Alert Notice #86
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
September 16, 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 Zana Gordon, Wayne Stevens, Wilma Leung, Catherine Elhinney, Jessica Carter, Charlotte Davis, Sabine Just, Richard Kelsey, Bob MacKie, Christine Cunnick, Nancy Argyle, Robyn Kauppila, Louise Dunne, Glenn Duxbury and Caren Dymond 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

Online Tool For Selecting Efficient Windows
Efficient Windows Collaborative online Window Selection Tool will take you through a series of design conditions pertaining to your design and location. It is a step-by-step decision-making tool to help determine the most energy efficient window for your house.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Vancouver Housing Outlook Conference 2013
CMHC presents their 19th Annual Vancouver Housing Outlook Conference on November 1st. It will cover B.C.’s economic outlook and Metro Vancouver’s 2014 new home, rental, and resale housing market forecasts.

UDI State Of Market Research Report For Second Quarter 2013
Urban Development Institute report State of the Market Quarterly Publication for the second quarter of 2013 provides a comprehensive analysis of key macro-economic and market indicators with specific relevance to the Metro Vancouver housing market. (PDF)

BC Economic Briefing On Housing August 2013
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Economic Briefing of September 13 highlights housing starts, and residential and non-residential building permits. (PDF)

Mortgage Rate Forecast September 2013
BC Real Estate Association Mortgage Rate Forecast September 2013 says rapidly rising Canadian bond yields and limitations on mortgage back security issuance are the primary factors driving mortgage rates in the third quarter. (PDF)

Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update September 2013
Canadian Home Builders Association online Canadian Housing Industry Economic Update for September 2013 says Canada’s new home builders and renovators face a combination of a sluggish economy and rising mortgage rates as they head into the fall selling season. (PDF)

Technology Is Changing How Homes Are Built
Builder Magazine online video featuring principle research scientist Andrew McAfee from MIT explains how technological innovations affect the housing industry during his keynote presentation 'Race Against the Machine' at the Housing Leadership Summit.

2. Business Management

Strategies For Communicating With Stressed-Out Couples
Fine Homebuilding says most pitfalls in dealing with stressed-out homeowner couples can be avoided with a good communication plan.

Life Cycle Costing To Be Key Benchmark for Smart Building Industry
Environmental Leader says industry insiders agree that the use and adoption of life cycle costing as a prerequisite for building technology purchases will be a key benchmark for the future, according to a Frost & Sullivan and Continental Automated Building Association study.

Major Victory For Small Business As EI Rates Frozen
Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says federal finance minister has announced a three-year freeze in Employment Insurance premiums for both employers and employees. The change represents a savings of up to $340 next year for a small business employing 10 employees.

Free Online Construction Safety Videos
WorkSafe BC offers construction safety videos that can be viewed online, downloaded, or ordered on physical media.

Fall Prevention On Residential Construction Sites
Professional Safety magazine identifies different solutions to overcome fall protection obstacles like safe and feasible points to anchor a harness being unavailable during certain stages of home construction, resistance to changing work habits or the lack of time, knowledge and financial resources to implement changes. (PDF)

Police Launch Program To Reduce Theft Of Heavy Equipment
Edmonton Journal says police will be giving away paint that's hard to get off and markers with ink that shows up under ultraviolet light, and they want contractors to tattoo their equipment (skid steers and the like) that could be driven away by thieves.

Augmented Reality Goes Mainstream: 12 Applications For Design & Construction Firms
Building Design & Constructions says thanks to inexpensive mobile devices and increasingly advanced software apps, building teams are finally able to bring their BIM models to life on the job site.

Building Towards A Sustainable Cloud
Constructech says for some builders the idea of migrating key applications, including scheduling, project management, estimating, and more, to a cloud-based environment certainly has its advantages. But with such a move there are also some essential questions builders need to be asking their technology partners to ensure it is a smooth and sustainable transition.

