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

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

If you want to post a question, the usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration: Under the box labeled “More explanation,” look for the words “File attachments.” Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!

4 Answers

Root cellar ceiling — Rigid foam installation

I've seen many pieces of advice on here on fastening rigid foam insulation to basement walls, etc., but I have a somewhat unique fastening situation I'm trying to sort out.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Kevin F | Aug 16 17
4 Answers

Check valve in between well and pressure tank?

I've lived in my home for about 4-5 years and have always wondered if the random cycling of my well pump could be do to me not having a check valve between the pump tank and the well/pump.

The house was pre-existing, but I really question the ability of the pump to hold the pressure in, let alone to not have any small leaks in the piping all the way up from the well in the ground.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Mike M | Aug 11 17
5 Answers

Garage with in-floor heat

I live in a northern climate where freezing temps and snow is a common occurrence during the winter months. I am planning to build a new garage using hot water in floor heat. I was told by the plumbing contractor that in floor heat is not advisable unless a ventilation system is installed as well. Along with floor drains. The reason for the ventilation system is to guard against mold growing in the insulated walls caused by the evaporation of water from snow melting off the vehicles.

In General questions | Asked By Pokegama | Aug 15 17
12 Answers

Is it worth the cost of adjustable-tilt racks for PV?

Currently we are looking at getting a 6kW PV system which will plan on installing on a outbuilding or a pergola. I want to know if it's worth the cost and possible headache of have the PV on an adjustable tilt change it the angle four times a year; December, March, June and September?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Arnold K | Aug 3 17
7 Answers

Alternative to a Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation

I wanted to build my house with a Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation. I've got a set of plans that I've been running by builders, and most don't have any experience with them. The general response is "Foundations need to go down 42 inches around here."

The general design for the house is:
Single floor
12" Double walls with a bearing exterior wall.
FPSF Monolithic slab with full sub-slab insulation
Rochester, NY Climate Zone 5

I have a couple motivations for the FPSF:

1. I want the house to be accessible (not too many steps)
2. I don't really want a basement.

In Green building techniques | Asked By John Ranson | Aug 15 17
1 Answer

Slab and frame issue

What product would be best to seal between a slab foundation and the frame? Am getting outside bugs in and I was told by our HOA that others have had this issue.

They suggested an spray foam insulation.

In General questions | Asked By Kim9131 | Aug 15 17
12 Answers

Full dimensional 2x4s or new 2x6s in roof? And Roxul or closed-cell foam?


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Rob Manheimer | Aug 8 17
4 Answers

Foam insulation/Texas

Home in central Texas (Austin)
1 story on slab
Built in 2009
Approximately 2800 sf house, 1 story
1 hvac system
Ductwork is in attic
Blow in insulation is in attic
Garage is not insulated

What would be your recommendation if we wanted
to put spray foam in the attic and close it up?
Our build out is common practice here but I think it's
terrible from an energy efficiency standpoint as our
attic is over 100 degrees all summer

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By tdavis3 | Aug 12 17
14 Answers

AC register condensation: Not enough ridge for adequate ridge ventilation?

I'm living in the Houston area (zone 2) and noticed water leaking from some AC registers yesterday. The home is 9 years old, 300 sq ft.

The flexible ductwork is insulated.
The register boots are insulated, and the insulation has a lot of mold. (pic attached)
There is significant water in the attic on the blown in insulation around the duct boots: not damp, really wet.
I do not think the register boots are leaking, but I guess they could have small leaks.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Mark McFarlane | Aug 14 17
5 Answers

Steel SIPs

I know that a steel stud dosent provide a thermal break. However this company seems to have
resolved that issue.
They put 2 steel studs opposite each other on the flat, with foam in between.
Any info on this type of SIP's would be appreciated.



In Green products and materials | Asked By Brian Whidden | Jun 8 15
Register for a free account and join the conversation

Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!