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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): Puttagunta
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: September, 2009

Document about proper HVAC system sizing.

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: December, 2010

Factsheet describing the importance of system charging, superheat and subcooling.

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

Information sheet about proper ventilation and air sealing.

Author(s): Roberts, Lay
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, EnerNOC
Publication Date: March, 2013

Report discussing the measured variability in indoor space temperatures in a set of 60 homes located in Florida, New York, Oregon, and Washington.

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2009

Information sheet about transfer ducts and grilles.

Author(s): Dentz, Ansanelli
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: January, 2015

In this project aimed to better understand the current usage of TRVs by key market players in steam and hot water heating and to conduct limited experiments on the effectiveness of new and old TRVs as a means of controlling space temperatures and reducing heating fuel consumption.

Author(s): Booten
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: June, 2013

Case study providing homeowners guidance on installing window air conditioners.

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): Williamson, Puttagunta
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: September, 2013

Report providing performance results of a home's heat pump water heater and whole-house dehumidifier over a six-month period.

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): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: June, 2013
Document covering 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): 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): 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): Zoeller
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: March, 2009

Information sheet about buried ducts.

Author(s): Choi, Ludwig, Brand
Organization(s): PARR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute, CNT Energy
Publication Date: August, 2012

Report addressing barriers to information, contractor resources and cost savings associated with steam balancing multifamily buildings.

Author(s): Russell, Sherman, Rudd
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2005

Document reviewing current and potential ventilation technologies for residential buildings with particular emphasis on North American climates and construction.

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): Schoenbauer, Bohac, Huelman, Olson, Hewett
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2012

Report presenting results of a laboratory experiment studying combi systems as a mode to eliminate safety issues associated with natural draft appliances.

Author(s): German, Hoeschele
Organization(s): ARBI, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: December, 2014

Report evaluating mechanical AC precooling strategies in homes as a method for improving the load factor by shifting cooling operation from on-peak to off-peak hours.

Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: August, 2010

Presentation providing information about correctly installing ductwork in new and existing homes.

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: April, 2010

Information sheet describing refrigerant charge.

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

Document reviewing ventilation strategies for different climate zones and includes schematic drawings and photographs of various ventilation installations.

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2013

Information sheet about ventilation approaches.

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

Research study using modeling to determine optimal combination(s) of components/pumps, high efficiency heat sources, plumbing configurations and controls that result in the highest overall efficiency for a hydronic system.

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): 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. 

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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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, 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: March, 2012

Presentation on Improving Air-Conditioner and Heat Pump Modeling.

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.

Author(s): Christensen, Fang, Tomerlin, Winkler, Hancock
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mountain Energy Partnership
Publication Date: March, 2011

Information sheet with an analysis of mini split heat pump systems.

Author(s): Martin, Fenaughty, Parker
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: January, 2018

Report outlining how Smart ventilation controls (SVC) balance energy consumption, comfort, and IAQ by optimizing mechanical ventilation operation to reduce the heating and/or cooling loads, improve management of indoor moisture, and maintain IAQ equivalence according to ASHRAE 62.2.

Author(s): Arena
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: January, 2013

Expert meeting held to review and discuss results and future plans for research to improve the performance of hydronic heating systems using condensing boilers and baseboard convectors.

Author(s): Maxwell, Berger, Zuluaga
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: July, 2014

Report outlining research that helps inform best practices for air sealing multi-family buildings in the Northeast.

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