Newsletter #158
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
April 24, 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 Denisa Ionescu, Melissa Broadus, Joey Fearn, Brian Hart, Casey Kerkhoff, Mike Nesselbeck, Sabine Rogers, Ted Sheldon, Samuel Jacobs, Kira DeVries, Tom Howard, Karen Podolski, John Hawthorne, Jess Miller, Mike Rogers, Mat Loup, and Elizabeth Woff 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

The Coming Stucco-Pocalypse
Building Science Corporation says you can take a system with thousands of years of history and screw it up, by keeping improving it until it does not work.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Development Industry April Newsletter
UDI online newsletter provides an update on events, issues, and resources for the BC development industry. April (PDF)

Economic Fallout of BC Housing Price Shocks
BC Real Estate Association says the desire of some well-meaning British Columbians for government to drive down the price of homes through demand-side policy may sound practical at first blush. However, when you consider the broad and deep economic toll that a negative shock to home prices would exact on both homeowners and renters, it quickly becomes apparent that such an approach is at best, a mug's game. (PDF)

Submission To BC Government On Budget & Speculation Tax
CHBA BC has submitted a paper to the BC Ministry of Finance seeking clarification on other situations where the speculation tax could wrongly apply, including if a building has unsold units, if a vacant lot is under construction, or if a show home would be subjected to the tax. (PDF)

Striking Shift Into Multiples Versus Singles in Canada Housing Market
Construct Connect says there has been a dramatic shift in the composition of Canada’s total housing starts since the door opened on the 21st century.

Divergent Outlooks For Residential & Non-Residential Construction
Conference Board of Canada says after posting its strongest growth since 2013 last year, Canada’s residential construction industry is forecast to see a small contraction in 2018. Meanwhile, non-residential construction is expecting a modest turnaround this year.

What it Costs to Build a House in Canada
Home Builder Canada says a high quality 2,000-square-foot detached house would cost up to $460,000 in hard construction costs to build in Vancouver, $420,000 in Toronto, but around $300,000 in Montreal, Calgary or Halifax.

Housing's Necessary Path in the Digital Revolution
Builder Magazine says a shortage of trade labor and more complex housing systems demand a different process.

Hochstein Fellowship Endowed at SFU’s Beedie School
On March 29, ICBA and Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business formalized the Philip Hochstein Fellowship. This Fellowship was made possible by a $945,000 donation from ICBA to the school. Here is the speech given by the ICBA board chairman to mark the occasion.

2. Business Management

3 Ways to Price Construction Projects
Fine Homebuilding says construction is a cost-based business. You have to know your costs for any given project, and mark up those costs by the appropriate amount to determine a price. Use these three methods to determine the correct price for your construction projects.

12 Rules for Contractors
Canadian Contractor has adapted Dr. Peterson's 12 Rules For Life to apply to your contracting company.

When Time Isn't on Your Side
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association artcle by Kuhn LLP summarizes the recent case of Sanwo Enterprise v. Huang, that highlights the dangers of including a deadline in an estimate that can become a fundamental term of the contract that a contractor will be liable for failing to meet.

Procedures Concerning Construction Contracts & Close Out of Projects
BC Construction Association document Procedures Concerning Construction Contracts and Close Out of Projects recommends standard procedures to facilitate the closing stages of a construction contract and the close out of the project. (PDF)

How to Negotiate with Suppliers for Win-Win
Builder Magazine offers tips on achieving long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers.

What to Consider For Best ROI On Home Remodel Project
FORBES takes a look at the 2018 Cost vs. Value report and offers its readers suggestions about how to get the biggest bang for the buck.

Selling Construction Services with Confidence
Fine Homebuilding says developing confidence in three areas of the business - in your process, your numbers, and in walking away - can eliminate the fear involved with selling construction services.

5 Ways to Kill Your Home Service Business
IE3 explains the five ways you will kill your home service business without even trying.

3. Building Design & Trends

Top 10 Features New Home Buyers Really Want
Builder Magazine says Zillow Group's latest report highlights how to attract home buyers.

