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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): Vinyl Siding Institute
Organization(s): Vinyl Siding Institute
Publication Date: March, 2017

Publication with installation guidance for vinyl siding.

Author(s): Van der Meer
Organization(s): Pennsylvania Housing Research/Resource Center
Publication Date: May, 2002

Recessed lighting is here to stay. If installed incorrectly they may contribute to air leakage and compromise building integrity.

Author(s): Grin, Smegal, Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: December, 2013

Report covering moisture and leakage issues associated with spray foam insulation application to the underside of roof sheathing.

Author(s): Mallay, Kochkin
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Publication Date: March, 2018

This report outlines research activities that are expected to facilitate the adoption of energy retrofits by remodeling contractors and roofing contractors using retrofit panels. The results of this research will be applicable to many existing house designs in most climates and markets. The potential energy savings impact of this technology...

Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: January, 2002

Report describing approaches to insulating basements in homes built to meet Energy Star.

Author(s): Hammer & Hand
Organization(s): Hammer & Hand
Publication Date: February, 2018

This Best Practices Manual is the product of Hammer & Hand’s ongoing work to document and internally codify our standard operating procedures for construction practice.

Author(s): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: November, 2015

Strategies to control ice dams from forming on residential buildings during winter.

Author(s): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation

The Builder's Guide provides the building industry with the latest and best practical information on how to apply building science principles to structures as systems in hot-humid climate regions.

Author(s): Baechler, Adams, Hefty, Gilbride, Love
Organization(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: May, 2012

Guide to help contractors and homeowners identify ways to make homes more comfortable, more energy efficient, and healthier to live in.

An online resource for building best practices.
Author(s): BAIHP, BIRA, BSC, CARB, DEG, IBACOS, NAHB Research Center, NREL
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: December, 2006
Report summarizing research results for the 30% energy savings level and demonstrates that lead builders can successfully provide 30% homes in the Marine Climate Region on a cost-neutral basis.
Author(s): Straube
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: February, 2011

This report will review, and summarize the current state of understanding and research into enclosures with higher thermal resistance, so-called “High-R Enclosures.” Recommendations are provided for further research.

Author(s): Kochkin, Wiehagen
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Publication Date: January, 2016

The Guide addresses walls constructed with 2x4 wood frame studs, wood structural panel sheathing (WSP) as wall bracing and added backing for foam sheathing, a layer of rigid foam sheathing insulation up to 1.5 inches thick over the WSP, and a cladding system installed over the foam sheathing in low-rise residential buildings up to three...

Author(s): Kochkin, Wiehagen
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Publication Date: January, 2016

Part I of the Guide addresses walls constructed with 2x6 wood frame studs, wood structural panel (WSP) sheathing as exterior sheathing, gypsum board as interior sheathing, and a cladding system installed over WSP sheathing in low-rise residential buildings up to three stories in height. Walls with exterior board insulation are addressed in...

Author(s): Straube
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: October, 2011

This digest provides the background for designers to select the insulation levels need to reach specific levels of condensation control.

Author(s): Straube
Organization(s): BSC
Publication Date: October, 2011

This digest provides the background for designers to select the insulation levels need to reach specific levels of condensation control.

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

Information sheet about crawlspace insulation, including installation details.

Author(s): Less, Walker
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2015

Part of a larger LBNL report (Deep Energy Retrofit Guidance for the Building America Solutions Center), the Lessons Learned chapter focuses on successful deep energy retrofit projects throughout the U.S.

Author(s): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: December, 2010

Information about dense pack, cellulose insulation.

Author(s): Bianco, Wiehagen, Wood
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center
Publication Date: January, 2013

Report that outlines steps of translating a new home construction scopes of work to scopes of work specifically for retrofits.

Author(s): Herk, Poerschke
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: April, 2015
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is interested in finding cost-effective solutions for deep energy retrofits (DERs) related to exterior wall insulation in a cold climate, with targets of 50% peak load reduction and 50% space conditioning energy savings.
Author(s): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: January, 2010

Fact sheet providing detailed information about air sealing attics.

Author(s): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: March, 2011

Information sheet presenting techniques for installing cellulose insulation.

Author(s): Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
Organization(s): Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
Author(s): Vinyl Siding Institute
Organization(s): Vinyl Siding Institute
A guide for users and energy raters of insulated siding as home insulation.
Author(s): North America Insulation Manufacturers Association
Organization(s): North America Insulation Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: May, 2014
Website providing builders with information about meeting RESNET Grade 1 criteria when installing 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): Knauf
Organization(s): Knauf
Website providing information about Knauf Insulation.
Author(s): Loomis, Pettit
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2015

This Measure Guideline provides design and construction information for a deep energy enclosure retrofit solution of a flat roof assembly.

Author(s): Liaukus
Organization(s): BARA, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Building Media
Publication Date: December, 2012

Report investigating what motivates remodelers to become energy-focused and what technical knowledge that need to be energy-focused.

Author(s): Davis
Organization(s): Fine Homebuilding Magazine
An article about double-hung windows.
Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: January, 2015

This page provides important information on how to protect yourself and your family if you suspect that you might have vermiculite insulation from Libby, Montana.

Author(s): ICF Systems
Organization(s): Massachusetts Building Products
Publication Date: January, 2013
Information sheet including a checklist of steps to follow for pouring concrete.
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): Cottrell
Organization(s): RESNET, North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: October, 2012
Presentation describing RESNET grading criteria for insulation installation.
Author(s): NAHB Research Center
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center
Publication Date: January, 2006
Document presenting step-by-step process for installing rigid insulating sheathing over wood studs or house wrap.
Author(s): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2009

Information sheet about air sealing.

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

Information sheet about insulating slabs.

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

Guidelines 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): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: March, 2017

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

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): 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): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: October, 2000

Brochure with information about how to select and install house wrap and other weather-resistive barriers.

Case study on exhaust ventilation and corresponding outdoor air intake strategies implemented in high-performance new-construction multifamily buildings.
Author(s): National Roofing Contractors Association
Organization(s): National Roofing Contractors Association
Publication Date: December, 2006

NRCA's premier technical publication gives you the most current and useful technical information in the roofing industry.

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

Information sheet about types and installation of insulation.

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

Guide providing information about controlling rainwater through use of drainage planes.

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