Newsletter #172
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
May 14, 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 Terry Adamson, Rick Fearn, Sarah Graver, Zachary May, Patrick O'Toole, Mark Sakai, Rachel Gold, Brian Hart, Mindy Tulsi-Ingram, Sabine Just, Corey Breed, Karen Frank, Megan McElwain, Karen Tam Wu, Lisa Hatina, Malamarie Sinha, Elisa Wood, Glenn Duxbury, Peter Konig, Kira De Vries, Joey Fearn, Peter Troast, Chris Dorsi, Julie Mair and Peter Weeks 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

3 New Technical Bulletins on BC Energy Step Code
BC Government has issued three new Technical Bulletins that help you to understand and apply the BC Energy Step Code requirements. B19-01, Complying with Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code for Part 9 Buildings. B19-02, Step 1 in the BC Energy Step Code: Airtightness, Enhanced Compliance and Compliance Paths. B19-03, Guidelines for Energy Advisors - Setting Airtightness Values for Energy Modelling of Part 9 Buildings for Compliance with the BC Energy Step Code.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Construction Industry Statistics
BC Construction Association has released key construction sector statistics and the results of a province-wide survey that highlight the value of the sector to the provincial economy and the key issues facing employers and workers.

BC Outlook Still Decent
Business Council of BC looks at 2019 first quarter results for the BC economy and judge risk to the economic outlook to be on the downside.

BC Economic Briefing May 2019
Central 1 Credit Union says BC employment was up by 5,900 persons in April, and housing starts surged. (PDF)

Vancouver Most Expensive City to Build in Nationally, 14th in World
BC Business says Vancouver is Canada’s most expensive city in which to build and the 14th priciest in the world, according to a professional services firm survey, which looks at costs, economic trends and market challenges for the global construction industry.

Bold Moves Needed on Lower Mainland Livability
Business Council of BC says it is time to get serious about transportation, housing, regional planning and growth in the Lower Mainland.

CHBA Highlights & Commentary on 2019 Federal Budget
CHBA says their advocacy was very successful in recent months, putting housing affordability front and centre on the political radar. The results of the efforts showed in the 2019 Federal Budget tabled this week, as housing affordability and a new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program were the lead highlight. (PDF)

Small Business Barometer, April 2019
Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says small business sentiment saw little movement in April, continuing its less than stellar performance so far in 2019.

Lessons from American Experience with Factory-Built Housing
American Enterprise Institute report argues that greater reliance on mass production is unlikely to be a source of significant cost savings for the kinds of homes that most Americans live in today. It highlights potential for factory-built housing to provide more significant cost savings if smaller-size and reasonable but lower-quality construction is permitted, as is the case with manufactured housing. (PDF)

2. Business Management

Marketing to Millennials in 2019
Clever Real Estate says trying to reach millennials is a challenge for most marketers, but in real estate, the challenge can be more daunting. They present the results of a survey that probes who they are and how their habits are changing, particularly when dealing with social media.

Canada’s Millennials
Journal of Commerce describes Canada’s millennials, where are they now, and where are they moving.

10 Construction Cost Estimating Tips Contractors Need
Databid offers some tips that should help you get the accurate estimates you need to win more jobs.

Estimates Should Increase for Hard Cost Inputs
Home Builder Canada says any Canadian contractor budgeting for a multi-storey residential project should increase their estimates for hard costs by 5 to 8 per cent this year to cover higher prices for steel and aluminum products.

Eight Time Management Tips for Home Builders
Builder Magazine says these time management suggestions from the experts can help keep your business on track.

BC Shadow Economy Surged Since Reintroduction of PST
Business Council of BC says the BC shadow economy, consisting of hidden and unreported economic activities, both legal and illegal, has surged since the reintroduction of the PST.

BC Legislation to Change Labour Code & Employment Standards Act
Council of Construction Associations says the BC government is within weeks of introducing legislation aimed at supporting and protecting workers, and organized labour is making sure Green Party MLAs understand what’s at stake.

Response to BC Labour Code & Employment Standards Legislation
BC Construction Association provides this response to the proposed BC Labour Code & Employment Standards Legislation.

