Alert Notice #8
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 July 9, 2008


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

Thanks to our advertisers, these Alert Notices come to you free.  Check out what they offer. 

  Safestar Products

  Interactive Living Inc.


Passing The Depression Tests...With Help From Ice Cream, Blues, And Views

It was supposed to be a very simple, enjoyable day - a little getaway in celebration of my good buddy's recent accomplishments. So much for the best-laid plans of mice and men!

As I've previously babbled, one of my best friends has been on the road to recovery from depression. His road, like most, has its fair share of smooth pavement and challenging potholes. But from my perspective he's been making wonderful progress. So why not celebrate? Being the trusting soul he is, he not-too-hesitantly accepted my request to kidnap him for a day. My sales pitch was pretty simple: get together for a bit of babble; head off on a gravel run (small-town back-home term for driving around with no particular destination in mind); and take in a local blues jam session. Little did we realize the tests that were about to unfold?

It was late morning and he'd just called to say he was leaving home to ride over to my place. A few minutes later he called again. This time to tell me he couldn't ride over, because his motorcycle had a flat tire. The tests had begun! As I arrived at his digs to help solve this minor-in-my-mind challenge, I found the ol' weathered warrior standing beside his bike, with an aura of melancholy surrounding him. He had just paid hundreds of dollars to get Black Betty all tuned up for some good riding this long weekend...and now a flat! "Not to worry" I said, "Surely we can quickly get this fixed and be on our way." However, after visits to the only two tire shops in our little burg, we found out a bike shop must repair the flat as the whole wheel and drive train assembly had to be removed. Plan B, here we come.

We eventually managed to inflate his tire in hopes he could ride to the bike shop. This worked...for a while. But as I cautiously followed him down the highway, my optimism slowly began to deflate in direct proportion to his tire, which was soon flat again. As he gingerly rode into the nearby service station, his frustration was on the rise again. Doing our best to maintain a positive attitude, we created Plan C. Although a tow truck would be expensive, at least it would get us there. Or would it? More doubts arose as the dispatcher informed us it would take at least 3 - 4 hours before their "special" truck could get to us...and the bike shop would be closing in just over 4 hours. Knowing the pressure was rising; we decided it was time to inject a diversion. We bought some ice cream, sat by the riverside, and began to joke about this comedy of errors. Good we did, because it was not over yet.

The tow truck finally arrived at 4:30, leaving only a 30-minute window to load the bike and high-tail it to the bike shop before closing time. Alas, amid this time-driven stress, my portly ol' pal proceeded to fall off the truck, injuring his shoulder and hands. He suffered through this test quite well, even suggesting the newfound pain helped take his mind off his hurting teeth (which is a whole other story). Then off we sped, nervously following the tow truck, all the while praying the bike would not fall off and the shop would still be open. Prayer #1 was answered, as his beloved Black Betty held steady. Prayer #2 however looked lost, as upon our arrival all lights were out in the shop. But then my Bud noticed someone inside and immediately scurried around the building, knocking on each and every door. When he finally found a saviour to let him in, he rushed back to the tow truck. The last test was the hardest, at least on me.

I'm sure my heart skipped one very big beat when I saw him short of breath, grabbing hold of his chest, and a strange look of fear crossing his face. What to do? Being the ever-sensitive dude I am, I blurted out "Oh no Bro, don't die now, we've just made it!" Slowly, from somewhere deep down inside himself, he managed to find enough fortitude to fake a wee smile. Fortunately he was OK, and peace returned as my visions of him having "the big one" faded. A little while later, after he was rested and his bike was safe in the shop, we proceeded to do the only two things that these lifelong buds could think of.

First, we looked each other square in the eye and broke out laughing, big time. Second, we headed off to the blues bar where we listened to some great tunes, feasted, and joyfully recounted my pal's ability to pass his most recent depression tests. Plus, we also managed to finish off our gravel run with a trip up to an awesome mountaintop view of the entire Lower Mainland on a beautiful summer's night. At day's end, when all was said and done, we still considered our day a celebration. And we were both incredibly grateful for the assistance of ice cream, blues, and views.

My thanks to Mark Gauvin, Mila Djuras, John Chepil, Aliya Tejani, and Wilma Leung for their comments, tips and resources. Here's hoping you find some value in this newsletter issue.

Have a "Top Drawer" day.

