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12 Answers

I'm doing a new construction spec high efficient house.

I'm concerned about the overall durability with using the Styrofoam on the exterior wall of the foundation that protrudes the 1' above grade. I still like the idea of having concrete in that area.

I'm looking at this thermal mass system with there 4" of concrete sandwiched with 2 " of Styrofoam and then 4" of concrete with a overall effect of R-value of 19.27
This seems to me like a great solution. Has anyone used this system?


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Peter Fusaro | Jul 28 11
14 Answers

Building new home and are having debate with a couple builders....would love to hear others' opinions!

Which would you recommend for spending $$ on first....better windows and insulation to reduce heating/cooling requirements or higher efficiency systems (including geothermal) to reduce costs for meeting the requirements? (Perfect world would obviously mean doing borh, but limited resources ($$) means we're probably going to have to make choice between options).

Thanks in advance!

In General questions | Asked By Dave W | Aug 8 11
8 Answers

I have lived in my house for twenty years and have never had a problem with condensation. About a year and a half ago I hired someone to make my house more energy efficient. He sealed leaks in the attic, and added blown cellulose insulation. He replaced the can lights with can lights designed to have insullation placed over them. At the time he did this work, airconditioning ducts ran through the attic. Shortly after that, I installed a geothermal unit and had the ductwork redone so that it is now in the crawl space.

In General questions | Asked By Jill Adams | Aug 7 11
3 Answers

Was just reading Carl's article on closed crawlspaces butdecided to post in Q&A.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Danny Kelly | Aug 8 11
20 Answers

I have read about every blog I could find and skimmed through most of the Q&A....tons of great info but nothing directly related to my exact situation.

Working on the design of a new house...In zone 6 with about 7400 HDD. House is about 1700 sqft on the main level, with full walkout basement (walks out to the north) and about another 1400 heated floor space in the basement.

In General questions | Asked By Jesse Lizer | Aug 3 11
14 Answers

Throughout the several discussions comparing/contrasting vented and unvented roofs and attics, the importance of keeping attic air from making contact with the roof deck underside is stressed. What I've not seen addressed is the situation where the ceiling (be it sloped or horizontal) is truly airtight. As in NO penetrations of any kind whatsoever, uninterrupted drywall, lotsa mud and tape, and all joints firmly backed up with deadwood and acoustic sealant. In short, whatever it takes to make it hermetically sealed.

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Charles Berg | Aug 2 11
0 Answers

Is anyone familiar with this product?:


What are your thoughts on it? Seems pretty efficient to have 3 functions rolled into one material.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Heather Gayle Holdridge | Aug 8 11
7 Answers

We are building a community house for aid orphan children for a charity in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the use of international shipping containers. They are interconnected to form a housing unit for 12 plus children. We envisage using a high-density polystyrene boards internally for insulation.This board is plastered with a polyester fabric in the plaster to prevent cracking.

This gives the board rigidity with high impact strength. The board is used as a cladding to the internal face of steel container wall with a 10 to 15 mm cavity.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Bernard Wall | Aug 6 11
2 Answers

Has a good analysis been done comparing the financial/ environmental impact between the operating energy needed over 50 years ( or longer) and the initial cost/ environmental impact of building a house? This seems like an essential green question to me.

Thanks for any help on this question.

In General questions | Asked By james Corsa | Aug 6 11
3 Answers

Architects details call for a 20 mil duraperm barrier on the underside of 8 1/4" SIP's with a ice and water shield on top. The roof is metal.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Arlis Palmer | Jul 29 11
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