Newsletter #175
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
August 6, 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, Joey Fearn, Kira De Vries, Bryan Orr, Mark Sakai, Ken Sinclair, Ed Hudson, Zoe Boichuk, Brian Hart, Karen Frank, Karen Podolski, Glenn Duxbury, Karen Tam Wu, Peter Troast, Louise Dunne, Chanel Studebaker and Jarrett Hutchinson 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

Canadian Industry Resource Site on Insulation & Air Sealing
Insulate and Airseal is a hub for individuals and companies to access and share the latest information and education on professional insulation and airsealing.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Must Find New Ways to Grow Economy as Housing Market Unfurls
Business Council of BC says as the province’s long-running real estate and housing boom unwinds, it is important to identify and pursue new and more sustainable sources of future economic growth. Working to increase productivity and build more sizable BC companies are good places to start.

Actions to Increase Vancouver Renter Protection
UDI sent this letter to the City of Vancouver on actions to increase renter protection and amendments to the Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy. (PDF)

Latest BC Economic Review & Outlook
Business Council of BC is expecting slowing economic growth in the province and has downgraded its forecast to 2% real GDP growth for 2019, down from 2.2% in their previous Economic Review and Outlook publication.

Canadian Outlook Economic Forecast, Summer 2019
Conference Board of Canada quarterly economic forecast says the Canadian economy is projected to grow by just 1.4 per cent in 2019, but is expected to post one of its strongest job gains on record this year, while tight labour markets are resulting in strong wage growth. The housing market will continue to cool this year, with a decline in residential investment and prices.

Purchasable 2019 Canadian Home Buyer Preference Survey
CHBA 2019 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.

Where Seniors Choose to Live Could Reshape Canada Housing Market
Financial Post says as seniors vacate homes to move to assisted living, the rise in inventory is likely to moderate prices and benefit millennials.

LGBTQ2S+ Housing Needs & Challenges
CMHC says the LGBTQ2S+ community in Canada faces unique challenges when it comes to housing. While progress has been made, many members of that community continue to face discrimination.

RBC Expands into Home Renovation
Home Builder Canada magazine says RBC Ventures has bought Smart Reno, a service that connects consumers to renovation professionals and helps contractors develop leads. Smart Reno is available in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

2. Business Management

Residential Labour Market Forecast Report
BuildForce Canada produces the Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward report to offer insights across residential and non-residential provincial labour markets for 34 trades and occupations. This annual Residential Summary report, based on data from their labour market information system, focuses exclusively on market assessments for the residential construction sector.

Top 5 Marketing Misconceptions in Contracting Business
Builder Magazine says many owners and general managers are suspicious of the cost, and value of marketing investments.

Producing High Quality Marketing Video
Home Energy Pros Forum says producing high quality video assets, customized with your brand standards, tailored to your audience, and formatted to comply with all best practices and platform requirements is the first step in the video marketing process.

Performance Rewards
Plumbing & HVAC says there are numerous methods of rewarding and acknowledging performance, individually, by division and by the company overall.

Construction Technology 2019
BC Construction Association summarizes their State of Construction Technology survey of over 300 construction companies to figure out what they're using, what they're happy with, and what they want to further explore. The results will hopefully help you find your own way through the construction technology ecosystem.

Where Will Construction Gain Most from Technology
BIM+ describes what digital technologies will transform the construction industry over the coming decade, and how might they be adopted so that companies come out on the right side of this transformation.

5 Best Tech Opportunities for Construction Companies
ConstructConnect describes some of the technology opportunities construction companies should have on their radar.

Technological Disruption Unlikely to Trigger Labour Doomsday
Business Council of BC says evidence from the past confirms that technological innovation makes some occupations obsolete and restructures many others, but that it also fuels the emergence and growth of new occupations and leads to different roles for labour in the economy.

