Newsletter #160.
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
June 20, 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 Sabine Just, Brian Hart, Mat Loup, Ed Hudson, Mark Sakai, Mike Rogers, Ken Sinclair, Ted Sheldon, Joey Fearn, Melissa Broadus, Ryan Coleman, Glenn Duxbury, Karen Frank, and Karen Podolski 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

Punched Openings
Building Science says in most building enclosures designed and constructed today the water and air control layers are on the outside of the structure and often combined. But it gets complicated because not all walls are alike, not all windows and doors are alike, and not all water and air control layers are alike.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Purchasable 2018 Canadian Home Buyer Preference Survey
CHBA 2018 Canadian Home Buyer Preference Survey summarizes a nationwide market research study into today's new home buyer market, covering home design, building features, buying preferences, and demographics.

2018 Second Quarter BC Housing Forecast
In its 2018 Second Quarter Housing Forecast, BC Real Estate Association reported that MLS residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 9 per cent to 94,200 units this year, after posting 103,700 unit sales in 2017. (PDF)

Canadian Housing Forecast Quarterly June 2018
Canadian Real Estate Association forecast for home sales activity says housing market fundamentals remain strong in many parts of the country. Nonetheless, many housing markets continue to struggle in the face of policy headwinds.

BC Economic Briefing
Central 1 Credit Union online BC Economic Briefing says home prices rose in May, and to expect a slowdown going forward. (PDF)

BC NDP Government Looks Upon Housing as a Lucrative Cash Cow
Georgia Straight says a UBC professor with a keen interest in sustainability has written a paper that raises alarming questions about the NDP government's housing policies.

Metro Land Squeeze Pressures Developers & Investors
Western Investor says as more than 3,700 people move in every month, Metro Vancouver faces a historic land use challenge.

How House Prices Affect Consumer Price Index
Business Council of BC says it can seem hard to reconcile the stellar growth in house prices in recent years in Vancouver and some other Canadian urban centres with the modest growth in the consumer price index (CPI).

Top 10 Take-Aways from 2018 Housing Leadership Summit
Builder Magazine lists some observations from home building's thought leaders at the recent 2018 Housing Leadership Summit.

2. Business Management

Government Fees Represent 26% of New Home Price
UDI says homebuyers need to know that government taxes and fees are equating to more than 26%, or $220,256 of the total $840,000 cost of a typical new Vancouver apartment.

The Case for Marketing to Generation X
Builder Magazine says despite the focus on millennials and baby boomers, Gen X home buyers stand out as a force in the market.

Construction Sales Techniques, 6 Ways to Engage Brains
Fine Homebuilding if you understand how customers' brains work when making buying decisions, you can close more sales and increase your margins.

Dealing with Remodeling Client Disputes
Qualified Remodeler says remodelers must be prepared for customer objections and have a procedure in place to solve disagreements swiftly and effectively.

Cost-Plus Contracts & Reasons You Should Use Them
Fine Homebuilding says in theory, cost-plus contracts are a win-win for the contractor and the owner. Answer these questions before you decide to proceed with this type of construction contract.

Pricing Your Services
PHCP Pros explains the transition from low hourly rates to contract pricing.

Building Construction Price Indexes, Q1 2018
Statistics Canada says prices for the construction of new residential buildings rose more than those for new non-residential buildings in the first quarter of 2018. Increases for both building types were driven, in part, by higher costs for masonry work, as well as for materials including steel, lumber and concrete.

Construction Productivity Expert Series Webcasts
BuildForce Canada online webcast series is part of an industry-led Canadian Construction Productivity Initiative that is helping to define what productivity means for Canada’s construction and maintenance industry. Each of the webcasts features a productivity expert presenting information on a particular aspect of productivity.

3. Building Design & Trends

2018 VIBE Award Winners for Vancouver Island
Canadian Home Builders Association of Vancouver Island lists the winners of the 2018 Vancouver Island Building Excellence Awards.

2018 Greater Vancouver Ovation Awards Winners
Greater Vancouver Builders Association lists their 2018 Ovation Award Winners and finalists. 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.

