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Alert Notice #89
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
November 18, 2013

Contents:

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 Brian Hart, Wilma Leung, Zana Gordon, Sabine Just, Zena Caul, Connie Howe, Coby Rudolph, Diana Douglas, Melinda Armstrong, Diane Gonzalez, Laura Cruz, and Christine Cunnick 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
:o)

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 ken@bcbuildinginfo.com

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Ken's Top Pick

Double Vapor Barrier = Double Toil & Trouble
Building Science says Canadian walls dried to both the outside and the inside, but that all changed when we started putting plastic on the inside of walls and began to put impermeable insulating sheathing on the outside. We started to have double vapor barriers.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Housing Forecast 4th Quarter October 2013
BC Real Estate Association report Housing Forecast 4th Quarter October 2013 says BC MLS residential sales are forecast to increase 6 per cent to 71,700 units this year, before increasing a further 6.3 per cent to 76,200 units in 2014. (PDF)

BC 2013–2018 Preliminary Investment Trends Report
BuildForce Canada report British Columbia: 2013–2018 Preliminary Investment Trends, highlights expected investment trends in BC over the medium term from 2013 to 2018. It does so with a view to providing initial insights on how new major projects, sustaining capital, and ongoing investment trends may guide construction labour markets, serving as a precursor to the more detailed Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward report to be released in early 2014.

Young Guns Take On Future Of Calgary Homebuilding
Calgary Herald says they are young, passionate and well-educated. Some have been born to it, visiting work sites from the time they could hold a broom or carry a piece of lumber. Whether you call them young guns of the homebuilding industry, or just the now face of what it is becoming, these 30-somethings are impressive.

Housing Market Outlook Canada, 4th Quarter 2013
CMHC Fourth Quarter 2013 Housing Market Outlook Report says housing starts have remained relatively stable since March 2013 and are expected to continue this trend until mid-2014. In the latter half of 2014, housing starts are forecast to moderate. (PDF)

Canadian Housing Starts Stuck In Sweet Spot
Reed Construction Data says Canadian new home starts have been remarkably consistent over the past six months. Their average of 196,000 units seasonally adjusted and annualize has moved within a narrow range from a high of 200,000 in May to a low of 186,000 in August.

Sustainable Housing Technology Roadmap For Canada
Housing for a Changing World: A Sustainable Housing Technology Roadmap for Canada report paves the way for the industry to build sustainable housing more affordable for Canadians, and create domestic and international opportunities for Canadian businesses. Working groups identified and prioritized actions for R&D, demonstrations, regulations, education, training, marketing and financing for the next 10 years.

Housing, Infrastructure, Commercial Sectors Are Driving Canadian Construction
The private housing, infrastructure, and commercial sectors remain the key drivers of the Canadian construction sector, with net balances of 19%, 18% and 16% of respondents suggesting increases in workloads respectively, according to the latest RICS Canada Construction Monitor.

Free Subscriptions To Canadian Housing Market Outlook Reports
CMHC provides free subscriptions to it's quarterly national & regional forecasts of housing starts, sales & prices.

2. Business Management

Great Website = Sales To Older Buyers
Builder Magazine describes a national survey that shows older buyers will reject a community based on their visit to the builder's website.

.Build Domains Created For Construction Industry
Canadian Contractor magazine describes how .BUILD domains were specifically created for the construction industry.

iPhone App For Home Buying Now Available In Canada
Real estate consumer search portal Point2Homes has launched its upgraded iPhone app, making it available to Canadian and US home shoppers.

Metro West Inter-Municipal Business License Pilot Project Launched
Vancouver Regional Construction Association says starting October 1, six municipalities in Greater Vancouver region, Burnaby, Delta, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver will participate in an Inter-municipal Business License Pilot Project, allowing eligible construction and trades-related businesses to operate in all six municipalities.

Ranking Provincial Tax Systems In Canada: BC Provincial Summary
Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has produced its 2013 Small Business Provincial Tax Index to gauge the competitiveness level of provincial tax systems. It encompasses 53 indicators in five major areas of the tax system: premiums and payroll tax; sales and excise tax; corporate income tax; personal income tax; and property tax. (PDF)

Duties Of BC Employers For New WorkSafe BC Policies On Bullying & Harassment
Business Council of BC provides a review of the duties of employers in BC relative to the new WorkSafe BC policies on bullying and harassment. (PDF)

Federal Policies & Regulations Related To the Immigration Of Skilled Labour
Canadian Home Builders Association report Backgrounder on Federal Policies and Regulations Related to the Immigration of Skilled Labour describes Canada's economic immigration programs, policies and regulations, and identifies immigration issues affecting the residential construction industry. (PDF)

Benefitting From Internationally Trained Skilled Workers
Canadian Federation of Independent Business displays five videos from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, as part of the Employer's Roadmap to Hiring and Retaining Internationally-Trained Workers.

Need For Prompt Payment Legislation In Canadian Construction Industry
National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada report The Need for Prompt Payment Legislation in the Construction Industry describes the need for a Prompt Payment Act in Ontario to establish minimum norms for payment schedules in the construction industry. The report recommends a statutory model for prompt payment that is based on other jurisdictions and on a consensus agreement between the NTCCC and Ontario General Contractors Association. (PDF)

3. Building Design & Trends

Colour Trends For 2014
REMI publishers describes where the contract colour palette is headed over the next 12 months.

2013 Finalists For BC Georgie Awards
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC provides a list and project information for this year's Georgie Awards finalists. Their new home and home renovation projects highlight just some of the quality, skill, professionalism and excellence in BC's residential construction industry.

2013 BC Architectural Award Winners
Architectural Institute of BC presents the 2013 winners of the Architectural Awards. (PDF)

2013 Custom Home Design Award Winners
Custom Home Magazine presents their 2013 Custom Home Design Award winners.

2013 Remodeling Design Award Winners
Remodeling Magazine presents the 21 projects honored as 2013 Remodeling Design Award winners.

What's In & What's Out In Home Luxuries
Trulia Trends says compared with a year ago, more luxury listings now emphasize windows and fitness amenities, but kitchen features and formal rooms are waning.

Examples Of Layering Light
HGTV Remodels online photos show rooms that effectively combine three layers of light, ambient, task and accent.

Renovating For Multiple Generations
Remodeling magazine article says when renovating for multiple generations you should be aware of surprise needs.

World Of BIM For Subcontractor
Associated General Contractors of America describes BIM and it's benefits for subcontractors.

Achieving Spatial Coordination Through BIM: A Guide For Specialty Contractors
Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association and National Electrical Contractors Association developed this online guide Achieving Spatial Coordination Through BIM: A Guide for Specialty Contractors. The guide, which is practical, comprehensive and well-written, is for specialty contractors seeking to embrace BIM practices and technologies in their firms. (PDF)


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Warren Jones, industry trainer and consultant says: “BC Building Info is the best industry website out there. It has so much useful information for people to access.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Code Replacement Pages For Recent Plumbing & Fire Code Revisions
BC Codes site now has PDF replacement pages for 2012 BC Building Code Revision 2 of April 3, 2013 (pages for Schedule 2 pertaining to the Plumbing Code only), and 2012 BC Fire Code Revision 1 of April 5, 2013.

Business Plan For BC Building Officials 2014-2019
Building Officials Association of BC online 2014 to 2019 Business Plan describes their strategic priorities including education and training, mandatory certification, consistency of code interpretations, increasing public and building community awareness, and volunteer involvement. (PDF)

New Permit Category For Extra Low Voltage
BC Safety Authority bulletin New Permit Category Extra Low Voltage/Low Energy Decal gives the holder preauthorized permission to perform certain regulated work without the need to apply to BC Safety Authority beforehand for a permit. (PDF)

BC Approval Granted For Limited Scope Electrical Work Practitioner Training
BC Safety Authority says ASTTBC has completed development of its Electrical Work Practitioner (EWP) training program. The Provincial Safety Manager has reviewed the materials and has determined that the programs for EL1 and EL2 certification meet all conditions imposed by BCSA.

BC Gas Bulletin On Portable Appliance & Fan Equipment Effects On Buildings
BC Safety Authority Gas Information Bulletin: Portable Appliance and Fan Equipment Effects on Buildings describes the condition known as depressurization that occurs when inside air is exhausted faster than outside fresh air can come in. Excessive depressurization will cause a natural draft appliance to back vent, potentially spilling deadly carbon monoxide into the home. They recommend contacting a licensed gas contractor to assist in determining safe operation of gas appliances, and installation and use of carbon monoxide detectors. (PDF)

New 2014 WorkSafe BC Rates
WorkSafe BC says the average base premium rate for 2014 will increase from $1.63 to $1.70.

BC Bullying & Harassment Information
WorkSafe BC online Safety at Work centre provides information about preventing and addressing bullying and harassment in the workplace.