3. Building Design & Trends

2019 Greater Vancouver Ovation Awards Winners
Home Builders Association of Vancouver describes their 2019 Ovation Award Winners. 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.

Multi-Generational Families Drive Vancouver Renovation Revolution
Vancouver Sun says nearly every renovation client that renovators meet wants to accommodate an extra generation or two on the property they already own.

Top 15 Home Features to Boost Your Home's Value
Realtor data team dug through thousands of listings to find the top features that boost home prices and help properties sell fast.

Nine Inspiring Decks
Fine Homebuilding shows nine inspiring decks for outdoor dining, grilling, sitting, and sunning.

Colors & Finishes for Kitchen Appliances, Cabinets, Countertops
US National Association of Home Builders describes the colours and finishes that home buyers want for their kitchen appliances, cabinets, and countertops.

Paint Pairings for Adjacent Rooms
House Beautiful describes some favorite paint pairings for side-by-side rooms.

Designing Outdoor Kitchens
Remodeling magazine says the grill is the main ingredient, but there's a lot more to a successful recipe for outdoor kitchens.

Top Outdoor Design Trends Relocate the Action
Realtor describes the year's biggest outdoor design trends that relocate the action to the front yard.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Terry Adamson, Technical Director, Westeck Windows & Doors says: “Lots of great stuff on this site. Great resource for the building industry.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

BC Building Code Changes 2018
BC Housing online Builder Insight bulletin provides a detailed overview of the changes in Part 9 of the BC Building Code (BCBC 2018), effective December 2018. The changes to the BC Building Code are based on the 2015 National Building Code. Changes include updates to sound transmission requirements, seismic design and climatic data, and updates for stairs, handrails and guards. (PDF)

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

Energy Step Code Compliance Tools for Part 9 Buildings
BC Government has updated versions of the BC Energy Compliance Reports that include: Pre-Construction Report, As-Built Report, Instruction Manual for Energy Advisors, Compliance Report Calculator and Report Generator.

WorkSafeBC to Tighten Fall Protection Enforcement
Council of Construction Associations says WorkSafe BC recently announced, as part of its high-risk construction strategy, it will increase enforcement efforts for fall-protection-system anchors used in the residential wood-frame construction industry.

BC Consultation on Proposed Amendments to OHS Regulation
WorkSafe BC is holding consultation on proposed amendments to OHS Regulations including Part 8, Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment, section 8.24, High visibility apparel, Part 20, Construction, Excavation and Demolition, section 20.47, Equipment inspection, and Part 21, Blasting Operations.

BC Research on Electric Shock & Working Energized
Council of Construction Associations says last year Technical Safety BC conducted original mixed methods research to identify and uncover some of the behavioural and sociocultural factors involved in electric shock risk within the province of BC. A key highlight from the findings is that 95% of survey respondents have experienced electric shock.

New Environmental Emergency Regulations Coming into Force
BC Environment Industry Association says new Environmental Emergency Regulations will come into force on August 24. Until then, the previous regulations, i.e. the Environmental Emergency Regulations, are in force.

Updated Standard for Maintenance Of Residential HVAC Systems
Air Conditioning Contractors of America updated online standard ANSI/ACCA 4 Qm–2019 covers maintenance of residential heating, ventilating, and air conditioning applications for one and two family dwellings of three stories or less.

5. Building Science & Technology

Guide for R30+ Vaulted & Flat Roofs
BC Housing online Illustrated Guide R30+ Effective Vaulted & Flat Roofs provides information on vaulted water-shedding roofs and flat waterproof membrane roofs that are capable of meeting R-30 or greater effective thermal performance when used on low- and mid-rise wood-frame buildings. (PDF)

Double Play with Water Control & Air Control Layers
Building Science Corporation describes how the failure of either a water control layer or air control layer can lead to loss or severe damage to equipment or property.

Overview of Rigid Foam Insulation
Fine Homebuilding describes how rigid foam insulation is a versatile building material that is a key component in most energy-efficient new homes and remodeling projects.

