Newsletter #166
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
November 28, 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, Brian Hart, Sabine Just, Ed Hudson, Mark Sakai, Terry Adamson, Karen Frank, Maureen McLaughlin, Patrick Bateman, Joey Fearn, Ken Sinclair, Wilma Leung, Bryan Orr, Karen Tam Wu, Corey Breed, Mike Rogers, Karen Podolski, Elisa Wood, Glenn Duxbury, Matt Wiesenfeld, Sarah Venderlee, Yuka Kato and Amanda Sturgeon 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

Presentations From 2018 Building Envelope Conference
BC Building Envelope Council allows access to the presentations from their recent annual conference, covering a wide range of building technology topics.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Vancouver Hot Housing Market Shows Signs of Cooling
Business in Vancouver says Metro Vancouver’s turbocharged residential real estate market is showing signs of slowing, with sales plunging, prices edging down and a large swath of properties hitting the market.

BC Northern Communities Set to Boom
Central 1 Credit Union says Northern BC’s economy is set to boom in 2019 and 2020, as economic fortune shifts from the rest of the province to the north.

UDI Policy & Advocacy Newsletter, October
Urban Development Institute newsletter provides updates and resources on the various policy and advocacy issues they are dealing with. (PDF)

Proportional Representation is Bad for Construction, Bad for Business, Bad for BC
ICBA has concluded that the current system of electing governments, First-Past-The-Post is the best one for creating the economic conditions that keep construction companies working.

Jayman Opens New Concept in Calgary
Home Builder Canada magazine says Although the Calgary housing market continues to be sluggish, one of Alberta’s biggest home builders appears bullish with a contemporary stake on future new multi-family developments.

Zillow's Top 10 Take-Aways on New Home Buyer Trends
Builder Magazine says in a cost-obsessed home selling environment, value matters more and more.

Massive Buy-to-Rent Scheme is Hitting US Housing Market
Business Insider says Cerberus Capital Management is said to be raising over $500 million to buy single-family rental homes. Amherst Holdings is planning to raise $1 billion to buy single-family homes and rent them out.

Construction Trades of the Future
REMI Network says with the construction projects becoming more complex, people will not only need strong trade skills but be adaptable to modern technology.

2. Business Management

New BC Employer Tax in 2019 May Catch Businesses Unaware
Business in Vancouver says businesses with a payroll over $500,000 need to pay the new employer health tax starting in 2019.

Market Area Profiles for Vancouver Neighbourhoods
Bizmap is a powerful new tool to help local businesses and communities grow and succeed. A collaborative effort between the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Business Improvement Associations and Small Business BC, Bizmap aims to provide small businesses with free access to a wealth of demographic and business data.

Construction Pricing, Line Item or Lump Sum
Fine Homebuilding says if you sell construction services, you have had to deal with the following question from a client: "Can you break out the price of each line item?" Is the best way to respond to provide line-item pricing or lump-sum pricing?

How to Sell High-Value Projects As A Remodeling Business Owner
Forbes article by an Ottawa-based contractor tackles questions relating to selling high-value projects to customers, understanding customer pain points, and better understanding customer needs.

Construction Safety Includes Suicide Prevention
Council of Construction Associations says the construction industry is starting to look at a hidden problem with deadly consequences.

You Run a Business, You Hire People, Now Motivate Them
Qualified Remodeler says organizations can create an environment in which people often motivate themselves; this is defined as creating a motivational environment.

Automation Potential of BC Labour Market
Business Council of BC research paper The Automation Potential of the BC Labour Market takes a closer look at the potential impact of automation on the B.C. labour market. This is the first study that considers how AI, robotics and other digital technologies may affect the demand for labour in the B.C. context.

How to Avoid Contractor Website Getting Hacked
Fine Homebuilding says if you have a website and any online presence, it's not so much a matter of if your website will come under attack, but when. Here are five tips to ensure you have a rock-solid, protected website.

3. Building Design & Trends

2018 Landscape Design Award Winners
American Society of Landscape Architects online videos describes the winners in the various categories of their 2018 Design Awards.

