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!


0 Answers

Roofer in Central Vermont needed

I have asked questions in the past about "ag style" metal roofing with ice and snow shield installed under it with an air space for ventilation for a school and gotten good feedback. Now I would like to go the next step to finding a roofer who could install such a roof in the Rutland, VT area. All the roofers I have spoken to immediately say... standing seam only- no discussion. Are there roofers in this area of the world with more open minds? Anyone to suggest? It is a 6,000 sqft building.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Adrienne Raymond | Nov 21 12
8 Answers

Is it more energy efficient to insulate roof slopes or the floor of an attic?

Ignoring all other things, from a pure energy efficiency perspective, is it more energy efficient to insulate the slopes or the floor of an attic? Assume in both cases a vented attic (even if insulating slopes, there is fiberglass down below that needs to be vented. If insulating slopes, would you also endeavor to plug up holes in the floor, or is that unnecessary once attic is brought within house envelope?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Moya Mim | Nov 20 12
8 Answers

Should I exhaust from the bedrooms or the baths?

For a 2000 sq foot, 2 story house, with superinsulated 12 inch double stud walls in South Jersey, how should I best provide ventilation?

The design offers multiple choices. I can easily add a HRV with ducts drawing from the bedrooms or the baths or the kitchen or any combination of those. I have seen discussion on the GBA about the "smells like teen spirit" effect and I appreciate that lyric as I have two teen boys in those upstairs bedrooms.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Michael Arnold | Nov 20 12
3 Answers

Should I use two layers of 1 inch or one layer of 2 inch rigid foam board on the exterior?

Should I use two layers of 1 inch or one layer of 2 inch closed cell rigid foam board on the exterior? Locally we have available foil-faced on both sides. My understanding is to have only the exterior side foil faced. If using two layers of 1 inch, then should the board against the stud be unfaced?

I've read the articles on rigid board insulation on the exterior and concerns of condensation. I live in a warmer part of zone 5B at 3,400 ft. elevation.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Brad Dorken | Nov 20 12
2 Answers

Capillary break over footing

We are unfortunately under some time constraints and are looking into damp proofing our foundation footing before the foundation wall is poured. How long should we wait before applying a damp proofing product? The product should also be able to dry quickly and at temperatures around 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
I should mention that the site is dry as a bone sand. Maybe we can go without a capillary break between the footing and foundation wall?

In General questions | Asked By jessie pratt | Nov 20 12
9 Answers

Venting a small hip roof with the hip peak touching the house

I have a small section of house with a small hip roof of approximately 128 sq.ft. in area. Based on my calculations I was planning to install 5 round 4" soffit vents (http://www.homedepot.ca/product/4-inch-white-circular-louver-resin/935118) and a single square roof vent (http://www.homedepot.ca/product/60-nfa-brown-roof-louver-high-impact-res...). From other reading I gathered that the outtake should not exceed intake, so should I install an additional soffit vent to keep the ratio approx. 50 / 50 ?

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Mike Tew | Nov 19 12
5 Answers

Concrete odor

A new concrete floor was poured in the basement of my home that is under construction. After 8 weeks there is still a strong odor.

I am chemically sensitive and afraid that this may be a problem for me when I move in. I was told that this is a normal cement odor.

What could be causing this odor and will it off gas over time? We will be pouring another layer of cement for radiant heating. Will this help contain the odor? And what kind of cement should I ask for?

In Green products and materials | Asked By Arlene DiMarino | Apr 21 11
1 Answer

Flat roof venting

I am building a house in WV with a 3 FT height flat roof attic. The 18" trusses are up and had them put an "attic foil" below the roof sheating. My HVAC and water pipes will be below the trusses. There is a 3 Ft. roof hangover surrounding the house. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO INSULATE THIS ATTIC.
My contractor is planning to put the fiberglass insulation in the trusses. Can he do that ?

In General questions | Asked By Cherry Lobaton | Nov 19 12
8 Answers

Housewrap

Here's what I would like to do. I want to install roofing felt, then 2" pink foam board and cover it all with house wrap. Then install vinyl siding. Can I do this?

In Green building techniques | Asked By dale nettleton | Nov 19 12
1 Answer

Restored steel casement window solutions?

After doing some thermal investigation, I have restored a bunch of late '50s steel casement windows for use on an addition. I had found a place, Innerglass, that made interior, spring loading, storm windows that sounded like they would take my casements from beautiful to practical.

However, recently I have read about "magnetic bellow" design window inserts, so I am looking for advice.

I live in central Illinois. Lots of the casements will be facing south. I know these windows arent the smart choice, but I really like them.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By sarah mccutcheon | Nov 14 12
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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