Newsletter #184
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
May 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 Terry Adamson, Deanna Seale, Ken Sinclair, Sabine Just, Katie Aronoff, Ross Woolford, Julie Mair, Ed Hudson, Mark Sakai, Brian Hart, Sano Stante, Danielle Amasia, Zoe Boichuk, Mindy Tulsi, Glenn Duxbury, John Davies, Denisa Ionescu, Karen Frank, Paul Springer, Carolyn Campbell, Joey Fearn, Denise Dersin, Richard Kadulski, Jason Trillo, Corey Breed, Dick Van Nostrand, Sarah Vanderlee, Elisa Wood, Arlene Donato, and Christopher Casey 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

Interior Spray Foam
Building Science Corporation looks at issues and considerations for spray foam in residential walls, roofs and foundations installed to interior of the exterior water control layer.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

Housing Information Monthly April 2020
CMHC online Housing Information Monthly for April 2020 contains more than 90 data-rich statistical tables on starts, completions, absorptions and prices for both provincial and local markets. (PDF)

Links to Industry Resources on COVID-19 Virus
Given all the industry issues and questions around the current COVID-19 situations, I've put together a new section on the BC Building Info site that has links to various industry information and resources.

COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites
Canadian Construction Association online Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites outlines the best practices for construction sites in order to maintain the health and safety of all workers required to perform duties during the COVID-19 crisis. The protocols, which include prevention, detection and response measures, will minimize the impacts of the crisis and ensure business continuity in the construction industry. (PDF)

COVID-19 Economic Outlook, Housing Market Impact
Homebuilders Association of Vancouver free, online COVID-19 webinar video helps industry navigate during this time of uncertainty. Real Estate Association Chief Economist, Brendon Ogmundson, examines the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the local housing market and looks at projections on the timing and strength of a post-pandemic recovery.

Government-Mandated COVID-19 Closures and Force Majeure
Council of Construction Associations says at some point, COVID-19 will pass. But can contracted parties seek financial relief from the public authority ordering the shutdown in order to recover losses incurred or the costs associated with a resumption of work later?

COVID-19 Business Resources for Trades Contractors
Plumbing & HVAC bulletin by industry veteran Ron Coleman describes various COVID-19 financial support programs and resources available for contractors. (PDF)

HVAC Contractors Guide to COVID-19
HVAC School says HVAC contractors are tasked with keeping staff and customers safe during the outbreak and are relied upon to provide some guidance to customers about how to protect themselves against the virus in the air.

4 Next-Gen Technologies That are Changing Construction
Building Design & Construction says for most of the last decade, emerging technologies designed to transform the built environment weren’t much more than fun toys to play with. They lacked sophistication and the ability to promote true efficiency and accountability or analyze data. Not anymore. Yesterday’s toys have become today’s tools.

2. Business Management

Branding is More Than Just a Logo
Builder Magazine says branding is more than just a logo. It is what your business is striving to achieve, your values, and your unique messaging to your customers.

Secrets of Sales All-Stars
Qualified Remodeler asked experts what the common traits of sales excellence are.

Residential Labour Market Forecast Reports
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.

COVID-19 Slump Exposes Contractor Liability
Home Builder Canada says residential and commercial construction will slow in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and the Council of Ontario Construction Association warns this could leave builders on the hook.

4 Leadership Triggers Help Builders Win Coming Out of COVID Crisis
Builder Magazine says as economies stress-test COVID-19 spread curves, learn how purpose power can be your friend when purchase power loses some pep.

6 Tips to Recession-Proof Your Construction Company
Construct Connect says whether it’s a recession, a couple of unprofitable projects, subcontractor default, or some other business-ending catastrophe, here are some tips on how to ensure your company’s continued success.

The Learning Mindset, Trial & Error
HVAC School says the problem with the trial and error method of learning professionally is the error part of the equation and the potential cost of those mistakes.

Three Perspectives on Getting Change Orders Right
Remodeling says to avoid change order friction, create a system that can be integrated easily into your existing business systems.

3. Building Design & Trends

Top Features First-Time Home Buyers Want
US NAHB lists things first-time buyers most want to have in a home, from findings recently presented at the 2020 International Builders’ Show.

5 Key Bath Design Trends
Plumbing & Mechanical says you can capitalize on the growing bath renovation market by staying on top of the latest trends.

Most Likely (Unlikely) Features in a New Single-Family Home in 2020
US NAHB conducts a nationwide survey annually to find out the most likely (and unlikely) features builders will include in the typical home they build during the upcoming year. They show the features builders are most likely to include in their homes in 2020.

