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3 Answers

Positioning a house (regarding window view wall)

We are looking to build in the Ashville, NC area, 2,100 - 2,200 feet above sea level. Mild winters. The view of this lot is to the south.

Does passive solar make sense in the southern US? Can we have our high window wall face south? We will be looking into the winter sun. We can build the roof overhangs longer from the house to assist.

Looking for opinions, articles or publications that address this. Gets confusing googling everything. Also natural gas is available; could go geothermal but very expensive. What is the next best way to go? Heat pump combined with gas heat?

In Interior design | Asked By Patrick Finnigan | Oct 24 13
7 Answers

Linear lighting options

I expect by the end of this decade I'll be buying nothing but LED's, but for now I'm still buying CFL's instead of LED bulbs for 3 reasons: Some LED bulbs are no more efficient than CFL's; some LED's have a rated lifetime shorter than CFL's; and LED's generally cost more than CFL's to buy.

Can the same be said for 4' linear utility fixtures? What's the best value on the market these days?

In General questions | Asked By Charles CAMPBELL | Nov 14 15
5 Answers

Proper ventilation

I'm considering building a sips panel home . what is the proper way to allow for , humidity removal , fresh air exchange , and compensating for exhausted air from , range hood at 300 cfm , clothes dryer at 250 cfm , and bath fan at 70 cfm ????

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Scott Lawyer | Nov 13 15
9 Answers

How to excavate trench in gravel when foam is above?

New slab on grade in Zone 4A:

I plan to have about 8” of compacted 1/2” crushed stone (no fines) with 2” of XPS sheet foam, then poly of course, then 4” slab. I will need to have two trenches of a thickened-slab type footer for bearing walls.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By David McNeely | Nov 16 15
13 Answers

Recessed Lighting / heat loss


New homeowner. I have 10 6" prescolite IC non-airtight cans atop my 2nd floor going to my attic and 11 of the same IC non-airtight cans in cathedral ceilings going to the roof. They are square housings.

I have explored all the options. The attic is covered with I believe r-30 batts and about 12" of blown-in cellulose on top of that. They put additional bats all around the fixtures like a moat but not on top of them -- not sure why, since they are IC rated.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Justin Brown | Nov 12 15
30 Answers

HRV vs. whole-house dehumidifier — Need help choosing

Hello, I have a 1700 sq ft house located about an hour North of Albany, NY. The house was built in 1998, and I just purchased it last year, it is fairly tight, but nothing exotic. It has 2x6 walls with fiberglass insulation,R-60 in the ceiling, double pane vinyl windows, and vinyl siding. The house has a few year old high efficiency forced air propane furnace and no AC.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Chris Yarsevich | Oct 26 15
3 Answers

Insulating a cathedral ceiling

I am building a cape style new house and I am trying to find a good cost effective green way to insulate the cathedral ceiling that is in half the house. I was thinking about putting roxul in between the rafters and foil faced foam over the rafters in full sheets and taping the seams to stop thermal bridging. I am in climate zone 6. Looking for any suggestions thanks

In Green building techniques | Asked By Sam Gagne | Nov 14 15
1 Answer

Garage moisture issues


Our garage is unfinished cement block, and I would like to finish it at some point with insulation and a stud wall. However, I am concerned by the amount of moisture that is currently present in the garage.

The garage is typically very damp and musty. When it rains, there are are discolorations on the walls that I assume are from water being wicked up by the cement (see photo below).


In General questions | Asked By Cory Kaufman-Schofield | Nov 16 15
2 Answers

Subfloor replaced. Now what? Insulation?

I live on the coast of south Texas and have recently replace the subfloor, will plates and some joists, all due to rot. The contractor added more vents around the house to improve moisture removal, but I'm not convinced that is all that needs to be done. The crawl space is dirt floor with numerous obstacles in place that cannot be removed (remnants of an old chiller system). I was wondering if putting up foam board under the joists would keep out moisture or should we try to encapsulate with closed cell insulation. The house was built in 1937.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By William Mills | Nov 16 15
19 Answers

Accidental deep energy retrofit


I'm doing a gut renovation of a stucco-sided house in the high desert. We changed most of the window sizes to improve the passive solar performance of the house, which means a lot of stucco repairs. Now my contractor is telling me we should remove all the stucco and start from scratch, rather than trying to tie new tar paper to old tar paper at the studs. It'll cost a little more, but we'll get a better result.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Reanna Alder | Nov 5 15
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