Newsletter #145
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
May 9, 2017


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


My thanks to Richard Kadulski, Pat Martin, David Hill, Emily Walsh, Brian Hart, Chris Gardner, Sabine Just, Zigi Gadomski, Chris Hinton, Glenn Duxbury, Emily Saunders, Kelley Duke, Mark Sakai, Laura Litchfield, Josha McNab, Geoffrey Stickel, Paul Beyer, Elizabeth Wolf and Sarah Vanderlee 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 Newsletters 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's Top Pick

Stress Relief for Claddings & Trim
Building Science says claddings and trim get the most stress imaginable next to roofing, in that they get rain and sun and go through huge temperature swings. Clients want claddings and trim to last and look good. Even worse, we have changed the energy balance and the underlying materials and layers to make everything more difficult.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Housing Forecast Update 2017-2019
Central 1 says the BC housing market remains resilient with strong economy, population growth, and low interest rates. Housing sales are to remain elevated, while low inventory contributes to upward price pressure. (PDF)

New Homes & Red Tape in British Columbia
Fraser Institute study New Homes and Red Tape in British Columbia: Residential Land-Use Regulation in the Lower Mainland, finds that the City of Vancouver is the most heavily regulated municipality in the Lower Mainland for residential development and is stifling new homebuilding. The survey of homebuilders ranks 19 of the region's municipalities on residential development regulations.

Bob Rennie On Affordability & Density in BC
Journal Of Commerce summarizes a Bob Rennie interview on affordability, density and building for the future from the recent Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of BC Industry Outlook.

BC Housing Affordability Plan
BC Real Estate Association describes its housing affordability plan, a five-pillar approach to address housing affordability for renters, homebuyers and homeowners across BC.

Holes in Rising Toronto Home Price Theories
Fortress Real Developments online Market Manuscript report says lack of supply, urban containment policies and long wait times for approvals are more responsible for high home prices in the Greater Toronto Area than land hoarding and foreign speculators.

Average Canadian Residential Price 2002–2014
CMHC online tool displays the average house price, for each year between 2002-2014, in various Canadian Cities. Requires Adobe Flash to view.

Canadian Housing Supply Deficit
CHBA report Housing Supply Deficit, Not Enough Homes for Families with Young Children points to a significant and growing mismatch between housing demand and what the residential construction industry is able to supply given today’s planning and zoning patterns and lack of available serviced land. In fact, the report notes that if the current trends continue, Canada will see a shortfall of some 300,000 family-oriented homes over the next decade. (PDF)

It's Time to Stop Demonization of Developers
California Planning & Development Report says opponents of development often cast themselves as opponents of developers, whom they see as greedy and exploitative. But demonization does no good when developers, profit and all, are a crucial part of city-building.

2. Business Management

Home Builder Marketing Checklist
Builder Magazine offers 12 tips on what home builder marketing departments need to do to maximize brand impact.

Remodeling's 2017 Guide to Closing the Deal
Remodeling magazine says you can use these new techniques, but remember: The best way to sell a project is to sell faith in you.

What Does it Take to Go from Chuck in a Truck to the Big Time?
Replacement Contractor magazine describes how a sole proprietor grew to to a $25 million business, and what you can learn from it.

Ancient Estimators, Bricks & Tablet
The Trowel describes the beginnings of building estimation in this online video entitled Ancient Estimators.

Financial Reporting for Construction Business
Fine Homebuilding describes key financial reports you need to prepare and review each week, each quarter, and each year.

Drywall Support Program Now Open for Applications
Government of Canada new Drywall Support Program is open for applications as of May 1st, and closes May 31st. It will provide some relief to Western and Northern Canadian drywall contractors and builders who faced unexpected losses due to the duties imposed on imported drywall from the United States.

Online Silica Control Tool
BC Construction Safety Alliance online Silica Control Tool assists employers in conducting appropriate risk assessments and implementing effective controls and safe work practices where silica dust may be an occupational hazard.

