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8 Answers

Climate Zone 3C: Crawl space, roof, and wall systems review

I'm in the design phase of a remodel of an existing 2 story house, CZ3 coastal, zip code 95062. The scope includes a new foundation and gutting the house with some interior walls moving, but for the most part keeping the existing exterior shape and roof line. Goal is a high performing house (well insulated, air sealed, mechanically ventilated, high IAQ and minimal heating and cooling loads). I've attached a line drawing of the shell for reference.

Asked By Phil Boutelle | Jan 9 18
18 Answers

Brick house insulation

All,
First of all, I wanted to wish everyone Happy and Prosperous New Year!
I would like to ask for an advice regarding a wall cavity composition. I am in Westchester County, 30 miles north of New York City, climate zone 4. I am about to acquire a brick house (tiny brick, maybe 2-3 inches thick). Single wythe, I believe. I think that brick is just decorative and is not load bearing at all. Only cinder blocks in the basement support the floor joists. Second floor ceiling joists are supported by wood framing.

Asked By Sebastian Smith | Dec 29 17
1 Answer

Sealing framing to subfloor

What is the best way to seal bottom plates to subfloors when framing? In my current house, I went around and caulked after the walls were up. Is it better to put a sealant on the bottom plate before raising the wall? How about a 1/4" Sill Seal like Denarco makes? Or an EPDM gasket? My walls are 2x8. I don't want to spend huge amounts of money, so what is most effective, and cost effective?

Asked By Kevin Spellman | Feb 23 18
6 Answers

Is PERSIST really practical in coastal Maine?

Hello, all! We are in the planning stages for building a ~1300sft home in coastal Maine (6A, I believe), and are trying to strike a balance between performance, low-maintenance and cost. We've found Persist to be an elegant solution, and we really like the look of having the exposed framing on the interior - Matt Risinger's work in Austin comes to mind.

For us to reach the desired R values of the walls, there seems to be good details and best practices out there for fastening thick amounts of foam.

Asked By user-7005034 | Feb 21 18
12 Answers

Lessons learned from exterior basement insulation retrofit

Hello,
I've attached a link to photos and comments that I created to share my recent (last week) experience with an impromptu opportunity to add exterior insulation to a portion of my basement. Lots of things I could have done better here, but in the end I'm glad I spoke up and asked to make the house better.

Asked By Mike McLaine | Feb 3 18
11 Answers

Casement windows?

I'm looking for highly efficient triple glazed windows with a high solar heat gain coefficient for use on the south side of a new construction home in Massachusetts (Climate Zone 5). I like Schuco windows, however, I am looking to compare with a window that performs similarly but doesn't open into the living space. Any suggestions?

Asked By Leslie Whelan | Feb 26 17
6 Answers

Retrofit existing 2x4 uninsulated stucco wall

I’m looking at a conversion of a free standing garage into conditioned (heated) space. The structure has stucco over tar paper, directly over 2x4 studs, no insulation, no sheathing. The goal is to have a painted drywall interior.

Asked By Phil Boutelle | Feb 19 18
2 Answers

Hot water recirculation loop with PEX homerun system?

Has anyone played with the idea of doing a hot water recirculation loop with a pex manifold homerun system?

My desire for a recirc loop is mostly inspired by Gary Klein and my reading/watching of his work. Although he doesn't recommend a home run system because you can't recirculate hot water.... well, I think it might be possible. Maybe I'll sound crazy here, but what can I say, I love systems design.

I see this as 2 issues:

1. Is it doable?

Asked By Jamie B | Feb 17 18
8 Answers

Hi, I'm performing an energy retrofit

Hi, I'm performing an energy retrofit. My house has tiny roof overhangs and will have none after external wall insulation is applied. An unvented attic with internal spray foam and/or external rigid insulation is too expensive. I've found a product called....

My house is in Detroit (zone 5a).

Asked By Thrifttrust | Nov 2 17
9 Answers

I am looking at building a slab-on-grade house

I am looking at building a slab-on-grade house. I am also trying to avoid having any ductwork (or other utilities) in my attic. Where is the best place to route ductwork, plumbing, electrical, and sewer if I am slab on grade?

I wish to avoid a basement or crawlspace and their associated challenges. I also want to have the ceiling free of penetrations and no ductwork in the attic. Is it OK to run plumbing/sewer/electrical conduit under a foundation slab? I already know I want to avoid running ductwork under the slab, so I'm considering a ducted minisplit with minimal ductwork.

Asked By JB487 | Feb 15 18
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