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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): Judkoff, Neymark
Organization(s): J. Neymark & Associates, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: July, 2013

Research study describing research underway to better understand building thermal energy modeling tools.

Author(s): Christensen
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2011

Research study investigating the thermal efficiency of fasteners, namely drywall screws and siding nails, in high-performance wood-framed walls.

Author(s): Roberts
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: February, 2012

Document about NREL's repository of residential building characteristics and historical energy use data, used to improve accuracy of residential energy analysis tools.

Author(s): Maguire, Sparn, Hudon, Christensen
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2012

Document about laboratory testing of five integrated heat pump water heaters (HPWH).

Author(s): Ridouane
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2012

Document about development of recommendations to help residential HVAC designers select optimal supply inlet size and system operating conditions to maintain good thermal comfort in low heating and cooling load homes.

Author(s): Christensen
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2012

Document on the development of two simple in-home efficiency test methods that can be used by technicians, researchers, or interested homeowners to verify the correct operation and energy efficiency of a homes air conditioning and heating equipment.

Author(s): NAHB Research Center
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2009

Document describing issues of wind pressure resistance in walls with exterior rigid foam sheathing installed directly over framing members.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: May, 2012

Report describing findings from research related to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) companies that have made the decision to transition to whole house performance contracting (WHPC).

Author(s): Hoeschele, Springer, German, Staller, Zhang
Organization(s): ARBI, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: August, 2012

Report about proper water heater selection developed to provide step-by-step procedures for evaluating preferred cost-effective options for energy efficient water heater alternatives based on local utility rates, climate, and anticipated loads.

Author(s): Prahl
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2013

Document serving as a starting point that features initial tools and resources for teams to start collaborating to continually improve the energy efficiency and durability of new houses.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: February, 2012

Report describing the equipment selection of a split system air conditioner and furnace for an example house in Chicago, Illinois, as well as a heat pump system for an example house in Orlando, Florida.

Author(s): Holton
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: February, 2012

Document offering methods to greatly reduce lighting energy use through the application of high quality fluorescent and light emitting diode (LED) technologies.

Author(s): Savage, Hunt
Organization(s): BARA, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Building Media
Publication Date: December, 2012

Report intending to provide useful information as the DOE/BA develops and implements comprehensive communications and outreach strategies for demonstration homes.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: June, 2011

Report about the impact on the loads when common safety factors are applied to the load calculation process using two houses that meet the 2009 IECC prescriptive path modeled as the accurate baseline.

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): Burch, Huggins, Long, Thornton
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, SRCC, TESS
Publication Date: June, 2013

Document discussing changes in testing the annual performance ratings for solar water heaters.

Author(s): Earle, Sparn
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2012

Report summarizing the results of laboratory testing of 20 advanced power strip products.

Author(s): Kerr, Tondro
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute
Publication Date: December, 2012

Report aimed at gaining a better understanding about benefits, challenges and technologies associated with natural gas feedback systems.

Author(s): Lstiburek, Eng, Pettit
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2008

Document outlining the approach to quality assurance in the construction process as recommended by Building Science Corporation for new residential construction.

Author(s): VonThoma, Ojczyk
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: December, 2012

Research study identifying best practices of three successful high performance, custom home builders in the upper Midwest.

Author(s): Grin, Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2012

Report describing the work conducted for high performance hybrid assemblies.

Author(s): Dentz, Podorson, Varshney
Organization(s): ARIES, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: May, 2014

This report investigates whether mini-split heat pumps can live up to their potential for one market segment: multifamily retrofits.

Author(s): Brozyna, Davis, Rapport
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: April, 2012

Document developed to help residential new construction builders transition from using a three-coat stucco system to a one-coat stucco system installed over 1 in. of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation.

Author(s): Beal, McIlvaine, Fonorow, Martin
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: November, 2011

Document illustrating guidelines for efficient installation of interior duct systems in new housing.

Author(s): Hunt, Easley
Organization(s): BARA, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Building Media
Publication Date: May, 2012

Research study showing that for a relatively small investment, a variable speed pool pump can reduce pool pump energy use by 50% to 75%.

Author(s): Shapiro, Puttagunta, Owens
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2012

Document with evaluation of 14 heat pump water heaters (including three recently released HPWH products) installed in existing homes in the northeast region of the United States.

