Newsletter #178
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
November 12, 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 Brian Hart, Andrew Pape-Salmon, Zana Gordon, Mike Gerbis, Malamarie Sinha, Joey Fearn, Denisa Ionescu, George Ward, Mark Sakai, Shaira Williams, Mindy Tulsi, Zachary May, Debra Johnson, Karen Frank, Sabine Just, Amanda Davis, Carolyn Campbell, Karen Tam Wu, Ken Sinclair, Karen Podolski, Megan McIlwain, Glenn Duxbury, Maureen McLaughlin, and Julie Mair 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

Online Videos & Articles on Building Technology
Construction Instruction online videos and articles on building technology cover building science, foundations, framing, roofing, wall protection, insulation, air & moisture control, ventilation, plumbing & electrical, heating & cooling, finishes, codes, and sales & marketing.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

2019 BC Construction Industry Survey
BC Construction Association report BC Construction Industry Survey 2019 summarizes responses from 700+ industry members from all seven economic regions of BC. 60% of responses came from construction employers, and 40% from the skilled tradespeople and labourers who construct our built environment. (PDF)

State of BC Market Report Q2 2019
UDI online State of Market Report Q2 2019 provides market statistics from throughout the Lower Mainland. (PDF)

Keep Calm and Carry On In BC
Business Council of BC says the BC economy is affected by the headwinds from weaker growth south of the border and an unsettled global trade environment. This issue of the BC Economic Review and Outlook looks at 2019 third quarter results and judges the economic outlook to be slipping below what was forecast in the previous quarter.

BC Construction Industry 2019 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. (PDF)

2019 BC Prosperity Index
Business Council of BC says the purpose of the BC Prosperity Index is to examine and track British Columbia’s performance on key measures of business, economic, social and community well-being, compared to the rest of Canada and several other advanced economy jurisdictions.

New Housing Price Index Interactive Dashboard
Statistics Canada new online web application provides access to new housing prices data for Canada and 27 census metropolitan areas. The maps, charts and tables draw from information collected from respondents who provide information on Canada's new housing prices. The interactive dashboard allows users to visualize statistics on new housing prices' monthly and annual movements and on rankings by CMAs of the largest monthly price movements.

Canadian Homebuyer Plan Unlikely to Work
Fraser Institute says the federal government recently launched its First-Time Home Buyer Incentive that is unlikely to work for at least two reasons.

Rise of Single Buyers and How They Will Impact Industry
Builder Magazine says in single-family housing, the emphasis increasingly is on “single” as a growing percentage of today’s home buyers are living alone.

Five Home Improvement Trends to Watch In 2020
Forbes says the home improvement industry in 2020 will be characterized by a decline in luxury products, a rise in online sales, and an emphasis on health over savings.

2. Business Management

Calculating Marketing ROI, Metrics That Really Matter
Builder Magazine says you can use these metrics to guide your understanding of what marketing channels and campaigns to cut or bolster.

What You Can Do When You Miss the Sale
Mark-up & Profit describes some things you can do about the sales you miss.

How To Sell High-Value Remodeling Projects
Forbes says for those expanding their remodeling businesses with the intention of landing high-value projects, there are strategies that you can apply to ensure higher rates of success. And it all starts with understanding what makes your clients tick.

Workforce, Technology are Top Future Challenges
Journal of Commerce says the pool of construction workers in Canada is shrinking and contractors aren’t using technologies to fill the shortages and augment the productivity of their workforce, according to a new report on key trends impacting the industry released by the Canadian Construction Association.

Tactics to Attract & Retain Skilled Labour
Builder Magazine article features some home builders sharing their top strategies to find and keep quality workers.

5 Ways to Recruit Millennials & Gen Z in a Growing Industry
Journal of Light Construction offers some tips on how to hire and retain employees during the construction labor shortage.

Integrated Project Delivery Case Studies
BC Housing report Strategies for Collaborative Construction - Integrated Project Delivery describes the method which aligns the project team goals and provides effective collaboration mechanism among them to achieve overall project goals efficiently. This report includes four case studies from projects across British Columbia that used IPD to achieve their objectives and reviews the lessons learned from using the innovative project delivery method. (PDF)

ITA Expands Apprenticeship Advisors Across BC
Journal of Commerce says the Industry Training Authority of BC is expanding its apprenticeship advisors to 20 across the province.

3. Building Design & Trends

2019 Victoria CARE Awards Showcase Finest West Coast Projects
Victoria Residential Builders Association presents the winners of their 2019 Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence Awards.

2019 Builder's Choice & Custom Home Design Awards
Builder Magazine says winners of the 2019 Builder's Choice & Custom Home Design Awards showcase function in small footprints and the use of innovative building materials.

2019 Master Design Awards Remodeling Showcase
Qualified Remodeler list the 41st annual Master Design Awards winners that highlight creative solutions in the construction of extraordinary home improvement projects.

2019 Multi-Family Excellence Award Winners
Multi Housing News lists winners of their 2019 Excellence Award Winners, featuring the multifamily industry's top projects, transactions and people.

Energy-Smart Construction Details
Fine Homebuilding online construction drawings illustrate the details that make houses more durable, comfortable, and energy efficient.

Designers Project Paint Trends for Next Decade
Builder Magazine says designers predict gray will be replaced by beige as the go-to wall color in the next 10 years.

Colors of the Year 2020
Valspar says next year’s colors are inspired by the tranquility of nature and the outdoor world.

Naval is Sherwin-Williams 2020 Color of Year
Builder Magazine says the new neutral navy blue pairs with metallic finishes and natural colors and materials.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Marshall Leslie, owner of M. Leslie Inc. and chair of Consumer Council of Canada Housing & Energy Committee says: “I enjoy receiving your monthly building alerts”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Ideas for Speeding up BC Development Approval Process
BC Government says for many years, people have raised concerns that the decades-old development approval process is inefficient and adds too much complexity, cost and uncertainty for homebuilders. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing initiated a review of the process involving stakeholders and community representatives from throughout the province. The need to make the process more effective and efficient was a common theme among stakeholders.

Operating Safely Around BC Underground Gas Services
Technical Safety BC information bulletin describes how to notify gas companies of excavation work and how to excavate safely in the vicinity of an underground gas installation.

BC Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation Submission
CHBA BC submitted their concerns and the challenges expressed by the residential construction industry in regards to EESR within CleanBC. They believe strongly that affordability and evidence-based decisions must be a key objective when regulation changes are considered. (PDF)

WorkSafe BC Warns Homeowners of Asbestos Danger
Council of Construction Associations says WorkSafe BC is educating the public about asbestos risk for pre-1990s homes. The agency is urging homeowners to notify their contractor before starting renovations or a demolition.

Fall 2019 Public Review of Changes to Codes Canada Publications
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes invites interested parties to take part in the fall 2019 public review of proposed changes to the Codes Canada publications. The review will run from October 22, 2018 to December 23, 2019.

CRA Combating Underground with Home Depot Records
Global News says the Canada Revenue Agency is trying to use information from Home Depot customers to crack down on the underground economy.

Citing Climate Change, Carriers Clamour to Comment on Code Changes
Journal of Construction says claiming that climate change losses are hitting their bottom line, insurance companies want a stronger voice on how homes are built in order to reduce those losses.

OSHA Increases Use of Drones for Inspections
Builder Magazine says OSHA is increasing its use of drones for worksite inspections, potentially putting employers in an uncomfortable position.

5. Building Science & Technology

Articles on Roof Venting
Fine Homebuilding has 15 articles and videos from their archive that will take you through every step of the roof venting process.

Attic Ventilation 101
RCI article covers why you need attic ventilation, the most common types, building code requirements, and common ventilation-related issues.

Flashing Shed Dormers
Journal of Light Construction shows how shed dormers require a continuous strip of flashing along the top of the lower roof plane where it meets the steeper roof plane.

Basics of Makeup Air
Fine Homebuilding describes how to provide makeup air for a kitchen exhaust fan to prevent backdrafting of water heaters, furnaces, and other fuel-burning appliances.

