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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): Calwell, Horowitz
Organization(s): Home Energy Magazine
Publication Date: June, 2001
Online article describing how ceiling fans are one of the most popular and generally well regarded of all home energy efficiency features.
Author(s): FESC
Organization(s): FESC
Publication Date: October, 2014
Website providing information about the Gossamer Wind Series Ceiling fans, conceived by Danny Parker at the Florida Solar Energy Center as a means of realizing the energy efficiency and comfort potential of ceiling fans.
Author(s): Mittereder, Poerschke
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: November, 2013
Report presenting a cold climate project examining and alternative approach to ground source heat pump ground loop design.
Author(s): Im, Liu, Monk
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2011

Website article discussing the economics of ground source heat pumps.

Author(s): Karr
Organization(s): Washington State University Extension Energy Program
Publication Date: March, 2011

Factsheet describing the uses and benefits of ground-source heat pumps for affordable housing, assisted living, dorms and hotels.

Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: May, 2013

Website with consumer information about residential heat pump systems.

Author(s): Butler
Organization(s): Energy Vanguard
Publication Date: January, 2011
Article discussing the advantages of using heat pumps instead of furnaces in high-performance homes.
Author(s): Gifford
Organization(s): American Boiler Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: June, 2003
Article describing how to use radiator inlet orifices optimize two-pipe steam heating systems.
Author(s): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: April, 2012
Website blog with guidance about calculating heat-loss.
Author(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Publication Date: December, 2017

Fact Sheet describing the need for supplemental dehumidification, dehumidifier configuration options, and design considerations.

Author(s): Raymer, Moyer
Organization(s): Tamarack Technologies, Florida Solar Energy Center
Publication Date: July, 2006

Correcting pressure imbalances in your HVAC system can result in a healthier, more efficient home.

Author(s): Home Ventilating Institute
Organization(s): Home Ventilating Institute
Publication Date: September, 2013

Publication specifying HVI’s prescriptive procedures for testing and rating airflow of residential ventilation products in accordance with ANSI consensus standards.

Author(s): Home Ventilating Institute
Organization(s): Home Ventilating Institute
Publication Date: September, 2015

Publication describing the requirements and procedures for the certified performance ratings program for residential ventilation products administered by the Home Ventilating Institute.

Author(s): Dentz, Henderson, Varshney
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: September, 2014

Report summarizing the status of a central hydronic heating system project in multifamily housing at the conclusion of the 20112012 heating season.

Author(s): Dentz, Henderson
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: April, 2012

Report evaluating the relative effectiveness of various control and distribution strategies to improve hydronic space heating performance in existing low-rise multifamily buildings

Author(s): Moyer, Stroer
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2007
Report summarizing approaches to addressing duct leakage in hot humid climates.
Author(s): Holliday, Martin
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: March, 2003

Article in Energy Design Update describing the cost and savings benefits of electronically commutated motors (ECMs) for HVAC equipment.

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

Presentation on Improving Air-Conditioner and Heat Pump Modeling.

Author(s): Brand, Yee, Baker
Organization(s): PARR
Publication Date: August, 2013
Report examining the impacts that common installation practices and age- induced equipment degradation may have on the installed performance of natural gas furnaces, as measured by steady-state efficiency and AFUE.
Author(s): Less, Mullen, Singer, Walker
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

This research study used pollutant measurements, home inspections, diagnostic testing and occupant surveys to assess IAQ in 24 new or deeply retrofitted homes designed to be high performance green buildings in California.

Author(s): Guertin
Organization(s): Fine Homebuilding Magazine
Publication Date: July, 2011

Central return designs require an open pathway between the room and the heart of the house where the return grill is located.  

Author(s): Walker, Stratton
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California Energy Commission

Guidance on performance of current diagnostics as well as a draft test method for use in future air flow evaluations.

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): Winkler
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2011

Report proposing mini-split heat pumps as a new retrofit option to replace resistance heating in the Pacific Northwest.