2018 AIA Housing Awards Winners
Builder Magazine shows the winners of the American Institute of Architects 2018 Housing Awards. The 11 recipients of this year's program include a variety of single-family and multifamily residences ranging in scale from a small infill house in New Orleans to residential colleges at Yale University. The awards span four categories: One- and Two-Family Custom Residences, One- and Two-Family Production Homes, Multifamily Housing, and Specialized Housing.

AIA San Francisco Announces Winners of 2018 Design Awards
Custom Home Magazine says AIA San Francisco recognized these projects that demonstrated outstanding achievements in architecture and interior design.

2018 US Remodeling Contractors of The Year
US National Association of Remodeling Industry presents the winners of the national and regional 2018 CotY (Contractor of the Year) Awards.

Cooking Habits Impact Kitchen Design
Builder Magazine says an inaugural behavioral survey from the National Kitchen & Bath Association analyzes the way consumers use their homes and kitchens.

Yes, Multigenerational Living is a Thing
Builder Magazine says the important issue for builders, architects, and residential developers is why multigenerational living is a thing.

Building Smart with High Performance Concrete Envelopes
BC Housing online video was created for their Building Smart with High Performance Concrete Envelopes workshop that focused on concrete envelopes for Part 9 and Part 3 construction. Industry experts discussed the latest research on how concrete envelopes can help deliver results as well as some of the most effective ways to meet the new BC Energy Step Code standards. Topics for discussion included precast concrete, sandwich concrete walls, insulating concrete forms, and cast-in-place concrete. The workshop program provided practical examples to illustrate thermal bridging considerations and to identify compliance paths for meeting the thermal performance requirements.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Ryan Coleman, Founder/CEO of Ecolighten Energy Solutions Ltd. says: “Great content as always!”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Recent BC Building Code Interpretations
Building Officials Association of BC has updated its site with more of the recent BC Building Code interpretations. These are located at the bottom of the list.

Recent Updates to BC OHS Guidelines
WorkSafe BC describes recent updates to the OHS Guidelines.

Illustrated User Guide Canadian NBC 2015 Part 9 Housing & Small Buildings
National Research Council Canada sells the Illustrated User Guide NBC 2015 Part 9 Housing and Small Buildings. It features hundreds of graphics, examples and formulas. This latest edition includes updated illustrations that are more consistent with common architectural rendering and more easily understood. $210 Cdn

Review of Canadian Electrical Code, 2018 Edition
Technical Safety BC has been reviewing the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code to assess the impact of code changes in BC and will soon make recommendations to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on its suitability of adoption in BC. As a part of our review process, they are seeking feedback from electrical industry stakeholders and the general public through an online survey from June 1, 2018 to July 30, 2018.

Rate Consultation Sessions Around BC
WorkSafe BC invites you to to learn more about the proposed 2019 rates for your industry, injury trends in British Columbia, and what you can do to reduce injuries, claim costs, and your insurance rate. Attendance is free.

Plumbing Product Labels & Markings
Plumbing Manufacturers International says third-party organizations each have distinct labels that plumbing manufacturers add to their products to indicate the product has been properly reviewed and tested to comply with national or international standards and regulations, including lead-free standards. PMI provides a list of all the main plumbing product markings with general explanations of the standards and requirements each represent.

Small Businesses Will Bear Brunt of BC Employer Health Payroll Tax
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association released an independent survey of business owners on the impacts of the BC government’s new Employer Health Payroll Tax, which was unveiled in BC Budget 2018-19 in February. Results show that small- and medium-sized businesses will bear the brunt of the new tax.

Boom, Bust & Echo: Summer Reading for BC Govt
Victoria Residential Builders Association says BC’s housing boom and shortage was predictable and the govt could have planned far in advance. Instead, the govt choked housing with regional greenbelts (ALR), is adding more tax (PTT, Speculation Tax, School Tax) and costly building regulations (Step Code).

