Contractor Guide to Developing an Environmental Program will help companies work up a defined management structure and set of processes intended to address the impacts of an organizationís activities, products and services on the environment as well as the organizationís environmental compliance responsibilities. (PDF)
How To Measure Social Sustainability Of New Housing Developments
Berkeley Group report How To Measure Social Sustainability Of New Housing Developments defines a framework which defines social sustainability and how you measure it. It provides developers and planners with a way to prove they can deliver a lot more than housing, and can help to create strong communities which offer people a great quality of life, now and in the future. (PDF)
Practices & Processes Of Leading High Performance Home Builders In US Upper Midwest
US Department of Energy report Practices and Processes of Leading High Performance Home Builders in the Upper Midwest provides insight into the business, sales, and construction processes of successful high performance builders. (PDF)
Net Zero Energy Home Coalition Industry Implementation Plan
Net Zero Energy Home Coalition's approach is to work with those who are already leading the way and making it happen, as well as those who have the desire and willingness to try. They deserve recognition for their success, support for their efforts, and help to make their jobs easier. This plan outlines where the NZEH Coalition will start, who we need to work with, and the subsequent priorities. (PDF)
Northwest Home Performance Conference 2013
Affordable Comfort Inc. presents the ACI Northwest Home Performance Conference 2013, which will be held in Seattle February 5-6. It offers leading educational and networking events in home performance and weatherization.
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Recall Of LG Top-Loading Washing Machines
Health Canada recall involves two models of LG branded top-loading washing machines manufactured between April 2010 and November 2011. An unbalanced load can cause the washing machine to shake excessively and the drum to come loose during use, posing a risk of injury to consumers and property damage to the surrounding area.
Top 10 High-Design Products From 2012
Builder Magazine describes their 2012 picks for high-style products that are a valuable asset for every target market.
Adhesives & Sealants For Asphalt Shingle Roofing Systems
Adhesives article describes issues and considerations for adhesives and sealants for asphalt shingle roofing systems.
Concrete Pavers For Sidewalks & Walkways
Concrete Network describes the benefits of using concrete pavers for a walkway and offers installation and maintenance tips.
Innovative Tool Carriers
Tools Of The Trade describes nine of the best tool carriers for transporting and organizing your gear.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Lightweight Concrete
Structure magazine describes advantages and disadvantages of lightweight concrete in building construction. Despite the moisture-related challenges that lightweight concrete poses, properly designed and constructed lightweight concrete floor slabs offer a number of efficiencies over normal-weight concrete slabs that project teams should consider.
Are HRVs Cost-Effective?
Green Building Advisor says compared to a simple exhaust fan, a heat-recovery ventilator saves energy but it probably wonít save enough to justify the high cost of the equipment.
Monitoring Results Of Ground Source Heat Pumps With Integrated DHW
US Department of Energy report Residential Ground Source Heat Pumps with Integrated Domestic Hot Water Generation: Performance Results from Long-Term Monitoring describes how a ground source heat pump desuperheater can potentially reduce energy consumption where the heat pump from the space conditioning system creates hot water. It discusses instrumentation methods and field operation characteristics of the GSHPs, compares manufacturers' values of the coefficients of performance calculated from field measured data for the two GSHPs, and compares the measured efficiency of the desuperheater system to other domestic hot water systems. (PDF)
2012 Status Report On Home Energy Management
Greentech Media 2012 Status Report On Home Energy Management says progress is slow and steady in the home energy management and connected home industry. Companies with solid analytics that can offer immediate savings to utilities without having to spend too much saw progress in 2012. But the internet of things just hasnít quite made it to the average home.
How To Pour Concrete Walls
Concrete Network provides a step-by-step guide to pouring concrete walls.
How To Pour A Solid, Well-Insulated Garage Slab
Fine Homebuilding describes how to pour a rock-solid, well-insulated garage slab.
Supporting A New Slab Next To Existing Foundation
Journal of Light Construction describes effective ways to support a new slab poured adjacent to an existing basement.
How To Make Popcorn Ceiling Patch Repair
Online video from Home Additions Plus demonstrates how to make a popcorn ceiling patch repair with off the shelf repair products.
Drywall Orientation In Tall Rooms
Journal of Light Construction describes why drywall orientation should be horizontal in tall rooms.
Think Permanent Heat For Drying Gypsum On The Job
Buildipedia describes how temperature management on the job is an essential part of maintaining an efficient interior drywall finishing process.
How Replacing A Furnace Can Make You Less Comfortable
Energy Vanguard says if you're getting a new furnace, ask the HVAC companies you get bids from how they're planning to size the new system.
Keeping Floors Damage-Free During Remodeling
Remodeling Magazine describes a technique using rosin paper, foam, and Masonite that avoids damage to client's existing floors during a remodeling project.
Site-Made Door Hanging Jigs
Journal of Light Construction describes site-made jigs that can streamline door hanging with speed and accuracy. (PDF)
Resource Site On BC Property Assessments
BC Assessment provides information on property assessments on an annual basis for all property owners in the province.
