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4 Answers

I want to extend my farmhouse using passive heating and cooling and also orientating it for optimal solar hot water and electricity generation.
I've wanted to include a Trombe wall. The standard design uses adjustable vents to either provide heated air or induce cooler air.
It just occured to me that a more modern approach might be to use a heat recovery unit to capture the generated heat.

Do you know this would be preferable? Has it already been done?

Bob Guthrie

In Green building techniques | Asked By Robert Guthrie | Jul 21 11
1 Answer

I have heard that green board for tiled shower backerboard is out of favour and has been replaced with Hardi Board - Dens Glas - or Wonderboard. Please confirm.

My builder has installed Greenboard in the shower and bathtub areas. I am a bity nervous over the installation. Which is the industry prefered backerboard?



In General questions | Asked By Bob Nickason | Jul 20 11
0 Answers

I am writing to enquire about sound deadening strategies for a 17-year old guest bedroom roof that is part of a house addition. The few times I have been up there when it rains, I am surprised of how noisy it is. The noise by itself is not prompting me to make a change but since a tree fell through the roof, I now have an opportunity to address it. I plan to replace the damaged portion and reshingle the entire addition.

In General questions | Asked By Brooks Truskett | Jul 21 11
14 Answers

My wife an I have done extensive research on building a passive solar house in combination with as many "Passive House" aspects as we can afford. We have decided to build the house on a slab in order to maximize our thermal mass, triple pain, High solar heat gain on the south etc.. We live in Northeast CT

In General questions | Asked By rebecca Surprenant | Jul 15 11
1 Answer

We have clients in demo phase who discovered that the exterior brick of the chimney near the firebox and underneath a coat of stucco had nearly disintegrated. The house is a 1935 stucco Tudor style.

There is a great photo at this link: http://www.minnephithouse.com/?p=365

Is this simply a matter of moisture vapor escaping through the masonry over time or is there some chemistry happening here due to the wood combustion?

For fun also check out the pickup truck demo video: http://www.minnephithouse.com/?p=376

In General questions | Asked By j chesnut | Jul 20 11
3 Answers

Is there a place to compare exterior doors for energy efficiency and excellent seals? We are having trouble finding suitable doors for a very well insulated SIP house. The ones we got on a previous job are not adequate.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Anna Johnson | Jul 20 11
5 Answers

Hi, I want to seal and insulate my ceiling this summer. Old house with lathe and plaster, 2x4 joists, ventilated attic, and 3-4 inches of what looks like mineral wool insulation. Plan was to remove old insulation, seal any holes and cracks, and seal over interior wall partitions. Then add as much blown cellulose as possible though not sure yet if 2x4 joists will limit how much cellulose I can add weight wise.

In below JLC forum thread it was stated that you can't use lathe and plaster as an air barrier.

In General questions | Asked By David Argilla | Jul 20 11
0 Answers

I recently bought a 200 year old timber-frame cape in Western Mass. Right now there is no insulation in the roof. I know the recommended fix is to put rigid foam on top and re-roof, but as the story seems to go the previous owner replaced the roof last year. I know. It is a shame or even a crime they didn't address the problem then. But they were 90+ and had lived in the house for 50 years without insulation so why do it now.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jamie Malcolm-Brown | Jul 20 11
6 Answers

I'm replacing some drywall in the corner of my basement - just one sheet on each wall. The block wall on one side (Northeast) is all below grade. The wall on the other side (Northwest) is half below grade. The bottom plate/block connection is not well sealed, so I was going to do that. The builder had a put a piece of poly up over the studs and fiberglass batts on the above-grade portion. the outer sheathing is right behind them. Should I replace this piece of poly or should I leave the fiberglass and studs exposed to increase drying to the inside?

In General questions | Asked By Michael Schonlau | Jul 17 11
5 Answers

update to Paul Ehrlich's 1968 'The Population Bomb' - http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/environment/video-standing-room-onl...

In General questions | Asked By j chesnut | Jul 16 11
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