5. Building Science & Technology

Framing Techniques for Builders
Weyerhaeuser online slide show presentation is intended to improve framing techniques; addressing common commercial and multi-family construction issues. It reviews several case studies and discusses the lessons learned so that we avoid similar issues on your own projects. (PDF)

Details for a Closed Crawlspace
Green Building Advisor discusses insulation and ventilation specs that will help keep a house comfortable and the crawlspace free of problems.

Canadian Climate Zones for Windows, Doors Skylights
NRCan displays the climate zones for Energy Star fenestration products.

Avoiding Wet Roofs
Journal of Light Construction provides a building-science guide to insulating attics and roofs.

Building Enclosure Design Fundamentals
WoodWorks online slide show presentation Building Enclosure Design Fundamentals, Components, and Assemblies describes design considerations associated with wood-frame building enclosures and the role of control layers. (PDF)

Conversion Factors for HVAC Systems & Design
Heating Help describes some quick conversion factors for various HVAC systems and design calculations.

Designing & Installing a Septic System
Green Building Advisor says septic systems are not overly complicated, but the details have to be right.

Structural Considerations for Gypsum Firewalls
BC Housing online guide Structural Considerations for Frame Supported Gypsum Area Separation Firewalls provides background information on gypsum firewalls and design considerations when gypsum firewall is used with wood-frame construction meeting the requirements of the NBCC.

6. Building Performance Issues

Remedial Treatments for Mouldy Sheathing in Ventilated Attics
BC Housing report Assessing Remedial Treatments for Mouldy Sheathing in Ventilated Attics in Coastal Climates evaluates six different products for their ability to conceal and prevent the regrowth of mould on a mouldy wood substrate that had been treated without cleaning or cleaned by various methods before a treatment. Preventing new growth of mould as well as ability to mask and conceal existing mould or stain were key attributes when assessing the products’ effectiveness. (PDF)

9 Common Sub-Floor Installation Mistakes
Builder Magazine says from tight spacing to improper fasteners, simple sub-floor errors can lead to callbacks. Here’s a best-practice refresher.

Simple Steps to Improve Air Conditioner Performance
Energy Vanguard says possible causes of poor performance of air conditioners can be divided into two groups: heat gain and heat removal.

Air Leakage Testing Garage to House Air Barrier
US Department of Energy online guide describes how to properly test the air barrier between the garage and house, and how to ensure the air barrier is tight enough to prevent garage air from entering the home.

Designing a High-Performance Wall in Wildfire Country
Green Building Advisor provides advice to an owner-builder that wants walls with a high R-value that also address the region’s high risk of fire.

Formaldehyde & Engineered Wood Products
Engineered Wood Association describes why PS 1 and PS 2 certified panels easily meet or are exempt from the world's leading formaldehyde emission limits and regulations.

Comparison of ECM & PSC Blower Motor Amp Draw
US Department of Energy online video compares electrically commutated (ECM) and permanent split capacitor (PSC) motors.

Canadian Political Parties Ignoring Issue of Asbestos in Homes
Canadian Contractor says the time is long overdue for the Canadian government to take responsibility and offer a tax credit program to assist with the costs of a health and safety problem which they helped to create and fund. Provincial governments should also take some responsibility to address the significant costs of their regulations.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Working Roadmap for BC Home Performance Industry
BC Home Performance Stakeholder Council online Working Roadmap provides an executive summary of the collective perspective from the HPSC on the home performance industry including vision, summary of issues and priority initiatives for industry development identified by Sector Councils. It includes recommendations on Contractor Accreditation & Training, Home Performance Training, Quality Assurance/Inspections. and Consumer Education & Awareness. (PDF)

Vancouver Green Demolition Bylaw Expanded
REMI Network says the City of Vancouver has approved an expansion of the existing green demolition requirements from pre-1940 homes to include pre-1950 homes and approved funding to support the creation of a Deconstruction Hub.

Exposing Residential Energy Efficiency Misconceptions
US Department of Energy online slide show from their Better Buildings Peer Exchange Call busts common myths in the residential energy efficiency community.

Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations by Province
NRCan lists energy efficiency regulations for energy-using products in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Healthy Home Score
Healthy Indoors online video features Carl Grimes presenting on the Hayward Healthy Home Scoring Tool, recorded live at the IAQ & Energy 2018.