How To Attract, Hire, Retain Employees In Construction Industry
In this podcast, Scott Sayers, president of Sayers and Associates, talks about different topics on the best way to attract, hire and retain employees in the construction industry.

3. Building Design & Trends

Production Builders Break Out Of The Box
Builder Magazine says by providing what most appeals to buyers, standardized construction can edge closer to custom and maintain a moderate price tag.

Combating Narrow-Lot Design Woes
Housing Zone describes a 2,800-square-foot plan that utilizes lean design to combat narrow-lot woes.

Great Outdoors For Small Lots
Builder Magazine describes how to make the outdoor space the heart of a small-lot plan to create homes that live bigger and sell better.

15 Charming Porches
HGTV Remodels displays porches with inviting focal points and picture-perfect design features.

Art & Science Of Multifamily Color Choices
Multi-Housing News says as successful multifamily investors already know, interior and exterior color choices have much to do with how an apartment asset is received by renters in the marketplace.

Online Roof Savings Calculator
Roof Savings Calculator was developed as an industry-consensus roof savings calculator for commercial and residential buildings using whole-building energy simulations. It is built upon the DOE-2.1E engine for fast energy simulation and integrates AtticSim for advanced modeling of modern attic and cool roofing technologies. An annual simulation of hour-by-hour performance is calculated for the building properties provided based on weather data for the selected location.

Building Envelope Design Guide For Large Buildings
National Institute of Building Sciences developed this comprehensive guide for exterior envelope design and construction for institutional and office buildings.

The World’s First 3D-Printed House
Info-Link describes some recent research and advancements that may lead to the world’s first 3D-printed house.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Jo Fritz, President of Team Fritz Clay Roof Tiles says: “Keep up the good work, we are always looking forward to your e-mails. I know it is a lot of work.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Receive E-mail Notifications Of BC Building Code Revisions
BC Codes site allows you to sign up to BC Codes Notifications to receive e-mail notifications of BC Building Code errata and revisions.

Clarification Of BC Code Requirements For Manufactured Windows, Doors, Skylights
BC Building and Safety Standards Branch bulletin provides some clarification of requirements of the 2012 BC Building Code for manufactured windows, doors and skylights. (PDF)

BC Fall 2013 Ventilation Code Public Review
In April 2013, the Province of British Columbia adopted the National Building Code amendments for energy efficiency in housing. These amendments will become effective on December 19, 2014. To support the new amendments, the province is proposing new ventilation requirements that would address reduced infiltration of fresh air into energy efficient housing. As part of that process, you are invited to take part in a public review by learning about what is being considered and completing a brief, related survey being conducted by the Building & Safety Standards Branch.

Recruiting BC Technology Advisory Committee Members
Are you looking for an opportunity to contribute expertise to your industry in a positive and meaningful way? Consider becoming a member of one of the BC Safety Authority Technology Advisory Committees, Boilers, Pressure Vessels and Refrigeration, Electrical Equipment and Systems, Gas Appliances and Systems, or Elevating Devices.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Water And Walls
Building Science says walls can be designed to dry to the outside or to the inside or to both sides. Lots of choices, lots of possibilities. What you do depends on where you are and what you are building with.

Trenchless Excavation
Journal of Light Construction describes how a horizontal boring machine can solve tough drainage problems without damage to the landscaping. Free site registration required.

Overview Of Home Heating Systems
US Department of Energy describes various technologies and systems that are available for heating your house.

Why Radiant Is Greenest Of Green Comfort Delivery Technologies
Reeves Journal says radiant heating provides the best alignment of the three invisible comfort-determination factors of mean radiant temperature, air temperature and relative humidity.

Balanced Ventilation Systems (HRVs & ERVs)
Building Science describes features, benefits and considerations for balanced ventilation systems (HRVs and ERVs).

Electric Energy Management In The Smart Home
US Department of Energy report Electric Energy Management in the Smart Home: Perspectives on Enabling Technologies and Consumer Behavior presents a discussion of the state-of-the-art in electricity management in smart homes, the various enabling technologies that will accelerate this concept, and topics around consumer behavior with respect to energy usage.

