Alert Notice #91
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
December 30, 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 Rob Dumont, Brian Hart, Wilma Leung, Dan Mott, Zena Caul, Jessica Carter, Zana Gordon, Wayne Stevens, Maureen McLaughlin, Elliot Sloan, Chandra Blouin, Sabine Just, Loie Trill, Christine Cunnick, Karen Ungerson, Denisa Ionescu, Glenn Duxbury, and Joey Fearn 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

Rob Dumont's Superinsulated House In Saskatoon
Green Building Advisor describes how Rob Dumont, one of the superinsulation pioneers behind the Saskatchewan Conservation House, built a house for his family in 1992.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Housing Market Forecast 2014-2016
Central 1 Credit Union forecasts the BC housing market will experience steady but moderate growth in prices and sales over the next three years, according to their BC Housing Forecast 2014-2016. (PDF)

BC House Prices Predicted To Rise
BC Business says Central 1 Credit Union economic forecast cites 2012 as the bottom of the BC housing market, and it calls for gradual increase in sales and prices over the next three years.

Mortgage Rate Forecast December 2013
BC Real Estate Association Mortgage Rate Forecast December 2013 says posted Canadian mortgage rates were relatively stable during the fourth quarter in spite of wide fluctuations in Canadian bond yields. However, discounted mortgage rates have risen 40 basis points since the summer from a low of 4 per cent as rising Canadian bond yields eroded previous deep discounts.(PDF)

Caution Against Further Mortgage Intervention
Canadian Home Builders Association says further federal intervention in mortgage markets is not needed. (PDF)

Canadian Housing Observer 2013
CMHC online Canadian Housing Observer 2013 provides an in-depth review of housing conditions and trends in Canada, and describes the key factors that influence these developments. discusses condominiums, housing finance and markets, demographic and socio-economic influences on housing demand, housing affordability and core housing need, and sustainable housing and communities. (PDF)

Is Canadian Housing Market Up, Down Or Sideways?
Canadian Home Builders Association says while there is a risk that housing demand might moderate briefly in the near term, the strong fundamentals suggest that demand will strengthen early in 2014 and remain firm into the second half of the year. (PDF)

Long Term Canadian Household Projections, 2013 Update
CMHC reports on Long Term Household Projections span the period 2011 to 2036 and include projections of households by age-group, household type, dwelling type and tenure for Canada as well as for the provinces and territories. (PDF)

2013-2014 Trends To Take To Bitcoin Bank
Journal of Commerce provides some key observation points as old-man-2013 steps aside for newborn-baby-2014.

Canadian Construction Market Intelligence Report Q4 2013
BTY Group online Canadian Construction Market Intelligence Report Q4 2013 says Canada is the promised land for stable construction. (PDF)

Canada's Construction Industry Forecast For 2014
On-Site magazine 2014 construction forecast says despite economic bumps in the road and regional disparities, Canadian construction remains feisty.

2. Business Management

Interactive Lead Nurturing For Homebuilders
Constructech describes how the world of CRM (customer-relationship management) has become much more interactive for homebuilders.

Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014
Forbes magazine describes the top 7 social media marketing trends that will dominate 2014.

Top 5 Internet Marketing Discoveries In 2013
Marketing Experiments online video provides descriptions of the most important discoveries of the year so you can learn the progress their analysts and scientists have made in discovering what really works in optimization.

Free Online Directory For Small Business
Canadian small and medium independent businesses can speak directly to consumers through an online directory and deal finder made exclusively for them. Shop Small Biz is a made-in-Canada business directory that connects small businesses with thousands of potential customers.

Industry Safety Data For Your Use
WorkSafe BC provides open access to injury and industry stats, including claim costs and characteristics, as well as prevention and assessment information for each industry.

Financial Management Skills Lacking For Small Contractors
Journal of Commerce says, according to a recent survey, many Canadian small business owners need to upgrade their financial management skills.

