Newsletter #181
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
Feb 12, 2020


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 Wilma Leung, Peter Troast, Brian Hart, Terry Adamson, Julie Mair, Zana Gordon, Renee Auer, Karen Frank, Mike Gerbis, Mark Sakai, Ed Hudson, Sabine Just, Tara Mattina, Karen Tam Wu, Jack Parsons, Carolyn Campbell, Christine Gustafson, Danielle Amasia, Malamarie Sinha, Maureen McLaughlin, Mindy Tulsi and Amanda Sturgeon for their comments, tips, and resources. I hope you find at least a wee bit of value in this newsletter.

Have a “Top Drawer” day.

Ken Farrish


Send Us Your Industry & Product News
These Newsletters contain summaries and links to industry news, events, issues, information, products, resources, and more. If you have any new products, events, or information that you would like to have included, just e-mail me at


Ken's Top Pick

Purchasable Building Envelope Guide for Houses
BC Housing sells the Building Envelope Guide for Houses that provides practical information related to the design and construction of the building envelope for new homes constructed in accordance with Part 9 of the 2018 British Columbia Building Code. This guide builds on the approaches presented in the first edition and has expanded to include alternate construction approaches such as Insulating Concrete Form and conditioned attics. Further Construction systems and installation details have also been added, including the improved energy performance of homes built to the increasing performance levels of the BC Step Code. $83 CDN

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Shifting Migration Patterns In BC
Business Council of BC says there has been a sharp increase in the net flow of people out of the Lower Mainland to other parts of BC. High housing prices appear to be affecting within-BC as well as interprovincial migration patterns.

When Will Recession Hit?
RENX says Benjamin Tal and David Rosenberg returned to the Real Estate Forum stage in Toronto for their annual state-of-the-economy addresses and, for the second year in a row, offered differing interpretations of whether a recession is imminent.

Downgraded Forecasts for Provincial Economy
Business Council of BC has downgraded its forecast for the BC economy. The Council now sees the province’s economy expanding by 2.0% (real GDP) in 2020, down from 2.2% in the previous forecast.

BC Economic Briefing, Feb 2020
Central 1 recent BC Economic Briefing provides an analysis of the housing and rental markets. It says the drop in Lower Mainland home sales is likely to be temporary. (PDF)

2020 First Quarter BC Housing Sales Forecast
BC Real Estate Association 2020 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update says Multiple Listing Service residential sales in the province are forecast to increase 10.3 per cent to 85,290 units this year, after recording 77,349 residential sales in 2019. MLS residential sales are forecast to increase 6.3 per cent to 90,700 units in 2021.

Jaugelis Joins Fenestration Canada as Technical Director
Fenestration Canada says that Al Jaugelis will be a full time Tech Director that will provide increased value to their members.

Open Shop Dominant in Trades Training
ICBA says the open shop is leading the way in apprenticeships. Data obtained from the Industry Training Authority shows an even smaller role in apprenticeship training for the old-school unions than most might have guessed.

BC Report on Making Rental a Reality
UDI report Making Rental a Reality, by a group of rental stakeholders known as the Partners for Rental Housing, calls on the provincial government to bring forward guidelines and protocols in reference to a new and untested rental zoning tool, the Residential Rental Tenure Zoning policy, that has been interpreted in controversial ways. At its worst interpretation, this tool can significantly tie the hands of owners to maintain, re-invest and build new rental homes. (PDF)

2. Business Management

Top Home Builder Tips for 2020
ECI Solutions asked the top building industry thought leaders to weigh in on what we can expect in the coming year. Here are their thoughts and insights on an array of home building topics.

3 Sales Copy Habits You Have to Stop Doing Today
Markup and Profit provides three prime examples of typical cliché phrases that are wasting your prospects time and killing the effectiveness of your marketing.

To Teach Is to Sell
Heating Help says when you can teach well you can sell even better, and that will make both you and your company even stronger.

BC Set to Demand 11,700 Additional Construction Workers
BuildForce says major non-residential projects and record levels of housing starts combined to drive construction activity in BC to new highs in 2019. The industry labour market has already been demanding unprecedented numbers of skilled workers and will continue to demand more — 11,700 by 2021 — according to the latest labour market outlook released today by BuildForce Canada.

