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10 Answers

What's the value of efficiency?

I'm wondering what the rest of you have seen in regards to the appraisal of highly-efficient homes. Finding comparable properties for construction financing on a PassivHaus or similar high-efficiency models is extremely difficult when it is even possible. I have been involved in a couple of projects that were scaled back or ultimately canceled because too much of the additional costs for efficiency improvements had to come out of pocket.

I was relieved to see this:


In General questions | Asked By Matthew Nolette | Jan 28 11
16 Answers

Water, and water conservation

This is a discussion that I am moving from where a thread went off topic.

Posts to follow;

In Green building techniques | Asked By aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a | Jan 29 11
7 Answers

Regionally appropriate wood siding?

I'd like to start a discussion on regionally appropriate wood siding choices. Although I would like to hear input on my location (Virginia), I think the discussion could range further to include other areas of the country.

Some comments:

Practically every building yard I've ever visited stocks western red cedar siding. It's hard to argue with its durability or beauty, but it is certainly not a locally sourced wood. I know WRC shingles can be sustainable harvested, but I'm less sure about 12' - 16' lengths of siding.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Daniel Ernst | Jan 29 11
10 Answers

Is Energy Star at odds with passive solar?

When I was reviewing windows that are Energy Star qualified, I saw none that had a SHGC greater than 0.40. This seems to be counter productive if you are trying to maximize passive solar design.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Dylan Eide | Jan 28 11
2 Answers

Sealing/Insulating Attic with Knee Wall

I know there's a recent Q&A thread about an attic in a relatively new construction. My question is more specific. Picture a home with multiple attic spaces. The space with the air handler is a side attic on the 2nd floor. The cross section on the attic is shaped like a right triangle, with the base being over the 1st story conditioned space and outside porch, the left vertical side being a wall to conditioned 2nd floor space, and the hypotenuse being the roof. There's a knee wall of sorts that sits on the exterior first floor wall dividing conditioned space from porch.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Mark Inman | Jan 30 11
13 Answers

A Consumer Friendly Home Rating System

I've finally found my dream house rating system, which is just like an EPA rating label for an appliance or a car:


I've been saying for years that as consumers get more educated about energy efficiency in homes, the demand for efficient homes will increase, and the selling price of those homes will increase.

Well, I'm tired of waiting*, so this rating system gives the consumers what they need to know NOW.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kevin Dickson, MSME | Jan 24 11
21 Answers

Room-to-room ventilation (Transfer Fan) privacy concerns

I've never used one of these before. When you use a room-to-room transfer fan between a bedroom and a hallway, is the privacy of the people in the room a concern?


In General questions | Asked By Roger Lin | Jan 24 11
13 Answers

Reviews for Condensing Hybrid Water Heater

I'm replacing an ~30 year old electric water heater. Since I have natural gas service, I'm planning to convert to gas so I'll be seeing a savings in utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions regardless of which type of gas water heater I choose.

In General questions | Asked By Sally C | Jan 27 11
2 Answers

Return air size for LP gas furnace?

I reside in area 2A (Florida) with a liquid petroleum gas furnace which is 15 years old. The unit has always heated the 2,800 sf residence with no issues. Routine preventative maintenance has been performed over the years with the filters being replaced on a monthly basis. At the beginning of this heating season the furnace would cut-off prior to reaching the thermostat-requested temperature. My HVAC contractor has replaced a roll-out switch, control board, auxilary limiter switch, and the thermostat.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Terry Perkins | Jan 29 11
3 Answers


I was wondering if anyone has experience with Air-Krete insulation. I have been researching it and so far have come up with no negatives except the high price.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Arlene DiMarino | Nov 10 10
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