The Hire Guide To Help Find Skilled Workers
British Columbia Construction Association online Hire Guide is an interactive resource to help construction employers source skilled workers in an increasingly competitive market.

CPP Contribution Rules For Workers 60 & Over
Canada Revenue Agency says workers aged 60 and over should make sure they are clear on these CPP contribution rules.

Canadian Construction Mobility Tax Credit Needed
Online video from Canada’s Building Trades Union showcases why a mobility tax credit is needed by the Canadian construction industry. Supported by the Canadian Construction Association, the Construction Mobility Tax Credit would give skilled construction workers a personal tax exemption for expenses they incur to temporarily relocate for work. The exemption would allow workers to deduct any work-related travel expenses not reimbursed by their employers.

Pickup Truck Features Make Mobile Office A Reality
For Construction Pros article describes how transforming your vehicle into a mobile office has never been easier.

3. Building Design & Trends

Design Trends From 2013
Builder Magazine shows 16 design ideas that are some of the greatest hits of 2013. They’re concepts worth hanging onto, and they predict you’ll see more of them in 2014.

Finalists Of 2014 Best Of 50+ Housing Awards
US National Association of Home Builders lists the finalists of their 50+ Housing Awards program winners, with links to their projects. The awards program honors excellence in building, design and marketing of housing for boomers and beyond.

2013 Design Excellence Award Winners
For Residential Pros describes the 2013 Design Excellence Awards winners that were honored as the best in design and construction in the custom home market.

3rd Quarter 2013 US Home Design Trends Survey Report
American Institute of Architects 3rd Quarter 2013 Home Design Trends Survey Report shows homeowners place high premium on walkable communities & and mixed-use developments.

Zillow Digs Identifies Top Kitchen Remodeling Trends
For Residential Pros says Zillow Digs top kitchen remodeling trends for 2014 include kitchens featuring black countertops, open shelves or glass-front cabinets and darker paint tones.

24 Laundry Room Organization & Storage Ideas
HGTV Remodels shows 24 examples of laundry room organization and storage ideas.

Creating Home Libraries
Custom Home magazine describes three home libraries that house plenty of places to read, work, create, or contemplate.

Top 10 Luxury Features For Top 1% Buyer
Builder Magazine lists the top 10 amenities that are most desired by the luxury home buyer expecting to pay more than $500,000.

Performing Efficient & Effective Constructability Reviews
Whole Building Design Guide describes how to perform efficient and effective constructability reviews including introduction, description, application, emerging issues, relevant codes & standards, and additional resources.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Renee Auer, Director of Membership, Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association says: “I always learn something from BC Building Info. Keep up the good work!”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Changes To Building Codes In British Columbia
Architectural Institute of BC summarizes the upcoming changes to the 2012 BC Building Code, 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw, and 2015 National Building Code of Canada and National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings.

BC Code Interpretation On Protection Of Roof Soffits
Building Officials Association of BC online code interpretation clarifies requirement for soffits projecting to within 1.2 meters of the property line. (PDF)

Prohibited Install Or Use Of Majestic Gas Fireplaces
BC Safety Authority Safety Order advises that certain Majestic gas fireplaces (Insta-Flame or Northern Flame) shall not be sold, leased, rented, installed or operated in the province of British Columbia.

Overview Of NAFS-08 & CSA A440S1-09 Fenestration Standards
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show NAFS-08 & CSA A440S1-09 Fenestration Standards covers what NAFS is, other window & door regulations, NAFS in Part 9 and Part 5, Canadian NAFS supplement, understanding the standard, how to properly confirm performance grade, Canadian labeling requirements, composite and combination windows, and delay to code enforcement of NAFS for Part 9 Buildings. (PDF)

NAFS Labeling Guidelines
Fenestration Canada online NAFS Labeling Guidelines for Canada describes best practices for NAFS-08 labeling of fenestration products in Canada for jurisdictions that have adopted the 2010 National Building Code of Canada or a provincial building code based on the 2010 NBCC. It is issued for benefit of participants in the fenestration industry and for building officials. (PDF)

Online Canadian Code Fenestration Calculator
Fenestration Canada online building code fenestration performance calculator helps select window requirements that meet codes based on NBC 2010.

