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

[Click map to enlarge]

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

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!

9 Answers

I am using ICFs to form a foundation stemwall and am pondering different ways to form a 16" x 8" footer that doesn't require a ship load of 2 x 8 or 2 x 10. I can't form it using the trench walls because county code requires 38" w x 12" deep compacted structural fill below the footer for my soil type. My thought is to use ripped plywood with some kind of wire or snap tie and 2x4 strongback with some fill holding the bottom in. If using plywood, what is a good sealer to use for saving and further ripping the plywood to use as furring strips for siding? Any cool cheap ways to form footers?

In General questions | Asked By Chuck Jensen | Apr 15 14
3 Answers

After reading and reading and reading (including lots of GBA articles), I thought that I had this figured out. Our plan was to have a non-conditioned attic space, with continuous soffit ventilation along with ridge vents. After further reading, especially Dr. Joe's Top 10 List of Dumb Things to do in the South, I am confused. Please share whether you would vent an attic or not with the following considerations in mind:

- located in western North Carolina, zone 4, mixed humid
- one level, slab on grade home, approximately 2100 sq. ft.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Stacey Owens | Apr 15 14
4 Answers

Ok, I am going to thoroughly expose my lack of knowledge with this question (no claims to any expertise on my part), but I'm hoping that some of the experts here can comment on something I am thinking about.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Stephen Youngquist | Apr 16 14
1 Answer

I am installing new windows and cement board siding. We are adding an inch of foam board to the exterior. I know the siding can be nailed through the foam board into the sheathing by extending the length of the fastener, but can the same be said about nailing the window (flange) through the foam board? I realize that I have either that option or the option of building out my frame by an inch with OSB or ply so that I get a solid nailing surface. Is there a preference?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Matt Cibula | Apr 16 14
1 Answer

Since a SIP is basically like an I-beam type of setup, it relies heavily on the EPS foam core for its strength. The downside is that EPS begins to melt around 165F - 180F. Once the foam fails, the structure fails/collapses.

Has anyone observed or read about a SIP roof or SIP wall home being involved in a fire? If so, what was the outcome?

What's the hottest temperature that a SIP roof can get? I assume in the desert southwest a SIP with a metal roof on top can see some high temps. Is it hot enough to melt the EPS core?

In Green products and materials | Asked By Peter L | Apr 16 14
6 Answers

Hello everybody. First post -- just signed up. Great site. I live 30 minutes north of the Twin Cities and I'm looking at building a passiv type haus. I've found the land I'm building on (10 acres) and have somewhat of a plan for the building.

My wife and I want to build a barndominium. Looking at 50x70 total with 30x50 two stories and 40x50 shop. I have a general idea of how I want to build but alas I am newb and was hoping for some insight with the pros on this site.

Thanks again and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

In PassivHaus | Asked By Ryan Picha | Apr 1 14
14 Answers

Hi,

In General questions | Asked By Evan Gentler | Apr 13 14
23 Answers

How about an affordable not-so-big house?
3 Bedroom 2 bath ....1,400 sf.....
One DUCTLESS Mini-split
and a thoughtfully DESIGNED ventilation "system"....

With properly 'tuned' enclosure design and "tuned" windows......
Could it be made to "work" (satisfy 90% of occupants) ?
in San Diego?
in Seatle?
in Boston?
in Fargo?
in Dallas?

If Not ..... Why Not?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By John Brooks | Apr 11 14
4 Answers

Hi,

We are currently restoring a Usonian style house built in 1962 here in Northern Illinois. The sunroom is currently being restored to its original design with a few exceptions:

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Ryland Bouchard | Apr 13 14
6 Answers

How tight does a house need to be at ACH 50, before an ERV or HRV is recommended?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Allen Brown | Apr 12 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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