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!


2 Answers

Air tightness & testing?

The common method of expressing test results of air tightness tests is air changes per hour. @ 50 pascals. How is the building volume calculated? Does it include exterior wall volume (use outside dimensions)? Does it include an unheated basement? or crawlspace? In testing are vents for ventilation systems (HRV.ERV) capped? Are dryer or range vents capped? What is "state of the art" air tightness? What are best known test results?

In PassivHaus | Asked By Jerry Liebler | Jun 4 12
4 Answers

HELP! apprehensive about adding exterior XPS insulation

Hello everyone, this is my first post as an avid DIY homeowner. I have renovated multiple homes and I am a big fan of adding 2" XPS insulation board to the exterior as part of a window and siding upgrade.

This "NEW" house just sent me a curve ball. I just discovered that my "NEW" 1982 home in upstate New York (zone 6) has 1/2" foil faced polyiso between the studs and exterior sheathing.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Brandt Minkler | Jun 3 12
5 Answers

Exterior EPS foam fasteners?

Does anyone have a recommendation for fasteners for exterior foam application? I am applying 6-7" of exterior EPS foam in two layers (2x3", overlapping joints). Ideally I am looking for pneumatic nails with washers so that the fastener does not penetrate the foam.

Thanks.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Erik Lobeck | Jun 4 12
2 Answers

Storage shed outside — building for dual purpose

We have a shed -- storage for summer stuff -- which has doubled as guest sleeping in summer for visiting adult children. Please Read on and if you have suggestions, please let me know, as we are about to build a second shed -- the roof is a single slope, no ridge but vented on each end. I must be missing something, so any ideas? thanks.

This is how we built and use the first shed:

In General questions | Asked By oldhouse Inn | Jun 3 12
8 Answers

Mason Greenstar Blox?

For the last year or so, I've been planning construction of an ICF home in the Lubbock Texas area. I got sidetracked for awhile but I am getting geared up again to finish the design. I've not entirely settled on ICFs and recently came across another option - Greenstar Blox (lightweight adobe blocks made from "recycled short-fiber cellulose, portland cement, water, and an organic curing agent ad-mixture").

They are located in Mason Texas and here's the link to their website: http://www.masongreenstar.com/

Does anyone have any experience with this block?

In Green products and materials | Asked By D C | Jul 9 11
1 Answer

Input on Triangle Tube boiler products

Does anyone have any experiences, positive or negative, regarding Triangle Tube boilers?

Thanks.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Erik Lobeck | Jun 1 12
15 Answers

Working a wood stove into my hot water system

Hi all,

I'm looking for thoughts on how to tie a wood stove into my DHW system in a new house I'm building. Some background is needed though...

In Mechanicals | Asked By Jay Hersh | Aug 9 11
3 Answers

Polyethylene is already installed inside. Is it good advice to install Blueskin VP 100 on outside?

We took on to finish a half-done catastrophic renovation, done by an array of different contractors who did not know what they were doing. The building sits on a cliff on B.C.'s Pacific coast, exposed to extreme winds with driving rain.

The Canadian building inspector demanded installation of a polyethylene vapour barrier on the inside over batt insulation siting in 2x6 wall. All walls inside are finished. Sheathing is plywood. Half of the outside is covered with Blueskin VP 100. Client insists on stucco as finish.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Christian Schimert | May 30 12
6 Answers

Wanting to know if my extensive insulation/energy retrofit on an adobe house built in 1882 sounds right.

Hello all.

This is going to be long since we’re doing a complete energy retrofit of an adobe brick home built in 1882 in Salt Lake City, Utah (Zone 5b). The home is currently gutted and almost completely accessible. I’d like to know if what we have planned sounds good.

Here are the basics: The house has two floors with a full walkout basement (about 700’ down and 1200’ up). The main part of the main floor is essentially a square, 2-course-thick, dirt adobe brick structure with a “notch” where porch is.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Kelly Fowler | May 30 12
3 Answers

What fireblocking is required in double stud walls filled with dense pack cellulose?

Single floor over basement (unheated) residential, about 2400 sq ft. gable roof 18" cellulose ceiling insulation. Fiberboard sheathing XPS rain screen thin brick exterior. I would like to use OSB on the outer face of the inner wall. I'm hoping this will eliminate any required vertical fire blocking within the wall. plan on "capping" the top of the 2 wall assembly with OSB, can it be 7/16" or must it be 3/4? Wall insulation is dense pack cellulose.

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Jerry Liebler | May 30 12
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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