Newsletter #155
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
January 31, 2018


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 Brian Hart, Sabine Just, Paul Springer, Denisa Ionescu, Sam Gallagher, Joey Fearn, John Maus, Janice Costa, Glenn Duxbury, Cindy Moran, Chris Dorsi, Ed Hudson, Melissa Broadus, Karen Tam Wu and Dave Miller 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

Building Science Buy-in Challenge
Energy Vanguard discusses how to get buy-in from the majority of stakeholders, not just a few on high-end or high-profile projects.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

10 Waves of Change for Home Builders
Builder Magazine looks at the future and declares it's here in 2018.

Three Economic Predictions for 2018
Business Council of BC offers three predictions on what 2018 has in store on the economic front.

Industry Insiders' Top New Year Predictions
Builder Magazine describes trends and topics that home builders will be focused on in 2018 and beyond.

BC Economic Update & Outlook
Central 1 online slide show presentation by Helmut Pastrick covers the economic update and outlook presented to the Mortgage Investment Association of BC. (PDF)

Provincial Outlook
RBC online Provincial Outlook says all provincial economies will be back on the growth wagon in 2018. (PDF)

Canadian Mortgage & Consumer Credit Trends
CMHC report Mortgage and Consumer Credit Trends assesses the credit situation of Canadian consumers and mortgage holders and presents findings never before available. It is part of an ongoing effort to address data gaps and better understand factors influencing housing systems in Canada. (PDF)

BC Expansion Set to Continue Through 2019
Business Council of BC says amid an improving external backdrop, BC’s economic expansion remains on a healthy course with little on the horizon to suggest this will change over the next couple of years.

What Changes in Home Building, What Doesn't Change
Home Innovation Research Labs guru Ed Hudson on how and why perfectly good ideas die rather than catch on and transform how America builds homes.

2. Business Management

Kick-Start 2018 With These Top Marketing Strategies
Fine Homebuilding shows you the top 4 strategies you can use to kick-start 2018.

10 Biggest Contractor Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2018
IE3 says the same old marketing rules do not apply as before, and here are some that should be abandoned.

Pulte Employs Virtual Reality at Atlanta Community
Builder Magazine says this marketing effort, targeted to millennials, allows them to see the space before it is built.

Construction Business Planning for 2018
Fine Homebuilding says if you have never made a new-year plan for your construction business based on the previous year's data, then you might be at a loss as to where to start. Here's a 15-minute planning exercise for growing your construction business in the new year.

How to Identify & Analyze Profit
Journal of Light Construction says when building professionals talk about how their businesses are doing, they often quote sales figures. What is rarely mentioned is profit.

Stop Defending Why You Charge for Estimates
Qualified Remodeler says an estimate is a guess and should not be confused with a fixed price proposal. Our industry needs to correct that misconception and the misuse of the term.

Construction Foundation of BC Raising Funds for Young Tradespeople
Journal of Commerce says the Construction Foundation of BC has announced a new effort to support educators and students preparing for Regional Skills Canada Competitions.

Building a Foundation of Respect
BuildForce Canada provides some tips on understanding how to prevent or stop conflict such as harassment, bullying and discrimination.

3. Building Design & Trends

Builders Satisfy Demand for Open Floor Plans
US National Association of Home Builders says open floor plans are popular among home buyers, and the design of new single-family homes tends to be, if anything, even more open.

Top Kitchen Trends For 2018
Builder Magazine says tidy eating and cooking spaces top the 2018 list, according to the latest report from Houzz.

12 Brilliant Kitchen Backsplash Ideas
Dwell says a backsplash will protect your kitchen wall against food, water, and those dreaded oil splatters and an interesting one can potentially take your kitchen from average to extraordinary.

9 Top Trends in Bathroom Design
HPAC Magazine says whether it be new construction or a renovation, this list of the hottest upcoming bathroom design trends should help you to address customer needs.

Ultra Violet is Pantone Color of 2018
Remodeling magazine says colour titan Pantone has announced that Ultra Violet is its 2018 color of the year.

Pulte Designers See 2018 as Year of Velvet, Flora, Fauna
Builder Magazine says trends indicate soft, warm elements paired with industrial accents.

What’s New in Interior Design in 2018
Sarasota Magazine says the two big words in interior design for 2018 are authenticity and personalization.

Design Considerations in Engineered Wood Floor Systems
Construction Canada describes design considerations in engineered wood floor systems.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Gary Hamer, specialist engineer with BC Hydro says: “As per usual some very interesting stuff Ken. How do you do it consistently!”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

2018 Construction High Risk Strategy Items in BC
WorkSafe BC lists focuses on their 2018 Construction High Risk Strategy that is designed to reduce the construction industry’s serious injury rate through risk-reduction tactics focused on health and safety responsibilities specific to planning and supervision and high-risk work activities.

