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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): Less, Walker
Organization(s): LBNL
Publication Date: August, 2014

Report including testing and analysis of deep energy retrofits of existing single-family homes in the U.S.

Author(s): Logue, Turner, Walker, Singer
Organization(s): LBNL
Publication Date: August, 2015
Changing the air exchange rate of a home (the sum of the infiltration and mechanical ventilation airflow rates) affects the annual thermal conditioning energy. Large-scale changes to air exchange rates of the housing stock can significantly alter the residential sectorÕs energy consumption. However, the complexity of existing residential energy...
Author(s): Ueno
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: October, 2015
Report on adding insulation to load-bearing mass masonry buildings.
Author(s): Rapp, Less, Singer, Stratton, Wray
Organization(s): LBNL
Publication Date: August, 2015
The exhaust from residential combustion appliances contains air pollutants and high levels of moisture that must be conveyed to the outdoors to maintain acceptable indoor quality.
Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: April, 2010
Case study describing a retrofit project in the cold and very-cold climate zones.
Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2009

Case study about new home construction in the hot-dry and mixed-dry climate zones.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL, BSC, NREL
Publication Date: December, 2010

Case study describing a multi-family town home project constructed for the City of Aspen, Colorado, with assistance from the U.S. DOE Building America research team Building Science Corporation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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): Hoeschele, Weitzel, Backman
Organization(s): ARBI
Publication Date: June, 2017

This project completed a modeling evaluation of a hybrid gas water heater that combines a reduced capacity tankless unit with a downsized storage tank. This product would meet a significant market need by providing a higher efficiency gas water heater solution for retrofit applications while maintaining compatibility with the half-inch gas...

Author(s): Hoeschele, Seitzler
Organization(s): ARBI
Publication Date: July, 2017

Heat pump water heaters offer a significant opportunity to improve water heating performance for the over 40% of U.S. households that heat domestic hot water using electric resistance storage water heaters. Numerous field studies have also been completed documenting performance in a variety of climates and applications. More recent evaluation...

Author(s): Colon, Martin
Organization(s): BA-PIRC
Publication Date: August, 2017

The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) has completed a fourth year-long evaluation on residential hot water heating systems in a laboratory environment (east central Florida, hot-humid climate). This report contains a summary of research activities regarding the evaluation of two residential electric heat pump water heaters (HPWHs), a solar...

Author(s): Colon, Martin
Organization(s): BA-PIRC
Publication Date: August, 2017

The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) has completed a fourth year-long evaluation on residential hot water heating systems in a laboratory environment (east central Florida, hot-humid climate). This report contains a summary of research activities regarding the evaluation of two residential electric heat pump water heaters (HPWHs), a solar...

Author(s): Schirber, Schoenbauer
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR
Publication Date: June, 2017

High performance water heaters are typically more time consuming and costly to install in retrofit applications, making high performance water heaters difficult to justify economically. However, recent advancements in high performance water heaters have targeted the retrofit market, simplifying installations and reducing costs. Four high...

Author(s): Mittereder, Poerschke
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: June, 2017

This case study presents a cold-climate project that examines an alternative approach to ground source heat pump (GSHP) ground loop design. The innovative ground loop design is an attempt to reduce the installed cost of the ground loop heat exchange portion of the system by containing the entire ground loop within the excavated location...

Author(s): BA-PIRC, FSEC
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, FSEC
Publication Date: April, 2015
Publication Date: November, 2015
Report presenting the building america research to market plan.
Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2013

Case study about a DOE Building America 2012 Top Innovation on the Building America Solution Center, a website developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy Building America program to provide builders, contractors, code officials, raters, home owners, etc. with quick access to information on how to...

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): PNNL, NREL
Publication Date: September, 2013

Case study of a DOE 2013 top innovation about best practices for high-efficiency window air conditioning units based on research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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

Case study on a DOE 2013 top innovation about high-performance furnace blowers for heating and cooling describing research by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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

Case study about a DOE 2013 top innovation profile on Home Performance XML, a data transfer standard that communicates between home performance programs and analysis software, developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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

Case study about a 2013 DOE top innovation on quality management tools for builders, trades and designers to help eliminate mistakes that would require high-cost rework, based on work by Building America research partners IBACOS, Inc., Building Science Corporation (BSC), and the Home Innovation Research Labs.

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

Case study about a DOE Building America 2013 Top Innovation on upgrading or replacing windows in existing homes, based on research by Building America research partner Building Science Corporation..

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): ARBI, CARB, SWA, FSEC, BA-PIRC, BSC, IBACOS, PHI, HIRL, PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2013

Case study on a DOE 2013 top innovation about construction of net-zero energy ready homes, by several builders working with various DOE Building America research partners including Steven Winter Associates, Building Science Corporation, Home Innovation Research Labs, IBACOS, Davis Energy Group, and the Florida Solar Energy Center.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): LBNL, BSC, FSEC, WSU Energy Office, Building Research Council, Southface, PNNL
Publication Date: December, 2014

Case study on a DOE 2014 top innovation on research that was instrumental in developing and gaining adoption of the ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation standard. The research and standards work was conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Building America research partners Building Science Corporation, Florida Solar Energy Center,...

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): CARB, ARBI, Davis Energy Group, PNNL
Publication Date: December, 2014

Case study on a DOE 2014 top innovation about research on high MERV filters used in HVAC systems conducted by Building America research partner Davis Energy Group.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): LBNL, PARR, PNNL
Publication Date: December, 2014

Case study describing a DOE 2014 top innovation on development of a standardized testing method for testing the air leakage of HVAC air handlers and furnace cabinets developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: March, 2015

Building America Optimized Solution in the hot-humid climate.

Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: March, 2015

Building America Optimized Solution in the mixed-humid climate.

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): CARB, Maryland Energy Administration
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: August, 2006

Case study about Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity rehabilitation of five 2-story row houses into energy-efficient, affordable housing.

Author(s): Wright, Klingenberg
Organization(s): Passive House Institute US
Publication Date: August, 2015
Report on improving passive design adoption rates.
Author(s): Brand, Cautley, Bohac, Francisco, Shen, Gloss
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: November, 2015
Report on comubsion safety simplified test protocol.
Author(s): Poerschke, Beach
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: February, 2016
Report onhow space-conditioning systems are operating in the field and if these systems are meeting required standards.
Author(s): Herk, Beggs
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: February, 2016
Report outlining the steps developers can take to create high-performance standards on a community-wide scale.
Author(s): Mallay
Organization(s): HIRL
Publication Date: January, 2016
Report on heating and cooling air-distribution ducts that are insulated, installed close to the ceiling in a vented attic and covered with attic insulation to minimize energy loss.
Author(s): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: July, 2010
Case study about a retrofit project designed to show that advanced energy goals could be met today in existing housing.
Author(s): Cummings, Withers, Kono
Organization(s): BA-PIRC
Publication Date: July, 2015
Report on variable-capacity air conditioning and heat pump units.
Author(s): Less, Walker
Organization(s): LBNL
Publication Date: August, 2015

Guidance document on deep energy retrofits.

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

Case study of a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home in west Connecticut that scored HERS 39 without solar PV. The 3,000 ft2 two-story home has R-33 double-walls, R-72 flat roof with closed-cell foam and blown cellulose, an ERV, and LED lighting.

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

Case study about a Zero Energy Ready Home construction project in the marine climate.

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

Case study of a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home in Herriman, UT, that scored HERS 40 without PV, -1 with PV. This 4,111 ft2 production home has R-23 advanced framed walls, and a vented attic with R-60 blown fiberglass.

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

Case study of a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home in Ithaca, NY, that scored HERS 50 without PV. These 1,160 ft2 affordable town houses have R-20 advance framed walls, R-52 blown cellulose in attic, radiant heat with 92.5 AFUE boiler, and triple-pane windows.

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

Case study of a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home in Phoenix AZ that scored HERS 58 without PV or HERS 38 with PV. This 1,700 ft2 affordable home has R-21 framed walls, a sealed closed-cell spray foamed attic, an air-source heat pump with forced air, and a solar combo system that provides PV, hot water, and space heating.

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

Case study of a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home in Downers Grove IL that scored HERS 35 without PV. This 3,600 ft2 custom home has advanced framed walls with R-23 dense-packed fiberglass plus R-13 rigid polyiso, a sealed attic with open-cell spray foam, a pier foundation, and 95% efficient gas furnace.

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

Case study describing a 4,763 ft2 certified Passive House that achieved HERS 27 without PV through the construction of R-54 walls that use ICF plus fiberglass cavity insulation, an R-100 vented attic, extensive air sealing and flashing, triple-pane windows, ductless heat pumps, and solar hot water.

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: September, 2014

Case study about a DOE 2014 Housing Innovation Award winner.

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