Newsletter #163
Latest Industry News, Events, Issues, Products, And Resources
September 5, 2018


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 Ken Sinclair, Denisa Ionescu, Kerry O'Gorman, Brian Hart, Andrew Pape-Salmon, Kira DeVries, Karen Frank, Lisa Hatina, Joey Fearn, Sarah Vanderlee, Karen Tam Wu, Jon Violette, Melissa Broadus, Rick Fearn, Sabine Just, Louise Dunne, Karen Podolski, and Glenn Duxbury 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

Adoption of 2018 BC Building & Plumbing Code
BC has adopted the 2018 edition of the British Columbia Building Code, including Book II Plumbing Services (BC Building and Plumbing Code). They will be effective December 10, 2018 and will apply to building permits applied for on or after that date. The BC Fire Code is anticipated to be adopted in the fall of 2018 and effective December 10, 2018. Buildings with permits in place under the previous 2012 BC Building Code will generally not be affected by the adoption of the new code.

1. Industry Issues, Forecasts & Trends

BC Speculation Tax is No Way to Get to Affordability
CHBA BC covers the impact of the speculation tax both inside and outside the tax boundaries.

John Horgan's Out-of-Date Labour Deal
The ICBA Independent says the NDP-Union plan to ‘prioritize local hirings’, ‘other hiring mandates’ and ‘have more opportunity for apprenticeship training’ will add significantly to project costs: productivity down/costs up. They have imposed a new engineering discipline on infrastructure projects: ‘social engineering’.

Building Trades Shares Truth on Community Benefits Agreements
Journal of Commerce article by Tom Sigurdson, Executive Director of BC Building Trades, says somehow Community Benefits Agreements have been pitched as an exclusive contract that rewards some and penalizes others. He says nothing could be further from the truth.

Pattullo Procurement Strategy Takes BC Construction a Bridge Too Far
BC Construction Association says the new Pattullo Bridge Community Benefits Agreement patently illustrates what is unfair with our current government’s policy decision to mandate the nature and extent of procurement requirements in major public construction projects.

BC Development Industry August Newsletter
UDI online newsletter provides an update on events, issues, and resources for the BC development industry. (PDF)

Multi-Family Residential Real Estate Market in Metro Vancouver
Fifth Avenue Real Estate online report covers the multi-family residential real estate market in Metro Vancouver. (PDF)

Get Ready to Welcome 1 Million Immigrants
Home Builder Canada says nearly one million new immigrants will settle in Canada between 2018 and 2020.

3 Myths of 2018 Canadian Housing Market
Livabl presents three myths about the 2018 Canadian housing market, according to experts.

2. Business Management

10 Qualities of a Great Sales Manager
Builder Magazine says today's sales managers need a complex set of abilities to succeed, and they list the 10 most important skills needed to turn a good sales manager into a great one.

Prompt Payment Not Supported by CHBA BC
CHBA BC says private sector payment timelines should not be regulated by government and requiring legal mechanisms to solve disputes only adds further costs for small businesses in BC. (PDF)

Top Issues for BC Businesses in 2018 Municipal Elections
Mustel Group polled 300 BC residents on behalf of BC Business, asking “As a business owner, what do you see as the most pressing issue in the upcoming municipal elections?”

New BC Employer Health Tax
KPMG provides some guidance on the new BC Employer Health Tax. (PDF)

How to Price a Construction Project
Fine Homebuilding says pricing a construction project requires developing a repeatable and scalable system to account for producing a precise scope of work in the real world.

Guide to Builders Lien Act In BC
BC Construction Association online Guide to Builders Lien Act is intended to introduce and assist members of the construction industry with regard to Builders Lien Legislation in force in BC.

Joint & Several Liability
Canadian Federation of Independent Business says if your business uses a subcontractor to carry out a contract, or if you hire a contractor to perform work at your company, here’s what you need to know about joint and several Liability.

Three Secrets of Successful Family-Owned Businesses
Remodeling magazine describes some of the unique issues facing family-run home building businesses and how to overcome them.

3. Building Design & Trends

Four Top Things Homebuyers Want
Home Builder Canada describes four of this year's top design trends in the housing market, according to the magazine and its industry sources.

Colour Trends for 2019
Behr Paint Reveals 2019 Colour of the Year, and supporting palettes they have chosen for the coming year.

