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Case Studies

This library contains research reports produced by the Building America program and other building science resources used to support this Solution Center. The materials cover both new construction and existing homes. Use the search box and/or the filters to explore hundreds of residential building resources. Access to some references not produced by Building America may require purchase from the publisher. Documents are listed alphabetically. While we continually update our database, links may have changed since posting. Please contact our webmaster if you find broken links.

Author(s): HIRL
Organization(s): HIRL
Publication Date: February, 2016

Case study describing a zero energy ready home (ZERH) that was recently completed featuring an innovative wall system. This highly insulated (high-R) light-frame wall system, called the extended plate and beam (EP&B), is for use above grade in residential buildings. 

Author(s): Ueno
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: October, 2015
Report on adding insulation to load-bearing mass masonry buildings.
Author(s): DOE
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: January, 2008
Case study describing a building project in the marine climate.
Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: December, 2009

Case study about new home construction in the hot-humid climate, optimizing thermal enclosure, HVAC, water heating and lighting measures.

Author(s): DOE
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: December, 2008

Case study describing building in cold and very cold climates.

Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: July, 2010

Case study describing project conducted by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell (HfHGL) and Building Science Corporation (BSC).

Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: July, 2012

Case study of a Concord four-square home retrofitted by Building Science Corporation in Massachusetts.

Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: July, 2010

Case study of a Concord Cape Cod style home began in August 2008 by architects and engineers at Buliding Science Corporation, who developed the drawing set and specifications for the high performance custom home to be built in Concord, Massachusetts.

Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: July, 2010

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell bought the land on which to build the Westford House from the town of Westford for $1. Habitat then partnered with Building Science Corporation, the community, local and national manufacturers, distributors and donors in an effort to create a comfortable, healthy, durable and energy efficient single...

Author(s): BA-PIRC, FSEC
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, FSEC
Publication Date: April, 2015
Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL, PHI, HIRL, BSC, NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: September, 2013

Case study describing a DOE 2013 top innovation - best practices for the installation of rigid foam insulation on teh exterior of home roofs and walls as a thermal, air, and moisture barrier. Research was conducted by DOE Building America partners Home Innovation Research Labs, Building Science Corporation, and the University of...

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): HIRL, PHI, PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2013

Case study on a DOE 2013 top innovaton about advanced framing techniques for high-performance home construction based on research by a DOE Building America research partner, Home Innovation Research Labs.

Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: February, 2009
Case study describing a building project in the cold and very-cold climate zones.
Author(s): PNNL, ORNL
Organization(s): PNNL, ORNL
Publication Date: December, 2010

Case study about a 20-unit community of energy-efficient duplexes in Massachusetts that incorporated solar water heating and photovoltaics.

Author(s): Gilbride
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: October, 2015

Case study on a 2015 Housing Innovation Award-winner built by Hammer and Hand in Portland, Oregon.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2014

This certified DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, is the first home in the world to use a tri-generation system to supply electricity, heating, and cooling on site.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: February, 2014

Case Study describing a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home construction project in Florida that recieved a HERS score of 49.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2017

Thrive Home Builders built this 2,780-ft2 townhome in Lone Tree, Colorado, to the high-performance requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Program. 

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2017

Thrive Home Builders built this 4,119-ft2 home at the Lowry development in Denver, Colorado, to the high-performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home Program.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2017

United Way of Long Island’s Housing Development Corporation built this 3,719-ft2 two–story, 5-bedroom home in Huntington Station, New York, to the rigorous performance requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready Homes Program.

Author(s): Chan, Walker, Sherman
Organization(s): LBNL
Publication Date: August, 2015
Report on how airtighness changes as houses age.
Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: December, 2011

Case study about a whole-house, deep energy retrofit project in the marine climate.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2009

Case study describing a retrofit project in the hot-dry and mixed-dry climate zones.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: December, 2011

Case study about an energy efficient renovation in the cold climate.

Publication Date: September, 2015
Case study on the retrofit of a 1960s split-level home.
Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: October, 2010

Case study describing a retrofit project in the hot-dry climate.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: October, 2010

Case study describing a retrofit project in the hot-dry climate.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2009

Case study describing a retrofit project in the cold and very-cold climate zones.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: January, 2011

Case study about new home construction in the marine climate.

Author(s): Rose, Francisco, Merrin
Organization(s): PARR
Publication Date: October, 2015
Report on the impact of air sealing between the foundation and the living space on radon transport reduction across the foundation and living space floor assembly at fifteen home.
Author(s): Loomis, Pettit
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: June, 2015
Report on two approaches to retrofitting existing double-stud walls.
Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: November, 2013

Case study about a new construction project using high R-value enclosures with a hybrid insulation approach.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: April, 2012

Case study about a new home builder that strives to address health, safety, and durability issues in a hot and humid climate.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: April, 2012

Case study about a home builder that has refined its home designs to achieve HERS scores of 49 to 56 on 40 to 70 homes per year.

Author(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Publication Date: December, 2014

Case study about the Green Home 3 project, which achieved a 44% whole-house energy savings over the Building America New Construction B10 Benchmark, DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certification, and National Green Building Standard Gold-level certification.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: April, 2012

Case study about design and testing 10 high-performance homes in Farmington, Connecticut.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: April, 2012

Case study about energy efficienct new home construction that also incorporated moisture management techniques for durability in the damp Northwest climate.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: February, 2013

Case study about new home construction in the marine climate that achieved 50% savings over the 2004 IECC.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: February, 2013

Case study about a new construction building project of 20 homes that earned HERS scores that represent greater than 50% energy savings in heating and cooling over the 2004 IECC.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: April, 2012

Case study about a production builder that achieves HERS scores of 60, compared to 85 for other builders that build new homes to Florida code.

Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: November, 2013

Case study describing optimal design and limitations of cladding attachments over exterior sheathings.

Publication Date: June, 2015
Case study on the moisture content in homes with double wall framing.
Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: October, 2012

Case study about incorporating inuslating concrete forms (ICFs) into new home design and construction.

Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: October, 2013

Case study describing research about using exterior, vapor permeable insulation of retrofit walls with vapor permeable cavity insulation.

Author(s): CARB
Organization(s): CARB
Publication Date: November, 2013

Case study about measuring envelope leakage in multifamily buildings.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: October, 2012

Case study detailing techniques used to prevent thermal bypass in new homes.

Publication Date: October, 2015
Case study on retrofit measures for embedded wood members in insulated mass masonry walls.
Author(s): IBACOS
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: May, 2014

Case study describing a stand-off furring strategy that minimizes the physical connections to each existing wall stud, uses spray foam to encapsulate existing siding materials (including lead paint), and creates a vented rain screen assembly to promote drying.

Author(s): NREL, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver
Organization(s): NREL, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver
Publication Date: April, 2008

Case study describing a Habitat for Humanity zero net energy home in Denver.

Author(s): NREL
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: December, 2003

Case study describing whole house building techniques in the hot-dry climate.