Alert Notice #98
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
May 27, 2014


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. Education & Training
12. Computer, Internet & Fun

Thanks to our advertisers, these Alert Notices come to you free. Check out what they offer.

greensheet   Green Sheet
gienow   Gienow Windows & Doors
stonetile   StoneTile

My thanks to George Pinch, Dave Ricketts, Wilma Leung, Connie Howe, Ryan Coleman, Kevin Holland, Tiger Adolph, Susan Scott, Dave Finet, John Vukanovich, David Mitten, Glenn Duxbury, Steve Durn, Joey Fearn, Paula Livingston, Laura Litchfield, Peter Francis, Jessica Carter, Robby Schwarz, Rachel Goodwin, Catherine Weaver, Chris Nelson, and Chandra Arthur 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

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************
Green Sheet - Your Ultimate Resource For Construction Data

Are you a sales person trying to have your products specified?
Are you a supplier, installer, or subcontractor seeking new bidding opportunities?

If you are unsure of where your next job is coming from, you can find new
prospective markets and increase sales using Green Sheet construction data...
                        Find out more..…


Ken's Top Pick

Pathways To High-Performance Housing In BC
FPInnovations online Pathways to high-performance housing in British Columbia focuses on design and construction strategies and detailed measures to improve home energy efficiency in BC. The primary purpose of this publication is to provide guidelines for designers and builders who are interested in the design and construction of single-family and small multi-family buildings that are substantially more energy efficient and lower in environmental impact than traditionally built homes. (PDF) Free site registration required.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Housing Demand To Grow
Business in Vancouver says demand for housing in BC is expected to increase this year and next, driven by employment growth and an increasing population, according to CMHC.

Housing Market Outlook BC Region 2nd Quarter 2014
CMHC Housing Market Outlook BC Region Second Quarter 2014 says housing starts are forecast to total 27,800 homes in 2014 and 27,900 homes in 2015. While the annual level of provincial housing starts is projected to remain relatively unchanged this year and next, expect a slight shift toward single-detached housing starts as the economy and labour market gain traction.

BC Housing Forecast 2nd Quarter 2014
BC Real Estate Association report Housing Forecast 2nd Quarter 2014 says BC MLS residential sales are forecast to increase 5.2 per cent to 76,700 units this year, before increasing a further 6.7 per cent to 81,800 units in 2015. (PDF)

Bob Rennie 2014 UDI Speech
Bob Rennie presents the online video of his 2014 speech to the Urban Development Institute.

UDI State Of Market For 1st Quarter 2014
The UDI State of the Market Quarterly Report Q1 2014, prepared by Urban Analytics, provides up-to-date statistics and trends on the new home and re-sale housing market. (PDF)

BC Labour Market Statistics & Career Outlooks
WorkBC provides insight into current and anticipated labour market conditions and career outlooks using provincial and federal data to generate reports, information and graphics.

Changes To Mortgage Insurance Product Offering
CMHC is discontinuing its Second Home and Self-Employed Without 3rd Party Income Validation mortgage insurance products effective May 30, 2014. Self-employed Canadians can still qualify for CMHC insured financing through CMHC homeowner products with a validation of their income using traditional methods.

2. Business Management

VRCA 2013/14 Construction Salary Guide
VRCA & Hays 2014 Salary Guide provides a cross section of average salaries, with a minimum-typical-maximum range for construction management professionals as well as an overview of some of the trends from the industry. (PDF)

Developer Of Master Planned Communities Shares Know How
Builder Magazine article by developers of master planned communities describes their thinking behind scoping out the market, creating places that attract interest, and building homes that reel in buyers.

Publication Lets Builders Compare Financial Performance Against Colleagues
US National Association of Home Builders sells Cost of Doing Business Study, 2014 Edition, a national study of builders’ business practices and financial performance. IT gives builders the opportunity to see which companies earned a profit and how they did it.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program Myths
Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says recent survey data clarifies a number of misconceptions about labour shortages and how small and medium businesses use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. (PDF)

Construction Industry Can Sell Itself To Young Labour Force Entrants
Journal of Commerce provides insight into Canada’s labour markets and how they have changed since the Great Recession.

How To Keep Funds Flowing While Dealing With Holdback Lien
Clark Wilson describes a decision that confirms the court's willingness to work out a rational solution to a situation where large sums of construction funds can be held up by a technical interpretation of the Act. In practice, the procedure available to secure a holdback lien will ensure that the unpaid claimants receive adequate security for their claims in the amount prescribed by legislation, while allowing others to receive payment of holdback funds duly owing to them.

