Newsletter #148
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
July 18, 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 Ed Hudson, Brian Hart, Sarah Vanderlee, Lanny Huffman, Mark Sakai, Ron Zimmer, Pat O'Toole, Ryan Coleman, Andy Schwweiz, Glenn Duxbury, Louise Dunn, Joey Fearn, Wilma Leung, Rick Vlahos, Denisa Ionescu, Sabine Just, Bob Joseph, Claire Conroy, Ted Sheldon, Melissa Broadus, Elizabeth Wolf, Mark Estrada, and Grace Battison 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

High-Efficiency Furnace Installation Guide for Existing Homes
Fortis BC online High-Efficiency Furnace Installation Guide for Existing Homes is a resource for contractors and homeowners on general information on best practices for quality installations in high-efficiency replacement furnace applications. (PDF)

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Economic Briefing
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Economic Briefing says starts remained elevated in June, but down from May and home prices surged in June. (PDF)

Mortgage Rate Forecast June 2017
BC Real Estate Association online Mortgage Rate Forecast of June 2017 says they expect the posted rate will remain unchanged in 2017, while discount rates will gradually rise to just under 3 per cent by the end of the year. (PDF)

BC Developers Market Intelligence Report June 2017
UDI online Developers Market Intelligence Report for June 2017 provides market statistics from throughout the Lower Mainland. (PDF)

Quarterly Canadian Resale Housing Forecast
Canadian Real Estate Association forecast says housing market trends continue to diverge considerably among regions along four general themes: British Columbia, the Greater Golden Horseshoe, oil and natural resource dependent provinces, and everywhere else.

2017 Canadian First-Time Home Ownership Study
Genworth Financial online 2017 First-time Home Ownership Study says between 2015 and 2017, the proportion of the Canadian population that are first-time homebuyers has declined from 7.3% to 5.8% representing a difference of 1.5% or a 21% decline. Remarkably, the overall profile, behaviors and motivations of first-time homeowners have remained largely consistent. (PDF)

Will Millennials Put an End to NIMBYism?
Toronto Star says say what you want about the oft-maligned millennials, but they may well be the generation that puts an end to NIMBYism for good.

Political Uncertainty Causes Heartburn for BC Businesses
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade says its post-election Member Survey found that businesses across the Lower Mainland are anxious about the province’s economic future given the uncertain political situation in Victoria.

Impact of Proposed NDP-Green Tax Changes in BC
Fraser Institute says an NDP-Green government in BC would result in a marked shift in tax policy in the province. The new government would impose several significant tax increases including a rise in personal income taxes, carbon taxes, and business taxes. These increases would add a further $1.4 billion to the tax burden of British Columbians, assuming that the carbon tax increase was fully implemented.

2. Business Management

What's Required to be a Construction Contractor in BC?
BC Construction Association online guide provides basic information on what's required to be a construction contractor in BC.

Canadian Government Suspends Lawsuit Provision in Anti-Spam Legislation
Government of Canada is suspending implementation of certain provisions in their anti-spam legislation (CASL) in response to broad-based concerns raised by businesses, charities and the not-for-profit sector. The provisions, known as private right of action, would have allowed lawsuits to be filed against individuals and organizations for alleged violations of the legislation. The provisions were scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017, but have now been suspended.

New Era of Open Trade Among Canadian Provinces
Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the federal and provincial governments have ironed out a new internal trade deal that aims to remove trade barriers within Canada.

Top Five Mobile Apps for Home Builders
US National Association of Home Builders says planning and overseeing your projects has never been easier thanks to a variety of apps available on mobile devices. These apps can help you more efficiently communicate with superintendents and workers, draw up designs for projects and keep track of dates and deadlines.

6 Keys to Better Construction Communication
Construct Connect says effective communication is vital to the successful completion of any construction project. Good communication can improve teamwork and lead to better project collaboration. Poor communication can result in misunderstandings, delays, and issues down the road.