Author(s): German, Dakin, Hoeschele
Organization(s): ARBI, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: March, 2012

Report about evaporative condensers, to provide information on a cost-effective solution for energy and demand savings in homes with cooling loads.

Author(s): Carmody, Haglund
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: November, 2012

Document to help builders, homeowners, and designers select energy-efficient windows in new and existing residential construction in all U.S. climate zones.

Author(s): Rudd
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2012

Document pertaining to design and application guidance for combination space and tankless domestic hot water heating systems used in residential buildings, based on field evaluation, testing, and industry meetings.

Author(s): Aldrich, Mantha, Puttagunta
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: October, 2012

Document describing good practices for insulating basements in new and existing homes.

Author(s): Otis, Maxwell
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: June, 2012

Document providing an understanding of the importance of the different types of multifamily building attics and their unique challenges, and outlines strategies and materials used in air sealing them.

Author(s): Hudon, Merrigan, Burch, Maguire
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2012

Report identifying the target market for solar water heaters and potential pathways and cost/performance targets that must be met for these systems to realize large energy savings.

Author(s): Harrington, Modera
Organization(s): Western Cooling Efficiency Center - UC Davis, BIRA, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: May, 2012

Research study to help development of an application protocol for aerosol sealing of building shells that will eventually be demonstrated on buildings in retrofit and new construction.

Author(s): Winkler, Booten, Christensen, Tomerlin
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2013

Report providing information about laboratory testing of four residential window air conditioners.

Author(s): Sparn, Hudon, Christensen
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2011

Report presenting lab evaluation of five heat pump water heaters available in the US market today.

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: May, 2005

Report with guidance for installing windows with foam sheathing on wood-frame walls.

Author(s): Winkler
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2012

Presentation on Improving Air-Conditioner and Heat Pump Modeling.

Author(s): Cutler, Winkler, Kruis, Christensen, Brandemuehl
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Colorado
Publication Date: January, 2013

Report presenting improved air conditioner (AC) and heat pump (HP) modeling methods in the context of whole-building simulation tools.

Author(s): Burch, Maguire
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2013

Journal article presenting modeling of residential water heaters via dynamic simulation models to provide accurate estimates of their annual energy consumption.

Author(s): Broniek
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: July, 2004

Report presenting system design packages for cold and mixed-humid climates.

Author(s): Heoschele, Weitzel
Organization(s): ARBI, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: November, 2012

Report on a project that enhanced the HWSIM distribution system model to more accurately model pipe heat transfer.

Author(s): LaMarche, Cheney, Akers, Roth, Sachs
Organization(s): Fraunhofer CSE, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2012

Research study investigating the factors influencing consumer adoption of HEDs and evaluating the resulting electricity consumption.

Author(s): DeRenzis, Kochkin
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2013

Report with test results that serve as a baseline of data for further material tests of other high-R wall systems and for comparison to whole-house wind pressure testing.

Author(s): DeRenzis, Kochkin, Wiehagen
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2013

Report providing testing methodology to evaluate structural rim header designs over openings up to 6 ft. wide and applicable to one- and two-story homes.

Author(s): Marburger
Organization(s): Federation of American Scientists, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2010

Document providing a roadmap to aid Habitat for Humanity affiliates in building high performing houses by using materials and techniques that are affordable, do not add any maintenance burden, and are volunteer friendly.

Author(s): Wilson, Christensen
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2012

Presentation about heat pump water heater modeling using EnergyPlus.

Author(s): Dickson
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2013

Document designed to explain the issues and concerns with conventional ventilated crawlspaces and to outline prescriptive measures for improvements that will create healthier and more durable spaces.

Author(s): Dickson
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2013

Report discussing principles and approaches to closing and conditioning ventilated crawlspaces in existing homes. 

Author(s): Fang, Christensen, Barker, Hancock
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mountain Energy Partnership
Publication Date: June, 2011

Report describing a simple and general way to generate a House Simulation Protocol (HSP)-consistent internal sensible and latent loads in unoccupied homes.

Author(s): Hendron, Rudd, Anderson, Barley, Hancock, Townsend
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mountain Energy Partnership
Publication Date: October, 2008

Report about field testing that characterizes the uniformity of room-to-room ventilation air distribution under various operating conditions by examining multi-zone tracer gas decay curves and calculating local age-of-air.

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