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9 Answers

Bowed gable-end truss

Today we got 18/19 trusses set and somewhat braced, more to go on bracing.

The problem we ran into is that the gable and would meet the wall in the middle, but both ends were off the walls. The walls are straight and flat.

I pulled the gable down and snapped a chalk line along the bottom of the bottom chord, and found that the center was lower than the ends by a good 3/4".

Having never set a pre-buiilt gable truss, I would think that it would be nearly impossible to load the top chord enough during installation to push the bow out.

Asked By Mike M | Jul 24 16
70 Answers

Why haven't steel-framed homes become more popular?

I am in the planning phase of building a home in the NJ-NY area, Climate zone 5. As I investigate my options; SIPS, double wall stick 2x4 wood, 2x6 wood, ICFs, CMU, Larsen trusses, etc.. and the myriad of permutations to insulate each one (spray foam, cellulose, hybrid batt & flash, exterior rigid foam/iso panels, etc....) I came across STEEL. My goal is as high R-value as I can get within reason $$, with hope of upwards of R-30 final values. That said, I need some objective input.

Asked By Sal Lombardo | Dec 27 12
58 Answers

Questioning my logic...GSHP, ASHP, radiant?

I'm in the planning/almost ready to break ground stage of a new home and I'm beginning to question my sanity when it comes to figuring out the right approach for heating & cooling.

The home is:
North end of Climate Zone 5
Main Floor: 1700 sq ft + 1000 sq ft garage, vaulted ceilings through much of it
2nd Floor: 1100 sq ft (2 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room) primarily over the garage
Basement: 1700 sq ft, partial walkout + 1000 sq ft shop under the garage (separated from the rest of the basement)

Walls: R30+ (2x6, 2" XPS outside, 2lb SPF for sealing + 1/2lb SPF for cavity fill)

Asked By Dave De C | Jul 16 16
4 Answers

Blown-in insulation for existing walls

My circa 1900 house in West Virginia (Zone 5) has hardwood paneling throughout the interior and wood siding on the exterior with no insulation in-between the actual 2x4 walls. I'm pondering either blow-in cellulose or open cell spray polyurethane foam applied through holes in the siding. (Should I consider other options?) Both open-cell SPF and cellulose show an R-value of 3.2 to 3.8/inch. I understand the cellulose will settle over time leaving some gap at the top and foam will not. I like the idea of an air barrier provided by SPF between the leaky wood interior and exterior surfaces.

Asked By Andy Kerr | Jul 25 16
6 Answers

Air space required for GE Geospring hybrid electric heat-pump water heater?

I'm interested in going to a heat pump water heater and looking at the GEH50DFEJSR geospring model. I see in the manual it says it needs a 10×10x7 room or louvre door or duct kit. I'm curious if a vented pass thru to a larger room works the same? Kinda like a cold air return. The room is 8x5.5x8 and would rather not put a louvre door up. Any recommendations? Anything else I should know before purchase?

Thanks so much!

Asked By Stephen Audretch | Jul 24 16
3 Answers

Open-cell foam and airtightness

I've seen reports from the foam manufacturers touting how much better the foam is than fiberglass of the same R value. They're essentially using the improved airtightness of the foam to show better performance compared to fiberglass with no air barrier. I can see it's mostly BS. I am wondering if you have a proper air barrier if open cell foam can measurably increase the air tightness of the structure?

Asked By Brad H | Jul 25 16
6 Answers

Preferred underlayment under metal on unvented roof?

Hi Everyone,
Need to make a final decision on which underlayment to use under a metal roof on an unvented roof system. The roof is currently built as follows: Beams on 5' centers; 1 1/2' T&G decking; 3/8" plywood diaphragm - seams taped; with TriBuilt granulated self adhering underlayment on top of the plywood.

Next I'll be screwing down 5 1/2"RayCore SIPS panels over heated space and framing boxes over the eaves covering everything with 5/8" CDX. Still looking at metal roof products but am zeroing in on a high seam (1 3/4") snap lock system. Roof pitch is 2/12.

Asked By Robert McKee | Jul 23 16
5 Answers

Looking for design software recommendations

Hi -

I'm a new member and I'm looking for recommendations for relatively easy-to-use design software (I did try searching the site but didn't find anything discussing that). My first task will be a simple floor plan so I can ask the good folks here for advice on placing mini-splits. Further down the road, I'd like to be able to draw out details for roof and wall assemblies for the retrofits I hope to do. Any then maybe a tiny house (or at least a tiny shed) in the future.

Asked By Nickolas Van Kleeck | Jul 23 16
4 Answers

Storage space in attic vs. living area

Hi.

I have an old, leaky house and dream of a new energy efficient home of about the same size (1200 sf). Right now we use the attic and knee walls for storage. From what I have read, it is no longer considered energy wise to use attics in new homes. But, if we loss that space (and won't have knee walls), we will have to build more square footage to accommodate our stuff. That does not seem particularly green. Please advise.

Asked By Jen Weaver | Jul 24 16
8 Answers

How should I heat my water?

Hi there. I'm just starting a major renovation of a two story studio space attached to our detached garage to be used as a studio and sometimes guest house. We're adding water and septic to the house, and I'm looking for ideas on the best way to get hot water. We'll only have a single bathroom with shower, and a small wet bar sink on the same wall as the bathroom, so there are no long pipe runs. Usage will be infrequent but once in a while fairly aggressive if we have guests there who need to take multiple back-to-back showers.

Asked By Curtis M | Jul 17 16
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