Two Paths For Energy Efficiency In Updated BC Building Code
Journal of Commerce says on December 20, developers in B.C. will have two choices when it comes to how they attain energy efficiency in new complex buildings, which are large residential, industrial, commercial and institutional structures.

Vancouver Deadline For ASHRAE 90.1 & NECB 2011 Extended To January 21, 2014
City of Vancouver’s deadline for ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and NECB 2011 implementation has been extended from December 20, 2013 to January 21, 2014.

Results On Consultation For Certification Of BC Building Officials
BC Government provides summaries of their surveys and consultations on certification of local government building officials.

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5. Building Science & Technology

Choosing The Right Thermal Insulation
Canadian Property Management describes a range of criteria that needs to be considered when picking energy-efficient insulation.

Asphalt Saturated Organic Felt Underlayment
Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau bulletin describes features, benefits and considerations for using asphalt saturated organic felt as cedar roof underlayment, interlayment and eave protection. (PDF)

What Heat Is
Green Building Advisor provides deeper meaning to what heat is and how it flows.

Relative Humidity, Cold Air Is Dry Air
Energy Vanguard says relative humidity can be a bit confusing, especially when the temperatures drop.

Duct Dynasty & Ducts In Attic
Building Science describes issues and considerations for putting ductwork in an attic.

Infographic On Home Heating
US Department of Energy infographic describes features, benefits and considerations for common types of home heating systems.

Electric Radiant Heat For Small Space
Journal of Light Construction describes how electric radiant heat for a superinsulated small space makes a lot of sense.

10 Questions On Tankless Water Heaters
TecHome Builder Q&A with experts from Rinnai and Navien America answer common questions about tankless water heaters.

6. Building Performance Issues

Thermal Metric Summary Report
Building Science online Thermal Metric Summary Report describes a number of important and interesting observations that have come out of their reference wall tests. (PDF)

Construction Fire Safety In BC
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation Construction Fire Safety in British Columbia covers responsibilities and the code, life safety risk, property loss risk, objectives of construction fire safety planning, what is actually required, what are good engineering practices, findings from site investigations, findings from research of reported fires in BC, and recommendations for authorities. (PDF)

Quantify Quality Of HVAC Installations
David R Blog describes criteria and considerations for quantifying the quality of HVAC installations.

Prevent Asthma Through Building Product Selection
Healthy Buildings Network report Full Disclosure Required: Strategy to Prevent Asthma Through Building Product Selection, examines the presence of asthma-causing chemicals (asthmagens) in building materials. (PDF)

Building Details For Asthmatic Clients
Journal of Light Construction explains healthy house details for clients with breathing difficulties.

Legislation Passed On Low-Lead Content Fittings
Mechanical Business says the Canadian Commission on Building Codes and Fires has approved the updating of the Table of Referenced Documents in the National Plumbing Code to reflect the most current editions of standards CSA B125.3-2012 Plumbing Fittings and ASMEA112.18.1/B125.1-2012 Plumbing Supply Fittings. The changes incorporate requirements for low-lead content fittings, and it is now up to each province or authority having jurisdiction to navigate the adoption process.

Webcast On Healthy Insulation, Buildable Details
Building Green sells a webcast Healthy Insulation, Buildable Details. They present 3 residential case studies on how insulation materials were selected to meet big-picture environmental concerns, and how the specified materials were incorporated into high-performance assemblies. Registrants will receive a copy of Building Green's new 92-page special report on evaluating and selecting insulation materials for specific applications.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

10 Hottest Green Building Topics Of 2013
Building Green lists the 10 hottest green building topics of 2013, based on reader interest.

