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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): Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: November, 2005

Report and case study describing a retrofit project in the cold climate.

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

Information sheet about proper ventilation and air sealing.

Author(s): Backman, Hoeschele
Organization(s): ARBI, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: July, 2013

Research study comparing TRNSYS Type 604 pipe model against laboratory pipe heat loss test data and detailed field monitoring data.

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

Information sheet about transfer ducts and grilles.

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): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: May, 2012

Report describing findings from research related to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) companies that have made the decision to transition to whole house performance contracting (WHPC).

Author(s): Hoeschele, Springer, German, Staller, Zhang
Organization(s): ARBI, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: August, 2012

Report about proper water heater selection developed to provide step-by-step procedures for evaluating preferred cost-effective options for energy efficient water heater alternatives based on local utility rates, climate, and anticipated loads.

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): 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): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: November, 2012

Website with consumer information about duct cleaning.

Author(s): Stecher, Brozyna, Imm
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: September, 2013
Report about developing a package of energy efficiency measures to achieve 60% energy savings in a test house.
Author(s): Coble
Organization(s): Home Energy Magazine
Publication Date: January, 2010

Article describing how insulating and air sealing unfinished attic spaces can lead to reduced energy bills in some homes.

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

Report about cost effective energy-efficient upgrades that can be implemented in the hot, dry Southwest climate.

Author(s): Shapiro, Aldrich, Arena
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: July, 2012

Report describing procedures for increasing sensible efficiencies through increased flow rates across the air handling unit and increased indoor coil sizes.

Author(s): Ueno, Kerrigan, Wytrykowska, Van Straaten
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: August, 2013

Research study about a high performance retrofit of an existing brick building (a former convent) into condominiums, all affordable housing.

Author(s): Wei
Organization(s): TRC Energy Services
Publication Date: October, 2014
Report proposes high performance duct measures for inclusion in California Title 24 building energy efficiency standards for 2016.
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): Moyer, Stroer, Hoak, McIlvaine, Chandra
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2008

Document presenting results from testing HVAC duct system design incorporating a high-side supply register.

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

Report including an overview of the buried duct research and information the retrofit methodology used to install and test the three existing duct systems, including short- and long-term data collection.

Author(s): ACTO Rubber Products Inc., Air Diffusion Council
Organization(s): Air Diffusion Council
Publication Date: March, 2011
Presentation about proper installation of flexible ducts.
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): Lubliner, Kerr, Gordon, Murray
Organization(s): WSU Extension Energy Program
Publication Date: August, 2008
Conference paper making the case that moving ducts to conditioned space saves energy, is practical for production builders (when accompanied by careful pre-planning), and creates significant andmarketable energy savings for homebuyers.
Author(s): ASHRAE
Organization(s): ASHRAE
Publication Date: June, 2014
Describes methods for testing duct systems to determine their performance under standard conditions.
Author(s): Chasar, Withers
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: February, 2013

Research study analyzing measured energy savings from a moderate retrofit by comparing post-retrofit performance with measured pre-retrofit monitored data.

Author(s): Brozyna, Rapport
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2012

Document developed to help residential builders and retrofitters transition from tank-type water heaters to tankless water heaters.

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): 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): 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): Shapiro, Puttagunta, Owens
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2012

Document with evaluation of 14 heat pump water heaters (including three recently released HPWH products) installed in existing homes in the northeast region of the United States.

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): 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): Hudon, Merrigan, Burch, Maguire
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2012

Report identifying the target market for solar water heaters and potential pathways and cost/performance targets that must be met for these systems to realize large energy savings.

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

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

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): 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): 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): Moyer, Stroer
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2007
Report summarizing approaches to addressing duct leakage in hot humid climates.
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): 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): 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): 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.

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