Q&A: A Forum for Green Building Experts and Beginners

[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!


0 Answers

1953 unfinished attic floor, storage, retro install; overkill?

It looks like we've got R9 and want to get up to a total of R49 rating. There's lots of good storage space with solid wood flooring on the attic floor joists. We hate to lose all that space (and especially if we resell think it's a selling point) to blow in. I'm looking at DIYing but find so much contradictory information and opinions online it's hard to sort it all out to a novice and first time home owner. I will tell you where I live we're in zone 6, so it does get cold here.

Asked By Josh Thompson | May 7 15
7 Answers

Calling all structural engineers

I'm like the opinion of a structural engineer.

I'm reviewing a book that includes this statement: "Rigid insulation is made from plastic foam (polyurethane, isocyanurate, or polystyrene) or fiberglass, pressed or extruded into panels. It ... may have some structural value when used as a continuous layer on exterior structural walls."

My first response to this statement is: Really? I'm doubtful.

So here's my question: Do engineers ever take into account the contribution of rigid foam insulation when making structural calculations?

Asked By Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor | May 6 15
14 Answers

Rhode Island remodel

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing an 1100 sq ft 1978 ranch in western RI (zone 5A). The existing house sits on an ~800 sq ft unfinished basement with the western (24') and northern (36') walls above grade/walk out.

Our plan is to finish the basement at the kitchen/living areas and re-model what will then be the 2nd floor as 3 beds, 2 baths, a laundry and a study.

Asked By Ben Balcombe | May 5 15
12 Answers

Open cell spray foam on roof deck & vapor retarding primer

Hi,

Asked By David Amenhauser | May 4 15
5 Answers

Insulating a closet over a garage slab

I am currently building a home in Central Illinois, climate zone 4. Our home has a walkout basement that extends throughout the entire first floor, except for the master bedroom closet. The closet is roughly 14 feet long by 7 feet wide. The closet essentially takes up the back portion of a single car garage. The concrete contractor poured the garage floor underneath the closet. Floor joist then run over the concrete floor. There is what I guess is a crawl space underneath the closet that is roughly 18 inches tall. I am not sure how to insulate this area. Any tips would be great.

Asked By Jonathan Braden | May 6 15
15 Answers

Geothermal - Sizing Issues - 4 Ton or 5 Ton?

I live in Cincinnati, OH and I am zeroing in on purchasing a geothermal heat pump for my 5800 SF (conditioned) home. My home is all electric is currently heated by an 8 year old 4 ton air source heat pump with 15Kw electric backup. My issue is the two geothermal companies I have contacted to quote the job disagree on heating load of my home. Both companies did Manual J calculations, but are coming up with different numbers. One company has the heat load at 55k BTU -- says a 4 ton is the way to go. The other company has heat load at 68k BTU - says go with a 5 ton unit.

Asked By joel perrine | May 3 15
4 Answers

Why should we shift to EPS panels for building construction instead of conventional methods?

I write this email with great respect for you. I was going through your a particular website on EPS technology and came across your profile. As I am myself a young engineer and doing research work on 3D EPS Panel. During my research i came across a few unanswered queries. I am from India and this technology is currently being used in filler walls only and not as load bearing structure, therefore i was wondering if you could help me in understanding the adaptability of this technology in advanced countries like yours as compared to India which is still a developing nation.

Asked By Sural Kaul | May 5 15
1 Answer

Repairing roof nail holes

I am having siding installed, and the installers are using a scaffold built with two ladders, each ladder attached to a single 2x4, and the 2x4 is nailed with two nails to the roof.

First, is this considered a routine type of scaffold? Or would knowledgeable people be upset about nails in the roof?

Second, what is the most durable repair? Roof jacks appear to be installed by lifting shingles and only creating nail holes under the shingle. Then the nail is pounded in and sealed. So, there is no exposed hole.

Asked By Erich Riesenberg | May 6 15
6 Answers

What's a good damper for a bath fan/range hood vent?

My bath fan vent is basically a big hole in the house to the exterior and sucks air out of the house in the high New Mexico winds, which today reached 30 mph. There's no damper or air check valve or anything like that installed up there, and I'd like to rectify it. What do people use for this situation? A standard butterfly damper? Something louvered? This thing? http://www.batticdoor.com/bathfandraftblocker.html

Asked By Nathaniel G | Nov 23 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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