Alert Notice #88
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
October 23, 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 Graham Finch, Wilma Leung, Kimberly Hurley, Jessica Carter, Pinder Rehal, David Hill, Christine Cunnick, Jill Greenwood, Einar Halbig, Connie Howe, Nancy Argyle, Pamela Markey, Zana Gordon, Sasha Boyd, Leslie Gruen, and Steve Castle 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

RDH Building Engineering researched the importance of slab edge and balcony thermal bridges.

Report # 1 covers Impact of Slab Thermal Breaks on Effective R-Values and Energy Code Compliance. (PDF)

Report # 2 covers Impact of Slab Thermal Breaks on Thermal Comfort and Condensation Control. (PDF)

Report # 3 covers Energy Consumption and Cost Savings of Slab Thermal Breaks. (PDF)

Report # 4 covers Thermal Modeling Considerations for Balconies and Various Thermal Break Strategies. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Housing Market Update October 2013
BC Real Estate Association online video with Chief Economist Cameron Muir discusses the September 2013 statistics.

Multi-Family Residential Construction Leads BC Permit Charge
Journal of Commerce says BC had the largest increase in the value of building permits in Canada in August, as a rise in multi-family dwellings offset declines in the industrial and commercial components.

BC Economic Briefing October 2013
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Economic Briefing of Week of October 14-18 says the housing market rebound continued unabated in September with another hefty sales gain. (PDF)

Canadian New Housing Price Index, August 2013
Statistics Canada report says New Housing Price Index rose 0.1% in August, following a 0.2% increase in July.

Better Balance Returning To Canada's New Homes Market
Reed Construction Data report describes how a better balance has returned to Canadian housing starts, as the number of residential groundbreakings in September was 194,000 units, seasonally adjusted and annualized.

Canadian Interest Rate Forecast
Central 1 Interest Rate Forecast report says the US fiscal impasse is a top issue, there are lacklustre economic conditions and uncertain near term prospects, and monetary policy is on hold. (PDF)

Wrap-Up Of CanaData Annual Construction Industry Forecasts Conference
Journal of Commerce provides a summary of speaker comments from CanaData’s 28th Annual Construction Industry Forecasts Conference.

2. Business Management

Builders Lien Security Issues In BC
Construction Business describes how the ability to secure liens comes with its own complications.

Guide To WorkSafe BC For Small Businesses
WorkSafe BC online Small Business Primer: A Guide to WorkSafe BC, provides information and resources to help small businesses understand and follow regulations and procedures. (PDF)

Structures & Strategies To Maximize Income & Minimize Tax
Home Builder magazine says all Canadian businesses should take advantage of corporate structures and tax strategies that maximize income and minimize tax, but those in the construction industry can add a number of unique opportunities to the list.

BIM Serves Up Safety, ROI For Construction
McGraw Hill Construction says increased efficiency of BIM is credited with cutting labor expenses and material costs for engineers and contractors as well as providing off-site fabrication capabilities and better schedule compression.

9 Pointers On How To Tweet For Your Business
Web Marketing Today offers nine pointers to an effective Twitter presence for your business.

5 Reasons To Hire & Train An Apprentice
Online video 5 Reasons to Hire and Train an Apprentice suggests that if your ability to take on new contracts, expand your business and grow your bottom line depends on skilled tradespeople, you should consider these five good reasons to hire and train an apprentice.

How To Be A Great Manager That Employees Want To Work With
Forbes magazine offers tips for being a manager that your team will rally around and perform their best.

Creative Tactics For Succession Success
For those looking for something new, in a high impact/low risk way, here are three creative succession tactics from HR Voice which can help your organization to develop successors.

3. Building Design & Trends

Winners Of 2013 BC Interior Design Awards Of Excellence
Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia displays slide shows of the winning projects in their 2013 Awards of Excellence for interior design of residential and commercial projects.