3. Building Design & Trends

2020 BC Georgie Awards Call for Entries
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC invites all CHBA BC member companies involved in the residential building industry to participate in the 2020 Georgie Awards.

PPG Paints Selects Chinese Porcelain as 2020 Color of Year
Builder Magazine says PPG Paints has selected Chinese Porcelain as its 2020 Color of the Year. The color's blend of cobalt and moody ink blue offers escapism in today's data-driven society, according to the manufacturer.

Surprising Things Millennials Want when Buying a Home
Real Estate Weekly asked Toronto Millennials about what’s important in a property.

What Americans Want in Their Dream Neighborhood
Builder Magazine summarizes a new survey that shows the qualities people seek most in a neighborhood.

Nine Kitchen Design Trends Homeowners Crave in 2019
Remodeling describes some popular design features in today's kitchens.

Outdoor Cooking & Doorless Showers Remain Popular Features
Kitchen & Bath Design News says outdoor cooking spaces and doorless, no-threshold showers top the list of kitchen and bathroom trends, according to the Home Design Trends Survey.

Outdoor Living Spaces Made with Cedar
Weyerhaeuser says one way to make outdoor spaces truly inspiring is with real cedar, which combines a warm aesthetic and unsurpassed durability to ensure outdoor rooms are cozy, beautiful, and long-lasting.

Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas
Concrete Network online videos provide some design ideas and tips for creating beautiful outdoor spaces with fireplaces and fire pits.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Richard Kadulski, Architect, and publisher of Solplan Review says: “BC Building Info is a neat and concise source of information. Lots of useful information that is technically sound.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Illustrated Guide, Seismic Bracing Requirements BCBC Part 9
BC Housing updated Illustrated Guide, Seismic Bracing Requirements BCBC Part 9, describes the new building code requirements for lateral bracing of small wood-frame structures in high seismic regions of BC. Designers must consider these requirements when creating the form of the exterior walls, and the dimensions and locations of interior walls.

Adoption of BC Electrical Code, 2018 Edition
Technical Safety BC says effective January 1, 2020, the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I, 24th Edition, Safety Standard for Electrical Installations, Canadian Standards Association Standard C22.1-18 is adopted as the B.C. Electrical Code. All electrical work that is subject to the B.C. Electrical Code must be in compliance with the updated edition effective January 1, 2020.

Preliminary WorkSafe Premium Rates for 2020
WorkSafe BC has announced that the preliminary average base rate for 2020 will remain unchanged, at 1.55 percent of employers’ assessable payroll.

BC Associations Challenge Timing, Vagueness of WorkSafeBC Review
BC Council of Construction Associations says dozens of employer associations in BC, including many in the construction industry, have signed a submission outlining concerns over a review of the province’s Workers’ Compensation system which they feel has been rushed and vaguely defined.

Changes in BC Self-Regulatory Regulation
Architectural Institute of BC says self-regulatory professional bodies in the province and across the country are under increasing political, public and media scrutiny. Attention has manifested in the form of reviews, audits and new legislation.

BC Certificate of Recognition Audit Program
Council of Construction Associations says UBC assessed the effect of COR certification on firm-level injury rates in BC by comparing certified firms to similar, but non-certified, firms from 2002 to 2016.

Technical Safety BC State of Safety Report for 2018
Council of Construction Associations describes the Technical Safety BC State of Safety report for 2018. The report documents TSBC’s work over the past year through stories and data on hazards, incidents, and safety management of technical systems in BC.

Becoming a BC Building and/or Plumbing Official
Building Officials Association of BC online guide describes the steps required to become a building and/or plumbing official. (PDF)

5. Building Science & Technology

Developers in Alberta Embracing Cutting Edge Stormwater Technologies
Environmental Leader says developers in Alberta are embracing cutting-edge alternative stormwater technologies, by adopting widespread use of low-impact developments in urban planning and new community design.

