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8 Answers

Spray foam insulation post-install chemical smell (not rotten fish)

I've read many articles on this subject, but I wanted to ask a more specific question as my case doesn't seem to match the other's horror stories with poorly-installed Spray Foam Insulation.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Scott Roberson | Sep 10 15
11 Answers

Details for exterior excavationless foundation insulation

I've been following the development of NorthernStar's approach to exterior insulation using hydrovac trenching and poured closed-cell spray foam, and it seems it would be an ideal approach for our 100-year old deep energy retrofit project foursquare in climate zone 4 (Manhattan, KS). I've attached a picture of the stackup we are thinking of using on the foundation and walls, and would welcome any thoughts/feedback on the design.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Nathan Bean | Jul 9 18
5 Answers

Shiplap ceiling to code

Hello- I am in zone 3A W/H - everyone is saying we need to cover up our shiplap ceiling which we were thrilled to uncover if we are to meet IBC 2013 standards for our new central heat and air installation in the attic. Is there a way to meet code but leave our shiplap exposed? There isn't much room in the attic to work with - house is older and the duct work has taken up most of the room.
Thank you,

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Gigimon | Jul 10 18
3 Answers

Slab vs. crawl space

Hello. I seem to have written my question incorrectly previously. I am preparing to build a 1,300 sq. ft. home in northwest Montana.

Around here crawlspaces and basements are the norm. I am researching using block frost walls (no basement) and a slab. Most of my builder friends are counseling me against this.

I want to have some wood floors and some tile. Wood floor area would be poured at a lower elevation. I would lay down treated sleepers and plywood to attach the 3/4 flooring to.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Mike Koness | Jul 10 18
2 Answers

Digital vs. VRF Scroll Compressors?

I'm looking at two different heat pumps, one using a digital scroll and the other a VRF (variable speed) scroll compressor.

The digital scroll compressor modulates output by separating the scrolls on a duty cycle, essentially a mechanical way of turning the compressor on/off as necessary while keeping the motor running. Modulation is from 100-10%.

The VRF scroll compressor modulates output by varying the speed of the compressor. Modulation is from 100-30%.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Lance Peters | Nov 29 17
12 Answers

HVAC - Smaller HVAC for better than code insulation?

First off, - New home, climate zone 6A - pretty good home - target <1.5ACH50.

My HVAC guy provided me with manual J calculations for sizing the HVAC system and I noticed he just used code insulation values and average house build quality to determine the loads. When I asked him to re-run the numbers for my actual insulation values he said he could do that but it won't make any difference to the hvac system he installs as it will make no difference to the equipment installed.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Steve Mackay | Jul 6 18
8 Answers

In trying to insulate a cold, north-facing parlor of my 1890 house, rigid foam board was recommended

In trying to insulate a cold, north-facing parlor of my 1890 house, rigid foam board was recommended in this forum. Further driving revealed that only one of 7 walls (there's a bay window) had enough space for that, and for 6 of the 7 walls, there's only...

Also, there's aluminum siding over the walls with the bay window. Otherwise, the exterior is brick.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Susan Hanway | Jun 27 18
3 Answers

Basement humidity

I'm trying to zero in on a basement humidity problem I discovered this weekend. I recently built a house in North Central Massachusetts, Zone 5 and am I seeing signs of excessive humidity in my unfinished basement with no obvious sources of moisture. While poking around I noticed moisture on the inside of the poly that the insulators had installed on the "warm side" of the fiberglass batt insulation (The rest of the house is dense pack cellulose with now vapor retarder).

In General questions | Asked By Kurtis Cormier | Jul 9 18
3 Answers

How to seal off and insulate a sloping, tall crawlspace?

Hi guys,
I'm in Oakland, California. My 1-story house is built into the side of a hill. The crawlspace is tall enough for a person to stand in at the front and rises to the mud sill at the back of the house. The cripple wall is 4 ft tall at the front.

I want to build an unvented crawlspace to improve the air quality in the house. I will be installing poly sheeting and insulating the cripple wall and foundation as if it were a basement without a floor.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Mateohao | Jul 7 18
6 Answers

Foam over Platon dimple mat on foundation

We are stumped at a stage in our building process. Winter is here and we need to deal with our foundation. Our site is dry dry dry, but we are not ready to just attach foam to the cement and backfill without any effort to damp/water proof the foundation.

We are essentially forced to use a mechanical system as the weather and temperatures (-10 degrees celcius and wet) are making any other sort of damp/water proofing impossible (as far as we know).

In Green building techniques | Asked By jessie pratt | Dec 11 12
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