6. Building Performance Issues

Lead-Free Certification Marks For Drinking Water System & Plumbing Materials
US Environmental Agency document How to Identify Lead-Free Certification Marks for Drinking Water System & Plumbing Materials provides tips for identifying lead-free certification marks.

Home Builder's Guide To Coastal Construction
US Federal Emergency Management Agency online Home Builder's Guide to Coastal Construction fact sheets provide technical guidance and recommendations concerning the construction of coastal residential buildings with improved performance in floods and wind forces.

Fixing A Bowed Basement Wall
Journal of Light Construction suggests a solution for repairing and buttressing a concrete basement wall that bulged and cracked during backfilling.

Online Guide On How To Build Radon-Resistant Homes
US EPA online guide Building Radon Out, provides step-by-step directions on how to build radon-resistant homes. (PDF)

Researchers Prove Carbon Monoxide Penetrates Gypsum Wallboard
Building Online says a study shows that carbon monoxide from external sources can easily penetrate gypsum wallboard (drywall) commonly used in apartments and houses, potentially exposing people indoors to the toxic, odorless, tasteless gas within minutes.

Glass & Glazing On Tall Towers, Is It All It's Cracked Up To Be?
RDH Building Engineering bulletin Glass & Glazing On Tall Towers: Is it all it's Cracked Up to Be? says insulating glazing units are one of the most valued components on a building from a comfort and enjoyment perspective. They are also one of the largest assets requiring cyclical renewals. (PDF)

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Builder's Balanced Approach To Energy Upgrades
Builder magazine says homebuyers shopping in Denver’s huge Stapleton development know they’re going to get an energy-efficient home because that’s all the master developer will allow. But Wonderland Homes is betting that its continued success in Stapleton depends on not taking energy efficiency too far.

Built Green Canada Harmonizes Delivery Model In BC
Built Green Canada will maintain its working relationship with department G, Canadian Home Builders Association British Columbia as the sole service provider of Built Green Program delivery in the province. However, this market will now open up to include alternate Service Organizations to work within this model.

Overview Of Thermographic Inspections
US Department of Energy describes how auditors may use thermography, or infrared scanning, to detect thermal defects and air leakage in building envelopes.

Small-Scale Biomass District Heating Guide
Community Energy Association of BC online Small-scale Biomass District Heating Guide is written primarily for local governments and First Nations elected officials and staff to support an active local government and band role in the development of clean energy and a green economy. (PDF)

Illustrated Guide To Community Energy
The Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning at UBC created the Illustrated Guide to Community Energy. It reveals how local involvement in community energy systems can promote more sustainable and secure energy futures, while reducing carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. It's main purpose is to assist municipal leaders and citizens in learning about energy options, stimulate discussion about energy choices and inspire using visual demonstrations of community energy scenarios.

Integrated Community Energy Solutions Progress Report For BC 2013
Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow online report Integrated Community Energy Solutions Progress Report for BC provides a brief overview of momentum across BC related to energy at the community level, taking an integrated approach across the silos of Land Use and Community; Housing and Buildings; Local Community Services, Transportation, Energy Supply and Distribution, and Industry. (PDF)

Living Building Project Tours
International Living Future Institute & Cascadia Green Building Council offers Living Building Challenge Project Tours of UniverCity Daycare Centre and VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre on September 29th.

Solar West 2013: Conference & Trade Show
Canadian Solar Industries Association presents Solar West 2013 Conference & Trade Show in Calgary, October 3-4.

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Gienow High Performance Windows can serve your specific needs

By choosing Gienow windows that meet ENERGY STAR performance levels, your customers will reduce their energy costs, help protect the environment, and enjoy increased comfort in all seasons. Gienow offers SOL-R® glass that has a transparent coating which acts as a shield from heat and cold, blocks ultra-violet rays, and provides thermal insulation.
8. Building Products & Suppliers

101 Best New Products Of 2012-2013
Remodeler Magazine describes what it considers to be the 101 Best New Products of 2012-2013.

