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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): 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): Chandler
Organization(s): Fine Homebuilding
Publication Date: January, 2008

Article about one way to deal with the cold-water surprise effect of tankless water heaters.

Author(s): Kerrigan
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2012

Report describing work conducted by the Building Science Corporation (BSC) Building America Research Teams Energy Efficient Housing Research Partnerships project.

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

Report evaluating performance/efficiency of central heat pump water heaters and quality assurance/quality control processes in system startup, operation and efficiency program participation.

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

Guide designed to help builders better understand and meet the hot water delivery system criteria as specified in EPA's WaterSense New Home Specification.

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

Report about a project with successful integration of numerous energy-conservation and renewable-energy features into a beautiful, comfortable, and very energy-efficient off-grid home.

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): Springer, Seitzler, Backman, Weitzel
Organization(s): ARBI, Davis Energy Group

Report on energy use for domestic water heating in multifamily buildings.

Author(s): Ueno, Bergey, Wytrykowska
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: September, 2013

Report about partnership to build three communities of net zero houses.

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

Case study of new home construction in the hot-dry and mixed-dry climate zones.

Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: December, 2006

Case study of new home construction in the hot-humid climate.

Author(s): Rheem
Organization(s): Rheem
Publication Date: December, 2012

Information for properly sizing gas lines for use with tankless water heaters and other gas appliances.

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): Drumheller, Wiehagen
Organization(s): NAHB Research Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: November, 2004

Report providing information based on research and case studies, to remodelers and consumers about opportunities to increase home energy performance.

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: 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): Energy Trust of Oregon
Organization(s): Energy Trust of Oregon
Publication Date: August, 2013

Outlines the minimum criteria for a solar water heating system installed by a Solar Water Heating Program trade ally under Energy Trust of Oregon’s Solar Water Heating Program.

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

Website describing how solar water heaters -- also called solar domestic hot water systems -- can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home.

Author(s): Sughrue
Organization(s): Home Power
Publication Date: September, 2013
A structural insulated panel (SIP) roof has no embedded lumber in the structure, and therefore nothing substantial for attaching PV array and solar hot water mounts. Single or double lumber splines could be put into the panels, or I-joists at 4-foot intervals could be added.
Author(s): FSEC
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: July, 2014
Website with information for consumers about solar thermal systems for homes.
Author(s): Aldrich
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: September, 2009

Report providing a synopsis of a project to evaluate the performance of a roof-integrated solar water heating system.

Author(s): NEEA
Organization(s): NEEA
Publication Date: May, 2014
Website providing consumers with resources to find, select and install heat pump water heaters.
Author(s): Colon, Parker
Organization(s): BA-PIRC
Publication Date: March, 2013
Document about testing of seven water heating systems in the How Water Systems laboratory in central Florida.
Author(s): Colon, Parker
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: June, 2010
Report comparing the performance of seven differing types of residential water heating systems in a side-by-side test configuration over a full year period.
Author(s): Burch, Huggins, Long, Thornton
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, SRCC, TESS
Publication Date: June, 2013

Document discussing changes in testing the annual performance ratings for solar water heaters.

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

Information sheet describing tankless hot water heating systems in existing homes.

Author(s): Schoenbauer, Bohac, McAlpine, Hewett
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: June, 2017

This project analyzed combined condensing water heaters or boilers and hydronic air coils to provide high efficiency domestic hot water (DHW) and forced air space heating. Called "combi" systems, they provided similar space and water heating performance less expensively than installing two condensing appliances. The system's...

Author(s): Schoenbauer, Bohac, Huelman, Olson, Hewett
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2012

Report presenting results of a laboratory experiment studying combi systems as a mode to eliminate safety issues associated with natural draft appliances.

Author(s): North Carolina Solar Center
Organization(s): North Carolina Solar Center
Publication Date: September, 2014
Brochure with information on residential solar hot water systems.
Author(s): Alliance for Water Efficiency
Organization(s): Alliance for Water Efficiency
Publication Date: July, 2014
Website with information and research about residential hot water distribution systems.
Author(s): Stetcher, Allison
Organization(s): IBACOS, NREL
Publication Date: November, 2012
Report discussing instrumentation methods and field operation characteristics of two GSHPs in test houses, including a comparison between the manufacturers listed COP values and the COPs calculated from field data.
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): 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): Dentz, Varshney, Henderson
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: October, 2013

Report providing information to researchers, utility program managers, and building owners interested in controlling heating energy waste and improving resident comfort.

Author(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: October, 2014
Author(s): Burch, Shoukas, Brandemuhl, Krarti
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Colorado
Publication Date: October, 2014

This paper discusses model validation using data from three thermosiphon systems. 

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): 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): Schoenbauer, Bohac, Huelman
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: March, 2017

Report describing the installation and operation of forced-air heating and domestic hot water combi systems in residential homes. 

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): Pettit, Neuhauser, Gates
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: July, 2013

Guidebook providing useful examples of high performance retrofit techniques for the building enclosure of wood frame residential construction in a cold and somewhat wet climate.

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): Kingston, Scott
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Gas Technology Institute
Publication Date: March, 2013

Report summarizing results of testing emerging combo water heating technologies under controlled laboratory operations, that differentiate the performance of the various packaged equipment configurations being offered.

Author(s): Burch, Maguire
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2013

Journal article presenting modeling of residential water heaters via dynamic simulation models to provide accurate estimates of their annual energy consumption.

Author(s): Hoeschele
Organization(s): Home Energy Magazine
Publication Date: March, 2005

Article describing the factors that can lead to inefficient hot water distribution systems in homes.

Author(s): Heoschele, Weitzel
Organization(s): ARBI, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: November, 2012

Report on a project that enhanced the HWSIM distribution system model to more accurately model pipe heat transfer.

Author(s): Baechler, Gilbride, Ruiz, Steward, Love
Organization(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: June, 2007

Best Practices document providing an introduction to current photovoltaic and solar thermal building practices.

Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: January, 2009

Case study of new home construction in the hot-dry and mixed-dry climate zones.

Author(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Organization(s): NREL
Publication Date: December, 2003

Provides consumers with general information on solar water heating systems and how to select a contractor.

Author(s): Steven Winter Associates
Organization(s): Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: June, 2012

Guide providing detailed selection and installation instructions for heat pump water heaters.

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