2018 BC Environment Industry Guide
BC Environment Industry Guide 2018 describes an industry sector that is growing faster than the economy as a whole, and lists companies that provide the products and services to protect our natural and social environments. (PDF)

Where Water Is Scarce, Communities Turn to Wastewater
Green Building Advisor says as the era of dam building winds down, some regions turn to local and less expensive methods to deliver drinking water.

Passive House Design & Construction Courses for Architects
Passive Buildings Canada course Passive House Design & Construction for Architects will be held in Vancouver, August 8-10. If you are an architect or professional with training in building envelope design, this three-day condensed course covers the technical, economic and policy elements of Passive House buildings.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

NY Thermal Recalls Gas-Fired Hot Water Boilers
Health Canada and NY Thermal Inc. have issued a joint recall of NTI Trinity Tft Gas-Fired Hot Water Boilers. This applies to certain model numbers with serial numbers ranging from 1000 to 115541. The affected products were sold in Canada and the United States from October 7, 2011 to January 24, 2018. The hazard is related to the deterioration of the grommet seal which, in certain cases, could potentially permit the escape of low levels of carbon monoxide.

A Failing Copper Tubing Mystery
Heating Help discusses a mystery around copper tubing, which is failing in lots of houses. No one knows for sure why this is happening.

Builder Use of Aerial Drones Takes Off
NAHB says the number of single-family builders that had used aerial drones at least once in their construction businesses has soared to 46 percent.

Driveway Sealer Tips & Products
Concrete Network says choosing the right sealer and applying it properly will extend the life of your concrete driveway and keep it looking great for years to come, so you should buy the best product you can afford.

Best Tape Measure
Toolbox Buzz went to great lengths to determine which tape measure was the best. Seven brands were tested: DeWalt, Klein, Milwaukee, Stanley (two models), Tajima, Komelon, and Lufkin.

Choosing Your Water Heater
NRCan online infographic describes key considerations for choosing your water heater.

Product Guide for Structural Insulated Panels
Engineered Wood Association Product Guide: Structural Insulated Panels covers SIP advantages, applications, design and construction considerations, assembly and related topics. Numerous connection details also are included. Revised June 2018.

The Year of The Heat Pump
Mechanical Business says one of the fastest growing segments of the heating and cooling sector is heat pump technology.

9. Installation Procedures

Drip Cap Design & Installation
Fine Homebuilding says the lowly drip cap needs to be taken more seriously to prevent leaks and rot.

Joints in Concrete Slabs
Journal of Light Construction describes how to detail the slab to minimize cracking.

Batt Insulation for Existing Exterior Walls
US Department of Energy describes issues and considerations for installing batt insulation on the inside of existing exterior walls.

Three Men & Crane, Innovative Framing Process
Builder Magazine says in three working days equating about 30 hours of labor, three workers took this enclosure from slab to completion—a job that typically can take 10 or so trade crews 20 days to rough in the frame and its shell.

Back Up Your Vent Pipe Flashing
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to use flashing tape and additional underlayment to backstop your flashing boot.

Common Air Leaks
Journal of Light Construction says just about any part of the building envelope will leak if given the chance, but the places where leaks are most likely to occur are low and high on a building.

Replace an Asphalt Roof Shingle
Fine Homebuilding says asphalt shingles get damaged sometimes. To remove one, you need to loosen not only the nails covered up by the shingle directly above the damaged one, but also the nails holding down that upper course. Here's how to do it and install and seal a new shingle.

Existing HVAC System Upgrade or Expansion
US Department of Energy describes issues and considerations for upgrading an existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for expansion, efficiency, or comfort.

10. Information Sources

Online BC Building Envelope Council Newsletter
BC Building Envelope Council has published its online Spring/Summer 2018 edition of their Elements Magazine.