Concrete Driveways Costs
Concrete Network provides an overview of concrete driveway costs and basic price ranges.

4 Insider Tips For Choosing Flashing Tapes
Building Green report says while it’s true that there aren’t any industry standards for testing tapes in dirty, wet, or cold conditions, a research and field engineer says that doesn’t mean manufacturers are ignoring the issue.

Fiber Glass & Mineral Wool Insulation Are Engineered To Perform
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association bulletin Fiber Glass & Mineral Wool Insulation, Engineered to Outperform provides information on the performance, installation, productivity, versatility, manufacturing and installation safety, and lifecycle sustainability of fiber glass and mineral wool insulation for homes. (PDF)

Purchasable Report On How To Select Windows
Building Green report Better Window Decisions: Mastering the Performance and Cost Options describes how to find the right balance among seven key decision drivers, including energy and comfort performance, cost, aesthetics, durability, and more. $127 USD

Comparing 10 Year Costs Of Tankless vs Tank vs HPWH For Large Custom Home
Fine Homebuilding describes a builders comparison of 10-Year cost estimates of tankless vs tank vs heat pump water heater for a large custom home in an area with hard water.

Mechanical Insulation Design Guide
Whole Building Design Guide online Mechanical Insulation Design Guide provides a comprehensive source of information on the performance, use, testing and standardization of mechanical insulation in buildings and industrial facilities.

R & D Roadmap For Geothermal Heat Pumps
US Department of Energy online Research and Development Roadmap: Geothermal (Ground-Source) Heat Pumps Roadmap identifies potential activities and technical innovations that may enable substantial improvements in residential and commercial Geothermal Heat Pumps installed cost and/or efficiency. (PDF)

9. Installation Procedures

Installing Manufactured Stairs
Journal of Light Construction describes how to install factory-built stairs that can help you control costs, stay on schedule, and improve quality. Free site registration required.

How To Cut A Prehung Exterior Door To Custom Height
Fine Homebuilding online video shows why you don't have to order an expensive custom door if your rough opening is a non-standard size. Buy a stock door instead and make it fit.

How To Install A Foundation Drain
Green Building Advisor discusses whether or not it really makes a difference whether the perforated drain pipe goes on top of the footing or beside the footing.

10-Step Process Of Stamped Concrete
Stamped Concrete describes ten steps for stamping patios, pool decks, driveways and more.

Birdsmouths In Rafters Are Worthwhile
Journal of Light Construction explains why the conventional birdsmouth rafter seat cut is still a good way to frame.

How To Patch Holes In Housewrap
Fine Homebuilding online video tip shows how to patch housewrap that will mechanically shed any water that gets under your siding so you don't have to rely solely on adhesive tape.

Thou Shalt Commission Thy Ducts
Green Building Advisor says if you don’t commission new HVAC systems in high-performance homes, you’re gambling with callbacks.

Working With Flooded HVAC Equipment
Mechanical Business article provides some tips on working with HVAC equipment in homes that have been flooded.

10. Information Sources

Summer 2013 Edition Of Fenestration West Magazine
Fenestration BC online Summer 2013 Edition Of Fenestration West Magazine contains articles on new windows for old MURBs, Vancouver's magic number 1.4, side-hinged doors meet NAFS-08, project profile, inside the test lab, reglazing 18 storeys, and more. (PDF)

Ask An Adhesives Expert
Adhesives site allows you to access and dialogue with hundreds of experts in their Ask an Expert forum. You can get answers to questions about applications, materials, fastening and bonding methods, and your specific needs.

Online Presentations From Automated Buildings Association
Continental Automated Buildings Association provides online presentations on various automated building topics.

Canadian Construction Resources Initiative Council
Construction Resource Initiatives Council is a non-profit, non-partisan building industry led organization, founded to create an integrated body of knowledge and drive change in the way we view and deal with building resources and waste.

