Alert Notice #80
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
 May 14, 2013


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 John Nicol, Chris Mattock, Brian Hart, Wilma Leung, Monty Wood, Vanessa Joehl, Glenn Duxbury, Sabine Just, Sonja Winkelmann, Natalie Tarini, Dawn Smith, and Mary Hubbard 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

    New Fenestration Standard & 2012 BC Building Code
    BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation by RDH Building Engineering describes the new North American Fenestration Standard as it relates to the 2012 BC Building Code. It covers NAFS in building codes, new concepts in NAFS, specifying with NAFS, NAFS challenges, industry readiness, and conclusions. (PDF)

    1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

    BC Political Leaders Responses To Questions On Residential Construction
    BC Homes magazine summarizes what BC political party leaders said when asked to respond to six questions, outlining their positions on the establishment of a ministry for market housing, the Property Transfer Tax, mandatory licensing for new builders, a training-tax credit for residential-construction employers, apprentice hiring and affordable market housing.

    BC Housing Forecast 2nd Quarter May 2013
    BC Real Estate Association report Housing Forecast 2nd Quarter May 2013 says residential sales are forecast to edge up 1.9 per cent to 68,900 units this year, before increasing a further 6.5 per cent to 73,400 units in 2014.

    Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update May 2013
    Canadian Home Builders Association online Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update for May 2013 says Canadaís new home builders face an extended downturn in construction activity. Average housing starts over the past three months are down sharply from historically high levels, and are running well below average levels over the past. (PDF)

    Canadian New Housing Price Index, March†2013
    Statistics Canada online report says New Housing Price Index rose 0.1% in March, following a 0.2% increase in February. The month-over-month gains in the index have ranged from 0.1% to 0.3% for the past 12 months.

    Canadian Interest Rate Forecast April 2013
    Central 1 report says global growth is ebbing into second quarter, external and policy-induced slowing is occurring in Canada, Bank of Canada has downgraded economic outlook and maintains tightening bias, and no rate change projected until early 2015. (PDF)

    Review Of Trends In BC Union Density
    Business Council of BC report A Review of Trends in Union Density says an examination of the evolution of the position of trade unions in the overall labour market underscores the challenges facing the union movement in British Columbia and Canada as a whole. (PDF)

    Robots Making Home Building Process More Efficient
    Green Energy Futures describes how robots and innovation are making the home building process more efficient for the Landmark Group of Builders in Alberta.

    2. Business Management

    For Senior Home Buyers, Testimonials Do The Trick
    Builder Magazine describes how happy resident testimonials and glimpses of the good life help sell homes to older buyers.

    Standardized Scripting vs. Strategic Structure For Sales
    Avid Builder says like great actors, the art of dialogue becomes second-nature for effective salespeople.

    Transition Back To PST Is Proving Difficult For BC Contractors
    Journal of Commerce says for contractors in the BC construction industry, the transition back to the provincial sales tax is proving to be more confusing and difficult than expected.

    Tips To Improve Recruitment & Hiring Decisions
    Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses provides tips and resources for improving your recruitment and hiring decisions.

    Take Care When Terminating Your Employee
    Canadian Federation of Independent Business says if you are going to terminate an employee, there are important steps to complete. Some are tasks to meet your legal obligations as an employer. Others will help protect your firm from financial implications that might arise from the termination.

    Incorporation Kit For BC Companies
    Small Business BC sells this all inclusive kit with easy to follow instructions and all the legal forms needed to get you incorporated properly. It contains essential documents such as applications, incorporation agreements, set of articles, consents to act as a director, subscriptions for shares and share certificates; all the legal forms you need with completed samples and included templates on a CD-Rom. $99

    New BC Small Business Accord
    BC Small Business Accord contains a number of principles regarding critical issues for small business, including access to labour, streamlined regulation and opportunities for small business through government procurement.

    3. Building Design & Trends

    2013 Fine Homebuilding Readers Choice Houses Award Winners
    Fine Homebuilding describes houses that were winners of their 2013 Readers Choice Awards.