Gas Installation Permit & Safety Jurisdiction in BC
Technical Safety BC information bulletin details the jurisdictional requirements between Technical Safety BC and local government in areas where local governments administer the Safety Standards Act.

BC Industry Applauds Long Overdue Asbestos Regulations
Council of Construction Associations says BC’s construction industry is applauding a new move by the feds to clamp down on asbestos, but there is still work to be done.

Underground Contractors Threaten Asbestos Ban
Home Builder Canada magazine says a wild card in the recent federal ban on asbestos is the unregulated black market in renovations, according to industry groups.

TSBC Enforcement Fees Introduced to Level Playing Field
Technical Safety BC is introducing compliance and enforcement fees to be charged directly to those in non-compliance.

Proposed Air Conditioner, Heat Pump Efficiency Regulations Cause Concern
Plumbing & HVAC magazine says proposed efficiency improvements for air conditioners and heat pumps under 19 kW have manufacturers worried. They include a maximum average off-mode power consumption that covers electricity consumption of both single and three-phase units. This goes beyond US Department of Energy regulations that do not include three-phase units.

Politicians Continually Making Housing Problems Worse
Financial Post says governments can't possibly presume to know the right supply of any market good, let alone the specific location, size and type of house that people will want today, tomorrow, and next year.

Impact of Inclusionary Zoning on Development
Brandon Donnelly says people seem to think that the profit margin on projects is so great that developers could simply build affordable housing (or do many other things) if they weren't so greedy. The reality is that development happens on the margin. It's not easy to find sites and projects that make any sort of financial sense.

5. Building Science & Technology

Common Problems with Cold Weather Ventilation
Energy Vanguard says if you're experiencing cold-weather ventilation problems, the first step is figuring out where things went wrong. Was it the technology? The design? The installation? Knowing some building science can help a lot as you figure it out.

Safe & Effective Exterior Insulation Retrofits
Alaska Cold Climate Housing Research Centre study Safe and Effective Exterior Insulation Retrofits: Phase II showed retro-fitting walls with foam insulation is safest when 65% or more of the total wall R-value is exterior to the sheathing. (PDF)

Insulation for Airtight House
Fine Homebuilding online video walks through the different kinds of insulation used in the 2016 ProHOME and how they fit into the energy efficiency strategy.

Building Air Tightness, Code Compliance & Air Sealing Overview
US National Association of Home Builders technical note Building Air Tightness: Code Compliance & Air Sealing Overview describes issues and considerations for the degree of air leakage into and out of the building’s thermal enclosure. (PDF)

Ice Dams & How to Prevent Them
Insulation Institute describes how ice dam problems can be avoided by properly air sealing and insulating the attic as well as having proper ventilation.

Floor Insulation Challenge on Pier Foundation
Green Building Advisor discusses how to insulate a floor on a pier foundation that is open to the wind from below.

Two Rules for Preventing Humidity Damage
Energy Vanguard describes how water vapor interacts with materials, and the two rules for preventing damage from humidity.

Measuring Moisture in a Double-Stud Wall
Green Building Advisor says a data logger embedded inside a double-stud wall helps evaluate the risk of condensation.

6. Building Performance Issues

Do You Really Need to Run Bath Fan in Winter?
Energy Vanguard says if the bath fan is part of your whole-house ventilation, you don't want to turn it off in winter.

Hot Water Systems & Legionella
PHCP Pros describes considerations for the balancing act between Legionella prevention and scald prevention.

Cellulose Insulation Moisture Performance in Cold Climate
Alaska Cold Climate Housing Research Center study Cellulose Insulation Moisture Performance in Cold Climate Construction may indicate that using cellulose insulation in the stud cavity instead of fiberglass batts can slightly improve moisture control. (PDF)

Video on Low Lead Products in Canada
Mechanical Business says the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating has posted a free webinar it recently hosted on Low Lead Plumbing Products in Canada.

Consumer Guide to Radon Reduction, How to Fix Your Home
US Environmental Protection Agency online Consumer Guide to Radon Reduction: How to Fix Your Home describes how radon gets into a home and how to reduce its entry. (PDF)

Contractor Fear of Third-Party HVAC Design
Energy Vanguard describes issues and considerations for third-party HVAC design, and contractor acceptance.

Onsite Fire Risk Reduction Methods
WoodWorks online slide show presentation describes issues and considerations for onsite fire risk reduction methods. (PDF)

California Fire Damage to Homes is Less Random Than It Seems
Green Building Advisor says firefighters and researchers alike have a pretty solid understanding of why some houses are more vulnerable to wildfire than others. The real challenge ultimately lies in whether those with the power to act on that knowledge will do so.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Green Building Trends for 2018 & Beyond
Building Design & Construction observed several driving trends in the incoming projects and client requests, and those trends indicate that 2018 will be a different sort of year for green buildings.