Technology in Homebuilding
Hanley Wood online video of their Webinar Technology in Homebuilding, will spark ideas on how to disrupt the homebuilding industry and help you shape your new home construction and planning for 2020 and beyond.

Renoworks Introduces AI-Powered Window & Door Tool
Builder Magazine says construction industry visualization provider Renoworks Software released an AI technology that converts home photos into interactive design visualizations for windows and door products. The tool is designed to alleviate the time-consuming rending process for the remodeling industry.

Are Poor Pricing Methods Destroying Your Bottom Line?
Qualified Remodeler says no single factor creates as much havoc for home improvement contractors as price. The first complication is how to factor it; then, the issue becomes how to sell against competition, which often seems to have a lower quote.

How Workers Can Stay Warm in Cold Weather
HVAC School shares some tips and strategies for staying warm in the cold weather.

3. Building Design & Trends

Finalists for 2020 National Awards for Housing Excellence
Canadian Home Builders Association announced these finalists for the 2020 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence.

Winners of 2019 Residential Architect Design Awards
Builder Magazine says this year's jury selected 13 winners that showcase the best in single- and multifamily residential architecture.

2020 Colors of the Year
Builder Magazine takes a look at what paint companies picked as this year's defining hues.

Trend Report, Colours of 2020
Dwell shows that the hues welcoming in the new decade have a decidedly calm, organic feel to them.

Top Home Features & Design Trends for 2020
NAHB says walk-in master bedroom closets, low-e windows and laundry rooms are the most likely features in typical new homes in 2020.

10 Interior Design Trends For 2020
Dwell presents their suggestions for ten interior design trends that will rule 2020.

Bathroom Trends for Residential Construction & Remodeling
Buildertrend Blog describes the most popular bathroom trends in residential design and construction.

Integrating VR & AR into Design Workflows
Builder Magazine offers advice for incorporating VR and AR technology into the design process.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Larry Watson, retired Teresan Gas Contractor Liaison says: “Have enjoyed the info and hard work you put into your newsletter for all these years. Keep up the good work!”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Recent BC Building Code Appeal Board Decisions
BC Building Code Appeal Board lists their recent BC Building Code interpretation appeal decisions. Appeals 1820-1837 are those made in 2019.

Amendments to BC Rehabilitation Services & Claims
WorkSafe BC has prepared a discussion paper on Consequential Amendments to the Rehabilitation Services & Claims Manual, Volume II for stakeholder review and comment.

BC Practice Guidelines for Building Enclosure Engineering Services
Engineers & Geoscientist of BC online Professional Practice Guidelines for Building Enclosure Engineering Services were developed to guide professional practice related to Building Enclosure engineering services for buildings that fall under the BC Building Code, the City of Vancouver Building By-Law, or the National Building Code of Canada. (PDF)

Flood-Prone PoCo Condo Building
The Trowel says some condo residents in Port Coquitlam have been living with no power and no heat for the past couple of days since a torrential rain storm resulted in the building’s underground parkade filling up with water.

Public Review on Proposed Changes to Codes Canada Publications
Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes invites Code users and stakeholders to participate in the winter 2020 public review of proposed changes to Codes Canada publications. The review will run from January 13, 2020 to March 13, 2020. It covers National Building Code of Canada 2015 (NBC), National Fire Code of Canada 2015 (NFC), National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2017 (NECB), and Updates to the documents referenced in the 2015 and 2017 National Model Codes.

Introduction to Wall Bracing
Engineered Wood Association online publication Introduction to Wall Bracing provides a basic overview on IRC-compliant wall bracing that explains why bracing is important and shows how to meet basic requirements for wall bracing in accordance with the code. Revised February 2020. Free site registration required.

Amount of Lead Allowed in Drinking Water Halved
Plumbing & HVAC says the maximum allowable concentration of lead in treated drinking water has been reduced to five parts per billion by the joint committee governing the American National Standards Institute.

International Plumbing Code Changes
PHCP Pros provides a summary of significant revisions of the International Plumbing Code.