    Gallery Of Dining Rooms
    HGTV Remodels online slide show provides 42 examples of dining rooms.

    Examples Of Home Offices
    Builder Magazine online slide show provides examples of home offices that will fit just right whether youíre working with 10 square feet or 200.

    Remodeling Magazine: Make Bathrooms Safer, Easier To Use For All
    Remodeling magazine describes how some universal design concepts open a world of possible improvements to bathrooms.

    What Paint Sheen Should You Choose?
    HGTV Remodels says a paintís sheen will determine how reflective the surface will be. The higher the level of gloss in the paint, the more light will be reflected and the more vivid your paint color will appear. They provide this quick guide to the most popular sheens.

    What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

    Ross Power, President, Powerhouse Building Solutions Inc. says: "Nice to see your site is really coming along Ken. What a great job you've done with this!"

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

    4. Codes Standards & Regulations

    BC Code Grace Period For Windows, Doors & Skylights Extended To December 20th, 2013
    BOABC says the extension of the grace period for the application of NAFS-08 under Part 9 of the BC Building Code has been extended to December 19th, 2013. This means that windows, doors and skylights installed before December 20th, 2013 may conform to the 2006 code or to the 2012 code. The extension does not apply to Part 5 buildings.

    Canadian National Code Energy Efficiency Requirements For Housing & Small Buildings
    Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes provides online presentations on the energy efficiency requirements for housing and small buildings that have been incorporated into Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada 2010. They provide detailed overviews of the major technical changes.

    How To Deal With Vapor Barrier Code Edict
    Green Building Advisor provides a solution for when a local Canadian code inspector insists on an interior polyethylene vapor barrier.

    New BC OHS Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policies
    WorkSafe BC has approved three new OHS workplace bullying and harassment policies: Employer Duties; Worker Duties; Supervisor Duties. The new policies have been developed to clarify the obligations of employers, workers, and supervisors regarding preventing, where possible, or otherwise minimizing workplace bullying and harassment. These amendments will become effective November 1, 2013. (PDF)

    Canadian Standard For Occupational Health & Safety Training
    CSA standard Z1001 Occupational Health and Safety Training sets out how to provide consistent quality occupational health and safety training for workers, managers, and supervisors, as well as for health and safety committees and representatives.

    Canada May Introduce New Rules On Lead Content In Plumbing Products
    Plumbing & HVAC magazine says Canada will likely introduce new rules governing the lead content in plumbing products within the coming year. The changes will have a dramatic impact on contractors, wholesalers and manufacturers.

    ACR Standard For Assessment, Cleaning, Restoration Of HVAC Systems
    National Air Duct Cleaners Association developed their ACR Standard For Assessment, Cleaning, and Restoration of HVAC Systems that is an industry standard that establishes criteria for evaluating the cleanliness of HVAC system components, and for cleaning and restoring systems to a specific cleanliness level. Free registration required.

    New Standard For Installation Exterior Flush Fin Windows Over Existing Frame
    American Architectural Manufacturers Association recently updated AAMA 2410-13, Standard Practice for Installation of Windows with an Exterior Flush Fin Over an Existing Window Frame practice covers the installation of retrofit windows in detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories above-grade in height.

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    5. Building Science & Technology

    Holes & Leaks
    Building Science says to claim that something that has holes in it can act as a water control layer is a pretty interesting argument. It is both true and untrue.

    Building Science Climate Zones
    Energy Vanguard provides information on climate zone definitions and their applications.

    Is R-Value Dead As A Dodo?
    Green Building Advisor says the R-value of your insulation is just one number, and itís not enough to tell you everything you need to know about your wallís thermal performance.

    Overview Of PEX Piping
    Mechanical Business describes PEX pipe that is made from high-density polyethylene. In the manufacturing process, the molecules are cross-linked, which is what gave rise to the PEX name, polyethylene, cross(X)-linked.