Tips for Contractors Working with Seniors
CMHC online guide Tips for Contractors Working with Seniors provides tips for working effectively with older clients throughout all stages of your project. (PDF)

VRCA Leadership Forum Discusses Weed in Workplace
Journal of Commerce says with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising to legalize recreational marijuana use by next year, many employers are curious how they will deal with the issue among their workforce.

BC FED Calls for Criminal Charges After Construction Worker Death
Council of Construction Associations says the BC Federation of Labour is demanding answers about the fine assessed against a Vancouver property development firm whose violations of health and safety rules were cited as factors in the death of a Kamloops construction worker in 2015.

3. Building Design & Trends

2018 BC Georgie Awards Call for Entries
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC invites all CHBA BC member companies involved in the residential building industry to participate in the 2018 Georgie Awards.

Laneway Housing Represents 19% of New Single Family in Vancouver
Brandon Donnelly Blog says laneway housing represents 19% of all new single family and two family dwellings in Vancouver.

Innovations in BC Modular Prefabricated Housing
BC Housing summarizes some modular and prefabricated housing ideas, innovations, and considerations to improve affordability, efficiency, and quality. (PDF)

What Single Female Buyers Really Want in a Home
Home Builder Canada magazine says single females are becoming a factor in the Canadian housing market, estimated at representing 20 per cent of first-time buyers and a growing proportion of repeat buyers and investors.

Making Multigenerational Households Work for Everyone
Builder Magazine says safety, lighting and storage are key factors to the right multigenerational design.

Eight Approaches to Indoor/Outdoor Functionality
Custom Home Magazine says from the beach to the suburbs, these innovative floor plans open up new possibilities for outdoor spaces.

Some Renovations Pay Off. Others Not So Much
Home Builder Canada magazine says some reno money will boost a home's resale value, but others are just not worth the effort.

Mid-Rise 2.0, Innovative Approaches to Mid-Rise Wood Frame Construction
WoodWorks online Mid-Rise 2.0 – Innovative Approaches to Mid-Rise Wood Frame Construction case study looks at three different projects that are similar in that they are all mid-rise residential, but differ considerably in their approach to design, construction details and project delivery. (PDF)


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Mark Estrada, Marketing Manager at Centra Windows Inc says: “I really like the articles that you provide in the newsletter and find it to be a great resource on trends.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Updated BC Codes Errata, Revisions & Bulletins
BC Government lists the updated BC Codes errata, revisions and bulletins within the various BC Codes.

Attached Storage Garage May Not Be Conditioned Space
Building Officials Association of BC code interpretation says if an attached storage garage of a house is provided with minimal heating it is it not considered as a conditioned space and therefore not subject to all requirements that apply to conditioned spaces. (PDF)

Use of Unvented Roof & Deck Assemblies in Vancouver
City of Vancouver bulletin Use of Unvented Roof and Deck Assemblies advises designers that Alternative Solutions to permit unvented roof and deck assemblies to satisfy the requirements of Sentence will no longer be acceptable as of September 01, 2017. (PDF)

Overview of BC Energy Step Code
CHBA Alberta presentation provides an overview of the BC Energy Step Code, including how it came to be, how it works, how a local government might use it, and a few examples of real-world projects that would meet the various levels of performance. (PDF)

Insights from BC Energy Step Code Costing Study
UDI online presentations from their recent webinar Preliminary Insights from the BC Energy Step Code Costing Study provide information and updates on the research results to date.

Safety Fee Consultation 2018-2020
BC Safety Authority is proposing a 2% general increase, as well as new compliance & enforcement and certification renewal fees for 2018-2020. They invite you to read the discussion papers and give your feedback through the online feedback form or register for an online meeting. This consultation closes on August 8, 2017.

New Labour Code to Keep Asbestos Levels to Near Zero
Journal of Commerce says as part of the federal government's comprehensive ban on asbestos, it is enhancing the Canada Labour Code for workers by lowering the exposure to airborne chrysotile asbestos to as close to zero as possible.

