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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): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: January, 2011

Standard covering equipment sizing loads for single-family-detached homes, small multi-unit structures, condo­miniums, town houses and manufactured homes.

Author(s): Rutkowski
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: December, 2015
The manual covers residential zoning issues - multiple, single-zone, and central multi-zone systems - and includes advice on working with homeowners to adapt the heating or cooling system design to meet modern home design features.
Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: January, 2013

Standard providing nationally recognized, manufacturer-endorsed set of inspection tasks for HVAC maintenance.

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: January, 2015

Standard providing a universally accepted definition for quality installation for residential and commercial heating, ventilating, and air conditioning applications.

Publication Date: January, 2016

Document detailing the requirements, roles, and obligations for participants in an organized effort, ensuring that HVAC installations comply with the ANSI/ACCA 5 QI – 2010 (HVAC Quality Installation Specification) QI Standard.

Author(s): Natural Resources Canada
Organization(s): Natural Resources Canada
Publication Date: April, 2014
Web resource with information for consumers about air source heat pumps.
Author(s): American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Organization(s): American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Publication Date: January, 2017

Code establishing the rules of safety relating only to pressure integrity for the design, fabrication, and inspection of boilers and pressure vessels during construction.

Author(s): Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute
Organization(s): Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute
Publication Date: April, 2009
This directory contains the I=B=R Ratings for cast-iron, steel, aluminum and copper boilers, baseboard and finned tube radiation, indirect-fired water heaters, effective as of the date of this publication.
Author(s): Gifford
Organization(s): American Boiler Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: January, 2004
Part 2 of an article discussing how to maximize two-pipe steam systems.
Author(s): Flothow
Organization(s): Energy Efficiency for All, Steven Winter Associates
Publication Date: November, 2015

Report describing strategies to improve the aging steam heating systems in New York City to improve energy efficiency, reduce oil and gas usage, and cut maintenance costs.

Author(s): Building Performance Institute
Organization(s): Building Performance Institute
Publication Date: January, 2016

The following combustion appliance safety inspection must be completed to determine if fossil fuel-fired appliances are operating safely under a depressurized condition.

Author(s): Less, Walker, Tang
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The main principle of smart ventilation used in this study is to shift ventilation from time periods with large indoor-outdoor temperature differences, to periods where these differences are smaller, and their energy impacts are expected to be less.

Author(s): AHRI
Organization(s): AHRI
Publication Date: January, 2012
Online database with efficiency information about residential HVAC systems and commercial refrigeration equipment.
Author(s): NEEA
Organization(s): NEEA
Publication Date: June, 2014
Online resource about ductless heating & cooling systems for installers, utilities, manufacturers and distributors.
Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: February, 2018

Website from the U.S. Department of Energy providing consumers with information on saving energy and using renewable energy technologies.  

Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: June, 2012

Online reference containing general information about geothermal heat pumps.

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): Architectural Energy Corporation
Organization(s): Architectural Energy Corporation
Publication Date: November, 2011
Article describing RESNET guidance on evaporative coolers.
Author(s): Mohalley
Organization(s): Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (ACHR) News
Publication Date: December, 2016

Article describing benefits of ECM motors and how they can be installed as retrofit motors in HVAC equipment.

Author(s): Cullin, Xing, Lee, Spitler, Fisher
Organization(s): ASHRAE
Publication Date: January, 2012
Journal article presenting a preliminary map detailing the feasibility of foundation heat exchangers in the US.
Author(s): Cullin, Xing, Lee, Spitler, Fisher
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2012

Study characterizing how foundation heat exchangers (FHXs) used in residential  ground source heat pump systems represent a potential cost savings due to their lesser first cost over other types of heat exchangers.

Author(s): Xing, Cullin, Fisher, Shonder, Im
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Article describing a numerical model that can be used to size foundation heat exchanger (FHX) systems.

Author(s): Hughes
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2008

Report investigating the status of the geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry and technology in the United States, assembling GHP energy savings potential, identifying key barriers to application of GHPs, and identifying actions that could accelerate adoption of GHPs.

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): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Organization(s): ORNL
Publication Date: May, 2014

Website with general information about geothermal (ground-source) heat pumps (GSP's).

Author(s): Im, Liu, Monk
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2011

Website article discussing the economics of ground source heat pumps.

Author(s): Karr
Organization(s): Washington State University Extension Energy Program
Publication Date: March, 2011

Factsheet describing the uses and benefits of ground-source heat pumps for affordable housing, assisted living, dorms and hotels.

Author(s): Butler
Organization(s): Energy Vanguard
Publication Date: January, 2011
Article discussing the advantages of using heat pumps instead of furnaces in high-performance homes.
Author(s): Gifford
Organization(s): American Boiler Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: June, 2003
Article describing how to use radiator inlet orifices optimize two-pipe steam heating systems.
Author(s): Raymer, Moyer
Organization(s): Tamarack Technologies, Florida Solar Energy Center
Publication Date: July, 2006

Correcting pressure imbalances in your HVAC system can result in a healthier, more efficient home.

Author(s): Holliday, Martin
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: March, 2003

Article in Energy Design Update describing the cost and savings benefits of electronically commutated motors (ECMs) for HVAC equipment.

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): Walker, Stratton
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Report on performance of current diagnostics as well as a draft test method for use in future air flow evaluations.

Author(s): Walker, Stratton
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California Energy Commission

Guidance on performance of current diagnostics as well as a draft test method for use in future air flow evaluations.

Author(s): Hart
Organization(s): ASHI Reporter
Publication Date: April, 2009

Article describing how to properly manage condensing HVAC equipment.

Author(s): NMIC
Organization(s): NMIC
Publication Date: April, 2012
Web resource that lays out the pre-work considerations, methods and finishes for installing mechanical insulation.
Author(s): Siegenthaler
Organization(s): Delmar CENGAGE Learning
Publication Date: January, 2012
Book with indepth information about hydronic systems for residential and commercial buildings.
Author(s): Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Organization(s): Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Publication Date: January, 2007
Report discussing the benefits of modern evaporative cooling systems for use in hot dry climate zones.
Author(s): Butcher
Organization(s): ASHRAE
Publication Date: December, 2011
Article investigating how a linear input/output relationship can be used as a simple model of the performance of a combination hydronic heating system over heating only, DHW only, and combined loads.
Author(s): Turner, Roux, Walker
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

This study used an advanced airflow, energy and humidity modeling tool to evaluate the potential for residential mechanical pre-scooling strategies to reduce peak electriciy demand.

Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: June, 2014

Website with information from DOE about rules and standards for residential air conditioners and heat pumps.

Author(s): Spitler, Xing, Cullin, Fisher, Shonder, Im
Organization(s): Oklahoma State University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2010

Paper covering a parametric study of foundation heat exchanger-based ground source heat pump systems for several house configurations in a range of European locations, with an emphasis on determining feasible combinations.

Author(s): Anesi
Organization(s): Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (ACHR) News
Publication Date: December, 2014

Article describing how replacing PSC motors with ECMs can boost bottom line and improve customer comfort.

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): Rudd
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: July, 2013

This document covers a description of the need and applied solutions for supplemental dehumidification in warm-humid climates, especially for energy efficient homes where the sensible cooling load has been dramatically reduced.

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): ACCA
Publication Date: January, 2010

The Technician's Guide equips practitioners with the knowledge to properly implement all of the measurement procedures required in the HVAC QI Specification.

Author(s): McNamara
Organization(s): NYSERDA
Publication Date: December, 1995
This report describes the results of a multiyear research project that investigated the energy savings attributable to thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) installed on one-pipe steam distribution systems.