2018 Remodeling Design Award Winners
Remodelling magazine has announced its 2018 Remodeling Design Award winners. The Project of the Year, four grand winners, and four merit winners were chosen by a panel of four judges from a field of 134 entries entered by remodelers, architects, and other design professionals from across the US. Free site registration required.

2018 Multi-Housing Excellence Award Winners
Multi-Housing News describes the 2018 MHN Excellence Award Winners that represent the multifamily sector’s most innovative and ingenious achievements.

Benjamin Moore 2019 Color of Year is Metropolitan
Builder Magazine says the cool, gray hue is meant to be understated yet impactful. Free site registration required.

Sherwin-Williams Reveals Earthy Color of the Year
Remodeling says Cavern Clay is a sun-washed hue that is meant to draw the warmth of the desert in. Free site registration required.

Home Building's Off-Site All-Stars
Builder Magazine features six leading-edge crusaders offering a bottom-line take on why factory off-site construction is the future of American housing. Free site registration required.

Garages in US New Homes in 2017
A majority of US new homes that completed construction in 2017 included two-car garages, according to NAHB analysis of 2017 Census Bureau Survey of Construction data.

Regional Trends in Outdoors Remodeling
Qualified Remodeler says outdoor living is a profitable niche for remodelers nationwide, but there are regional subtleties in desired features, products used and construction details.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

John Nicol, BC Building & Safety Standards Branch says: “As always, another informative issue Ken. I find BC Building Info to be a very useful and painless way to get a regular snapshot of what's happening in the construction sector.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Fall 2018 Public Review of Changes to Codes Canada Publications
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes invites interested parties to take part in the fall 2018 public review of proposed changes to the 2015 editions of Codes Canada publications. The review will run from November 7, 2018 to January 4, 2019

New BC Fire Code Adoption in 2018
The BC Fire Code 2018 is effective December 10, 2018. It is based substantially on the model National Fire Code of Canada. The National Fire Code 2015 adopted 77 technical code changes and BC adopted most of them into the BC Fire Code 2018.

Electrical Work in BC in Emergencies
Technical Safety BC directive provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the Safety Standards General Regulation with respect to electrical work performed in an emergency or when permit-issuing offices are closed.

Class A & B Gas Fitter May Perform Limited Electrical Work in BC
Technical Safety BC bulletin says the holder of a valid class A or class B gas fitter's certificate of qualification may perform a limited scope of electrical work while working under a valid gas contractor's license or applicable operating permit, as per section 8 of the Gas Safety Regulation.

Labour Code Recommendations Draw Mixed Reviews
Council of Construction Associations says the BC government has received 29 recommendations from an independent panel appointed to review the province’s Labour Relations Code, garnering a variety of reactions from industry stakeholders.

Province Introduces Professional Governance Legislation
Engineers & Geoscientists BC says the BC Government has tabled new legislation that will impact how the professions of engineering and geoscience are regulated. If approved, the Professional Governance Act would restructure government oversight of the five professional regulators for engineering and geoscience, forestry, agrology, applied biology, and applied science technology under a new Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance.

Canada Takes Measures to Ban Asbestos
BC Environmental Industries Association says that in recognizing that asbestos can cause life-threatening diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced the final step to prohibit asbestos and asbestos-containing products in Canada.

US Cost Burden of Regulations on Building
Builder Magazine says a study from the NMHC and NAHB earlier this year found that regulation accounts for over 30% of multifamily development costs.

5. Building Science & Technology

Stucco as A Reservoir Cladding
Online video from 7 Minutes of BS (Building Science) shows that stucco is supposed to keep water out, but it is a reservoir cladding, so it also keeps water in. Sort of.

Crash Course in Roof Venting
Fine Homebuilding article by Joe Lstiburek describes when to vent your roof, when not to, and how to execute each approach successfully.

Does a Roof Need a Ridge Vent?
Fine Homebuilding discusses gable vents, ridge vents, and more.

7 Reasons Your Filter Isn't Improving Your Indoor Air Quality
Energy Vanguard gives a few reasons why that filter that you so dutifully change may not be helping your IAQ.

Properly Sizing Return Duct Systems
IE3 describes how an undersized return duct system reduces the amount of air flow through the system and may cause reduced comfort and efficiency as well as poor supply airflow, duct sweating, improper refrigerant charge, and excessive air noise.

Cooling with Radiant
HPAC Magazine says cooling with radiant offers many of the same benefits as radiant heating; cooling systems that are comfortable, efficient and quiet.

Adding Heating & Air Conditioning to Tuscan Villas
Building Science Corporation describes how adding central heating and air conditioning to buildings hundreds of years old and typically in ruins is an interesting proposition. Especially where the only insulations are mass walls consisting of stones, clay block and plaster coupled with clay tile roofs.

Evolution of Residential Fire Sprinklers
Fine Homebuilding says for the past several years, the struggle to enact residential sprinkler requirements hasn't been easy on builders or code officials. In this article, building code expert Glenn Mathewson explains three types of sprinkler systems designed to meet building codes, to maintain healthy domestic water, and ultimately to protect your home from fire damage.

6. Building Performance Issues

Three Factors Behind Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Technical Safety BC and Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants recently conducted a fault tree workshop to identify potential causes of carbon monoxide from industrial, commercial, and residential combustion equipment.

Which Indoor Air Pollutants Matter Most?
Energy Vanguard describes the indoor air pollutants that matter most.

Radon Elimination Strategies for Different Foundations
Journal of Light Construction describes the different strategies for venting radon that are required for different foundations: basements, crawlspaces, and basements or slabs with sump chambers.

What Causes Dirty Sock Syndrome?
HVAC School says loosely defined, dirty sock syndrome is a smell that comes from an evaporator coil, especially when it first comes on or shifts from heat to cool. The smell comes from biological material that dries out on the coil when the system is off or in heat mode.

Identify Thermal Discomfort Probabilities Due to Enclosure Design
Healthy Heating online slide show presentation for the 2018 BC Building Envelope Council conference covers how to identify thermal discomfort probabilities due to enclosure design. It provides background in thermal comfort science and standards concluding with a case study using the ASHRAE 1383 Tool to show ASHRAE Standard 55 non-compliance/compliance based on enclosure design and choices in HVAC systems.

3-Tiered Checklist for Aging in Place
Fine Homebuilding suggests you incorporate as many of these design considerations as possible to build a home that is accessible and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities.

Fire & Sound Detailing for Mid-Rise Wood-Frame Buildings
WoodWorks online Webinar video says mid-rise Type III and Type V projects have led to a focus on cost-effective and buildable detailing strategies that align with code requirements for fire and life safety, acoustical separation and structural performance. Presented by an architect who has designed many multi-family and mixed-use mid-rise projects, this webinar goes beyond code provisions and focuses on the how-to associated with designing and detailing these wood-frame buildings.

New Orleans Make It Right Homes Go Wrong
Energy Vanguard says after Hurricane Katrina barreled through New Orleans, Brad Pitt started the Make It Right program. Their objective was to build new homes and make a vibrant neighborhood again. Fast-forward, and the homes are failing, owners have moved out of many of them, and the lawsuits have begun.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Top 10 Green Products for 2019
Building Green describes their Top 10 products that promote alternative energy use, reduce carbon emissions, and improve product life cycles.

Energy Efficiency Certification Programs for New Homes, Part 1
Canadian Contractor describes energy efficiency certification programs for new homes. Part One discusses Passive House standards.

Energy Efficiency Certification Programs for New Homes, Part 2
Canadian Contractor describes energy efficiency certification programs for new homes. Part Two discusses R2000 and Net Zero Ready.

BCBEC: Designed & Actual Performance of Green Buildings
BC Building Envelope Council luncheon seminar on December 17 covers Designed & Actual Performance of Green Buildings. It will present the results from a study on ten LEED Gold certified social houses in Victoria and Vancouver, to identify design versus actual energy performance gaps, investigate possible causes, seek practical solutions and provide recommendations which can potentially reduce the gap between the designed and actual energy performance of green buildings.