Problem-Free Closed Crawls
Advanced Energy says field research in mixed-humid climates found that properly detailed closed crawl spaces (with no atmospheric vents to the outside) not only avoided those moisture problems but also made homes generally healthier and more comfortable. Such homes had warmer floors, reduced drafts, less dust, fewer pests and more stable indoor relative humidity.

Can Buildings Take Vacation Too?
Green Building Advisor describes the science of shutting down a house for extended periods of time.

Thermostat Heat Anticipator
HVAC School describes how the thermostat heat anticipator functions.

How to Choose the Right Replacement Windows
Fine Homebuilding describes details and conditions to look for in an existing home to see if an insert replacement window makes more sense than removing and replacing the entire original window.

6. Building Performance Issues

Asphalt Shingle Sloped Roofing Research Study
BC Housing report Asphalt Shingle Sloped Roofing Research Study reviews moisture problems in sloped wood-frame attic roof assemblies, which are often attributed to rain water ingress, inadequate ventilation of the attic space, and air leakage condensation from interior spaces or ductwork. (PDF)

Roof Sheathing Surface Treatments for Mould
BC Housing report Field Evaluation of Roof Sheathing Surface Treatments outlines the methodology and findings from field evaluation of the efficacy of several surface-applied mould resistant treatments for the underside of roof sheathing. (PDF)

Building Envelope Rehabilitation, Consultant's Guide
CMHC online Building Envelope Rehabilitation Guide reflects current best practice in design and construction, and addresses the differences between new and rehabilitation construction. It is mainly for consultants, and focuses on the repair and rehabilitation of building envelopes of multi-unit wood frame buildings in the coastal climate zone of British Columbia. (PDF)

Rotten-Sill Repair
Fine Homebuilding old-house experts share a safe, conservative approach to fixing a failing timber-frame sill beam.

Solving a Basement Odor Problem
Green Building Advisor asks if this basement wall lacks a vital moisture control barrier.

Dealing with Products of Combustion, Condensate
HPAC Magazine says dealing with liquid condensate must be done properly to avoid damage to the building, problems with appliance operation and angry customers.

Oversized Air Conditioners
HVAC School describes some oversized air conditioner symptoms, their characteristics and why making improvements to oversized HVAC it's a slippery slope.

Effective R-Value, From R-50 to R-12 Due to Studs
ProTradeCraft Podcast features a Senior Project Manager with RDH Building Science Laboratories breaking down the nuts, bolts, what, why and how of R-value, insulation, and building assemblies.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

The BC Retrofit Experience Survey
Home Performance Stakeholder Council says BC Hydro and a number of local governments are working together to rethink home renovation to dramatically increase the energy performance of BC homes. They would like to hear from contractors working in home renovation, and are asking for 10 minutes of your time to complete a survey designed to get a better understanding of what your customers are asking for, and how utilities and governments can help.

BC Energy Step Code 2018 Metrics Research
BC Housing study Energy Step Code 2018 Metrics Research explores and anticipates the implications of the BC Energy Step Code in terms of its impact on the design and construction sector. More specifically, the study is designed to identify potential design solutions and other technical responses to the Step Code (e.g. design and construction practices). (PDF)

Proposed Energy Updates to Vancouver By-Law
City of Vancouver describes their proposed low carbon and energy efficiency updates to the Vancouver Building By-law for low rise residential. (PDF)

Why BC Clean Economy is Still a Work in Progress
Business Council of BC says clean/green industries will certainly grow and play a role in helping to mitigate climate change. However, there is no reason to expect the clean/green sector to replace the natural resource and manufacturing industries that dominate Canada’s export mix. In setting climate policy, governments would be wise not to overlook the other 97 per cent of the country’s economy.

Young Buyers Green & Tech-Savvy, But Sneaky
Home Builder Canada says millennials—consumers aged 19 to 34—are Canada’s biggest first-time buyer market but veteran developers may have to change what they build and how they market to capture a share of the sector.

