Community: Green products and materials

[Click map to enlarge]

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

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!

2 Answers

Tiny House Building for Chemical & Mold Sensitive Person

My Son-in-law is building a tiny house for me.

I am really concerned about the insulation to use and putting vents in the eves or not, I've not seen people doing this on any of the build videos and I don't know why, my SIL wants to put in vents. There will not be attic space.

It is normal house construction with the the greenest materials I can afford on my limited budget.

It will be a gable roof, no fancy buildouts in the roof just a straight gable, loft for company to sleep in and open over the living room. We are going to use a metal roof.

Asked By Victoria M. | Jan 9 13
1 Answer

What are the chemicals used in GeoExchange?

Specifically, what are some common fluids used for circulation through the loops, and why? what properties make these liquids good for this purpose? Also, what are the refrigerants used for heat transfer from the liquid being circulated to the heat pump?

Asked By Louisa Murray-Bergquist | Jan 8 13
2 Answers

Tremco ExoAir Trio substitute

Is there a less expensive but just as effective way to insulate, air and water seal window installations? I like the Tremco product but cannot justify paying >$300 per roll on my larger windows applications. Does low expanding foam sealant in a can work just as well? Thanks.

Asked By Matthew Michaud | Jan 7 13
44 Answers

13 reasons why foam fails?

Jetson Green just reprinted some blog content from 475 Home Building Performance, here is the Jetson Green post:
and here is the original from 475:

Asked By Adrienne Burt | Dec 18 12
8 Answers

Proper use of various rigid polyiso facers?

I've come across a few different facers on rigid polyiso:

- foil
- trilaminate (foil-kraft-foil)
- glass fiber
- reflective vs non-reflective

Based on the manufacturers guidelines, I've seen recommendations based on wall construction and siding materials, but I don't understand the reasoning behind these guidelines.

How important is it to match the facer to your building context?. What's the difference, performance-wise? In what situations would you use one over another?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Asked By Andrew Thompson | Dec 7 12
0 Answers

What kinds of waterproof membranes can I use over the top of radiant in floor heat?

I'm currently working on a remodel of small dorm building at The Evergreen State College in Olympia WA. We're planning on installing STEP warmfloor radiant heat, but we have some concerns about installing it in the bathrooms.

Is there a kind of membrane we can install over the heating element, under either laminate or tile that will protect the element from water damage but can also withstand the heat?

Asked By Evergreen State College | Dec 5 12
6 Answers

Can I spray closed-cell insulation on inside of brick wall ?

I live in South Louisiana and am remodeling a Ranch Style Brick Home. I have removed the drywall and have 2 x 4 studs, 1/2 " impregnated sheathing, 2 1/4 " dead space then brick and mortar.

If I remove the 1/2" sheathing from the inside (easy to cut out) , this would give me 6 1/4 " space to insulate. Could I spray the closed cell spray foam directly aganist the inside brick wall filling the wall cavity up to edge of 2 x 4 , then finish with new drywall? Would this create any future problems for walls?

Asked By Theresa Aguillard | Nov 27 12
8 Answers

Effective Energy Star dishwasher choices?

Hello GBA community:
I often get questions involving dishwasher selections. Traditionally, my advice was, naturally, Energy Star. More recently, I've questioned this general advice given the user experiences that I've witnessed. The problem statement is thus: I'm seeing wasteful dishwashing practices in all of the homes that I'm involved with. The homeowners all have some brand of high-end, Energy Star rated dishwashers, and all of them pre-wash their dishes because the dishwasher just doesn't do a sufficient job at washing dishes by itself.

Asked By Lucas Morton | Nov 20 12
2 Answers

Can I get healthy air quality using ICF forms?

I am new to building and live in SD. I want a home with good healthy indoor air quality as I have sensitivity issues. Spray foam is out. I am thinking of using ICF forms for the basement and 1st floor in a ranch style home. Cover the walls with sheet rock and insulate the attic with cellulose. Using a HRV system does anyone know if there would be any off gassing problems with the ICF?

Also, I read something about embodied energy and ICF forms. Can you explain this to me.

Thank you,

Asked By Kami Kline | Nov 23 12
5 Answers

Concrete odor

A new concrete floor was poured in the basement of my home that is under construction. After 8 weeks there is still a strong odor.

I am chemically sensitive and afraid that this may be a problem for me when I move in. I was told that this is a normal cement odor.

What could be causing this odor and will it off gas over time? We will be pouring another layer of cement for radiant heating. Will this help contain the odor? And what kind of cement should I ask for?

Asked By Arlene DiMarino | Apr 21 11
Register for a free account and join the conversation

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