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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: January, 2013

Information sheet outlining the criteria for ENERGY STAR qualified, windows, doors, and skylights.

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

Report assessing the performance and cost-effectiveness of a zero net energy community project in Davis, CA.

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

Resource that establishes the criteria for water-efficient new homes under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program.

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

Resource that provides a checklist of program criteria for water-efficient new homes under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program.

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

Guide describing details that serve as a visual reference for each of the line items in the Water Management System Builder Checklist.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: March, 2016

Information sheet with the Waste Reduction Model (WARM), designed to help solid waste planners and organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from several different waste management practices.

Author(s): Colon, VonThoma
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: July, 2017

This report documents the process and outcomes involved in achieving the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program certification standards while helping homebuilders in Climate Zones 5 and 6 in the Upper Midwest achieve ZERH certification.

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: July, 2008

Report discussing Building America whole house systems research within the broad effort to reduce or eliminate the environmental impact of building and provides specific recommendations for future Building America research based on Building Science Corporations experience with several recent projects involving green home building programs.

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

Guide describing details that serve as a visual reference for each of the line items in the Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: January, 2008

Document providing an overview of the Thermal Bypass Checklist for the ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes program.

Author(s): Puttagunta, Aldrich, Owens, Vijayakumar
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: July, 2007

Report presenting results from whole-house monitoring efforts in hope that they may be useful for other moving towards zero energy homes.

Author(s): Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
Organization(s): Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
Publication Date: June, 2010

Even as the worst housing market correction in more than 60 years appeared to turn a corner in 2009, the fallout from sharply lower home prices and high unemployment continued.

Author(s): Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, NREL
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: July, 2004

Report developed for Habitat for Humanity about lessons learned from demonstration retrofit projects undertaken by Habitat for Humanity affiliates in New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; with building systems consulting and technical assistance provided by Steven Winter Associates.

Author(s): McGeough, Baker, Peters, Beitel
Organization(s): PARR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: November, 2012

Research study making several recommendations to whole-home program designers and implementers for improving the cost effectiveness and reach of whole-home programs.

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

Research study presenting a unique opportunity to both identify and evaluate deep retrofit measures that are practical and potentially cost effective for the retrofit market, as well as review the cost effectiveness of the Passive House design approach for achieving energy savings in deep retrofits.

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): Lyons
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2013

Report summarizing commissioning, short-term testing, and analysis that occurred before, during, and just after the actual retrofit of the Bay Ridge project.

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

Information sheet describing solar PV upgrade for an existing homes.

Author(s): Zoeller, Shapiro, Vijayakumar, Puttagunta
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2013

Report about a deep energy retrofit Cool Energy House.

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

Resource to help builders better understand the WaterSense requirements for labeled homes and assist them in meeting the criteria so they can receive the label for their new construction.

Author(s): U.S. Resiliency Council
Organization(s): USRC
Publication Date: July, 2020

Website describing the USRC, which "brings an unparalleled level of capability to the mission of improving community resilience in the built environment."

Author(s): Federal Emergency Management Agency
Organization(s): FEMA
Publication Date: February, 2015

A fact sheet educating homeowners on the importance of residential safe rooms, including their cost and how to register a safe room with local officials. 

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

The RERH specifications and checklists take a builder and a project design team through the steps of assessing a home’s solar resource potential and defining the minimum structural and system components needed to support a solar energy system.

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

Website tool intended to guide home builders in assessing whether a new home has the proper physical orientation to support a future installation of a solar energy system.

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

The RERH specifications and checklists take a builder and a project design team through the steps of assessing a home’s solar resource potential and defining the minimum structural and system components needed to support a solar energy system.

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): Taggart, Sikora, Wood
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2012

Report designed to help a builder understand quality management and its role in transitioning from conventional to HPH building and remodeling.

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

Information sheet about the National Residential Efficiency Measures Database, a public database that characterizes the performance and costs of common residential energy efficiency measures.

Author(s): NAHB Research Center
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center
Publication Date: July, 2012
Report detailing the proposed point structure for the prescriptive approach of the energy efficiency chapter of the NGBS update.
Author(s): United States Green Building Council
Organization(s): USGBC
Publication Date: January, 2020

Website explaining the LEED v4.1 program and providing a portal for those who want to investigate or start a LEED project. 

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

Resource that provides WaterSense inspectors with guidance for verification of program requirements for water-efficient new homes under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program.

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

Companion document to the Indoor airPLUS Construction Specifications, providing guidance on identifying compliant products, including industry databases and examples of product labeling.

Author(s): Jones, Taylor, Kipp
Organization(s): BEEHA, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2012

Report detailing an evaluation of Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) residential energy efficiency demand side management (DSM) programs to assess their impacts and relative measures of energy and economic performance.

Author(s): Wiehagen, Del Bianco, Wood
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center
Publication Date: February, 2013
Report detailing field walk-through evaluations, energy simulations for projected savings with exterior insulation upgrades, building envelope energy improvement cost estimates, and installation and maintenance of monitoring equipment and data.
Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: January, 2012

Website with information about ENERGY STAR criteria for geothermal heat pumps.

Author(s): Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
Organization(s): IBHS
Publication Date: July, 2020

Website providing access to the training for building professionals to earn certification as FORTIFIED™ Home Evaluators and FORTIFIED-Wise credentials.

Author(s): Federal Emergency Management Agency
Organization(s): FEMA
Publication Date: July, 2020

Website containing links to various laws and regulations that govern the National Flood Insurance Program.

Author(s): Edwards, Bohac, Nelson, Smith
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: July, 2013

Report about a project focused on the use of home energy ratings as a tool to promote energy retrofits in existing homes.

Author(s): Federal Emergency Management Agency
Organization(s): FEMA
Publication Date: November, 2009

Report providing a best practices approach in reducing damages from natural hazards to manufactured homes.

Author(s): Low, Mills, Quinn, Reeder, Squerciati
Organization(s): FEMA
Publication Date: February, 2017

Report illustrating the design and construction of utility systems that comply with the National Flood Insurance Program requirements for construction of new residential and non-residential structures in flood-prone areas.

Author(s): Applied Technology Council
Organization(s): FEMA
Publication Date: January, 2015

Report showing how to identify, inventory, and screen buildings that are potentially hazardous because of seismic hazards. 

Author(s): Federal Emergency Management Agency
Organization(s): FEMA
Publication Date: September, 2020

A website providing information on funding for mitigation programs to reduce disaster losses under FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Author(s): Federal Emergency Management Agency
Organization(s): FEMA
Publication Date: August, 2020

Fact sheet describing environmental and historic preservation that describes how FEMA offers expertise to ensure both legal compliance and informed local, State, Tribal and national planning.

Author(s): Federal Emergency Management Agency
Organization(s): FEMA
Publication Date: November, 2018

A fact sheet discussing safe room and storm shelter door assemblies along with ICC® 500 compliance.

Author(s): McIlvaine, Sutherland, Schleith, Chandra
Organization(s): Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2010

Report about a building projects process including findings to date and highlights of the first home to meet the target HERS Index of 70.\

Author(s): Judkoff, Polly, Bianchi, Neymark
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2010

Document providing an example procedure for establishing acceptance-range criteria to assess results from software undergoing BESTEST-EX.

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