Passive House Tradesperson Course, Building Envelope Specialization
City of Vancouver is giving skilled builders and tradespersons the opportunity to take this BCIT course on Passive House construction at a reduced cost. This five-day course, being presented January 7-11, provides the knowledge and practical hands-on skills needed to build to the Passive House standard. This course focuses on building enclosure optimization and provides a foundation in passive house principles, while stressing the importance of construction fundamentals and proper sequencing and using a variety of materials. An introduction to heat and energy recovery ventilators will be provided.

BC Better Buildings Program Incentives
Better Buildings BC: The Net-Zero Energy-Ready Challenge is a provincial incentive program and juried competition designed to support, promote and celebrate the design and construction of net-zero energy-ready buildings. The program provides incentives to builders and developers of multi-family, commercial, and institutional buildings that are designed to achieve the top tier of the BC Energy Step Code.

Net-Zero Energy Ready Building Codes by 2030
National Research Council is working on the Net-Zero Energy Ready project that will support significant updates to building codes to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

Zero Energy Buildings on Rise But Barriers Remain
ACEEE says zero energy building codes are making inroads in Oregon, California, British Columbia, and other places. But a new white paper reveals that they still face barriers to nationwide success, including a solar-only mentality.

Passive Houses Open in Vancouver
Home Builder Canada says three Passive standard houses held tours over the Remembrance Day weekend in Metro Vancouver.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

Recall of ProBuilt Aluminum Deck Railing Posts
Health Canada voluntary recall involves ProBuilt aluminum deck railing posts imported by Ryerson Canada and distributed by Vista Railings Systems. These posts are used in residential aluminum railing systems on exterior porches, decks and their stairways. The posts connect the horizontal rails in the system and are designed to be anchored to the floor of the deck or porch. The posts can separate from base, posing a fall hazard.

Eleven Contemporary & Traditional Gas Fireplaces
Builder Magazine describes some gas fireplaces and fire pits that have versatile styles and features designed to fit any home, room, or application.

Plumbing Fixture Trends
Home Innovation Research Labs describes some trends in plumbing fixtures.

One Thing Every Smart Home Needs
CNET says if you want your smart home to truly be cutting edge and work as intended, a mesh Wi-Fi system should be at the top of your list of things to add first.

Tile & Ceramic Trends to Watch in 2019
Custom Home Magazine describes seven standout products from this year's international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings at Cersaie in Bologna, Italy.

Laminate Trends, Visual Interest & Performance
Qualified Remodeler says new colors, patterns, finishes, applications and custom looks make laminates an increasingly viable design option for many remodelers.

Four Work Jackets for Winter
Builder Magazine says whether you face a mild or harsh climate, here are four layering options to consider when stepping out into the winter weather this season.

Modular Steel Flooring Panels Can Speed Up Construction
Journal of Commerce says a UBC researcher looking at innovative steel construction methods has devised a truss system that can be used to construct modular flooring and has the potential to reduce construction costs and time by 50 per cent.

9. Installation Procedures

Is Paper on Drywall Different by Region?
Fine Homebuilding discusses whether or not you need to skim coat an entire wall, instead of just taping and sanding the joints, to get the wall smooth.

5 Essential Steps for Durable Door Installation
NARI says durable door installation requires sharp know-how and careful execution through each step to make sure installation goes smoothly.

Correct Use of Backer Rod & Bond Breaker Tape
Canadian Contractor online video describes how backer rod allows you to keep the depth of the caulk no more than one-half of the width, and how bond breaker tape goes in the bottom of the crack or crevice, so that you don’t get a three-surface bond with the caulk.

Make Smart Choices When Customizing Kitchen Cabinets
Fine Homebuilding offers ideas on maximizing space and balancing aesthetic details when installing cabinets, shelves, end panels, and moldings.

How to Determine Friction Rate for Residential Duct Design
HVAC School says there is some confusion on what friction rate is and what friction rate to use with a duct calculator. Hopefully, after reading this tech tip you will have a better understanding.

What Happens to Air Flow in Ducts When Size Changes?
Energy Vanguard discusses what happens to air flow in ducts when the size changes.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Fine Homebuilding online video describes how a little cleaning can help tankless water heaters perform like new.

Why Deconstruction Makes More Sense than Demolition
Green Building Advisor says deconstructing homes allows the materials to be used on new construction while keeping material out of our landfills.

