Newsletter #185
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
June 11, 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 Mark Sakai, Denise Dersin, Andrew Dyck, Brian Hart, Rick Fearn, Karen Frank, Sabine Just, Elisa Wood, and Chris Dorsi 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

Look at House like a Building Scientist, Part 4, Water
Green Building Advisor describes how water and moisture problems are the most common cause of durability issues and damage to buildings.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

2020 Housing Market Outlook Special Edition
CMHC Housing Market Outlook special edition presents new housing indicator scenarios including preliminary economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. It says housing starts will likely see a decline of 51% to 75%, there will be a drop in existing home sales, housing prices will dip but recover in 2021, and provincial housing market outlook declines.

State of BC Market Report Q1 2020
UDI online State of Market Report Q1 2020 provides market statistics from throughout the Lower Mainland. (PDF)

NAHB Chief Economist Predicts Sharp Recession to Come
Builder Magazine says during the COVID-19 crisis, builders should view the current environment in the context of two months, two quarters, and two years.

6 COVID-19 Steps to Returning to Safe Operation
WorkSafe BC says employers are required to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan that outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures they have put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This plan follows the six steps outlined below. Employers must involve frontline workers, joint health and safety committees, and supervisors in identifying protocols for their workplace. You do not need a formal plan in place to begin operation, but are expected to develop it while protecting the safety of your workers.

COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist
WorkSafe BC says employers are required to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan that outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures they have put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This tool will guide you through a six-step process to help you create your plan. The tool is provided as a fillable PDF you can download and save with the details of the plan for your workplace.

Sample Exposure Control Plan for COVID-19
Vancouver Regional Construction Association online document outlines a sample Exposure Control Plan for COVID-19. (PDF)

Real Estate COVID-19 Protocols for Returning to Operation
WorkSafe BC protocols are for those providing services related to real estate, including real estate professionals and home inspectors. Employers must also ensure they are abiding by any orders, notices, or guidance issued by the provincial health officer, and the appropriate health authority, which are relevant to their workplace.

Safe Window Install Guidelines During COVID-19
Fenestration Canada online Safe Install Guidelines During COVID-19 outline measures for window installers to consider in the next few months.

2. Business Management

4 Ways to Tell if You are Becoming “That Boss”
HVAC School says as a leader it's healthy to take a step back and see if you've become "That Boss," you know, the one that nobody wants to work for who doesn't have a shred of self-awareness.

Remodeling the Customer Experience
Avid Ratings says leading remodelers are successfully navigating these customer pain-points and turning them into opportunities to differentiate from the competition.

2020 Top Remodelers Lead Generation Sources
Remodeling magazine says repeat business and online traffic remain top sources of lead generation for all types of remodelers.

Developing 6 Domains of Resilience for Remodelers
Remodelers Advantage says resilience is the ability to learn from your setbacks and mistakes, and it's the key to success.

Estimating Errors are Lost Profit
Markup & Profit says estimating the cost of a remodeling or renovation project accurately is critical if you want to be profitable.

Keep Your Money, Part II
Plumbing & HVAC takes a look at things an individual or the employer and employee can take advantage of. It behooves every employer to ensure their employees are aware of these things. The employee will keep more money in their pockets and will appreciate it.

How Contractors Can Adapt to New Low Touch World
Energy Circle summarizes a study that determined consumer changes to digital and low touch activities fall into three primary buckets.

Canadian Construction will Require More than 300,000 New Workers
BuildForce Canada says the Canadian construction labour demand will intensify over the short term, and will require more than 300,000 new workers over the next decade.

3. Building Design & Trends

Six Ways COVID-19 Could Impact Housing Design
Builder Magazine says outdoor living, private spaces, and home offices could become top buyer priorities.

5 Architects Predict How Pandemic Will Change Home Design
Professional Builder says going through a crisis reveals what is truly important, and opulent, luxury finishes may mean less in future home design than flexible work spaces and well-stocked refrigerators.

8 New Things That Will Take Priority When Shopping for a Home
US News says homebuyers who enter the market after the risk of COVID-19 has diminished will have a whole new set of priorities for their home search.

What Buyers Want, According to Google
Pro Builder describes how to identify buyer trends and apply them to your marketing.

Best Outdoor Design Trends Of 2020
Forbes says whether you have several acres and a pool or just a city balcony, here are the most popular outdoor design trends for 2020.

Wildfire Resilience Design Strategies
Architect Magazine offers guidelines for lowering the risk of wildfire destruction to residential structures.

