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1 Answer

Graywater system questions

I would like to build a small cottage with a composting toilet and a graywater system for the sinks and shower.
I need plans and a contractor perhaps.
Any advice when dealing with the code officer?

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Matthew Walton | Feb 11 10
2 Answers

What do you suggest we do?

Thank you for your time.

In General questions | Asked By thelma Mears | Feb 11 10
1 Answer

The Vermont Bun Baker

Have any of you guys living in Vermont heard of the Vermont Bun Baker?
It seems like it might be a nice little unit, but I can't seem to find any reviews. The website claims 70% efficiency and EPA certification, but again, I can't seem to find anyone who's actually used one.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Lucas Durand | Feb 10 10
9 Answers

Cost effective exterior wall construction.

In exploring options for a cost effective R-40 exterior wall in a cold climate (Western Massachusetts), I am left scratching my head. As a residential designer, I have researched Building Science's website and their High R wall systems, where multiple layers of rigid insulation and a thermal break is their obvious choice. However, when clients want shingled siding and decorative trim, I want the sheathing on the exterior face of the rigid for consistent nailing. In addition, my structural engineer wants the sheathing directly nailed to the studs for shear (100 mph wind speed).

In Green building techniques | Asked By Jon Wyman | Feb 1 10
4 Answers

Combination DHW and Space Heating

I'm interested in learning regarding the feasibility and advisability of using a hybrid "small tank" condensing or tankless condensing hot water heater to provide both DHW and space heating for new construction in a heating climate. Examples include Navien America 180/210/240 (EF .98-.95), Eternal GU195 (EF .96), Takagi TH2 (EF .93), Rinnai RC98HP (EF .93), Quietside ODW199 (EF .92), or Noritz NCC199 (EF .92).

In Mechanicals | Asked By Jan Juran | Feb 8 10
6 Answers

Software for Builders

When I was getting out of building and remodeling, I had a website with password-protected places for customers to log in and view documents/photos related to their jobs. I was too cheap to buy estimating software, so I made spreadsheets to estimate things like lumber and drywall. There was no SketchUp, so I drew everything by hand. One builder I know used to set up a fax machine on the job site so the design team could fax detail drawings over.

What kinds of software do you GBA members use to design/build/remodel homes?

Project management?

In General questions | Asked By Daniel Morrison | Feb 6 10
1 Answer

IN LEED for homes SS2.5 and WE2.3 can I get all points if I have no irrigation

I have a landscape design which includes undisturbed drought tolerant shrubs that were on the site before I started building and the grass that I put in is drought tolerant short red fescue. I am not installing an irrigation system. Shouldn't I automatically get 10 pts for this?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Bill Potter | Dec 17 09
29 Answers


Forget about Spray Foam
Forget about Conditioned Attics
Forget about Vaulted Ceilings

Provide a Simple(and rigid) Air Control Layer
Add Ventilation
Add a Thermal Control Layer
Add Cladding Structure and Roof Structure
Add Replaceable windows and doors and Sacrificial Claddings

Cladding structure can be as simple as furring strips

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By John Brooks | Feb 5 10
10 Answers

Drying to interior and paint

Hello all,
I've been learning all the Building science I can lately, and of course, that leads to questions! Hope folks here can entertain a few.
Here is one question I'd love some feedback on.
Consider a New England home that is to get outsulation, or exterior foam insulation in retrofit, or new construction. Almost all outsulation details create a vapor impermeable surface, and thus the wall is then expected to be able to dry to the interior.
How many coats of paint can a gypsum board wall take before the perm rating gets so low as to be risky?

In General questions | Asked By Nathaniel | Feb 3 10
40 Answers

What is the best wall construction in North Carolina?

I have clients wanting to build a LEED (hopefully Silver) home in NC and I keep going around about the best wall system to use that is energy efficient, cost effective and structurally sound. We (builder, structural engineer and I) have decided on a 2x4, 24" O.C. staggered wall design that is off set 12" between studs and 2" front to back. Top/sill plates are 2x6's. 5/8" sheetrock on interior, 1/2" OSB exterior with a double layer of TYVEK DrainWrap taped and sealed then spider lath and stucco finish (looking for low maintenance finish).

In Green building techniques | Asked By Sophie Piesse | Jan 26 10
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