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Alert Notice #94
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
March 4. 2014

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 Rob Dumont, Wilma Leung, John Nicol, Brian Hart, Denisa Ionescu, Myranda Nickoloff, Steve Duren, Cindy Kralj, Bruce Gray, Sabine Just, Zana Gordon, Adam Collinge, Steve Thorpe, Pamela Markey, Steve Castle, Matt Croson, Laura Litchfield, Sam Saxton, Zena Caul, Joey Fearn, and Reid Tynan 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

Online Wall Thermal Design Calculator
Canadian Wood Council online Wall Thermal Design Calculator provides designers with prescriptive wall assembly solutions complying with national energy efficiency requirements. It is meant to provide enough information that architects, designers, engineers, consultants and contractors can quickly determine suitable wall assemblies for each climate zone in Canada.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

UDI State Of Market For 4th Quarter 2013
The UDI/Fortis State of the Market Quarterly Report Q4 2013, prepared by Urban Analytics, provides up-to-date statistics and trends on the new home and re-sale housing market. (PDF)

BC Housing Forecast 1st Quarter 2014
BC Real Estate Association report Housing Forecast 1st Quarter 2014 says Multiple Listing Service residential sales in British Columbia are forecast to increase 4.8 per cent this year, after increasing 7.8 per cent in 2013. Housing demand in the province has now almost fully recovered from the downturn recorded in 2012. (PDF)

Housing Matters BC Strategy
BC Government report Housing Matters BC: A Foundation for Strong Communities describes revisions that address the changing needs of British Columbians under the six strategies of stable housing, priority assistance, aboriginal housing, rental housing, home ownership, and built environment. (PDF)

2013 Year In Review For BC Homeowner Protection Office
BC Homeowner Protection Office newsletter describes their 2013 year in review, covering a range of topics relative to their role in the industry.

February 2014 Housing Now Canada
CMHC online Housing Now Canada February 2014 provides statistics on new home market, housing starts, inventories of new and unabsorbed units, building permits, new housing price index, existing home market, MLS sales and new listings, and more. (PDF)

Quarterly Canadian Regional Housing Report
TD Economics online Quarterly Regional Housing Report discusses Canadian home prices with perspectives on overvaluation. (PDF)

Senior Housing Megatrend To Spur $127 Billion Construction Market
CHBA says the senior housing construction market is projected to more than double to $127 billion in 2023 in the G20 nations alone. Much of the associated costs will be driven by the desire for more innovative technologies that foster aging-in-place and promote health and wellness. (PDF)

ALR To Blame For Vancouver's Unaffordable Real Estate
Business in Vancouver says Demographia told them that the region's agricultural land reserve is largely responsible for high housing prices in Metro Vancouver.

US Housing Outlook 2014
Forbes magazine offers 10 predictions that some experts see for the US housing market this year.

2. Business Management

2014 US National SAM Awards Winners
US National Association of Home Builders displays winners of their 2014 National SAM Awards for sales and marketing personnel and projects.

Podcasts To Help Housing Companies Sell More Homes
Builder Radio online Selling More Homes podcasts bring top thought leaders from across the housing-sphere to share their best tips, strategies and advice for success.

Dig Deep With Buyers To Sell
Builder Magazine speaks to what's necessary for selling into a lumpy, choppy, highly-selective, highly discriminating demand pool. It's about digging for a drowning man issue that makes your new home in a new-home community a life-improving solution. It's about a transformation, once and for all, from order-taking to selling.

Most Remodeling Business Still Comes From Customer Referrals & Returns
NAHB says although relatively new ways of generating business such as company Web sites and online review services tend to get a lot of attention, the best source of leads for remodelers are still the traditional ones.

2014 Canadian & Provincial Workforce Forecasts
BuildForce Canada annual Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecasts offer a 10-year scenario of workforce supply and demand by trade, province and region. These forecasts help industry, training providers and government decision makers manage workforce requirements.

First Level Construction Supervisor Materials
BuildForce Canada online products provide a detailed analysis of the knowledge, competencies and attributes of a Construction Supervisor (First Level) as defined by the National Occupational Analysis (NOA), and gives users tools to help implement the NOA.

Why Job Descriptions Matter
Canadian Federation of Independent Business says a good job description will allow business owners to create better job postings, set employment expectations and aid in performance management, and offers a free, downloadable Job Description Template.

2014 Top Tech Tools & Trends For AEC Professionals
Building Design & Construction explores how building teams throughout the world are utilizing advanced robotics, 3D printers, drones, data-driven design, and breakthroughs in building information modeling to gain efficiencies and create better buildings.

