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2 Answers

Dricore Smartwall basement product

I'm in the process of refinishing my basement in East Lansing MI (posted previously a question about the insulation on the floor).
I found this relatively new product at the local big box store and it's a bit different in structure than some of the recommendations I've seen from Building Science on finishing a basement (specifically the addition of an internal vapor barrier).

In Green products and materials | Asked By Phylis Floyd | Jan 7 15
5 Answers

Acoustical caulk/sealant confusion

I keep hearing the term "acoustical sealant" in the context of air sealing, as in "use acoustical sealant for air sealing because it remains flexible", but am a little bit confused as to what it means. Does it refer to:

  1. Tremco accoustical sealant, the specific product?
  2. Any caulk or other sealant that exhibits the "remains flexible forever" property?
  3. Something else entirely?
In Green products and materials | Asked By Aaron Birkland | Aug 29 14
5 Answers

Better hot water source?

We built our house 11 years ago on an island off the coast of Maine - Vermont green standards, Energy Star, passive solar, 2500sf, r60 ceilings / r30 walls, with a masonry heater as primary heat source, and, oil fired radiant (tubes in the slab) as backup. We have PV panels that just about net out every year, supply vs demand, via net metering. No natural gas on the island, and LP is expensive to have delivered.

Info on house at this writeup by Homes Across America: http://homes-across-america.org/search/details.cfm?who=144&Feature=all&a...

In Mechanicals | Asked By Bob Earnest | Jan 7 15
2 Answers


I own a historically significant 1898, 3 floor town house in San Francisco with 1 inch separation from the two nearest neighbors. There is no insulation in the exterior walls, and the code in my area requires introducing insulation into the exterior walls when remodeling costs exceed ~$15K. The walls (outside to inside) consist of 9 inch wide, old growth redwood shiplap siding, 4 inch rough saw stud walls, finished with lath and plaster interior walls, all with the original wood finish in the public rooms and most bedrooms.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Richard Kadel | Jan 6 15
4 Answers

Help with flue work-around

I want to install a wood stove with a 6 inch exhaust connection vented to my 95 year old exterior wall masonry chimney which is just over 30 feet from chimney crown to firebox of stove. The chimney contains 3 flues each of which appear to be small - either 4x4 or 4x6 inches that are separated from each other by a row of vertical bricks running the length of the chimney.

In General questions | Asked By W. Timothy Ward | Jan 5 15
101 Answers

The differences between mass and insulation

The "I installed more attic insulation and now my AC runs more" thread got me thinking about the mass effect a bit.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Nathaniel G | Sep 14 14
2 Answers

I have a tongue-and-groove vaulted ceiling. How can I insulate it?

I live in Santa Barbara California. I have a tongue and groove ceiling in living room and dining room and ceiling is vaulted to about 18+feet. The shingles on the outside were applied directly to the plywood covering the tongue and grove (I guess there is that black barrier stuff/paper between). But no other insulation or barrier was applied. These are asphalt shingles.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kathie Morgan | Jan 5 15
6 Answers

Flat roof assembly in a hot humid climate

We are going to construct a very modern home with low pitched roofs (1/4" per foot on 5 separate roof levels) being constructed of 18" trusses, utilizing Advantech sheathing for the deck, then a vapor permeable fluid or adhered membrane, then rigid Polyiso board varying from a minimum 1" thick to 6" to create the slopes, then Densdeck Duraguard and finally a fully adhered, highly reflective PVC membrane. Underneath the deck, we intend to use 6-8" of open cell spray foam.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Norman Luke | Feb 8 14
3 Answers

What is the effect of windchill on design temperature?

I recently got the Hot2000 data from the energy audit for my house, and i noticed the heating peak load is designed for -20C (-2.5F). Two days ago the temperature was -8C with a -21C windchill (below peak heating load).
Do the peak loads account for windchill or is the peak load the lowest expected temperature with any windchill?

I have a 40k furnace and it seemed to hit high fire but ran maybe 30-40 mins total out of each hour.


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Alan B | Jan 3 15
11 Answers

Good framed wall and roof for north Florida?

My architect thinks we should stick with conventional wood frame construction over ICF for reasons I don't need to go into here. I'm struggling thinking of a good, durable wall for my climate zone if we decided to use wood framing for our walls.

I'm in climate zone 2. I like the idea of rigid foam even though I don't really need it, but is it worth it? It seems like it complicates exterior finish details. The house will be stucco downstairs and siding upstairs. Should I have 1" of rigid foam to eliminate thermal bridging or just forget it since my climate is warm enough to not need it?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Nick Davies | Jan 4 15
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