Online Videos On Installing Batt Insulation
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association online videos describe proper installation of fibreglass and rock wool batt insulation. Topics include pre-insulation walk-through, insulating tips from the pros, and insulation inspection.
Survive & Thrive In Building: Fundamentals of Business Management
Survive and Thrive in Building: Fundamentals of Business Management covers basic but essential knowledge for running a successful company. $36 USD
Purchasable Book On The Accessible Home
Taunton Press sells The Accessible Home: Designing for All Ages & Abilities. Architect and universal design expert Deborah Pierce describes how to transform an existing house into a home that works for all, whether an aging parent or a friend in a wheelchair. $28 USD
Purchasable Hydronics Know How II CD Or DVD
BNP Media sells the Hydronics Know How II CD that contains all the columns and articles John Siegenthaler has written for Plumbing & Mechanical and PM Engineer magazines. IT contains over 200 articles and columns covering everything from heat loss to hydraulic separation. $99 USD
Profiles Of Unusual Buildings Of The World
Unusual Architecture collects and displays profiles of the most unusual, strange, weird and crazy buildings of our world.
BC Log & Timber Building Industry Conference
BC Log & Timber Building Association will hold its 2013 Industry Conference & Trade Show in Chase, February 1-3.
Concrete & Masonry Industry Trade Show
World of Concrete, the annual international event dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries, will be held in Las Vegas February 5-8. Featuring indoor and outdoor exhibits with suppliers showcasing innovative products and technologies, demonstrations and competitions, and many education programs.
Georgie Awards Celebrate Excellence In BC Home Building
The Georgie Awards of the Canadian Home Builders Association of BC will be held in Vancouver on February 23rd. This residential construction awards program highlights and celebrates excellence in home building.
BC Home & Garden Show
BC Home & Garden show takes place at the BC Place stadium, February 20-24. Top celebrity experts and over 425 exhibitors will display the latest in new products for the home.
BC Real Estate Convention 2013
BC Real Estate Convention will be Held at the Vancouver Convention Centre March 13-14. It offers free admission to its showcasings of the BC real estate market and industry, suppliers of products and services, seminar speakers, and opportunities in the real estate market.
Vancouver Real Estate Forum
Vancouver Real Estate Forum, help April 6th, is an annual conference on real estate investment and management issues. It covers key issues and challenges facing real estate investors, developers, asset managers, brokers and other professionals active in every facet of commercial, industrial, residential and investment real estate.
Asbestos Awareness Seminar For Renovators
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association presents the Asbestos Awareness Seminar in Coquitlam on January 24th. The half-day seminar has been customized for workers engaging in home renovations who may encounter asbestos-containing material, hazards and exposure during their required work activities in the field.
Finding & Keeping Top Talent In Construction Teams
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Finding and Keeping Top Talent in Construction Teams will be presented in Vancouver on January 22nd. It covers how to create an engaged and productive workforce, practical and adaptable skills to help retain field-staff, and how to support the career paths of team members.
Real Estate Panel 2013: Western Canadian Urban Development
Vancouver Board of Trade annual Real Estate Panel on January 22nd explores the theme of Western Canadian Urban Development. This discussion will provide insights into the current climate, key challenges, and forecasted trends for the real estate sector in Vancouver and across the West Coast.
CHBA FV Educational Forum & Tradeshow
Canadian Home Builders Association of the Fraser Valley annual Educational Forum & Trade Show will be held in Abbotsford January 29th, 2013. It provides education sessions, product displays, and networking opportunities for builders, renovators, professionals, government agencies & representatives, trades, and suppliers.
Course On Fundamentals Of Lighting
Illuminating Engineering Society of BC 3-day course on Fundamentals of Lighting will be held in Burnaby in February. It covers vision, colour, design guide, light sources, photometry, calculations, interior lighting applications and exterior lighting applications.
Leading People to Peak Performance
ICBA course Leading People to Peak Performance will be held in Burnaby, February 7-8. It provides practical learning experience that is essential for all supervisors and managers who are striving to bring the best out of their people. (PDF)
Building Smart With Roofs
BC Building Envelope Council half-day workshop Building Smart with Roofs will be held in Vancouver on February 2st.1 It will focus on roof system design and installation best practices for wood-frame single and multi-unit residential buildings.
Free Course On English For Construction Trades
MOSAIC offers a free English for Construction Trades course to help immigrant workers improve their ability to fit in and get ahead in construction trades.
20 Best Mobile Productivity Apps Of 2012
Practical eCommerce lists their best mobile productivity apps of 2012. There are apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. All of these apps are either new or major updates, and nearly all are free.
5 Reasons Google+ Is Worth It For Small Businesses
Small Business Trends describes five ways small businesses can get started or leverage Google+ in their day-to-day business.
How's This For A DIY Mobile Office?
The 35-year-old driver of this car was pulled over for doing 130 kmh in a 100 kmh zone. When police got to the car they saw a mobile office setup that at least one of the officers felt compelled to share with the rest of the world.
Dittie For Today: On Differences
There are two kinds of people in the world: the Givers and the Takers.
The difference between the two is that the Takers eat well, and the Givers sleep well. - Joy Mills
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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada