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18 Answers

Greenest EVER insulation! (It's also very cheap!)

- 0 carbon/embodied energy
- easiest installation of all
- comes when most required
- very very DIY friendly
- can be moved around

u guessed it ?

water ....ergg SNOW of course :)

I join a picture view from my first floor patio door taken on feb 28 2013 for your enjoyment
( for those southerns that think we don't have snow in Canada ...wait everybody thinks we have tons of it ?? damn .. )

On a more serious note,
i've designed my flat roof terrace on my own house to take advantage of the snow we have each year during the coldest phase of our winter in Quebec.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Jin Kazama | Mar 7 13
6 Answers

Tape test results

The results of my test of eleven air sealing tapes on six materials has been published.

Anyone interested in reading the results can find them here: Backyard Tape Test.


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Martin Holladay | Mar 8 13
18 Answers

What kind of chimney for an energy-efficient home?

The recent discussion on masonry heaters in super-insulated homes is great, and Martin's "farewell to the chimney" post is a classic, but I have a question that I don't think has yet been covered here.

I am designing a well-insulated home that will require a modest amount of Btu input that I want to provide with a modest woodstove. What is the best type of chimney to use, masonry or insulated stovepipe? (Or some other option I'm not specifying.)

In Mechanicals | Asked By Tristan Roberts | Jan 29 11
3 Answers

How to hit studs with 4.5 inches of interior polyiso?

I am starting to install my polyiso on the interior of my slanted cathedral roof assembly and am having trouble finding the studs through the 4.5" of polyiso that I have.

Things working against me:

1. not all studs are perfectly 16" OC.
2. The ceiling deck is at an angle.
3. When I place the screws in it's hard to get them into the studs or even find the studs with the angle of the ceiling.

Are there any videos or techniques that can help me find the studs...I'm at a loss here!


In General questions | Asked By Kevin Lauscher | Mar 11 13
4 Answers

Kitchen vent fan options to control cooking odors

I'm building a 2200 sq ft ranch with six inch thick combo foam/blown fiberglass walls,triple pane windows and HRV. I would like to avoid the additional exterior wall penetration and cold air infiltration when a traditional kitchen exhaust fan is operating. I was leaning towards a Broan QS1 series recirculating fan to difuse kitchen cooking odors (onions and garlic..no grease). My wife, the cook, says outdoor venting would be best. I'm more concerned with cold air infiltration when the fan is not in operation. My gratitude for any insights or suggestions. Sincerely, Dick

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Dick Reznik | Mar 11 13
4 Answers

Siga Corvum tape

hi all, i would like to trim the foam and apply corvum for additional airtightness. i got a little overzealous when flashing the window r.o.. should i cut the tyvek back to the same depth as the window so that the corvum would adhere directly to the window and osb? i realize if i do not cut the tyvek back i will be relying on the bond of the tyvek tape bonding the tyvek to the osb...

In General questions | Asked By erik olofsson | Mar 10 13
4 Answers

My latest thoughts for walls for my "dream house"

My dream house will be located near the northern tip of Michigan over looking the shipping channel. The back will face north and have lots of windows for the view, I know terrible for heat loss but that's what the boss wants. The good news is the front, street side, will face due south and can hold lots of PV. I'll strive for exceptional air tightness and aim for r60 ceilings, r40 walls r30 basement walls and r 30 below the basement slab (using perlite). I'll incorporate a masonry heater but heat with a Mitsubshi hyper heat minisplit.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jerry Liebler | Mar 10 13
8 Answers

What tape to use on my basement interior polyiso?

I am choosing to insulate my basement walls with 2" of Polyiso and am curious: what I should use to seal the seams? Will regular UL Listed 181B metal duct tape work, or is there a better option?


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Tyler Dotten | Mar 9 13
9 Answers

Window quote information and a few questions....

We will be starting construction on a new 2.400 sq. ft. house in Royal Oak, MI starting mid-May. Our builder is starting to get quotes for windows as I provided him four companies (Accurate Dorwin, Alpen, Duxton and Inline). Since he has hesitation to use windows not serviced by a local supplier, he also obtained a quote for Jeld-Wen. So far, we have the quotes back from Alpen (formerly Serious) and Jeld-Wen.

Total window area is 280 sq. ft. All windows are casement or awning.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Troy Stevenson | Mar 1 13
2 Answers

Cost-effective night purging techniques

We're experiencing an unusual weather espisode in Melbourne. In March it's now autumn (southern hemisphere) but we're on track to have the longest period on record with maximum temperatures above 30C. This started a few days ago and is forecast to last for around 10 days. As an interesting aside, one should always be careful not to confuse weather with climate but this kind of anomaly is bang on the money for what the climate modellers have been forecasting for SE Australia for some time under anthropogenic global warming scenarios.

In Mechanicals | Asked By David Coote | Mar 9 13
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