What Exactly is a Vapor Perm?
Green Building Advisor asks who decided that 1 grain of water moving through 1 square foot of a material in 1 hour at a vapor pressure difference of 1 inch of mercury was the right measure.

What is a Thermocouple?
HVAC School says we work with thermocouples for temperature measurement all the time and we may not understand the difference between a thermocouple and other types of temperature measurement sensors.

Inches of Water Column
HVAC School says low pressures are often measured in inches of water column or WC. Like most units of measure, it has a very simple origin, in a water manometer 1 inch of water column is literally the amount of force it takes to raise the column of water by 1 inch.

How to Use Passive Strategies in HVAC Design
PHCP Pros says designing with passive strategies is about understanding the constraints and creating design responses that do not require active mechanical systems. Examples include using ambient energy sources to cool, heat, shade, or ventilate a building space. The challenge with designing for passive strategies is that they must be incorporated in the early stages of the process if they are to be effective.

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

Fiberglass Is Still Number One Insulation for Home Builders
Energy Vanguard says you need to understand fiberglass — or any insulation material, really — to get the most out of it.

Standard for Liquid Applied Flashing for Exterior Wall Openings
American Architectural Manufacturers Association has released an updated specification establishing minimum performance requirements for liquid-applied flashing used to provide water-resistive seals around exterior wall openings in buildings.

6. Building Performance Issues

Proprietary Specifying 101
Construction Specifications Institute says proprietary specifying is when construction specifications indicate product requirements by naming specific manufacturers and, perhaps, products.

Finding Source of Basement Water Problem
Energy Vanguard says the problem in this basement was that someone back in the history of the house did not understand the first rule for preventing humidity damage.

Repairing Rot with Epoxy
Fine Homebuilding says you can use these versatile materials, simple tools, and straightforward steps to revive damaged exterior trim details.

HVAC Motor Overheating
HVAC School describes how an important rating on motors is the ambient temperature rating that the motor can operate at.

Seven Deadly Sins of Cross Connection
Mechanical Business says polluted or contaminated fluids, and sometimes other materials, can enter drinking water piping through backflow and or back-siphonage in the water system.

Galvanic Corrosion
HVAC School says many evaporator coils and even some condenser coils will start to corrode where the galvanized steel end plates touch the copper u-bends of the coil.

My House Won't Cool Down
Green Building Advisor describes how the recipe for a hot house is HVAC in the attic, not enough insulation, poor duct design.

Heat Pumps Are Ready for Cold Climates Today
Green Tech Media says a report found that when air-source heat pumps or heat pump water heaters are installed in a new home also outfitted with a tight building envelope and rooftop solar PV panels, electrification is economical even in regions with the harshest winters.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

CHBA BC Position on BC Energy Step Code
CHBA says their local associations are the experts on their local conditions and should be the authoritative voice of the industry during municipal consultations. They do not fear a tiered-code system, as it provides predictability and transparency. The biggest danger is inter-governmental pressures that may drive implementation of higher steps before communities are ready. Accelerating market transformation without first resolving market barriers will be problematic for all.

BC Step Code TEDI Review 2019 Action Plan Summary
BC Government document provides a summary of the proposed plan to address questions and issues that have been brought to the Energy Step Code Council regarding Thermal Energy Demand Intensity (TEDI) targets, as well as some other technical matters related to Energy Step Code requirements for Part 9 buildings. (PDF)

Federal Carbon Tax, What you Need to Know
Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says the federal government imposed a carbon tax on Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick as of April 1, 2019. The plan includes a confusing slew of rules on registrations and exemptions. If you have business activities in these provinces, you may have to register.

Passive House Design & Construction Course in Victoria
Passive House Design and Construction is a four-day course that will be held in Victoria, September 19-22. It 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.

Hemp Used for Construction Gains Popularity in US
UPI says builders who use natural materials in the United States have seen interest grow in hempcrete, a renewable building material made with hemp that can take the place of traditional drywall, insulation and siding.

