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!


3 Answers

Inline Windows shear blocks

I am strongly considering Inline Windows for our home in Lincoln, NE (zone 5). The Inline rep informed me that the shear blocks (see attached JPG) Inline uses to mechanically secure their frames are made of PVC.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Derrick Krienert | Jan 4 17
13 Answers

Suggestions for house plans

Hello again,

Moving on from the great heating advice that we recieved a while back from you guys on here, we're carrying on with the design of our new home. We're still working on a few details of the home plans. We have the shape of the house ironed down but may have to come back to rearrange some partitions inside.
I've spent the last while going through a lot of the articles and discussions on GBA. Some aspects of the house I now feel good about, and they been positively reinforced with the opinions on here.

In Plans Review | Asked By Daniel Chidley | Jan 8 17
23 Answers

New siding for an old house, and a couple other questions

I asked a couple questions a while back regarding installing rigid over existing clapboards with a WRB and an inch or so of rigid insulation - I couldn't seem to respond to those answers but I have a couple more to ask If I use semi-permeable polyiso board over the existing wood siding so it can dry to in both directions, can a fluid applied WRB be applied to the outside of the rigid board. Alternately, If I put either housewrap or fluid applied under the rigid, should the joints be taped? Reading on Dupont's website they recommend not taping the joints.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Michael Mohr | Dec 14 16
5 Answers

Free-standing porch deck and roof with mineral wool exterior insulation

I'm looking at building a one-story porch with a deck and shed roof connected to a new two-story house with 4" of mineral wool exterior insulation, 1x4 battens screwed into 2x6 studs 24" OC , and siding.

I agree with the preference often expressed on this site of not attaching the deck to the house structure, both in terms of water issues and thermal bridging.

My current thinking:

In Green building techniques | Asked By Pat Kiernan | Jan 11 17
6 Answers

Heat pump head unit locations

Hello all,

I'm currently building a small house in Vermont and I plan to heat it with mini splits. It's a 1300 square foot 2 bedroom ranch with an unfinished walkout basement. (See attached floor plan image.) The walls are 2x6 with fiberglass in the cavity and 2" of foam on the outside. The below-grade walls in the walkout basement will have 2x4 with fiberglass. The above-grade walls in the walkout will have the same assembly as the main floor.

I'm currently planning to have two outdoor heat pump units, one for the master suite, and one for the living room.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Ross Carlson | Jan 11 17
3 Answers

ERV - did I find a good buy or make a mistake?

My house plan is a simple, 1900 square foot ranch.

I purchased a Broan ERV, model 140 today. I could not turn down the price of $1187.75, shipped, tax-free. I thought this deal was "HUGE", spoken in my best Donald Trump voice.

However, I must admit that I did not do my homework on this unit before making the impulse buy.
I just felt it was a grat price and knew it would do the job per the numbers. So, using the formula here, 7.5 cfm per person plus 3 cfm per 100 square feet , I arrive at (7.5*2)+(3*19) = 72CFM.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Drew Baden | Jan 11 17
2 Answers

What is in solid glue-down cork tile ?

My wife and I are looking to install a glue down solid cork tile in our on-grade basement. Finding it hard to get definite answers. 1. Is there formaldehyde or other chemical used in production? 2. What is a high quality yet natural, low - no VOC oil finish to apply o cork once installed? and 3. What is a long lasting, high quality contact cement for installing over 1 year old slab? Slab is dry and clean with insulation and vapor barrier underneath. We're looking to keep cost of tiles low and have been looking at Jelinek and We cork in unfinished 12" X 12". 4.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Ben Williams | Jan 11 17
1 Answer

Dense-packed cellulose, slab on grade, pole building

Thanks to all who take the time to read this and the responses.

In General questions | Asked By Paul Arens | Jan 11 17
8 Answers

HTP Phoenix Light Duty paired with Lifebreath Clean Air Furnace (downdraft)

I want to replace the atmospheric water heater (interior to my house) with sealed combustion. I also wanted to replace the 80% furnace that sits right beside the WH interior to the house. I learned early from GBA that inside combustion is to be avoided.

Fast forward...I am looking at the HTP Phoenix Light Duty + Lifebreath CAF (downdraft). I am in the Seattle, WA area in a 1950's rambler.

In Mechanicals | Asked By S K | Jan 11 17
7 Answers

Is it possible to insulate piping in a vented attic by "bringing it inside the envelope"?

Hello I have a home that was built by a bunch of meth-heads and their friends apparently. I'm in Zone 4, near STL.

When they ran the PEX from the manifold in the utility room, they just laid all of the tubing on the top of the roof trusses and sprayed insulation over them. For one section that goes to the ice-maker they put a single layer of the foam insulation over this.

Every year since I've moved in all of my water lines except my kitchen sink will freeze if there are sustained temps below about 28 F.

In General questions | Asked By Mike M | Jan 10 17
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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