Position On Sustainability Of Small Water Systems In BC
BC Water & Waste Association presents their Position on Sustainability of Small Water Systems, advocating that small water, wastewater and stormwater systems should only be created in situations where there is sufficient education or knowledge about the conditions required for sustainability. (PDF)

City Regulations As A Barrier To Housing Innovation
Inside The Housing Evolution blog by a member of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association shows that challenges to implement new building methods are everywhere.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Resource Site On Building Science Education
US Department of Energy provides information and resources on building science education.

Field Performance Of Unvented Cathedral Ceiling In Vancouver
Building Science test program described in this paper sets out to determine whether or not an assembly that meets the new IRC code requirements but is constructed without a vapor barrier and using an air impermeable, vapor permeable, low-density, open-cell sprayed polyurethane foam insulation can perform satisfactorily in the cold wet climates of Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC (Zone 4C).

Thermal Comfort In Buildings
Designing Buildings Wiki provides information and resource on thermal comfort in buildings.

3 New Ways To Learn Building Enclosure Commissioning
Building Green says with the need for building Envelope commissioning (BECx) rising, the industry is working to train designers and other specialists to do the job.

Prevent Panel Buckling With Proper Spacing
Engineered Wood Association online video Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing explains their recommendations for correct spacing between plywood or OSB panel joints and demonstrates how improper spacing can result in panel buckling.

Monitoring Moisture Levels In Double-Stud Walls
Green Building Advisor article discusses whether there is any evidence that double-stud walls have damp sheathing.

Does Spray Foam Need Thermal Or Ignition Barrier?
Energy Vanguard says requirements for thermal and ignition barriers for spray foam insulation are one area where there's a lot of confusion.

Brief Introduction To WUFI Hygrothermal Modeling Software
Green Building Advisor describes WUFI hygrothermal modeling software, and why it has tremendous power but also requires great skill.

6. Building Performance Issues

BC Workers Poisoned By CO From Heater
WorkSafe BC describes how three workers at a construction site had to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning as the result of improper use of a gas-powered heater.

Spalling Concrete Floors
Journal of Light Construction explains the mistakes that can cause concrete slabs to spall.

Improving Field Performance Of Natural Gas Furnaces
US Department of Energy study Improving the Field Performance of Natural Gas Furnaces shows that an improvement of 6.4% in efficiency is achievable when good installation and tuning practices are followed, and that furnace efficiency does not degrade over the useful life of the furnace if the proper operating conditions are maintained. (PDF)

Lead-Free Uncertainty In Canadian Plumbing & Mechanical
Mechanical Business says with lead-free legislation, codes, standards and regulations in all stages of progress here in Canada, the only thing that can be said with any certainty and consistency for all regions of the nation when it comes to plumbing products designed for use in potable water systems is that, though similar, the rules regarding lead-free valves and fittings in Canada will not be the same as the rules in the US.

Reviews Discredit Colorado Cellulose & Fibreglass Comparison Study
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association says independent reviews of a 1990 study from the University of Colorado have found the study flawed in its conclusions of superior performance for cellulose insulation. (PDF)

Sealing Garage Floors
Journal of Light Construction Q & A article describes options for protecting a garage slab from winter road salt damage.

Advances In Understanding Durability Of Building Envelopes
Oak Ridge National Laboratory article in Energy Design Update describes research and advances in understanding the durability of building envelopes. (PDF)

Vilified UFFI Insulation Material Returns
Green Building says even though urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI), a.k.a. amino foam, has been out of the spotlight, it’s been going into a lot of buildings.

BC Call For Abstracts For Bettering Environmental Stewardship & Technology
British Columbia Environment Industry Association invites submissions of papers and technical presentations for its upcoming conference on Bettering Environmental Stewardship and Technology, to be held in Whistler, May 28-30.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

BC Construction, Real Estate, Carbon Emissions
Vancouver-based Climate Smart on industry brief Construction, Real Estate, and Carbon Emissions helps flesh out the business case for energy efficient buildings. It looks at carbon management in small and medium-sized construction and real estate firms. (PDF)

Pacific Coast Climate Action Plan
British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California are working together on climate change and clean energy. The Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy commits the four jurisdictions to an alignment that places a price on carbon. (PDF)

Green Jobs Fantasy
University of Calgary report The Green Jobs Fantasy: Why The Economic And Environmental Reality Can Never Live Up To The Political Promise, suggests a green job boom is a myth. (PDF)

LEED For Homes Comment Period Now Open
EcoBuilding Pulse says you have until December 1st to submit comments on proposed LEED For Homes v2008 changes.