CRA Announces Programs To Help Small Businesses
Canadian Federation of Independent Business says Canada Revenue Agency announced some new initiatives that are meant to help small businesses comply with CRA’s complex regulations.

3. Building Design & Trends

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

Best In American Living Awards Highlight Design Trends For 2014
The winners of the Best in American Living Awards demonstrate that they are at the forefront of innovative design and are also a preview of design trends home buyers will see over the next several years, according to the judges who reviewed the entries in the annual competition of the National Association of Home Builders.

Five Favorite 2013 Kitchen & Bath Projects
Custom Home magazine Editor-in-Chief Amy Albert takes a look back at five of her favorite projects from last year's Watermark Awards. Her favorite kitchen or bath projects all have practicality and luxe as the common denominator.

Flooring Trends For 2014
Builder Magazine says wood-inspired flooring materials bring nature indoors and continue to gain popularity, especially in open floor plans.

Hard Surface Award Winners 2013
Terrazzo, Tile & Marble Association of Canada displays pictures of their 2013 Hard Surface Award winners. (PDF)

2014 Winners Of Decorative Concrete Council Awards
Decorative Concrete Council, a specialty council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, presents the winners of its sixth annual awards competition.

Hottest Outdoor Design Trends For 2014
Consumer demand remains strong for attractively designed residential landscapes that are perfect for entertaining and relaxing, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The survey also shows continuing popularity for both sustainable and low-maintenance design.

Look For Bold Bright Entry Doors In 2014
Custom Home magazine says Therma-Tru partnered with color expert Kate Smith to take a look at where entryway design is going in 2014.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

John Nicol, Energy Projects Team Leader, BC Building & Safety Standards Branch says: “As always, another informative issue Ken. I find BC Building Info to be a very useful and painless way to get a regular snapshot of what's happening in the construction sector.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw Implementation Delayed
Based on feedback from industry professionals, the implementation of the 2014 City of Vancouver Building Bylaw will be extended to July 1, 2014 rather than March 1, 2014. Once the revisions are complete, the new bylaw will be available online.

New Online WebPermits Services For Coquitlam
Coquitlam’s Building Division now has an online, web-based inspection booking tool, WebPermits. It allows you to schedule your inspections online using your computer or mobile phone, reschedule inspections, cancel inspections, and review inspection results.

Use Of CSA A440S1-09 For Determining Fenestration Performance Grades In BC
Fenestration Association of BC online Guidelines on the Use of the Canadian Supplement CSA A440S1-09 for Determining Fenestration Performance Grades in BC provides assistance to those parties using CSA A440S1-09 to determine NAFS-08 Performance Grades for both Part 9 and Part 3 buildings in BC. (PDF)

Purchasable Floor Covering Reference Manual
BC Floor Covering Association sells the Floor Covering Reference Manual that describes flooring specifications. It is available either in specific parts, or as a complete manual.

Updated WorkSafe BC Inspection Report Format
WorkSafe BC has recently updated their inspection report, the document they send you following a workplace inspection.

Updated Approved Certification Marks For Electrical Products In BC
The BC Electrical Safety Regulation says electrical equipment must bear evidence of either a mark or a label of a certification agency accredited by the Standards Council of Canada or an approval label issued by the British Columbia Safety Authority. This updated Bulletin specifies the certification/approval marks and labels that are acceptable in British Columbia. (PDF)

Issues With Proposed BC Silica Regulation
BC Construction Safety Alliance says WorkSafeBC has developed a draft regulation that is specific to silica dust. The development of the draft has been generally supported by industry but significant concerns have been brought forward with regard to the difficulty in achieving compliance based on the highly technical requirements in parts of the draft regulation, which could create undue hardship, despite reasonable efforts in maintaining worker health and safety. (PDF)

FortisBC Receives Regulatory Approval For Amalgamation Of Gas Utilities
BC Utilities Commission has determined that the amalgamation of FortisBC Energy Inc., FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. and Terasen Gas Holdings Inc. is beneficial and in the public interest. The BCUC also approved adoption of a common rate structure for the majority of natural gas customers.

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5. Building Science & Technology

How Do Buildings Stack Up?
Building Science describes theory and considerations for stack effect in buildings. In houses we have learned to live with lower neutral pressure planes by designing and constructing walls to be more moisture tolerant and we have learned to compensate for the lack of active chimney induced air change by providing controlled ventilation systems. In tall buildings we are learning to compartmentalize and to provide distributed ventilation, distributed space conditioning and distributed hot water.