2020 Outdoor Buyers Guide
Qualified Remodeler online annual QR Outdoors Buyers Guide includes a comprehensive list of outdoor living products organized by category.

Add a Laundry Chute
Fine Homebuilding describes how to plan, fabricate, and install a chute to conveniently send your dirty clothes from an upstairs bathroom or hallway to your laundry room below.

Fresh Design Ideas for Drop Zones
Pro Builder says while guests usually enter via a more formal front entrance, the real action in most homes occurs where the family enters, and that's where drop zones come into play.

TOBuilt is New Tool for Construction Reno Planning
Construct Connect says TOBuilt, a crowd-sourced database with information and images of 11,500 buildings in Toronto, is proving to be a valuable research resource to architects, builders and consultants planning to add or renovate existing buildings.

5 Myths Exposed About Manufactured Homes
Manufactured Housing Association of BC says manufactured home communities are as different from trailer parks as chalk and cheese. They provide some facts that correct some common myths and misconceptions.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Mark Gauvin, President, Gauvin 2000 Construction Ltd. says: “Keep up the good work, collecting and getting all these building issues together for your followers.”

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. They cover Alternative Solution for Determination of Grade, and Dwelling Unit/Suite Definition.

Overview of APA Performance Rated I-Joists
Engineered Wood Association updated bulletin includes information on span ratings, installation details, cantilever designs, architectural specifications and engineering design properties for APA performance rated I-Joists. Free registration required.

Regional Safety Advisors Q&A Tuesdays & Thursdays
BC Construction Safety Association says their Regional Safety Advisors are hosting a question & answer session daily. Do you have a construction-related workplace question? Now’s the time to ask.

Remote Assessments During COVID-19
Technical Safety BC has been identified as an essential business to oversee the technical safety system, as well as the health, and well-being of British Columbians during the state of emergency relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. To fulfill their mandate, assessments will now be conducted remotely rather than in-person.

Guidance for Working in Private Residences
BC Construction Safety Alliance has published this guide for work during the COVID-19 crisis conducted in private residences. (PDF)

Building Official Safety During COVID-19
Building Officials Association of BC bulletin from the Municipal Insurance Association of BC describes advice for building official safety during COVID-19, as building officials are required to enter buildings and construction sites, which are often filled with building trades people. (PDF)

Home Inspection Guidelines During COVID-19 Epidemic
Home Inspectors Association BC describes home inspection guidelines to be followed during the COVID-19 epidemic. (PDF)

Lung Disease Strikes Engineered Stone Fabricators
Green Building Advisor says a report details illness among workers who make countertops from man-made stone.

5. Building Science & Technology

Energy & Moisture in Sealed & Insulated Attics
Building Science Corporation online slide show presentation describes issues and considerations for energy and moisture in sealed and insulated attics. (PDF)

Walls That Work, An Intro to Four Control Layers
Green Building Advisor online webinar video discusses wall assemblies and the specific details that are needed for durable, comfortable, and energy-efficient homes.

Installing Exterior Insulation
Construction Instruction online video describes issues and considerations for installing exterior insulation over wall sheathing.

Trap & Vent, A Drain Debacle
HVAC School describes why it is important to have a drain properly pitched, insulated, trapped and vented with a system and secondary pan switch installed.

Indirect DHW Heaters
Plumbing & HVAC describes how hydronic space heating systems are ideal for doing double duty by generating domestic hot water through an internal heat exchanger inside a storage tank.

Air Source Heat Pump Buying Guide
Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership online Air Source Heat Pump Buying Guide describes what a heat pump is, how it works, what types are available, and how to think about choosing one for your home. It also includes general information about heating and cooling costs, and dispels some old myths about heat pumps that don’t apply to today’s high-efficiency models. (PDF)

UV Lamps & Indoor Air Quality
Energy Vanguard says ultraviolet irradiation can help with your indoor air quality at home, but probably not as much as you were told by the person selling you the UV lamps.

Building Science & Novel Coronavirus
Green Building Advisor discusses whether the relationship between viruses and relative humidity reveals anything about how we should operate our buildings during this pandemic.

6. Building Performance Issues

Moisture Management for Stucco
Stucco Manufacturers Association technical bulletin Moisture Management for Stucco says good design anticipates incidental moisture intrusion and accounts for it with a concealed secondary barrier integrated with flashings. (PDF)

Masonry Claddings & Rainscreens
Construction Instruction online video describes concepts around masonry claddings and rainscreens.

Standard for Grading Installation of HVAC Systems
RESNET says proposed standard BSR/RESNET/ACCA 310-20xx establishes a methodology for evaluating the installation quality of Unitary HVAC systems.