Labour Market Assessments for Residential Construction Industry 2017-2026
BuildForce Canada online Labour Market Assessments for the Residential Construction Industry 2017-2026 report provides an assessment of labour market conditions for residential construction to 2026 based on the current LMI system.

3. Building Design & Trends

2017 Greater Vancouver Ovation Awards Winners
Greater Vancouver Builders Association lists their 2017 Ovation Award Winners. The awards honour excellence in the design and construction of new single-family and multi-family homes as well as the renovation of existing homes.

Pantone Predicts 2018's Hottest Home Trends
Custom Home Magazine presents The Pantone Color Institute predictions for what design trends will be hot in home design for 2018, including fringe, geometric patterns, and iridescent accents. Here are the six home trends that it predicts will rise to the top, and the shades that are sure to be hot in the coming year.

7 Bathroom Design Trends That Home Buyers Hate
Realtor describes some bathroom design trends that can cause buyers to take a pass.

Most Popular Architectural Styles
Houzz shows six of their most popular architectural styles.

Four Family-Friendly Homes Under 1,900 Sq Ft
Builder Magazine says with four bedrooms and surprising amenities, these designs maximize every square foot.

Are Green Lawns Falling Out of Favor?
Realtor describes some of the top landscaping trends.

An Architect's View Of Windows
Fine Homebuilding online video with architect David Holscher explains how, through the careful selection, sizing, and placement of windows and doors even a small home can be designed to feel expansive, balanced, and welcoming.

Guidelines for Riparian Area Assessments
APEGBC has partnered to produce the Professional Practice Guidelines for Legislated Riparian Area Assessments in BC. It provides guidance and establishes the standard of practice when carrying out riparian assessments that are consistent with BC’s Riparian Areas Regulation.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

John Billwiller, President of Snowball Ventures says: “I'd like to thank you for the new (to me) look of the newsletter. Much appreciated, as are your efforts for the last few years. Hope you are having a "top drawer day”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Vancouver Green Plan Will Hurt Residents & Local Businesses
Business Council of British Columbia says affordability is a key challenge for people residing in the City of Vancouver. Yet their Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning effectively bans the use of natural gas in new buildings. It also sets the stage for Vancouver to squeeze out natural gas as an energy source for existing buildings and facilities over time.

Electrical Incident & Hazard Reporting to BCSA
BC Safety Authority recent information bulletin clarifies incident reporting requirements.

BC Construction Oversight Organizations Dealing with Increased Work
Journal Of Commerce says there is a multitude of diverse organizations in BC that are responsible for one aspect or another of construction oversight.

Creation of Policy for Return of WorkSafe BC Surplus Funds
Council of Construction Associations says the provincial government has announced proposed amendments to the Workers Compensation Act. This amendment will establish a new policy requiring WorkSafe BC to return funds to employers when they have a surplus of contributions from employers in the Accident Fund.

Use of CSA P.9-11 to Specify Combination Space & Water Heating Systems
NRCan guide describes how to use CSA P.9-11 test results to inform the selection and specification of efficient and appropriately sized combination systems. (PDF)

Candidates Sought for Canadian Commission on Construction Materials Evaluation
Canadian National Research Council is seeking candidates to serve on the Canadian Commission on Construction Materials Evaluation. They offer a national evaluation service for innovative construction materials, products, systems and services used in commercial and residential buildings. (PDF)

North American Architectural Woodwork Standards
Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada and the Woodwork Institute have released the free North American Architectural Woodwork Standards 3.1, a comprehensive standard that builds on and replaces Architectural Woodwork Standards, with an effective date of July 1, 2017.

Difference Between NAFS-08 vs. NAFS-11
RDH Building Science Blog describes the difference between NAFS-08 and NAFS-11.

5. Building Science & Technology

Designing Homes for Thermal Comfort
Ecohome says factors far beyond just air temperature affect how comfortable a home is, and if you design for comfort you will end up with a more durable and efficient home.