New Energy Saving Technologies
TecHome Builder describes new smart plugs that provide visual cues, stylish thermostats, automatic energy savers, savvy mounts and boosters.

Presentations From 2013 Vancouver Zero Waste Conference
Metro Vancouver provides online access to the presentations from their 2013 Zero Waste Conference.

Canadian National Green Building Conference & Exposition
The Canadian National Green Building Conference will be held concurrently with the annual Construct Canada, in Toronto December 4-6.

2013 Northwest Environmental Conference & Tradeshow
2013 Northwest Environmental Conference & Tradeshow, held in Portland December 10-11, covers topics such as Environmental Protection & Compliance, Health & Safety Programs, Sustainable Business Management, and Contemporary Policy Issues.

Upcoming Energy Training Programs In BC
BC Sustainable Energy Association and Canadian Institute for Energy Training have joined their effort to promote and deliver energy training programs in British Columbia. The inaugural partnership courses will take place November 2013 through April 2014 at Vancouver's Metropolitan Hotel.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

8 Great Products From 2013 Deck Expo
Editors from Professional Deck Builder magazine toured the floor of the 2013 Deck Expo and found a range of great products and tools to use.

Streaming Music, Streaming Profits?
TecHome Builder says wireless and streaming music is all the rage, and builders can address this hot consumer demand and get the attention of tech-savvy buyers.

11 New Products From 2013 Remodeling Show
Remodeling Magazine article describes 11 new and updated products from the floor of the 2013 Remodeling Show.

Online NAFS Calculator For Windows
Cascadia Windows and Doors has developed the first North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) calculator tool, now freely available to architects and other users. NAFS 2008, which replaces the previous CSA A-440 standard, is the newly-referenced standard for the physical performance and testing requirements of windows, door and skylights. It already applies to Part 3 of the BC Building Code and comes into effect for Part 9 on December 20, 2013, The new standard requires users to calculate the necessary performance grade and water test pressure of windows and doors based on several tables of values provided in the standard (including location, wind speed, building height and exposure). Cascadia’s NAFS calculator, the first of its kind, helps with this important but difficult calculation, requiring only three user inputs.

Review Of 18-Volt Brushless Drill/Drivers
Tools Of The Trade reviews 18-volt brushless drill/drivers that have more-efficient motors, sophisticated controls, and energy-dense batteries that boost runtime across the board.

Overview Of Job-Site Glues
Journal of Light Construction says although a bottle of yellow glue and a tube of construction adhesive will handle a great many gluing needs, there are times you might want to choose a special glue from the wide range available.

Stained Concrete Price Ranges
Concrete Network provides an overview of stained concrete costs and price ranges.

Residential Supplier's Summit
US National Association of Home Builders presents their Residential Suppliers Summit, convening top management teams from building material and product manufacturers. Held in Washington, December 12-13, it features thought leaders and advocates in the housing industry providing market intelligence through analysis of economic, legislative, regulatory and buyer trends that will inform business strategy for future growth.

9. Installation Procedures

Building A Reinforced Concrete Block Wall
Journal of Light Construction explains how to construct a reinforced concrete block wall capable of resisting lateral and tensile stresses.

Press Technology Saves Time & Money In Joining Pipes
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor describes features and benefits of using press fittings to join copper tubing as opposed to soldering.

Considerations For Window & Door Replacement
BC Homeowner Protection Office online bulletin Window and Door Replacement describes key issues you should consider when replacing windows and doors, from preparing for the initial conversation with replacement contractors to selecting products, understanding installation options, and maintaining windows and doors. (PDF)

Framing A Spiral Staircase
Journal of Light Construction describes how radius walls, a center bearing pole and on-site construction of a custom curved stringer and treads make this spiral staircase a one-of-a-kind project.

Design Guide For Residential PEX Water Supply Plumbing Systems
US National Association of Home Builders updated Design Guide: Residential PEX Water Supply Plumbing Systems (Second Edition) provides information necessary to design and install cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) water supply systems in residential buildings plumbing systems.

Annual Servicing For Gas Furnaces, Boilers DHW, Fireplaces
BC Safety Authority online checklists describe regular service and maintenance items for gas fired appliances. (PDF)

Four Simple Steps For Sizing Air Filters
David R Blog describes four simple steps for ensuring the HVAC filters you install are properly sized for the application they are used in.

Field-Applied Preservatives In A Flood Zone
Journal of Light Construction says nothing else works as well as pressure-treated wood, but field-applied borate treatments may be useful in some situations. Free site registration required.