Ken Farrish

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

Number Of Site Visitors Climbing
OK, so it's not too likely that Yahoo and Google are going to get worried about competition from the new BC Building Info site. But in our mind things are going quite well. After only six months from its formal launch date, this BC-focused industry site is now getting over 4,000 unique visitors per month. We thank each and every one of you who have provided input and resources, and look forward to improving this "work in progress".

Directory Topics With New Links Added
These Topics in our Directory now have many new links added:
Types Of Buildings
Heat Pumps > Geoexchange

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

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************

The Ultimate in Water Purification Systems
Bottled water, water coolers, jug filters and one-faucet under-the-sink filters are now a thing of the past. Families can now have crystal clear, purified water containing essential minerals to maintain healthy bodies from every faucet in the home…even through a “Water Advisory”!

GE Homespring Central Water Purification System offers you an innovative, natural and efficient technology from GE’s ZENON Membrane Solutions. Developed by people who have led the way in advanced water filtration products for more than 25 years, ZENON Membrane Solutions has received numerous awards for its innovative technology and environmental awareness.

GE Homespring is installed at the point where water enters the house, providing unlimited, purified water from every faucet in the home, all without taking up storage space. Virtually maintenance free, the system self cleans daily using its own purified water. The system is designed for unlimited purified water supply.

Using existing water pressure, the Ultrafiltration system provides a continuous supply of microbiologically purified water for a family’s needs. It uses a chemical-free, advanced physical barrier so bacteria, viruses and cysts are blocked out and flushed away; leaving naturally dissolved healthy minerals in water.

For more information, contact us today at 604-535-2030 or Toll Free at 888-747-7788

Learn more about SafeStar Products here…


1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Bob Rennie Presentation On 2008 BC Housing Trends & Market
Urban Development Institute Pacific Region speech by Bob Rennie in May 2008 discusses BC housing trends and current inventories, effects of US housing crisis, upcoming Olympics, and more. (PDF)

Fraser Valley Market Shifts To Favour Buyers
Recent sales data from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service indicates that the Fraser Valley real estate market is changing to favour the buyer. Sales continue to decrease and benchmark prices for residential homes in most Fraser Valley communities are moderating, in some areas trending down slightly since March.

Research Paper On BC Market Housing Demand & Labour Supply
BC Homeowner Protection Office research paper Homes in 2026: Who Will Buy Them & Who Will Build Them, outlines changing forces affecting market housing demand and labour supply in the BC residential construction industry. (PDF)

Anatomy Of A Meltdown: The Credit Crisis & US Housing Market Collapse
Washington Post published what it calls the first comprehensive narrative explaining the recent US housing market collapse. This series breaks new ground in describing what happened between high-level officials at the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury and on Capitol Hill behind closed doors.

2. Business Management

Compliance Orders Issued For Those Contravening BC Homeowner Protection Act
BC Homeowner Protection office lists recent compliance orders issued to individuals and companies who have built and or sold homes in contravention of the BC Homeowner Protection Act.

Property Assessment For BC Construction Projects
Clark Wilson article describes why property taxes for new developments are more difficult to accurately forecast, and legal issues around how a BC project will be assessed & taxed while under construction.

New Canadian Law Requires Real Estate Agents To Verify Buyer & Seller ID
Canadian Real Estate Association bulletin describes new federal laws and regulations dealing with money laundering and anti-terrorist financing that go into effect June 23rd, 2008. These require real estate agents and brokers to collect and verify more personal information from buyers and sellers, and track the source of funds received during the course of a real estate transaction. (PDF)

Charging For Estimates
Journal of Light Construction article profiles a dozen contractors who say charging for estimates has improved their client base and saved them countless lost hours.

3. Building Design & Trends

Architectural Walking Tours Of Vancouver & Victoria
Architectural Institute of BC 2008 Architectural Walking Tours offer a unique glimpse into the rich history and dynamic contemporary landscape of Vancouver and Victoria. The guided tours, open to the public, run throughout July and August.

Give Boomers Lifestyle In Their New Homes
US National Association of Home Builders article says the Boomer-savvy builder will find ways to demonstrate that they understand their buyer, and offer the lifestyle that cannot be matched in their current residence.

Coordinating Indoor & Outdoor Spaces
Moen newsletter article describes how to create a seamless flow between inside and outside spaces, while making color, texture, form and design seem as effortless as possible.

US Award Winners For Livable Community Design
Co-sponsored by AARP and US NAHB, the Livable Communities Awards recognize builders, developers, and remodelers who build homes and communities with accessible features that improve everyday comfort, safety and personal independence for those who live in them.