Transfer Grilles
US Department of Energy describes features, issues and considerations for transfer grilles that provide for pressure balancing between rooms of a house.

Jump Ducts
US Department of Energy describes features, issues and considerations for installing jump ducts that provide for pressure balancing between rooms of a house.

Moisture Control in Foundations
Building Science online slide show presentation describes design and installation issues and considerations for moisture control in foundations. (PDF)

Installing Vinyl Siding with Integrated Rigid Foam for Existing Walls
US Department of Energy describes how to insulate the walls of an existing home by removing the existing cladding and installing insulated vinyl siding to upgrade the thermal control function of the wall.

How to Properly Size Finned-Tube Baseboard Heat Emitters
Plumbing and Mechanical urges you to size the baseboard around lower supply water temperatures, perhaps even as low as 120° F under design load.

Are SIPs Right for Your Next Project
Fine Homebuilding describes how SIPs are made, what they're made of, and how they are assembled quickly to make walls for a house. Also included are sidebars on tools for working with SIPs and construction details for building with SIPs. (PDF)

Advanced Detailing Techniques for Wood Frame Building Enclosures
RDH Building Science online slide show presentation describes a variety of wood-frame building enclosure assemblies and details. It reviews building enclosure design fundamentals and considerations, describes best practices, and shows critical detail interfaces between different enclosure assemblies such as walls, roofs, balconies, windows, and foundations. (PDF)

6. Building Performance Issues

When Is a High-Efficiency Furnace Not?
Energy Vanguard says unlike air conditioners and heat pumps, furnaces use two sources of energy. The fuel that it burns is the obvious one, as it's usually natural gas or propane. The other is the electricity that runs the blower. And that's the key to finding a high efficiency furnace that truly operates at high efficiency.

Say No to Swiss Cheese Attic Floors
Green Building Advisor says ceilings with lots of air leaks are an invitation for moisture problems in winter.

No Ducts or Air Handlers Located in Garage
US Department of Energy describes issues and considerations when considering installing ducts or air handlers in a garage.

History of Firestop in Building & Construction Industry
Adhesives & Sealants provides a brief history of fire protection/firestop in the building & construction industry.

Prevent Moisture Callbacks in Wood Flooring Installation
Engineered Wood Association publication Prevent Callbacks in Wood Flooring Installation describes measures to minimize risk of future flooring problems when moisture is present. Free site registration required.

Water Quality in Hydronic Systems
PM Engineer provides some examples of conditions where water chemistry affects the boiler operation and life.

Insulation Industry Associations Butt Heads Again
Canadian Contractor says the fibreglass insulation industry violated advertising’s self-regulatory procedures, according to a US watchdog.

Acoustics in Multi-Story Wood Structures
WoodWorks online slide show presentation describes how multi-story wood systems can be used to meet acoustical privacy goals. It covers detailing and construction of units, and how consideration of the construction process can help keep acoustical costs down. It also includes construction details and photos showing what has and hasn’t worked in actual buildings. (PDF)

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Canada's Air Quality Since 1970 Is An Environmental Success Story
Fraser Institute study examines the evolution of air quality in Canada from the 1970s onward and looks at how the current state of air quality compares to the stringent standards established by Canadian government policy. The conclusion is that air quality in Canada has improved substantially and that this significant change over the past four decades occurred at the same time there was considerable growth in Canada’s population, economic activity, energy use, and consumption of motor fuel.

FortisBC Responds to City of Vancouver Statement on Energy Step Code
Fortis BC says in a statement released on April 29, 2017, the City of Vancouver misrepresented the provincial BC Energy Step Code.

Debate Over Feasibility of 100% Renewables Heating Up
Climate Examiner says the debate over the feasibility of 100% renewable energy systems is heating up, with a number of papers, reports and surveys emerging in the last few weeks with divergent takes on the matter.

