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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): International Code Council
Organization(s): ICC
Publication Date: April, 2011

Internationally, code officials recognize the need for a modern, up-to-date mechanical code addressing the design and installation of mechanical systems through requirements emphasizing performance. The International Mechanical Code®, in this 2009 edition, is designed to meet these needs through model code regulations that safeguard the...

Author(s): International Code Council
Organization(s): ICC
Publication Date: May, 2014

Standard addressing the design and installation of mechanical systems through requirements emphasizing performance, public health, and safety.

Author(s): International Code Council
Organization(s): ICC
Publication Date: August, 2017

Standard addressing the design and installation of mechanical systems through requirements emphasizing performance, public health, and safety.

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

Research study estimating potential energy savings relative to conventional ducted air distribution, and identifying equipment requirements, costs, and barriers.

Author(s): Beach, Dickson, Grisolia, Poerschke, Rapport
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: August, 2017

This report describes an air distribution system composed of a series of uniformly-sized ducts that terminate in rooms throughout the home and return to a central manifold, similar in fashion to a “home-run” cross-linked polyethylene plumbing system. With a well-designed manifold, each duct receives an equal static pressure...

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: December, 2013
Standard outlining industry procedure for sizing residential duct systems.
Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: June, 2009

Standard providing guidance on how to select, size, and locate the supply air diffusers, grilles and registers, and the return grilles.

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: May, 2018

Technical manual from ACCA outlining correct methods for residential zoning.

Author(s): International Code Council
Organization(s): ICC
Publication Date: March, 2014

Standards criteria supporting ICC HVAC duct support standards.

Author(s): National Air Duct Cleaners Association
Organization(s): National Air Duct Cleaners Association
Publication Date: January, 2013
Standard providing industry-backed information for assessing new and existing HVAC systems, evaluating and verifying the cleanliness of HVAC system components, preventing job related hazards and guiding the cleaning and restoration of HVAC systems to a specific level of cleanliness.
Author(s): Air Diffusion Council
Organization(s): Air Diffusion Council
Publication Date: January, 2013
Standard for use and reference by designers, architects, engineers, contractors, installers and users for evaluating, selecting, specifying and properly installing flexible duct in heating and air conditioning systems.
Author(s): Air Diffusion Council
Organization(s): Air Diffusion Council
Publication Date: January, 2013
Standard that sets forth the specific methods of testing flexible air ducts used for indoor comfort heating, ventilating and air conditioning applications.
Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Document providing guideance and considerations for duct design in an energy efficient house.

Author(s): Dentz, Conlin, Holloway, Podorson, Varshney
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: March, 2014

In multifamily and attached buildings, traditional duct sealing methods are often impractical or costly and disruptive because of the difficulty in accessing leakage sites. In this project, two retrofit duct sealing techniques - manually-applied sealants and injecting a spray sealant, were implemented in several low-rise multi-unit buildings....

Author(s): Chandra, Parker, Sherwin, Colon, Fonorow, Stroer, Martin, McIlvaine, Chasar, Moyer, Thomas-Rees, Hoak, Beal, Gil
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: April, 2009
Report summarizing systems research including NightCool, interior duct systems in manufactured housing, ventilation and dehumidification, plug load reduction and solar and conventional hot water.
Author(s): RESNET
Organization(s): International Code Council
Publication Date: February, 2016

This Standard provides a consistent, uniform methodology for evaluating the airtightness of building envelopes and heating and cooling air ducts and the air flows of mechanical ventilation systems.

Author(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: September, 2009

Case study about Artistic Homes of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the first home builder in the United States to offer true net zero energy construction to the average home buyer on every home it builds.

Author(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: November, 2004

Brochure intended to provide readers with a working knowledge of residential heating and cooling duct systems.

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

Report describing the recommended best practices to achieve energy savings without compromising health or safety.

Author(s): Gilbride, Baechler, Hefty, Hand, Love
Organization(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2011

Report providing information about energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) equipment options to help homeowners cut their energy use, reduce their carbon footprint, and increase their homes comfort, health, and safety.

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

Document describing the Building America research benchmark for the residential building program.

