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2 Answers

Brick veneer cladding and exterior rigid foam

Exterior wall cladding on a house that we're looking to build is primarily fiber cement with a 42" brick water table at the base. Wall construction from the framing out is 2x6 with OSB sheathing, 2" of XPS rigid foam and house wrap. Upper portion under the fiber cement will include 1x3 vertical furring to provide for ventilation and a way to secure the fiber cement. Lower portion by the brick will incorporate a 1" air gap and a mesh material at the base to prevent mortar droppings from blocking any weep holes. Question is what is the best method to secure the bricks to the studs ...

In Green building techniques | Asked By Milan Jurich | Apr 19 12
7 Answers

Monolithic slab in a cold climate

I've been talking to an excavator who says that he has done quite a few monolithic slabs up here in Vermont, including one for his own home. I'm wondering if anyone else has used a monolithic slab in a cold climate and if so, how did they do it? I'm thinking that 4" of foam insulation under the slab and another 4" around the slab would work, but I wonder how far out it should go. I also wonder about what kind of vertical insulation to use around the slab perimeter. Any advice?

In Green building techniques | Asked By William Ritke-Jones | Apr 5 12
0 Answers

Water Filter recommendation

This may not be a green building question, but it's related to Green. I am looking for built-in water filter that can remove as much bad stuff such as chlorine, heavy metals, such as barium, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury. I am looking for the model that I can install at the sink without having to use a water pitcher like Brita. I am also considering whole house water filter.

In General questions | Asked By Rian Bart | Apr 16 12
6 Answers

Retiring and will be building a down sized home for wife and I

My question is about construction of the exterior wall. I plan on 2x4 wall on 2' centers, with exterior strapping of horizontal 2x4s on 2'centers. The spaces between the strapping will be filled with cut to fit 1.5" sheet foam, sealed and taped. Then 2 layers of taped and sealed sheet foam, folled with vertical 1x4s attached through foam to strapping (for rain screen), finished with horizontal siding. I haven't built houses since undergraduate school (many years ago), but have been following more current discussion about energy efficiency/green construction.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Michael Parnell | Apr 13 12
3 Answers

Where to put my Indoor Air Quality $$?


We're building what we hope to be a reasonably air tight and energy efficient home in Zone 4. We'll be using some type ventilation, but want to minimize the amount of pollutants introduced in all the new materials. However, we're not sure where we would get the biggest impact for our money.

I'm having a hard time finding any solid recommendations for prioritizing. Any help would be appreciated. Low VOC paint is already planned.

Some of the areas we are considering...

- I Joists (2 level house + basement)
- Subfloor (not sure yet what product is planned)

In Green products and materials | Asked By Bryan Anderson | Mar 26 12
9 Answers

What does a radiant barrier really do?

It seems that a piece of tin foil or some paint on the underside of the roof is advertising hype. Has any one actually tested radiant barriers and published their results?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By john winkler | Jan 1 12
3 Answers

PV shingles?

I have a client who is interested in PV shingles. Not sure why, but I told him I'd look into it. Has anyone used any product recently? Pros & cons? The obvious con seems to be repairs and damage.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Dan Kolbert | Apr 13 12
5 Answers

Alternatives to Exterior Foam

I am building a new house in Vancouver, BC. From what I have been able to determine, exterior foam or rockwool would require an envelope consultant to satisfy inspectors, with numerous costly inspections to the tune of about $3-5K. With fairly significant glazing am I better served to go to triple glazed windows (u=.17) for north facing windows, possibly furr 2x6 walls in with 1.5 " foam/1/2" wood to reduce thermal bridging and increase cavity insulation with dense packed cellulose insulation?

In Green building techniques | Asked By paul preto | Apr 13 12
0 Answers

Michigan based architect/builder referral

to design &/or build the PGH in Suttons Bay---north of Traverse City. We have researched passivhaus and have decided the expense is too high for the energy savings payback. We do like the idea of the Pretty Good House! Do-able with our budget.


In GBA Pro help | Asked By jim white | Apr 13 12
4 Answers

Open vs closed cell cavity insulation with exterior foam panels?

Hello all,

We are debating whether open or closed cell is the optimal cavity insulation for our wall assembly.

The wall assembly (inside to out) is as follows:
- 2x6 conventional framing
- Water-resistive sheathing (Zip System), taped at all joints.
- Foil-faced polyiso insulation panels (2" thick), taped at all joints and edges.
- 3/4" vented rainscreen.
- Pre-primed/stained cedar siding.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Jonathan Jacobsen | Apr 12 12
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