2019 Colour & Decor Trends
Dulux says 2019 decor trends reflect a desire for redefined indulgence and conscious considerations in the pursuit of luxury.

Black is New Black
Curbed says bold, all black home exteriors are in style.,

What Countertop Color Should You Choose?
Houzz says you should consider these popular color styles to get the look buyers want, no matter what material is used.

10 Notable Pools from the Gold Nugget Awards
Builder Magazine displays award-winning projects from 2018 Gold Nugget Awards that have water features worth showcasing.

How Millennials are Different
Avid Ratings says millennials become an increasingly important part of the homebuilding industry, and their needs are different than those of the first-time homebuyers who have come before them.

55 Best 55+ Active Adult Communities of 2018
For the fifth consecutive year, carefully chose each active adult community based on location, residential types, amenities, price range, and lifestyle opportunities.


What Are Industry Members Saying About BC Building Info?

Neil Ziola, Principal, Surelock Builders says: “Another great edition of the BC Building Info Alert, very good job as always.”

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

4. Codes Standards & Regulations

Changes in 2018 Edition of BC Building Code
BC Government provides an overview of significant 2018 BC Building Code changes including: Accessibility; Area Calculation of Exposing Building Face; Asbestos; Energy Efficiency Standards; Exit Signs; Factory Constructed Buildings; Fenestration; Heritage Buildings; Mid-Rise Combustible Construction; Water Efficiency of Plumbing Fixtures; Radon Data; Stairs. (PDF)

Accessibility in 2018 BC Building Code
BC Government bulletin provides an overview of the changes to the accessibility provisions in the 2018 BC Building Code from the previous 2012 edition. (PDF)

Recent BC Building Code Appeal Board Decisions
BC Building Code Appeal Board lists their recent BC Building Code interpretation appeal decisions, 1811-1814, that include nailing elements and cladding, vent stack and vent header, protection of walls exposing other walls, and code application to new construction within an existing building.

Preliminary WorkSafe BC Premium Rates for 2019
WorkSafe BC has announced that the preliminary average base rate for 2019 will remain unchanged, at 1.55 percent of employers’ assessable payroll.

BC Gas Contractor Notification Requirements
Technical Safety BC directive clarifies the notification requirements that gas contractor permit holders must comply with when submitting declarations for installation permits.

Proposed Amendments to Certificate of Recognition Program
WorkSafe BC is releasing a discussion paper on proposed policy amendments to the Certificate of Recognition (COR) Program.

Primer on Preparing for Cannabis Legalization
WorkSafe BC has published an initial primer on preparing for cannabis legalization this October.

Guidelines for Legislated Flood Assessment
Engineers and Geoscientists BC has updated the Professional Practice Guidelines for Legislated Flood Assessments in a Changing Climate in BC. This guides professional practice for flood assessments, identifies circumstances when risk assessments are appropriate, and emphasizes the need to consider climate change and land use changes in such assessments. (PDF)

5. Building Science & Technology

10 Rules for Framing
Fine Homebuilding features Larry Haun distilling his lifetime of home-building experience down to these ten fundamental rules for working efficiently and knowing how good is good enough. (PDF)

Three Biggest Building Problems are Water, Water, Water
Building Science online slide show presentation on water in buildings covers: Water A Review of Moisture Fundamentals; Focus on materials, not systems; Details of water/moisture in all its forms; Interaction of moisture with materials; Porous materials; Deeper dives into Wood, concrete, etc. (PDF)

Crash Course in Roof Venting
Fine Homebuilding article by Joe Lstiburek describes when to vent your roof, when not to, and how to execute each approach successfully.

Switch to Raised-Heel Trusses
Insulation Institute says raised-heel trusses can provide a significant boost to the insulating power of a home.

Dew Point
Energy Vanguard says dew point tells you how much water vapor there is.

What Is the Relative Humidity When It's Raining?
Energy Vanguard describes why it doesn't have to be 100% relative humidity when it's raining and how water can act as a dehumidifier.