Renewed Popularity Of Special Function Rooms & Technologies
American Institute of Architects says Home Design Trends Survey results show high demand for systems and technologies in the home that help to lower utility bills and promote sustainability, but as economic conditions have improved there has also been a resurgence in the preference for dedicated special function rooms.

5 Bathrooms With A Splash of Luxury
Custom Home magazine describes 5 bathrooms that are stand-outs.

7 Small Bathroom Layouts
Fine Homebuilding provides some tips for choosing the right lighting, showers, and sinks for your bathroom remodel when you don't have a lot of space.

Remodeling Survey Shows Bigger Isn’t Better
For Residential Pros says when it comes to kitchens, bigger isn't necessarily better, according to a survey which polled nearly 8,000 consumers.

Secret Google Project Could Transform Construction Industry
ArchDaily says Google has been working on a cloud-based application that will help architects and engineers and improve construction efficiency.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Bryan Shrake, President of New Home Marketing Group says: “It is quite apparent that your BC Building Info is growing at a steady rate as a result of good material and hard work. I wish you great continued success”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Code Interpretation For Area & Location Of Exposing Building Faces Of Houses
Building Officials Association of BC code interpretation clarifies code requirements for area and location of exposing building faces of houses. (PDF)

BC Code Interpretation For Fastening Of Wood Stair Stringers
Building Officials Association of BC code interpretation clarifies code requirements for fastening of wood stair stringers. (PDF)

New Online System To Request & Manage WorkSafe BC Reviews
WorkSafeBC has launched a new application that allows workers and employers to request and manage reviews of WorkSafeBC decisions online.

New Online Database To Track Canadian Code Change Requests
In October, NRC will be launching an online database that will make it easier for construction industry stakeholders to track the status of their requested changes.

Canadian Code Commission Reviews Standards For Low Lead Plumbing Fittings
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes recommended updating the sections relating to lead content in plumbing products in the National Plumbing Code of Canada (NPC) 2010.

Concrete Codes & Standards For Embedded Radiant Piping
Healthy Heating article recommends when working with embedded pipe system in Canada, radiant designers should familiarize themselves with the concrete code and standards for regulation of embedded piping systems.

ASHRAE/IES Publish First Standard on Commissioning Process
A newly published standard focusing on the commissioning process is intended to help ensure a fully functional, fine-tuned facility. ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 202, Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems, identifies the minimum acceptable commissioning process for buildings and systems as described in ASHRAE's Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process. The standard defines the commissioning process through 13 functional steps, each of which contains deliverables.

Call For Volunteers To Serve On Canadian Codes Committees
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes is issuing a call for volunteers to serve on the Standing Committees in the next Code development cycle.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Understanding Cladding Systems & Materials
Building Science describes issues and consideration for various cladding systems and materials.

Practical Considerations Of Installing In-Slab Thermal Breaks
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation by Morrison Hershfield discusses issues and considerations for installing in-slab thermal breaks. (PDF)

Hardwood Flooring Over Radiant Heat
Journal of Light Construction says careful HVAC design and job-site moisture control ensure success with hardwood flooring over radiant heat. (PDF) Free site registration required.

What Is The Best Way To Deal With Crawl Space Air?
Energy Vanguard says the best way to deal with the air in a crawl space is to encapsulate it and install a dehumidifier. Adding supply air from the HVAC system is tricky and may let the crawl space humidity go too high in spring and fall.