5. Building Science & Technology

Avoiding Roofing Errors
Remodeling Magazine says when it comes to keeping water out of a building, fine details matter. They describe some layout problems, incorrect kickout flashing, and leaking metal flashing.

Crash Course in Control Layers
Fine Homebuilding says you need to carefully manage water, air, vapor, and temperature in order to build a home that is durable and comfortable.

History of Bio-Fiber Batts & Boards
Building Research Information Knowledgebase paper Innovative Materials, Bio-Fiber Batts and Boards provides a short review of historic development from macerated paper introduced in 1919 as a commercial insulation product in Canadian Prairies through to the 2009 American production of cellulose fiber batts and blankets and European flexible and rigid wood-fiber thermal insulation boards. (PDF)

Cellulose Insulation and Vapor/Air Barriers
Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association says air/vapor barriers are not needed in most cases when cellulose insulation is used in the walls of homes.

Details for Insulating a Slab Perimeter
Green Building Advisor says keeping all of the insulation to the inside of the foundation wall offers at least two advantages.

Another Take on a Concrete-Free Slab
Green Building Advisor describes how a Northern Minnesota designer omitted the concrete under the floors in this new house. It is an interesting new trend among builders of green homes.

Checking Charge on Heat Pump in Winter
HVAC School says when you ask many people nowadays how to check the charge on a heat pump during low outdoor temps they will say that you need to weigh in and weigh out the charge. While this may be an effective method it isn’t always practical.

Point Supported Balconies
Morrison Hershfield shows how to reduce thermal bridging of balconies by more than 75% for your low carbon, zero energy and passive house projects.

6. Building Performance Issues

Stone Veneer & Moisture Issues
Building Science Corporation says the issues with stucco are pretty well understood, with drainage and inward vapor drive as the keys. Manufactured stone veneer or thin stone veneer can possibly be worse.

Hybrid Approach to Soundproofing
Fine Homebuilding describes how a combination of special clips, channels, and acoustical sealants add up to the perfect solution for building a quiet room.

10 Hidden Air Leaks in New Homes
Insulation Institute online guide 10 Hidden Air Leaks in New Homes covers the most common areas where these holes occur and offers solutions to fix the holes during the construction process. (PDF)

Is Negative Pressure Causing a Problem in Your Home?
Energy Vanguard discusses what to do if you think negative pressure is causing a problem in your home.

Makeup Air for Kitchen Exhaust
Green Building Advisor describes what the code does and doesn't say about kitchen exhaust and makeup air and how to prevent backdrafting of certain combustion appliances.

Static Pressure, Manometers, Magnehelics
HVAC School describes static pressure, and the use of manometers and magnehelics for measurements.

Bad Ass HVAC
Healthy Indoors Magazine describes a few relatively simple tweaks to be able to deliver these 6 Functions of HVAC, and do it well: Load matching; Filtration; Dehumidification; Fresh air; Mixing; Humidification.

Perfect Weather for a Dehumidifier
Energy Vanguard discusses what types of weather warrant use of a dehumidifier.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Canada’s Top 10 Passive House Industry Leaders
Canadian Design & Construction describes their Top 10 Passive House Industry Leaders, made up of architects, developers and owners from regions across the country.

Zero Carbon Building Standard Celebrates First 10 Certifications
The Trowel says Canada Green Building Council has ten projects that are certifying under its Zero Carbon Building Standard. These pioneering projects include new and existing offices, schools and warehouses, each demonstrating that buildings of all types and age can achieve zero carbon emissions.

The Language of Carbon
Architect Magazine describes seventeen terms that will help you talk the talk of carbon positive design.

Six Misunderstood Terms in Sustainable Design
Architect Magazine describes six terms that are the most widely misunderstood in sustainable design.

List of Canadian Energy Efficiency Conferences in 2020
Efficiency Canada lists 2020 conferences and events of interest for energy efficiency professionals.

Living Future '20 Conference
International Living Future Institute is hosting its annual unConference on May 5–8, in Seattle. It provides a platform for the green building movement’s most innovative leaders to come together to ideate and exchange expertise.