Selecting Ventilation Systems For Existing Homes
US Department of Energy report Selecting Ventilation Systems for Existing Homes discusses where, when, and how much ventilation is appropriate in a home, including some discussion of relevant codes and standards. Advantages, disadvantages, and approximate costs of various system types are presented along with general guidelines for implementing the systems in homes. (PDF)

Air Barriers, Vapor Barriers, Drainage Planes
Energy Vanguard article describes air barriers, vapor barriers, and drainage planes and how they do different jobs.

What’s The Definition Of An R-20 Wall?
Green Building Advisor describes why it’s surprisingly tricky to determine what the code means by an R-20 wall.

Hydronic Heating For Low-Load Houses
Journal of Light Construction article by hydronic heating expert John Siegenthaler explains the principles and practice of using hot water systems to heat super energy-efficient homes.

Optimizing Hydronic System Performance In Residential Applications
US Department of Energy report Optimizing Hydronic System Performance in Residential Applications summarizes modeling and monitoring that sought to determine the optimal combination(s) of components (pumps, high efficiency heat sources, plumbing configurations and controls) that result in the highest overall efficiency for a hydronic system when baseboard convectors are used as the heat emitter. (PDF)

12 Facts About Heat-Treated Glass
Building Design & Construction provides a dozen quick tips about tempered and heat-strengthened glass from PPG Glass Education Center.

Canadian Wood-Frame House Construction
CMHC online book Canadian Wood-Frame House Construction is an introductory book for understanding and applying wood-frame house construction principles and the construction sequence for a typical house. The chapters are based on major aspects of wood-frame house construction from site planning, foundations, framing, mechanical and electrical services and finishes. (Large PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

Why Does My Heat Pump Frost Over?
Energy Vanguard describes why the outdoor unit of a heat pump will occasionally grow frost around the outside of the unit when it's in heating mode.

Ventilation System Effectiveness & Tested IAQ Impacts
US Department of Energy report Ventilation System Effectiveness and Tested Indoor Air Quality Impacts focused on the in-situ impacts of various ventilation systems, including the impacts of differing sources of outside air and the spatial distribution and filtration of ventilation air. (PDF)

6 Inch Ducts Don't Always Deliver 100 CFM
David R Blog says the unintended result of the traditional thinking that a 6” duct always delivers 100 CFM, is that many HVAC systems fail to perform at their anticipated levels.

Fixing Acid Stains On Decorative Concrete Floors
Concrete Network provides advice for solving acid staining issues.

BC Residential Fire Outcomes By General Construction Type
University of the Fraser Valley study Fire Outcomes in Residential Fires by General Construction Type shows that the type of building construction material used makes little difference with respect to fire spread, injury rates and death providing the buildings have sprinklers and smoke alarms. (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, good engineering practices, findings from site investigations, and recommendations for authorities. (PDF)

Pipe Corrosion Is Easily Avoidable Issue
Plumbing & Mechanical Engineer says corrosion of metals is an ever-present problem in the plumbing industry, but is not normally a problem in well designed and managed systems.

NRC Leads Development Of Wind Uplift Standards
Daily Commercial News says National Research Council Canada, in collaboration with the Special Interest Group for Dynamic Evaluation of Roofing Systems has investigated low-slope roof assemblies for wind uplift performance.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

NAHB Lauds Green Homes Of The Year
Eco Building shows projects of several builders, remodelers, and other industry professionals that have been named by the National Association of Home Builders as winners of the annual NAHBGreen Awards, which recognizes excellence in residential green design and construction practices and green building advocacy.

Survey On Low Energy Housing Technology Cost Index
Net-Zero Energy Coalition online survey is seeking costing information from builders across North America who have direct experience building net-zero energy homes. This survey will be open until March 14th.

Metro Vancouver Considering Campaign For Home Efficiency Labelling
Vancouver Sun says Metro Vancouver is considering a campaign for home efficiency labelling, which would allow homebuyers to see how their prospective new property rates in terms of energy efficiency. The notion is being pitched as part of a raft of potential ideas aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Metro Vancouver by 33 per cent over the next six years, and 80 per cent by 2050. (PDF)

BC Seminar On Thermal Bridging Calculations
Canadian Passive House Institute course Thermal Bridging Calculations will be held in Vancouver, March 31 and April1. In this two-day course, participants will learn the fundamentals of thermal bridging calculations for wood-framed construction.