    Soil Interaction Of Fibre Reinforced Concrete Floor Slabs On Grade
    University of New Brunswick study Soil Structure Interaction Of Fibre Reinforced Concrete Floor Slabs On Grade indicates that steel fibre reinforced concrete is effective as slab on grade reinforcement and can provide a slab with sufficient post-cracking strength to maintain slab integrity, which is comparable to that provided by welded wire fabric reinforcement. (PDF)

    Fatal Flaw In Advanced Framing
    Energy Vanguard says the fatal flaw in advanced framing, the recommendation for a single top plate, brings with it so much baggage that the trouble to adopt it greatly outweighs the benefit.

    Insulating Flat & Low-Slope Residential Roofs
    Green Building Advisor says that when insulating flat or low-slope residential roofs, unless youíre careful, your roof can end up with damp sheathing.

    Rain Control For High Performing Precast Concrete Building Enclosures
    Building Science guide Rain Control For High Performing Precast Concrete Building Enclosures reviews requirements for high performance enclosures as they apply to precast concrete, with special emphasis on the control of rainwater penetration.

    6. Building Performance Issues

    Ventilation Rates & Human Health
    Green Building Advisor says after researching existing data on the correlation between residential ventilation rates and occupant health, they have concluded that healthy-house advocates often overstate the advantages of high ventilation rates. At this point, we just donít have enough data to make health claims for high ventilation rates, and we need more research on this issue.

    Hidden Dangers In Air We Breathe
    Health Canal says Berkeley Lab researchers are working on new building standards after discovering previously unknown indoor air pollutants.

    Guidelines Of Health Based Ventilation
    Health Vent online slide show presentation describes Guidelines of Health Based Ventilation. The objective of the Health Vent project is to develop guidelines for health-based ventilation for non-industrial buildings in Europe taking into consideration energy efficiency requirements. (PDF)

    Elephant In The Room Is HVAC For High Performance Homes
    Energy Vanguard says for all the training and experience in envelope design, advanced framing and whole-house diagnostics, the home performance industry is largely unprepared to provide HVAC guidance. This is incredibly ironic considering that HVAC is by far the largest energy user in the home.

    Post-Occupancy Thermal Comfort Surveys
    Healthy Heating describes surveys that relate specifically to the occupants, and are performed to develop an accurate representation of the environmental conditions perceived by the occupants against those criteria defined by standards.

    Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump Comfort Evaluation
    US Department of Energy report Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump Comfort Evaluation analyzed field measurements that yielded several comfort-related observations. (PDF)

    Simplified Wall Bracing Method Streamlines Design
    Engineered Wood Association brochure Performance Walls: Simplified Bracing Method Streamlines Design, features a simple solution for wall bracing. The 6-page brochure provides simplified wall bracing design recommendations in four easy steps and compares design analysis for simplified wall bracing and traditional wall bracing methods. Free site registration required.

    Temperature Dependence Of R-values In Polyisocyanurate Roof Insulation
    Building Science Corporation study has found significant thermal performance differences between different manufacturers of polyisocyanurate insulation products and significant differences based on in-service temperature.

    Correcting Sagging Floor Joists
    Journal of Light Construction describes how to straighten out and support a sagging floor joist.

    7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

    Call For Entries For BC department G Awards For Residential Sustainability
    The department G Awards, presented by CHBA BC, celebrate and reward builders and renovators throughout the province whose passion for protecting the environment shines through in their residential construction projects. The 2013 Call for Entries phase is now open for submission. Projects built, developed, created and/or marketed for the period of September 1, 2011 to July 31, 2013 are eligible for the 2013 department G Awards.

    Market Report On BC's Green Building & Energy Efficiency Sector
    Globe Advisors online 2012 Market Report: BC's Green Building & Energy Efficiency Sector provides industry insights on job creation and investment promotion in BCís clean economy. It presents a range of opportunities for creating new jobs, attracting investment, and expanding positive synergies. (PDF)

    How To Sell A Green House
    Fine Homebuilding says if you want to market a green house successfully, one real-estate expert suggests dropping ambiguous wording and sell the steak, not the sizzle.

