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!


46 Answers

Solar thermal systems for heating water

Jin this is for you and Richard

Let's run the costs and the systems through the paces

so far I hear $16,000 for a Caleffi system and maybe that for labor? $32,000
saves $500 a year

CO2 production unknown to manufacture
Very little CO2 to run the ECM circulators

There are much less costly systems

NYSERDA here in NY is unveiling a new program this January
Will post more about it when they tell us more

Jin, Richard, others... what say you all

Asked By aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a | Dec 15 14
5 Answers

Wet OSB - how much water can it take?

We are two weeks from having trusses and roof on our new house. The rains are killing us. We painted the subfloors before the rains and have been sucking water after each storm. We are dreading putting the hardwood floors down (someday). How much damage can happen due to this rain, glad it's helping the drought, but it's definitely stressing us out!

Asked By colleen1 runyen | Dec 17 14
1 Answer

What should I use to create a smooth base under a soft floating flooring?

I am thinking about using a soft flooring like a linoleum or fiberglass flooring. I need to use something under it that is smooth but I am concerned about the VOCs from particle board type products.

Asked By Jacque Hyler | Dec 19 14
18 Answers

Quarter Round on Rammed Earth

I'm trying to attach 3/4 x 3/4 to rammed earth pony walls I put in this rehab I am doing but the 3" finish nails are not holding. Any ideas?

I could try dipping in contact cement but I want to keep it all natural. What would they use for concrete?

Reason is although I used a surface sealer I found out the vacuum will tear the wall up.

PIC below is before, I'm pretty happy with it for my first project indoors. Realtor is going to give me feed back before I build homes.

Asked By Terry Lee | Dec 18 14
10 Answers

Rigid insulation

Builder put rigid insulation on the exterior of the house.
But it is not sealed! Should they have put metal flashing on first?
Picture is looking up foundation wall, insulation, siding.

.

Asked By Shawn Ward | Dec 16 14
5 Answers

What is the best way to insulate our new home?

After reading several of the articles on insulation of walls and vaulted ceilings lately, I am a bit confused. We live in SW Montana. Part of the home includes a vaulted ceiling in the great room, the rest of the ceilings are standard 8' heights. The plan calls for 2x8 rafters in the great room. My plan was to 6" bats in the ceiling, then cover with closed cell rigid board (up to 2 ") then gyp rock to achieve a decent R value. Likewise, the walls are 2x6 so planned on batts with closed cell on outside and then installing cedar board/batten.

Asked By richard fasching | Dec 17 14
1 Answer

Since drywall has a permeance of 0.02 liter/sec - m at 75 PA is ever possible to have sheathing dry to the interior of the home?

When constructing a new home most professionals recommend not have impermeable insulation or other materials on both sides of the sheathing. It is recommended that the sheathing should be able to dry to the exterior or interior of the home. If foil faced polyiso rigid foam is used on the exterior of the plywood sheathing and 6 inches of open cell foam and drywall is used on the interior of the home, will this configuration allow the home to dry to the interior? Considering the permeability of drywall will it ever allow drying to the interior of the home with any type of insulation?

Asked By JOSEPH POLAND | Dec 18 14
10 Answers

Foam insulation and vented attic

I am in the process of buying a house with open cell spray foam on the attic roof. The vents were left open for gas combusting furnaces. We are in Austin, Tx.
My budget to address the problem if there is one should be enough to cover any number of scenarios.

Asked By Heidi Hicks | Dec 16 14
27 Answers

B&G's low flow Vario ECM circulator - stupid efficient pumps

http://bellgossett.com/pumps-circulators/small-circulation-pumps-booster...

What I discovered as a result of the research stimulated by this GBA dialogue is that my circulator controlled hydronic heating will not work with a smart pump like the Alpha, Bumble B or the new Taco model.

Asked By flitch plate | Dec 16 14
11 Answers

Woodstoves: does efficient burning depend on size?

We are in the market for a new, non-catalytic woodstove. We understand that a non-cat stove needs a minimum temperature of around 500° for an efficient secondary burn. Question: Does attaining that 500° depend on the size of the stove at all? Or will the same quantity of wood produce the same burn temperature regardless of firebox size? (I know, dry, seasoned hardwood, etc.)

Asked By Patricia Appelbaum | Dec 17 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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