Author(s): Winkler, Christensen, Tomerlin
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Report documenting the measured performance of six residential ENERGY STAR vapor compression dehumidifiers.

Author(s): Hart
Organization(s): ASHI Reporter
Publication Date: April, 2009

Article describing how to properly manage condensing HVAC equipment.

Author(s): Rudd
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: February, 2011

Report on whole-house and spot ventilation strategies for improved indoor air quality.

Author(s): Ueno, Loomis
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation

Report on the long-term performance of mini-split heat pumps.

Author(s): Fonorow, Jenkins, Thomas-Rees, Chandra
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: October, 2010
Document presenting a cost effective method that was used by four builders in the Gainesville, FL area to construct interior ducts in over a dozen site built homes.
Author(s): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: November, 2010

If your kitchen has a powerful exhaust fan, it may be pulling air down your chimney or water-heater flue.

Author(s): Cummings, Withers, Martin, Moyer
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: October, 2012

Report focusing on managing the driving forces that move air and water vapor across the building envelope.

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: January, 2009
Standard technical manual with information about HVSC balancing, testing air and hydronic systems.
Author(s): Springer, Dakin
Organization(s): ARBI, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: March, 2013

Document targeting home performance contractors who are relatively inexperienced with HVAC systems, HVAC technicians who can benefit from recent research on AC system faults and diagnostic methods, and program managers who may apply this information in structuring successful HVAC tune-up programs.

Author(s): Shapiro, Zoeller, Mantha
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: August, 2013

Document covering the technical aspects of buried and insulated ducts (BEDs), as well as the advantages, disadvantages, and risks of BEDs compared to alternative strategies.

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): Schoenbauer, Bohac, Huelman
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: March, 2017

Report describing the installation and operation of forced-air heating and domestic hot water combi systems in residential homes. 

Author(s): Arena
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: May, 2013

Document intended for designers and installers of hydronic heating systems interested in maximizing the overall system efficiency of condensing boilers when coupled with baseboard convectors. It is applicable to new and retrofit projects.

Author(s): Arena
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2014

Report providing step-by-step instructions for heating contractors and hydronic designers for selecting the proper control settings to maximize system performance and improve response time when using a thermostat setback.

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): Brand, Rose
Organization(s): PARR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute
Publication Date: October, 2012

Document covering installation of high efficiency gas furnaces.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: October, 2013
Report providing guidance on how to implement a compact duct system inside a plenum truss bulkhead of a one-story, slab-on-grade home.
Author(s): Beach, Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: March, 2014

Report describing recommendations for optimizing flexible duct, constant-volume HVAC systems using junction boxes. 

Author(s): Berger, Neri
Organization(s): Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2016

Report describing the use of passive vents as a source of outdoor air in multifamily buildings. 

Author(s): Aldrich, Puttagunta
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: December, 2011

Report descibing the sealing and insulating of HVAC duct systems in new and existing homes.

Author(s): Aldrich
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2014

This document addresses adding—or improving—mechanical ventilation systems to existing homes. The purpose of ventilation is to remove contaminants from homes either directly or by dilution. This report discusses where, when, and how much ventilation is appropriate in a home, including some discussion of relevant codes and...

Author(s): Choi, Ludwig, Brand
Organization(s): PARR, Gas Technology Institute
Publication Date: April, 2013

Document intending to put some context and structure around the process of balancing and tuning one-pipe steam systems to help practitioners begin to garner the potential in energy savings that this measure presents.

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): Rudd
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: October, 2014

Report describing solutions for supplemental dehumidification in warm-humid climates. 

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

The purpose of this measure guideline on ventilation cooling is to provide information on a cost effective solution for reducing cooling system energy and demand in homes located in hot-dry and cold-dry climates.

Author(s): Lsibturek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: January, 2017

Report describing the most cost-effective ventilation and indoor air quality solutions for multifamily homes that meet ASHRAE 62.2-2016. 

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