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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): Aldrich
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: August, 2012

Report describing the design and construction of a highly energy efficient community of ten duplexes in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Author(s): Aldrich
Organization(s): Home Energy
Publication Date: March, 2009
Paper describing sustainable community development.
Author(s): Smegal, Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: April, 2012

Report summarizing current research, summarizes issues that have been experienced with current best practices, and recommends ways in which the best practices can be improved for water managing sheathings.

Author(s): Tabares-Velasco, Christensen, Bianchi, Booten
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: July, 2012
Report summarizing NRELs efforts to develop diagnostic test cases to conduct accurate energy simulations when phase change materials (PCMs) are modeled in residential buildings.
Author(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: August, 2004

Report about a project with successful integration of numerous energy-conservation and renewable-energy features into a beautiful, comfortable, and very energy-efficient off-grid home.

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

Report providing guidance about whether to construct a vented or unvented attic based on hygro-thermal zone.

Author(s): Ridouane, Bianchi
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: November, 2011

Research study describing a detailed 3D computational fluid dynamics model that evaluates the thermal performance of uninsulated wall assemblies.

Author(s): Christian, Kosny
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 1996

Report proposing a procedure for estimating the whole opaque wall R-value (whole-wall R-value), independent of system type and construction materials.

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): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: December, 2008

Case study of new home construction in the hot-dry and mixed-dry climate zones.

Author(s): Ridouane
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: January, 2012
Document about development of models for evaluating thermal performance of walls in existing homes that will improve the accuracy of building energy simulation tools when predicting potential energy savings of existing homes.
Author(s): German, Siddiqi, Dakin
Organization(s): ARBI, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: November, 2014

Research project evaluating the pre-and post-retrofit energy consumption of a marine climate retrofit, compare actual energy use to original predictions, and identify opportunities for cost savings in other similar retrofits in this climate.

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): DeKorne
Organization(s): DeKorne
Publication Date: May, 2006

Information sheet describing correct application of stucco.

Author(s): Brozyna, Badger
Organization(s): IBACOS, VEIC
Publication Date: April, 2013
Document explaining the benefits of evaluating and identifying energy efficiency retrofit measures that could be made during renovation and maintenance of multifamily buildings.
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): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: March, 2017

Standard Work Specification for dense packing blown insulation in existing homes.

Author(s): Insulspan
Organization(s): Insulspan
Website providing information about INSULSPAN structurally insulated panels.
Author(s): Wisconsin Focus on Energy
Organization(s): Wisconsin Focus on Energy
Publication Date: March, 2003

High-density sidewall cavity insulation can be a major comfort and savings boost. It saves energy by slowing both conductive and convective losses, but only if the right things are done and done right. This always requires site-specific thinking.

Author(s): Steven Winter Associates
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2010

Information about a roof retrofit using a metal, cool roof system.

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

Document covering basic moisture control principles in the design of above-grade building enclosures; driving rain as a moisture load on walls; a classification system of the various rain control strategies available for walls; and good design practises for walls.

Author(s): Steven Winter Associates
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: August, 2006

Information sheet about how to reduce thermal bridging in walls.

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

Research study exploring a test method measuring air leakage between units through common surfaces and air infiltration across exterior, noncommon surfaces of the enclosure.

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

Report documenting actual energy savings of a retrofit project in Boulder, CO.

Author(s): Aldrich, Arena, Zoeller
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: March, 2010
Document with information about the most practical methods to achieve whole-wall performance of R-30 or above.
Author(s): Fowler, Stanley, Coats
Organization(s): Technical Services Information Bureau
Publication Date: October, 2014

Manual covering design, detailing, material selection and troubleshooting for plaster, IEFs, and drywall, with info on continuous insulation, air barriers, rain screens, fire and sound ratings, etc.

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

Information sheet with details on pan flashing for exterior walls.

Author(s): Withers, Cummings
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: September, 2010
Research study finding significant wind washing potential in 40% of homes in the study area.
Author(s): Withers, Cummings
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: September, 2010
Report about evaluation methods used for analyzing wind washing and results of upgrades made to homes to increase energy efficiency.
Author(s): Premier SIPS
Organization(s): Premier SIPS
Publication Date: June, 2011
Information sheet with nail withdrawl capacities in OSB.
Author(s): Steven Winter Associates
Organization(s): Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: January, 2013

Report providing guidance to air sealing multifamily homes.

Author(s): CARB
Organization(s): Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: November, 2010

Fact sheet describing causes and prevention of mold in buildings.

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

Report describing evaluation of several configurations of wall assemblies to determine the accuracy of moisture modeling and make recommendations to ensure durable, efficient assemblies.

Author(s): Shah, Kochkin
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Publication Date: May, 2018

The next generation of building enclosures is a key step toward achieving high-performance goals through decreasing energy load demand and enabling advanced space-conditioning systems. Yet the adoption of high-R enclosures and particularly high-R walls has been a slow-growing trend because mainstream builders are hesitant to make the...

Author(s): Lepage, Schumacher, Lukachko
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: November, 2013

Report explaining moisture-related concerns for high R-value wall assemblies and discusses past Building America research work that informs this study.

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): Dickson
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: December, 2011
Report covering the fundamental waterproofing strategies for tub and shower assemblies.
Author(s): Roberts, Stephenson
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2012

Document providing renovators and retrofit contractors an overview of considerations when including wall air sealing and insulation in an energy retrofit project.

Author(s): Neuhauser
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: January, 2015

Report describing the use of mineral fiber insulating sheathing in a high performance enclosure retrofit package. 

Author(s): Straube, Ueno, Schumacher
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: July, 2012

Report summarizing the importance of properly insulating and air sealing masonry walls, providing step by step instructions and approaches.

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

Information sheet providing information on installing Rigid XPS foam board insulation to existing brick masonry walls.

Author(s): Lstiburek, Baker
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: April, 2015

Report describing wall assemblies that use layers of rigid exterior insulation thicker than 1-½ inch and require a secondary cladding attachment location exterior to the insulation.

Author(s): Grin, Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: September, 2014

Measure Guideline research report providing simple, long term, and durable solutions when using tapes and flashing membranes in conjunction with the exterior face of rigid polymeric foam sheathing to create the drainage plane of a wall system.

Author(s): Musunuru, Pettit
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: April, 2015

Report describing a deep energy enclosure retrofit solution for insulating mass masonry buildings from the interior.

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

Report on two approaches to retrofitting existing double-stud walls.

Author(s): Ply Gem Siding Group
Organization(s): Ply Gem Siding Group
Publication Date: April, 2015

Siding installation guide for Ply Gem Siding Group products.

Author(s): Rose, Francisco, Merrin
Organization(s): PARR, Indoor Climate Research and Training, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Report on the impact of air sealing between the foundation and the living space on radon transport reduction across the foundation and living space floor assembly at fifteen home.

Author(s): Knauf
Organization(s): Knauf
Website providing information about Knauf Insulation.
Author(s): Johns Manville
Organization(s): Johns Manville
Publication Date: February, 2010

The purpose for this document is to provide basic guidance on the use of proven installation techniques that can be used by installers to help ensure correct “dense pack” application of JM Spider® in drill & fill applications.

Author(s): Cummings, Withers, LaHiff
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2009
Research study describing field testing performed in 32 two-story Florida homes to characterize wind washing failures of the house air and thermal boundary.

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