Green Building Megatrends For 2014
EcoBuilding Pulse lists the top 10 green building megatrends that will shape the industry in 2014, according to Jerry Yudelson.

2014 Updates To Built Green Single Family Checklist
Built Green says they are not updating the Single Family Checklist for 2014, but lists some minor revisions focused on clarification of intent.

BC Certified Builder and Energy Advisor Update Webinar
CHBA BC webinar Certified Builder and Energy Advisor Update will be held on January 15th. It is mandatory for all Certified Built Green and Licensed R-2000 Builders who have not attended the full training course or an update session in the past two years to maintain their training requirements. (PDF)

Building Smart With Energy Efficiency Workshop
BC Building Envelope Council workshop Building Smart with Energy Efficiency Workshop will be held in Vancouver on February 11th. It will focus on energy efficiency in new and retrofit buildings. Industry leaders will provide insights into key issues, including insulation strategies, high performance walls and energy-efficiency code requirements. The workshop will also examine some of the challenges and options being explored in multi-unit residential and institutional buildings. PDF)

Canadian Federal Light-Bulb Ban Set For January 1, 2014
MacLeans says a federal ban on inefficient light bulbs goes into effect January 1, 2014, but the tough regulations are being watered down, and there are no federal rules yet on recycling a class of bulbs that meet the new standard but contain toxic mercury.

Can Energy Hogs Still Be Considered Efficient Buildings?
Building Design & Construction says energy hogs can still be considered efficient buildings, as a new tool from an engineering firm takes into account both energy and economic performance of buildings for a true measure of efficiency.

Urban Design Action Plan
ReNew Canada says implementing urban design starts with the commitment to build the future. It describes vital elements involved in successful action plans, and a case study of the documentation and evaluation necessary for sustainable urban design projects.

20 Sustainability Apps That Made Waves In 2013
Green Biz describes 20 innovative and influential tools that might fit your team. Some emerged in 2013; others are undergoing their latest refinements.

Climate Leadership Conference
Alliance to Save Energy presents the Climate Leadership Conference in San Diego, February 24-26, 2014. It is an annual exchange for addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

10 Solutions For Fire & Life Safety
Building Design & Construction describes some new fire and life safety products and technologies.

40 Top Products From I Want That
DIY Network describes the 40 top products featured in season three of DIY Network's I Want That.

10 Ways To Wow With Lighting Control
Techome Builder describes how virtually any level of lighting control is possible, from simple dimmers to vacancy sensors to preset scenes and home theater lighting.

Wall-Hung Toilets Offer Space-Saving Benefits
Custom Home Magazine provides description of some new wall-hung toilets for space-saving aesthetics and sanitation.

Concrete Countertop Ideas By Room
Concrete Networks provides design ideas for using concrete for kitchen counters, bar counters, outdoor counters and more.

What Homebuyers Want In Home Automation
TecHome Builder summarizes a Consumer Electronics Association study on the Adoption and Usage of Home Automation Technologies that identifies product ownership now and consumers’ intent to own these products in two years.

Quick Job-Site Clamp For Small Pieces
Fine Homebuilding online video gives description of a better way to clamp small pieces if you need to drill holes in them.

Difference Between Floor Tiles & Wall Tiles
Journal of Light Construction Q & A describes the qualities that make a ceramic tile suitable for floor or wall use.

Advancing 3D Printing Capabilities Excite Construction Leaders
Engineering News Record says not only is 3D printing catching on in the market, it is rapidly improving in terms of production speed, materials options, binding agents and scale.

ASHRAE 90.1 Compliance For Metal Buildings Using Fiberglass Insulation
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association booklet ASHRAE 90.1 Compliance for Metal Buildings helps designers meet the energy code requirements with fiber glass insulation systems.