Investing In Equipment: Lease Or Buy?
Home Builder Canada says there’s no clear-cut answer on lease or purchase as decisions depend on many factors, including your current cash flow situation, the length of time the equipment is needed, and other business and tax considerations.

Do The Math On Supplier Discounts
Journal of Light Construction online video shows how the 2% purchase discount on your supplier invoices can be quite significant on an annualized basis.

3. Building Design & Trends

Designs For This New Old House
Professional Builder says a certain segment of the home-buying population is drawn to new homes that evoke traditional architectural styles while offering the open floor plans and amenities that cater to a modern lifestyle.

Small Baths With Big Style
HGTV Remodels show how to add style and function to your small space with these helpful tips and inspiring bathrooms.

Holistic Bath Design
For Residential Pros describes three areas of the bathroom that have client-specific requirements for both new construction and renovation projects.

Clever Storage Stair From Repurposed Studs
Custom Home Magazine describes how repurposing old wall studs as stair treads cum bookshelves shows off a house’s old bones in a modern way.

10 Best Practices For Design Build
Design-Build Institute of America online The 10 Design-Build Done Right Best Practices groups its best practices into three areas: procuring services, contracting for services and executing delivery. (PDF)

61 Stunning Staircases
HGTV Remodels displays 61 staircase styles, ideas and solutions.

Vibrant Colors Back In Remodeling Projects
US National Association of the Remodeling Industry says vibrant, energetic colors - especially in kitchens - is one of the top trends seen in 2014.

Pictures Of Architecture
Dering Hall has an online database of pictures of various types of architecture.

What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Leigh Grelish, President, Trademark Custom Homes & Renovations says: “Your newsletter is a good instrument to offer the industry and I think there is a real need for it. Looks Great.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Code Interpretation For Fire Alarm Verification
Building Officials Association of BC displays the BC Code Interpretation for fire alarm verification. (PDF)

Webinars On BC Building Code Requirements Part 3 Energy Efficiency
BC Homeowner Protection Office and BC Hydro Power Smart are presenting five webinars in May and June that will help you better understand how to apply the 2011 National Energy Code for Building and ASHRAE 90.1 2010 standards to different sections of the Building Code.

Survey On Metro Vancouver Clean Wood Disposal Ban
In 2015, Metro Vancouver plans to implement a Clean Wood Disposal Ban at all Metro Vancouver and City of Vancouver disposal facilities. Until June 5th, they are seeking input on the proposed Disposal Ban through this online survey.

BC Building Department Accreditation Standard AC475 Overview
Building Officials Association of BC online slide show presentation describes key components of the new AC475 Building Department Accreditation Program. (PDF)

Accreditation Criteria For Building Departments In BC
Building Officials Association of BC outlines requirements for obtaining and maintaining International Accreditation Service accreditation of governmental entities responsible for enforcement of the Building Code and other enactments related to Health, Safety, and Accessibility for persons with disabilities, fire protection of buildings and facilities as well as other enactments relating to enhancing the quality of life within their jurisdictions, such as fire, zoning or traffic laws. (PDF)

Review Of International Window Standards
BC Homeowner Protection Office report International Window Standards is a follow-up study to the Review of Window Energy Rating Procedure in Canada. It was undertaken to better understand how the rating system used in North America compared to Passive House and ISO fenestration energy rating systems used in Europe. (PDF)

BC State Of Safety Report 2013
BC Safety Authority online State of Safety Report 2013 provides a summary of the outcomes of inspections, assessments and investigations carried out by BC Safety Authority safety officers for all technologies overseen by BCSA. It describes distribution and characteristics of incidents that occurred in 2013 and outlines activities conducted to prevent additional incidents or mitigate consequences of future incidents. In addition, it identifies areas where safety can be improved.

MasterFormat 2014 Now Available
Construction Specifications Institute sells MasterFormat, a master list of numbers and titles classified by work results or construction practices used throughout the North American construction industry to organize project manuals, detailed cost information, and relate drawing notations to specifications.

ASHRAE's Radically New 62.2 Ventilation Standard
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency describes key items contained in ASHRAE’s New 62.2 ventilation standard.

ASHRAE To Move All Residential IAQ Requirements To Standard 62.2
ASHRAE Proposes to move all residential IAQ requirements to Standard 62.2. Dwelling units of multifamily buildings of any height would fall under ASHRAE's residential ventilation standard, 62.2, under a proposed change designed to provide consistency of ventilation requirements.

