Community: General questions

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

If you want to post a question, the usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration: Under the box labeled “More explanation,” look for the words “File attachments.” Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!


7 Answers

Patio insulation

I live in Florida and enjoy sitting outside on my roofed patio. However, during the summer the heat radiating through the roof is intense. Do you have a suggestion about the best way to slow or stop this radiant heat coming through the ceiling of the patio?

Asked By Bob Ross | Jan 30 16
3 Answers

Insulating old 2x4 walls with rigid insulation

Our home is located in western Maryland, (zone 4?) and was commercially built to increase profits without regard as to results. It is a 2800 sq. ft. brick faced story and a half salt box style with full basement and set back into a hill. Foundation is essentially a monolithic pad poured without benefit of steel reinforcement of any kind with extra depth along the rear ground level side. Walls are 2 x 4s with fibreglass insulation stapled inside the stud bays. Front roof 2 x 10s have 6" fibreglass as do the upper bedroom ceiling joists.

Asked By user-6818892 | Apr 13 17
12 Answers

Please help me understand NFRC window ratings

Please help me understand NFRC window ratings.

Are these numbers a fair comparison of window performance? Are all manufacturers rated under the same criteria? I read that some report center of window u value. Are Canadian windows rated under a different value? I understand the European windows use a different system.

I am considering WASCO windows. I haven't seen any other manufacturer with NFRC ratings as good. I have no reason to mistrust WASCO. They have been very responsive and forthcoming.

Asked By Jim Sweazey | Apr 9 17
9 Answers

Window and sliding door leakage

Climate Zone 5. Zip Sheathing. Exterior Siding not yet up. Open Cell Insulation in the walls.

We had tremendous amount of rain over the past two weeks. At the house tonight, I noticed the two basement windows, which are above ground, had leaked water each in the bottom left corner. These windows face the northwest. The window further to the left actually leaked so much, the insulation below is wet.

Asked By Bridget Lamberson | Apr 6 17
2 Answers

Underground roof with a tarp

Is it a good idea to use tarp as the material for underground roof?

Asked By DavidKing2017 | Apr 7 17
8 Answers

Insulation techinques for a passive solar greenhouse

Hello I am in the design phase for a passive solar green house in southern Massachusetts, zone 6/5B. I am wondering what would be the best way to insulate a 2x6 wall in a humid interior environment like a greenhouse? I was assuming to use rigid foam on both the exterior and between the studs. But the drying to the interior/exterior has me confused. Which way do I want to dry towards? Do I need a vapor barrier and if so where does it go, between exterior foam and sheathing, between interior wall surface and studs?

Asked By Mark Simmons | Apr 3 17
4 Answers

Vinyl windows in passive solar house?

I’m in Zone 6

One of my window distributers claims Vinyl windows can’t be used with high solar heat gain glass. He claims they will melt. I think I have seen evidence of light reflected off a window that melted vinyl siding and I met someone that had trouble when he put foam on the inside of a south window. But, I still have a hard time believing these windows would melt. What do you guys say?

I am considering Fibertec, Accurate Dorwin, and Duxton, all protruded fiberglass. WASCO and Prossimo vinyl. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Asked By jim sweazey | Apr 6 17
6 Answers

Closed-cell spray foam against OSB sheathing

Hi everyone,
I'm looking into spray foaming my basement with Closed Cell (2lb) foam.

My concern is the effects that the spray foam would have on the breath ability of the OSB Sheathing on the areas of the pony walls as they could no longer breathe in.. currently outside I have Tyvek WRB and vinyl siding. The wall in question faces south-west so there would be almost full day sun exposure.

Would there be any concerns with ventilation/breathing of the OSB under this wall system?

Asked By Rick Manitou | Apr 6 17
10 Answers

Water distribution problem

A new house I designed has a water distribution problem that has everyone puzzled, and I would like to find out if anyone has any ideas about it and how to fix it. Thanks.
The house is 5000sf, 3 1/2 baths, ZEH using two tankless heaters with a recirculating pump.
From the Homeowner: "Except on the kitchen island where the pipes run through the concrete slab foundation and hot water takes a little while to arrive (even after the plumbers made some tweaks), the bathrooms fed by water lines within the conditioned envelop of the house come on and are hot within about 10 seconds.

Asked By Armando Cobo | Apr 6 17
9 Answers

Climate Zone 5 exterior cladding

I want to start by thanking everyone so much with all the questions I have had with our new construction home.

We are nearing the Cladding Stage. The land we are building on has Covenants, and it states the building shall consist of at least 60% brick, stone, or masonry material on the front, and the remaining structure shall consist of wood, vinyl, or other comparable material.

We are in Climate Zone 5, ZIP sheathing, Open Cell Spray Foam in Walls.

Asked By Bridget Lamberson | Apr 6 17
Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!