10 Zen Homes That Champion Japanese Design
Dwell says from mono no aware, the awareness of the transience of things, to wabi-sabi, the appreciation of imperfection, Japanese design principles have influenced architects all over the world.

Top Residential Landscape Trends For 2018
Builder Magazine says according to a new ASLA report, homeowners want to do yoga in their sustainably designed backyards or shared outdoor spaces-while their phones are charging nearby.

8 Bold Bathrooms That Don't Back Away from Color
Dwell says forget about beige—these multicolored spaces are designed to delight.

Designing a Balanced Home Office
Washington Post offers examples of designing a home office that gets the job done while keeping family life in balance.

9 Outdoor Design Trends Buyers Want Now
Builder Magazine features Phoenix-based landscape design studio Creative Environments sharing the trends climbing their client lists.

Developers Bet Big on Multigenerational Floor Plans
Multifamily Executive Magazine says as the makeup and wants of households evolve, savvy developers are expanding their unit sizes to accommodate the broadening renter pool. Over the next five to 15 years, multigenerational households, downsizing baby boomers, roommates, immigrant families, and young tenants with children are poised to dramatically change the renter pool—and the type of housing needed to be built for them.

Co-Living, The Next Real Estate Disruptor or Niche Market?
Building Design & Construction says from a practicality standpoint, co-living makes complete sense for young, single, and highly mobile working professionals.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Jun'ichi Jensen, Senior Codes Administrator, BC Building & Safety Standards says: “Thank you for the service you provide to our industry. Over my past 10 years here at Building and Safety Standards, Province of BC, I have found many interesting articles in your newsletter. Thanks again for keeping our industry informed.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Bulletin 18-02 Miscellaneous Revisions to BC Building Code
BC Government online Technical Bulletin 18-02, Miscellaneous Revisions to the 2012 BC Building Code, describes changes to the BCBC that were not described in Bulletin B18-01. Key changes include: Removal of a relaxation for guards in Part 9 dwelling units that are not above another suite; Permitting passive ventilation for secondary suites in buildings designed to comply with the BC Energy Step Code; More consistency between definitions for mechanical energy use intensity, total energy use intensity; A new appendix note on Floor Area; Clarification on area for assumed air leakage for Part 3 buildings; Clarification of the energy modelling reporting options in Division C.

BC PST Now Applies to Delivery Charges
BC Government bulletin explains how PST applies to delivery and other transportation charges, and to goods that are damaged, destroyed or lost in transit. (PDF)

Vancouver Policy for Environmental Separation Design in Housing
City of Vancouver bulletin Environmental Separation Design in Housing and Small Buildings describes City building policy with respect to the application of Part 5 - Environmental Separation for Housing and Small Buildings into buildings falling within the scope of Part 9 of the Building By-law and provides guidelines for permit submittals in this context. (PDF)

Energy Efficiency & Water Updates in VBBL
City of Vancouver has sent out this letter outlining proposed Energy Efficiency and Water Updates to the VBBL and Rezoning Policy. (PDF)

BC Energy Step Code Design Guide for Mid & High Rise
BC Housing online BC Energy Step Code Design Guide provides information on the key strategies and approaches to meeting the Energy Step Code in mid- and high-rise (Part 3) wood-frame and non-combustible residential buildings within British Columbia. (PDF)

COCA: BC Labour Code Review Reveals Differing Opinions
Council of Construction Associations says the BC Labour Relations Code is under review by a panel of three people who will provide recommendations by August 2018 on potential amendments to the code. The stated intent of the review is to ensure the code supports a growing and sustainable economy and is consistent with best practices in other regions across Canada.

ICBA Defends Professional Reliance Model
ICBA says BC's NDP Government is currently reviewing the professional reliance model, which uses expertise outside government to vet and critique various projects. They made a submission on behalf of their members, defending the current way this work is done.

Opposition to Government-Owned Enterprises
Canadian Construction Association has advised the government of Canada of its opposition to government-owned or controlled entities competing for construction contracts. Most recently, Chinese state-owned CCCC International Holding Limited’s (CCCI) announced it is seeking to acquire Aecon Group Inc., a Canadian publicly-traded construction firm.

