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

Would someone be kind enough to review my floor plan?

I am doing a major remodel and addition to my house. Here's the proposed floor plan.

In Plans Review | Asked By Edward Yeh | Oct 26 12
51 Answers

? for Martin regarding his report on the BSC whole wall assembly R-value testing results.

Did the Building Science Corporations report on their whole wall performance r-value tests quantify the decrease in R-value below 50 degrees that they found happening with Poly-Iso insulation? What is the R-value curve for Poly-Iso?
Thanks,
Spencer

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Spencer Burnfield | Oct 20 12
1 Answer

Stucco for your home's exterior - saves energy?

Hi there,

Our new home has just been constructed, but its exterior is still pretty bare. So, our local contractors suggested that we cover the walls with stucco. I am pretty eco conscious and I would like our home to be warm so we don't use much energy to heat it.

Is stucco good at keeping the energy bills low? Should we use their stucco service, or we are better off with using some other type of construction technology and if so, what type? Any word on stucco vs siding vs Hardie board? Many thanks for any piece of advice.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By James Paterson | Oct 25 12
7 Answers

Best way to retrofit / insulate a 1883 house

Hello,
I am considering ways to insulate a home with balloon framing, 4 1/8" X 3" studs, lath and plaster, 7/8-inch horizontal plank sheathing and clapboards. The clapboards come off easily and many have to come off anyway for a major multi-level porch project on the west, weather facing wall.

The thermal bridging is worse than most as the studs are 3 inches wide and every 16 inches as well accounting for almost 20% of the wall (probably more including windows doors etc.).

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Rob Crampton | Oct 24 12
9 Answers

Air barrier on top of Roxul insulation

From everything I read, I need an air barrier on top of the roxul insulation we have in a vented attic space we are renovating. I put the roxul down and am struggling to find a cheap, easy way to create an air barrier without causing moisture issues.

I'd love to buy some rigid foam to help the Rvalue, but am worried about creating a moisture issue.
Tyvek is expensive

Are any of these cheap ideas viable?

I had been thinking of going to an appliance store and begging for free sheets of cardboard, but never got around to it.

In General questions | Asked By Nick H | Oct 23 12
5 Answers

Vented vs. Non-vented cathedral roof - Zone 1

Hi
I'm working on a project in Zone 1 and looking for some thoughts/ perspectives on venting vs. not venting a cathedral roof. All of the second flr spaces are under cathedral ceilings.

Rafters are only 2x6's. I have been considering filling the bays with cellulose or fiberglass and adding 2" of rigid to the roof deck.

Or spraying full depth medium density foam and no rigid. But I'm wondering if I should be trying to vent the roof. Are there measurable thermal benefits in a hot climate to venting the roof?

The house may not ever be air conditioned, so it might be a moot point.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Chris Harris | Oct 23 12
2 Answers

Types and advantages of heated crawl space?

I'm having a small lake cabin built in northern Wisconsin, with a crawl space with slab floor. I'm told many newer cabins there have heated floors in their crawl spaces. Can you tell me, or point me to articles explaining, the various options for heating a crawl space floor and the advantages/disadvantages of doing so? We would like to spend several weeks and weekends there every winter, but will use it mostly in the summer. Thanks!

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Chris Ison | Oct 24 12
2 Answers

Should I ventilate my crawl space or seal my crawl space?

I live in the northern part of Utah about 50 miles south of the Idaho Utah border and it's fairly dry all year long except in the early spring months, and I'm not sure if I should ventilate my crawl space or seal it off. I have read several websites that tell me that ventilated crawl spaces in the dry states in the western US are okay to have, then I've had several websites tell me ventilating a crawl space is altogether bad no matter where you are. I would very much appreciate if somebody could help shed some light on this for me.

In General questions | Asked By Casey Mallory | Oct 24 12
2 Answers

Do ordinary curtains provide ANY energy/heat saving benefit?

Some years ago I read that "ordinary" curtains & miniblinds do not provide much in the way of energy/heat saving.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By kathlene kelley | Jan 7 12
6 Answers

XPS below rafters in cathedral ceiling zone 4

We are finishing off some attic space (most over a garage, some over main part of house) for very occasional use as a guest bedroom, kid's playroom. Total sq ft is about 350, with cathedral ceiling (8 ft at the collar ties) with ridge vent and soffits. I'm fairly certain that the roof structure is just shingles, paper and plywood. Air vent baffles were installed between all 2 x6 rafters and OSB was used as backing behind the 5 ft knee walls (and was thoroughly air sealed).

In General questions | Asked By Rob Silbajoris | Oct 17 12
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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