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!


1 Answer

Using ZIP System for a REMOTE designed house

The REMOTE system uses the "perfect wall" concept (Insulation outside the sheathing), but uses a rather conventional vented attic. The unconventional aspect of the attic is that it is incredibly sealed.
We are designing a REMOTE Passive House for central Ohio, and I would like your opinion concerning how to make that sealed ceiling.
One could use the Grace Ice and water shield on a plywood ceiling. I have concerns about that because I will have to design in areas of dropped ceilings to allow for utilities, and I believe that the Grace product will become detached over time.

Asked By Steve Young | Jan 23 17
8 Answers

Thermal breaks for window bucks in double stud walls

We'll be buliding double stud walls for a new house, with the inner wall being structural (the outer wall will consist of modified Larsen trusses). Total wall thickness will be around 16" and windows will be "in-betweenies". This will be my first double-stud wall house and I'm working in the wall details trying to minimze thermal bridging.

Asked By Chris Chenier | Jan 18 17
0 Answers

Quik therm warm floor

Just wondering if anyone has used this product before? Thinking of putting it directly on my basement concrete slab and then putting the laminate directly on top (no plywood).

There doesn't seem to be much information out there about this product though.

Is there any advantage of putting plywood on top if I'm just going with a floating floor?

Asked By Shane Kidd | Jan 23 17
16 Answers

Comfortboard pricing - Triple $ per R vs foamboard??

Hi all,

Asked By Keith H | Apr 21 16
11 Answers

Does anyone know if there is a manufacturer that makes an energy efficient, dual HVAC/ ventilation system that would satisfy both of my needs and eliminate the need for 2 duct systems?

I'm planning a moderate size home in SoCal in a semi-desert climate with adequate thermal mass. The home will have a tight envelope and my understanding is that some sort of ventilation system with separate duct work is required.

I was planning on an air-source heat pump to meet heating and cooling needs, but this will only be used in the summer and winter months mostly.

Asked By Paul Minotto | Jan 20 17
5 Answers

Flashing tape for roof decking

We build houses for a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in a hurricane prone area along the Texas Gulf coast.
At a program on the FORTIFIED building certification, we saw something that intrigued us. They suggested taping the seams of the roof decking. This would prevent water damage in the event that the shingles were blown off in a wind storm. We started using such materials on the last few houses.

Asked By Steve Young | Jan 19 17
2 Answers

Are polyisocyanurate materials considered vapor barriers and to be avoided for insulating basements?

Hi,
I live in Central Minnesota. Our home was newly built roughly 3 years ago. It was not insulated on the exterior, but foil-faced DOW Thermax Sheathing was installed on the entire basement interior. This has a permeability rating of 0.03. This is basically an impermeable material. If we want to avoid moisture problems when finishing our basement, do we need to take this down and put up something with more permeability like EPS? We do try keep the humidity below 50 or 55 degrees in the basement.

Asked By Andrea Zimpelmann | Jan 15 17
1 Answer

Minisplit troubleshooting

Hello,

I built a well-insulated house this fall and after learning about minisplits on this site, we decided to heat our house with 3 minisplits. I can write more about this at a future date, but for now I'm having trouble with one of them and am trying to debug it to get as much information as I can before approaching the HVAC tech that installed it. We are in climate zone 7, so we have a lot of cold nights here (we've been below -22F several times this winter).

2 of our minisplits are Fujitsu 15RLS3H, which have been working just fine, no problem heating our house.

Asked By Nick Hall | Jan 23 17
0 Answers

HVAC conundrum

Hi all,

Asked By Will Bowling | Jan 23 17
5 Answers

Mini-split v Package Unit Humidity Control; Sizing and Configuration

I have a 1920's house in Tallahassee, Florida - 2x4 frame construction with shiplap siding, no vapor barrier or insulation except in the attic and one wall that was installed later (originally a screened in porch), and a fair number of windows. I have sealed the floor and walls of the dirt crawlspace using heavy plastic with vapor-barrier tape at the seams, but there is still appreciable air flow between the foundation wall and the girders. The main floor is ~1,600 sq. ft.; approximately ~600 sq. ft. of the attic has been finished into a bedroom and bath.

Asked By Ellery Sedgwick | Jan 20 17
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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