5. Building Science & Technology

Watch Robots Build a Timber Frame in No Time
Curbed online video show the Spatial Timber Assemblies project, which uses several robots to design, fabricate, and assemble timber frames.

Backing Up a Minisplit Heating System
Green Building Advisor discusses considerations for using ceiling resistance heaters to supplement minisplits.

Converting Heating & Cooling Loads to Air Flow
Energy Vanguard describes the physics behind how to calculate how many cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air will give the right number of BTUs per hour.

Insulated Metal Panel Systems
Building Science guide Insulated Metal Panel (IMP) Systems describes the building science, issues and consideration for design and use of IMP. (PDF)

Does This Metal Roof Need to Breathe?
Green Building Advisor discusses whether or not a standing-seam metal roof needs to breath.

Mid-Rise Best Practice Guide
WoodWorks & BC Housing have released the new online Mid-Rise Best Practice Guide - Proven Construction Techniques for Five-and Six-Storey Wood-Frame Buildings. It features five innovative BC projects representative of the diverse and varied application of new techniques and best practices for mid-rise wood-frame construction. (PDF)

Integrated Community Energy Solutions
Natural Resources Canada says Integrated Community Energy Solutions represent the next important step toward smart, sustainable use of our energy resources. They have the potential to lead to more livable cities and a better quality of life for citizens, while reducing energy consumption and costs for business and consumers alike.

Will Storage Be at Heart of Residential Communities of Future?
Renewable Energy World says one of the biggest homebuilders in North America is hoping energy storage can help create sustainable homes that are the foundation of residential communities in the future.

6. Building Performance Issues

Solving Ice Dam Problem with Exterior Rigid Foam
Green Building Advisor says eight inches of polyiso, a second layer of roof sheathing, and new shingles cost the same as a standing-seam roof without any insulation.

Building for High Wind Resistance
Engineered Wood Association online webinar recording, After the Storm: Building for High Wind Resistance, focuses on common structural failures observed during storm damage assessments. It includes an overview of high wind forces and covers the importance of a continuous load path, and how good design and construction practices can improve the storm resistance of buildings.

Universal Design Features Top Kitchen & Bath Trends
Builder Magazine says according to the AIA quarterly trends survey, demand for in-home accessibility features and home additions and alterations drove the majority of work at residential architecture firms in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Learning to Co-Exist with Wildfires
Green Building Advisor says as housing developments creep into wild and natural areas, proactive planning can reduce the risk of harm in the face of fire.

Online Video Describes Ventilation Flow Testing Procedures
RESNET and Panasonic online training video shows the most common testing procedure for exhaust ventilation flow.

Good Night’s Sleep Can be Key Feature in Dream Home
Washington Post says builders are putting an emphasis on high quality slumber in new residences.

Concrete Building Design Optimization for Reduced Life-Cycle Costs
Concrete Sustainability research brief Concrete Building Design Optimization for Reduced Life-Cycle Costs and Environmental Impacts explains how combining tools such as the CSHub-developed Building Attribute to Impact Algorithm with optimization methods can help identify the best ranges for key design parameters. (PDF)

What Makes a City Green?
Green Building Advisor says sustainable cities need more than parks, cafés, and a riverwalk.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Canada In Top 10 Environmental Ranking
Fraser Institute study, Environmental Ranking for Canada and the OECD, finds that Canada is a world leader in environmental performance and ranks in the top 10 among the world's wealthiest, cleanest and most developed countries on a wide range of environmental indicators.

10 Canadian Companies That Specialize in Sustainable Architecture
World Architecture put together this list of 10 Canadian Companies That Specialize In Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Architecture.

Built Green Canada Reaches Milestone in Certified Homes
Built Green says as 2017 wrapped up, they surpassed a milestone of 30,000 single family projects being certified.

Rebate for Upgrading to Natural Gas Fireplaces
Fortis BC says if you upgrade to an eligible high-efficiency EnerChoice gas fireplace you get a $300 rebate.