Free Technical Workshops in BC
These free workshops, held throughout BC, will cover how Built Green aligns with, supports, and extends beyond the BC Energy Step Code.

Passive House Design & Construction Course in Kelowna
Passive House Design and Construction is a four-day course that will be held in Kelowna, December 5-8. 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.

Q3 2019 Built Green Canada Newsletter
Built Green Canada online Q3 2019 newsletter provides updates on the Built Green Canada program and related green building industry happenings.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

Carrier & Bryant Heat Pumps Recalled Due to Fire Hazard
US Consumer Product Safety Commission says Carrier & Bryant 1.5-ton multi-zone, 4-ton multi zone and 4-ton single-zone ductless heat pumps have been recalled. The fan motor on the heat pumps can fail, causing the units to overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Top Trends At Smart Home Technology Expo
Forbes describes some of the smart home features that trendspotting designers attending CEDIA saw as critical to their work.

Can Funky Green Thing Help Improve Safety of House Framing?
NAHB says this product, from new company TrussLox, is a temporary bracing system designed to set and secure roof trusses 24 inches on-center.

Four Common Questions About Abrasives
Journal of Light Construction looks at four of the most common questions building professionals have when choosing abrasives.

Pros & Cons of Spray-Foam Insulation
Fine Homebuilding describes some pros and cons of spray polyurethane foam, a high-performance material found in the walls and roofs of many of today's energy-efficient homes.

Tool Batteries are Cordless Revolution
Qualified Remodeler describes better battery systems that are making it possible for more—and bigger kinds of—tools to go cordless.

Residential Air-to-Water Heat Pumps
Plumbing & HVAC says as governments and environmental realities push the industry away from carbon-producing technologies, air-source heat pumps are showing promise even in cold Northern climates.

Aftermarket HVAC Motor Selection & Considerations
HVAC School says when looking at replacing a single phase A/C motor with an aftermarket motor, there's a few things you should know and pay attention to.

9. Installation Procedures

10 Rules for Finish Carpentry
Fine Homebuilding shares tips that make it easier to do a great job installing beautiful trim.

10 Roof Goofs and How to Fix Them
Fine Homebuilding says installation mistakes are often to blame for leaky roofs. Roofer Stephen Hazlett shows how to repair these problems or avoid them altogether. (PDF)

Cut-Out Routers for Drywall
Tools of the Trade online video describes how to use cut-out routers for drywall installation.

How to Install Built-up Crown Molding
Fine Homebuilding describes time-tested design principles and basic carpentry techniques to create beautiful layered crown and cornice trim details that will dress up any room in your house.

How to Install Exterior Window Trim
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to measure, cut, and build window casing made of cellular PVC, solid wood, poly-ash boards, or any common molding material. Plus, get tips for a clean and solid installation.

Installing Windows, Innies & Outies
Building Science online slide show presentation describes concepts, issues and considerations for installing windows, using either the Innies or Outies approach. (PDF)

Fitting New Windows in Crooked Old House
Fine Homebuilding says Dudley boxes are robust window bucks that ease window installation, flashing, and integration with insulation in walls sheathed with exterior rigid foam.

Navigating the Commissioning Process
Building Design & Construction says as building system technology increases in complexity and sustainability and remains at the forefront of design, the need for commissioning continues to rise.

10. Information Sources

BC Building Envelope Council Fall Issue Of Online Magazine
BC Building Envelope Council fall issue of their Elements magazine provides information and resources on building envelope technology, issues, products and procedures.

Articles on Remodels, Renovations, Additions
Fine Homebuilding has compiled 25 of their favorite remodeling articles to help you design, plan, and build your next home-improvement project.

Canadian Educational Resource Site on Wood
Canadian Wood Council site woodSmart provides information and resources to support post-secondary institutions, educators, and students to ensure future architects, engineers, and construction professionals have the up-to-date knowledge and skillset in the design, manufacture, and assembly of advanced wood buildings.

Window & Door Flashing
Fine Homebuilding collection of articles and videos will help you find the materials and construction details you need for a leak-free installation of doors, windows, siding, and more.