Seminar On Protecting Against Common Customer Objections in Home Performance
Energy Circle presents the webinar How to Protect Against Common Customer Objections in Home Performance, on February 19. They will explain how you can protect against the most common customer objections to home performance quandaries, and utilize your marketing strategy to ensure your target audiences are receiving current and correct information on the home performance services you provide.

Passive House Design & Construction Course in Vancouver
Passive House Design and Construction is a four-day course that will be held in Vancouver, February 20-23. 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.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

18 Product Highlights from 2020 Builders Show
Builder Magazine takes a look at what building product manufacturers are bringing to the Builders Show floor this year.

NAHB Unveils Best Products of IBS 2020
ProSales Online says the National Association of Home Builders named winners in nine categories for its eight annual Best of IBS Awards during the final day of the 2020 International Builders Show in Las Vegas.

8 Kitchen & Bath Fixtures That Showcase Form & Function
Builder Magazine describes the latest in tech and style from Elkay, Kohler, Isenberg Design Lab and more.

Super-Thick Glass Makes High R-Value Windows Possible
Fine Homebuilding describes a new spacer system for windows that achieves R-values up to R-17.

UV Resistance of Certain Plastic Tubing
NAHB says there are potential risks with certain types of plastic tubing used in home building. Specifically, there is a need to prevent accidental overexposure of crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing and pipe to sunlight (UV light) to avoid damaging the long-term performance of the pipe.

A Year in Tools
Fine Homebuilding provides a recap of the tools and gear featured in their magazine in 2019.

The Year Ahead in Residential Housewrap
Home Innovation Research Labs says based on builder and consumer practices survey data, there are more than 4 billion sq. ft. of home exterior covered with housewrap annually.

Recent Advances in LED Lighting Technology
Architect Magazine describes improvements to solid state lighting that have resulted in smaller, more versatile, and more efficient diodes that have helped transform architectural lighting and design.

9. Installation Procedures

10 Most Common Window Installation Mistakes
Journal of Light Construction says you should avoid these mistakes to prevent expensive callbacks.

Online Videos Show How to Air-Seal an Attic
Fine Homebuilding online video series shows how to identify common air leaks and demonstrates the best methods and materials to seal them up right.

Furnace Air Temperature Rise
HVAC School says air temperature rise is the difference between the temperature of the return and the heated supply air from the furnace. Temperature rise must be measured during installation and must be within the range on the furnace rating plate. This is important not only for the longevity of the furnace but also for customer comfort.

Flow x Pressure drop = Energy
Plumbing & Mechanical magazine says with the exception of systems with electrical boilers or heat pumps as their primary heat source, few heating pros give much thought to the electrical energy used in their systems.

Why Measuring Static First Isn't Always Productive
HVAC School says measuring static pressure is very important. The challenge comes in taking measurements without understanding where to take them, what they mean, or when using measurements as an excuse not to do a proper visual inspection. You need to visually inspect blower wheels, blower taps and settings, blower direction, belts, pulleys, evaporator coils, filters and condenser coils as well as look for any other abnormal return or condenser restrictions, before you take detailed measurements.

Repairing Damaged Siding
Fine Homebuilding online Repairing Damaged Siding Series shows you how to remove and replace siding quickly, with a few simple tools, and without disturbing the surrounding siding.

Two Ways to Insulate Attic Kneewalls
Fine Homebuilding describes two ways to insulate attic kneewalls.

Fitting a Countertop to Irregular Wall
Journal of Light Construction describes the quickest and most accurate way to template a countertop in an old house with wavy walls and odd projections.

10. Information Sources

BC Housing Research & Education Project Highlights
BC Housing describes the wide range of projects recently completed or underway through the BC Housing Research Centre including best practice guides, research reports, case studies, bulletins and videos.

Resource Site on Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pumps
Cold Climate Housing Research Center provides information and resources on cold climate air source heat pumps.

Hydronic Heating Resource Site
Radiant Professionals Alliance and Hydronics Industry Alliance have launched the H2O Accepted website that is designed to showcase the advantages of water-based (hydronic) commercial building space heating and cooling technologies.

Roofing Resources
Fine Homebuilding articles cover how to choose the right materials and get the construction details right to install a durable, weathertight roof on any home. Access to some articles requires site membership.

