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!


6 Answers

Acid stain for concrete interior floor

We are looking to stain our new concrete (interior) slab. We have all ready added a pigment to it, so we don't want to cover it with something opaque. I love the look of the acid stains. I have a dozen or so 12X12" blocks from the same pour of concrete to experiment with colors.

We had a friend apply a few colors of Soy based stain and it came out very opaque, basically covering the pigment we added to the concrete. On their web page they say the soy stain in semi-transparent, while the acid stains say they are translucent.

In Green products and materials | Asked By diane minutilli | Feb 15 12
10 Answers

Double stud wall detail....review

I am attaching my proposed double stud wall detail I came up with. Let me know if anyone has any suggestions to improve it, or areas that are overkill/not needed.

The other option is running the ICF to the trusses. I like the benefits of full ICF, however from an energy standpoint (zone 6) I do not think they will hit the goals I am after. At an $8k add, I think it would be a step in the wrong direction.

In Plans Review | Asked By Jesse Lizer | Dec 13 11
6 Answers

Air handler issue

I have a 3 story cape code house that has the air handlers for the air conditioning system installed in the 3 foor knee wall unconditioned space. This set up has caused me a lot of problems with insulation and leaks over the years and I understand the many problems with this set up. The sysem is almost 25 years old and is nearing its life expectancy. The HVAC contractor told us that air handlers have not changed much in design or size since we installed this system and had no other suggestions for moving the system.. My questions are the following:

In Mechanicals | Asked By Tim Ward | Mar 5 12
3 Answers

Exterior Storm Room Wall, Zone 4A/3A?

I am working on an exterior wall detail for a guest bedroom and guest bathroom in an addition on our house that will double as storm rooms. The FEMA plans for a storm room show a double layer of 3/4" plywood fastened to wood studs.

Right now I'm thinking of 2x6 studs at 16" on center. From the interior to exterior:

GWB (mold proof);
2x6 studs with unfaced fiberglass insulation;
3/4" Advantek (subflooring) screwed to studs and lapped onto floor and ceiling band joists;
1-1/2" extruded polystyrene;

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Bill Daugherty | Mar 5 12
3 Answers

PERSIST Workshop Wall Construction in Upstate NY (Zone 5A/6A)

I am going to break ground on a 24'x32' detached workshop in a month or two. I liked Martin's article on "Getting Insulation Out of Your Walls and Ceilings" enough that I am going to give the PERSIST technique a try with this workshop. Here is my wall detail.

In Plans Review | Asked By Clement B. Edgar III | Mar 4 12
2 Answers

We are rebuilding a dormer on a historical house in New Orleans

We are rebuilding a dormer on a historical house in New Orleans. There are slates going up the side of the dormer to the roof.

Typically, there is a trim board [1"x 8"] from the front of the dormer returning to the roof.One carpenter says the return trim should go over the slates. I maintain that the slates should butt up to the return trim. Who's right?

In General questions | Asked By roger steinbrink | Mar 5 12
4 Answers

Basement Flooring

I'm in the process of finishing a basement rumpus room for the kids and would like to put 1/4” rubber flooring over the basement concrete floor.
- is there moisture test I need to perform before covering the concrete and potential limitations on floor coverings?
- Are there flooring products/procedures that work best in the basement?
During home construction, a curtain drain was installed up slope, burrito footing drain tile installed properly, and gutter downspouts tight lined away from the house. currently, there are no signs of excess moisture in the basement and no dank smell.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Frank O | Feb 16 12
30 Answers

Huber's Zip System R Sheathing

I just head a long conversation with the Tech Advisors at Huber, the maker of the Zip Panel Systems. They’ve come out with a the Zip System R Sheathing which incorporates the Zip panel with 1/2” (R3.6) or 1” (R6.6) Polyiso installed between the OSB and the stud in one application (see pic#1); available only in TX and PA, but it’ll be soon everywhere else later. It’s a great application and solution for thermal bridging with less labor costs; however, it does come with some issues that must be address by the designer, builder and framer.

In General questions | Asked By Armando Cobo | Aug 24 11
5 Answers

Multi-layered bubblewrap (non-foil type) as replacement for rigid foam? Or other ideas??

I am building a house in Japan and have not been able to source affordable rigid-foam panels. The house is a timber frame with a surround of DIY "SIPS" (non-structural) in which I want to sandwich 120mm or 4.7inches of rigid foam (R30). I am nearing the point where I am about to import Celotex panels from the UK (http://www.celotex.co.uk/products/celotex-products/celotex-xr4000), which are cost effective (even inc. shipping) compared to domestic products.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Bruce White | Mar 5 12
6 Answers

XPS rigid foam insulation and moisture

I have read that XPS extruded pink and blue polystyrene loses a "significant" amount of insulation value when wet. Is this correct and would anyone have a percentage amount? This question is in realtion to an ecoroof underlayment in a marine climate.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Valerie Garrett | Mar 2 12
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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