Community: Plans Review

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12 Answers

Zone 7 (Saskatchewan) — new four-season garage / workshop

Apologies if this has been asked before, I have read a lot of similar designs but have not found someone using this same assembly in a very cold climate. Here is the plan:

Exterior to interior:
5/8" Fiber cement board siding (Hardie Plank)
3/4" (1x4) wood furring strips (to hold insulation and act as vented rain screen)
3" Mineral wool (2 layers of 1.5" roxul comfort board 110, staggered seams). R=4.2*3=12.6
1/2" Fiberglass gypsum (GP DensElement, with PROSOCO fast flash to act as ARB and WRB). R=0.5
5.5" (2x6) wood studs with DP cellulose in cavity. R=18

Asked By Craig Hoehn | Aug 1 16
3 Answers

Wall and cathedral ceiling assemblies

I am trying to finalize my assemblies for my Passive House and would like to solicit some feedback at this point. The project is located in NJ in zone 4a, although I am only a few miles from zone 5. I would like to avoid high GWP products. Attached is my proposed wall/cathedral ceiling assembly.

The wall assembly is as follows:
1) Fiber cement siding
2) 1x4 vertical furring strips to provide a nailing surface for the siding and a rain screen.
3) 3” of Roxul ComfortBoard (thermal barrier)
4) 7/16" Zip sheating (air barrier and WRB)
5) 2x6 studs, 16” OC filled with DP cellulose

Asked By Jonathan Lawrence | Jul 31 16
7 Answers

Wall stack for climate zone (4)

I'm going to be building a new house in Tennessee, climate zone (4). The local codes use 2012 IBC but call for the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.

I have a couple of restrictions due to the builder / community HOA ... these are 2X4 walls and vinyl siding. Also restricted to a 12-4 roof and 1 story house.

Asked By Stephen Cook | Jul 1 16
28 Answers

How would you spend $40,000?

Hi GreenBuildingAdvisor community - I've been reading off and on for the past 12 months as we gear up to build our home. It's simulatneously depressing and empowering to read through how much is required to properly build a home.

We're pretty happy with the plans (the ones I'm including are not quite the latest - we'll be adding a few windows and moving some interior walls around) but before we do the next round of changes - we need to make a decision about ICF or no ICF. It's a $40,000 question for us.

Asked By Adam W | Apr 27 16
6 Answers

Is this my best foundation choice?

First off, Green Building Advisor has been invaluable in my research to design my future home and have found it well worth the membership cost. So thank you, to all you who have made this site what it is.

I am planning on building a 1700 sq ft ranch style straw bale house near Cortez Co (climate zone 5B). Currently I am sketching up layouts, making lots of notes on building techniques, choosing home fixtures (doors/windows), HVAC systems and researching different build options, before I take my plans to an architect so he can refine and incorporate them.

Asked By Ken Hodge | Apr 29 16
98 Answers

Ideas for this floorplan

Hi all! I'm new to the site here and was hoping to gather some feedback, or to change my plan altogether.

I'd like to build a ranch on a basement with plenty of southern glazing. I found the attached plan as a starting point but I'm afraid that if I move forward, I'll just spend a bunch of money creating blueprints only to find that I needed to change something after the fact.

Asked By Drew Baden | Mar 9 16
2 Answers

Conditioning an existing attic in a 1900s Queen Anne wooden home

conditioning an existing attic in a 1900s queen Anne wooden home.
Location: coastal South Carolina
two story wooden home built 1901
attic dominations: 22'x46'x(10'at peak of roof)
planed usable newly conditioned attic space 10’x46’
2 gable end vents & ridge vent.
no gable end sheathing or sheathing on first or second floors.
roof is a standing steam installed over asphalt shingles.
rafters are true 2x4 and roof decking is true 1x6 tongue and groove.
HVAC for upstairs is located in the attic with duct work through ceiling of second floor space.

Asked By Woody Truluck | Apr 13 16
2 Answers

Separating R-value at site/retaining wall

I'm working on a sloping site and trying to figure out the best way to deal with site wall/earth berming.

The goal is to have driveway/ped access at level 1 but then allow access to rear (upslope) portion of land from second floor.

I'm trying to accomplish this without creating a completely buried wall (for reasons of waterproofing, thermal bridging, fear of ants in foam, etc.), which leads to the shifted floorplans you see in the attached section.

Asked By Ethan T | Apr 8 16
8 Answers

Overdoing south-facing glazing

My current plan includes roughly 148 sqft of south-facing glazing on a 1400 sqft house. We have some nice views, and some small interior spaces that I want to open up with large windows. The house is in zone 6 at ~45* N latitude.

I have relied on the annual analysis calculator at to determine that I want a 3' eave overhang 1' above my 5' tall windows. However, there is a 10' wide glass door that will receive too much sun.

Asked By Jim Tyler | Nov 4 15
1 Answer

Furring strip inside of exterior foam or nailbase Zip sheathing?

I am working on a home envelope renovation in climate zone 7 and we are trying to add insulation to existing exterior walls.

As shown in sketch, existing exterior walls have clear plastic sheeting (probably not "smart") between studs and GWB at interior, fiberglass batt in 2x6 stud cavities, and plywood on exterior.

I am proposing 2" of foam to exterior as well as nail base Zip for a total of 4" of foam.Contractor wants to add furring strips between existing exterior sheathing and new foam.

Asked By Ethan Timm | Mar 23 16
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