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!


1 Answer

I live in Tennessee. Do I need a vapor barrier on the outside walls and ceiling in the bathroom I am building? Should I use green back drywall board?

If I use green back should I use a vapor barrier? My house is not wrapped in tyvex and has a metal roof without tarpaper under the metal. The bathroom is going in on the second floor. I plan to use cement board in shower area.

In General questions | Asked By Lonnie Baker | Jan 26 14
0 Answers

can you tell me more about energy blankets

insulation

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jamie Summers | Jan 26 14
0 Answers

New to this website. I'm designing and building a small house and researching the alternatives to foam insulation boards, and I would love to see some sort of breakdown on the alternatives that exist now.

I have been having a hard time finding prices and availability... wouldn't it be great to have a chart or something with a breakdown of square foot prices? I'm looking into mineral wool boards, cork boards, and the wood fiber boards. In every case, I'm having a hard time finding pricing info and availability info. Anyone have any ideas, or know of any good articles comparing these? thanks in advance...

In Green products and materials | Asked By Ben Ridgway | Jan 26 14
0 Answers

is pex tubing safe?

my builder is using lex tubing for plumbing. should this cause any health concerns?

In General questions | Asked By Robert Hillman | Jan 25 14
5 Answers

Prefered Location for a flow through Humidifier

Hello and thank you for any help you may be able to provide.
I have been given a quote for an installation of a Flow Through Humidifier.
I did read the installation guide and it says that the unit can be installed on either the cold air or warm plenum. I have a hot water tank that is blocking the access to the cold air return plenum and the installer wants to install the humidifier unit on the hot air plenum.
I also want to install central air conditioning in the spring. So my main concerns about installing the unit on the warm air side is,

In Mechanicals | Asked By David Sheard | Jan 25 14
2 Answers

Fire sprinkler system installed by owner

Is there any central information source to access online specifications on what type of sprinkler heads, line configurations & water requirements for this system?

I am considering using 3/4" Pex. Is there a specific type?

In General questions | Asked By Eddy Hogan | Jan 24 14
4 Answers

In regards to the post by Martin on how cold effects R-5 XPS vs R-6 PolyIso.

I have included a link to a German Study on the effects of cold/heat/moisture on various types of insulation - it seems to state that all insulation suffers degradation at colder temps - which is obviously not what your study points too. Could you possibly elaborate more on this? Am I wrong to read the results the way I have? If not why the difference in outcomes?
http://www.itw.uni-stuttgart.de/dokumente/Publikationen/publikationen_05...

In GBA Pro help | Asked By brad hardie | Jan 22 14
1 Answer

How to remove mold from wood floor joists in crawl space and prevent future mold due to moisture in the crawl space?

I found molds on my first floor supporting wood joists in the crawl space. I need to remove the mold and prevent future molds. I am planning to install new Class ! vapor retarder on crawl space dirt and close out all vents on foundation walls except two for cross ventilation.

In General questions | Asked By sisir mukherji | Jan 24 14
13 Answers

Heat pump hot water heater tank size

Family of 4, 2.5 baths, dishwasher and washing machine in our house. We have a 20+ year old RUUD electric hot water heater w/ a 50 gallon tank.

We are most likely going to upgrade to a heat pump hot water heater - we live in Virgina, have an unconditioned basement that could use dehumidification, and have no gas connected to our house.

My question is what size HW heater to get. My initial thought was just another 50 gallon one, because our current HW heater has seemed sufficient. But then I read this:

In Mechanicals | Asked By austin jamison | Jan 17 14
13 Answers

New windows — siding and insulating

We are needing to install new windows (which we've purchased) with nailing flanges. We currently have steel siding and realized that there wouldn't be a great way to install the windows without taking siding off. The siding has come of fairly easily, but we've discovered two additional layers of siding under our steel siding, which has made it virtually impossible to properly install the new windows.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Matt Cibula | Oct 28 13
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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