    Environmental Product Declarations For North American Wood Products
    Canadian Wood Council and American Wood Council have released four new environmental product declarations for North American wood products, including softwood lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, and glue-laminated lumber.

    Canada Green Building Council Announces Affordable Green Housing Program
    Canada Green Building Council is offering its new Affordable Green Housing Program, which will provide free green building registration and certification to charitable building projects.

    BC Building Energy & Resource Management Program
    Douglas College is now offering the Building Energy and Resource Management program, a two-semester program designed to provide you with the specific management skills, technical skills and critical thinking abilities to manage change in this constantly evolving world and to transfer that knowledge to others. While focused on traditional needs for energy management (HVAC and lighting conservation, heat flow, and utility rate structures), the BERM program will also expose students to principles of internal waste management programs (from paper to food), setting up transportation (carpool) programs, water conservation measures, understanding change management and GHG hidden in building materials.

    Straw Bale Construction Presentation In Victoria
    Alternative Solutions Resource initiative presents Straw Bale Building on June 8th, featuring Chris Magwood, one of the most experienced straw bale builders in North America. The session covers the application of straw bales as a building material, including: construction and operating costs; sustainability and performance; indoor air quality, and; how they meet or exceed the seismic, thermal and moisture requirements of the building code to produce functional and beautiful modern buildings.

    2013 Conference Presentations On Energy Audits & Ratings
    US Residential Energy Services Network provides access to presentations from the sessions at their recent 2013 RESNET Conference for energy auditors and raters.

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    8. Building Products & Suppliers

    Stunning Surfaces From KBIS 2013
    Builder Magazine describes nine surfacing products that stood out on the show floor during the recent 2013 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show.

    Review Of Lightweight Framing Nailers
    Tools of the Trade tested seven plastic-collation stick nailers that weigh less than 8 pounds (with an air fitting but no nails).

    Stud Lumber Shortage Predicted
    Wood Business says that according to a new report, as US new residential lumber demand more than triples from 2009 to 2017, lagging stud lumber output and capacity is expected to create huge supply chain dislocations with soaring prices as the outcome.

    5 Common Failures In Paints & Coatings
    Building Design & Construction describes 5 common failures in paints and coatings, and how to address them.

    Designing Mechanical Systems For Custom Homes
    Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor News describes how one contractor designs mechanical systems for new custom homes.

    Choosing HVAC Equipment For An Energy-Efficient Home
    Green Building Advisor says if youíre building a new green home, youíll find that most available furnaces and air conditioners are oversized. Also included are recommendations for equipment selection.

    Canadian Opportunity For High-Rise Wood Demonstration Projects
    Canadian Wood Council has issued a request for an Expression of Interest for Canadian developers, institutions, organizations and design teams willing to undertake an innovative approach to designing and building high-rise wood demonstration projects.

    Free Eco2 Wood Stain For Qualifying Community Projects
    The Sansin Corporation has announced that throughout 2013 they will give away their Sansin Eco2 wood stain to qualifying community projects across Canada and the US. The company is accepting applications from groups or communities that could use Sansinís help to beautify and rejuvenate a building or structure important to furthering the groupís mission. (PDF)

    9. Installation Procedures

    EIFS Practice Manual
    EIFS Council of Canada developed the EIFS Practice Manual, a user guide for EIFS industry professionals. It is provided at no cost to all interested parties involved with EIFS.

    Sidewall Shingle Finishes & Coatings
    Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau bulletin describes considerations for finishes and coatings on sidewall shingles. (PDF)

    Bending Copper Chimney Flashing
    Fine Homebuilding describes how to bend copper chimney flashing.

    Gypsum-Board Firewalls
    Journal of Light Construction describes how gypsum-board area separation walls can perform as well as masonry, and can be assembled by carpenters.

    Insulating & Air Sealing Attic Sprinklers
    US Department of Energy Measure Guideline: Insulating and Air Sealing Attic Sprinklers describes the best practices for freeze protection of ceiling sprinkler applications in vented attics. (PDF)

    Control Of Heat Pumps With Radiant
    PM Engineer describes simple control strategies for heat pumps with radiant heating and cooling.

    Using Recycled Concrete As Sub-Base
    Journal of Light Construction describes how crushed recycled concrete can be an acceptable, or even superior, material when used as a compacted sub-base under new driveways or patios.

    Refurbishing Old Double-Hung Windows
    Fine Homebuilding articles on refurbishing old double-hung windows include Part One on sizing sash weights, replacing sash cords, and lubricating pulleys. Part two describes what to do if sashes are swollen or out of square, lack weatherstripping or have built-up paint that could could cause them to stick or bind.

    10. Information Sources

    New Magazine Of BC Window & Door Industry
    Fenestration West is the official magazine of the Fenestration Association of BC. It provides information and resources relative to Western Canadaís industrial, commercial, institutional and residential market, including window and door manufacturing.

    Online Guides For Insulating Walls & Components
    Building America Solution Center online guides describe considerations and procedures for insulating walls and wall components.

    Online Videos On HVAC Industry, Systems & Procedures
    Air Conditioning Contractors of America online videos provide information on HVAC industry, systems and procedures.

    Top 100 Construction Sites On The Web
    Construction Management Degree shares their choice of the top 100 construction sites on the web including those with information on home building, green construction, architecture, engineering, construction, materials & design, and business & marketing.

    Online Presentations From 2013 Building America Technical Update Meeting
    US Department of Energy provides online access to presentations on high performance homes and technology from the 2013 Technical Update meeting of the Building America program. The presentations cover eight key critical questions including retrofitting, ventilation for multi and single family, electric homes, HVAC, air distribution, modeling, and heat pump water heaters.

    11. Conferences & Shows

    Annual Meeting & Conference For Canadian HVAC Industry
    Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada annual industry meetings and conference will be held in Vancouver Aug 21-24, offering networking and educational opportunities.

    12. Education & Training

    Successful Interviewing Workshop
    ICBA presents Successful Interviewing Workshop in Burnaby on June 20th. The half-day workshop explores necessary tasks before, during and after the interview to make the process effective, including creating a job description, screening applications, creating interview questions, conducting the interview, evaluating the interview, legal obligations to consider, plus more. (PDF)

    Online Training Program For First Level Supervisors
    Construction Sector Council online course First Level Supervisor Training Program is for foremen and supervisors or workers who want to become first level supervisors. It offers the critical basic skills and concepts needed to supervise a crew in the residential, institutional/commercial, industrial, and civil construction sectors.

    Online Course On Mechanical Ventilation With ASHRAE 62.2-2010
    Energy Logic online Course On Mechanical Ventilation With ASHRAE 62.2-2010 describes how to comply with the ASHRAE standard. It will teach you to size the system, choose the system, install the system, test the system, and document the system. The course will provide you with all the knowledge, spreadsheets and forms that you need.

    Online Courses For Hearth Industry
    Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association, through its Education Foundation, offers online courses on a wide range of topics related to doing business in the hearth industry. Course fees apply.

    13. Computer, Internet & Fun

    Mobile Apps For Construction Industry
    Contractors Apps provides mobile apps for the construction industry including Tradies, a mobile office tool for construction and trades providing quick and easy Site Diaries/Dailies, Variations/Change Orders, Request For Information, Invoicing Quoting, Purchase Orders, Tender Requests, Site Instructions, Subcontract Agreements.

    App Creates Real-Time 360-Degree Jobsite Panoramas
    Engineering News Record describes a new app available for 99 cents that allows a smart phone to capture a 360-degree picture that includes data a receiving phone needs to recreate the view, which can be helpful on construction jobsites.

    Test Your Hand & Eye Coordination
    Line Game relies on your hand and eye coordination and proves I have only a few of those skills. As you move your mouse, and the line, remember that keeping the cursor in one spot slows down the movement. Go for it!

    Dittie For Today: On Success

    The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate. - Thomas J. Watson

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    © Copyright 2013              Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved

    ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada