Newsletter #167
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
January 9, 2019


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 Rick Fearn, Brian Hart, Elisa Wood, Wilma Leung, Matt Merkel, Andrew Pape-Salmon, Karen Podolski, Denisa Ionescu, Bryan Orr, Karen Frank, Chris Dorsi, Sabine Just, Karen Tam Wu, Steven Nadel, Malamarie Sinha, Mark Sakai, Christine Gibson, Glenn Duxbury, Laverne Dalgleish, Louise Dunne, and Kira DeVries 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

Are We Sealing the Right Walls In Buildings?
Building Science Corporation says everyone is running around sealing the outside of buildings and the term “air barrier” has gone from obscurity to buzz word in less than a decade. But if you look at the physics, we are sealing the wrong walls. We should be air sealing the interior demising walls and isolating floors from one another if we really want to improve the building performance of multi-story buildings.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Economic Briefing January 2019
Central 1 Credit Union says BC employment edged higher in December, the unemployment rate is steady, annual employment growth slowed to 1.1 per cent from 3.7 per cent, and small business confidence has eased. (PDF)

BC Mortgage Rate Forecast December 2018
BC Real Estate Association online Mortgage Rate Forecast of December 2018 says the Canadian economy is slowing down, and the Bank of Canada may be finished with rate increases. (PDF)

BC State Of the Market Report Q3-2018
UDI online State of the Market Report for Q3 2018 provides stats and graphs showing price escalations, supply contraction, and differences in market sectors (building types and regional sub-markets). (PDF)

BC Housing Forecast 2018-2021
Central 1 report, BC Housing Forecast 2018-2021, says resale home transactions are forecast to decline 17 per cent in 2018, mild buyers market conditions will curtail home values in larger urban areas, northern housing markets will outperform southern due to LNG investment, and housing starts slowdown will continue through 2020. (PDF)

Scrapping Duplex Plan Will Do Nothing to Make Vancouver More Affordable
Fraser Institute says it’s puzzling why an affordability-minded city council in Vancouver would want to scrap the last council’s duplex plan, which will likely grow the housing supply and play a role (however small) in reducing chronically high prices.

BC Economy Starts with What Gets Built
ICBA says building structures and infrastructure is the foundational activity in any economy. And in BC, with an ongoing influx of new residents and various major industrial and infrastructure projects needing to be built, construction plays an even larger role.

Canadian Housing Trends & Affordability, December 2018
RBC Economic Research describes how it just keeps on getting less affordable to own a home in Canada. (PDF)

Why Vancouver Developers Build Unaffordable Condos
Michael Geller describes financial components of a typical Vancouver multi-family project pro forma, to explain why new housing is so expensive.

2. Business Management

Dear Small-Business Owner, We’re the Government
Financial Post presents a letter from the halls of power to those dreaming entrepreneurs who think they'll actually make a go of it in this country.

CPP Means Less money in Your Business Pocket in 2019
Canadian Federation of Independent Business says with a new year kicking off, your business is in for a payroll tax hike with Canada Pension Plan increases set to start as of January 1st.

How Technology Is Reshaping the Construction Industry
Construct Connect says new technologies in construction are being developed at a breakneck pace. What seemed like future tech 10, 20 years ago like connected equipment and tools, telematics, mobile apps, autonomous heavy equipment, drones, robots, augmented and virtual reality, and 3D printed buildings are here and being deployed and used on jobsites across the world.

This Year’s Business Non-Negotiables
Builder Magazine says if you can check the box on these resolutions, you’re on track to solid performance in the months ahead.

Checking Your Construction Estimate
Fine Homebuilding says having a fast, accurate way of checking your prospect's budget will save you time and money in the long run.

2 New Construction Cost & Value Myths, Debunked
Builder Magazine summarizes Zillow Group's consumer trends report that compares perceived value of new homes to existing.

Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt Your Construction Business
Construct Connect says the key is to avoid some of these common web design mistakes that hurt your business.

Marketing Secret Online Giants Are Hiding in Plain Sight
IE3 says in this very modern marketing age, you are not in the contracting business. You are a marketer of contracting services. The closer you adhere to that definition, the better both parts of your business will get.

3. Building Design & Trends

Finalists for 2019 BC Georgie Awards
CHBA BC lists the finalists for their 2019 Georgie Awards, highlighting excellence in home building and renovation in BC. (PDF)

CHBA-CI Unveils Keystone Awards Finalists
Canadian Home Builders Association of the Central Interior has announced the 2019 finalists of the 14th Annual Keystone Awards.

10 Home Design Trends You'll Want to Know in 2019
Builder Magazine shares the top trends predicted to reign in residential design in 2019.

Five Color Trends to Watch in 2019
Custom Home Magazine says spanning the color spectrum from cool grays to warm terra-cottas, to blush oranges, these five color trends are expected to dominate the design and manufacturing industries in the coming year.

8 Interior Design Trends That Are So Over in 2019
Realtor says its time to bid adieu to top click-getters like word art and industrial kitchens.

Watch for Personalized and Streamlined Bathrooms in 2019
Houzz says mix-and-match tiles, slim whirlpool tubs, and easier-to-clean toilets are among the 10 top trends from Italy's Cersaie fair.

2019 Trends & Takeaways from Experts
Builder Magazine says from higher-density developments to unmanned model homes, these are the ideas that will dominate this year.

Taylor Morrison Spots Nine Design Trends for 2019
Remodeling magazine describes Taylor Morrison's nine design trends for 2019, based on preferences of recent home buyers.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Simone Sunderland, President of Green Sheet Construction Data Ltd. says: “What a great resource.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Feedback Requested on BC Asbestos Practices Phase Two
BC Government is asking for your feedback on the recommendations presented in this report Keeping Workers, the Public and the Environment Safe from Asbestos.

Changes to BC Safety Standards Act
Technical Safety BC says to enhance safety for workers and the general public, the provincial government of BC has made several amendments to the Safety Standards Act which came into force at midnight, November 30.

BC Gov has two positions open on the Building Code Appeal Board.
Building Code Appeal Board - Chair
Building Code Appeal Board - 1 Member

Canadian National Building Code to Include Climate Change Obligations
Construct Connect says building designers will be obligated to create durability plans for new structures once new climate change standards are incorporated into building codes across the nation, some time after 2020, a Toronto Buildings Show workshop was told recently.

Code Decisions Should Be Technical, Not Political
Canadian Contractor says codes should be about safety and durability with a nod to affordability. Everything else should come after.

Fenestration Canada Response to NRCan Discussion Paper 2018-11
Fenestration Canada has collaborated with member representatives and its technical consultant to respond to NRCan’s national regulation discussion paper in an effort to ensure its technical viability for window and door fabricators. (PDF)

Foam Alliance Updates Standards for Spray Foam Insulation & Roofing
Builder Magazine says the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance has updated ISO Compliance Standards for Spray Foam Insulation and Roofing. New additions include standards for low-pressure two-component closed cell insulation and HFO-based blowing agents.

Water Quality Standards & Legislation
PHCP Pros looks at how the US and other countries protect drinking water for their citizens.

5. Building Science & Technology

Heat Doesn't Rise
HVAC School says heat cannot rise because heat isn't a thing. Hot air, on the other hand, does rise in colder air.

Building Science 101
Insulation Institute describes the two important steps to making building science work for you. The first is to understand the house as a system of three interdependent elements: location, climate, and home construction techniques and materials. The second is to improve the performance of that system through the control of heat, air and moisture flow. (PDF)

Relative Humidity of Air Below Freezing
HVAC School describes how air can still contain water vapor even below freezing.

Choosing Windows
Green Building Advisor describes how self-tinting glass solves a heat gain problem on the western side of the house.

Sneaky Effects of Radiant Heat Transfer
HVAC School says you can have a room with an air temperature at a comfortable 72° that can still feel hot or cold to an occupant based on the temperature of the surfaces around them.

Dry Blown-In Cellulose Insulation
Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association describes two types of dry blown-in cellulose insulation, loose-fill for open attics and dense pack for enclosed framed cavities.

Selecting Shower Drainage for Construction Projects
PHCP Pros says a good drainage system is at the core of every good shower, ensuring a safe, clean and hassle-free experience. The drainage solution you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including flow rate, project cost, flooring and layout.

Dehumidifier Facts & Troubleshooting
HVAC School provides some dehumidifier facts and considerations for troubleshooting them.

6. Building Performance Issues

Technical Safety BC Warns About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
With two carbon monoxide (CO) incidents this week in BC – one in Barriere, near Kamloops and one in Vancouver – Technical Safety BC is reminding British Columbians of the danger of this deadly, colourless and odorless gas.

Is Using Closed-Cell Foam Worth the Trade-Offs?
Fine Homebuilding says this insulation material is popular for its high R-value and good air-sealing and vapor-blocking properties, but cost, health, and environmental concerns cause some builders to have second thoughts.

Does a Furnace Decrease Humidity?
HVAC School says heating air causes the relative humidity percentage to decrease but it does not change the overall moisture content in grains of moisture per lb of air.

End is Near for Whole House Ducted HVAC
HPAC Magazine says a house purchased in 1975 may well be on its second or third HVAC system, and it may have new windows and better insulation; however, the original duct system, designed for a furnace long since recycled into beverage cans, likely requires considerable renovation expense to suit today’s blowhard gas furnaces.

Unintended Consequences of High-MERV Filters
Energy Vanguard describes what a MERV filter is and some of the potential problems with using high-MERV filters in your heating and air conditioning system.

Use Static Pressure Measurement to Pinpoint Duct Deficiencies
IE3 looks at how static pressure measurements quickly verify duct systems health via installed performance.

Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home
US EPA online Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home provides information for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth. (PDF)

How to Suppress Construction-Site Fires on Wood-Frame Multifamily Projects
Multifamily Executive Magazine describes a company's award-winning loss-prevention program.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

New Clean BC Plan
The BC government has announced CleanBC, our pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It builds on recent announcements, such as mandating 100% of new cars to be zero-emission vehicles by 2040; providing rebates for efficiency upgrades including insulation and heat pumps; signing a memorandum of understanding with business on a low-carbon economy; and intervening in court to support carbon pricing across Canada.

Business Council Comments on NDP Clean BC Plan
Business Council of BC says we have an opportunity to gain from the slow global shift to a lower GHG future, provided we can avoid our established tendencies to impose self-inflicted costs, set unrealistic targets, and substitute endless process for action.

Recent Changes to BC Energy Step Code
BC Government bulletin describes Revision 1 to the BC Building Code, effective December 10, 2018. It covers the changes related to the BC Energy Step Code. (PDF)

Built Green Canada Program Updates for 2019
Built Green Canada describes program updates for 2019 including High Density Renovation Checklist, High Density Checklist, and Single Family Checklist.

Energy Efficiency in Canada 2018, A Year in Review
Efficiency Canada says 2018 has been a year of extremes for energy efficiency, ranging from the cancelling of the popular GreenON incentive programs in Ontario to the recently announced, CleanBC strategy.

Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings
Passive House Canada introductory course provides an overview of the core principles of Passive House design and building energy efficiency regulations in Canada. Presented in Vancouver on January 14th, it also covers the history of energy efficient buildings, energy consumption data and environmental impact, case studies and the economics of creating high performance buildings.

Passive House Design & Construction
Passive House Design and Construction is a four-day course that covers the technical, economic and policy elements of Passive House buildings. Participants will learn how to apply Passive House principles in the context of building physics, windows and mechanical systems. It is being offered in Victoria, January 17-20.

