Building Science Explorer Help

Category Blocks

This window organizes groups of documents into blocks based on the criteria specified in the ‘Categorize by’ drop-down menus located at the top of the screen. Documents are first organized into high-level blocks based on the selection in the first drop-down menu. Within each block, documents are further grouped based on the second drop-down menu. The size of each primary and secondary block is indicative of the number of documents associated with that group.

Clicking on the title bar of a primary group will select all documents associated with that group in the list view (labeled GUIDES or PUBLICATIONS). Additionally, each colored block that contains one or more of these selected documents will be filled in solid green based on how many of the documents in the block are selected. Clicking on a secondary group will select the documents associated with that group.

Because documents may be associated with and represented in multiple blocks, selected documents contained in one block may show documents selected in other blocks. This shows how some documents are cross-cutting and related to multiple areas.


This window provides lists of attributes from all documents along with a count of the number of documents that share a particular attribute. Clicking on a specific attribute will select those guides in the PUBLICATIONS’ or ‘GUIDES’ list that share that attribute. The attributes listed will update as well to show only those attributes in those selected guides. Selecting additional attributes will further narrow the final list of selected guides to those that have all the selected attributes in common.

Clicking on a selected attribute will remove it from consideration and update the windows accordingly. Clicking the ‘CLEAR HIGHLIGHTS’ link at the top will reset all selections.

Publications or Guides

This window provides a listing of all publications (in the Building America Library) or guides (in the Solution Center) available for review. Documents in this list are selected (e.g. displayed in green) showing that these documents meet the filter criteria selected within other windows. Selected documents will always be sorted and grouped at the top of the list. When your mouse is moved over a specific document in the list, an ‘OPEN’ link is displayed to the right of the highlighted document. Clicking on that link will open the full contents of the document for viewing in a new browser window.


Entering a search term in the box in the upper right will highlight all guides that contain that term. These documents will be selected and presented at the top of the ‘PUBLICATIONS’ or ‘GUIDES’ list.

Expanding Views

The general arrangement of windows is to have a single window maximized in the center of the application with the other windows in minimized form. It is possible interact with the windows in both maximized and minimize form. A minimized window can be swapped into the maximized position by clicking on the expand icon in the top-right corner of the window.