Q&A: A Forum for Green Building Experts and Beginners

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

If you want to post a question, 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

Any information about the efficiency & cost of direct Solar Hot Water systems versus using Heat Pump Water Heater and PV panels to power it?

Location: Northern California - Sacramento

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Urs Schuler | Dec 22 14
50 Answers

Wet OSB - how much water can it take?

We are two weeks from having trusses and roof on our new house. The rains are killing us. We painted the subfloors before the rains and have been sucking water after each storm. We are dreading putting the hardwood floors down (someday). How much damage can happen due to this rain, glad it's helping the drought, but it's definitely stressing us out!

In General questions | Asked By colleen1 runyen | Dec 17 14
4 Answers

Is a gas fireplace blower fan an energy-efficient investment?

In reading some of the prior blogs concerning the issues surrounding a ventless fireplace I was struck by the strong feelings for both positive and negative positions on a ventless design. My question actually pertains to the energy efficiency and advisability of adding a blower fan set up to a fireplace . Does a blower fan make the fireplace much more efficient in terms of using the BTU's created by combustion of gas? It certainly seems that it should. It also seems that a blower fan would exacerbate the distribution of negative byproducts if that is in fact an issue.

In General questions | Asked By W. Timothy Ward | Dec 20 14
25 Answers

Quarter Round on Rammed Earth

I'm trying to attach 3/4 x 3/4 to rammed earth pony walls I put in this rehab I am doing but the 3" finish nails are not holding. Any ideas?

I could try dipping in contact cement but I want to keep it all natural. What would they use for concrete?

Reason is although I used a surface sealer I found out the vacuum will tear the wall up.

PIC below is before, I'm pretty happy with it for my first project indoors. Realtor is going to give me feed back before I build homes.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Terry Lee | Dec 18 14
5 Answers

Ventilating

I own a 1100 square foot vintage condo that desperately needs ventilation but has no duct work no HVAC no dehumidifier, the space gets stuffy and hot, very uncomfortable in the summer and in the winter with everything closed, condensation develops on the windows.

Would appreciate any advice with what the best way to ventilate the space is without breaking the bank: an air handler? The Broan ventilators?

Thanks!

In Mechanicals | Asked By Vishy S | Dec 21 14
3 Answers

Mechanical room size

I'm looking at designs for slab on grade, 3 BR, 2 Bath houses under 1500 sq feet (heat provided by heat pump/baseboard heaters). Can anyone share their experience with how large the mechanical room should be? Hot Water Tank, solar power inverter, HRV, Networking/cabling, Power Panel, main water cutoff are what I see as the main components. Is there anything else that should be planned for? I don't have the option of moving these items out to the garage (eastern Canada), and many house plans I've looked at assume there is a basement or just have small areas carved out for H/W or HRV.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Corey B | Dec 20 14
11 Answers

Meanwhile at BSC ... PHIUS draft standard

Not sure it was linked here .....
But it might interest some of us that missed the hint from PHIUS or PHAUS

http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/bareports/ba-1405-draft-climate...

BA-1405: Climate-Specific Passive Building Standards

Draft paper from PHIUS and BSC .

Still reading and learning, interesting stuff.

Might we discuss the proposed standard now ? :)

In General questions | Asked By Jin Kazama | Dec 12 14
2 Answers

What should I use to create a smooth base under a soft floating flooring?

I am thinking about using a soft flooring like a linoleum or fiberglass flooring. I need to use something under it that is smooth but I am concerned about the VOCs from particle board type products.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Jacque Hyler | Dec 19 14
15 Answers

Unfinished basement, Cgi 5 gas boiler, Z vent. The outside air is making the basement cold. Can it be louvered?

Hi all,

So Ive just finished sealing the rim joist with 2" XPS (Dow Blue board) and spray foam, sealed the perimeter between the walls and floor with silicone, installed a air tight sump lid but was still getting drafts.

So Ive tracked it back to the Z vent for our CGi5 boiler, it seems the air is coming in through the z vent and back that way. It has the Z Vent termination cap on outside but was wondering if it could use a metal louver on the outside so when the boiler isnt firing it the drafts stay outside?

In Mechanicals | Asked By Darren Finch | Dec 16 14
12 Answers

Woodstoves: does efficient burning depend on size?

We are in the market for a new, non-catalytic woodstove. We understand that a non-cat stove needs a minimum temperature of around 500° for an efficient secondary burn. Question: Does attaining that 500° depend on the size of the stove at all? Or will the same quantity of wood produce the same burn temperature regardless of firebox size? (I know, dry, seasoned hardwood, etc.)

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Patricia Appelbaum | Dec 17 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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