Five Green Building Trends for 2018
Living Building Chronicle describes their five green building trends for 2018.

Canadians Want to Fight Climate Change – as Cheaply as Possible
iPolitics says a report shows most Canadians care about the climate, but not quite enough to welcome massive energy bill hikes or to buy an electric car.

Home Energy Rating & Disclosure in Ontario
Canadian Contractor says Home Energy Rating and Disclosure (HER&D) is coming to Ontario possibly as soon as 2019, and after that perhaps to the rest of Canada.

2018 Fuel Economy Guide For Vehicles
US Department of Energy online 2018 Fuel Economy Guide helps car buyers choose vehicles that are the most fuel-efficient and emit the lowest amount of greenhouse gases.

Webinar on Emerging Green Professionals
Canada Green Building Council free webinar Emerging Green Professionals Mentor will be presented on February 20th. Learn the secrets of launching a successful green building career, and hear more about how you can get started in making a difference in the sustainability field and gain valuable, real-life insights from a fellow young professional.

Webinar on BC Climate Plan & Urban Opportunity
Renewable Cities dialogue and webinar on February 7th features George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, discussing Provincial Government plans.

Alberta Renewables Delivers Low Prices, But Backup Still Needed
Climate Examiner says Alberta renewable energy rock-bottom prices do not solve the problem that wind, like solar, is beholden to the caprices of Mother Nature and thus is not available whenever the electricity is needed. So, Albertan wind power will have to be coupled with backup or storage, most likely coming in the form of natural gas in the short term.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

Best of IBS Product Winners at 2018 International Builders Show
US National Association of Home Builders lists the winning products in its sixth annual Best of IBS Awards during the recent NAHB International Builders Show.

Editors Product Picks from IBS 2018
Multifamily Executive Magazine describes products that stood out on the International Builders' Show floor this week as innovative solutions for the multifamily construction industry.

New Flooring Trends for Single Family Homes
Chicago Agent says resilient or vinyl flooring is out, and real hardwood floors have re-emerged as the leader in the flooring market.

Old World Concrete Design
Concrete Network says there are a small segment of concrete artisans who have mastered techniques for making new concrete look old, replicating everything from ancient Roman ruins to medieval castle floors.

Advances in Quartz
Qualified Remodeler says whites and grays remain the popular colors, but manufacturers predict some interesting developments for the market, especially as technology continues to evolve.

EPS Structural Insulated Panels
Construction Instruction online animation shows how one manufacturer of structural insulated panels makes and installs the panels.

Get the Right Rigid Foam Board
Fine Homebuilding says foam-board insulation can boost R-value, slow thermal bridging, and control condensation—but you better choose the right type.

Fast & Efficient Saw Blade Cleaning
Tools of the Trade online video describes three steps for fast and efficient saw blade cleaning: Soak, scrub, and shine. It also illustrates four pro tips that make the process painless, including what blade cleaner to use, how to make an old toothbrush a more efficient scrub brush, and how and when to use saw dust.

9. Installation Procedures

PEX Pipe for Exterior Hose Bibb
Canadian Contractor online video shows how inserting a length of PEX pipe when connecting up an exterior faucet will mean that, in the event of the faucet failing (presumably in the event of freezing), the bibb can be replaced in a jiffy without digging into the interior wall.

5 Common Attic Insulation Mistakes
US National Association of the Remodeling Industry says many attics have not been insulated correctly and are now wasting lots of energy.

Preventing Fire Sprinkler System Freezing
Insulation Institute says one of the primary ways to reduce the risk of sprinkler system freezing is to properly install mineral fiber insulation.

Best Practices for Insulating Crawlspaces
Ecohome describes some best practices for insulating crawlspaces.

Back to Hydronics Basics
Plumbing and Mechanical describes how to apply a few of the basics to every hydronic system you work with.

Air Conditioner Is More Efficient in Fall & Spring
Energy Vanguard says cooler weather reduces the cost of air conditioning in more ways than one.

Cleaning Vinyl Siding
Journal of Light Construction provides some tips on procedures and materials for cleaning vinyl siding.

Replacing Door Threshold
Fine Homebuilding article describes how to make and fine-tune a template, then measure, cut, and replace a door threshold like a pro.

10. Information Sources

Ladder Safety in Construction
WorkSafe BC online videos on ladder safety in construction focus on the importance of selecting the right tool for the job and positioning it properly, as well as assessing the hazard and following safe work procedures.