10. Information Sources

Overview of Real Estate in BC
Province of BC provides information on buying and selling property, real estate consultations, and regulations for real estate services, real estate development marketing and pre-sale strata.

Developer Fees Rising in Metro Vancouver
Fraser Institute says between 2007 and 2016 (the most recent decade of available data), developer fees were the fastest-growing source of revenue regionwide, more than doubling from 6.7 per cent of total municipal revenue to 14.8 per cent.

Online BC Building Envelope Council Fall Newsletter
BC Building Envelope Council has published the online Fall/Winter 2018 edition of their Elements Magazine.

BC Construction Stat Pack Fall 2018
BC Construction Association online Stat Pack Fall 2018 summarizes key statistics and trends from the BC construction sector. (PDF)

Getting to Know Your Drill Bits
Builder Magazine provides a quick guide on the basics of field sharpening, point angles, and the best drill bits for builders.

Some Important Air Conditioning Terms to Know
HVAC School says it is important that we start using these terms when speaking to one another, writing notes and diagnosing because these will translate better between systems and between A/C and Refrigeration.

Understanding Your Balance Sheet & Profit & Loss Statement
Fine Homebuilding says the best way to predict the profits of a construction business is to review the financial statements each month.

Expect Small Builders to Flourish
Builder Magazine says demand for small-scale builders and boutique firms will grow as younger home buyers enter the market.

11. Conferences & Shows

Concrete & Masonry Industry Trade Show In Las Vegas
World of Concrete, the annual international event dedicated to concrete and masonry construction industries, will be held in Las Vegas, January 22-25. It features indoor and outdoor exhibits with suppliers showcasing innovative products and technologies, demonstrations and competitions, and many education programs.

BC Building Industry Trade Show
Buildex Vancouver is Western Canada’s largest tradeshow and conference for the Construction, Renovation, Architecture, Interior Design and Property Management industries. It will be held February 13-14 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. With over 600 exhibits, and more than 80 educational seminars it attracts over 14,000 attendees annually.

Kitchen and Bath Industry Show & Conference
National Kitchen & Bath Association presents an annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show & Conference in Las Vegas, February 19-21. It is the world’s largest international trade event focused exclusively on all aspects of kitchens and baths specifically serving kitchen and bath dealers, designers, architects, remodelers, wholesalers and custom builders.

12. Education & Training

Providing Exceptional Customer Service
ICBA seminar Providing Exceptional Customer Service will be presented in Burnaby, December 6th. It will help you to develop crucial customer service skills to build strong relationships with your clients, whether one-on-one or with a group. You’ll learn how to engage with the customer, and how to proactively recommend additional products and services to your client, as part of the overall service you provide. You’ll also learn how to best represent your organization and build your customer service reputation.

Remaining Seminars Around BC on BC Building Code Changes
BC Housing is presenting Building Smart with BC Building Code Changes seminars around BC. Learn about changes in Part 9 of the BC Code that will come into force December 10, 2018. The changes to Part 9 will include new provisions for stairs, guards, sound transmission and seismic requirements, accessibility, energy and water efficiency standards, and other design elements. Sessions will explore a variety of approaches to comply for each of the coming changes. The focus will be on the requirements that apply to single family and low-rise residential buildings.

Construction Industry Ethics Online Course
Construction Industry Training Network online Construction Industry Ethics course has been designed to help you understand ethics as it relates to the construction industry.

Online Continuing Education Training Courses on Flooring
Terrazzo Tile & Marble Association of Canada provides a number of online continuing education courses.

US Accredited Remodeling Company Program
US National Association of the Remodeling Industry new accreditation, the NARI Accredited Remodeling Company program was created to support both consumers and remodelers.

Revealing the Mystery of Modern Trades Training
Journal of Commerce presents the first of a series of articles exploring the mystery and history behind trades training and how it has evolved over the years to what it has become today.

Myths of Training, Whose Standard?
Journal of Commerce say training standards are now mainstream within our vocabulary but whose standards are we referring to? Standards are like perspectives; everyone has one, but which is correct?


Dittie For Today: On Fear

It is not failure itself that holds you back; it is the fear of failure that paralyzes you. - Brian Tracy


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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