BC Condo Owners Face Challenges for EV Charging
Business in Vancouver says if you live in a condo/townhouse and want to switch to an electric vehicle it might not be as simple as just trading in your gas-powered car. Older complexes will find it difficult to accommodate charging stations without an expensive electric upgrade.

Airdrie Builds Canada's Largest Municipal Rooftop Solar Grid
Sustainable Biz Canada says the City of Airdrie is now home to Canada's largest municipal rooftop solar energy installation.

History of Microgrids in US
Microgrid Knowledge says while it may seem that microgrids are new, they have been around in some form for years, going back to Thomas Edison's Pearl Street Station.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

New Home Lighting Trends 2019
Home Innovation annual Builder Practices Report reveals some lighting trends. For example, there are far more lighting fixtures being installed on new homes now compared to a decade ago, both interior and exterior. Some configurations have seen more growth than others.

Breaking Thermal Bridge with Tstuds
Fine Homebuilding says Tstuds are garnering a lot of attention among builders, designers, and building science nerds. Touted as a six-in-one solution to thermal bridging in wall assemblies, the thermally broken Tstud is said to be a cost-effective, energy-saving, eco-friendly framing stud for the ultimate high-performance building envelope.

Best Home Automation Systems of 2019
TechRadar says the rise in wireless technology and connectivity means that there are now more opportunities than ever to create a home automation system, controlling everything from lighting, heating, to entertainment centers.

Jobsite Cameras Past, Present, Future
Engineering News-Record says jobsite cameras have become an essential tool for the modern connected jobsite. They take a look at the evolution of jobsite cameras and how they are impacting the construction industry.

Ultra-Lightweight Concrete Panels Expand Design Elements
Home Builder Canada magazine says these thin, ultra-lightweight concrete panels proved a hit at the Vancouver Interior Design Show this month.

How to Make Concrete Look Like Wood
Concrete Network provides examples of concrete stamped to look like wood, wood-grained concrete countertops and more.

Roofing Trends, Regionalities Drive Innovations
Qualified Remodeler says hail, wind, sunshine and local architectural styles drive a new wave of products to the roofing market.

Exploring Effects of Moisture & Drying on Cement
Massachusetts Institute of Technology study investigates capillary-induced deformations in cement’s porous structure.

9. Installation Procedures

Deck Footings Done Right
Fine Homebuilding says a proper footing hole is smooth, straight, and flat-bottomed; includes a footing form; and avoids these pitfalls. (PDF)

Samurai Fence Building
Tools of the Trade online video features the Samurai Carpenter scribing his fence post bases to the stones on which they sit, mortising and tenoning the rest of the fence, and finishing each board before installation so all six sides get coated.

Gas vs. Electric for Low-Energy Impact Homes
US National Institute of Standards & Technology says gas or electric fuel choice affects efforts to achieve low-energy and low-impact homes.

5 Products the Hydronics Industry Needs
Plumbing & Mechanical magazine says these products would help fill needs within the hydronics market.

How Often Should You Change the HVAC Filter?
Healthy Indoors discusses how often you should change the HVAC filter.

Shiplap 101
Tools of the Trade describes how shiplap in 1x6 and 1x8 widths are a great way to add visual interest into any room and as an upsell.

Retrofit of Blown Attic Insulation in Existing Manufactured Homes
US Department of Energy report Retrofit of Blown Attic Insulation in Existing HUD-Code Manufactured Homes: Needs Assessment, describes the costs, benefits, and challenges of attic insulation retrofits in HUD-code manufactured homes. (PDF)

Don't Squeeze Radiant Barrier
HVAC School says you eliminate the benefit of a radiant barrier when you sandwich it between materials in other words when there is no air gap.

10. Information Sources

Calendar of Canadian Housing Market News Releases & Reports
CMHC lists the dissemination dates of media releases on housing trends, data tables and information.