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

BC Building Regulatory System Modernization Strategy
BC Office of Housing and Construction Standards is implementing the Modernization Strategy for the building safety regulatory system. It includes information management and system performance, liability and risk, competency, consistent code application, as well as consistent code compliance and enforcement processes.

Canadian Building Officials Develop National Certification
Alliance of Canadian Building Officials' Associations provides building officials with a national body to develop nationally recognized education and certification standards and programs.

NRCan Wants Standards For Combo Space & DHW Heating Systems
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating bulletin says Natural Resources Canada would like to create a performance standard & test method for combo heating systems, classified as any combination of space and domestic hot water appliances.

Summary Of Canadian Housing Research Activities
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction summarizes NRC-IRC research, code development, and technical activities relevant to builders, and summarizes NRC-IRC's Internet and publications resources for builders. The report covers activities carried out during the 2007 calendar year.

*************************************************Advertisement *************************************************


5. Building Science & Technology

Free Newsletter On Building Science Information & Resources
Building Science Corporation now offers a free e-mail newsletter with the latest in information and resources from Dr. Joe Lstiburek, Dr. John Straube, and their building science team. Just enter your e-mail address on the left side of the page.

Drainage, Holes & Moderation To Prevent Leaks
Building Science digest says drainage of water is key to preventing building leaks. Pressure equalization, if applied at all, is for joints and not for entire wall assemblies. Claddings should be drained, and ventilated if you must. Joints in insulated glazing units, windows, precast panels, and window & connections can be pressure equalized but should be drained.

6. Building Performance Issues

Drywall, Wood & Truss Uplift Problems & Solutions
Building Science report on drywall, wood and truss uplift provides information on concerns and recommendations for solutions, along with detail drawings.

Crawlspace Ventilation & Moisture Issues When Floors Above Are Insulated
ASHRAE article be Dr. Joe Lstiburek describes moisture issues that may arise in crawlspaces when the floors above are insulated. (PDF)

Using Home Automation For Accessible Housing
CMHC guide describes how home automation systems can control lighting, appliances, telephones, and home security to help create living spaces that are convenient and energy efficient, minimize potential for accidents, and result in a house that is able to adapt to life changes.

Remediation Of Contaminted Sites
Remediation Technologies Symposium offers complete online versions of all of the PowerPoint presentations from previous RemTech symposiums from 2002, covering contaminated sites, soil, and groundwater remediation.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Mortgage Loan Insurance Refund For Energy Efficient Houses
CMHC is offering a 10% CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium refund and extended amortization periods of up to 40 years without surcharge when CMHC insured financing is used to purchase an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations.

US Best Practice Guidelines & Resources For Green Remodeling
Regreen, from American Society of Interior Designers Foundation and US Green Building Council, offers case studies, product checklists, best practice guidelines, and educational resources for sustainable residential remodeling projects.

Proposal To Include Net Zero Building Policy In BC Municipalities & Codes
City of Dawson Creek has passed a resolution proposing the Union of BC Municipalities encourage community scale net zero energy housing and incorporate net zero energy standards in the building code. (PDF)

New BC Carbon Tax On Fossil Fuels
BC Government outlines the new carbon tax, implemented on July 1, covering fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, natural gas, heating fuel, propane and coal.

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************

Looking For Products That Meet BC Rainscreen Code Requirements?

           PowerWood can supply you with a wide range of tested and proven building envelope and            rainscreen products including:
  • For Stone & Masonry: Sure Cavity SM
  • For Stucco, Siding and Shingles: Driwall
  • Commercial Grade Building Wrap: Typar

  • Find out more about PowerWood rainscreen products…


    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    BC PST Exemptions For Work Related Safety Equipment
    Workers Compensation Board of BC provides information on PST exemptions that as of February 20th cover all work-related safety equipment and protective clothing designed to be worn by or attached to a worker providing it meets provincial work safety legislation and is purchased by an employer for use by his/her employees, or purchased by a self-employed person.

    Professional Builder List Of 100 Best New Products
    Professional Builder magazine editors identified the 100 Best New Products that were introduced in the last year. Categories include construction equipment and tools; windows; structural, insulation and housewrap; software; paints, caulks and sealants; mllwork & molding; mechanical & electrical; interiors; doors; exteriors.

