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

[Click map to enlarge]

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

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!

4 Answers

To ERV or Not?

Hi, I'm having a house built in central VA (Zone 4)...2 floors and a basement (~3300 sq.ft.). Trying to build pretty tight and so we are concerned with proper ventilation. Each house in the community must meet certain standards which include fresh air ventilation to the ashrae standard. Btw...I'm pushing to get the hvac system within the conditioned space, so we are likely to have a single forced air ducted system for the entire house with manually set dampers for each floor.

Here are the options I've received on ventilation....

In Mechanicals | Asked By Bryan Anderson | Apr 25 12
4 Answers

How can I turn my pseudo vented roof into a true unvented roof, with cathedral ceilings?

We are living in a new house with a low pitch 1.5:12 metal split shed roof and cathedral ceilings. There was a misunderstanding when the house was built and no ventilation was framed in under the roof. We found out when we had condensation issues dripping on us over the winter....So now we want to go back to the architect's original intention and turn it into an unvented roof. In order to avoid the huge mess of taking the drywall ceilings out and spraying foam in from below, we want to know if we can do it effectively from above?

In GBA Pro help | Asked By dena platis | Apr 24 12
6 Answers

Feedback on Double Stud Walls

I'm considering using a double stud wall for a new home. in all the literature both the inside and outside stud spacing's are insulated and often the walls are connected at each floor with the outside wall being the load bearing wall.

In General questions | Asked By Sasha Harpe | Apr 23 12
10 Answers

Single-glazed double-hungs w/storms... a good strategy?

We're agonizing over window choices for our place, which is a 1930s farmhouse. The original windows were double hungs, and at some point a previous owner removed the sash and installed miserable vinyl inserts into the frames. Those have distorted significantly over the years and now leak a lot of air around the sash edges.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By David Meiland | Apr 14 12
1 Answer

1880 Victorian – no insulation and new windows needed

We live in Massachusetts. Our 1880 Victorian has no insulation in the walls/ceilings/basement. Looking to replace all the windows in the house. Looking at Marvin Infinity Series (thoughts/comments?). Confused on pro/con of different insulation options. Looks like blowing in deep pack cellulose is the most common option. Exterior of house is in descent shape (wood shingles). I have read a lot about moisture issues with deep pack. Is this really a risk since there is no vapor barrier behind my lathe and plaster? Anyone suggest a great company in Mass to do the insulation work? Thanks!

In General questions | Asked By Drew King | Apr 24 12
4 Answers

Using heat from Fridge to heat water

Has anyone thought about using the heat pump in the fridge to heat hot water?
What about a hack from a DIY ?

In Green products and materials | Asked By Dennis Doherty | Apr 23 12
4 Answers

Attic access: What is the best way to maintain an airtight seal?

Once again, I'm a guy building a house--someday. After my seemingly endless perusal of this website, I've concluded that (a) attics can't be drywalled off and forgotten, even though I won't ever want to go up there, and, (b) an oft-sold accessory, the pull-down attic stairs, is a really bad idea for an energy-efficient home. Given these facts, can anyone suggest a simple, airtight detail which will allow attic access and maintain the integrity of the building envelope?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Gordon Taylor | Apr 24 12
2 Answers

I currently have an oil hot water heating system. I wish to get off oil.

What is the most economical and green solution? Wood is not an option.

In General questions | Asked By Jan de Graaf | Apr 23 12
5 Answers

Spray foam for a concrete brick house

I plan on spray foaming my house really soon. it's a post-WW2 home with concrete brick as an exterior cladding. I have read the article on the precautions of insulating brick homes, but there is a slight difference.

1. Are concrete bricks generally more resistant than clay bricks to spalling?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By gramps888 . | Apr 16 12
7 Answers

What are my options to replace fiberglass insulation in vaulted ceiling?

The vaulted ceiling is scissor truss construction with a 6/12 ceiling and 9/12 roof pitch. I've been in the attic and have very limited access, but I can see wires running through the insulation, gaps, and no insulation on top of the ridge peak. In order to replace the insulation I figure I will have to remove sections of the drywall for access from below. When I gain access from below I could rake out the fiberglass insulation and then use some type of blowin insulation. What insulation could I have blown into this space with a 6/12 pitch?

Thanks for the advice.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Brad Dorken | Apr 19 12
Register for a free account and join the conversation

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