BC Rainwater Harvesting Training Course
BC Landscape Nursery Association course on rainwater harvesting will be held in Surrey on April 10th. It covers technical and best practices of rainwater harvesting, systems design, and national and provincial standards, tailored for the Lower Mainland. (PDF)

BC Building Performance Study
Light House report BC Building Performance Study undertaken with the Building Owners and Managers Association of BC examines the energy performance of 281 buildings from across BC, including 147 BOMA BESt certified buildings and 134 non-certified buildings. (PDF)

Saving Energy & Water In Facilities
Online slide show presentation Saving Energy & Water In Facilities by Canadian energy efficiency expert Rob Dumont describes cost effective opportunities to save energy by upgrading lighting, space heating, ventilation air heating, compressed air, electric motors, refrigeration equipment, and power factor correction. (PDF)

World's Most Successful Model For Sustainable Urban Development?
Sustainable Cities Collective describes Vauban quarter in Freiburg, Germany, as what may be the world's most successful model for sustainable urban development.

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8. Building Products & Suppliers

Online 2014 Radiant Flooring Guide
Radiant Professionals Alliance online Radiant Flooring Guide provides information on various suppliers of suitable floor coverings and sub-materials for use with radiant floor heating.

BC Nurseries & Landscape Buyers Guide & Directory 2013
BC Landscape Nursery Association online Buyers Guide & Directory lists suppliers of nursery and landscape products, equipment and services.

BC Do-It-Yourself Concrete Block Molds
Vancouver Island based FORMABLOK has introduced a re-usable easy-to-use landscape block mold. These light weight cement forms allow for the recovery of leftover cement on the jobsite while producing a value added landscaping product. With 4 design types, you can make your own articulating interlocking dry stack gravity blocks to create any configuration.

Design Products From 2014 New American Home
Builder Magazine says the 2014 New American Home is a masterpiece of energy-efficient technologies, multigenerational design, and state-of-the-art products, but it’s also stunning to look at. This slideshow displays their favorite surfaces, touchpoints, and innovative features.

Overview Of Building Insulation Types & Applications
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association describes features, benefits, and applications for various types of building insulation. (PDF)

A Day In The Connected Home
TecHome Builder says home automation and control is no longer the province of the rich. Apps for many home systems allow remote connectivity and access from smartphones. Here's one couple's day in the connected life.

Assessing Old Structural Timbers
Journal of Light Construction describes how to tell if the old beams in a house are in good condition.

The One Day Multi-Story House
Green Thinker online video shows an environmentally efficient, three-story house that promotes debate about cheaper mass housing. Watch it spring to life here in time-lapse, as a construction team raises the building from scratch in minutes.

9. Installation Procedures

Foundation Drainage
Journal of Light Construction describes grading and footing drain details that will keep surface runoff and underground water away from the foundation.

How To Install A Prehung Exterior Door
Fine Homebuilding online video describes how to install an exterior door so it works and looks great.

Radiant Tubing Installation Methods & Spacing
Mechanical Business says there are numerous methods of how to physically install tubing in a radiant slab, various spacing configurations and tube depths that can be used, and there are reasons and ramifications with every choice made on the jobsite.

Embedded Snow Melt Systems, A Radiant Concept
HPAC magazine says embedded hydronic snow melting systems can be effectively used in any exterior area, including stairs, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and ramps, loading docks, building entrances, wheelchair access ramps, hospital emergency entrances, and helipads on building tops.

Tips For Preparing To Place Concrete In The Cold
Concrete Network provides tips for preparing to place concrete in cold weather, including how to deal with frozen ground.

Why HVAC Equipment Still Gets Dirty With High Efficiency Air Filters
David R Blog describes why, even though no expense was spared on the quality of the filter that has been installed or the equipment it is attached to, the equipment still continues to get dirty on a fairly consistent basis.

Beefing Up Attic Joists For Living Space
Journal of Light Construction describes how to make the attic floor strong enough to create a living space in an attic.

How To Patch Leaky PVC Water Pipe
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to patch a leaky PVC water pipe.

10. Information Sources

Glossary Of Housing Terms
CMHC online Glossary of Housing Terms: The A to Z of Housing Terms is a collection of housing terms for housing professionals, students and do-it-yourself practitioners. It defines, and provides context to, the many terms associated with residential design, construction and renovation. The glossary is organized both alphabetically and by subject area. (PDF)

Technical Documents On Windows & Doors
Fenestration Association of BC provides online access to technical documents on windows and doors.