City of Vancouver Rain City Strategy
BC Landscape & Nursery Association online slide show of the City of Vancouver Rain City Strategy describes a high level, 30-year implementation plan that aims to manage rainwater sustainably through green infrastructure that protects, restores and mimics the natural water cycle. (PDF)

Presentations From 2018 HPC New York Home Performance Conference
Home Performance Coalition allows free access to presentations from the 2018 New York Regional Home Performance Conference. Click on the session title to access and download the respective presentation.

First Micro Carbon Capture Unit Installed in BC
FortisBC says the first CleanO2 carbon capture unit was installed this week at LUSH Cosmetics in Vancouver. It takes the extra heat and emissions released from commercial-sized boilers and furnaces and turns it into something useful, and captures carbon and turns it into sodium carbonate (soda ash), a versatile mineral used to make pharmaceuticals and manufacture glass as well as soap.

Wireless Charging Seen as Game Changer for EV Infrastructure
Renewable Energy World says wireless electric vehicle charging may soon be changing the shape of the growing EV charging infrastructure.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

2018 Product Guide, 110 Must-See Products
Builder Magazine presents over 100 materials, appliances, finishes, and more that exemplify the latest trends in new-home construction.

Pneumatic Nailer Tips & Techniques
Tools of the Trade online video provides some tips from a carpenter who's been using a nail gun for more than 30 years on how not to get shot with one and how to keep one functioning like new for decades.

Laser Tools Measure Up
Qualified Remodeler says laser measures go beyond computing room dimensions with features that further enhance the user experience.

In-Building Wireless Is Going Virtual
Cretech says at Mobile World Congress 2018, in-building wireless equipment vendors are looking beyond centralization of the RAN to virtualization of the RAN in an effort to further reduce the total cost of ownership and complexity of an in-building deployment.

Aeroseal Rolls Out Air-Sealing Technology for Houses
Green Building Advisor says the developer of the Aeroseal duct-sealing system promotes a new technique to air-seal a whole house with a low VOC sealant in just a few hours.

New One-Way Vapour Barrier
Journal of Light Construction says Majrex, introduced by the Swiss firm Siga, is an advanced vapor control membrane that not only adjusts to variable humidity like Intello and MemBrain, but actually has a greater moisture permeability in one direction than in the other.

How IoT is Transforming HVACR Industry
New Deal for Buildings says the tangible result of such smart technology being embedded deep into building automation equipment, including heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, is that larger property owner and management concerns will be able to have equipment issues diagnosed before service technicians are required to be dispatched.

Need for Insulating Values for Nubbed Foam Panels
PM Magazine says manufacturers offering nubbed foam panels for radiant heating should consider how to produce accurate design tools for heated slabs placed over such panels.

9. Installation Procedures

Air Sealing That Works
Journal of Light Construction says an extremely tight shell proves affordable with universal, repeatable details.

Fiberglass Batt Insulation T-Lift
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to use scrap 2x2s and a couple of long finish nails to make a handy tool for installing unfaced fiberglass insulation.

Perforated Pipe Holes Up or Down?
Journal of Light Construction discusses whether holes go up or down when installing perforated pipe in a drainage system.

3 Robots That Could Be Changing Construction Industry
Dwell describes three companies with innovative robotic systems that could be bringing a lot of change to home construction.

Inevitability of Residential Prefabrication
Canadian Contractor discusses three factors that point to a dramatic change in the future of Canadian home building.

Use a Steam Box for Window Restoration
Fine Homebuilding says to soften glazing and remove the glass from an old window, a homemade steam box is priceless.

Mastering Change Order Process
Construct Connect says change orders aren’t something that need to be feared if they are managed successfully. Having a change order process in place will allow you to efficiently identify the need for change orders and manage them as they arise on a project.

How Owners' Project Manager Can Smooth Collaboration
Engineering News Record says as the construction industry has moved toward more collaborative forms of project delivery, many owners have begun engaging outside professionals who are known as owners project managers.

10. Information Sources

Canada-BC Job Grant
ICBA says you can get up to $300,000 per fiscal year in government funding to train your employees, via the Canada-BC Job Grant.

Use the Cloud to Manage Your Construction Business
Fine Homebuilding says if you are not utilizing the cloud in your daily operations to communicate with your clients and coordinate your projects with your team, then you will not be as successful as you could be over the next few years.

