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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): 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): Poerschke, Beach, Beggs
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: June, 2017

IBACOS investigated the performance of a small-diameter high-velocity heat pump system compared to a conventional system in a new construction triplex townhouse. A ductless heat pump system also was installed for comparison, but the homebuyer backed out because of aesthetic concerns about that system. In total, two buildings, having identical...

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

Case study on a 2015 Housing Innovation Award-winner built by Mutual Housing California in Woodland, California.

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

Case study on a 2015 Housing Innovation Award-winner built by New Town Builders in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

Author(s): Gilbride
Organization(s): PNNL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2019

Case study showing project and performance data and energy-efficiency measures for a DOE 2019 Housing Innovation Award winning home that was certified to the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home criteria.

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): Gilbride, KA Cort
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: December, 2016

AquaZephyr built this 467-ft2 multifamily home in Ithaca, New York, to the high-performance requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Program. 

Author(s): Gilbride, KA Cort
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2016

Philgreen Construction built this 1,160-ft2 townhome in Fort Collins, Colorado, to the high-performance requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Program. 

Author(s): Gilbride, KA Cort
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2016

Thrive Home Builders built this 1,815-ft2  townhome in Denver, 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 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): Gilbride
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2018

Revive Properties/ Philgreen Construction built this 1,533-ft2 townhome in Fort Collins, Colorado, to the high-performance requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Program. 

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

Case study describing a gut rehab of a multifamily, masonry building.

Author(s): BA-PIRC
Organization(s): BA-PIRC
Publication Date: October, 2013

Case study describing a multifamily deep energy retrofit project in Annapolis, Maryland.

Author(s): CARB
Organization(s): CARB
Publication Date: December, 2014

Case study about a deep energy retrofit, turning an old school into 12 high-end apartments in Greenfield, MA.

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

Case study about a multifamily retrofit project in a cold climate.

Author(s): BA-PIRC
Organization(s): BA-PIRC
Publication Date: November, 2013

Case study about a multifamily, affordable housing retrofit project that achieved 44% energy savings using readily available, cost effective measures.

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

Case study about a multifamily retrofit project using individual heat recovery ventilators in 10 separate building units.

Author(s): Springer, German
Organization(s): ARBI
Publication Date: June, 2015
Report on on lessons learned from building one multifamily home to the Zero Energy Ready Home program requirements.
Author(s): PNNL
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: February, 2013

Case study about 50% energy savings projects for new multifamily homes in cold climates.

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

Case study about a new townhome construction project designed to achieve a HERS score of 40.

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

Case study describing a building project in the marine climate.

Publication Date: September, 2015
Case study on the first multifamily projecte nationwide to be certified under the U.S. Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready Home program.
Publication Date: July, 2015

Case study on air sealing building enclosures using aerosolized sealant.

Publication Date: February, 2016
Case study on an effort to improve indoor air quality in high-performance, new construction, mutlifamily buildings, dedicated sources of outdoor air.
Publication Date: October, 2015
Case study on exhaust ventilation and corresponding outdoor air intake strategies implemented in high-performance new-construction multifamily buildings.
Publication Date: August, 2015
Report on low-load options in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment used in multifamily homes.
Author(s): CARB
Organization(s): CARB
Publication Date: November, 2013

Case study about maximizing efficiency of hydronic systems in single and multifamily buildings.

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

Case study about measuring envelope leakage in multifamily buildings.

Author(s): ARIES
Organization(s): ARIES
Publication Date: May, 2014

Case study about the benefits of replacing resistance heating systems with mini-split heat pumps in cold and mixed-humid climates.

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

Case study about steam system balancing in multifamily housing.

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

Case study that identifies best practices, costs, and savings associated with balancing steam distribution systems through increased main line air venting, radiator vent replacement, and boiler control system upgrades.

Author(s): ARIES
Organization(s): ARIES
Publication Date: November, 2014

Case study describing a heating system retrofit in an existing apartment building complex which included advanced boiler controls and reduced heating gas consumption by about 20%.

Author(s): Springer, Seitzler, Backman, Weitzel
Organization(s): ARBI
Publication Date: October, 2015

Report on energy use for domestic water heating in multifamily buildings.