Innovative Building Technology Guide
US HUD online Innovative Building Technology Guide: Selecting the Best Solutions for Your Project, provides guidance about economic, feasibility, and performance considerations that are relevant during the conceptual, scoping, design, and implementation phases of a building project. The analytic framework will assist building owners and operators, design professionals, and other decisionmakers in selecting the technologies that best fit their needs. (PDF)

Purchasable Home Comfort Book
House Whisperer sells the Home Comfort Book, a building science/home performance book written specifically to appeal to the homeowner.

Online Database of BC Home Assessments
BC Assessments estimates the value of your home and others in your neighbourhood, and are displayed in their online data base.

Canadian Housing Now Statistics Tables Dec 2017
CMHC online Housing Now Tables of December 2017 summarize Canadian housing statistics. (PDF)

State & Province Population Growth Rate Maps
Construct Connect displays US and Canadian maps with color-coding to highlight the varying speeds of population change in states and provinces.

BC Non-Resident Ownership Report
Central 1 says new research from Statistics Canada and CMHC shows non-resident ownership is not the key driver of housing market activity and price growth in Canada’s largest metro markets as often made out to be. (PDF)

Incentives for Rental & Owner-Occupied Housing in Canada
CMHC bulletin Incentives for Rental & Owner-Occupied Housing in Canada lists Canadian housing policies provided by Federal, Provincial/Territorial and municipal government that impact the supply and demand of each housing tenure. (PDF)

11. Conferences & Shows

2018 BC Window Technical Conference
The 2017 FENBC Technical Conference will be held in Surrey on February 28th. Topics covered will include: Communicating with Different Generations, Managing Risk Through Effective Mock-up Curtainwall Testing, What is Laminate?, Commercial Fenestration Changes in 2015 National Building Code, and FENBC AGM and Open Discussion.

Construction Industry Trade Show in Cloverdale
Construction Expo 2018 will be held March 10-11 at Agriplex Building in the Cloverdale Exhibition Ground. It presents latest technology, innovation in products, new trends and latest applications in the construction industry.

2017 Canadian Home Builders National Conference in Victoria
Canadian Home Builders Association annual national conference will be held in Victoria, March 21-23. It includes a number of speakers and sessions on business and industry issues, awards presentations, product displays, and social and networking events.

Canadian HVAC & Plumbing Industry Show in Toronto
CMPX, the Canadian Mechanical & Plumbing Exposition will be held in Toronto, March 21-23. It is the national trade show for the heating, air conditioning, ventilation, hearth, plumbing, piping, refrigeration and emerging technologies industries.

12. Education & Training

Professional Selling
GVHBA seminar Professional Selling, will be presented in Burnaby on February 8th. It covers the 5-step process to selling like a pro, how to build your sales process to match these 5 steps, and how to handle objections like a pro.

Principles of Injury Management
Vancouver Regional Construction Association course Principles of Injury Management will be presented in New Westminster on February 9th. It will guide you in building proactive and responsive approaches to help injured workers stay at work or return to safe and productive work as soon as possible.

Buzz on BC Politics, Election & Budget
UDI Luncheon on February 15th, The Buzz on BC Politics, Election & Budget, features three respected media personalities leading a provocative and informative discussion about the predictions and forecast on the upcoming budget.

Home & Family Sprinkler Summit 2018
Fire Chiefs' Association of BC is presenting an educational summit on Home Fire Sprinklers in Langley, on February 22.

Basic Concrete Technology Workshop
Concrete BC presents their Basic Concrete Technology Workshop in Vancouver, February 20-21. This 1.5-day course presents an introduction to the properties of concrete as needed in concrete construction, including strength and durability. Students receive a copy of Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures (8th edition), relevant industry handouts, as well as copies of each presentation.

Course on Fundamentals Of Lighting
Illuminating Engineering Society of BC 3-day course on Fundamentals of Lighting will be held in Burnaby on Feb 23-24 and March 10. It covers vision, colour, design guide, light sources, photometry, calculations, interior and exterior lighting applications and more.

Quality First Ventilation Guidelines Courses In BC
TECA lists their Quality First Ventilation Guidelines courses they are presenting around BC in 2018.

Building Smart with High Performance Concrete Envelopes
BC Building Envelope Council workshop Building Smart with High Performance Concrete Envelopes will be presented in Vancouver on February 27th. Topics for discussion include precast concrete, sandwich concrete walls, insulating concrete forms, and cast-in-place concrete. It will provide practical examples to illustrate thermal bridging considerations and to identify compliance paths for meeting the thermal performance requirements.

Earn All Your 2018 CPDs At Builders Super Week
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC allows you to earn all of your Homeowner Protection Office CPD Credits at their Builders' Super Week, held in Vancouver, March 7-9. (PDF)


Dittie For Today: On Customer Service

If you lose a customer you lose two ways -- you don't get the money, and your competitors do. - Patricia Fripp


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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