Here's a snapshot of some of the most important issues
for the residential construction industry.

April 2015

Never mind this weather: spring is here.

And here’s the cold truth: we’re proud to be partners with George Brown College for the Residential Construction Management Certificate program, which helps up to 15 students per year become fully capable of being a Tarion-qualified builder.

However, the graduates join builders in junior construction management positions that need to be filled: residential project manager, project coordinator, site coordinator, superintendent and estimator.

But they can’t do that without the help of our members.

That’s why we at RESCON have made it our goal to create more awareness around the project. We need help to make sure these students, who are graduates of the three-year diploma in construction engineering technology, can get the practical, on-the-job experience to fill boots on construction sites around the GTA.

You’ll read about it in our blog at least three times, starting today (see below), as well as in the Toronto Sun in the coming weeks.

Speaking of the Toronto Sun, our monthly column continues to much fanfare (at least here in the office) as I highlight the success story of Greater Houston, America’s fastest growing metropolitan area. It’s a must-read for anyone who’s interested in urban growth.

Alek Antoniuk’s very popular Code News returns with the focus on living off the grid; Andrew Pariser talks about rate changes to the WSIB; Michael Steele’s Tech Corner features his recent letter to Minister Glen Murray; we congratulate Hamilton for releasing a six-storey wood-frame permit, Ontario’s first since the change to the Ontario Building Code; international wood-frame builds far above six storeys; and RCCAO’s report on wait times for locates as well as their reaction to the partial sale of Hydro One.

Feel free to get in touch with us at media@rescon.com or @_RESCON.

Happy Thursday!
 

RESCON President

George Brown College, RESCON partner up
to train industry's future construction managers


George Brown College and RESCON are filling the labour gap through their Residential Construction Management Certificate Program.

Posing here at GBC's Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies (CCET) are, from left: Bill Nichols, professor and program coordinator; Clint Kissoon, CCET chair; and Dorothy Rogowski, CCET site visit coordinator.

Heading into its third year next month, the program gives junior construction managers a leg up to find a job after graduation through 14 weeks of courses and 14 weeks of placement with a RESCON builder.

We're proud to be a part of this program, and you'll be hearing more about it in the coming editions of RESCON Industry News through our blog at rescon.com.

Read our story at this link.

 

Houston, we have an affordability problem
 

Association president Richard Lyall pens his second monthly column for the Toronto Sun's New Homes & Condos section, turning his gaze south to Greater Houston, which is booming.

As a matter of fact, he describes it as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States. Unlike the GTA, no Growth Plan, no greenbelt ... no problem. The surge in Houston's population growth is staggering and GH is a very healthy metro area to boot.

Read RESCON's column in the Toronto Sun by clicking here.

Alek Antoniuk's Code News: off the grid 

Could this happen in Ontario?

You may have heard about the case of Ms. Robin Speronis of Cape Coral, Florida, who chose to disconnect her house sewer, water service pipe, and her electrical supply. Living off the grid is frowned upon in Cape Coral and Robin has already spent five weeks in jail on charges of animal abuse that were later dropped (suspiciously). By 2014, the City of Cape Coral had placed water, sewer and two code enforcement liens of about $13,000 against her property.

Click here to read Antoniuk's column.

Tech Corner: RESCON starts dialogue with minister on MOECC paper


RESCON's director of technical standards, Michael Steele, writes to Ontario's minister of the environment and climate change about his recent discussion paper in Steele's Tech Corner column on rescon.com.

"RESCON supports the policy direction of reducing our energy costs through the establishment of new building standards, the use of new technologies and innovations in the design and use of materials. Our opinion, however, is that this goal cannot be achieved within the current regulatory framework that governs what we design and construct," Steele writes.
 
Click here to read the full column.

Ontario's One Call system needs more enforcement: RCCAO

Our infrastructure advocate friends at the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) recently released a report on excessively late responses to locate requests.

These often taking weeks or months instead of the legislated mandatory five days, and are hindering work on vital infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer systems. Without stricter enforcement, these delays will slow down delivery of these important services, says a new report from the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO).

Click here to read the Daily Commercial News story on the report.

Click here to read the report.

Click here for the 1310 News radio interview with report author Frank Zechner.

Click here to read RCCAO's press release.

WSIB rate review
coming soon

RESCON vice-president Andrew Pariser writes about something that every builder should pay attention to -- the upcoming rate review for the WSIB. 

The goal is to move towards an NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) model. This could potentially change how builders pay their rates for the next 10-20 years.

Read Pariser's full column at this link.

City of Hamilton issues Ontario's first six-wood permit

The City of Hamilton announced recently that it had issued the first permit for a six-storey wood-frame structure in Ontario since the change was made to the building code on
Jan. 1.

While the project was a 209-unit hotel and we're still waiting for the first residential construction project, RESCON was thrilled to see five years of advocacy come to fruition. Association president Richard Lyall formally congratulated the City of Hamilton through a press release and spoke with journalist Steve McLean of RENX.ca about what's to come. Condo.ca also wrote a story based on our release.

To read the RENX.ca story, click here.

To read the condo.ca story, click here.

To read RESCON's press release, click here.

Cross-laminated timber innovation across Europe

With the City of Hamilton announcement, six-storey wood-frame construction is now a reality for Ontario. But six is just the beginning. We have to go higher eventually.

What's to come for Ontario can be found across the Atlantic Ocean. Let's look to our friends in Europe for inspiration and innovation.

In Austria, Vienna is planning the largest wooden skyscraper in the world. Click here.

In Norway, a 14-storey wood-frame structure is being monitored live via webcam. Click here.

In England, an incredible mixed-use CLT complex in London will be 10 storeys high. Click here.

RCCAO applauds
plan for partial sale
of Hydro One

The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) formally welcomed the announcement from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne of the partial sale of Hydro One to finance desperately needed infrastructure such as transit ahead of today's provincial budget.

The announcement comes just a few months after Michael Fenn's report for RCCAO, “Unlocking Ontario’s Advantages: Building New Infrastructure on the Foundation of Existing Public Assets.”

Click here for the Daily Commercial News story.

Click here for RCCAO's published letter in the Toronto Star.
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