Product Specification Guide
Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau online Product Specification Guide describes a step by step procedure on how to specify quality shake and shingle product at the jobsite. (PDF)

Drone Use in Construction Industry
International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants says in recent years, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, colloquially known as drones) have seen a rapid increase in technical innovation of concern to the building enclosure community.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Andrew Dyck of Barclay Sales says: “I must admit I'm very impressed with your BC Building Info e-letter that goes out. Also impressed that you keep coming up with great info.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

WorkSafe BC Increases Inspections by 50% as Businesses Reopen
Council of Construction Associations says random WorkSafe BC inspections are to ensure businesses follow COVID-19 guidelines, requirements from health officials.

COVID-19 Inspection Guidelines
Technical Safety BC outlines their COVID-19 inspection guidelines for their site inspections.

First Aid Protocols During COVID-19 Pandemic
WorkSafe BC describes recommendations for additional COVID-19 PPE and detailed cleaning procedures, and changes to compression-only CPR.

Industry-Specific Guidance for Next Phase of Restart
WorkSafeBC has released industry-specific guidance and resources for employers resuming operations as part of phase 2 of the provincial government's restart plan.

COVID-19 Recommendations for Home Inspectors
Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors provides updates on COVID-19 and home inspection services.

BC Building Act Guide
Province of BC online Building Act Guide provides information for local governments, building officials and those working in the building construction sector. Sections explain: what the act is; how stakeholders are affected; new procedures that result from the act.

Volunteers to Serve on Canadian Commission on Building & Fire Codes
Canadian National Research Council is seeking volunteers to serve on the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes for development of the 2025 editions of the Codes.

ASHRAE Guideline 12-2020 Managing Risk of Legionellosis
ASHRAE Guideline 12 provides information and guidance on the control of legionellosis associated with building water systems, and provides guidance useful in the implementation of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.

5. Building Science & Technology

Rain Control Drained, Barrier, Mass
Building Science Corporation says controlling rainwater entry is the single most important factor in the design and construction of durable buildings.

Choosing & Using Water-Resistive Barriers
Green Building Advisor online video Water-Resistive Barriers describes how they keep water out of your walls, as well as cost and installation details.

Achieving Comfort Above the Garage
Pro Builder says rooms built over garages require special attention to ensure efficiency and the desired level of comfort.

Advanced Psychrometrics Part 1, Room Sensible Heat & CFM
HVAC School shows you how you can apply psychrometrics to calculating Design Room CFM and how psychrometry can be used to help a technician understand supply air properties.

Understanding Filter Ratings MERV, FPR, MPR
Energy Vanguard describes the three main Filter Ratings including Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), Filter Performance Rating (FPR), and Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR).

Heat Pumps & Deep Retrofits
Pembina Institute webinar recordings discuss heat pump retrofit solutions, including projects underway and challenges unique to retrofitting heating systems.

Refrigerant Charging For A/C & Heat Pumps
HVAC School provides refrigerant charging basics for air conditioning and heat pump systems.

Residential Hydronic Cooling
Plumbing & HVAC says in most hydronic residential cooling systems today, cooling, like heating, is done through hydronic air handlers or fan coils. That may take the form of a central air handler for the entire home or individual air handlers for each room. There are high-wall units that go near the ceiling or console units that go below the window.

6. Building Performance Issues

Safest Way to Prevent Hot Water Scalding
Plumbing & Mechanical says scald protection should be planned and implemented properly in residential and commercial settings.

Pricing Fast Hot Water Delivery
PHCP Pros says in our quest to minimize the wait time for hot water and also minimize the waste of water and energy, a twig to the fixture is an attractive option. And, it’s inexpensive to install. But, there’s a price to be paid when pipes get smaller.

Short Circuits
HVAC School says a short circuit is a particular fault that can mean one of two things in technical lingo.

Can HVAC Systems Transmit COVID-19?
Council of Construction Associations says a team of researchers at the University of Alberta is investigating the possibility that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems might play a part in spreading airborne COVID-19.

HVAC Systems & Spread of COVID-19
Green Building Advisor says filtration and the movement of air through a building both matter.

Coronavirus in Plumbing Systems, How Did Hong Kong Outbreak Occur
PHCP Pros says health officials in Hong Kong have determined that plumbing systems in certain high-rise buildings are implicated in recent cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Supply Only Ventilation is Dangerous for Cold Climate Homes
Healthy Indoors online video shows why supply-only ventilation is dangerous for homes in cold climates. Performance testing demonstrates exactly what happens (or doesn’t happen) when pressurizing a house with supply ventilation from outdoors.

