[Greenbuilding] Basement EPS with plywood (acceptable)

Sam Ewbank g.l.ewbank at gmail.com
Sat Jul 13 21:44:23 MDT 2013


Can you find polyethylene in large enough sizes for dwv? I've only been
able to find it up to 1" on size locally and have run into resistance from
homeowners on abs in the Michigan market since it equated with mobile homes
while in the Seattle WA area it is widely excepted.

Sam
On Jul 13, 2013 6:02 PM, "John Salmen" <terrain at shaw.ca> wrote:

> Not sure to be honest. ****
>
> ** **
>
> Formaldehyde is not the worst carcinogenic chemical in most homes so its
> about trying not to not add more to the mix when avoidable. Inhalable
> fibres and dusts are a legitimate concern. But mostly it was the sense that
> it was not well suited to the application in comparison to eps and it is
> truly noxious to work with. I’ve not seen it used in sips other than
> commercial panels nor is it used in geo fill. Its basically a compressible
> fibre made stiff with a glue that may or may not have good water resistance
> depending on what was used.****
>
> ** **
>
> As for plasteech. In building most every material has an inherent
> toxicity. Both for builders and end users. It remains for us to use
> material wisely but remain critical and keep gathering information – not
> just beat drums. Rockwool is implicated in workplace cancers and workplace
> exposures to rockwool dust/fibres exceeds glass wool exposures for some
> reason (dustier?).  Rockwool can have a resin content of 5% of its weight.
>  The styrene content of polystyrene is .1% by weight and polystyrene is 2%
> by volume of eps. There is also radon. I mention these things only to say
> that there are no simple directives.****
>
> ** **
>
> The real culprit in building is pvc as it is the cheapest and most toxic
> plastic out there on the ranking. A good example is waste and drain
> systems. Perforated pvc pipe for drainage probably has more plastic content
> than an eps wrap of a house. It is hard to get builders to substitute with
> polyethylene because it is not considered standard or good practice – in
> reality you can eliminate piping altogether and simply use washed rock and
> that is approvable (though most inspectors would argue). ABS plastic for
> dwv is more benign than pvc yet in the US pvc has become the standard. Is
> anyone still using copper in water supply systems?****
>
> ** **
>
> End of rant****
>
> ** **
>
> John****
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
> *From:* Greenbuilding [mailto:
> greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] *On Behalf Of *Alan Abrams
> *Sent:* July-13-13 1:05 PM
> *To:* Green Building
> *Subject:* Re: [Greenbuilding] Basement EPS with plywood (acceptable)****
>
> ** **
>
> John--If I understand your comments, the big objection to Roxul is in the
> potential for outgassing; secondarily, a question about its structural
> capacity.  I agree that any unusual load should be carried through the
> floor system to proper bearing--or--in the case of a bearing wall with
> modest loading, perhaps that could be supported by a strip of high density
> EPS (aka Geofoam) in order to minimize thermal bridging.  With regard to
> the outgassing issue, my sense (not having tried this yet)  would be to
> trust taping the seams of the subfloor, and taping the edges to the
> perimeter walls.  Lastly, a double staggered lap of subfloor ought to
> bridge local deficiencies in the insulation itself--unless this stuff is
> grossly incompetent.****
>
> ** **
>
> On the other hand, I probably wouldn't exceed using a single three inch
> thick panel--given its "off label" application.  Not until someone braver
> has tried it with success.****
>
> ** **
>
> For years, wiser members of this listserve have been beating the drum to
> wean ourselves from plast-ecch foam.  Alex Wilson and now even PHIUS is
> making the same case.  The rationale has been slow to penetrate this thick
> skull, but it is beginning to seep through into the void.   ****
>
> ** **
>
> -AA ****
>
> On Sat, Jul 13, 2013 at 12:50 PM, John Salmen <terrain at shaw.ca> wrote:****
>
> Tried that. The fiber industry uses formaldehyde as the binder to achieve
> densities. Higher densities more resin. Roxul states the urea is cured with
> little potential for offgassing. Technically I am not sure what they are
> talking about as curing reduces strength and ultimately density. The use of
> formaldehyde is generally a compromise between emissions and strength. The
> residential ‘comfort board’ I think reflects that compromise with a density
> of only 745 psf. EPS type 1 (the lowest density) is about double that. I
> would be concerned about using it as long term structure (under partition
> walls, etc.). ****
>
>  ****
>
> My experience with the product was that it was,  dusty, noxious and worst
> of all inconsistent in density (roxul) – imagine a beehive hairdo. You can
> crush the board with your foot or punch your fist through - so it was
> difficult to work with as a board stock.****
>
>  ****
>
> I could see using the higher density commercial roofing boards but then
> would be concerned about offgassing.****
>
>  ****
>
> *From:* Greenbuilding [mailto:
> greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] *On Behalf Of *Alan Abrams
> *Sent:* July-13-13 6:26 AM
> *To:* Green Building
> *Subject:* Re: [Greenbuilding] Basement EPS with plywood (acceptable)****
>
>  ****
>
> because XPS has a significantly higher global warming potential than EPS,
> I'd prefer the latter--even at somewhat lower R-value per unit of
> thickness.  Others on this list (John Salmen) have written extensively
> about using adhesives instead of mechanical fasteners to connect the
> components.  ****
>
>  ****
>
> it raises another idea--to use rigid mineral fiber instead of foam.  Roxul
> comfort board is rated at R-4 per inch, and is said to compress only 10%
> under 743 LBs per SF.  dunno how that extrapolates to ordinary live loads,
> but it still suggests a double, staggered layer of plywood, mechanically
> fastened.  many other advantages, including dimensional stability, fire,
> rot, and pest resistance, high permeability, and low embodied energy.
>
> Alan Abrams****
>
>  ****
>
> On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 10:55 PM, Sam Ewbank <g.l.ewbank at gmail.com> wrote:
> ****
>
> From the green building archives.  A similar application to what you are
> looking to do but with the suggestion of using 1.5" EPS****
>
>  ****
>
>
> http://lists.bioenergylists.org/pipermail/greenbuilding_lists.bioenergylists.org/2012-April/003703.html
> ****
>
>  ****
>
>  ****
>
> On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 9:52 PM, John O'Brien <john at boardom.ca> wrote:****
>
> Friend is doing some work, looking to put down 1" EPS, with floating
> plywood, tapcon'd down, followed by some floating laminate.
>
> Would this be considered an acceptable base, or would it be beneficial
> to bump up to XPS or run a double layer of 1/2" ply staggered for more
> point load compression protection?
>
> Cheers,
>
> J****
>
>  ****
>
>  ****
>
>  ****
>
> Sam Ewbank****
>
>  ****
>
>
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>
>
>
> ****
>
> ** **
>
> --
> Alan Abrams*
> **certified professional building designer, AIBD
> certified passive house consultant, PHIUS*****
>
> *certified passive house builder, PHIUS
> *Abrams Design Build LLC
> *sustainable design for intentional living*
> cell     202-437-8583
> alan at abramsdesignbuild.com
> www.abramsdesignbuild.com****
>
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