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************
Gienow High Performance Windows can serve your specific needs

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

Air Leakage As Next Frontier Of Building Science
Building Science online slide show presentation describes issues and considerations around air leakage as the next frontier of building science. (PDF)

Two Primary Causes Of Reduced Air Flow In Ducts
Energy Vanguard describe how friction and turbulence play a big role in whether a duct system does what it's supposed to or not.

Passive Air Cavity Convection
Building Science online slide show presentation describes effects of passive air cavity convection on the wetting and drying behavior of building envelopes. (PDF)

Planning & Installing Gutters & Downspouts
Building America online Solution Center describes things to consider for planning and installing gutters and downspouts.

Does Home With HRV Also Need Bath Fans?
Green Building Advisor says most homeowners find that an HRV with dedicated ductwork moves enough air to clear condensation from bathroom mirrors.

Encapsulated Attics Guidance For HVAC Designers
Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency says as encapsulated attics become more and more popular in new home construction and renovations, HVAC contractors need to be made aware of how they affect system design.

High-MERV Filter Guide
Building America Solution Center online guide describes the uses, selection process and specification of high MERV filters.

6. Building Performance Issues

Building Envelope & HVAC Design
BC Building Envelope Council online slide show presentation describes issues and considerations the HVAC designer needs to know about the building envelope. (PDF)

10 Common Misconceptions About Combustion Safety
Home Energy magazine describes 10 common misconceptions about combustion safety and says simulated results show that although depressurization can increase the likelihood of backdrafting and spillage, depressurization also increases airflow into the house, thus increasing the rate of indoor pollutant dilution and removal.

Combustion Safety For Natural Draft Appliances Through Zone Isolation
US Department of Energy measure guideline Combustion Safety for Natural Draft Appliances Through Appliance Zone Isolation covers how to assess and carry out the isolation of natural draft combustion appliances from the conditioned space of low-rise residential buildings. (PDF)

3 Visual Signs Your Gas Water Heater Might Be Poisoning You
David R says if you know what to look for, there are three visual clues that you can inspect for signs your gas water heater might be poisoning you with carbon monoxide. These signs can be an indicator that unsafe operation may be occurring with your gas water heater and that further investigation and testing is needed to ensure its safe operation.

Will Open-Cell Spray Foam Insulation Really Rot Your Roof?
Energy Vanguard says some homes with open-cell spray foam have had moisture problems, but many more have performed perfectly well.

Roof Surface Defects Requiring Repair Or Surface Imperfections Not Requiring Repair
RCI technical bulletin Surface Defects Requiring Repair or Surface Imperfections Not Requiring Repair provides recommendations for addressing whether imperfections in the surface of a newly installed roof are considered to be surface defects impairing the performance of the roof, or are surface imperfections and simply aesthetically distracting. (PDF)

UV Will Not Degrade Exposed PVC Plumbing
Journal of Light Construction says prolonged exposure to the sun may cause white PVC to discolor slightly, turning it yellow or tan, but there's little potential for actual damage.

Fundamentals Of Legionella Safety In Building Water Systems
Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor magazine describes some fundamentals of Legionella safety in building water systems.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Seven Key Green Building Trends
EcoBuilding describes seven business opportunities and needs in high-performance design and building as provided by the Hanley Wood Sustainability Council.

2014 Most Efficient Energy Star Products In Canada
Natural Resources Canada lists the most efficient Energy Star products in Canada for 2014.

Top Green Products Remodelers Use
EcoBuilding describes the high-performance products that remodelers most often use, according to National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index.

Provide A Green Homeowner Manual
US Home Innovation Research Labs says you should not leave homeowners guessing on the care of their complex green home systems. Educate them by providing a Green Homeowner Manual.

Radiant Floors Rarely Appropriate In Efficient Green Home
Green Building Advisor says although in-floor hydronic tubing provides comfortable space heating, these systems are expensive and rarely appropriate for a well-designed green home.

Power Smart Express Launches June 1
BC Hydro says the Product Incentive Program and the Power Smart Partner Express program are integrating to form Power Smart Express. This new program will launch on June 2, 2014.

New Living Building Challenge 3.0
International Living Building Institute initiative The Living Building Challenge defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions. (PDF)

Canadian Eco Business Guide
Light House online Eco Business Guide provides municipal staff with the insights and tools necessary to encourage the development eco-business zones. (PDF)

************************************************* Advertisement *************************************************
Pre-Cast Architectural Stone Exterior – CCMC Approved Rainscreen

Stonetile is manufactured to replicate some of the world’s finest architectural designs. Engineered to last a lifetime, it can add meticulous and stunning detail to any home you build or renovate.
Stonetile delivers elegance in look, style, and service.
  Find out more...