HVAC Motor Types
HVAC School says in residential and light commercial HVAC we work primarily with PSC (Permanent split capacitor) motors. However, there are some other types that are good to be aware of.

Path to Low Pressure Drop Across High-MERV Filter
Energy Vanguard describes how to get a high-MERV filter do a good job of filtration without causing problems with the air flow in the heating and cooling system.

How to Reduce Indoor Humidity
HVAC School describes why and how humidity inside a home should be maintained between 30% and 60% relative humidity.

Ductwork for ERVs, Dehumidifiers, Forced-Air Systems
Green Building Advisor discusses whether it is possible for an ERV, a whole-house dehumidifier, and a forced-air heating and cooling system to share ductwork.

Proper Storage and Handling of Glulam Beams
Engineered Wood Association provides recommendations for storage and handling of glulam beams. Free site registration required

6. Building Performance Issues

Practical Sound Control
Journal of Light Construction says when you’re trying to limit sound transfer through a building assembly, the goal is to do two things: Limit vibration of building materials and limit air movement.

Squeak-Free Subfloor Installation
Fine Homebuilding says use the right adhesives, fasteners, and techniques to ensure that finished floors are quiet and solid.

Moisture Performance of High-R Wall Systems
US DOE study Moisture Performance of High-R Wall Systems summarizes direct monitoring of the moisture performance of high-R walls in occupied homes in several climate zones. Robustness of the design and modeling tools for selecting high-R wall solutions is evaluated using the monitored data from the field. (PDF)

Effectiveness of Balanced Ventilation System
Construction Innovation says exhaust-only ventilation showed lower whole-house air change rate, lower uniformity of air exchange rate between indoor spaces, higher concentrations of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds and higher whole-house energy consumption than did the balanced energy recovery ventilation system.

Wildfire Resistance Starts with Defensible Space & Proper Materials
Builder Magazine says a recent side-by-side comparison at the IBHS Research Center shows how builders can construct more fire-resistant homes.

Fireproofing Asphalt Shingles
Journal of Light Construction says you should not be worried about putting asphalt shingles on a roof located in a wildfire-prone area if those shingles have a Class A fire rating.

Why is the Breaker Tripping?
HVAC School says the majority of residential circuit breakers are thermal which means they are more prone to trip during high ambient temperature than during low ambient temperature. This is one factor in why you will receive more nuisance or intermittent breaker tripping calls on a hot Summer day. Many times, breakers get replaced just for doing their job and tripping when they should.

Cleanouts in Drainage Systems
PHCP Pros says as water conservation efforts continue to move forward, drain-line blockages are bound to increase.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

2019 Winners of Energy Star Participant Awards
Natural Resources Canada describes the 20 organizations that won the 2019 Energy Star Canada Participant Awards for advancing energy efficiency.

CleanBC Now Offers Higher Efficiency Rebates
BC Government says higher rebates are part of a significant expansion of incentives under the CleanBC Better Buildings program.

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 June 10-14, provides the knowledge and practical hands-on skills needed to build to the Passive House standard. It 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.

Innovation Showcase in Vancouver
Hosted by the Government of Canada, the Clean Energy Ministerial 10/Mission Innovation conference will be held in Vancouver, May 28-29. It will feature clean energy exhibits, presentations and solutions from over 100 exhibitors and VIPs from around the world.

US Building Performance Association
The US Building Performance Association is a membership association dedicated to advancing the home and building performance industry by ultimately delivering improved energy efficiency, health, safety, and environmental performance of buildings.

Energy Codes are Cost-Effective Foundation for Solar
ACEEE research paper Solar PV and Energy Efficiency in Residential Building Codes show that energy efficiency measures found codes and standards are more cost effective than an equivalent amount of energy generated from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. They conclude that new homes must first be built efficiently for maximum cost effectiveness. Solar panels can then be added to further reduce carbon emissions and help homes meet zero-energy targets.

Renewable Energy Mandates Raise Electricity Prices
EarthTechling says economists at the University of Chicago recently published findings that show state-level renewable energy mandates raise utility prices by an extremely-high 17%. The findings are much higher than an oft-cited 2015 study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab that found RPS rates account for only about 2% of utility price increases.