Canadian Net Zero Program for New Homes & Renovations
Canadian Home Builders Association has launched its Net Zero Home Labelling Program. It provides industry and consumers with a two-tiered technical requirement that recognizes Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Homes, and identifies the builders and renovators who provide them.

Mineral Wool Makers Dropping Formaldehyde Binders
Green Building Advisor says Roxul and Owens Corning plan to introduce formaldehyde-free versions of their products later this year. The move is seen as a way to ease concerns among builders and homeowners about the chemical's off-gassing.

Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades
US Environmental Protection Agency guide Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades provides practical guidance on improving or maintaining indoor air quality and indoor environments during home energy upgrades, retrofits, or remodeling. (PDF)

Air Leakage Control for High-Rise Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
CMHC online manual Air Leakage Control for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings provides guidance to air leakage control contractors on how to reduce air leakage in existing high-rise, multi-unit residential buildings. It covers where, how and why MURBs leak, practical guidance for property managers to identify when a building is experiencing air leakage-related problems, and some guidance in selecting and using the services of an air leakage control contractor. (PDF)

BC Appliance Rebates Until June 15
Until June 15th, BC Hydro is offering rebates on the most efficient Energy Star clothes washers, dryers and refrigerators.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

Most Innovative Areas of Home Building
Builder Magazine asked builders across the country what the most important areas of innovation are in the industry. Here are the results.

Home Building Trends in Foam Sheathing Thickness
US National Association of Home Builders summarizes usage patterns in thickness of foam sheathing.

Cedar Roofing Facts
Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau describes cedar roofing products, weather resistance and installation & repair methodology. (PDF)

A Look Ahead at Hydronic Controls
HPAC magazine describes some evolutions in controls for hydronic systems.

Four Flooring Trends Homeowners Love Right Now
Remodeling magazine says durability and sustainability are among the top desired flooring features, in addition to great looks.

Review of Cordless Drywall Screw Guns
Home Builder Canada magazine review of cordless drywall screw guns describes various features and hence which brand will satisfy your needs and fit your budget.

Evaluation of Residential Furnace Filters
CMHC report Evaluation of Residential Furnace Filters describes filter types and includes information on performance, value for money, availability, and any special installation requirements. (PDF)

Builders Don’t Want DIY Home Automation
CE Pro says homebuilders want built-in smart-home technologies to encourage consumers to buy new homes.

9. Installation Procedures

Coping Inside Corners of Baseboards
Fine Homebuilding online video demonstrates how to achieve a perfect inside corner when running baseboard.

3 Easy Advanced Framing Techniques
Energy Vanguard describes three simple ways to improve the framing that allow more insulation without compromising the structural stability of the home.

Attaching Cladding with Long Screws
RDH Building Science online slide show presentation discusses results of recent structural testing of various arrangements on long fasteners through exterior insulation as a method of supporting cladding while limiting thermal bridging. (PDF)

How to Undercut Doors
US Department of Energy describes issues and considerations when undercutting doors for pressure balancing between bedrooms and the rest of the house.

Drywalling Window Returns
Fine Homebuilding says appearance and cost savings move the needle toward drywall returns rather than casing and wood extension jambs.

Fundamentals of Window Installation
Building Science online slide show presentation describes fundamentals of various window installation applications and procedures. (PDF)

Water Managed Existing Roof Penetrations
US Department of Energy describes issues and considerations for installing water managed roof penetrations in existing homes.

How to Air Seal Joists Over Garage
Energy Vanguard says we want the most robust air barrier possible separating the living space from the garage. The joists that run across the top of the wall separating the garage from the house must be sealed. That's where the air barrier should be, not the drywall in the garage.

10. Information Sources

Taxfighter Bateman to Head ICBA Communications
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of British Columbia has announced that Jordan Bateman will be their new Director of Marketing and Communications. Bateman comes to the ICBA after six years as the BC Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Online Thesaurus of Concrete & Cement Terms
Portland Cement Association online searchable thesaurus provides a list of accepted terminology for all aspects of cement and concrete. It displays not only the terms, but also the relationships to other terms--Broader, Narrower, or Related.