Using Overhangs to Reduce Building Facade Exposure to Rain
BC Housing report Using Overhangs to Reduce Building Facade Exposure to Rain says despite their long use, overhangs effectiveness to protect a building from wetting due to wind-driven rain has never been quantified under field conditions, especially mid-rise and taller buildings. This is the first attempt at such research. (PDF)

Advanced Detailing Techniques for Building Enclosures
RDH online Webinar presentation on Advanced Detailing Techniques for Building Enclosures provides an in-depth look at a variety of wood-frame building enclosure assemblies and details. Beginning with a review of building enclosure design fundamentals and considerations, it then covers best practices with references from technical guidelines and case studies.

6. Building Performance Issues

CGA Wired Glass Advisory
Fenestration Association of BC says the Canadian Glass Association issued an advisory on November 25, 2015 recommending wired glass should not be used in any location subject to human impact because it is unsafe and has caused serious injuries to Canadians.

Natural Gas Explosion in Vented Gas Fireplace Combustion Chamber
A Technical Safety BC safety officer recently investigated an incident in a home where a natural gas explosion took place in a gas fireplace. The likely cause was a safety valve that failed to close completely.

Mitigating CO Hazards in Remote Community
Technical Safety BC says in March 2017, four people and the family dog were found deceased in their dwelling. Technical Safety BC concluded that the fatality was likely caused by carbon monoxide (CO) exposure due to an incorrectly-installed tankless, on-demand water heater in the living area of the home that was venting CO indoors.

How to Control Sound & Vibration in HVAC Systems
HPAC magazine describes how to deal with sound complaints, the number one indoor environmental quality problem in buildings today.

Common Flashing Errors
Journal of Light Construction says the most common mistakes are reverse flashing, improper cuts, poor surface prep, and not properly seating the flashing on the substrate.

Legionella, Who’s Addressing the Risks in Canada?
National Research Council Canada report Legionella, Who’s Addressing the Risks in Canada, provides an overview of the risks facing the key national agencies charged with responding to the impact of the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria in building systems.

Legionella Background, Issues & Considerations
Building Science online slide show presents some background, issues and considerations for Legionella. (PDF)

Hot Water Temperature Conundrum
PM Engineer says between the code changes to ICC and IAPMO, there definitely is a conundrum regarding the setting of the temperature of hot water.

7. Green Building & Energy Efficiency

Public Submissions on BC Clean Growth Future
BC Government allows access to public submissions on the proposed BC Clean Growth Future.

Collateral Damage of Greenest City
C2C Journal says the City of Vancouver officially aspires to be "the greenest city in the world". But if it could see beyond the tip of its upturned nose, it would realize that its transit and land-use policies are dumping its traffic and pollution problems on neighbouring cities and towns in the Fraser Valley.

Kelowna Puts New Energy Regs On Hold
CHBA Central Okanagan says the City of Kelowna has put the new provincially-mandated Energy Step Code for new construction on hold.

Submission to BC Environmental Assessment Revitalization
Business Council of BC says it supports balanced adjustments to existing environmental legislation and regulations, aimed at improving efficiency, enabling appropriate Indigenous and stakeholder participation, and reducing costs. It is important to note that B.C.’s environmental assessment process is not broken, nor is the province in the middle of an environmental crisis that calls for wholesale change to a project assessment regime that, overall, has worked. (PDF)

Consumer-Centric Approach to Delivering Home Energy Services
Rocky Mountain Institute report The Consumer Connection: A Consumer-Centric Approach to Delivering Home Energy Services says as contractors, utilities, energy auditors, and more try to get people to invest in energy efficiency upgrades, there is a certain path consumers follow from being interested in the technology to actually investing in and implementing the technology. This report helps these stakeholders understand this pathway and recognize when and how to engage customers, who the best person is to convey the information, and what the most likely financing options are in order to spur adoption of residential energy efficiency upgrades. Free site registration required.

Role of Thermal Mass in Passive Solar Design
Cold Climate Housing Research Center describes the role of thermal mass in passive solar design. (PDF)

Presentations on Policy & Trade from Globe Forum
Globe Series online videos from the Policy and Trade track at the GLOBE Forum 2018 cover policymakers advising on carbon, climate and trade policies impacting business and shaping the economy.

World Green Building Week
World Green Building Council says World Green Building Week, held September 24-30, is an annual event that motivates and empowers us all to deliver greener buildings.