Author(s): Sullivan
Organization(s): Earth Advantage Institute, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
Publication Date: June, 2011
Training manual on how to locate ducts within conditioned space and compact design.
Author(s): Donnelly, Mahle
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: March, 2012

Report about City of Meriden Housing Authority's (MHA) collaboration with Jonathon Rose Companies to complete a gut renovation of 126 residential units in the Chamberlain Heights retrofit project.

Author(s): National Air Duct Cleaners Association
Organization(s): National Air Duct Cleaners Association
Publication Date: January, 2013
Manual showing duct cleaning contractors how to identify the different types of insulated air ducts, how to open each type for access by cleaning equipment and personnel, how to close and seal openings after cleaning.
Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: October, 2013
Report summarizing one year of monitoring and analysis of a space conditioning system at maintaining temperature and relative humidity levels in a test home.
Author(s): Mallay
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs

Report on heating and cooling air-distribution ducts that are insulated, installed close to the ceiling in a vented attic and covered with attic insulation to minimize energy loss.

Author(s): Mallay
Organization(s): HIRL
Report on heating and cooling air-distribution ducts that are insulated, installed close to the ceiling in a vented attic and covered with attic insulation to minimize energy loss.
Author(s): Cummings, Withers, Kono
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC

Report on variable-capacity air conditioning and heat pump units.

Author(s): McIlvaine, Beal, Fairey
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: October, 2014
This study focuses on the design, construction, and performance of the interior chase approach as implemented by five different builders in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida
Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: December, 2014
Report outlining the issues with using existing ducts with a new low-load HVAC system, which reduces throw at supply registers causing decreased mixing of supply and room air, leading to potential thermal comfort complaints.
Author(s): North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
Organization(s): North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: January, 2010
Information sheet with HVAC duct insulation, testing, maintenance and performance information.
Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2009

Brochure with details on HVAC duct air sealing.

Author(s): Rudd, Prahl
Organization(s): ABT Systems, IBACOS
Publication Date: December, 2014
Report identifying two barriers that limit the ability of builders to explore opportunities for higher levels of energy efficiency in housing: the use of duct system materials that inherently achieve airtightness and are right-sized for low-load houses, and, the ability to air seal fire separation assemblies.
Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2009

Brochure with information about ducts in conditioned space.

Author(s): Vieira, Parker, Gu, Wichers
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: January, 2009
Document comparing simulation results from a modified version of the EnergyGauge program to include various HVAC runtime strategies.
Author(s): Cummings, Withers
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2011

Research study describing experiments run in an unoccupied 1600 ft2 house to evaluate the delivered performance as well as the relative performance of a SEER 21 variable capacity heat pump versus a SEER 13 heat pump.

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

This report is designed to meet ASHRAE 62.2-2010/2013 and ANSI/ACCA’s 5 QI-2015 protocol, thereby improving the performance of HVAC equipment in new homes when compared to homes built to minimum code.

Author(s): Rowley, Kerr, Brank
Organization(s): PARR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, CNT Energy, Future Energy Enterprises
Publication Date: October, 2012

Document reviewing of the current northern Illinois energy efficiency retrofit programs.

Author(s): Berman, Smith, Porse
Organization(s): ARBI, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: July, 2013

Report evaluating opportunities to improve and streamline delivery of residential retrofit measures.

Author(s): Rudd, Ueno, Bergey, Osser
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: June, 2012

Expert meeting describing meeting details for recommendations for applying water heaters in combination space and domestic water heating systems.

Author(s): Stecher
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: July, 2011

Expert meeting held to discuss simplified space conditioning systems in low load homes, including the relationship between advanced thermal enclosures, space conditioning systems and comfort.

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): Johns Manville
Organization(s): Johns Manville
Publication Date: January, 2008
Information sheet providing detail about hand fabrication of a one-piece straight duct from a 48" x 120" x 1" thick (1.22 m x 3.05 m x 25 mm) sheet where the total inside duct dimensions equals 112" (2.84 m) or less.
Author(s): Air Diffusion Council
Organization(s): Air Diffusion Council
Publication Date: January, 2010
Standard providing a comprehensive approach to evaluating, selecting, specifying and installing flexible duct in HVAC systems.
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): McIlvaine, Beal
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: June, 2014

Report describing as-found interior platform return plenums, the magnitude of their contribution to the total amount of duct leakage, and techniques and results of retrofits executed by the HVAC trade during equipment replacement.

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

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

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