Dwellings in Canada 2016 Census
Statistics Canada presents information on the types of dwellings in which we live. Dwellings are divided broadly into two types: private and collective. Private dwellings are classified according to their structural type, such as single-detached, apartment or mobile home. Collective dwellings refer to dwellings of commercial, institutional or communal nature.

Online Installation Videos for Shake & Shingle
Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau online videos describe issues and considerations for installation of shake and shingle roofing and sidewalls.

Internet Talk Show From Radiant Professionals
HydroniX Talk is an Internet-based talk show hosted by Radiant Professionals Association that brings together experts and professionals from the radiant and hydronic industry to discuss trends and issues facing contractors, designers and builders.

Glulam Product Guide
Engineered Wood Association brochure Product Guide: Glulam describes APA-trademarked glulam, addresses important design considerations, and includes a specification guide. Free site registration required.

Webcasts On Construction Productivity
BuildForce webcasts feature a productivity expert presenting information on a particular aspect of productivity.

Driving Your Construction Business with a Dashboard
Fine Homebuilding describes how developing a dashboard for your construction business will help guide you along your entrepreneurial journey and enable you to reach your business goals.

11. Conferences & Shows

2017 Tile Tech Expo in Vancouver
Terrazzo Tile & Marble Association of Canada invites architects, specification writers, contractors and designers to their 2017 Tech Expo in Vancouver, May 10th.

Construction Specifications Canada Conference 2017
Construction Specifications Canada annual conference will be held in Kelowna, May 24-28. It offers a wide range of educations opportunities, association meetings, and sponsor displays.

2017 Canadian National Woodwork Manufacturer Convention
Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada 2017 National Convention, held in Winnipeg June 103, brings together industry professionals devoted to designing, engineering, manufacturing and installing the highest quality of architectural woodwork in Canada.

Architectural Walking Tours in Victoria & Vancouver
AIBC Architectural Walking Tours program kicks off on July 1 and runs throughout July and August in Vancouver and Victoria.

12. Education & Training

Design, Architecture & New Step Code Building Requirements
UDI breakfast seminar Design, Architecture and New Step Code Building Requirement will be presented in Vancouver on May 11th. Two lead architects will share their experience in building Passive House Design and Wood Construction from Europe and United States. The City of Vancouver will update participants on the latest energy efficiency requirements above and beyond the building code.

Disrupting the Building and Infrastructure Industry
BC Construction Roundtable breakfast seminar Disrupting the Building and Infrastructure Industry will be held in Vancouver on May 18. It discusses how to leverage the rapid pace of innovation to stay ahead, and when is the right time to adopt new technologies.

Effective Management Skills
Construction Industry Training Network describes the Gold Seal course on Effective Management Skills, to be held in Burnaby on May 26th. It is for managers, supervisors, team leaders or anyone who is responsible for achieving results through people and who want to bring the best out in people. Participants will deepen their understanding of motivation, engagement, delegation/empowerment and practical feedback skills.

School of Development 2017: The Art of Approvals
UDI course School of Development 2017: The Art of Approvals will be held in Vancouver, June 23-24. Learn strategies for mobilizing communities and winning land use approvals. You'll gain insight for your future projects through the approvals process from different perspectives.

Building Envelope Design Education
RCI offers a series of educational courses and seminars throughout the year in the US and Canada covering all segments of the building envelope.

Building Science Fundamentals Seminars Throughout US
Building Science presents the Building Science Fundamentals seminar in four different US cities. This two-day seminar teaches the basic knowledge needed to design and build durable, energy efficient, affordable and healthy buildings.


Dittie For Today: On Work

Pennies don't fall from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth. - Margaret Thatcher


Quick Links


Subscription Info



© Copyright 2017     Ken Farrish     All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional     Valid CSS!