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Library

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): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: July, 2014

Guide designed to help builders better understand and meet the hot water delivery system criteria as specified in EPA's WaterSense New Home Specification.

Third Street
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Author(s): Gifford
Organization(s): Home Energy Magazine
Publication Date: September, 2005

Article describing how an affordable multifamily building achieved energy savings for the same cost as code-minimum construction.

Case study on exhaust ventilation and corresponding outdoor air intake strategies implemented in high-performance new-construction multifamily buildings.
Author(s): Rudd
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: July, 2013

This document covers a description of the need and applied solutions for supplemental dehumidification in warm-humid climates, especially for energy efficient homes where the sensible cooling load has been dramatically reduced.

Author(s): German, Dakin, Backman, Weitzel, Springer
Organization(s): ARBI, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: December, 2012

Research study determining how well high performance envelope and innovative cooling system interact to cost effectively reduce cooling energy use in this hot-dry climate.

Author(s): Taggart, Sikora, Wiehagen, Wood
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Research study providing a comparison of selected retrofit activity typically done, versus that same retrofit activity approached from an integrated high performance remodeling and quality management perspective.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: June, 2013

This Strategy Guideline covers the pros and cons of compact air distribution systems and the decision criteria that must be considered early in the whole-house design process. 

Author(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: June, 2017

Standard Work Specifications (SWS) are a major component of the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals project and define the minimum requirements to ensure that the work performed during home energy upgrades is effective, durable, and safe.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: May, 2011

Specifications to assist builders in designing and constructing homes equipped with a set of features that make the installation of solar energy systems after the completion of the home’s construction easier and less expensive.

Author(s): Sanchez
Organization(s): Home Power
Publication Date: January, 2012
Web article about solar site assessment.
Author(s): Lisell, Tetreault, Watson
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2009

Report identifying the important aspects of building design and construction to enable installation of solar photovoltaic and heating systems at some time after the building is constructed.

Author(s): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: April, 2012

How hard can it be to insulate a flat sheet of concrete? I mean you only have three choices – on the top, on the bottom, or on the edge. OK, you might have some combination of the three as well.

Author(s): Miller, Kosny, Shrestha, Christian, Karagozis, Kohler, Dinse
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2004

Report about four homes in the Tennessee Valley built to showcase 50% greater energy efficiency compared to homes built to local code.

Author(s): Metzger, Goyl, Baechler
Organization(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2017

This research paper outlines residential HVAC advanced controls and sensors. It includes a technology review, applications, maintenance and commissioning, occupant behavior and a summary of the state-of-the-art technologies for advanced controls for residential HVAC.

Author(s): Alliance for Water Efficiency
Organization(s): Alliance for Water Efficiency
Publication Date: July, 2014
Website with information and research about residential hot water distribution systems.
Author(s): Wei
Organization(s): TRC Energy Services
Publication Date: October, 2014
Report proposes high performance duct measures for inclusion in California Title 24 building energy efficiency standards for 2016.
Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: September, 2009

Document containing some of the basic characteristics that should be met in all high performance homes.

Author(s): Liaukus
Organization(s): BARA
Publication Date: December, 2014

Research project aimed to verify whether homes in the New Jersey HPwES program achieved 30% source energy savings, and if so, what measures were implemented to achieve them.

Author(s): Lstiburek, Brennan
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: December, 2006

Document with important building science considerations, designed for members of the residential construction and remodeling industries, as well as owners and managers who work in affordable housing.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: June, 2013

Website with information about radon-resistant construction techniques and other radon resources for builders, contractors and homebuyers.  

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: June, 2006

Report aiming to "de-mistify" technology and economic considerations of residential PV systems.

Author(s): Dentz, Conlin, Podorson, Alaigh
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: June, 2014

Report presenting ways public housing authorities (PHAs) can develop packages of energy efficiency retrofit measures the PHAs can cost-effectively implement with their own staff in the normal course of housing operations at the time when units are refurbished between occupancies.

Author(s): ASHRAE
Organization(s): ASHRAE
Publication Date: September, 2008
Standard providing guidance on how to best design buildings with adequate moisture control features.
Author(s): SF Environment
Organization(s): SF Environment, International Code Council
Publication Date: November, 2012

Report providing strategies for designing structures to prevent pest entry.

