Recent Comments and Answered Questions on Green Building Advisor

  • Martin Holladay | Nov 20,2017 11:45 AM EST
    Levab, Dana has given you good advice. The first step is always to perform a load calculation. For more information on load calculations, see these articles: How to ...
  • | Nov 20,2017 11:31 AM EST
    @ Martin, thanks for explaining the Low-e. However I don't know if my windows or skylights have it. And whether they do or don't - I still need to choose a Ductless Heat Pump - any advice on that?
  • Malcolm Taylor | Nov 20,2017 11:29 AM EST
    Gregg, However laudable your aim, you are still missing Martin's point: Unless you are sourcing your materials locally, and the materials do not need petroleum to be manufactured, you may be ...
  • John Clark | Nov 20,2017 10:50 AM EST
    I've always been of the opinion that agriculture and animal husbandry are a bigger threat to humans than GHG/climate change. Municipal water systems overall do a good job since testing ...
  • Martin Holladay | Nov 20,2017 10:35 AM EST
    Mark, I don't see any downside to installing polyethylene, as long as you make sure that the interface between the polyethylene and the carpeting doesn't squeak when you walk on it. Ideally, ...
  • Martin Holladay | Nov 20,2017 10:30 AM EST
    Andrew, Here is a link to an article that discusses ways to insulate floors that are exposed on the underside to outdoor conditions:
  • Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | Nov 20,2017 10:29 AM EST
    Panasonic makes great bath fans. Have you contacted technical support to see if any of the models can be configured to operate in the way you want? That said, the newer Panasonic fans have very ...
  • Martin Holladay | Nov 20,2017 10:24 AM EST
    Jon, I'm not sure that I understand your recommendation. Are you recommending that every American residence, whether rural or urban, whether hooked up to a municipal system, a drilled well, or a ...
  • | Nov 20,2017 10:21 AM EST
    My concern goes beyond the lead paint. For that I would reside with cedar. I am fond of old houses and grew up in one. That house was not balloon framed but was stone - 48" thick at the ...
  • Jon R | Nov 20,2017 10:10 AM EST
    I like the point about hydro being a valuable battery replacement that should be used only when other renewable sources are unavailable. The lack of accounting for carbon and other pollutants ...
  • Andrew Southam | Nov 20,2017 09:58 AM EST
    Q: How deep are the rafters? A: I'm using 2x8 rafters. Though, I was hoping to avoid any fiber insulation below the closed cell spray foam. This will be a completely new build, so I have all ...
  • Jon R | Nov 20,2017 09:49 AM EST
    I'm not sure what this means, but I tell people that a test done today doesn't guarantee much about tomorrow. Annual testing might mean drinking who knows what for a year. And current tests do ...
  • Martin Holladay | Nov 20,2017 09:46 AM EST
    B.L., First, we need a better description of what exists. There are four issues which are unclear. 1. You wrote, "I have a vapor barrier" and "vapor barrier is up on walls." What does that ...
  • Martin Holladay | Nov 20,2017 09:36 AM EST
    Birdie, Kevin's suggestion to check the weep holes is a good one. They are often clogged by dirt or vegetable matter. Another important point is that any exterior door should be protected by a ...
  • Jon R | Nov 20,2017 09:27 AM EST
    Have you tried simply adjusting the registers in areas that are too hot/cold? I would expect that you would need to do it every spring and fall. Other lower cost possibilities are booster fans ...
  • Kevin Spellman | Nov 20,2017 09:23 AM EST
    No, you should not have water inside, no matter what. Check to make sure any weep holes on the outside are open and not blocked. Does the sill slope down away from the doors?
  • Gregg Zuman | Nov 20,2017 07:45 AM EST
    Martin, hi. Thanks for the link and the comment. Since you asked the question about "why" I'm pursuing the goal of a petrol-free building (and ultimately a petrol-free or very close to it ...
  • Martin Holladay | Nov 20,2017 06:52 AM EST
    Blue Mountain, To assess the performance of your return air system, you need to double-check the design of your existing duct system and then you need to measure air flows through the system's ...
  • Martin Holladay | Nov 20,2017 06:39 AM EST
    Jamie, I'm sorry to say that I don't have enough experience to provide you advice on which roofing approach to use. Suffice it to say that I am not a fan of vegetated roofs. If you have a leak, ...
  • Martin Holladay | Nov 20,2017 06:38 AM EST
    Dan, In theory, MemBrain can be installed as an air barrier. However, the material is thin and fragile, so in reality, on the job site, I'm skeptical as to the effectiveness of your plan, ...
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