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32 Answers

HVAC options?

I need some help with HVAC planning for a duplex I am currently looking to build. It will be located in South West Manitoba aka Zone 7A from looking at the map.

I have a couple of options...
1) Stick built on site. This would give me the option of a slab foundation aka hydronic radiant heat.
2) RTM moved onto crawl space foundation. This would not allow for hydronic radiant unless I attached the lines to the underside of the RTM flooring (not inside a slab).

In Mechanicals | Asked By R Yan | May 12 15
4 Answers

Yet another window question (YAWQ): Pella Impervia feedback?

Hello,

I'm building a house in central Oregon (zone 5). It's a mostly passive solar design, with CMU shell construction that is insulated on the outside (my builder has a patented method to attach insulation to exterior of CMU walls) and this plus a mix of tile and concrete floors means I have a huge amount of thermal mass.

So we're considering using Pella Impervia with their high SHGC "Natural Sun" glazing for five of the main south-facing 42" x 112" windows (Alpen and their better U-value is planned for the other 30+ windows).

In Green products and materials | Asked By D Wadsworth | Jan 28 15
9 Answers

Can I reuse single-pane steel sash windows?

A client would like to restore some window openings that were bricked-over by a previous owner. The original single-pane steel sash casement windows had been stored, and are in excellent condition. The building department views these "restored" openings as "new" openings, and requires compliance with the energy code, i.e. window U-factor of 0.30 or better. (The default value for these windows is U=1.20 per Table R303.1.3.)

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Robert Drucker | May 21 15
1 Answer

Use regular OSB or Zip Wall OSB in conjunction with 2" XPS?

My wall plan consists of:
1- fiber cement siding
2- 3/4" air gap/ 1x4 firing strips
3- 15# felt (or possibly Tyvek housewrap) for general protection of the XPS
4- 2" rigid XPS with taped seams and caulked at butt joints
5- 7/16" OSB (possibly taped Zip Wall)
6- 2x4 24OC stud wall with mineral wool or fiberglass insulation
7- 1/2" drywall sealed at top and bottom and around device boxes and penetrations

In Green building techniques | Asked By Nathan Mogilski | May 22 15
6 Answers

Vinyl siding renovation

Hi

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Chris Felker | May 14 15
7 Answers

ADA sealant recommendation please

Hello,
I'd like to air seal my baseboards to my drywall and concrete slab as part of an ADA.
What would you guys use to seal wood to acrylic paint & unfinished concrete?

I picked up some GE Silicone II Gutter & Flashing which says it sticks to wood and concrete, but was wondering if there was a better choice.

Thanks for your help,
-Richard

In General questions | Asked By Richard Baumgarten | May 21 15
14 Answers

Guidance for designing and building a low-lifetime-cost home in North Texas

My wife and I want to build (or buy) an energy efficient home in North Texas sometime in the next 5 years. We are not strongly attached to certifications, R-value-comparison-contests, or even a particular style of home. We just want to build something cost-effective that we can live in for the next 40 years without having to maintain high-income jobs to pay for the utility bills and mortgage. I have been doing a lot of research, but I wanted to get some expert opinions to help guide me in the right direction.

In General questions | Asked By Chase Johnson | May 16 15
4 Answers

Does this kneewall plan make sense?

I am in a 1915 Bungalow with sloping ceilings in each of four closets upstairs. I haven't demo'd yet, but I can guess what I'll find in terms of open joist cavities, etc.

My original plan was to demo the knee wall and spray foam the ceiling slope all the way down to the eave, but I just can't afford spray foam. So my tentative plan is to create an unconditioned kneewall area that can be used for storage.

Something about my plan seems a bit off, I'm wondering if I'm missing something big here.

I drew up a plan, I hope it shows up as an attachment.

Thanks!

In Green building techniques | Asked By Adam Sick | May 20 15
10 Answers

Inductive cooktops and peak electric loads

I've been reading Dana's explanations at GBA that peak electric loads are the primary reason for the total electricity capacity required of any given utility. I understand that devices like electric point of use water heaters will easily drive higher those peak electricity requirements for the grid infrastructure. What about inductive cooktops? My understanding, which is limited, is that they have a much higher peak electricity requirement than standard electric ranges.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Eric Habegger | May 19 15
50 Answers

Affordable Cold Climate

Does any one care to "Challenge" Building America?

http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/case-studies/cs-ma-westford-hfh

Is there a "greener" and user friendly way to provide
An Affordable 3 bedoom 2 bath Home for a Cold Climate?

Optional Hint ... the 2nd floor can be re-arranged

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By John Brooks N.Texas Zone 3a | Jan 12 11
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