Exterior Insulation Strategies For 1½-Story Roof Applications In Cold Climates
US Department of Energy report Exploration Of Exterior Insulation Strategies For 1½-Story Roof Applications In Cold Climates focused on identifying an exterior approach for the roof portion of 1½-story homes with the potential to provide cost-effective, long-term, scalable solutions. (PDF)

Opinions About Personal Control Over HVAC
European HVAC describes data about personal control over heating, cooling and ventilation. These are results of a workshop at Clima 2013 conference that gathered opinions and ideas amongst workshop participants about personal control over indoor climate and user behaviour. (PDF)

Informed Mechanical Design Through Tested Air Leakage Results
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation by JRS Engineering on informed mechanical design through tested air leakage results covers methods of describing tested air leakage results, overview of mechanical design assumption for infiltration, and role air leakage (infiltration) plays in mechanical system sizing. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Exterior Foundation Insulation Durability In Energy-Saving Performance
Oak Ridge National Laboratory report Measurement of Exterior Foundation Insulation to Assess Durability in Energy-Saving Performance researched six different exterior insulation systems that were characterized at installation and have been in the ground for 9 months to 15 years. R-value and moisture content were measured and inspections conducted for evidence of termite intrusion or deterioration. Based on the results, the durability of the various systems has been documented and assessments made of which systems appear to be best practice. (PDF)

Most Dangerous HVAC Installation Allowed by Code
David R's Blog describes the most dangerous HVAC installation allowed by code, the practice of common venting a fan assisted 80% furnace with a natural draft water heater.

What Happens In Real World Stays In Real World
Energy Vanguard online pictures show examples of poor and dangerous HVAC system installations.

Lateral-Force Collectors for Seismic & Wind-Resistant Framing
Journal of Light Construction says there's more to wind and earthquake resistant framing than properly constructed shear walls and describes key connections that collect and control potentially catastrophic loads. (PDF) Free site registration required.

All About Radon
Green Building Advisor describes issues and considerations around radon in homes.

Recommendations For The Prevention Of Ceiling Cracking
Gypsum Association online bulletin Recommendations For The Prevention Of Ceiling Cracking describes how to minimize centerline cracks by using resilient channels to create a less rigid attachment of the gypsum board to wood framing. (PDF)

Guide To Calculating Airborne Sound Transmission In Buildings
National Research Council online Guide To Calculating Airborne Sound Transmission In Buildings explains how to merge ASTM and ISO test data in the ISO calculation procedure, and provides recommendations for applying extended measurement for calculation procedures for specific common types of construction.

Life Expectancy Of Metal Roofs
Journal of Light Construction describes historic and modern metal roofing materials and discusses their service life.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

New BC Energy Efficiency Requirements For Large Buildings
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation by BC Building & Safety Standards Branch describes new energy efficiency requirements for large buildings. (PDF)

ASHRAE 90.1: 2013 Changes For Envelope, Lighting, Mechanical Sections
ASHRAE says the 2013 Version of Standard 90.1 changes include stricter requirements for opaque elements and fenestration, improvements to daylighting and daylighting controls requirements, and increased efficiency requirements for heat pumps, packaged terminal air conditioners, single package vertical heat pumps and evaporative condensers. Also, fan efficiency requirements are introduced for the first time.

Discussion On Air Sealing & Ventilation
Building Science Corporation says air sealing in retrofits should always be thought through carefully. Industry experts discuss where the best place to air seal is, and whether or not homeowners understand the relationship between air sealing and ventilation.

Why Resurgence Of Walkable Main Streets Is Essential
EcoBuilding Pulse video explores what happened to Main Street, USA and why should it come back.

Perils of Manufacturer Misrepresentation Driven by Green Advocacy
Adhesives & Sealants webinar The Perils of Manufacturer Misrepresentation Driven by Green Advocacy, USGBC and NGO's will be held November 13th. Suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and sales representatives often find themselves supporting the environmental advocacy of design professionals. Learn about the reliance of USGBC, HPD, AIA, and other organizations on advocacy and challenges associated with claims regarding health impact of material, product declarations and "green" or sustainability waivers.

Top Green Building Strategies For Government
Lighthouse Sustainability Centre online slide show presentation Top Green Building Strategies For Government covers trends in green building policy, predictors of success, top policies and lessons learned. (PDF)

Solar Policy Drivers & Options In Western Canada
Canadian Solar Industries Association slide show presentation Solar Policy-Drivers and Options in Western Canada discusses how, from a policy perspective, Western Canada can harness the region's largest proven energy reserve and create a significant developed resource. (PDF)

Behavior Energy & Climate Conference
Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference held in Sacramento, November 18-20, focuses on understanding behavior and decision-making with respect to energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and sustainability.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

New Tool Technology
Home Builder magazine describes some new tool products now available.