Safety in Manufactured Homes
Technical Safety BC says manufactured homes are considered to be regulated products under the Safety Standards Act which means there are specific safety considerations.

Air & Moisture Control
Construction Instruction online videos and articles describe products and procedures for air and moisture control including water management, air tightness testing, air sealing, and air & weather barriers.

All About Concrete Countertops
Fine Homebuilding says you can get the inspiration and instructions you need to create your own beautiful countertops from this versatile and durable construction material.

Modern Hydronics Done Right Volume 3
Plumbing & Mechanical and PM Engineer free eBook, Modern Hydronics Done Right, is a collection of columns and articles from John Siegenthaler, the well-respected hydronics expert. The topics in Volume III include focus on hydronic heat emitters, including articles on garage warming, panel radiator vs. radiant panel and future trends in thermal mass and more.

11. Conferences & Shows

International Green Building Conference & Expo
Greenbuild International Conference & Expo will be held in Atlanta, November 19-22. It welcomes a community of professionals, advocates and practitioners, students and teachers, designers and builders, and everything in between to show and discuss new technology, new ideas and new ways forward.

Net Positive Symposium in Vancouver
Passive House Canada presents the Net Positive Symposium in Vancouver on November 20th. It will address questions regarding the rapidly changing state of the building industry through the lens of Passive House and the International Living Future Institute, two complimentary approaches at the forefront of sustainable construction.

Canadian Construction, Design, Property Management Show
The Buildings Show will be held in Toronto from December 4-6. It combines Construct Canada, Home Builder & Renovator Expo, PM Expo, and World of Concrete Pavilion.

International Builders' Show in Las Vegas
NAHB International Builders Show will be held January 21-23, in Las Vegas. The largest such show in North America, it features educational sessions and exhibitors of building industry products, innovations, and demonstrations.

12. Education & Training

Apply For BC Building Excellence Research & Education Grants
BC Housing is now accepting applications for the 2020 Building Excellence Research & Education Grants. This program supports initiatives that improve the quality of residential construction and strengthen consumer protection for buyers of new homes in BC.

BC Builders Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition Process
BC Housing says general contractors constructing single family homes and small residential buildings under Part 9 of the BC Building Code must meet a qualification standard before obtaining a new licence. Some applicants may choose to qualify via a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) review. Find out if the PLAR process is the right approach for your residential builder licence application.

Building Code for Residential Builders
ICBA course Building Code for Residential Builders will be presented in Langley on November 14th. Participants will learn how to read, interpret and use the BC Building Code. The course is specifically targeted for constructors of small buildings and residential construction in order to allow them to discuss with confidence issues brought up by inspectors, plan checkers and/or consultants.

BC Safety Regulations, Permits, Inspections, Declarations
ICBA course BC Regulations & Residential Building: Permits, Inspections and Declarations Rules you need to Know, will be presented in Burnaby on November 15th. This session explores BC safety regulations and administrative responsibilities that impact residential builders and the top mis-steps that cost time and money.

Contaminated Sites
UDI seminar on Contaminated Sites will be presented in Vancouver on November 28th. The panel will provide a technical update on contaminated site regulations and how to navigate the complexities of contaminated site redevelopment.

Employment Standards Act Refresher
ICBA two-hour breakfast session seminar on November 27th will give you a review of Employment Standards Act requirements that are particularly relevant to construction industry employers, including: employment contracts, who is a "manager", hours of work and overtime, averaging agreements for hours of work, termination of employment, vacation and statutory holidays, independent contractors vs. employees and impact of the common law.

Proposed National Plumbing Code Changes for 2020
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating webinar Decoding National Code Process 101 & Proposed NPC Changes for 2020, being held on November 20th, will address how the National Code is developed and proposed National Plumbing Code changes for 2020.

BuildForce Canada: Books on Essential Skills
BuildForce Canada offers a number of free books covering various essential skills for those in the construction industry.


Dittie For Today: On Government

'Bread and Circuses' is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader -- the barbarians enter Rome. - Robert Anson Heinlein


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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