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2 Answers

Non-toxic laminate brands?

After MUCH consideration and debate, we have decided to go with laminate flooring for our home. I know this isn't the "greenest" choice, but it is the right choice for us (budget, wear, etc.). We would like 12 mm laminate that mimics the look of an oil finished gray-brown oak hardwood. We would like to find something a little more matte and not too slippery. But most importantly we want a brand we can trust that is committed to low VOC and formaldehyde free. We would also like something made in the US, Canada, or Europe (NOT China). Anyone have any recommendations?

In Green products and materials | Asked By Kara English | Jul 3 16
4 Answers

Hot water distribution

Why are gravity flow systems not pushed in new homes not even talked about for after market homes? I see all these advertisements for tank less water heaters as an add on and pumps that drive the utility bill through the roof. A gravity flow design circulates the water slowly and consistently towards the end user at an very efficient method, in most cases with a lower utility bill. This is a real green design that the earth provides most of the power. I was disappointed to come to a green site and see you push pumps to save water but they drive utility rates up in doing so.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Richard Hugo | Jul 3 16
4 Answers

Unconditioned attic — using minisplits — insulation type — and interior wall insulation

I'm building an addition to my home, which was discussed in some detail in a previous thread http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/community/forum/mechanicals/96906/zo....

Current home is in Zone 2, Houston area, 2*4 walls, brick veneer, blown in (pure white) insulation in the ceiling (cellulose?)

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Mark McFarlane | Jul 4 16
7 Answers

Wall stack for climate zone (4)

I'm going to be building a new house in Tennessee, climate zone (4). The local codes use 2012 IBC but call for the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.

I have a couple of restrictions due to the builder / community HOA ... these are 2X4 walls and vinyl siding. Also restricted to a 12-4 roof and 1 story house.

In Plans Review | Asked By Stephen Cook | Jul 1 16
1 Answer

How do I find a good HVAC contractor?

I have issues with my ducting and what I can only assume is an unbalanced system. Some rooms are warm/cold, but others are fine. I would like to have a knowledgeable HVAC contractor help me out with my system, but I know that the general solution is to just throw "more power" at it. I'm looking for someone who truly understands the science of designing an efficient system, and this isn't something that can be determined from websites or reviews online. Does anyone have recommendations on how to find someone like that? BTW, I am in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Thanks.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Jay Johnson | Jul 3 16
1 Answer

Replacing siding - can siding contractor install insulation?

We are having the siding torn out and replaced on one wall of our house. Zone 4a. We want to insulate (currently none in the walls) and add sheathing (as per code, there is currently none of this either). We are thinking of rigid foam board (which I think would go closer to the outside than the sheathing) or fibreglass batts (which would go closer to the inside than the sheathing). We won't do this ourselves because of extreme risk to life and limb, given the building height.

In General questions | Asked By Catherine Buck | Jul 4 16
1 Answer

Affordable, non-toxic floating floor for the basement?

I am looking for an affordable flooring choice for our finished basement. We are putting hardwoods in throughout the main floor, but need to save a little in the basement. I would prefer a floating floor over a glue down floor due to our toddler's chemical sensitivities. I would also prefer something other than tile (hard, cold, a pain to rip up if we needed to) or concrete (hard and we have very young kids). I like the idea of the Marmoleum Click flooring but cannot afford $6ish a square foot. We are really only looking to spend less than $3 a square foot for materials.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Kara English | Jul 2 16
0 Answers

Best brands of engineered hardwoods?

We are planning to go with an engineered hardwood. What are the best brands in terms of VOCs, formaldehyde testing, etc. We like the look of Teka floors but are not sure how they rate on indoor air quality. Thank you!

In Green products and materials | Asked By Kara English | Jul 2 16
9 Answers

Woodshop super-ventilation: Any reason to air seal / insulate?

I'm building a 900 sqft woodshop outside of Portland, OR (Climate Zone 4c).

Based on Bill Pentz's research, the best way to avoid fine dust-related health problems is to ventilate all sanding/cutting tools to the outside with ~ 1000 CFM of air, which is enough flow to fully change the shop air every 7 minutes.
Recirculating air filters don't cut it for fine dust --- it has to vent outside.

Taking this airflow as a given, is there any reason to:

1) Worry about air-sealing the shop wall envelope? (There will be an open garage door or intake fan providing makeup air.)

In General questions | Asked By Kevin Lynagh | Jun 30 16
5 Answers

Dense Pack Cellulose - Problems Using Insulweb?

I'm preparing to spray dense pack cellulose between my roof rafters for a cathedral ceiling

The cellulose will be sprayed between the ceiling drywall and the roof sheathing from above, since the roof is being re-done.

Since the existing sheathing has already been removed to rewire and repair, I was looking at using insulweb for the spraying, instead of through holes in the sheathing. Seems to make more sense since it will allow visual inspection of the fill

I have a couple concerns

In General questions | Asked By Paul Murphy | Jul 1 16
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