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

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

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

If you want to post a question, 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!

14 Answers

Corrugated metal indoors (as ceiling/wall panel)

Dear experts, I need some advice.

Instead of drywall we want the 'barn' look. We want to install these wavy corrugated metal panels on the ceiling and perhaps walls.

If you've been to Joe's Crabshack, that's what we want it to look like, roughly.

are there any concerns using galvanized steel like that indoors?
how about air quality?
fire hazards?

thank you so much

In Green building techniques | Asked By Don J. | Jun 19 13
3 Answers

Which heating/cooling system would be most cost effective?

I have recently bought a split 2000 sqft (3000 sqft including basement) duplex building that had been converted into a signgle-family home some years ago. I am in the process of converting back into a split duplex.
The current heating source is an oil-fired forced-air furnace which serves the whole building (one side better than the other). The building insulation is also way below code (R-5 walls, R-8 attic) Duuring this reno/remodel i am updating/improving all the insulation (R-14 walls, R-50 attic), improving airtightness and building envelope efficiency.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Josh MacDougal | Jun 26 13
7 Answers

How to reach over kitchen counter to open "outie" windows?

After years of toil and GBA-reading, my wife and I getting close to a decision about building. We're in Zone 4c. We want thick walls (probably double-stud) with "outie" windows for deep sills. But now we're designing the kitchen. My wife, looking at the window over the sink, is asking how either of us can possibly reach across a two-foot-plus countertop and a 10-12" sill to unlock and open a window. I don't have an answer for her.

In General questions | Asked By Gordon Taylor | Jun 25 13
1 Answer

Insulation for walls

Hi, I have a very old barn-shaped house which is not well insulated. I did blow insulation into the attic, but I know I am losing heat from the slanted walls upstairs. Do you know of any insulated wall coverings which I could affix to these walls? What do you think of cork? Thank You.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Nicole Rosa | Jun 26 13
1 Answer

HRV and Range Hood

I am confused on how a range hood exhaust works in a tight envelope with a balanced HRV system .Where can the air be pulled from that is being exhausted?...regards,Bob

In General questions | Asked By bob holodinsky | Jun 26 13
1 Answer

What kind of windows are better for Arizona hot summers?

I'm looking to replace the windows in my house but, I'm not real sure what are the best options.
what are the best windows brand that will have a low U-factor and Solar Heat Gain.
Thank you for your help.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Miriam Jimenez | Jun 25 13
6 Answers

Air-Sealing at Exposed Beams

I'm currently under construction on a project and wanted to run by my air sealing strategy at some exposed beams by some other minds.

The project is a double-stud wall house in climate zone 6B. About 1/2 the house has a typical attic, the other half has a cathedral ceiling.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By James Kennedy | Jun 24 13
1 Answer

How to insulate a wood floor on slab?

I live in north Texas in an older home with no insulation under the concrete slab floor. We’d like to install wood floors but are afraid of how cold they would be in the winter. What products and how are they installed to insulate under a wood floor on top of a concrete slab?

Thank you for your response

In General questions | Asked By Wilson walthall | Jun 25 13
3 Answers

Perlite compressive strength?

I'm considering the use of bagged or loose perlite to insulate below a basement slab. Can it also be used under footings? I can't seem to find it's load bearing capacity. Has anyone used a "penetrometer" on either loose or bagged perlite concrete block fill ( the grade recommended for below slabs)? Penetrometers are used to judge the weight bearing capacity of soils. Though the Perlite institute advocates use under slabs it would be comforting to know it's load bearing capacity. when tested as a "soil". Actual test data would answer the questions about where it can be used.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jerry Liebler | Jun 25 13
2 Answers

Looking for a 1h+ fire rated wall covering material, moisture proof like cement board

Dear experts & vendors

I am looking for a ceiling/wall material to safely cover XPS in a 'wet area' such as a bathroom.
Is there a material with the properties of type X or C drywall having the durability of cement board combined?

In particular I need fire rating 1h+ and moisture / mold resistance as with cement boards.

Can you recommend various materials I can use to cover XPS with above characteristics so I can install it in a 'wet' area indoors as wall panel or ceiling panel?

Thank you

In Green products and materials | Asked By Don J. | Jun 25 13
Register for a free account and join the conversation

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