Air Source Heat Pump Loans
FortisBC says instead of a rebate, finance your central or ductless heat pump with a low 1.9 per cent interest rate.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

Miles Industries Recalls Gas Fireplaces Due to Burn Hazard
US Consumer Products Safety Commission & Health Canada recall involves Valor H5 gas fireplaces fueled by either natural gas or propane gas.

Recall of Emerson Branded Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostats
Health Canada recall involves first-generation Emerson branded Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostats that permit remote access from one's smartphone, tablet and PC via a Wi-Fi home network. The affected units have Emerson printed on the front.

Navien Recalls Tankless Water Heaters & Boilers
US Consumer Products Safety Commission & Health Canada says the kit installed on the Navien tankless water heaters and boilers to convert them from natural gas to propane can cause the unit to produce excessive amounts of carbon monoxide, posing a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning to consumers.

2018 TecHome Brilliance Product Awards Winners
TecHome Builder lists their 2018 TecHome Brilliance Awards Winners. The awards program recognizes the leaders in the home technology market as manufacturers implement innovations in home control, energy efficiency, connected appliances and more.

Winter-Weather Jobsite Gear
Builder Magazine says when outdoor crews are exposed to freezing temperatures or cold, damp conditions for too long, they can experience cold stress, which occurs when external factors drive down body temperature and cause cold-related illness and injuries.

Performance Rated Rim Boards
Engineered Wood Association bulletin includes connection requirements and application notes for APA Performance Rated Rim Boards. Free site registration required.

Six Types of Glass That Can Light Up Any Project
Custom Home magazine describes six products that illustrate the range of uses and looks that glass can assume.

Seven Surfacing Styles for Countertops & Beyond
Remodeling magazine looks at the newest options for natural stone, manufactured stone, and laminates.

9. Installation Procedures

Advanced Framing, Insulated Corners
US Department of Energy describes how to construct framed walls using advanced framing details like insulated corners that reduce framing and thermal bridging and allow more space for insulation.

How to Install a Load-Bearing Beam
Fine Homebuilding online video shows you how to temporarily support the overhead load and add in a new structural beam to replace the current load-bearing wall.

Painting Cement Stucco
Stucco Manufacturers Association describes how portland cement plaster (stucco) may be painted to change the color of an existing or to a new stucco finish. (PDF)

Camouflaging Gutters & Hiding Downspouts
Fine Homebuilding shows how clever flashing, thoroughly sealed downspouts, and custom channels behind the siding make the rain-management details all but disappear on this California House.

Residential Air Flow Balancing & Home Comfort
ACHR News says this home is an ideal example to demonstrate how residential air flow balancing works, how to overcome challenges and how this practice can benefit your business and customers.

Forced Air Retrofit
Plumbing & HVAC says listening to the customer’s needs is often the most critical step of a forced air retrofit.

Alternative Way to Fasten Metal to Wood
Tools of the Trade says if you've never seen or heard of a reverse rivet before, check out this video.

Metal Paints & Radiators
Heating Help describes why people painted so many of those old, free-standing, steam- and hot-water radiators silver.

10. Information Sources

Top 10 Fine Homebuilding How-To Videos From 2018
Fine Homebuilding presents their most popular videos of the year that include tips for plumbing, carpentry, electrical wiring, and more.

Online Videos On Building Science Technology
US Department of Energy online Building America Solution Center provides free access to a wide range of online videos on building science and technology.

5 Ways OSB Has Evolved, What It Means for Builders
Builder Magazine says OSB has changed a lot since it was introduced to the mass market more than 40 years ago. Here’s what you need to know to specify the right panels.

Westeck Window’s Path to Passive House
Westeck Windows and Doors has revealed it's newest addition to their product line, the Wood Outswing Passive House Certified Window.

Brief History of 20th-Century Kit House Designs
Building Technology Heritage Library chronicles the evolution of kit house offerings in the 1900s.