8. Building Products & Suppliers

2014 Cool Tools From STAFDA Show
Tools Of The Trade looks at a dozen of the most innovative new products found at the recent tool dealer trade show.

Faux Stone Patios
Concrete Network shows some examples of how contractors transform ordinary concrete patios into natural stone of all types.

These Ain't Yer Grandpappy's Heat Pumps
Energy Vanguard says an NESEA Building Energy conference gave reasons why a lot of people in the cold climate of New England love heat pumps.

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

21st Century Wood Design, Building and Construction Solutions
WoodWorks online booklet 21st Century Wood Design, Building and Construction Solutions provides an overview of a new generation of wood building products, systems and techniques which are making bigger, taller and more complex wood buildings possible. It showcases where innovative wood products have been used in recent projects in BC and answers common questions. (PDF)

3-D Printer Cranks Out Materials For 10 Buildings In One Day
Construction Dive says a Chinese company with a mega-sized 3-D printer cranked out enough building blocks of recycled materials mixed with concrete to build 10 small homes in a day.

Find BC Engineers Or Geoscientists For Various Projects
Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists online search includes APEGBC Members, Limited Licensees and Scopes of Practice, Discrete Scope Projects Directory, Organizational Quality Management, Professionals for Sewerage System Regulation, and Seismic Retrofit Engineering Firms.

9. Installation Procedures

Installation Guidance For Combustion Furnaces
Building America online Solution Center describes combustion furnaces with compliance and installation guidance.

Impacts Of Water Quality On Residential Water Heating Equipment
US Pacific Northwest National Lab report Impacts of Water Quality on Residential Water Heating Equipment provides recommendations for selecting and maintaining water heating equipment based on local water quality characteristics. (PDF)

How To Build Deck Foundation
Canadian Contractor online video provides a detailed description of a post saddle installation for a deck.

Flashing Deck Ledgers
Journal of Light Construction online video outlines the locations, materials, and methods for getting deck flashing right the first time.

How To Install Board & Batten Siding
Fine Homebuilding describes four methods to nail board-and-batten siding.

Planning & Installing Geothermal Heat Pumps
Building America online Solution Center provides information about geothermal heat pumps including an overview of technology and guidance on compliance and installation.

10. Information Sources

Ask A BC Gas Safety Officer
BC Safety Authority lists answers to various questions asked of their gas safety officers.

Presentation Slides From Recent Wood Solutions Fairs
WoodWorks provides access to their presentation slides from recent Wood Solutions Fairs.

HPO 2014 Research & Education Projects
BC Homeowner Protection Office provides a summary of their various research and education projects for 2014-15. (PDF)

105 Handy Twitter Accounts For Construction Managers
Construction Management Degree lists 105 construction related twitter accounts where those in the construction field can find out the latest news and industry trends.

11. Education & Training

Process Improvement Workshop
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association workshop on Process Improvement will be held in Burnaby June 12-13. It is designed to provide participants with an understanding of how to tackle process improvement initiatives within their organizations.

BC Industry Training Authority New Board Facing Challenges
Journal of Commerce says as BC's new nine-member board of directors of the Industry Training Authority take up their positions, they face the daunting task of changing a rigid system.

Search BC Apprenticeship Programs
Education Planner helps learners find apprenticeship courses, and make well-informed decisions about their education and career options.

Public Trades Training Programs & Schedules
Trades Training BC provides access to apprenticeship programs and training schedules for 16 public training institutions.

Compare Post-Secondary Programs In BC
Education Planner is a publicly funded resource that allows you to compare post-secondary programs in BC.

Online Courses In Hydronic Radiant Heating
Radiant Professionals Alliance RPA University provides online industry courses with full instructor involvement on hydronic radiant heating.

Canadian Instructor Guide & Trades Worksheets For Essential Skills
BuildForce Canada instructor guide and trade worksheets were developed to further the use of Essential Skills concepts by the construction industry in its training activities. The goal is to enhance technical training and increase success rates.

eLearning Center On Wood Designs & Construction
WoodWorks online eLearning Center provides continuing education courses and materials on building design and construction.

12. Computer, Internet & Fun

Find Construction Business Software
SoftSearch online directory of construction business software allows you to search and purchase products online.

Best Online Collaboration Tools
Robin Good provides a huge list of online collaboration tools (over 350!).

Evian Babies Roller Skating
This is an oldie but goodie now, but it's worth another look if you have seen it. If you haven't seen it before you're in for an amusing treat.

Dittie For Today: On Character

The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quick Links

Subscription Info


© Copyright 2014              Ken Farrish              All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada


Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional     Valid CSS!