8. Building Products & Suppliers

Recall of Coleman, Evcon, Red T Brand Furnaces
Health Canada recall involves Coleman, Coleman Evcon and Red T brand furnaces which are silver in color with white access panels. The furnaces can overheat causing the heat exchanger to crack, burn-through and in extreme cases cause furnace wrapper burn-through. This can lead to heating and possible burning of the drywall and other combustibles adjacent to the furnace, which poses a risk of significant property damage, personal injury or death.

19 Product Innovations from AIA 2018 Convention
Building Design & Construction describes some new product launches at the 2018 American Institute of Architects recent national convention.

Methods for Determining Window Performance Grades in Canada
RDH describes available options for determining NAFS Performance Grades depending where you are in Canada.

Creating Air Barriers on Exterior Walls with Spray Foam
Construction Canada says when selecting air barrier products to employ in building designs, architects have a broad range of choices. Spray foam insulation products are often selected because they can provide superior performance and also contribute to greater energy and operating cost savings in buildings.

Potable Water Piping Trends Toward CPVC
PHCP Pros says many characteristics of CPVC pipe have contributed to its adoption in the industry.

Understanding PEX Piping Designation Codes
PM Engineer says there are now multiple PEX offerings on the market and it can be difficult to know how to make an informed decision. They describe PEX piping designation codes here.

Plumbing in the Connected Home
Plumbing & HVAC says connected home technology means simply that the controls of different appliances in the home communicate with each other via smart technology. Different manufacturers are at different stages with this technology, but it is coming rapidly.

Connection Design Solutions for Wood Frame Structures
Engineered Wood Association online Webinar presentation Connection Design Solutions for Wood-Frame Structures, covers wood connection design, including common fastener types and their design values.

9. Installation Procedures

Framing Techniques for Builders, Lessons Learned & Best Practices
Woodworks online presentation Framing Techniques for Builders: Lessons Learned and Best Practices, covers Load Path Resolution, Moisture Management, Vibration, and Fire & Sound Design. (PDF)

Practical Air Sealing
Journal of Light Construction describes how to get maximum air leakage reduction by focusing on these locations. (PDF)

How to Air Seal an Attic Floor
IE3 describes how to air seal an attic floor.

11 Wood-Flooring Problems and Their Solutions
Fine Homebuilding says for flawless wood floors, avoid these installation and finishing mistakes.

3 Common Sill Pan Mistakes
Journal of Light Construction says improperly installed sill pans lead to air and water intrusion.

Flashing for Old Windows
Fine Homebuilding describes how to get a good weathertight seal on old windows that don’t have a flange.

Cutting Curves with a Mini Circular Saw
Tools of the Trade article by a decking contractor illustrates his method for cutting curves using a 4 1/2-inch circular saw and router.

Challenge of Category IV Gas-Fired Appliance Venting
HPAC magazine describes issues and considerations around the challenge of Category IV gas-fired appliance venting.

10. Information Sources

BC New Homes Registry Report July 2018
BC Housing online BC New Homes Registry Report for July 2018 provides information on registered homes by building type, size, location. (PDF)

Price of New Housing in BC
BC Stats says the cost of new housing in BC went up by 0.1% between May and June. Prices in Vancouver rose 0.2% in the month, while prices in Kelowna and Victoria remained unchanged compared to the previous month.

BC Employment Growth by Occupation, The Long View
Business Council of BC shows how the labour market in British Columbia changed over the past thirty years.

One Carpenter's Life
Fine Homebuilding article by legendary carpenter and author Larry Haun recalls the postwar housing boom of the 1950s and how it changed the way we build - from the adoption of assembly-line techniques in home building to the evolution of new tools, such as the California framing hammer, the pneumatic nailer, and the circular saw. (PDF)

Slide Show Presentations on Wood Products & Procedures
WoodWorks online slide show presentations cover a wide range of wood products, applications and procedures.

Product Reports on Engineered Wood
Engineered Wood Association provides APA Product Reports that help building officials and design professionals determine a product's conformance with codes and national, international or industry recognized standards.

State of Women in Construction in Canada
BuildForce online report State of Women in Construction in Canada analyzes statistics on women's representation in the industry and on apprenticeship registrations and completions. It covers research designed to help establish benchmarks for change and to document the practices needed to achieve it. The report also contains information on career choices, barriers to participation, descriptions of existing programs and initiatives, and the results of a survey, interviews and focus groups with women.