Confined Spaces in Residential Construction
OSHA factsheet Confined Spaces in Residential Construction is intended to protect residential construction workers operating in confined spaces such as attics, basements and crawl spaces. (PDF)

5. Building Science & Technology

Thermal Comfort Zone
Passive Buildings Canada describes the thermal comfort zone, and also discusses cultural expectation of comfort.

Efficient Lighting Strategies
US Department of Energy fact sheet Efficient Lighting Strategies describes how to employ efficient lighting strategies in the home for comfort and safety. (PDF)

Sizing Heating Ducts
Energy Vanguard describes how to decide how big ducts need to be, following the Manual D protocol for duct design, a standard developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

A History of Air Conditioning
Orange County Register provides some background on how air conditioning became a necessity for nearly all (and the enemy of your electricity bill).

Taking Vents Out of Vented Crawl Spaces
Advanced Energy found that closed crawl spaces, insulated spaces without vents to the outside, can significantly improve moisture control and have major energy savings with proper installation.

Codes & Energy Performance for Concrete Buildings
Rediscover Concrete online series of 3 short videos, featuring RDH Principal and Senior Building Science Specialist John Straube, discuss key early design decisions that drive energy performance, the paths to code compliance, and the impact of thermal bridging on modern buildings.

Building Enclosure Design for Walls & Low-Sloped Roofs
WoodWorks online slide show presentation describes considerations for building enclosure design for walls and low-sloped roofs. (PDF)

Managing Enclosure Heat Flows
Whole Building Design Guide says importance of the control of heat transfer tends to become more critical as the severity of climate, either hot or cold, increases. Managing heat flows is critical to occupant thermal comfort, energy efficiency, durability, and increasingly, thermal resilience during periods of extended power outages.

6. Building Performance Issues

Cracked Heat Exchanger Leads to High CO Levels in Home
BC Safety Authority says a cracked heat exchanger and unsecured vent piping led to high CO levels in a home. A contractor found that the heat exchanger had a hole in it and the vent piping was not glued securely to the concentric vent kit.

Acoustic Performance of All-Wood Floor Systems
Engineered Wood Association online Acoustic Performance of All-Wood Floor Systems describes the results of a series of acoustic tests that APA conducted for code compliance of all-wood floor systems based on sound transmission and impact insulation class ratings. Free site registration required.

Online Tool Calculates Energy Loss from Air Leakage
Oak Ridge National Laboratory online tool can help builders calculate energy loss when air leaks through a building’s envelope. Starting with specific building metrics, the calculator analyzes multizone airflow and ventilation and then determines the associated energy loss through a whole building energy simulation tool.

Tackling That Dirty 4-Letter Word: Mold
Insulation Institute discusses the prevalence of mold in new construction, ways to prevent it, and the single most common error in new construction that leads to mold and what builders can do to prevent it.

Avoiding Deck Stair Defects
Journal of Light Construction says to build deck stairs according to best practices rather than code to protect your customers and avoid liability.

Fixing Squeaky Stairs
Fine Homebuilding describes how to fix hardwood stair treads that have begun to squeak when stepped on.

Retrofitting Forced Air Combi Systems in Cold Climate
US Department of Energy research project Retrofitting Forced Air Combi Systems: A Cold Climate Field Assessment analyzed combined condensing water heaters or boilers and hydronic air coils to provide high efficiency domestic hot water and forced air space heating. (PDF)

Other Structures Have Grenfell Tower-Type Cladding Panels
Engineering News Record says many panels are failing fire tests in the wake of the London apartment building tragedy.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

BC Business Council Submission on Canadian Carbon Pricing
Business Council of BC says it supports a pan-Canadian strategy for managing our collective contributions to global GHG emissions. However, policymakers in Canada must exercise caution when implementing schemes that may directly or indirectly undermine the economic viability and competitiveness of industries required to grapple with escalating production and operating costs due to climate policy measures. (PDF)

Clean Energy Could Suffer Collateral Damage in Pipeline War
Business in Vancouver says a C.D. Howe brief, addressed to the new NDP government in BC, warns that using regulatory processes to delay or halt the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion won’t just discourage investment in oil pipelines, it could also discourage private investment in clean energy projects and transmission lines.

