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

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com 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!


6 Answers

Best practices for cutting foam?

What are people doing to cut EPS foam and control the dust and debris generated, considering the toxicity of the fire retardant chemicals in it?

Some argue the fire retardants are OK, because they don't leach out of the foam much. But it seems to me that the environmental release is probably dominated by the dust and debris generated.

Asked By Charlie Sullivan | Jul 6 15
16 Answers

Boiler upgrade recommendation?

I’m currently looking to upgrade my old boiler as it developed a small crack and is leaking. My current boiler is a P-468U-wt (151,000 btu/hr) Weil-McClain oil-fired boiler with a 40-gallon hot water holding tank.

I’m getting two different suggestions from two of my plumbers and would love some input on their recommendations. One recommends replacing it with an Energy Kinetics System 2000 and the other one is suggesting a Navien Combi-boiler.

Asked By Joe Pavia | Jul 1 15
5 Answers

My HAVC unit sits outside my bedroom wall. How can I reduce the noise transfer from the unit?

I am thinking of removing the existing drywall and replacing the insulation with noise reduction insulation and some kind of noise reducing drywall

Asked By Frank Gambale | Jul 6 15
5 Answers

Spray-applied acoustic sealants

I have already found couple of articles at GBA about sprayable caulk that is used to air seal envelope: EcoSeal and EnergyComplete. Is there anything newer coming up on the market? I only ask because our builder was approached by Lumber84 to become a test house for air sealing with acoustical sealant... We still don't know what it might be and what properties and VOC, etc.
Thanks,
Lucy

Asked By Lucyna de Barbaro | Jul 5 15
3 Answers

Had a 50 inch water heater — replacing it with a 59 1/4 inch one

Had a 50 inch water heater — replacing it with a 59 1/4 inch one.

Will there be any problems because of height difference? Does the height difference cause any problems with installation?

Asked By Anthony Wells | Jul 5 15
7 Answers

New unvented attic and high humidity

Last year after a severe hailstorm the attic insulation and the entire roof deck of my 1600 sq. ft. ranch style home in Fort Calhoun, NE was replaced. With the replacement we upgraded the insulation to Open Cell Icynene spray foam on roof decking. The spray foam is at least 6-8 inches on the roof, and covers the sidewalls, soffits, and attached garage ceiling. This completely closes in the attic to the thermal envelope of the house.

Asked By Nick Schuler | Jun 30 15
0 Answers

Net Zero vanity license plates

Phil Kaplan of Maine is proud of his "Net Zero" vanity license plate. He sent me a photo in which he poses with Bob Irving, who nabbed the Net Zero tag for New Hampshire.

Who else has a Net Zero vanity plate?

.

Asked By Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor | Jul 6 15
6 Answers

How do I get and keep air out of my geothermal loop?

We have a "closed loop" geothermal heating and cooling system. 97 wells 300 ft. deep. 4 story building. 36 water source heat pumps. 72 electric water pumps. 219 ball valves.
There is no way at the high point (attic over 4 story) to release air and no easy way to add water to displace the air. The contractor keeps trying with their big pump and tank trailers to purge the system by driving the air bubbles out through the basement. No surprise to me, having observed the bubbles in my bathtub travelling upward, this approach keeps failing.

Asked By Todd Conradson | Jul 1 15
2 Answers

Fiberglass insulation and spray foam around windows.

Would it be advisable to leave fiberglass insulation then fill remaining void with spray foam? In the event fiberglass got wet, would it ever dry if spray foam filled the remaining void? What would be the best option for insulating widows? Thank you for reviewing my question.

Asked By tim gabriel | Jul 5 15
16 Answers

American-made Passivhaus-certified windows

Hello All,

Asked By Bob Holloway | Sep 23 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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