Engineered Wood Construction Guide
Engineered Wood Association free APA Engineered Wood Construction Guide covers both residential and commercial construction, offering up-to-date information on APA Performance Rated Panels, glulams, I-joists, floor, wall, and roof systems, diaphragms, shear walls, fire-rated systems, and finishing methods. Free site registration required.

Purchasable Book History of Plumbing
Plumbing & Mechanical magazine sells the History of Plumbing series. History articles cover informative topics such as ancient plumbing, water-borne diseases, early-American innovation, the history of hydronic heating and more. $35 USD.

The 10 Commandments of the HVAC/R Technician
HVAC School describes their 10 commandments of the HVAC/R technician.

Study of 597 Logos Shows Which Kind Is Most Effective
Harvard Business Review finds that logo choice can have a major impact on consumers. A study of 597 logos showed that descriptive logos that include textual or visual design elements that clearly communicate the type of product or service a brand is marketing are most effective.

11. Conferences & Shows

2020 FEN BC Technical Conference & AGM
The 2020 FENBC Technical Conference & AGM will be held in Surrey on February 27th. Speakers will cover a wide range of window industry topics, as well as an open discussion.

Canadian HVAC & Plumbing Industry Show
CMPX, the Canadian Mechanical & Plumbing Exposition will be held in Toronto, March 25-27. It is the national trade show for the heating, air conditioning, ventilation, hearth, plumbing, piping, refrigeration and emerging technologies industries.

2020 Building Enclosure International Convention & Trade Show
IIBEC presents their 2020 Building Enclosure International Convention & Trade Show in Houston, March 26-31. It offers over 25 hours of educational seminars, live product demonstrations, and a two-day trade show with over 140 exhibitors.

2020 Canadian Home Builders National Conference
Canadian Home Builders Association annual national conference will be held in Banff, March 30 - April 3. It includes a number of speakers and sessions on business and industry issues, awards presentations, product displays, and social and networking events.

12. Education & Training

Young Leaders, The Future of Home Building
UDI February 20th Luncheon presents the next generation: a group of young, accomplished and articulate professionals who hold senior positions in their respective companies.

Applied Building Science for Cold Climates
Construction Instruction presents their course on Applied Building Science for Cold Climates, held in Denver, February 20-21. This two-day, small group, hands-on training event will focus on the needs of climate zones 5 & 6 including the Canadian market. This session will enable building professionals to walk away with leading-edge implementation plans and engage in best practice application processes.

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 25th. Join local and international industry experts as they share the latest research results, case studies, as well as successful design and construction practices. Learn about government initiatives to support more efficient, functional and resilient buildings.

Building Smart with Building Envelope Guide for Houses
BC Housing seminar and webinar Building Smart with Building Envelope Guide for Houses will be presented on February 27th. The guide has been updated to reflect many new and expanded industry methods, including proven techniques and high-performance assemblies that support advances in energy efficiency and seismic provisions. A new section also explores Insulated Concrete Form construction for houses. This session will look at revisions and changes that have evolved as a result of two major code changes, and the addition of the Step Code for energy efficiency in homes.

Benefits of Modular Building
UDI seminar Benefits of Modular Building will be presented on March 5th. The modular housing expert panel will describe how these volumetric suppliers are mitigating risks in their project deliveries and over coming capacity constraints. Prefabrication is not new to North America and many contractors use some form of offsite construction within their projects today.

The Numbers Behind Development
UDI presents their FortisBC School of Development: The Numbers Behind Development 2020 in Vancouver, March 13-14. Instructors will draw from their own experiences and case studies to teach you the basics of proforma development, land and project valuation, sensitivity analysis and financing criteria.

BCCSA New Online Course for Working with Asbestos
BC Council of Construction Associations says the BC Construction Safety Alliance is developing a new online asbestos training program that will be the first standardized training program of its kind in Canada.

Indigenous Communities, ITA Build Skilled Trades Workforces
BC government says more than 475 people in Indigenous communities are gaining skills to succeed in high-opportunity trades careers, with six new two-year training programs.


Dittie For Today: On Taking Care Of Yourself

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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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