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2 Answers

Why air return in a home?

What problems could result without air return?

In General questions | Asked By larry | May 27 10
7 Answers

What are non-toxic methods for treating or encasing cedar fence posts to extend their useful life?

Alternatively, is there a wood more durable than cedar that might be available in Vermont (e.g., black locust)?

We are about to re-build a backyard fence that will run near an organic garden. We'd like to find an alternative to pressure-treated fence posts (where chemicals seep into the soil) or untreated cedar posts that rot in the ground.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Bonnie | Oct 4 09
4 Answers

Where are the energy-efficient clothes dryers?

I cannot find any information or recommendations on efficient clothes dryers. Does anyone have a good source?

In Green products and materials | Asked By Robert Dynan | May 26 10
5 Answers

Flash and Batt in the Hot Humid South

Does anyone have any experience with the flash-and-batt or flash-and-fill insulation method in climate zones 2,3,4 ?

In my area (Zone 3 Hot Humid) we see companies installing this system with 1/2 inch closed-cell spray polyurethane foam. Is one half inch enough for this climate area? Your thoughts are appreciated.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By David | May 27 10
1 Answer

Capillary break necessity

I am building a new home on a sloped lot with good soils (for drainage) in Vermont. My footings have just been poured and they are sitting on four inches of drainage stone. Do I need to add an additional capillary break on top of the footings? (ie drylock) I know that building science recommends it but I am getting some resistance from my concrete and excavation subs. They feel the drainage stone is plenty for my site. Thank you

In Green building techniques | Asked By Graham | May 26 10
2 Answers

Building on bedrock with 2/12 slope

I want to build a workshop on granite bedrock with a slope of 2" per foot. Shop will be 20' wide by 28' long. I want the shop to have a wood floor (to save wear and tear on feet and knees). I was thinking of 1' by 8" by 28' concrete footing on high side stepping it down over 20' to an 18" by 8" by 28' footing on the low side. I will use pressure-treated 2"by 6" to fill in stepped footing to bring up to level for floor. Floor will be 2"by 8" joists supported by beam running at 10' on center. I want the floor to be well insulated. I live in a 6a climate zone.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By mike maclean | May 26 10
6 Answers

Open-web trusses for walls and roofs

Anyone out there have experience of using open-web joist trusses as studs, rafters or both? I know Katrin Klingenberg has used TJI joists as studs but I was intersted in something with a more open structure and no, or little, OSB. It's really to save the time in making my own Larsen trusses on-site.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Interested Onlooker | May 25 10
40 Answers

Higher solar heating fractions???

I find it hard to believe that with today's building and insulating technologies, that most or even all of a home's space and hot water heating can not be provided by solar... I realize that the issues of heat storage and controlling the release of this heat need to be dealt with. I am intrigued by Robert Starr's (www.radiantsolar.com) ideas for an insulated earth bed storage system. Read the DOE's report on this system...they seem to be rather enthusiastic. (note that it was done in the 80's).

In Mechanicals | Asked By Garth Sproule | Sep 28 09
5 Answers

Locking two buildings together; old, and new build

Full circle? We are looking, again, at adding on instead of building new. I'd appreciate any links to prior discussions on this issue, here or other sites, books, etc. PROBLEM: How do you lock a new and an old foundation/footer together? Presently, we have a 2-story, daylight basement, stick. We are considering adding two stories on the daylight end, essentially just expanding horizontally. This will get everything my wife wants on one floor and leave a huge dungeon for me.

In Mechanicals | Asked By John Klingel | May 21 10
1 Answer

What should I do to help overall energy efficiency to an old building?

I am working with a 2-story commercial building with a restaurant being operated on the main floor and a large unused/un-finished upper level. The windows on the upper level have been replaced recently. There is insulation covering about 25% of the floor area on the upper level. What can be done on the upper level to achieve greater energy efficiency in the building overall?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Greg Nissen | May 24 10
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