9. Installation Procedures

Purchasable Best Practices For Window & Door Replacement In Wood-Frame Buildings
BC Homeowner Protection Office sells the Best Practices for Window and Door Replacement in Wood-Frame Buildings. It explains best practices for window and door replacement in wood-frame buildings, from single-family homes to multiunit residential buildings. $20 CDN (PDF)

Tips For Building Deck Stairs
Journal of Light Construction describes best-practice for deck stairs construction.

Installing Housewrap At Inside Corners
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to get your corners tight when installing housewrap.

Placing Decorative Concrete In Cold Weather
Concrete Network provides tips and resources for placing decorative concrete in cold weather.

Fixing A Botched Stucco Trim Job
Journal of Light Construction Q & A offers advice for making an ugly stucco trim retrofit look and perform better.

Outdoor Reset Control & Heat Pumps
Plumbing & Mechanical describes how to maximize both the heating capacity and COP of heat pumps using outdoor reset control.

Radiant Loop Layout Patterns
HPAC magazine describes the four most common loop layout options when dealing with an over pour installation. These are referred to as single-wall serpentine, double-wall serpentine, triple-wall serpentine and counter flow.

Quick Circular-Saw Blade Change
Fine Homebuilding online video shows an easy way to change a circular-saw blade.

Plumbers Considerations For Building Tiled Showers
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor magazine describes some of the issues to consider when planning, designing and building tiled showers.

Hardwood Floors Over I-Joists
Journal of Light Construction says hardwood strip flooring performs just fine over wood I-joist framing.

10. Information Sources

Agendas & Minutes Of BC Building Research Committee Meetings
BC Building Envelope Council provides access to past agenda and minutes for the Building Research Committee meetings.

BC Industry Safety Information Centre
WorkSafe BC online Industry Safety Information Centre allows you to create industry charts to see your injury prevention activities, accepted injury/illness claims, and changes to your industry size.

iHomes & Buildings Magazine On Intelligent Buildings
Continental Automated Buildings Association iHomes & Buildings magazine examines innovations in home safety as well as how electrical and surveillance systems are central to intelligent buildings.

Bibliography Of Radiant Heating & Cooling Resources
Healthy Heating provides a list of research and technical resources citations on radiant based HVAC systems for industry use.

Diaphragm Design & Design Of Multi-Storey Wood-Based Shearwalls
Canadian Wood Council has some new fact sheets (bottom of page) covering diaphragm design and design of multi-storey wood-based shearwalls.

Canadian Affordable Housing Centre
CMHC Affordable Housing Centre, with a team of experts throughout Canada, works with private and non-profit developers to facilitate the creation of new affordable housing without federal subsidy. Their site has information on financial assistance available for the development of affordable housing and a comprehensive inventory of housing resources.

Concrete Council Of Canada
Concrete Council of Canada brings together national and provincial industry associations and representatives from the full spectrum of Canada’s cement and concrete manufacturers. Its mission is to advance the industry’s leadership in sustainable construction and promote the social, environmental and economic value of concrete, concrete products and concrete systems within the country. Membership includes various independent organizations from Canada’s cement, ready-mix concrete, precast concrete, concrete pavers and concrete pipe industries.

Historic Preservation
Whole Building Design Guide Historic Preservation Subcommittee describes benefits and considerations for historic preservation of buildings.

UK Resource Site On Construction
Designing Buildings Wiki is a UK site with the goal of assembling all construction industry knowledge in one place and making it available to everyone for free.

11. Conferences & Shows

RCI Western Canada AGM & Educational Conference
RCI Western Canada presents its AGM and educational conference in Vancouver on January 10th.

Buildex Vancouver: BC Building Industry Trade Show
Buildex, the BC design, real estate, and construction show, held February 19-20 at Vancouver Convention Centre, features products, services, information, and education related to the management, design and renovation of commercial buildings, single family, multi-family, condominium, and community developments.

International Roofing Expo
National Roofing Contractors Association presents the International Roofing Expo in Las Vegas, February 26–28.