Case Studies on Designing with Indigenous Communities
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada describes best practices in working with Indigenous communities on four architectural projects.

11. Conferences & Shows

2018 Building Science Summer Camp in Photos
Building Science Summer Camp, officially known as the Westford Symposium on Building Science, recently took place. Energy Vanguard provides a few photos from the 2018 event.

Canadian Environmental & Engineering Executives Conference In Vancouver
Canadian Environmental & Engineering Executives Conference will be held in Vancouver, September 19-21. It is the annual platform for the industry's corporate executives to meet, network, discuss key issues and benchmark industry trends.

SHINE Interior Design Awards of Excellence 2018
Interior Design Institute of BC 2018 SHINE Awards of Excellence for Interior Design will be held in Vancouver September 21st. They showcase the talent, skills and innovation of BC's Professional Interior Designers.

Inspire Conference for Small Business in BC
Small Business BC presents the INSPIRE event on October 1, in Vancouver. Revolving around the theme of Operating a Business with a Purpose, the event will feature a networking reception, a keynote speech from Nature's Path Co-Founder and COO Ratana Stephens, and an interactive panel featuring five inspirational speakers from successful local businesses.

2018 BC Building Envelope Conference in Vancouver
BC Building Envelope Council 2018 conference will be held in Vancouver on October 26th. Topics will include: Discussion around the new BC Energy Step Code and upcoming BC Building Code changes as they relate to building envelope requirements; New guidelines on TEDI and energy modelling; Whole building airtightness testing; Acoustic requirements, thermal comfort and radiant heating; The impact of climate change on building design and adaptation.

Damage Prevention Symposium in Whistler
Canadian Common Ground Alliance presents its annual Damage Prevention Symposium in Whistler, October 30 - November 1. It attracts members from the many Canadian organizations and associations who share the responsibility of damage prevention and public safety solutions.

Supporting Women in Trades Conference
Canadian Apprenticeship Forum presents the inaugural Supporting Women in Trades Conference in Halifax, November 6-7. Learn about some great initiatives underway across Canada to help address the challenges faced by women working in the skilled trades.

BC Business Summit 2018
Business Council of British Columbia hosts their annual BC Business Summit on November 16th. It will canvas the perceptions from within and outside the country on Canada’s risks, opportunities and business environment with a focus on the policy and leadership actions necessary to compete in the changing global marketplace.

12. Education & Training

New Online Learning Centre for BC Building Industry
BC Housing has introduced their new online learning platform that offers a wide range of CPD opportunities for builders and others in the housing sector.

Building Smart with 2018 BC Building Code Changes
BC Housing is presenting sessions around the province on Building Smart with 2018 BC Building Code Changes. Learn about changes in Part 9 of the BC Building Code that will come into force at the end of 2018.

Free Webinar on Building Your One-Page Strategic Plan
Construction Industry Training Network free webinar on Building Your One-Page Strategic Plan will be offered on September 12th. It will walk you through a step-by-step approach to create a simple, yet effective annual strategic plan.

Politics & Perspectives, 1-Month Municipal Elections Countdown
UDI Luncheon session on Politics and Perspectives: 1-Month Municipal Elections Countdown, will be held in Vancouver on September 20th. It will include a candid conversation about civic issues and solutions, lessons learned by speakers and setbacks during their time in municipal politics, and how the changing political landscape in our city will impact the real estate industry.

Cannabis in the Workplace
ICBA breakfast session on Cannabis in the Workplace will be held in Burnaby, September 25th. The pending and significant changes to the legal status of cannabis raise many questions and challenges for BC employers and line managers. This two-hour program is aimed to help you meet some of those challenges and answer questions around the use of cannabis in the workplace.

The Rise of Construction Costs
UDI breakfast seminar, The Rise of Construction Costs, will be presented in Vancouver on September 25th.

Building Acoustics
GVHBA upcoming Builders Breakfast Series on September 27 covers single and multi-family acoustics, including how to avoid complaints and meeting/exceeding building code requirements.

Creating A Training Program That Sticks
IE3 says training development does not have to be difficult. Create an assessment that very closely resembles what it is that you want them to be able to do, and teach them how to pass it. Make sure every student clearly understands that they must be able to prove they know what was taught after the training or course is complete, then make them do it.


Dittie For Today: On Worth

The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed. - Henry Ford


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ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada

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