Holy Trinity of IAQ Is Ventilation, Filtration, Humidity Control
HVAC School says the holy trinity of IAQ is ventilation, filtration, and humidity control. These are the three main processes available to technicians and homeowners to improve indoor environmental conditions. Technicians should have a thorough crash-course understanding of each and its importance to indoor air quality.

Fundamentals of Indoor Air Quality
Construction Instruction online video describes fundamentals of indoor air quality control strategies.

Improve Indoor Air Quality in Face of COVID-19
Energy Logic describes how improving health, safety, and indoor air quality in our homes and buildings has become an indispensable obligation during pandemic times.

Does Caulking Have Asbestos or PCBs?
Healthy Indoors says some types of caulking used in the past contain both asbestos and PCBs.

Basement Flood Prevention, Pumps & Alarms
Ecohome says basements flood, full stop. As a hole in the ground similar to a swimming pool, once all is done to stop water getting in, we then need to remove any water with a sump pump, a sump pump battery backup & maybe a sump pump alarm to stop basements flooding.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Better Marketing Drives Sales of EE Homes
Insulation Institute spoke with Adomatis Appraisal Service for some insight into how builders can shift their focus to leverage energy efficiency in marketing fully.

Introduction Video to BC Step Code
Community Energy Association online animated introduction to the BC Step Code illustrates why it’s important, its intent, timelines, and current implementation initiatives and successes.

Updates & Videos from Home Performance Conference
Building Performance Community has added videos and updates from the recent home performance conference.

All About Double-Stud Walls
Green Building Advisor online webinar video describes the double wall high-performance wall assembly and answers common questions.

Q1 2020 Built Green Canada Newsletter
Built Green Canada online Q1 2020 newsletter provides updates on the Built Green Canada program and related green building industry happenings. (PDF)

Building Deconstruction Capacity in BC
BC Sustainable Energy Association Webinar Building Deconstruction Capacity in BC: Opportunities for a Changing Industry will be presented on May 19.

BC Pilot to Analyze, Release Building Performance Data
Journal of Commerce says more than 50 of the province’s commercial real estate owners and managers have agreed to voluntarily measure, report and disclose their buildings’ energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions with Building Benchmark BC.

Webinar on Opportunity of Local Governments & Green Recovery
Community Energy Association and BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council Webinar on May 14th will dialogue about local climate action opportunities for economic recovery and healthy, resilient communities.

Microgrid Virtual Conference
Microgrid Knowledge will be hosting the first-ever Microgrid Virtual Conference on June 1-3. It features leading companies, government decision makers, utilities and customers delivered to you in a new interactive virtual platform.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

12 New Building Tools & Equipment Built Tougher Than Ever
Builder Magazine says new products from Milwaukee Tool, Klein Tools, Metabo HPT, and more set high standards for safety, comfort, and power.

Getting the Most Out of Windows, Part II
Canadian Contractor says window performance required in codes varies based on type of building and climate in which it is situated. To compare the other measures of performance, here is a quick primer on how to use the available ratings.

Why HEPA is Great IAQ Option
HVAC School says because the HEPA standard isn't something which is regulated or policed there are many filters and products that use the term in one way or another. Even the term True HEPA has no scientific meaning and is often used to market products that don't meet the DOE standard.

Condensing vs. Non-Condensing Boilers
Journal of Light Construction describes key differences between condensing and non-condensing boilers.

Updated Online Manual for Cedar Shingle Sidewalls
Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau provides updated online manual for design and installation of cedar shingle sidewalls.

Concrete Floor Finishes
Concrete Network describes different concrete floor finishes, what they cost, and how they can be customized.

Shake Roof Underlayment, Interlayment, Eave Protection
Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau bulletin Underlayment, Interlayment and Eave Protection describes products used as part of cedar roofing and wall systems. They enhance a system’s water shedding ability and help prevent the intrusion of wind driven rain, and snow which can cause ice damming. (PDF)

Ultra-High-Performance Concrete
Engineering News Record says fiber-reinforced, cement-based ultra-high-performance concrete is rapidly emerging as a premier material for precast concrete construction.

9. Installation Procedures

Building a Spiral Stair
Green Building Advisor says a site-built spiral staircase saves valuable floor area, but poses some construction challenges.

Control Joints for Stucco
Stucco Manufacturers Association describes one-piece control joints that are used in cement plaster assemblies to relieve stress and establish plaster thickness. (PDF)

Issues During Installation of Air & Weather-Resistive Barriers
International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants says there can be multiple issues associated with the installation of air and weather-resistive barriers, or the subsequent installation of exterior cladding/finishes applied over the top of the WRB that can affect the overall performance of the WRB/air barrier and the entire wall assembly.