11. Conferences & Shows

BC Business Summit: Building Prosperity Through A Competitive Economy
Business Council of British Columbia will hold the inaugural BC Business Summit: Building Prosperity through a Competitive Economy, in Vancouver, November Nov 12-13. It will bring together industry, governments, First Nations and other community leaders to explore pressing economic issues of competitiveness, trade, human capital, natural resource development, infrastructure and transportation.

Buildings XII: Thermal Performance Of Exterior Envelopes Of Whole Buildings
The twelfth international conference on Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings, sponsored by BETEC, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers and organized by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will be held December 1-5 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Construct Canada 2013: Construction Exposition & Conference
Construct Canada a construction exposition and conference held jointly with PM Expo, DesignTrends, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, and Concrete Canada, will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from December 4-6.

12. Education & Training

ITA Announces New Apprenticeship Advisors
BC Industry Training Authority has announced additional support to improve apprenticeship continuation and completion rates through the introduction of Apprenticeship Advisors. (PDF)

Employment Law 101 Workshop
GVHBA workshop Employment Law 101, Practical Tips for Contracts and Limiting Liability will be held in Coquitlam on September 24th. It will cover best practices for hiring, contracts, understanding obligations set in the Employment Standards Act, and termination.

Construction Safety for Supervisors (Gold Seal Certified)
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Construction Safety for Supervisors (Gold Seal Certified) will be held in Burnaby, September 26-27. The course assists in familiarizing participants with WorkSafe regulations and Certificate of Recognition audit requirements. The participants will also build practical skills for supervising construction worksites, conducting toolbox talks, providing health and safety training, conducting regular safety inspections, doing safety investigations where an accident occurs and designing a safety manual.

Basics of Business Development in the A/E/C Marketplace
Canadian Society for Marketing Professional Services presents Basics of Business Development in the A/E/C Marketplace in Vancouver on September 26th. Led by seasoned, active A/E/C practitioners with responsibility for bottom-line contractual results, this program will provide you with the skills and tools to build more business for your firm in any economy.

Sewerage Seminars Around BC
BC Ministry of Health, APEGBC, and ASTTBC are offering a pair of sessions at locations across BC for practitioners and professionals working with onsite sewerage systems. The morning session will feature a 3-hour seminar on the APEGBC Professional Practice Guidelines for Onsite Sewerage Systems. This will be followed by a 5-hour afternoon session on the Consultation Draft Version 3 of the Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual. The sessions will be held in Nanaimo, Nelson, Kamloops, Prince George, and Langley.

NCI Charrette System Certificate
National Charrette Institute training session on Charrette System Certificate offers the opportunity to earn basic and advanced NCI certificates. Held in Vancouver, October 7-9, it covers project planning and management skills, using a charrette as the transformational moment. It includes a half-day intensive in public meeting facilitation skills.

Roofing Industry Seminar With Dr. John Straube
RCI Western Canada one-day course featuring Dr. John Straube, held in Vancouver on October 18th is aimed at the Roofing and Building Enclosure related Consultants and Property Management Professionals who are looking for upgraded knowledge and background on a variety of building science related issues.

Upcoming Builder & Renovator Training Courses In Fraser Valley
Canadian Home Builders’ Association of the Fraser Valley is presenting a number of different builder and renovator training courses over the next couple of months.

New Study Targets Trades Training
Journal of Commerce says the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum is investigating skilled trades employers' return on training investment through a new study.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Top 10 Ultrabooks For Business
IT Business online slideshow presents ten of the best Ultrabooks for business currently available, and a preview of what's to come in this category.

How To Download Streaming Media & Watch It Anywhere, Anytime
PC World describes how you can use third-party software and a few tricks to download streaming video from Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix.

What The Flip?!
Once you get the hang of it, it's another one of those darned just-one-more-time-and-I'll-beat-ya' time wasters.

Dittie For Today

Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean. - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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© Copyright 2013              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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