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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): 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): 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): 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

Case study about a DOE 2014 Housing Innovation Award winner.

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

Case study about a DOE 2014 Housing Innovation Award winner.

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

Case study about one of three deep energy renovations of occupied affordable homes.

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

Case study describing a retrofit project in the mixed-humid climate zone.

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: December, 2011

Case study about a deep energy renovation of a home in the marine climate.

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

Case study about an energy efficient retrofit project in hot-humid climates.

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

Case study describing a deep energy renovation of a home in Florida.

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

Case study describing a retrofit project in the marine 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): BSC
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: November, 2013

Case study providing details of a new construction, net zero energy home.

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

Case study describing a building project in the mixed-humid climate zone.

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

Case study describing a building project in the marine climate.

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

Case study describing how combination (combi) space and water heating systems can be used in homes with efficient thermal enclosures, decreasing energy consumption and costs.

Publication Date: October, 2015
Case study on using advanced controls to improve performance of combination space and water heating systems.
Publication Date: June, 2015
Case study on homes that have a single heating plant that provides space and water heating.
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): Springer, Seitzler, Backman, Weitzel
Organization(s): ARBI
Publication Date: October, 2015

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

Author(s): Steven Winter Associates
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates
Publication Date: August, 2009

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