Articles on Building & Installing Kitchen Cabinets
Fine Homebuilding articles and videos will help you create a beautiful, functional, and comfortable kitchen.

What Causes Electric Shock
Technical Safety BC says according to their research, poor work practices or complacency, relying on others to ensure equipment is de-energized, and inadequate training in electrical safety and risk were among the key contributing factors that cause electric shock.

Guide to Working with Concrete
Fine Homebuilding articles provide tips and techniques for forming, pouring, and finishing concrete for various types of home construction or remodeling project.

Window Conference Presentations
Fenestration Canada allows access to the presentations from their spring window conference.

Builder Tips On Engineered Wood
Engineered Wood Association offers online Builder Tips which address a single common topic or challenge relating to engineered wood products.

Essential Skills Activities for Trades
BuildForce Canada free book Essential Skills Activities for Trades is designed for educators, trainers, tradespeople, apprentices, and people considering construction careers. This collection of activities links Essential Skills with workplace applications. Students use the workbook to practice Essential Skills, including Reading, Document Use and Math, by doing exercises based on actual construction materials and situations.

New HVAC Applications Handbook
PHCP Pros says the newly published ASHRAE HVAC Applications handbook is comprised of 65 chapters covering a broad range of facilities and topics. It was written to help engineers design and use equipment and systems described in other handbook volumes. Main sections cover comfort, industrial, energy-related and general applications, as well as building operations and management.

11. Conferences & Shows

Home Electronic Technology Tradeshow
CEDIA EXPO 2019, the annual trade show for the home electronics & technology industry will be held in Denver, September 10-14. More than 20,000 home tech pros and 500+ exhibitors convene for the leading event in connected technology.

2019 BC Construction Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show
The 2019 BC Construction Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show will be held in Vancouver, October 24-25. It will showcase some of the best speakers in the industry presenting on a wide range of construction safety topics.

12. Education & Training

Updated Continuing Professional Development for BC Builders
BC Housing describes the streamlined CPD program, in which all licensees with general contractor status must complete a minimum of 20 CPD training points during the one-year licence term. Nominees may be able to carry over up to 20 extra earned CPD training points from one licence term to the next.

Electrical Tech Talk on Low Voltage Services
Technical Safety BC presents their Electrical Tech Talk on Low Voltage Services in Vancouver on August 13th. This course reviews low voltage services for residential installations. Topics covered include load calculations, overhead services and feeders, underground services, system grounding, temporary power connections and wiring methods.

UnF*@k Your Books
On August 14th the Homebuilders Association Vancouver presents UnF*@k Your Books: The Surprisingly Simple Path to Financial Clarity. Key learning includes gaining financial clarity, how to set the foundation for a stronger internal accounting, and what good reporting actually looks like.

Sales Skills Workshop
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association workshop on Sales Skills will be presented in Burnaby on August 22nd. It will help everyone in your company grasp the strategies and tactics required to meet your best potential clients and close the sale.

Applied Building Science Best Practices
Construction Instruction presents Ci Live Denver on September 11-12. This foundational training session for high-performance building features a variety of topics that introduce applied building science techniques and tools.

Construction Business Management
ICBA course on Construction Business Management will be presented in Burnaby September 12-13. Participants will learn how to improve the management and business systems of a construction company.

New Online Course on Renovation Fundamentals
Canadian Home Builders Association of BC has launched its new online Renovation Fundamentals course. It is a two-hour course that focuses on the basic knowledge needed to run a successful renovation business in Canada.

Apprentice Demand in Top Ten Red Seal Trades
BC Construction Association report Apprentice Demand in the Top Ten Red Seal Trades describes apprenticeship trends data and projections to provide a forward-looking assessment of demand and supply for trade certification across the top 10 Red Seal trades in Canada. National, provincial and trade-specific assessments of demand and supply projections are also provided. (PDF)


Dittie For Today: On Sales

Would you persuade, speak of interest, not of reason. - Benjamin Franklin


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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