Respectful & Inclusive Workplace Toolkit
BuildForce Canada online Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Toolkit was developed with input from industry and offers the support needed to assist the construction and maintenance industry in creating a respectful and welcoming workplace for everyone.

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

Research & Articles from Canada & US on Rent Control
UDI provides a compilation of numerous academic research studies about rental housing and rent controls from across Canada and the US, as well as media articles quoting notable authorities.

11. Conferences & Shows

International Builders Show in Las Vegas
NAHB International Builders Show will be held February 19-21, in Las Vegas. The largest such show in North America, it features educational sessions and exhibitors of building industry products, innovations, and demonstrations.

BC Log & Timber Building Industry Conference
BC Log & Timber Building Association annual Conference and AGM is being held February 21-23 in Chase BC.

BC Home & Garden Show
BC Home & Garden show takes place at the BC Place stadium, February 20-24. Top celebrity experts and exhibitors will display the latest in new products for the home.

BC Annual Water & Waste Conference & Trade Show
BC Water & Waste Association annual conference & trade show, held in Victoria May 27-28, features a trade show, technical and operator sessions, and networking opportunities.

2019 Canadian Home Builders National Conference
Canadian Home Builders Association annual national conference will be held in Niagara Falls, May 8-10. It includes a number of speakers and sessions on business and industry issues, awards presentations, product displays, and social and networking events.

List of Energy Efficiency Conferences 2019
Efficiency Canada lists various energy efficiency conferences being held throughout 2019.

12. Education & Training

Fall Protection
This ICBA 4-hour course, held in Burnaby on January 18th, introduces workers to Fall Protection methods.

Webinar on BC Home Performance Stakeholder Council
BC Advanced Conservation and Efficiency is presenting a free webinar on January 17th. You can learn more about the Home Performance Stakeholder Council and how it is growing the home performance industry in BC. Since establishing in 2015, the HPSC has been working with BC’s home improvement industry sectors to develop and support a home performance industry.

BC Building Code Updates
UDI seminar BC Building Code Updates will be presented in Vancouver on January 23rd. Don Pedde, Senior Codes Administrator with the Building and Safety Standards Branch, will provide an overview of the BC Building Code 2018 changes and the impacts of new Part 9 requirements on developers. Barry Thorson, Professional Engineer and Certified Professional with Thorson McAuley, will explain what the Part 3 code changes mean for developers and outline the new design requirements in the BC Building Code 2018.

Building Smart by Mitigating Thermal Bridging
BC Housing seminar and webinar, Building Smart by Mitigating Thermal Bridging, will be presented in Vancouver on January 30th. It introduces new and emerging tools that help the Canadian building sector adapt to new energy-efficiency requirements and transform to net-zero buildings. It will provide an overview of thermal bridging and the Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide, highlighting the expanded thermal performance catalogue and recent updates to version 1.2.

Construction 101
VRCA course Construction 101 will be presented in Vancouver, January 29-30. It is intended for both new and experienced members of the construction industry. Participants will receive an introduction to the industry and learn about roles, responsibilities, construction documents, risk management, legal matters, project management, tendering, bidding and contracts.

Building Smart with High Performance Building Design
BC Building Envelope Council workshop Building Smart with High Performance Building Design will be presented in Vancouver on February 26th. It will focus on innovation and building design considerations required for multi-unit buildings. It will explore concepts and design rules of thumb to achieve higher standards for livability, high-performance sustainability with carbon neutrality, and durability of assemblies.

2019 Building Science Seminars Now Scheduled
Building Science lists their 2019 seminars that are now scheduled around the US. Sessions include Building Science Fundamentals, Renovation & Rehabilitation, and Building Science Expert's Session.

Gold Seal Certification Exams Now Online
Canadian Construction Association says nationally recognized as the standard of excellence, the Gold Seal program is the leading certification program for management professionals in the construction industry. They now offer their courses online.


Dittie For Today: On Professionalism

A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it. - Alistair Cooke


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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