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!

1 Answer

Does Low-e glazing affect plant growth?

There seems to be an ongoing discussion about this subject and not a final conclusion yet, I imagined maybe somebody on this forum could know better.

Asked By Jose Castro | Jul 21 16
4 Answers

T1-11 — overlay or replacement?

My 1979 T1-11 plywood sheathing has suffered what Martin has called similar to not drying faster than rate of being wetted. My intention is to overlay rather than replace simply because, if we can reduce the inrush of moisture and increase the drying potential, the labor of removing (organic) mass is not warranted. This is a (2) two story DOE #3 moist home. So--Here is my question-- Is there a concrete type (Hardie like) panel that lines up with the T1-11 reverse board and batten pattern, because I don't want to overlay /replace the upper panels that are appearing good?

Asked By Charles Thompson | Jul 11 16
1 Answer

Friedrich Breeze DIY mini split taken off market?

Anyone know why almost all web sites show this discontinued. A very thoughtful mini split design, or maybe not if it had major problems.

Thought of using one or two of them in our passive solar house for mainly AC which, unfortunately we are getting more need for here in MI.

Great for well insulated houses as a heating and cooling system. Super insulated homes (Passive) may only need one for the whole house. With solar panels seems like a real winning combination.

Asked By Vince Caruso | Jul 7 16
2 Answers

Non-toxic laminate brands?

After MUCH consideration and debate, we have decided to go with laminate flooring for our home. I know this isn't the "greenest" choice, but it is the right choice for us (budget, wear, etc.). We would like 12 mm laminate that mimics the look of an oil finished gray-brown oak hardwood. We would like to find something a little more matte and not too slippery. But most importantly we want a brand we can trust that is committed to low VOC and formaldehyde free. We would also like something made in the US, Canada, or Europe (NOT China). Anyone have any recommendations?

Asked By Kara English | Jul 3 16
1 Answer

Affordable, non-toxic floating floor for the basement?

I am looking for an affordable flooring choice for our finished basement. We are putting hardwoods in throughout the main floor, but need to save a little in the basement. I would prefer a floating floor over a glue down floor due to our toddler's chemical sensitivities. I would also prefer something other than tile (hard, cold, a pain to rip up if we needed to) or concrete (hard and we have very young kids). I like the idea of the Marmoleum Click flooring but cannot afford $6ish a square foot. We are really only looking to spend less than $3 a square foot for materials.

Asked By Kara English | Jul 2 16
0 Answers

Best brands of engineered hardwoods?

We are planning to go with an engineered hardwood. What are the best brands in terms of VOCs, formaldehyde testing, etc. We like the look of Teka floors but are not sure how they rate on indoor air quality. Thank you!

Asked By Kara English | Jul 2 16
11 Answers

Anyone have experience with Chilltrix equipment?

A client has asked me to evaluation Chilltrix HVAC systems:

It appears to be an inverter driven mini split style system that uses a chiller rather than a condenser. I am assuming that it uses and expels significant amounts of water as it does not use a refrigerant, but their documentation is not very specific.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Asked By Carl | Oct 4 15
1 Answer

Does this vapor barrier underlayment offgas?


Thanks in advance for any help! Putting cork floor in a basement and need a vapor barrier. Of these three choices, does it matter which one I use from an off-gassing standpoint? I am trying to understand if these products off gas toxic chemicals into the home. The cork flooring is pre-treated so we won't be sealing it once it is down.

This one is "Bonded polyethylene" but I don't know if that off gases.....?

These two seem less likely to off gas based on description but I don't know:

Asked By Melinda S | Jun 27 16
3 Answers

Atlas ThermalStar X-Grade Reviews?

Does anyone have experience using Atlas's ThermalStar Product -- X-Grade?

I am looking for an alternative to XPS in a below grade product. It will be used beneath the thickened edge (essentially a footer) of a monolithic slab on grade. The 25 psi version of this product seems like it could be a winner for me but I wonder if others have tried it out? What is your opinion of it?

I recently spoke with Bob Murphy of Universal Forest Products about this EPS foam board and it sounds like it has a lot of promise.

Asked By michael Iacona | Jun 24 16
5 Answers

How to insulate and soundproof with least emissions/toxicity?

We live in zone 3C, and we're thinking of putting Roxul between studs of interior walls we want sound-proofed along with double sheetrock and Green Glue to bind staggered sheetrock panels together. For external walls we're trying to decide between a denim insulation or Roxul. The house originally had a moisture barrier on the outer side of the studs on the exterior walls and close to the house side in the attic.

Asked By Molly Maloney | Jun 16 16
Register for a free account and join the conversation

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