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3 Answers

Energy-efficient tack room?

We are adding a tack room to our barn this summer Climate zone 4a but near the edge with 3a). The reasoning is to provide more secure and better storage for the tack for our horses (consisting of a few saddles, driving harnesses, halters, blankets etc...)

Most of the tack rooms I've been in are just rooms built in the barn. They do a reasonable but not great job of keeping the dust and critters out. However none that I am aware of do anything to condition the space.

In General questions | Asked By Donald Endsley | Apr 25 14
6 Answers

Spray foam layer over board foam in Northern Zone 5a?

Mr. Holladay once wrote of rafters, "Yes, you can combine rigid foam and spray foam if you want to save some money. I would be inclined to install the layers of rigid foam first [I, Gordon, assume this means the rigid foam would go against the roof decking] -- cut undersized, and with canned foam sealing the perimeter of each rectangle -- and cap everything with spray foam [I'm seeing this as under the rigid foam and further away from the roof] from a contractor's truck."

In Green building techniques | Asked By Gordon B | May 23 13
3 Answers

Electric tank water heater?

Hi. I am back and forth about purchasing either the Rheem Marathon or your run-of-the-mill steel tank electric hot water heater. I have read that the Marathon series is no more efficient than a standard tank (EF factor), however, has the advantage of not rusting out. So what's the advantage of all that foam on the Marathon? It costs 2/3+ more and its tank is made out of polybutylene which is a bit worrisome. Any recommendations on kind, as well as sizing (2 adults, 2 kids; are fairly water conservation minded); I'm thinking an 50-75 gallon would work?

In General questions | Asked By Matthew Michaud | Apr 26 14
3 Answers

Installation of windows without housewrap

I live about 30 miles south of St. Louis and own a 2006 home that was built using construction techniques that are standard for our area, but far from using green building and building science principles. For example, our home was built without the use of exterior insulation or a housewrap, meaning we have our OSB/plywood followed by the vinyl siding.

In General questions | Asked By Ken French | Apr 22 14
4 Answers

Ductless minisplit for a storefront?

I've been reading a lot about minisplits on here and their virtues for heating and cooling homes. I currently rent a 500 square foot storefront on the ground level of a 3 storey brick commercial building. The climate zone is 5B. The only heat is electric baseboard plus a space heater in the back workshop area. This winter I was paying $300 per month to heat the small space and with the heaters full out, it was still 15 degrees (celsius) in here.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Jonathan Dalton | Apr 25 14
29 Answers

Ductless Downside

How should we deal with Private Rooms?

1. Don't worry about it
2. Seek clients who are not too concerned about comfort
3. Keep bedroom doors open (especially when occupied)
4. Provide Radiant Panels and Don't worry about Cooling
5. Preheat the Ventilation Air and Don't worry about Cooling
6. Undercut the door and pray
7. Provide a Ductless in every Private room instead of the Common Space(s)
8. Provide Transfer Fans between Public and Private Rooms
9. Don't Do Ductless
10. Other

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By John Brooks | Apr 8 14
5 Answers

Is sheathing required behind clapboard exterior wall?

I have a 1971Lancer double wide mobile home with hardboard exterior walls that seem to be toxic. I am sensitized to chemicals due to chronic pain and fatigue. The hardboard has a strong petrochemical aroma when the sun heats it; or when i open up the wall space, such as when working on an 120v wall box. I have been around all the other house components before (vinyl, paint, carpeting, MDF, etc) and have finally realized its the hardboard that is the main culprit.

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Joe Tichenor | Apr 18 14
2 Answers

Best HRV for a fire station that gets humid in winter?

I am doing a bid to fix a humidty problem in a fire station. This is in a small town in mid-Missouri. The building is a 2,840 square foot metal building with no ventilation. It is heated with radiant heat. It is 45,000 cubic ft.

In the wintertime the building is trapping all the excess moisture in the building and then it is condensing on the bay doors of the fire station and growing mold.

I am pretty certain that a good HRV will do the job but I'm not completely confident how to size it due to the fact the it is an extreme situation. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

In General questions | Asked By Mike Hansen | Apr 21 14
7 Answers

What is the R-Value of water?

I am exploring the utility of adding a low profile rainwater catchment system to the outside of a building. I would like to quantify the insulative value of adding a 9.5 inch water tank to the outside of a building.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Kevin Wyckoff | Apr 23 14
2 Answers

If slab edge thermal break is inside the stem wall except for at door openings, how far past the opening should I extend an exterior thermal break in those door locations?

I have a 4' deep stem wall with a independent concrete slab floor. I have a 2" XPS foam thermal break around the entire slab edge except for at door openings where the frost wall was dropped to accommodate a thicker slab.

I want to add an exterior thermal break at the door opening locations. How far past the door openings should I run the thermal break in order to prevent heat loss from "sneaking past"?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Rick Van Handel | Apr 24 14
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