Manual of Roof, Waterproofing, Exterior Wall Consulting & QA
IBEC sells their Manual of Practice: Roof, Waterproofing, and Exterior Wall Consulting and Quality Assurance. It provides a structure for the practice of consulting in the construction of the building enclosure, and describes what a professional consultant does and how the consultant does it. $459 USD

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Why Building Green Is Worth the Investment
NAHB says once builders conquer the learning curve, have teams that are comfortable with and experienced in green building practices, and realize economies of scale where possible — green building can be done cost effectively.

Langley Queen Mary Passive House
Passive House Canada says the Queen Mary Passive House in Langley was designed to be future proofed, making it not only resilient in the face of climate change but also attractive from a marketing perspective for decades to come.

BC Developers Caught in Crossfire When Cities Overrule Study Findings
Business in Vancouver says virtually every real estate development in BC now requires an investigation by Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs) and environmental permit before construction can proceed. According to developers and QEPs the extensive and expensive studies are often being overruled by city planners.

2020 BC Environment Industry Guide
BC Environment Industry Guide 2020 describes an industry sector that is growing faster than the economy as a whole, and lists companies that provide the products and services to protect our natural and social environments. (PDF)

What does 40% GHG Reduction Look Like if Pandemic is 8%
Business Council of BC says if achieving the provincial and federal governments' 2030 GHG targets was hard to fathom before COVID-19, it is even more so now given the changed economic and fiscal landscape.

Geothermal Energy Opportunities in BC
Pacific Energy Innovation Association online slide show presentation describes geothermal energy opportunities in BC. (PDF)

Webinar on BC Launch of BC BizBiz Share
Light House webinar on June 16th describes their BizBiz Share in BC as part of their Circular Sen$e programs. This online materials marketplace will help local businesses to reduce cost, earn extra income and make environmentally conscious decisions.

BC Opportunity Projects Program Funding for Climate Change
Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions has announced an opportunity for research teams to gain climate change initiative support and funding through their Opportunity Projects Program.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

Pro-System Kit Air Seals Wall Piping Penetrations
Airex Pro-System Kit is a 2-In-1 system that combines air-tight sealing with a wall-mounted piping outlet and a UV/Vapor Retarder piping insulation protector for exterior applications of HVAC refrigerant piping wall penetrations and outdoor insulation.

FortisBC Pilot Testing Gas-Fired Heat Pump
Energy Manager says the BC-based utility is seeking four small commercial properties to test the highly-efficient ThermoLift heat pump units.

Wrecking Bar Roundup
Journal of Light Construction describes some specialized wrecking bars that the pros keep in their arsenals of digging irons and pry bars.

EWP & OSB Issues with Moisture During Construction Delays
Weyerhaeuser says their Trus Joist engineered wood products and oriented strand board panels are intended to be used in dry-use service applications only. Like other wood framing members, these products will tolerate moisture exposure under typical construction conditions including rain exposure. However, moisture due to conditions such as extended construction delays, improper storage, flooding, or building envelope failure can create significant product and safety issues.

Basics of Wood Frame Connection Design
Building Design & Construction says good connection design makes use of wood’s natural characteristics and harnesses its strengths.

Low Voltage Electrical Basics
HVAC School podcast describes the basics of low voltage electrical systems for HVAC applications.

2020 Tankless Water Heater Report
PHCP Pros data from North American tankless manufacturers provides insight on the trends leading the way for the future of the industry.

Bad Ass HVAC, One Simple System for Comfort & IAQ
Healthy Indoors Webinar video describes how to create a healthy and comfortable home with a high-end central HVAC system. He touches on how to sell these systems rather than settle for a mediocre single stage piece of equipment that make up 85% of residential HVAC sales.

9. Installation Procedures

Solving the Riddle of Tricky Cladding Transitions
Journal of Light Construction says there’s a reason why two-piece profiles are gaining traction with more and more cladding contractors.

Best Practices for Flex Ducts
HVAC School says while the proper sealing of ductwork in unconditioned spaces is nearly universally recognized as important, it is rare that a flex system gets installed properly in these other important areas.

How to Make a Metal Duct Transition in the Field
HVAC School online video provides a detailed demonstration of how to make a metal duct transition in the field.

Pool Deck Resurfacing with Concrete Coatings
Concrete Network describes the best pool deck coating for your project, colour options, and how much pool deck resurfacing costs.