New National Version Of Glazing Systems Specifications Manual
Fenestration BC sells the new national version of the Glazing Systems Specifications Manual, it is intended to reflect all aspects of the practice of glazing in Canada. (PDF) $250 CDN

Canadian Construction Innovations
Canadian Construction Innovations will provide the necessary framework to enhance industry-wide collaboration for innovation in the construction industry with the aim to increase competitiveness, productivity and financial performance.

Canadian Resource Site On Radiant Heating
Beautiful Heat, presented by a select group of Canadian manufacturers of radiant home heating products, provides information and resources on radiant heating.

Canadian Resource Site On Domestic Hot Water Heaters
Natural Resources Canada provides information and resources on hot water tanks including energy sources, storage tank, tankless, combination systems, heat pumps, solar, operating tips, and drain water heat recovery.

The Residential Building Enclosure
Whole Building Design Guide provides a description of features and benefits of residential building enclosures, and links to more resources.

Free App Of Repair Manuals
iFixit is a free app with thousands of free how-to guides making it easy to repair your stuff.

11. Conferences & Shows

BC Log & Timber Building Industry Conference
BC Log & Timber Building Association and the International Log Building Association will hold their joint 2014 Industry Conference & Trade Show in Parksville, March 27-30.

2014 Western Conference On Safety In Vancouver
2014 Western Conference on Safety, held in Vancouver April 14-15, is Western Canada's largest occupational health and safety event with more than 25 sessions, keynote presentations, and a tradeshow.

2014 BC Land Summit
2014 BC Land Summit, being held in Vancouver May 14-16, will be the first interdisciplinary conference organized by the newly formed BC Land Summit Society. The conference will provide a unique inter-professional opportunity to learn, share ideas, collaborate and network with others working in diverse land-related fields.

12. Education & Training

New BC Apprenticeship Advisors
Industry Training Authority lists their initial Apprenticeship Advisor team that provides additional apprenticeship support for industry.

Introduction To Wall Thermal Design Calculator
BC Building Envelope Council luncheon seminar Introduction To The Wall Thermal Design Calculator will be held in Vancouver on March 20th. The calculator was created to provide designers with climate-zone appropriate insulated wall assembly solutions.

Cultivating & Keeping People You Want
Vancouver Regional Construction Association seminar Cultivating & Keeping the People You Want will be held in Vancouver on March 25th. It explores importance of establishing Organizational Clarity and company goals during succession planning; provides practical and innovative strategies to assess, identify and retain your future successors; and discusses the top 20 reasons employees choose to stay with one company rather than look elsewhere.

Free Contractor Breakfast On Ground Disturbance Procedures
BC Common Ground Alliance invites you and your staff to a free contractor breakfast in Surrey on April 1st. They will share important safety information on proper ground disturbance procedures, a hot meal and prizes.

Construction Estimating
ICBA course Construction Estimating, held in Burnaby April 7-8, covers skills and knowledge to estimate construction projects and prepare a successful bid. It is Gold Seal certified, and designed for construction estimators and those with experience in construction that desire to be estimators or improve their knowledge of estimating.

What Builders & Architects Need To Know About New Code Requirements For Windows & Doors
Fenestration BC and Canadian Home Builders Association Central Okanagan seminar What Builders & Architects Need To Know About New Code Requirements For Windows & Doors will be held in Kelowna on April 25th.

BC Industry Training Authority Service Plan 2014/15-2016/17
BC Industry Training Authority online Service Plan 2014/15-2016/17 says they will continue to support flexible apprenticeship training initiatives. Additionally, ITA will continue to develop competency-based assessment tools for high demand trades to certify domestic and internationally trained skilled trades workers. (PDF)

Canada Apprentice Loan Unveiled In 2014 Federal Budget
Daily Commercial News says the Canada Apprentice Loan, introduced in Economic Action Plan 2014, will offer interest-free loans to help registered apprentices in Red Seal trades with the cost of their training. Apprentices registered in their first Red Seal trade apprenticeship will be able to apply for loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. (PDF)

13. Computer, Internet & Fun

100 Most Popular Freeware Downloads
PC Pitstop lists their rankings of the 100 most popular freeware titles.

29 Social Media Tools Recommended By Pros
Social Media Examiner asked a group of social media pros for the hottest social media tools they use today.

Pictures Of BC Past
This sure brings back some memories if you've lived in BC for long. Mouse over each picture and it will give a descriptor where each one was taken. Awesome collection.


Dittie For Today: On Mistakes

Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom. - Phyllis Theroux


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

 
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