Greenest Cars 2019
Green Cars lists the 2019 greenest and best-in-class vehicles, and advice on how to buy green when shopping for a new car or truck.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

Miles Industries Ltd. recalls H5 Series Fireplaces
Technical Safety BC says Health Canada and Miles Industries have issued a joint recall of H5 Series Fireplaces. This recall involves natural gas and propane H5 Series Fireplace models 1100 and 1150 installed with certain 3 and 4-sided fireplace trim (model numbers 1135, 1140, 1145, 1149 or 1184).

Kingsman & Marquis Skyline II/III Gas Fireplaces Recalled
Technical Safety BC says Health Canada has issued a recall on certain Kingsman Fireplaces and Marquis Collection Skyline II/III series linear gas fireplaces due to fire hazard.

Viessmann Recalls Boilers Due to Carbon Monoxide Hazard
Consumer Products Safety Commission recall involves the Vitodens 200-W and Vitodens 222-F series boilers used for space or domestic water heating. The boiler heat exchanger back plate can corrode and leak flue gases, allowing the boiler to emit excessive amounts of carbon monoxide, posing a CO poisoning hazard to consumers.

Air King Recalls Wall-Mounted Range Hoods Due to Injury Hazard
Consumer Products Safety Commission recall involves Air King Valencia wall-mounted range hoods in 30 and 36 inch widths. The Air King name is located on the motor housing behind the removable grease filters. This recall only includes VAL and ESVAL series hoods.

2010-2019 Trends in Canadian Building Product Material Costs
Construct Connect took a close look at the movement in US construction material costs, through focusing on the Industrial Product Price Indices (PPIs) calculated and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This article carries out a similar analysis for Canada. The north-of-the-border data series that are equivalent to the U.S. PPI are the Industrial Product Price Indices (IPPIs) and the Raw Materials Price Indices (RMPI) from Statistics Canada.

Top 10 Home Technology Features
NAHB says nearly half of prospective home buyers – 46% – want a security camera in their home, making this the top technology item on the list. Closely behind at the No. 2 slot, 45% of those surveyed desire a video doorbell.

2019 Kitchen & Bath Products
Builder Magazine describes some of the latest in kitchen and bath product design and innovation.

New 2019 Products for Interiors
Custom Home Magazine says these latest decorative finishes, including hardware, flooring, tiles, and paints, will add the final touch.

Best Bathroom Updates to Make for Seniors
National Association of the Remodeling Industry describes some of the best bathroom updates to make for seniors.

9. Installation Procedures

Guide to Deck Framing
Fine Homebuilding presents 11 Articles and Videos that show you how to build a deck that is safe, solid, and secure.

Concrete Patio Maintenance
Concrete Network says cleaning and sealing stamped and colored concrete should be done on a regular basis just like any other home maintenance.

Horizontal vs. Vertical Sheathing Debate
Fine Homebuilding says if all we’re talking about is shear, where the load is parallel to the wall, there’s no difference in performance between vertical sheathing and horizontal sheathing with the edges blocked. But that’s just part of the story.

Support for Concrete Block Walls During Construction
WorkSafe BC online bulletin examines the potential hazard of concrete block masonry wall collapse without sufficient lateral support.

Best Practices for Bathroom Fans in Cold Climates
Cold Climate Housing Research Center describes best practices for installing bathroom fans in cold climates. (PDF)

Test Paint Stripper for Refinishing Project
Fine Homebuilding says you can save time and materials when stripping painted wood by figuring out the ideal wait time and application thickness before tackling the entire job.

How to Wire for LED Lighting
Green Building Advisor describes issues and considerations for wiring a house with all low-load LED fixtures.

Framing Big Buildings for Success
Engineered Wood Association provides some guidelines for framers to follow in order to frame large buildings correctly and avoid common pitfalls.

10. Information Sources

Online Insulation & Air Sealing Installers Guides
NAIMA Canada online Insulation and Air Sealing Manual provides contractors with up to date best practices, building science foundations, and summaries of codes.

