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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): Rudd, Lstiburek, Ueno
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: August, 2000

Report focusing on the performance and durability of unvented-cathedralized attics in hot-humid climates with both tile and asphalt shingle roofing.

Author(s): Kohta
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: January, 2003

Document summarizing the various papers on unvented conditioned cathedralized attics found on BSC's website.

Author(s): Schumacher
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: April, 2007

Report reviewing unvented roof assemblies, such as conditioned attics and unvented cathedral ceilings that are becoming common in North American construction.

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

Report providing guidance about whether to construct a vented or unvented attic based on hygro-thermal zone.

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): Lubliner, Ueno, Burkett
Organization(s): Washington State University Extension Energy Program, DOE
Publication Date: July, 2019

Report describing the costs, benefits, and challenges of attic insulation retrofits in HUD-code manufactured homes. 

Author(s): Parker
Organization(s): Florida Solar Energy Center
Publication Date: June, 2015
The FPC Monitoring project has evaluated radiant barrier systems (RBS) as a new potential DSM program.
Author(s): Melody, Fairey, Beal
Organization(s): Florida Solar Energy Center
Publication Date: June, 2005
Website with answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about attic radiant barriers.
Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: June, 2015

Department of Energy's website describing radiant barriers in homes.

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): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Organization(s): ORNL
Publication Date: January, 2011

Website providing an online calculator for determining energy and cost savings from installing radiant barriers in attics.

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): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: September, 2014

Report that provides information and specifications to anyone that is attempting to air seal existing attics.

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): Otis, Maxwell
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: June, 2012

Document providing an understanding of the importance of the different types of multifamily building attics and their unique challenges, and outlines strategies and materials used in air sealing them.

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

Report discussing how to create livable space in the attic that meets IRC code requirements by either creating a ventilated roof assembly, or and unvented attic assembly.

Author(s): Cummings, Withers, LaHiff
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2009
Research study describing field testing performed in 32 two-story Florida homes to characterize wind washing failures of the house air and thermal boundary.
Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2009

Brochure with information on installing cavity insulation.

Author(s): Parker
Organization(s): Home Energy Magazine
Publication Date: November, 2004

Article describing the effect metal roofs have on thermal performance in hot-humid climates. 

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

Article outlining the casuses and solutions for ice dam problems.

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

Information sheet presenting techniques for installing cellulose insulation.

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

Information sheet presenting the correct methods for building an insulated cathedral ceiling.

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

Fact sheet providing detailed information about air sealing attics.

Author(s): Ueno, Lstiburek
Organization(s): BSC
Report to understand the long-term moisture performance of unvented roof assemblies with fibrous insulation.
Author(s): Ueno, Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation

Report to understand the long-term moisture performance of unvented roof assemblies with fibrous insulation.

Author(s): Rudd
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: January, 2005

Journal article reporting on field experience of unvented cathedralized (UC) attics in several environments in the United States.

Author(s): Ojczyk
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: November, 2014

Report exploring alternative methods to find long-term solutions to energy loss in 1 ½-story homes to save energy, improve comfort, prevent frost buildup on the underside of the roof deck, and reduce the risk of ice dam formation/reformation.

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): 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): Southface Energy Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Organization(s): Southface Energy Institute, ORNL
Publication Date: February, 2000

Information sheet with information about insulating and ventilating attics.

Author(s): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: April, 2014

Article describing correct ways to apply insulation to existing attics.

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): Seifert
Organization(s): University of Alaska
Publication Date: January, 2003
Document describing approaches to energy efficiency and moisture considerations for roofs in northern climates.
Author(s): Lstiburek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: February, 2010

Document providing background and approach for the prep work necessary prior to adding attic insulation - focusing on combustion safety, ventilation for indoor air quality, and attic ventilation for durability.

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.