2013 Winners Of Multi-Family Supplier & Technology Awards
Multi-Housing News lists the winners of their 2013 Technology Choice Awards, comprising of companies who provide flexible customization, competitive pricing, and the most innovative solutions, all backed by superior customer support.

Game-Changing Value of Home Control
TecHome Builder says today's addictive technologies are being used to sell home control and automation systems that connect people to the world and set homebuilders apart.

Selecting A New Water Heater
US Department of Energy provides information on types of domestic hot water heaters and considerations for selecting the right one for your application.

Low-Wattage Personal Office Heating and Cooling Devices May Cut Energy Use
Daily Fusion says researchers from UC Berkeley's Center for the Built Environment are developing and promoting a new set of tools to enable more efficient temperature control in buildings by using input from building occupants, a network of Web-based applications, and a user-responsive Personal Comfort System using low-wattage devices embedded into a system of chairs, foot warmers and fans.

Are LEDs Or Fluorescents Best Choice For Your Business?
BC Hydro lighting expert Cristian Suvagau offers advice on best applications for LEDs and fluorescents for a business.

How Real Estate Agents Can Leverage A Home Inspection
Real Estate Magazine provides some industry insiders' tips that can help a real estate agent make more commission and increase customer service from a home inspection.

9. Installation Procedures

Next Generation Advanced Framing
US Department of Energy describes Building America research on faster, smarter ways to employ three advanced framing techniques. These new framing solutions are continuous drywall at interior partitions, rim joist window headers, and continuous sheathing for raised heel trusses. (PDF)

Cladding Attachment Over Exterior Insulation
US Department of Energy Expert Meetings report US DOE: Cladding Attachment Over Exterior Insulation summarizes discussions on issues surrounding cladding attachment and performance of walls with exterior insulating sheathing. Topics were split into the two categories of gravity load resistance and wind load resistance. They explored these topics from the perspectives of engineering design, laboratory testing, field monitoring, and practical construction. (PDF)

Floor Covering Guide For Floor Heating Systems
Healthy Heating online Floor Covering Guide For Floor Heating Systems describes considerations for installing radiant heating under hardwood, carpets & rugs, tile & stone, sheet coverings, and decorative concrete. (PDF)

Getting The Piping & Controls Right
HPAC magazine reviews mechanical piping and radiant loop layouts and their differences, as well as control strategies, to help you on the road to designing top-notch systems in terms of performance, efficiency and cost.

Radiant Heat May Melt Wax Ring
Journal of Light Construction says to be cautious when installing radiant heat in a bathroom floor, so the heat will not melt the wax ring.

Which Type Of Earth Coupling Is Best For Geoexchange?
Plumbing Engineer says engineers need to consider closed loop, pump to reinjection or standing column technologies for geothermal systems.

Identifying An Existing Floor Finish
Fine Homebuilding provides some suggestions on how to identify the type of existing floor finish.

Do Your HVAC Performance Tune-Ups Really Perform?
David R describes how a standard performance tune-up is handled and how it can be turned into something special.

10. Information Sources

Technical Papers & Presentations From 2013 Buildings XII Conference
Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers access to technical papers and presentations from the 2013 Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XII International Conference.

Simple Solutions For Code-Compliant Wall Construction
Engineered Wood Association provides information and resources for building safe, durable and code-compliant walls that are energy-efficient and cost-effective. This site compiles APA’s extensive library of free wall-construction content, including design recommendations, how-to instructions, CAD details for wood-frame construction, and more.

