« Return to BuildingGreen.com
posted by UNSWcw on Jul 15, 2014

I have just built a house in Australia with an AAC floor. At 120lbs for 6ft by 2ft slabs, it is not lightweight. It is 3 inches thich with thin rebar through it and is supported on joists 18 inches apart. I chose it because it was fairly easy to lay and does not need protection from the weather as I knew it would be about 6 months before the house would be weatherproof.
I was suprised at how fragile it was. Do not work with it or even handle it when it is wet. It will crumble in your hands.
Do not drop it, support it thoroughly on both sides of the cut when cutting it, do not...

posted by andy.boutin on Jun 25, 2014

Like Dutch's post above, I would like to reiterate the fact that there is another solution: Wood Pellet Boilers. These are systems that connect to the piping and distribution in your home and allow you to use your radiant heat, baseboards or other current central heating system.

I have two wood pellet stoves and a pellet boiler (two pellet grills too, but that's another topic!) The first pellet stove I purchased in 2001 is a Quadrafire Castile Insert. It is so noisy it will drive you out of the room next door. In 2004 I got smarter about the purchase and put an Enviro Mini in...

posted by Bill Swanson on Jun 20, 2014

Be sure to read the warranty on any solar thermal products.

posted by tosch on Jun 20, 2014

Robert,
Yes we have many projects in the South. The materials lend themselves to the damp application conditions, the risk of storms, storm surge and the need for dry insulation materials to reduce energy loads.
The notion that a perm rating lifted off a product datasheet and the way it is measured is considered reliable has led to false hopes and failure in this region.
When we finally admit that buildings get wet in spite of our best intentions and egos, we will look more carefully at how well it dries and build dying capacity into the assembly.
The chambers are...

posted by richard_2 on Jun 19, 2014

We have developed and patented a solar thermal system (with evacuated tubes) to improve...

posted by bob_1 on Jun 16, 2014

I would like to know if y'all are doing any projects in the South: LA, MS,TX, & AR.
THANKS,
Bob Hesson.

posted by dave_4 on Jun 12, 2014

Jim, this article added a lot of clarity to a murky area, thanks for writing it.

My interest in an islanding inverter is to have a system that minimizes my utility bill, by tying to the grid when power is cheap or when the system is generating excess power, or when the system + battery backup cannot handle the load.

I have a time-of-use electric rate plan from my utility, PG&E. The rate plan prices power at about $0.10 off-peak, and $0.30 peak, which is 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. This is also the rate that PG&E pays me if the system is generating excess power....

posted by Nadav Malin on Jun 4, 2014

Online reviews of this product seem to be quite good, although I did see a comment that it's difficult to install. And one homeowner reports being quoted a price of $4.64/ft2, plus $1.43/ft2 for installation for a 1,900 ft2 job.

posted by tristan on May 5, 2014

Hi Kelly, in my opinion the certification you are referring to is greenwash, in that it gives the impression that the product is higher quality or "greener" in some way, when in fact all that particular certification is saying is that if you use the product as specified, it will contribute points to the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) green building standard. This is like saying that if you put a lightbulb in the socket and turn it on, it should shine. It is just a product doing what it is defined to do. It does not say anything about quality.

Unfortunately I have no...

posted by thetackroomtx on May 4, 2014

We have a 1918 house with both vinyl and aluminum siding. We sustained hail damage in a storm and see this as a good opportunity to remove all the old siding and install the insulated vinyl. The house is drafty and we are hoping by adding the IVS it will help regulate the temp. Is there a difference in quality between manufactures? Noticed on Norandex web site they were " Green Certified"

posted by UNSWcw on Jul 15, 2014

I have just built a house in Australia with an AAC floor. At 120lbs for 6ft by 2ft slabs, it is not lightweight. It is 3 inches thich with thin rebar through it and is supported on joists 18 inches apart. I chose it because it was fairly easy to lay and does not need protection from the weather as I knew it would be about 6 months before the house would be weatherproof.
I was suprised at how fragile it was. Do not work with it or even handle it when it is wet. It will crumble in your hands.
Do not drop it, support it thoroughly on both sides of the cut when cutting it, do not...

posted by andy.boutin on Jun 25, 2014

Like Dutch's post above, I would like to reiterate the fact that there is another solution: Wood Pellet Boilers. These are systems that connect to the piping and distribution in your home and allow you to use your radiant heat, baseboards or other current central heating system.

I have two wood pellet stoves and a pellet boiler (two pellet grills too, but that's another topic!) The first pellet stove I purchased in 2001 is a Quadrafire Castile Insert. It is so noisy it will drive you out of the room next door. In 2004 I got smarter about the purchase and put an Enviro Mini in...

posted by Bill Swanson on Jun 20, 2014

Be sure to read the warranty on any solar thermal products.

posted by tosch on Jun 20, 2014

Robert,
Yes we have many projects in the South. The materials lend themselves to the damp application conditions, the risk of storms, storm surge and the need for dry insulation materials to reduce energy loads.
The notion that a perm rating lifted off a product datasheet and the way it is measured is considered reliable has led to false hopes and failure in this region.
When we finally admit that buildings get wet in spite of our best intentions and egos, we will look more carefully at how well it dries and build dying capacity into the assembly.
The chambers are...

posted by richard_2 on Jun 19, 2014

We have developed and patented a solar thermal system (with evacuated tubes) to improve...

posted by bob_1 on Jun 16, 2014

I would like to know if y'all are doing any projects in the South: LA, MS,TX, & AR.
THANKS,
Bob Hesson.

posted by dave_4 on Jun 12, 2014

Jim, this article added a lot of clarity to a murky area, thanks for writing it.

My interest in an islanding inverter is to have a system that minimizes my utility bill, by tying to the grid when power is cheap or when the system is generating excess power, or when the system + battery backup cannot handle the load.

I have a time-of-use electric rate plan from my utility, PG&E. The rate plan prices power at about $0.10 off-peak, and $0.30 peak, which is 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. This is also the rate that PG&E pays me if the system is generating excess power....

posted by tristan on May 5, 2014

Hi Kelly, in my opinion the certification you are referring to is greenwash, in that it gives the impression that the product is higher quality or "greener" in some way, when in fact all that particular certification is saying is that if you use the product as specified, it will contribute points to the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) green building standard. This is like saying that if you put a lightbulb in the socket and turn it on, it should shine. It is just a product doing what it is defined to do. It does not say anything about quality.

Unfortunately I have no...

posted by thetackroomtx on May 4, 2014

We have a 1918 house with both vinyl and aluminum siding. We sustained hail damage in a storm and see this as a good opportunity to remove all the old siding and install the insulated vinyl. The house is drafty and we are hoping by adding the IVS it will help regulate the temp. Is there a difference in quality between manufactures? Noticed on Norandex web site they were " Green Certified"

posted by jim_1 on May 3, 2014

valuable information. Thank you. I was poised to try this in a retrofit, but will wait for new construction, insulated below slab. Would be interesting to know if certain cork has better antimicrobial properties.

posted by Nadav Malin on Jun 4, 2014

Online reviews of this product seem to be quite good, although I did see a comment that it's difficult to install. And one homeowner reports being quoted a price of $4.64/ft2, plus $1.43/ft2 for installation for a 1,900 ft2 job.

Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation Batts
posted by Peter Yost on Mar 6, 2014

Yes, makes perfect sense that you would like to improve the thermal performance of your walls by completing the cavity fill.

You only need to be concerned about the temperature of your first condensing surface (in this case, the interior plywood skin of your SIP-like panel) if:

1. the cavity fill insulation is vapor permeable

2. you don't have an interior vapor retarder

3. you are running wintertime interior relative humidities that support your dew point calculation.

You don't state what insulation you will be using to fill the wall framing cavities,...

Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation Batts
posted by Alan Benoit on Mar 3, 2014

I have a bit of a dilema. We are building a new town library in Vermont and we are trying to decide what to do with the wall cavities. We have a SIP-like panel on the exterior with 2" of polyiso sandwiched between plywood sheets, giving us R-14 continuous outside the wall. Because of the building's dimensions, the wall studs are 2x8s and 2x10s. When I calculate the condensation proability inside the wall cavity, it suggests that we have only about R-14 between the studs. Doing so would only fill 2-3.5" of the cavity and leave the rest empty. Because this is to be a 100yr building,...

posted by Nadav Malin on Jan 2, 2014

Viracon has distributed to design firms--but not posted publicly--a generic HPD covering all constituents of it's glazing products. They also offer to create a product-specific version on demand for a project. But the generic version they've created doesn't meet the LEED minimum disclosure requirements, so it's doubtful that their custom HPD would, either.

Stealth 0.8 GPF Ultra High-Efficiency Toilet
posted by lemon on Dec 3, 2013

We installed these in our new house and they work great. Excellent product.

posted by behrlich on Nov 13, 2013

Hi Sahar,

With a little patience you can find the material information embedded in their pdfs. But it looks to me like some of the information you recieved was distorted.1)   Based on the test data, I don't think worker exposure would be too much of an issue. Here is a link to that data http://calstarproducts.com/pdf/GradientMemo_072809.pdf. Workers cutting brick and generating dust should be wearing appropriate protection anyway, so I don't think this is an issue, but I might be a bit more cautious with fly ash...

posted by mmagnusson on Nov 13, 2013

Our office works primarily in brick, and a lot of the brick distribution companies are commenting negatively on this product. Anyone work with it yet?

1) All fly ash contains a certain percentage of toxic materials, so masons have to handle this material differently than a traditional brick.

2) The fly ash is being imported into the US to make this product, which is less green than brick company XYZ which is in the region.

I am on the fence regarding what is true and what is false. I can't easily find information regarding these issues on the Calstar website.

posted by mmagnusson on Nov 13, 2013

Our office works primarily in brick, and a lot of the brick distribution companies are commenting negatively on this product. Anyone work with it yet?

1) All fly ash contains a certain percentage of toxic materials, so masons have to handle this material differently than a traditional brick.

2) The fly ash is being imported into the US to make this product, which is less green than brick company XYZ which is in the region.

I am on the fence regarding what is true and what is false. I can't easily find information regarding these issues on the Calstar website.

Forest Wool and ECI II
posted by jemills on Oct 14, 2013

Easy to install and provides great R-value.  Only concern is drying time.

Renewal by Andersen Windows
posted by ccrawford2 on Jun 10, 2013

These would be fine for warmer temperate climates, where heat loss and gain are not significant issues. I've usually used the 400 Series, and they are surprisingly well constructed for the money, the doors especially. But I'll likely never specify them again in the northeast. The range of European passive house certified windows available at a good price point make them unacceptable options, even on a budget.

Recently Added Products

Added on 07/01/2014
Added on 07/01/2014
Added on 07/01/2014
Added on 06/04/2014
Added on 05/23/2014
Added on 05/23/2014
Added on 04/23/2014