Community: Green products and materials

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The 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!

10 Answers

Do ductless mini splits make sense for a large house?

Hi Guys.

We're in the middle of designing a new house to be built at the Jersey Shore and would like to keep our carbon footprint as small as we can for a rather large house (about 3600 sq ft). We're interested in ductless mini splits so we don't have ductwork in the attic and crawlspace and for their superior efficiency. Can this system work with so many rooms? The first floor living space will be a fairly open floor plan, but the second/third floors will have 6 bedrooms/6 bathrooms, so lots of closed doors.

Asked By Cherylann Schieber | May 19 16
18 Answers

Pretty Good Historic Double Hung....

We're doing a DER on a house in a historic district and tying to balance performance with aesthetic appeal that will be tolerated by the local historic commission.

This is a house in the Boston area and so largely a heating zone.

Is there an 'acceptable' window that gets the obvious thumbs up from our community?
Marvin's next generation double hung looks good and is available with a narrow 5/8th muntin.
I can't find much information on its performance BUT as I begin to (quickly) research are there other specific products within other lines that should be considered.

Asked By Edward Cambridge | May 17 16
6 Answers

Luxury vinyl tile / plank

We need to select our flooring. Our plan had been to use wood laminate, but several people we know have recommended that we look into luxury vinyl. We hear that it looks very similar to wood or tile, is much easier to care for than wood, and is much cheaper than tile. Do people on this forum have experience with and/or opinions about this type of flooring?

Asked By Reid Baldwin | May 3 16
5 Answers

Dow Powerhouse Solar System 2.0 PV shingles

An architect I know asked about these ( I found Martin's review from 2012, and I wonder if anyone has more recent experience?



Asked By Andy Engel | May 12 16
4 Answers

Cork insulation as finished facade

anybody out there have experience with the expanded cork insulation out there? here's my situation: the higher density facade grade cork is just too expensive to make it work for my application. the standard grade would work, but it's not recommended as a facade. the cork in question would be used as insulation + facade (no siding), but would be in a very low-exposure area, and subject to less weather extremes (it's under a covered area).
i'm trying to get the 'coolness' of cork, plus like the idea of needing less siding material.

any thoughts?


Asked By Jonathan Nagar | May 5 16
1 Answer

Cellulose comparisons

My new construction will be getting dense pack in the walls. I've been looking at National Fiber's

Asked By daniel f. vellone | Apr 30 16
34 Answers

Condensation on windows with steel SIP home

We built a steel SIP house this summer near Hannibal, MO. We've been very happy with the results with one exception. The builders used steel L-angle to wrap the windows on the outside in order to better square the openings before installing the windows. They also installed the windows. This steel angle is not thermally broken at all. One part of the angle lays against the steel panel skin on the outside, and the other angle extends past the window into the living area about 2".
We do not have siding on the home. We have left the exterior steel exposed.

Asked By Jeff Carroll | Dec 13 15
9 Answers

Advice needed: Recycled XPS rigid foam

I've located 4x8 sheets of 3" recycled foam board. This is DOW blue board, claiming to be 3" thick.

Should I nab this up for exterior insulation around the foundation? The price seems right and I love to recycle.

Asked By Drew Baden | Apr 19 16
1 Answer

I am working on an indoor pool building

I am working on an indoor pool building. We installed an Armstrong W-H 1100 ceiling system. They did not want us to use the felt lining in this system.

Now the client wants the ceiling panels lined. I need to find a black material to line these panels with that I can use over an indoor pool.

Asked By Sue-Ellen Stoddard | Apr 20 16
7 Answers

Is there an under-sink recirc pump model that has an ECM motor and can be operated on demand?

I'm looking for a recirc pump model that has an ECM motor and can be installed in a house without a dedicated return line and can be operated on demand. The best option I've found so far is the Bell & Gossett ecocirc wireless (, but I don't really need/want the wireless part or the batteries. Hard wired is fine/preferable.

Asked By Chris Stratton | Apr 7 16
Register for a free account and join the conversation

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