Q&A: A Forum for Green Building Experts and Beginners

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2 Answers

I have a 1950 house that originally had grooved red cedar shingle siding, 14" exposure with doubled up courses. I'm in Portland Oregon and there are many mid-century houses still with this style of siding and I love the character of it. Unfortunately, in the early 90s, a previous owner covered it up with depressing grey vinyl siding with no window trim at all and it looks pretty bleak. Today I took the vinyl off a small rear wall to asses the shingles. Here are the photos:

In Green building techniques | Asked By Nick Welch | Aug 26 14
6 Answers

I live in North Vancouver, BC, marine zone 4/5 and am renovating an older home.
The basement was finished years ago as a suite, to about R30 so I am not interested in redoing it.
The problem is we don't have enough ventilation in some of the rooms due to the fact that it is mostly a direct vent gas fireplace heating it.
Cold air returns are virtually non existent.

I was thinking of installing an HRV to provide more ventilation.

The spaces in the basement are a bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, a kitchen/living area and a separate family room.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Aaron Gatzke | Aug 24 14
2 Answers

Hi,
I am planning to build 1 floor 80 sq. m. house with SIP on planar foundation with simple flat - mono pitch roof. My "sandwich" will look like this:
SIP 124mm = 12mm OSB3 + 100mm eps + 12mm OSB3 + 200mm NEPS from outside + inside (vapor barrier + gypsum + gypsum).
And this is what I get with such sandwich: http://www.u-wert.net/berechnung/u-wert-rechner/?&d0=1&mid0=195&d1=1&mid...
Foundation will be insulated with 150mm EPS.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Tomas Batonas | Aug 26 14
6 Answers

I am playing around with possible scenarios for my HVAC setup in the house I am planning to build. One possibility I am really looking into is that of not using any ducts. I'm not certain why I am so opposed to having ducts, but I think it has to do with the idea of blowing dust around, having drafts, and general complications - even if the ducts are straightforward, it seems like equipment connected to ducts tends to be complicated.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Stephen Youngquist | Jun 30 14
18 Answers

I will be having my attic sealed and insulated with closed-cell spray foam. However, the design of my house makes this a bit more complicated because my roof cuts into the second-story ceilings at the front and rear edges of the house (will make more sense if you look at the attached pic).

Above this part of the ceiling, there is only some very old batt insulation (less than R-8) and the roof deck. The house doesn't have eaves/soffits, so there is no venting in this area.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Matt Culik | Aug 14 14
4 Answers

I am in the final phase of completing my first PERSIST remodel.
We have installed (2) layers of reclaimed 2" polyiso on the walls (over TYVEK drainwrap) of a 1940's ranch and then strapped with 1x4's using headlock screws. Existing walls were in decent shape in terms of flatness and corners were within an 1/4" of plumb over 10'. So the walls were not perfect but they were pretty good, not bad enough to catch the eye.

In General questions | Asked By Charles Chiampou | Aug 24 14
2 Answers

All,
We just purchased a small, single-level ranch with electric baseboard & wood stove for heat. The hot water is currently a propane 50 gallon tank in the laundry room, which is about 10'x5'. With the dryer going, the worst-case depressurization fails and potentially back-drafts the atmospheric draft hot water heater. The current water heater cannot stay, and there is no where else to locate it. The crawl has no inefficient source of household heat, and is only 4' tall, less the joists.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Bob Rueter | Aug 25 14
5 Answers

Good Morning All,

I am building a new structure (northern end of zone 3) and will be using the 100-year wall approach with a low slope metal clad roof (yes white colored). 2 x 4 construction on the exterior walls (yes, I know about OVE) with Zip cladding, then 2 - 1" xps lapped sheets on the exterior and most likely rockwool in the cavities.

Piece of cake? Except!!! the ceiling over the garage (which sits under the 2 stories above). The garage will most likely be CMU with no insulation (cold space).

In GBA Pro help | Asked By leo kloop | Aug 25 14
26 Answers

I'm building a new house, and would love to hear feedback on the insulation plan. It can be found here: http://lazukars.bitbucket.org/house.png

DESIGN GOALS:

- Have a consistent insulation pattern up from the basement and up through the roof. In this case XPS on the exterior and ccSPF on the interior.
- Eliminate thermal bridges wherever possible.
- Double the insulation required by code

CONCERNS WITH THIS DESIGN:

- Foam Sandwich: The current sandwich of XPS on OSB on ccSPF will create OSB rot. The OSB will not be able to dry to the interior.

In Plans Review | Asked By Ryan Lazuka | Aug 18 14
20 Answers

All this talk about ductless minisplits is making me dizzy. If a forced air furnace gives a bad atmosphere in a building, doesn't a minisplit per room just give many bad atmospheres?

Dana reminded me on another post that a forced air furnace increases infiltration/exfiltration. Well, why doesn't a minisplit heater or cooler do the same?

In General questions | Asked By flitch plate | Aug 19 14
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