Pouring Concrete in the Rain
Concrete Network describes steps to take to prevent rain from ruining your concrete project.

Straightforward Air Sealing Strategies
Green Building Advisor says to follow these simple steps to get ready for code-required blower door testing and you'll probably do better than the code requires.

Replacement Siding, To Strip or Not Strip?
Remodeling says the best practice for re-siding a home calls for stripping off existing siding, then installing a good weather barrier. The industry has migrated towards what is widely marketed as an easy fix and a way to improve thermal performance and water resistance at the same time: installing fan-fold foam board over existing siding. But if it’s not applied properly, this route may lead to more problems than it fixes.

Pumping Tips for Hot Water Heating Systems
In this excerpt from his Classic Hydronics seminar, Dan Holohan shares his knowledge about pumps in hot water heating systems.

Understanding Air to Water Heat Pump Systems
HPAC Magazine provides a high-level overview of setting up an air-to-water heat pump system in a Canadian climate.

10. Information Sources

COVID-19 Resources, Information, Signage
BC Construction Safety Alliance provides an up-to-date collection of information and resources related to COVID-19 and the construction industry.

Online Videos of Past Building Smart Webinars
BC Housing online Building Smart videos from their past webinars provide up-to-date code information and best practices for the construction and design of homes in BC.

Thermal Comfort Principles & Practical Applications for Residential Buildings
Robert Bean’s free book, Thermal Comfort Principles and Practical Applications for Residential Buildings, lays out the facts about comfort and indoor environmental quality.

History of Roofing
International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants online slide show presentation History of Roofing covers roofing and shelter, early roofing, beginning of present-day roofing, and roofing today. (PDF)

Buying Guide for Furnace Filters
Ecohome says finding the right high-efficiency home air filter for furnaces & ventilation systems is essential for keeping indoor air clean, healthy & protecting us from allergens, animal dander, pollen, mold spores & maybe worse.

Kitchen Cabinet Trends of the Past Decade
Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association looks at some of the most popular kitchen cabinet trends from the past decade.

Past Roofing Seminar Presentations
International Institutes of Building Enclosure Consultants, Western Canada Chapter, provides online slide show presentations from some of their past technical seminars, covering various topics on roofing systems and issues.

Past BOMA Speaker Presentations
Building Owners & Managers Association allows access to their past speakers' presentations on a wide range of industry topics.

11. Conferences & Shows

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all current conferences and trade shows have been cancelled.

12. Education & Training

Webinar on Construction Specifications 101
VRCA webinar on Construction Specifications 101 will be presented on June 2nd. This interactive half-day seminar will cover the fundamentals of interpreting construction specifications, and the basics of reading and interpreting both the general and technical specifications.

Building Knowledge & Capacity for Affordable Housing in BC
BC Housing webinar Building Knowledge and Capacity for Affordable Housing in BC Communities will be presented on June 23. Hear the results from a workshop series that identified affordable housing issues and capacity needs of small communities in BC. Learn about proven strategies in building affordable housing, and how to co-develop specific tools that will translate to more homes on the ground.

Online Course on Asbestos Awareness
ICBA online Asbestos Awareness course covers the following topics: EPA Regulations; Deadly Dust, Exposure, and Diseases; Classification; Elimination; PPE, Medical Evaluation; Cleaning and Storage.

Builders Panel on Construction Site Safety During COVID-19
HAVAN is allowing free access to their webinar video on Construction Site Safety During COVID-19, Builders’ Panel. The builders provide insights into the additional safety protocols and strategies they have deployed to ensure their construction sites continue to operate while meeting and exceeding the requirements set forth by the governments and health authorities. The BCCSA will share the actions they are taking to disseminate best practice solutions to help the industry.

Online Course on Coronavirus Action Plan for Workplace
ICBA online Course on Coronavirus Action Plan for Workplace Limiting Exposure covers: Sick Leave; Housekeeping; Good Hygiene; Physical Separation; Communication with Your Workforce; Employer Regulatory Responsibilities; Support for Business Operations; Effect on Business Operations; When to Implement Policies.

Learn Building Science Courses
RDH site Learn Building Science provides access to both free and paid courses on a wide range of building science topics.

Online Courses on Business & Safety
BuildForce online E-Learning Centre provides convenient, affordable and accessible online training to meet the growing demand for skilled construction workers. Courses include areas of business, management, supervision, safety and innovation.

List of Online Learning Opportunities
Architectural Association of BC lists their Online Learning Opportunities Roundup. The list consists of more than 35 different online opportunities through which continuing education participants can earn Learning Units. (PDF)


Dittie For Today: On Leadership

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. - Peter Drucker


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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