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8 Answers

What is the correct climate zone?

Can anyone point to a web site that will be zip code specific to determine which climate zone you are located? The Department of Energy web site leaves something to be desired. I cannot determine a clear explanation of climate zone 4 and 4 Marine. It seems there should be a site to enter zip code or address and get definitive information regarding climate zone.
Thanks,
William

In Building Code Questions | Asked By william dempsey | Mar 1 15
14 Answers

Insulating a low-slope EPDM roof from the ceiling below

Hi. I recently had an Epdm roof installed on my 140 year old house. It's low slope and meets with a gable roof on the other part of the house. The Gable is standing seam. We had a tapered ISO board system installed as the underlayment to help with drainage and make the edge details easier to deal with. I reframed the roof and sheathed it myself before the roofing contractors started so I could save money. At the time the ceilings underneath the roof were all closed so I installed 4 inch rockwool batts right on top of the plaster/lath of the ceilings below.

In General questions | Asked By joseph moore | Feb 26 15
17 Answers

Recommendation for minisplits vs. gas-fired HVAC for new Massachusetts building

I am building an energy efficient 15 unit apartment building in MA this spring. We can either go natural gas or electric. I am considering going all electric since the MA Energy Code is so stringent and the heat load will be relatively small even though there are very cold temps at times. We might even put on solar panels for the house meter.
The electric units would take up much less space and I would rather not have to put in gas at all. I am not thrilled about electric hot water heaters but understand that the newer tankless units are much better.
Any input would be appreciated.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Bill Perkins | Feb 25 15
15 Answers

Wood floor underlayment over radiant heated floor

Hi,

I am building a 2 story house wood frame house(with basement) that is heated with radiant hot water system installed in the floor.

The joists have been blown in with loose fill cellulose (for both sound and to keep the heat up) and a plywood floor is on top of the joists. R5 foam board is installed on top of the plywood and the PEX tubes are installed to the foam board. They will be pouring a self leveling concrete on top of the PEX and then gluing down engineered wood floors.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Howard Klein | Mar 5 14
4 Answers

Double wall exterior sheathing

I am designing a near zero energy home in climate zone 5 and working out the details for a double wall system.

There is a lot of talk about what kind of sheathing to use or not use due to the fact that the sheathing will be very cold. As I understand what I have read so far, it is recommended NOT to use OSB or foam but OK to use DensShield Gold, structural fiber board or plywood in Zone 5.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Terry Herschberger | Mar 2 15
6 Answers

Running PEX in-floor in addition to baseboard

I'm building a new wood frame home with hot water baseboard heating in climate zone 6. The bathroom will have tile floors and I was thinking of using some electric resistance heat under the tile along with a baseboard hot water radiator in the bathroom. These electric systems are not inexpensive to install or operate so I am now considering simply running loops of Pex (the supply line to the bathroom radiator) between the joists to keep the tiles warm before the water in the line gets to the baseboard radiator.

In Mechanicals | Asked By George LaLonde | Mar 2 15
3 Answers

Basement finish floor, slab on grade

With the help of this site I insulated and framed my basement (90 year old house, 8-9" concrete walls). I did 2 inches of XPS (EPS in hindsight would have been greener but I had a deal on some XPS), 2x framing with Roxul R-15 in between 2x. Rock is next and then floors.

In General questions | Asked By Sean Cotter | Mar 1 15
7 Answers

Buying a house and want to make it super efficient. I have some concerns about the attic. Can you help?

I am about to close on a house that was built in 1972. It is in Longview, Texas. It is 2100 sq. ft. The garage was made into living space at an unknown date. Has a 3.5 ton central air unit and electric furnace for heat (inspector said that is too small and likely was in place before the garage was converted). Flex type ducting in the attic. My goal is to eventually do the entire place from top to bottom, as I can afford it, and make it cheap to heat and cool. I have several plans in mind. Insulation of the attic I think will be my first step.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Sam Vail | Feb 26 15
5 Answers

What is a correct way of fastening two layers of 2" rigid insulation to the exterior of a 2x6 wall?

I would like to know the correct way to fasten two layers of rigid foam insulation where the total thickness is 4". I am concerned that when hanging this thickness of foam it will be difficult to be sure that the siding application is secure. We will be using HardiePlank horizontal lap siding. This is a form of cement board and heavy on it's own. Any advice.
Thanks

In Green building techniques | Asked By william dempsey | Feb 26 15
1 Answer

Pier and beam — insulation under floors/house?

I live in a 645 s.f. two-story home on pier and beam. It is not well insulated, not winterized and not the most precise construction. It is about 20 years old and we just purchased it a year ago. My husband and I had plans to work on it to get it better insulated and heated, but he passed away suddenly and now I am trying to think of the things he mentioned we might try.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jennifer Shrift | Mar 1 15
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