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1 Answer

Do I have to clean my solar panels?

Given that there isn’t too much rain to help with the cleaning, what is the typical solar panel maintenance attention that you would anticipate:
Is solar panel cleaning just typically wetting them down with hoses, or hand scrubbing? Dust obviously and a lot of birds out there.
Every other day, once a week, once a month?

In General questions | Asked By jing wei | Jul 23 15
2 Answers

Finished home was not insulated properly. How to fix?

I have a 10 year old home. Low e glass windows, 2x6 used on outside of home, Victorian style home. When it was being build the builder put in the insulation before the windows or door. Then it rained. When I questioned him he told me that I only know by reading and it's how it is done. Home has fiberglass in walls and blow in pieces in the attic. Certain rooms are hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I used a friends tool that you point at the wall and it tells you the temperature of it.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Helen Jackson | Jul 22 15
1 Answer

Air sealing techniques for a fire-damaged house rebuild in Phoenix

A friend's home was recently damaged in a fire. The restoration will included taking the roof off and stripping the interior. With just the exterior walls left standing it seems a great opportunity to incorporate some deep energy techniques.

From reading here at GBA, the proper location for the air barrier (in Phoenix) appears to be at the exterior (warm side of the insulation). The exterior wall covering is stucco.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Daen Hendrickson | Jul 22 15
15 Answers

Insulation in floor joists of an encapsulated crawlspace?

Hi! We're currently in the planning/permitting phase of building an high performance home in the Southeast. We've employed a green building specialist to help model our house to find the proposed hers rating and put into effect all the awesome things we've been reading about on gba. But our contractor (general, traditional) is giving us some push back about one of his recommendations. The green building specialist recommended we put rock wool insulation in the floor joists above our encapsulated crawlspace based on his computer modeling of our home.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Megan Wood | Jul 11 15
9 Answers

USA New Wall & Swedish platform framing


I recently came across Greg La Vardera’s website http://blog.lamidesign.com

Although I have read much on energy efficient wall types here, I haven’t noticed any comments on the USA New Wall. I am interested in other peoples opinion on this construction and how it compares to other energy efficient wall types. (I am thinking about the Building Science Corp s list of walls and how they score relative to each other -http://www.buildingscience.com/resources/high-r-value-wall-assemblies )

In General questions | Asked By Mitchell Daniels | Nov 12 13
6 Answers

On concrete walls that are fully exposed (above grade) for a new residence, should there be an air space?

We are constructing a new dwelling in Climate Zone 4. Site constraint will have one side of the house built in to a hillside, so the exterior wall is retaining, and will be poured concrete. The owner likes the modernist look of exterior concrete walls, so we are planning to use poured concrete walls on the other elevations as well. I am planning on dampproofing the exterior of the retaining sections of wall, and framing the interior with 2x6 studding and insulation, like a finished basement wall condition.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Jeffrey Lees | Jul 21 15
4 Answers

How to ensure energy efficiency/green building with a GC who is not experienced in energy/green techniques?

I am planning to build a green, energy efficient modular house in CT (shooting for around 45 HERS). The modular company bills itself as green/efficiency-savvy, but its local rep who will serve as the GC is not energy-savvy (and does not claim to be). The GC is open to hiring subs that we recommend and working with others to achieve our goals.

Apart from relying on the modular company, how can I ensure that the GC does what needs to be done and does it properly? Would I hire an energy consultant or an architect who would serve as a consultant? Thanks in advance.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Adam Silverman | Jul 20 15
1 Answer

What type of insulation to use?

We have just started a remodel on an old farmhouse in the Zone 6 region. The old 1 1/2 story farmhouse used 2X4 roof and wall framing with ship lap on both sides of the walls and on the top of the roof. The walls have blown in cellulose and the attic space has blown in fiberglass. The new part will be 2X6 construction and we are matching the roof lines but using 2X8's for the rafters with the ceiling leveling off and 2X8 tie rafters.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By John Berlage | Jul 22 15
1 Answer

Spray foam in ground

I don't know if anyone has an opinion about this but I thought I'd post it here. My wife and I had a new home built that was completed in April...that is...completed until 2 days before we move in there was a major fire that was written off by our insurance company as a total loss. This home was spray foamed (closed cell) throughout and had Superior Walls with the blue Dow insulation. The fire ran under the trusses and destroyed the inside but the exterior walls and foam are intact.

In General questions | Asked By Mel Tillyard | Jul 21 15
3 Answers

PolyIso inside 1949 brick veneer walls?

This 1949 Cape Cod style home is in SW lower Michigan just a short distance south of the zone 5A-6A line. My goal is to reach toward the 6A standards, esp. with the long, very sustained cold we had last winter.

The walls are very porous: brick veneer (but for upstairs, clapboard dormer), Insulite Bildrite Sheathing, and what appears to be mineral wool insulation in the wall cavities. The interior walls are covered with a smaller (2' x 4' ish--judging by the seams that are showing) type of gypsum panel that was apparently used at that time.

This is a modestly sized house

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Grant Vandermeulen | Jul 21 15
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