Building Standards Require Diligence
Victoria Residential Builders Association says energy efficiency is important, but it does not override consumer protection. BC’s new Energy Step Code regulation is a significant change to BC’s Building Code, which skips the national review process.

Proposed Approach to Canadian Environmental and Regulatory Reviews
Canadian Government discussion paper describes how the Government is proposing to change environmental and regulatory processes. Canadians are invited to share their views over the 60-day comment period.

Solar Thermal is Not Dead
Green Building Advisor says solar thermal systems produce hot water in an environmentally responsible way.

10 Companies Making Healthy Interior Products
Trim Tab describes ten products made with innovative materials by companies who are pushing the limit on healthy products.

3 Things You Should Ask Your Insulation Contractor
Insulation Institute says if the focus is on superior quality installation, builders should ask three questions of the insulation contractors who want to work for them.

Builder & Remodeler Advice on How Buildings Function
Corbett Lunsford of The Building Performance Workshop offers advice to help builders and remodelers understand how buildings function and feel confident and prepared to start construction or renovation. The free online podcasts cover a wide range of topics including building science, products, sales, installation procedures, and business management.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

Best-Ever Framing Hammers
Fine Homebuilding says the prices might scare off some, but for a professional who swings a hammer every day, here are two smart choices.

Furnaces for Construction Heat, Safety or Warranty
CHBA Alberta says they met with the Alberta Provincial Plumbing and Gas Administrator in May to make the case that the new ban by furnace manufacturers is a warranty issue and should not be a safety codes issue. The Provincial Administrator disagreed and has interpreted the ban as potentially enforceable under the Gas Code in Alberta. (PDF)

Four Considerations When Choosing Bricks
Canadian Contractor says colour, texture, size and durability are the crucial considerations when selecting bricks.

Lowdown on LED Lights
EcoBuilding Pulse Magazine describes why LED ultra-efficient bulbs are the future of lighting.

Robotics Comes to Homebuilding
Green Building Advisor describes how a Baltimore company is pioneering the use of industrial robots to build single-family homes.

Overview of Small Duct HVAC System
US National Association of Remodeling Industry says small duct high velocity systems, like this Unico System, are those that deliver conditioned air through smaller ductwork and flexible supply tubes at a higher static pressure (i.e. velocity) than conventional forced air equipment.

Lennar Announces New Wi-Fi Certified Homes
Builder Magazine says the US national home builder is the first to offer home designs with seamless wireless technology certified by Wi-Fi Alliance and also feature integrated home automation and voice control with Amazon Alexa.

What's the Future of the Connected Home?
Remodeling magazine says as smart devices continue to proliferate across the market, remodelers should start thinking about how they can take advantage.

9. Installation Procedures

Installing Baseboards
Fine Homebuilding describes how to achieve first-class results with timesaving techniques when installing baseboards. (PDF)

Construction Details of Roof to Wall Intersection
Construction Instruction online animation provides details of installation of various building components at the roof to wall intersection.

Installing Lap Siding Over Foam
Green Building Advisor says choosing the right furring strips is key to preserving a warranty for installing this engineered wood siding over foam.

Installing Ceramic Tile with Thinset
Fine Homebuilding online video walks through the process of installing ceramic tile with thinset.

Cold, Hard Truth About Snowmelt Systems
Heating Help describes issues and considerations for designing and installing snowmelt systems.

Optimizing Home Insulation System During Remodel
Remodeling magazine describes how to assess the existing insulation and determine if updating it would improve the energy efficiency of a home.

Load a Foam Gun the Right Way
Fine Homebuilding online video describes how to load a foam gun with minimal mess and less chance of future clogs.