How to Use a Manufacturer Fan Table
HVAC School says at installation, it is imperative to the performance and longevity of the appliance to set up airflow properly. A practical way to do this is utilizing the manufacturer-supplied fan tables found in every installation manual. Here's a review on how to set up airflow on a new system.

UV Installations in Residential Mechanical Systems
Healthy Indoors plays devil’s advocate to the hype regarding UV lamps in HVAC systems.

Introducing Outside Air
ACCA says if you are going to introduce outside air into a conditioned space, it is going to have a cost (in Btuh) associated with that amount of air.

Proper Use of Manometers for HVAC Technicians
HVAC School online video describes proper use of manometers for HVAC technicians.

10. Information Sources

Housing Research & Education Highlights
BC Housing online Housing Research & Education Highlights has been updated, and now features more than 60 projects currently underway or recently completed. (PDF)

Shake Installation Tips & Cautions
Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau provides some tips and cautions for installing shake roofs. (PDF)

Videos on How to Prep a Room for Painting
Fine Homebuilding online video series demonstrates all the steps you need to to give a room a beautiful, fresh coat of paint. They demonstrate simple techniques for caulking, masking, priming, using a brush, and more.

Technical Documents on Log Building
International Log Builder's Association offers some technical documents on various topics related to log building.

Podcast on Psychrometric Basics
HVAC School podcast talks about the properties of air and discuss dry bulb, wet bulb, dew point, and relative humidity.

Putting Video to Work to Drive Leads
Energy Circle says utilizing video to drive leads for your solar, home performance or HVAC business is more than just "lights, camera, action!" They explain what it takes to develop a comprehensive video marketing strategy integrated with your sales funnel, using more than just your website.

Guide for Live Streaming Tours & Open Houses
Fraser Valley Real Estate Board shows how to plan live streaming of open houses and hosting of virtual tours.

Telephones of the Past
Architect Magazine describes telephone designs from the early 20th century in the Building Technology Heritage Library's collection of historic catalogs.

11. Conferences & Shows

2020 Building Enclosure International Virtual Convention & Trade Show
IIBEC presents their virtual 2020 Building Enclosure International Convention & Trade Show, June 12-14. It features over 17 hours of educational seminars, live product demonstrations, and a two-day trade show.

2020 Virtual Conference for HVAC Industry
The 2020 ASHRAE Virtual Conference covers a wide variety of HVAC sessions, starting June 22 and continuing through July 2.

12. Education & Training

Boosting Productivity in Construction
ICBA online course Boosting Productivity in Construction: A Simple Blueprint will be presented on June 16. During this 90-minute webinar, an overview of process improvement concepts for construction will be provided, along with tips for getting started.

Construction, Demolition & Reno Waste
Construction Waste Management Association webinar Construction, Demolition & Reno Waste will be presented on June 19th. The discussion explores how to prevent CRD waste through pre-planning for end-of-life and ideas and options to recover value from discarded materials.

Webinar on Effective Interviewing
ICBA webinar on Effective Interviewing will be presented on June 19th. In this two-hour interactive webinar you will learn how to hire the best people possible from inside or outside of the organization to fill open positions.

Creating a Risk Management Plan for Construction
VRCA webinar Creating a Risk Management Plan for Construction will be presented on June 23. Learn to create a professional risk management plan, including Risk Registers, Mitigation Plans, and Risk Calendars. The course follows PMI and Construction Association methodologies.

Solving Problems to Improve the Bottom Line
Construction Industry Training Network webinar Solving Problems to Improve the Bottom Line will be presented on June 23rd. The 90-minute webinar covers a practical approach to implementing lasting solutions to common problems.

COVID-19 Safety Certification for Construction
Canadian Construction Association has partnered with Northbridge Insurance and VOHS Consulting Group, experts in occupational health and safety, to provide risk management training designed for the construction industry.

Essential Skills You Need for Construction Industry
Careers in Construction describes workplace essential skills for working in the construction industry. These are not technical skills, but the core skills you need to continue learning and to complete daily tasks and activities at work, such as computer skills, reading and math. You might be thinking this sounds very basic, but there are five levels for each Essential Skill and the more complex a task, the higher level the skill is assigned.

Recipients of BC Building Excellence Research & Education Grants
BC Housing lists the recipients of their Building Excellence Research & Education Grants program that has awarded $2.98 million in funding to support 89 projects since it was established in 2015. Grant recipients include industry and consumer organizations, education providers, and researchers. New videos showcasing grant success stories are now available on their website.


Dittie For Today: On Commitment

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results. - Kenneth Blanchard


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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