10. Information Sources

Free BC Electrical Safety Newsletter
BC Safety Authority now publishes their Electrical Safety News, a newsletter for their clients in BC’s electrical industry.

Fall 2013 Edition Of Fenestration West Magazine
Fenestration BC online Fall 2013 edition of Fenestration West magazine contains information and articles on various issues and events within the BC window industry. (PDF)

New Storm Water Management Stakeholder Forum Newsletter Launched
Globe Performance Solutions a subsidiary of the GLOBE Group, has just released its first quarterly newsletter, Stormwater Management Stakeholder Forum covering the latest technological developments in stormwater management applications.

Slide Show Presentations From 2013 Wood Solutions Fair
WoodWorks has added the 2013 Portland Wood Solutions Fair slide show presentations to their site. These cover a wide range of wood products, applications and procedures.

Purchasable Manuals For HVAC Design & Installation
Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada sells HVAC industry manuals covering best practices for systems design and installation.

Technical Reports & Resources On Concrete Flooring
Concrete Floor Contractors Association Of Canada provides information and resources on concrete flooring including technical bulletins, design, methods, materials and more.

Links To Landscape Information
BC Society of Landscape Architects provides links to landscaping industry sites including government, allied organizations, and resources.

Links To Landscaping Information & Resources
American Society of Landscape Architects provides links to websites and organizations that have landscaping information and resources.

11. Conferences & Shows

International Builders Show In Las Vegas
US National Association of Home Builders presents The International Builder's Show in Las Vegas, February 4-6. The largest such show in North America, it features educational sessions and exhibitors of building industry products, innovations, and demonstrations.

TecHome Builder Summit For High-Volume Single Family Builders
The TecHome Builder Summit, held in Austin Mar 4-6, is for high-volume single family builders looking to dive deep into their technology strategy.

2014 Log Building Industry Conference In BC
BC Log & Timber Building Industry Association and International Log Building Association will be holding a joint conference in Parksville, March 27-30. Log and timber builders from around the world will gather and share ideas, new technology and industry trends.

12. Education & Training

Energy Modelling For Improved Performance Of Part 9 Buildings
GVHBA seminar Energy Modelling For Improved Performance Of Part 9 Buildings will be held in Burnaby, November 26th. This seminar will discuss energy modelling and how to do it effectively, real-life case studies, and a builder's perspective of energy modelling.

Seismic Design for Houses in the BC Building Code (Part 9 Requirements)
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association presents Seismic Design for Houses in the BC Building Code (Part 9 Requirements), in Burnaby on November 27th. This workshop will provide a detailed review of the Part 9 requirements and hands-on practice applying the requirements to actual house plans.

Power of Positive Networking
GVHBA seminar Power of Positive Networking: Building Business by Building Networks, will be held in Coquitlam on December 3rd. This highly interactive, half-day seminar will provide attendees with strategies, tools and hands-on exercises on developing a connected mindset, finding more opportunities to connect, and becoming more skilled in the art of networking and building your business.

Carpentry Pre-Challenge Training For Red Seal Exam
Vancouver Regional Construction Association is offering a new course, Carpentry Pre-Challenge Training for Red Seal Exam, January through March 2014. This 10 week course prepares students to write ITA exams for the Carpentry Certificate of Qualification with Red Seal endorsement. The Red Seal certified instructor will work with students to become more confident with exam formats and topics.

New BC Mentorship Project Connects Apprentices & Trades Professionals
Industry Training Authority of BC new Mentorship Project is an initiative to foster stronger connections between youth apprentices and trades professionals. The Project is being piloted in three BC school districts in January 2014 (Kitimat/Terrace, North Okanagan, Vancouver) with the goal of expanding to more school districts and trade-related employers in fall 2014.

Building America Building Science Education Roadmap
US Department of Energy online Building America Building Science Education Roadmap charts a path for training skilled professionals who apply proven innovations and recognize the value of high performance homes. (PDF)

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

22 Free Google Products For Small Business Owners
Practical Ecommerce describes the 22 best Google tools for small companies.

Free Quickoffice For Everyone
Google is now offering the free Quickoffice app on Google Play and in the App Store. You can edit Microsoft Office Excel, Word and PowerPoint files on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet. Quickoffice is integrated with Google Drive so you can safely and easily store and access your files across devices.

Top Secret Drum Corps: Edinburgh Military Tattoo
If you like drums, this will blow your socks off!!!


Dittie For Today: On Leadership

An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. - Arab saying


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© Copyright 2013              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

 
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