Building Enclosure Detailing for Balconies
Woodworks online slide show presentation describes issues and considerations for building enclosure detailing of balconies. (PDF)

10. Information Sources

5 Online Sources of Podcasts for Builder & Renovator Education
Insulation Institute describes five practical, informative and business-building podcasts for builders and renovators.

TechNotes on Building Performance Issues
International Code Council and US NAHB online TechNotes series is designed to assist builders in understanding and applying latest US code requirements as well as implementing best practices in order to avoid building performance issues related to interior humidity levels, condensation in wall and roof assemblies, and interior air quality.

Resources for Combatting Underground Economy
Canada Revenue Agency provides several tools that can be used by anyone concerned about the underground economy to raise awareness of its impact and to reduce participation. These tools provide information on the underground economy and the risks it poses to the consumers who support it.

John King Interview on President Trump for America, Canada and World
Bob Rennie online video features his interview of CNN Chief National Correspondent and Anchor of Inside Politics, John King, at the recent ICBA Industry Outlook event in Vancouver. It covers the theme of President Trump: The First 100 Days for America, Canada and the World.

Information & Resources on Aboriginal Housing
BC Housing provides information and resources on aboriginal housing.

First Nations Communities Housing Information & Resources
CMHC provides information on housing programs and capacity development initiatives that help First Nation communities reach their housing goals and improve their overall living conditions.

Purchasable Canadian Practice Manual for BIM
Institute for BIM in Canada and buildingSMART Canada developed the Canadian Practice Manual for BIM. It provides a general background of the various uses and benefits of BIM, a detailed explanation about how to implement BIM within an organization, and an explanation on preparing for and participating in collaborative BIM Projects. $100

Mass Timber Research Reports & Resources
reThink Wood online Research Library of reports on mass timber systems includes stress test results, material comparisons, product advancements, the latest innovations, and more.

11. Conferences & Shows

Home Electronic Technology Tradeshow
CEDIA 2017, the annual trade show for the home electronics & technology industry will be held in San Diego, September 5-9.

2017 Annual BC Engineers Conference
Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists 2017 Annual Conference will be held in Whistler, October 19-21. The conference will consist of two days of professional development sessions, networking opportunities, an exhibitor tradeshow, followed by the 98th annual general meeting. It brings together engineers, geoscientists, technologists, faculty, government representatives, students, and other members of the community.

2017 BC Flooring Expo
BC Floor Covering Association presents their 2017 Flooring Expo in Nanaimo on October 24th.

12. Education & Training

Vancouver ICF Training
Vancouver ICF Training is holding its next hands-on training session on Nudura, in Delta on July 28th. It will cover everything from footing formwork to embedding electrical wiring in the Nudura ICF. Spacing is limited to 40 attendees.

Webinar on Fenestration NAFS Performance Calculator
Fenestration Canada Webinar New & Improved Fenestration NAFS Performance Calculator will be presented on July 27th. Changes in the Canadian supplement to NAFS 2011 have changed the calculations for NAFS compliance and the NAFS calculator has been updated to include the requirements for NAFS 2011.

Wood Floors Intermediate Installation Course
National Wood Flooring Association is presenting their Intermediate Installation course in Vancouver, August 22-24. It covers installation techniques, safety, floor repairs, and how to incorporate simple design elements as well as multiple installation methods.

Responsibilities of Joint Health & Safety Committee
ICBA course Responsibilities of Joint Health & Safety Committee will be held in Burnaby on September 7th. On April 3, 2017, changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation regarding joint health and safety committees and worker health and safety representatives took effect. All new joint committee members selected on or after April 3, 2017 must receive eight hours of training. This course will help participants fulfill the new requirement.

BC Builders Education Summit
CHBA BC presents their Builders Education Summit in Vancouver, September 11-13. You can receive up to 31 CPD credits over 3 days.

BC Job Site Training Offer
Construction Industry Training Network can bring trainers directly to you, anywhere in BC. If you want a course delivered on the job site, you can fill out the form here.


Dittie For Today: On Building.

Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest of all the arts. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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© Copyright 2017     Ken Farrish     All Rights Reserved

ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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