Specifications Products & Services Provided By CSI
Construction Specifications Institute online guide describes specifications products & and services they provide. (PDF)

Purchasable Book On Home Maintenance Made Easy
Home Maintenance Made Easy: What to Do, When to Do It, When to Call for Help, published by NAHB MyHome Press, explains the small but significant steps home owners can and should take to keep their home in good working order. USD $20

Online Video Educates Homeowners On Choosing The Right HVAC Contractor
Air Conditioning Contractors of America online video helps educate homeowners about how to choose a professional HVAC contractor to meet their heating and cooling needs.

Search For Jobs In Canada
Kanada Jobs is a search engine that scans and indexes all the content of Canadian websites and provides users with filtered data of those job opportunities available online.

Career Information For Plumbing & Hydronic Heating Industries
Career Tap highlights the wide range of career paths, co-op education opportunities and potential employers within Canada’s plumbing and hydronic heating industry.

11. Conferences & Shows

Windoor North America: Window & Door Industry Trade Show
Canadian Window & Door Manufacturers Association presents Win-door North America, the annual trade show for the fenestration and door industry, in Toronto November 12-14.

2013 Vancouver Construction Fair
Construction Specifications Canada Vancouver Chapter is bringing together over 100 local manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of construction products. Their 2013 Construction Fair will be held in Vancouver on November 20th.

BC Erosion & Sediment Control Conference
Erosion and Sediment Control Association of BC 6th annual conference to be held November 21-22 in Abbotsford, will allow attendees an opportunity to attain their BC-Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead Certification.

Building Innovation 2014 Conference & Expo
Building Innovation 2014 is the annual conference & expo of the US National Institute of Building Sciences. Held January 6-10 in Washington, it will explore advancing life-cycle performance.

12. Education & Training

Why Change Is Hard And How Coaching Can Help
Grater Vancouver Home Builders Association seminar Why Change is Hard and How Coaching Can Help will be held in Coquitlam on November 7th. You will learn what coaching is and how it is different from other disciplines, such as teaching, and how you can draw on it as an approach to overcome resistance to change and facilitate insight.

Effective Management & Maintenance Of On-Reserve Housing
CMHC invites First Nations governments, Band Administrators, Housing Staffs, and Housing Committee Members to attend a two-day housing symposium on the effective management and maintenance of on-reserve housing portfolios. It will explore a variety of areas including the elements of a sound housing policy, how to prepare an effective operating budget, and pro-active planning for maintenance. The symposium will be offered in Prince George on November 4th-5th and in Vancouver on November 7th-8th.

Risks & Liabilities Of Green Building
Vancouver Regional Construction Association presents Risks & Liabilities Of Green Building on November 13th. Gain a good understanding of the contractor's responsibilities in delivering a high-performance/green building, what to watch for when getting involved in green building projects, and thereby to be able to manage the risks effectively.

Envelope Specialist For New Construction
Light House course Envelope Specialist for NEW Construction introduces you to building science and energy efficient new construction in cold climates. Develop a working knowledge of heat, air, and moisture flows in a house, and learn how air sealing, insulation, and high performance windows can significantly reduce energy consumption and increase comfort levels without compromising good indoor air quality in a new house.

Webinars On Tools For Local Governments Adapting To Climate Change
Fraser Basin Council free webinar series Tools for Local Governments Adapting to Climate Change showcases recent advances in local climate change information and tools that are tailored to the needs of BC local governments large and small.

Webinars On Construction Software & Business
Constructive Solutions offers regular webinars on construction software and business improvement.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Free Portable Software For USB, Portable & Cloud Drives
Portable Apps currently offers over 300 free, open-source apps that are self-contained and need no formal installation. Just download and run them, even from a flash drive, if you wish.

5 Free Tools To Notify You Of Website Content Changes
Hongkiat describes 5 free tools you can use to track and monitor changes on websites.

All The Single Babies!
Who says white guys can't dance? Ya' gotta luv it!

Dittie For Today: A Groaner

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion. - Unknown

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© Copyright 2013              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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