BC Residential Building Statistics & Trends Report 2017
BC Housing online BC Residential Building Statistics & Trends Report 2017 presents market information and insights on new construction activities for current and prospective homeowners. (PDF)

Buildforce 2018 Labour Market Assessments for Residential Construction Industry
Buildforce online 2018 Labour Market Assessments for the Residential Construction Industry forecasts future labour requirements, tracks 34 trades and occupations, and provides labour market condition rankings to help industry employers with the management of their respective human resources. It notes the residential construction workforce must contend with replacing more than 122,000 workers that are expected to retire over the next decade, a loss of 21 percent of the current workforce. (PDF)

Report on Canadians Thoughts About Homes & Communities
CHBA online report Canadians Join the Discussion About Homes and Communities was presented to Members of Parliament. It summarizes the national survey of 1,500 Canadians conducted by the Earnscliffe Strategy Group for CHBA-National on the subject of housing affordability. There is no question that this is a major issue for all parties and will hopefully form a significant part of the discussion as the parties prepare their campaign books for the 2019 election. (PDF)

Indigenous Engagement & Housing Design in BC
BC Housing online Building Knowledge summary report Making a House a Home: Indigenous Engagement and Housing Design in BC provides a series of best practices for engaging Indigenous communities in housing design. (PDF)

Resource Site on Water Heating
US Department of Energy offers information and resources on various systems, issues and considerations for domestic water heating.

Links to Online Resources on Apprenticeship
BC Construction Association lists some online resources to help guide you along the apprenticeship training path.

Canadian Rental Construction Financing
CMHC describes the Rental Construction Financing that provides low-cost loans encouraging construction of rental housing across Canada where the need is clearly demonstrated. It provides up to $3.75 billion in loans and will run from 2017 to 2021.

11. Conferences & Shows

2018 BC Flooring Expo
BC Floor Covering Association presents their 2018 Flooring Expo in Burnaby on October 25.

CIPHEX West 2018 Plumbing & HVAC Trade Show
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating presents CIPHEX West trade show in Calgary, November 7-8. It is Western Canada’s biggest trade show for plumbing, hydronics, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and water treatment.

12. Education & Training

Combustible Windows & Facades in Non-Combustible Construction
BCBEC luncheon seminar Combustible Windows & Facades in Non-Combustible Construction will be presented in Vancouver on June 21st. It discusses how combustible components such as cladding supports and window frames can be safely used in non-combustible construction.

Construction & Demolition Involving Hazardous Building Materials
ICBA breakfast session in Burnaby June 26th will present Construction, Excavation and Demolition Involving Hazardous Building Materials.

Photovoltaics and Electrical Code
Technical Safety BC seminar on Photovoltaics and Electrical Code will be presented in Vancouver on July 5th. Topics include solar performance characteristics, PV module theory, construction and performance, site analysis, electrical integration, code compliance, installation and safety.

Construction Estimating
Construction Industry Training Network course on Construction Estimating will be presented in Burnaby, July 19-20. Participants will learn skills and knowledge to estimate construction projects and prepare a successful bid. The course is designed for construction estimators and those with experience in construction that desire to be estimators or improve their knowledge of estimating.

Webinar on Canadian HVAC Product Regulations, Standards, Codes
HRAI Webinar on July 25th provides the inside scoop on regulations, standards and codes affecting Heating and Air Conditioning products in Canada.

3-Day Seminar on Windows & Doors
Constructive Home Solutions presents its 3-Day Seminar on Window and Doors, in Port Coquitlam, August 24-26.

Okanagan College Trades Training House Opens
REMI says the new Trades Training House at Okanagan College has officially opened. It is expected that more than 300 students will train in the facility per year.

Gold Seal Certification Program for Construction Management
Canadian Construction Association offers the Gold Seal Certification Gold Seal Certification, a certification program that demonstrates expertise, industry commitment and ensures that practitioners are ready to meet the demands of construction projects across the country.

Customized Training Offering from BC Construction Industry Training Network
BC Construction Industry Training Network offers customized training. They can bring the trainer to you any time, anywhere in BC or Whitehorse. They handle all of the logistics, from booking the instructor to deciding on catering.


Dittie For Today: On Hard Work

Hard work spotlights the character of people: Some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all. - Sam Ewing


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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