Indoor Environment & Energy Expo
IE3, The Indoor Environment & Energy Expo will be held in Nashville, March 17-20. Created for the indoor environmental and energy services contracting industry, it is co-presented by ACCA and the Indoor Air Quality Association.

2014 Canadian Home Builders Conference In Whistler
Canadian Home Builders Association annual national conference, held April 3-5 in Whistler, includes a number of speakers and sessions on business and industry issues, awards presentations, product displays, and social and networking events.

BC Water Show
The Water Show, held in Abbotsford April 4-5, 2013, is where industry experts share new ideas and the latest technology related to water uses, conservation, in addition to solar, micro hydro, geothermal and much more.

12. Education & Training

CCDC Documents
BC Building Envelope Council presentation in Vancouver on January 16th will explain the CCDC (Canadian Construction Document Committee), its mandate and its process to obtain consensus based contracts and other documents used throughout Canada. It will give an overview of all current and proposed contracts as well as their respective characteristics, and discuss myths about the documents and the use of supplementary general conditions. (PDF)

BC Economic Outlook Forum 2014
Vancouver Board of Trade 25th Annual Economic Outlook Forum, held on January 16th, will will provide insight into the state of the BC economy and arm you with the knowledge to plan strategically for the year ahead.

Innovative Approaches To Managing Suburban Sprawl In Canada
Canadian Urban Institute, Sustainable Prosperity, Simon Fraser University, and Urban Development Institute presents the panel discussion Suburban Sprawl: Innovative approaches to managing suburban sprawl in Canada, in Vancouver on January 20th.

How To Use New Best Practice Guide For Window & Door Replacement
Fenestration BC webinar on January 23rd will take you through the Best Practice Guide for Replacement Windows and Doors, Wood Buildings and highlight the areas of importance and interest.

Large Wood Structures Symposium
WoodWorks one-day Wood Symposium: 21st Century Wood Design and Construction will be held in Vancouver on January 23rd. It is designed to inspire and educate senior architects, structural engineers, design and construction professionals about how new technologies in wood products have opened the door to uncharted and unconventional design possibilities.

Fraser Valley Builders Educational Forum & Tradeshow
Canadian Home Builders Association of the Fraser Valley annual Educational Forum & Trade Show will be held in Abbotsford January 28th. It provides education sessions, product displays, and networking opportunities for builders, renovators, professionals, government agencies & representatives, trades, and suppliers.

Understanding Project Management
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association two-day course Understanding Project Management will be held in Burnaby January 28-29. It is designed to provide an understanding of the elements of project management while providing a broad range of hands on experience addressing project challenges.

Introduction to Basic Electricity
BC Electrical Association course Introduction to Basic Electricity, held in Burnaby, runs from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on four evenings: Monday February 3, Wednesday February 5, Tuesday February 11, and Thursday February 13.

BC Construction Learning Forum
Vancouver Regional Construction Association 2014 Construction Learning Forum will be held in Whistler May 23-24. It will focus on important industry topics and provide you with the opportunity to learn about new industry trends and best practices and to participate in networking, stimulating discussion and the exchange of ideas.

New Minimum Qualifications For BC Builder Licensing To Be Administered By HPO
BC Homeowner Protection Office says the new minimum qualifications for builder licensing will be administered by HPO. These will enhance professionalism in the residential construction sector in BC by introducing education and training qualifications as a condition of residential builder licensing.

Leave Industry Training To Industry
Victoria Home Builders Association says it does not support the recent announcement that BC Housing/HPO will be administering the home building industry education and training.

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

Best Free Software Downloads For Windows
Windows Club identifies their favorite free Windows software in 24 different categories.

200 Search Engines By Category
Phil Bradley offers a collection of over 200 different search engines categorized in a variety of different subject areas.

Pile Driving Boogie
In an effort to speed up the building replacement program in Christchurch the NZ Government is recruiting highly specialized building teams from overseas. One such team is shown here.

Dittie For Today: On Experience

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back. - Chinese saying

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© Copyright 2013              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


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