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!


3 Answers

Outlet air sealing

Location: Chicago Suburbs, Zone 5
I have a question on low voltage wiring for new construction of a residential house.
The wiring would be for network (CAT), Control, Audio, CATV, etc….
I see that there are “open backed boxes/brackets” (Carlon), “closed boxes” (120V type), and “air-sealed” boxes (gasket).

I am conscious of air sealing (techniques) and will also be using a sprayed insulation solution in the exterior walls.

Asked By Ani Brown | Jul 29 15
1 Answer

Anybody familiar with British Columbia building codes?

I am building a home in BC, and plan to use Lunos e2 for my HRV. There is a lot of stuff about ventilation and HRV in the latest code revision (Dec 2014, I believe). Is there, by any chance, anybody out there familiar with the BC codes that can tell me if I am going to experience issues trying to use the Lunos fans?

A couple things that I am concerned about (off the top of my head).

Asked By Stephen Youngquist | Jul 29 15
9 Answers

Question on finishing brick-walled basement without exterior waterproofing

Some background info on the house:

It's a semi detached, about 100 years old, multi-wythe brick foundation, and it's in Toronto.
The basement windows are above grade.
The basement has a poured concrete floor.
The ground at the front (West) of the house never gets wet due to the front porch. Along the south there is an asphalt driveway which slopes decently - there are a couple of spots where the water ponds a few feet away and downslope from the walls. The remaining wall I can't see because it's covered by the back deck. Gutters and downsputs are good and drain away from the house.

Asked By Jon Haque | Jul 15 15
6 Answers

Final countdown: Will 2 inches of rigid foam be worth it for me?

Hello all!

I have been asking questions and researching energy efficiency for the past two years. Finally I am getting around to building my own home and will be installing, or not installing, rigid foam in the next couple weeks!

My house build is financed mostly by a construction loan.

  • I have calculated $2,380 in the cost of rigid foam
  • $160 in material to bump out window and door openings 2"
  • $80-$160 in Aluminum
  • $300-$500 for labor to get Aluminum fabricated for the bottom
  • $40 in cap nails
Asked By Nicholas C | Jul 28 15
5 Answers

How to better insulate my roof

I have a log home with a high ceiling. It has 2by 12 roof rafters. Which means I have 10inches of insulation. I live in northern NY. I want to know if I put 2inch foam panels and a metal roof will it increase my r rating? I seem to lose a lot of heat through the ceiling and it's very hot in the summer.

Asked By Rodney Coryer | Jul 26 15
3 Answers

Feedback on 2x8 exterior walls with 2x4 studs to limit thermal bridging

I live in Eastern Washington, Zone 5 A. 100 degrees in the summer to zero in winter with 1-3 ft of snow. I will hopefully be building a home this summer, 2016. I originally looked at SIPs but am convinced that if they are not installed perfectly I may end up with moisture problems later on. My brother suggested 2 X 8 top and bottom plates with 2 X 4 studs, (1/2 inch gap between them to break the thermal bridging), and blown cellulose insulation. Then two separate pieces of 1 inch ridgid foam insulation on the outside.

Asked By Thomas Flanagan | Jul 28 15
2 Answers

How to hire a tiling contractor?

Hello,

The two local well known tile person are both tied up and can't work on our house since the builder didn't line them up when he should have.

I am in the process of interviewing the tile guys and was wondering what do I need to ask them to see if they know what they are doing?

secondly, also when I go look at their work, what am I suppose to be looking at?

Thirdly, any important tips that I need to know/ask the tile guy for laying down marble/Limestone tiles on the floor and regular tiles in the shower?

Asked By beenash khan | Jul 29 15
1 Answer

Question about insulating foundation Superior Walls

Hello,
We are planning our new home in Illinois (border of Zone 4 and Zone 5). The entire exterior will be EIFS. The majority of the basement will be finished. The east wall of the basement will be a walkout, which we plan to have wood-framed. We plan to use the Xi Superior Insulation walls for our foundation, which adds 2.5" of Dow Styrofoam to the original Superior Walls for R-12.5. Here's a note from their website about the walls:

Asked By Kevin Hoene | Jul 28 15
1 Answer

How to bend straw bales? Are twine or wire bales better for this?

Right now, I'm planning a round structure in zone 5A (western NY state, rural, frequent rains).

Books keep telling us that "you can bend straw bales" to conform to round walls.
They don't mention any way to do this.

I tried just whomping them over a log, which seemed to deform a (wired) test bale, but not enough.

-Is there some standard method that straw bale builders can recommend?
-And which are better for bending? Twine or wire?

Our farmer/friend/supplier would like to know one we want, and I don't know.

Asked By Jon Kendrick | Jul 29 15
11 Answers

We were looking to replace our front door which has 2 flanking sidelights

The door appears original to the house which was built in late 1890s (all glass is single-pane and the door has no weatherstripping). Needless to say, it's very drafty (we use rope caulk to seal gaps and plastic to cover windows in winter).

We've had 3 estimates for the work, all ranging between $3,000-$5,000 bucks. All contractors cite unknown condition of framing, subfloor, etc.

Asked By Christian Rodriguez | Jul 27 15
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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