A Look Back at Insulation Products of the 20th Century
Architect Magazine chronicles material advances for structural insulating products through the 1900s.

Kitchen & Bath Ideas & Photos
Nationals Kitchen & Bath Association allows you to search through over 7000 photos, that you can sort by room, style, brand, budget, size and colour.

Hydronics Publications
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating sells a wide range of hydronics publications for the industry.

2019 QR Outdoors Planning Guide
Qualified Remodeler online 2019 QR Outdoors Planning Guide provides information and resources OS procedures and products for outdoors.

Online Video on Excavations & Soil Classification
US OSHA online video highlights the importance of soil classification when planning trenching and excavation work.

High Performance Windows & Doors
Open Up to Performance offers resources on high-performance windows and doors for residential builders and remodelers.

Educational Presentations on Windows & Doors
Cascadia Windows & Doors offers access to their past webinars and educational presentations on windows and doors.

11. Conferences & Shows

Interior Design Show in Okanagan
Interior Design Institute of BC presents the DesignEx industry show in Kelowna on May 22nd. It offers a number of professional development sessions, a table top show, and a chance to connect with manufacturers, suppliers, interior designers, architects and others from the building industry.

Canadian Paint & Coatings Annual Conference
Canadian Paint & Coatings Annual Conference will be held in Vancouver, May 22-23. This annual networking event explores major trends, challenges and solutions in the paint and coatings industry.

Pacific Coast Builders Show In San Francisco
Pacific Coast Builders Show, held in San Francisco, May 29-31, offers a trade show, educational programs, pre-conference intensives, executive-level programs, and more.

AGM for Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC
Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia is holding their AGM on June 13th in Richmond. The full-day event provides a platform to earn Continuing Professional Development points, network with colleagues, learn more about the incoming Professional Governance Act, and get updated information on key initiatives of the Association.

12. Education & Training

The Heights, a Passive House Journey
BC Building Envelope Council luncheon in Vancouver on May 16 features The Heights, a Passive House Journey. The Heights is a six storey, 85-unit mixed-use building, built to the Passive House Standard. The session will cover the decisions on the building envelope and mechanical systems, the results of monitoring to date, lessons learned and more research needed.

A Holistic Approach Towards Improved Air Tightness
Homebuilders Association Vancouver presents A Holistic Approach to Towards Improving Air Tightness in Burnaby on May 23. This full-day seminar will provide builders, architects, designers and renovators with a holistic approach to improving air tightness in high-performance buildings.

First Nations Partnership Opportunities
UDI Seminar on First Nations Partnership Opportunities will be presented in Vancouver on May 22nd. Understanding the opportunities of partnering with First Nations, together with the unique advantages and challenges of developing on First Nations land will be discussed.

Leading People to Peak Performance
ICBA course Leading People to Peak Performance will be held in Burnaby, May 27-28. It will help deepen your understanding of leadership, communication, motivation, delegation, engagement and coaching.

Building Smart with Airtightness Testing: Building Preparation
BC Housing seminar Building Smart with Airtightness Testing: Building Preparation will be presented on May 28th. It covers why you need to prepare the building for airtightness testing, what this involves, and some guidance and tips.

Social Media for your Business
ICBA seminar Social Media for your Business will be presented in Langley on June 4th. Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to promote to, engage with, and learn about your customers. This session explains how to find the right combination of platforms, tools, content, and creativity, that will provide maximum ROI.

Building Smart Evaluating Thermal Comfort
BC Housing seminar Building Smart Evaluating Thermal Comfort will be presented on June 4th. It will lead participants through design calculations, evaluation of enclosures and developing corrective measures to ensure space are in compliance with the ASHRAE Standard 55 Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy.

Building Smart Introduction to Indoor Environmental Quality
BC Housing seminar Building Smart Introduction to Indoor Environmental Quality will be presented on June 4th. It will provide participants with a basic understanding of how people sense, perceive and respond to indoor spaces and why this influences such things as learning, productivity and health.


Dittie For Today: On Strategy

If you don't have a strategy, you're part of someone else's strategy. - Alvin Toffler


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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