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

[Click map to enlarge]

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

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

Regarding air sealing of sheetrock.

I notice the heavy emphasis on sealing and caulking sheet rock at all joints. I always thought that once the sheet rock is taped and mudded that it would be airtight. What am I missing in my understanding of this newer technique? I live in Minnesota and it is common here to use a poly vapor barrier instead of this caulking method. What should we be doing here in our arctic like climate?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By terrance kaase | Nov 14 14
30 Answers

Efficient HVAC with only electric

Good morning,

I recently moved into a home on the south shore in the Boston area and am interested in improving on the electric resistance baseboards that we currently have.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jeff Sheridan | Nov 7 14
4 Answers

REMOTE-like with felt/asphalt paper?

Could you do well with a REMOTE wall assembly in which, instead of the Hi-tech membranes, you just use Felt Paper? In Chile I don't have access to Grace products or Tyvek Drainwrap. The only other options I have are Tyvek Housewrap, Typar, or Tyvek Soft.


In Green products and materials | Asked By Jose Castro | Nov 14 14
22 Answers

Choosing a heating system for a new build

Hey all. I've been plugging away at designing my new house, and now that I've been running running Beopt, and a Manual J spreadsheet for a while, its time to decide how to heat/cool the place.

Build will be in upstate NY zone 6, zip code 13439 design temp -6F electricity $0.13 kwh

House will be 28x40 with 192 ft^2 of glass facing east (bottom of attached floorplan) basement will be walkout on east end, Roof is 12/12

In Mechanicals | Asked By Trevor Chadwick | Nov 11 14
6 Answers

Heating a vacant home

We live in Halifax Nova Scotia and planning to leaving for a 5 Month stay in Florida. Ouir house will be vacant. We have a mini heat pump installed and our home is very well insulated and tight.
I lke to leave some heat on so I plan on leaving the heat pump running at 65f in the basement backed up by our electric baseboard heat set at 50F. All other thermostats will be turned off. The house is 3 story about 2700Sq Ft.
We also have a HRV.
Should we leave our HRV on?
Can you advise be on my overall plan?
Thank you

In General questions | Asked By Jim Westlake | Nov 13 14
3 Answers

Site tools

Is there an "ignore" and report a post link most sites have? The ignore list adds members so you don't have to read their post, for example you find most of a members post are of no value or annoying. The report link for members that continuously high jack or take threads off topic degrading the quality of info on GBA.

How about emoticons for better communications?

In General questions | Asked By Terry Lee | Nov 12 14
2 Answers

Does my ICF foundation require additional protection or barriers applied before backfill?

In my case the house is located in southwest Colorado at 6900' elev. on a sunny south slope. The soil is moderately expansive clay so the foundation is 48" on top of the footer on top of 12" compacted structural fill. Footer perimeter drain ( smooth pipe in gravel bedding) all around, ground will slope 1:10 away from foundation to a french drain system, and ground gutters or sub-grade pond liner will be installed on the north side to keep bulk water away from the foundation, so good drainage and water control.

In General questions | Asked By Chuck Jensen | Oct 10 14
5 Answers

How do I prevent condensation in our brick/clay block/cement plaster home?

We bought a foreclosure home, which is constructed of brick exterior, clay block interior wall which is covered with a layer of cement plaster. No one was able to afford the utilities on this home since there is no insulation, or the ability to insulate, without altering the unique interior design. We repainted (2 coats) with ceramic microbeads, which cut the heating utilities from $600/mo to under $300/mo. But in the process, we have created a condensation problem.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jeff Bauer | Nov 11 14
10 Answers

Reasonable retrofit efficiency goals

As I battle with an hvac solution for our home, we are leaning more and more towards trying to reduce the load further. I'll mention some details of my own house a bit below but I'm actually asking in hopes of a more generalized discussion of what a reasonable retrofit btu and ACH50 goal is.

I did some reading tonight in the hopes of answering this question but didn't find any useful rules of thumb. I know, the old HVAC rules of thumb have caused a lot of grief. I'm not asking for a rule of thumb about BTUs/sf for heat but rather what is rationally achievable in a retrofit scenario.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Keith H | Oct 19 14
1 Answer

What trade shows/ education should a fella attend?


In General questions | Asked By John Stephany | Nov 12 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation

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