    2008 Trends In Kitchen & Bath Design and Products
    Qualified Remodeler magazine describes some key trends in kitchen & bath design and products for 2008. Included are colour is king, changing view of storage, stronger connection to the outdoors, rise of practical and function-based choices, and the power of granite and quartz.

    List Of Qualified Canadian Tile Setters
    Terrazzo, Tile & Marble Association of Canada lists, by province, its members who are qualified tile setters. Included are addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail contact information.

    Class Action Settlement For Carrier Brands Of Furnaces
    Furnace Claims site provides information on the class action settlement for high efficiency gas furnaces in Canada. Carrier brands had defects in the secondary heat exchangers of its high efficiency gas furnaces. The Class includes anyone who owns a Carrier 90+% high efficiency condensing gas furnace made and sold since January 1, 1989 under the brand names Carrier, Bryant, Payne, and Day & Night.

    9. Installation Procedures

    Online Handbook For Gypsum Construction
    USG Gypsum online Construction Handbook describes best practices for Drywall & Veneer Plaster Construction, Conventional Lath & Plaster Construction, Suspended Acoustical Ceiling Systems, and General Construction.

    Overview Of Advanced Framing
    Online slide show presentation by Dr. Joseph Lstiburek describes concept, benefits, procedures, and systems for advanced framing, as a way of using less stuff better. (PDF)

    Prescriptive Guide For Residential Deck Construction
    American Wood Council online Prescriptive Residential Deck Design Guide provides details, span tables, guardrail requirements, and other provisions for constructing a residential deck in accordance with the International Residential Code. It also contains recommended good practices for deck construction that are not specifically code requirements. (PDF)

    Installing Decorative Sidewall Shingling
    Journal of Light Construction online slide show on decorative shingling describes how to spice up a sidewall shingle job with a simple geometric pattern - the basic diamond.

    10. Conferences & Shows

    2008 Remodeling Show
    US National Association of Home Builders annual Remodelers Show offers education sessions, networking opportunities, trade show, and more. This year it is being held September 10 - 12 in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Call For Entry For 2008 Georgie Awards
    Canadian Home Builders Association of BC has announced the Call for Entries for the 2008 Georgie Awards. Some changes have been made to a few categories, and all details are outlined in this document. (PDF)

    11. Education & Training

    BC Seminar On Employment Standards Act
    Independent Contractors & Businesses Association of BC seminar Employment Standards Act Refresher-Forewarned is Forearmed, held on July 16th, provides a refresher on the Employment Standards Act and rules for employment practices in your office and in the field. (PDF)

    New Video Conferencing Facilities In BC Municipalities
    Small Business BC has 15 new video conferencing facilities in communities throughout BC including Cranbrook, Penticton, Smithers, Dawson Creek, Prince George, Victoria, Kamloops, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Nanaimo, Surrey, Fort St. John, Prince Rupert, and Vernon. These sites offer easier access to business training and development programs necessary to build a small business.

    Certified Construction Product Representative Program For Sales Reps
    Construction Specifications Institute offers the Certified Construction Product Representative Program which includes training in in-depth understanding of the overall construction process and ability in the principles of effective product representation.

    12. Computer, Internet & Fun

    Free Online File Converter
    Zamzar free online service allows you convert files from one format into another. There are a variety of image, document, audio, and video formats available to choose from.

    Free Online Creation, Collaboration, and Sharing
    Stixy makes it fun and easy for you to collaborate online. Create tasks, appointments, files, photos, notes, and bookmarks organized in whatever way make sense to you. Then share these with friends, family, and colleagues.

    Cruzin The Avenue: Cars We Drove In The 50s & 60s
    32 Deuce Coupe, 40 ford, duals, beach boys, johhny bond, ray peterson, rip chords, ronny & daytonas, ford, chevy, cadillac, drag races, car shows, moon hubcaps, suicide knobs, laker pipes, hot rods, hot rod movies, hot rod clubs - Nuff said!

    13. Industry Survey

    Today's Survey:   

    Are you taking a holiday this summer?

    Are you planning on taking a personal and/or family holiday, or at least some time off for yourself, during the summer months?

    Yes, I am definitely taking some time off
    No, I'm too busy for a holiday
    What's a holiday?

    Last Survey: Is our BC housing market slowing down?

    • 75% Said: Yes
    • 25% Said: No

    Thanks for your participation

    Ditty For Today

    Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be. - Clementine Paddleford

    Quick Links

    Subscription Info

    © Copyright 2008               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada