The U.S. Department of Energy's Building America program strives to reduce energy use and peak energy loads in existing and new homes. Building America’s whole building systems approach also seeks to improve quality, comfort, safety, durability, and a healthy living environment.
The Building America Solution Center was designed to offer fast, online access to expert guidance on hundreds of high-performance construction topics and give users the tools to customize field kits to take the information you need to the job site.
New to the Solution Center? Visit our webinar for detailed information and a tour of the Solution Center.
Within the Solution Center, building science measures are described in guides. Each guide provides an overview of a specific measure, including a scope of work, full description and tips for installation, climate considerations, training images, presentations and videos, code and program compliance, plus other external information related to the topic. Guides contain a variety of resources such as images, videos, CAD files, case studies and references. With a few exceptions, each guide is organized into 9 tabs. The Solution Center is a new tool and not all information is fully populated. As new research is completed and users provide additional content, Solution Center guides are continuously updated.
Our goal is to give users fast access to the information they need in high-performance residential construction, renovation and energy efficiency. Guides can be searched and explored in a variety of ways. The home page opens up with links to a variety of navigation tools:
- Building Components displays images representing nine topics that relate to different aspects of a home. Each component is further organized into component subcategories (e.g., air sealing, insulation, etc.). Selecting a subcategory will display all guides pertaining to that subcategory and allow you to further filter by construction type and keyword.
- Guides A-Z provides an alphabetical listing of all the guides in the Solution Center, which can be filtered based on keywords, primary topic and climate zone.
- The Existing Homes tool provides installation guidance for making existing homes more energy efficient, comfortable, and less expensive to operate. The tool is designed around common upgrades in existing homes.
- The Home Improvement Expert checklists provide guidance on more than 20 common home improvements to help optimize energy savings and improve performance related to comfort, health, safety, and durability.
- The Program Checklist page provides access to DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program, and EPA’s ENERGY STAR Certified Homes and Indoor airPLUS programs. Each checklist measure will link directly to detailed guides to help you install and specify the measures in each program’s checklists.
- The Sales Tool provides a new glossary of ‘Power Words’ that can be used across the industry to consistently reinforce the value of high-performance homes. This sales tool provides support for users involved in the transaction process.
- Optimized Climate Solutions provide climate-specific guidance and detailed information on optimized solutions that meet or exceed the 2009 IECC, cost effectively.
- Code Briefs provide code-related information about Building America’s research, best practices, and new innovations to help ensure that the measures will be accepted as being in compliance with the code.
In addition to the tools already described, the FIND RESOURCES section is for those who want to go straight to content without going through one of the navigation tools designed to organize the information. Users may browse directly to the listed resources:
- CAD Files – a gallery of CAD files used in the guides.
- Image Gallery – a gallery of images used in the guides.
- Case Studies – descriptions of and links to all the case studies within the Solution Center.
- Videos—a library of building science videos.
- Library – links to the references used to prepare the guides, and Building America publications.
Registering with the Solution Center allows you to create a personal account, which can be used to enhance and customize your use of the tool.
When logged in, your Field Kits can be accessed through the top menu. Add as many Field Kits you’d like to customize content such as Guides, Images and CAD Files into personal folders by clicking on New Field Kit.
Add or remove Guides, Images and CAD Files to your Field Kits by hovering over the Field Kit icon, and clicking the addition (+) to add, or the subtraction (-) to delete.
When logged into your BASC account, you can create customized Sales Worksheets. You will see the MY SALES WORKSHEETS block on the upper right of your screen. Click Create Sales Worksheet to make a new customized sales list, or View All Sales Worksheets to see all saved Sales Tools. For in-depth instructions for creating sales worksheets, see this presentation.
Access your Building America Field Kits using Solutions from an Android- or iOS-based mobile application. The Solutions app allows offline access to all Building America Solution Center images and Guides that have been stored in your Field Kits. To access saved Field Kits offline, you must synchronize your Solutions app by opening it while you have an internet connection.
As a community driven tool, we welcome your comments on how to continuously improve the Solution Center. Any user can e-mail comments, questions, or suggestions to email@example.com. Registered users have two additional mechanisms to send comments or content:
- Provide specific comments on each guide using the “Feedback” links above each guide.
- Provide content using the content submission guidance.
Solution Center text and images can be freely used by others and included in reference and training materials. Some copyrighted publications are linked to from the BASC, and these cannot be redistributed without permission from the copyright holders. The Department of Energy (DOE) appreciates the inclusion of the following or similar acknowledgement.
Courtesy of the Department of Energy’s Building America Solution Center (https://basc.pnnl.gov)
For additional help using the Solution Center or if you have questions or comments about the tool, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .