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!


7 Answers

Insulating a low-slope EPDM roof from the ceiling below

Hi. I recently had an Epdm roof installed on my 140 year old house. It's low slope and meets with a gable roof on the other part of the house. The Gable is standing seam. We had a tapered ISO board system installed as the underlayment to help with drainage and make the edge details easier to deal with. I reframed the roof and sheathed it myself before the roofing contractors started so I could save money. At the time the ceilings underneath the roof were all closed so I installed 4 inch rockwool batts right on top of the plaster/lath of the ceilings below.

Asked By joseph moore | Feb 26 15
7 Answers

"Pretty good house" window choices

Hi, we are in the design stage of a high efficiency retrofit and addition to an 1888 Victorian house in the Chicago suburbs. Our architect and his preferred builder are leading many of the Passive house projects in the area and are very interested in getting our project to approach those standards. Although i think it would be very cool as well, i am finding that the technical approaches and costs simply don't justify the benefits. In doing my own research, i am leaning towards designing for "pretty good" near net-zero instead of near-passive.

Asked By alok khuntia | Feb 27 15
3 Answers

PERSIST in South Florida?

this question is for those familiar with PERSIST style building techniques.
I am considering building a home using PERSIST construction instead of CBS construction in south Florida.
(1) Does anyone know if Grace IWS would effectively stop termites?
(2) would exterior stucco be sufficient in protecting XPS from deterioration and infestation?

Asked By John B | Feb 26 15
3 Answers

Foil-faced batt insulation effect on wall construction?

I’m in the process of planning energy retrofit for my house located in Philadelphia (zone 4A)
Existing wall construction consists of t1-11 over 2x4 framing with foil-faced batt insulation. The plan is to add 2 layers of 2” polyiso to the exterior taping joints making polyiso my WRB. Is there any concern that moisture trapped in the wall cavity won’t be able to dry to the interior due to foil faced batt insulation?

thanks!

Asked By Michael Kalustov | Feb 27 15
17 Answers

General questions re: building in Zone 7

Long time reader, first question...(I apologize in advance for length).

I will be building in the next year or so, this is my 5th home I have had built and have managed all my previous builds, so I know a LITTLE about building, but not even close to a professional. I live on the very Southern edge of Zone 7 in Central Minnesota (in fact, Zone 6 boundary is about 2 miles South of me). We have some hot, humid days in the summer, but obviously heating in winter is much more intense.

Asked By Brad VanVickle | Feb 14 15
3 Answers

Buying a house and want to make it super efficient. I have some concerns about the attic. Can you help?

I am about to close on a house that was built in 1972. It is in Longview, Texas. It is 2100 sq. ft. The garage was made into living space at an unknown date. Has a 3.5 ton central air unit and electric furnace for heat (inspector said that is too small and likely was in place before the garage was converted). Flex type ducting in the attic. My goal is to eventually do the entire place from top to bottom, as I can afford it, and make it cheap to heat and cool. I have several plans in mind. Insulation of the attic I think will be my first step.

Asked By Sam Vail | Feb 26 15
4 Answers

Passive Radon Mitigation using Solar/Wind Turbine Fan

Here's my dilemma: New home less than 5 years old with passive radon mitigation system that runs up through the house exterior walls. Ceiling is vaulted so there is no attic or way to install a radon fan up there. Got quote to reduce radon and contractor said to cap off the existing pipe and install a new pipe that runs up along the outside wall with an attached fan, essentially abandoning the existing passive system.

Asked By Robert McDonald | Feb 26 15
2 Answers

What is a correct way of fastening two layers of 2" rigid insulation to the exterior of a 2x6 wall?

I would like to know the correct way to fasten two layers of rigid foam insulation where the total thickness is 4". I am concerned that when hanging this thickness of foam it will be difficult to be sure that the siding application is secure. We will be using HardiePlank horizontal lap siding. This is a form of cement board and heavy on it's own. Any advice.
Thanks

Asked By william dempsey | Feb 26 15
25 Answers

Best way to have a wood fireplace?

We are building a custom house, and are nearing our final planning stages before bids with our architect. We are planning to have a wood fireplace on the ground floor, within the building envelope. When it is burning, it will likely to burned with any glass doors on the fireplace open, for aesthetic reasons. It is only going to be used as a heat source as an occasional backup. What are the best ways to minimize the energy problems of an wood fireplace? It'll probably be a zero-clearance type of fireplace. My husband will not agree to a gas or wood stove, so don't even suggest it!

Asked By Clara Kim | Feb 22 15
9 Answers

More berm or more insulation?

Currently I am finishing up a design of a house that I want to build this spring. The way the house is designed necessitates it being bermed up with earth on the north side a couple of feet more than the south side of the house. So I have the option to either add more concrete to the north side, berming it up an additional two feet ( to make a 4ft berm) or just building my stud walls and insulating with dense pack or spray on cellulose (I haven't decided yet which).

Asked By Jeremy DuCheny | Feb 25 15
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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