How to Check What Links Are Working Best For Your Site
Energy Circle says looking at your referral traffic with Google Analytics will help you understand which links are working for your site and which sources are bringing you the most quality traffic.

Why Instagram is a Powerful Marketing Tool for Remodelers
Remodeling describes why Instagram is a great marketing tool for remodelers.

Age-friendly Communities Benefit All Residents
CMHC has published a new guide that outlines the steps to creating a housing strategy for an age-friendly community. For each step, we provide one or more examples from different municipalities across the country.

Considerations for Efficiency & Affordability of Modular Housing
BC Housing online Research Highlight provides ideas, innovations, and considerations for improving affordability, efficiency, and quality of modular and prefabricated housing. (PDF)

Business Community Calls on Government to Protect Right to Secret Ballot
ICBA says in a joint submission to the BC Labour Relations Code Review Panel, 13 significant business associations have called on the BC Government to protect workers’ rights to a secret ballot in union certification votes.

Economics of New Purpose-Built Rental Housing Development
CMHC report Economics of New Purpose-Built Rental Housing Development in Selected Canadian Markets provides insight on some of the current factors that can influence the decision for investors and developers to fund purpose-built rental housing projects. (PDF)

11. Conferences & Shows

IAQ & ENERGY 2018 will be held in Portland, May 1-2. It hosts professionals who are looking for cutting-edge information for healthy, energy-efficient indoor environments where people live, work, play and learn.

Delta Trades & Technical Career Fair
The free Delta Trades and Technical Career Fair will be held on May 3rd at Sungod Recreation Centre. It provides an opportunity for students, parents and the general public to explore trades and technical careers through hands-on, interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and talking directly with experts in the field.

2018 US Weatherization Conference in Phoenix
2018 Energy Outwest Conference, held this year in Phoenix May 21-25, features seminars and trade show for the weatherization industry.

Resources for Future Generations 2018
BC Sustainable Energy Association says Resources for Future Generations 2018 will be held in Vancouver, June 16-21. It is the first international conference dedicated to the availability of resources needed to sustain future generations.

12. Education & Training

Material Selection for Airtight Buildings
GVHBA Builders Breakfast Series presents Material Selection for Airtight Buildings on April 26th, in Vancouver. Learn about what you need to look for in building materials to create a reliable, lasting and airtight building envelope.

Building Smart with Site & Foundation Drainage
BC Housing Webinar and seminar, Building Smart with Site & Foundation Drainage, will be presented on May 2nd. This half-day workshop will cover: Drainage design considerations; Details and workmanship required for drainage elements; Design and installation of building enclosure systems; Maintenance of site and foundation drainage; Post-construction remedial measures.

Tiny Talk on Small Housing, Design, Applications
BC Tiny House Collective presents their Tiny Talk presentation in Vancouver on May 12th. It features small housing types, designs, real-world applications, and an industry-led panel.

Deciphering BC Energy Step Code
UDI breakfast seminar on May 15th will discuss the newly published BC Energy Step Code Design Guide that outlines strategies to help buildings across the province comply with the Energy Step Code, and includes a supplement on compliance with the City of Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan.

Social Media for the Residential Construction Industry
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association workshop Social Media for the Residential Construction Industry will be held in Burnaby on May 16th. It will explain how to find the right combination of platforms, tools, content, and creativity, that will provide maximum ROI for the residential construction industry.

Candid Conversation with Bob Rennie & Steve Schmidt
UDI Luncheon on may 17th features a candid conversation with Bob Rennie and Steve Schmidt.

Managing Stress in Workplace
ICBA workshop Managing Stress in Workplace, will be presented in Burnaby on May 28th. Learn how to recognize stress, how it affects your work and personal life, and effective strategies to handle stress in the workplace. You will also learn how to reduce your stress and set goals for effectively managing internal and external stressors.

Electrical & Gas Tech Talks Around BC
Technical Safety BC (formerly BC Safety Authority) frequently holds Tech Talks around BC, covering various topics of interest to the trades.


Dittie For Today:

You should not confuse your career with your life. - Dave Barry


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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