Author(s): Parker, Sherwin, Hermelink, Moyer
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2009
Report describing the experimentally evaluated potential of a novel residential night cooling concept.
Author(s): Parker, Sherwin, Hermelink
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: August, 2008
Report about an experimental evaluation has been conducted on a night sky cooling system designed to substantially reduce space cooling needs in homes in North American climates.
Author(s): Brooks, Dunlop
Organization(s): NABCEP
Publication Date: March, 2012
This Photovoltaic (PV) Installer Resource Guide is an informational resource covering basic requirements for PV installations intended for individuals pursuing the Photovoltaic Installer Certification credential offered by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Author(s): NAHB Research Center
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2008

Report discussing development of scopes of work and quality management for builders in mixed-humid climates.

Author(s): Lubliner, Kerr, Gordon, Murray
Organization(s): WSU Extension Energy Program
Publication Date: August, 2008
Conference paper making the case that moving ducts to conditioned space saves energy, is practical for production builders (when accompanied by careful pre-planning), and creates significant andmarketable energy savings for homebuyers.
Author(s): Siegenthaler
Organization(s): Delmar CENGAGE Learning
Publication Date: January, 2012
Book with indepth information about hydronic systems for residential and commercial buildings.
Author(s): ASHRAE
Organization(s): ASHRAE
Publication Date: June, 2014
Describes methods for testing duct systems to determine their performance under standard conditions.
Author(s): Chasar, vonSchramm
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: September, 2012

Report summarizing a case study about the performance of three occupied homes built in 2009 in San Antonio, Texas.

Author(s): McIlvaine, Beal
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: June, 2014

Report describing as-found interior platform return plenums, the magnitude of their contribution to the total amount of duct leakage, and techniques and results of retrofits executed by the HVAC trade during equipment replacement.

Author(s): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: December, 2006

Report discussing the importance of durability and energy efficiency in building construction.

Author(s): Springer, German
Organization(s): ARBI, Davis Energy Group

Report on on lessons learned from building one multifamily home to the Zero Energy Ready Home program requirements.

Author(s): Martin
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC, IBACOS
Publication Date: March, 2014

The study described in this white paper is based on building energy modeling with an important focus on the indoor humidity impacts of ventilation.

Author(s): Straube
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: October, 2006

Article outlining the casuses and solutions for ice dam problems.

Author(s): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: November, 2011

Information sheet presenting the correct methods for building an insulated cathedral ceiling.

Author(s): Straube, Grin
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: March, 2009

Report that considers a number of promising wall systems that can meet the requirement for better thermal control.

Author(s): Baechler, Williamson, Gilbride, Cole, Hefty, Love
Organization(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2010

Report outlining climate designations by the Building America program, and compares these regions to the IECC climate zones.

Author(s): Lstiburek, Brennan
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: January, 2001

Document providing guidance about building healthy homes using building science principles.

Author(s): Xing, Cullin, Fisher, Shonder, Im
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Article describing a numerical model that can be used to size foundation heat exchanger (FHX) systems.

Author(s): Levy, Dentz, Ansanelli, Barker, Rath, Dadia
Organization(s): ARIES Collaborative

Report a field evaluation of four novel roof designs in energy-efficient manufactured homes.

Author(s): Parker, Sherwin
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: March, 2008
Report about an experimental evaluation conducted on a night sky cooling system designed to substantially reduce space cooling needs in homes in North American climates.
Author(s): Yee, Milby, Baker
Organization(s): PARR
Publication Date: June, 2014

Study investigating homeowner measure package choices in the Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program compared to cost-optimal choices determined through Building Energy Optimization (BEopt) modeling software.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: November, 2015

This report is designed to meet ASHRAE 62.2-2010/2013 and ANSI/ACCA’s 5 QI-2015 protocol, thereby improving the performance of HVAC equipment in new homes when compared to homes built to minimum code.

Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: February, 2018

Website from the U.S. Department of Energy providing consumers with information on saving energy and using renewable energy technologies.  

Author(s): Bianco, Wiehagen, Wood
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center
Publication Date: January, 2013

Report that outlines steps of translating a new home construction scopes of work to scopes of work specifically for retrofits.

Author(s): McIlvaine, Beal, Fairey
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: October, 2014
This study focuses on the design, construction, and performance of the interior chase approach as implemented by five different builders in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida
Author(s): Less, Walker
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2015

Part of a larger LBNL report (Deep Energy Retrofit Guidance for the Building America Solutions Center), the Reducing costs and Increasing Cost-Effectiveness chapter provides suggestions for controlling deep retrofit costs, including both 'do's' and 'don'ts.'

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