Friday, May 22, 2009

Mortgage Rates - 5 year fixed may rise - Laurie Baird

The following information was forwarded to me by Laurie Baird

5-year bond yields have jumped to 2.27%--up 40 basis points in the last 30 days. As a result, mortgage funding costs are spiking (fixed mortgage rates are generally linked to bond yields).

A few smaller lenders have already raised, or plan to raise, their 5-year fixed rates. As reported a few weeks ago, this may be a precursor to further, more wide-scale, rate increases.

Laurie Baird
1405 A Richter St, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 2L9
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New pool pump technology cuts noise and energy consumption by 75%..

Here is some interesting information from Gene Brown of Valley Pools


I don't know if "pool equipment noise" has been a concern for you on any of your projects. Some municipalities are getting so fed up with complaints of noisy pool pumps that they've mandated sound enclosures for all pool equipments. My partner Skip and I laugh at the ridiculousness of these efforts, when such an easy solution is available.

At least one of the leading pool equipment manufacturers has come out with a new "Variable Frequency Drive" pump design that has brought pump noise down to a whisper. By no great surprise, the electrical consumption has dropped dramatically as well. We've been using these new pumps for more than three years now, and getting outstanding results.

Admittedly, these new pumps aren't just "plug & play. The overall success of this new technology is dependent on three things. It requires:

An intelligent hydraulics design
Highly efficient, oversized plumbing
Proper programming for slightly longer running times at significantly lower amperages
If "noise abatement" and/or "energy efficiency" have been a concern for you on any of your projects, you may want to take a closer look at the attached article, where Skip describes the concepts and challenges in greater detail. Or give us a call. We're happy to help you with any pool-related design or construction challenges.
Till next time,

Gene Brown
President, Valley Pool And Spa

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Solar BC - Kelowna Solar Workshop

On May 15 Kelowna will be hosting a Solar Hot Water Workshop for community members, developers, builders, contractors, architects and building inspectors.

Location - Capri Hotel from 7:30 to 4:30

Register at

Between a luncheon and networking session workshops will cover everything from Kelowna as a Solar Community to homeowner incentives for solar hot water installations.

Keynote speaker and reknonwned solar expert Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, will be receiving a 2009 Solar Leader Award during the event.

Gerhard Stryi-Hipp is Managing Director of the German Solar Industry Association. He is a senior expert in solar market development and also a board member of the European Solar Thermal Industry Association, chairman of the European Solar Thermal Technology Platform, and member of the European Photovoltaic Technology Platform.

Panel members will include Mayor Sheppard, BCSEA president Guy Dauncey, SolarBC's Nitya Harris, members of NRCAN, Fortis BC and the Provincial Government.

Fore more information contact: Carol Suhan (250 469 8116/ or David Mayes (250 762 4746 or

Geothermal - GeoExchange Conference and Workshop

The 3rd Biennial International GeoExchange Conference and Trade Show May 13 – 15, 2009 is being held by GeoExchange BC in partnership with the Thermal Environmental Comfort Association (TECA). Through the collaboration of these two key organizations the conference aim is to bring you the latest news, knowledge and innovation in GeoExchange from the earth energy source to the point of use supply.

The 2009 conference will be held at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus in Kelowna. This newly developed campus, featuring a state of the art GeoExchange heating and cooling system, will host the trade show, technical sessions and delegate accommodation. Fabulous scenery, excellent recreational opportunities and an exciting conference social program will ensure the 3rd Biennial International GeoExchange Conference and Trade Show remains an unforgettable experience.

For more information contact
Rachel Bolongaro, P.Eng.
Telephone: (604) 308–4805

Okanagan Institute - Clean Tech Funding Workshop

CleanTech Funding Workshop

Monday, May 11, 1-5pm
Okanagan College, KLO Campus, Kelowna
This is a free event but registration is required.

Presented by the Okanagan Science and Technology Council in association with the Okanagan Institute and Okanagan College.

Invited Agencies making presentations include: CMHC, SDTC, Community Futures, NSERC, ICE Fund, NRC-IRAP, Clean Tech Venture Capital Program

The Okanagan Science and Technology Council has been working with its regional partners to develop a cluster for "Clean Tech Construction." This initiative recognizes the fact that construction has been a driving force in the Okanagan Valley and that designing and constructing green buildings is the most efficient and cost-effective means of reducing greenhouse gases and other negative environmental factors. This is based on the fact that it far easier and less expensive to conserve a kilowatt of energy than it is to generate a new one.

Nonetheless the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is not always thought of as "Clean Tech" and many practitioners are not aware of the significant funding opportunities that they could access in the Clean Tech sector. While adding alternative energy sources such as solar panels to buildings is an obvious example, improved building envelope design and even the metering and monitoring of buildings for energy efficiency would both have significant impacts.

Following a template developed for the CleanTech Innovation Workshop held in March of this year, each presenter make a 5 to 10 minute overview of their programs and then we will provide break out rooms for representatives of each program to meet with interested parties.

Format and Schedule:
1 - 2 pm - 5-10 minute presentations by each agency
2 - 4 pm - Agency Breakouts - each speaker to meet with individuals
4 - 5 pm - Panel discussion and wrap up

For more information visit or contact Angela Hapke, OSTEC Projects and Events Director:
p. 250.712.3341