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

August 2014

RESCON Recently met with TARION to discuss some of the challenges related to B19R.

B19R was created by representatives of the development and building industry to establish a minimum level of performance for Multi-Residential Buildings covered by the Ontario New Home Warranties Act, administered by TARION.

B19R was created as a response to inconsistent construction practices/performance issues which in turn were resulting in high claims against the Industry Funded Warranty Reserve administered by TARION.   

B19R, when viewed in that context, assists the Vendor/Builder in meeting TARION’s expectations for construction, performance & customer service. It requires that the Vendor/Builder meet certain obligations and responsibilities if it is to achieve its goal of delivering a product that is: well built, code compliant, free of significant defects effecting performance and aesthetics.

RESCON is of the opinion that having knowledge of the challenges identified in our recent discussions will benefit our Vendor/Builder members. The comments, questions and answers that follow cover a number of those challenges that were discussed.

Click Here for information answers to some common questions regarding "Field Review Declarations" and "Field Review Consultants".

This rest of this post contains a number of items which we thought you might find interesting. Please continue to share your feedback and ideas.


RESCON President

 

CodeNews by Alek Antoniuk:

Alek Antoniuk, who is best known for co-ordinating and managing the technical development of the 2006 and the 2012 editions of the Ontario Building Code, will be writing regular articles for RESCON on a wide range of technical and OBC related issues. This article is the first of a series of articles that will be released throughout the year. More information about construction code issues can also be found on his website at www.codenews.ca.

 

Impact of Home Building and
Remodeling
on the U.S. Economy:

This recent article highlights the NAHB’s estimates of the economic impact that residential construction has on the U.S. economy. The national estimates are designed for use when the impacts on all U.S. suppliers of goods and services to the construction industry for example, manufacturers of building products are of particular interest.The national
estimates should not be used to try to analyze economic impacts confined to the state or local area where the housing is built. NAHB has a separate Local Economic Impact section on its web site for that.

The national estimates for 2014 include the following:
• Building an average single - family home: 2.97 jobs, $110,957 in taxes;
• Building an average rental apartment: 1.13 jobs,
$42,383 in taxes;
• $100,000 spent on remodeling: 0.89 jobs,$29,
779 in taxes

Click here for the full article.

Harvard-NAHB Report 10 Key Takeaways on Housing:

The 2014 State of the Nation’s Housing report, released annually by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, provides a periodic assessment of the nation’s housing outlook and summarizes important trends in  economics and demographics. Click here for the full article.

 

Why is there no agreement on labour market conditions?

A recent report by respected economist Don Drummond highlights the need for more reliable labour market data. Click here for a link to the report.

Summary:
Since the Advisory Panel on Labour Market Information (LMI) reported, improvements have been made to LMI, but they are not sufficient. The main obstacle to reform is a lack of good governance. The Forum of Labour Market Ministers has been unable to coordinate a more integrated LMI system. No one has taken charge. The federal government should take the lead, either by strengthening Statistics Canada’s capacity or by establishing an LMI agency

The 2014 State of the Nation’s Housing report, released annually by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, provides a periodic assessment of the nation’s housing outlook and summarizes important trends in  economics and demographics. Click here for the full article.

 

New Study Shows Homeowners Prefer a Home Protected With Fire Sprinklers:

In a new national Harris Poll survey conducted on behalf of the nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), 74% of U.S. homeowners said they would be more likely to buy a home with fire sprinklers than one without. Seven in 10 said a sprinklered house has more value and nearly 8 in 10 (78%) said fire sprinklers provide the ultimate protection for residents. Click here for the full article.


 

HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo 2014!

RESCON reminds members to order their free admission passes for the HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, held in conjunction with Construct Canada, PM Expo and Concrete Canada on Dec 3-5, 2014 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building.

New this year, the event will be expanding to the North Building to include Construct International and IIDEXCanada, Canada’s prestigious architectural and design trade show. All shows combined will create The Buildings Show, North America’s largest annual exposition, networking and educational event for construction, design and real estate. RESCON members will benefit from free admission to all six shows.
 
The Buildings Show is a unique, annual event with a combined attendance of over 35,000, more than 1,600 exhibiting companies, and some 350 seminars to provide attendees with the opportunity to make valuable contacts and learn about new products, innovations, best practices, and market trends.
 
Take advantage of this offer:


 

Rebuilding Canada - Mowat Centre Report:

A recent report from the Mowat centre examines public infrastructure investment in Canada today. Canada has a historic opportunity to rebuild our 20th century nation-defining infrastructure for the 21st century. Capitalizing on this opportunity will require more money, a new governance framework, deployment of innovative financing tools, and consideration of a broader range of factors, such as climate change. Click here for the report.


 

Unionized Employee’s Just Cause Dismissal Upheld through Application of “Culminating Incident” Doctrine":

A common question from employers, especially in the unionized context is: When do we have enough incidents of discipline on record for a repeat offender employee to terminate employment?  This question can be answered by examining the legal doctrine of the “culminating incident”, which Arbitrator Paula Knopf did in her recent decision dismissing the grievance of a discharged employee with nine (9) years of service to the Employer (and many years in the industry) in 1367178 Ontario Inc. v. Healthcare, Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 2220. Click here for the article by Kelsey Orth.



 

Curing concrete with Carbon:

Solidia Technologies, based on New Jersey has developed an innovative new production technologies which make it easy and profitable to use CO2 to create superior building materials.Click here for an interesting article about this new technology. 




 

A peek inside the high-tech home of the future at the builders trade show: 

A recent article highlights some of the exciting new technologies which were unveiled at the annual Home Builders Trade Show in San Francisco. We are seeing greater collaboration among companies who are now integrating home technologies which were once separated. Click here to read the article and watch the videos.
 

Where Did All the Residential Construction Workers Go?

As a recent survey by NAHB shows that  labor shortages in home building are on the rise, NAHB Immediate Past Chairman Rick Judson said today at a press event in Charlotte, N.C. that effective reforms to the immigration system to generate a more productive, diverse and flexible workforce can help revitalize the economy and housing sector.

“Residential construction is slowly turning the corner, and as our members ramp up their business labor shortages are increasingly holding them back,” said Judson. “An efficient immigration system, including a fair employment verification system and market-based visa programs, will provide the certainty needed to grow our economy and increase competitiveness.” Click here for the full article.
 

Ontario’s housing crisis is also a health crisis: 

A recent editorial in the Toronto Star highlighted the link between health and access to housing.  The authors call for greater investment in affordable housing. Click here for the article.

OFA joins RCCAO: 

The Ontario Formwork Association (OFA) has joined forces with the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO), which will allow the organizations to work closely together on issues such as promoting strategic infrastructure investment.

“We feel that they (RCCAO) are an integral part of this city’s infrastructure going forward,” said Dennis Cancian, executive director of the OFA. “Whatever roots they lay down affect our industry. Joining this group gives us access to higher level density for future development.”

The OFA officially attended its first annual general meeting of the RCCAO on June 16. They attended a previous meeting last year as an observer.

The OFA does concrete formwork and concrete placing for the construction of high-rise condominiums, with the majority of work in the Greater Toronto Area.

“We are very pleased to have a new member join the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario,” said Andy Manahan, the executive director of the RCCAO. “The Ontario Formwork Association play an integral role in many projects in the province and the region. They were involved with the formwork in the construction of the Sky Dome and have been part of many of the projects that make up the Toronto skyline.”

Currently, the OFA represents 50 member companies with a permanent skilled workforce of about 5,000 formworkers. The organization was formed in 1968 to provide a forum to members to discuss subjects of common interest to the sector.

Click Here for the Full DCN Article
Click Here Visit the OFA Website

Federal infrastructure ante must increase...

RCCAO recently released an important report titled: Ontario's Infrastructure Investment: Federal and Provincial Risks & Rewards. It was written by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis.

This report points out that even with the recent uptick in infrastructure investment, the trend of 3.1 per cent of GDP is still below the macro-economically desirable level of 5.1 per cent. The report also concludes that the federal government could move from its current level of 0.37 per cent to a two per cent contribution and still enjoy surpluses that accrue from these investments in infrastructure.

Click Here for the QP Briefing Article
Click Here for the Daily Commercial News Article
Click Here for a copy of the Report
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