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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): Zoeller
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: April, 2009

Information sheet about insulation materials.

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

Information sheet about types and installation of insulation.

Author(s): Aldrich, Zuluaga
Organization(s): Home Energy
Publication Date: January, 2006

Research study exploring how effective interior insulation systems are at keeping basements dry and warm.

Author(s): Southface Energy Institute
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: December, 2000
Brochure describing insulation approaches for homes with slab-on-grade floors.
Author(s): ASTM
Organization(s): ASTM
Publication Date: January, 2013
This specification covers the classification, composition, physical properties, and dimensions of mineral fiber (rock, slag, or glass) blanket intended for use as thermal insulation on surfaces at various temperature ranges.
Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2009

Information sheet about insulating slabs.

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): Ojczyk, Mosiman, Huelman, Schirber, Yost, Murry
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: April, 2013

Research report describing study of exterior retrofit approach for air sealing, insulating, and water management conducted by the NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership team run by University of Minnesota.

Author(s): Shah, Kochkin
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Publication Date: May, 2018

The next generation of building enclosures is a key step toward achieving high-performance goals through decreasing energy load demand and enabling advanced space-conditioning systems. Yet the adoption of high-R enclosures and particularly high-R walls has been a slow-growing trend because mainstream builders are hesitant to make the...

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): Lstiburek, Baker
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: April, 2015

Report describing wall assemblies that use layers of rigid exterior insulation thicker than 1-½ inch and require a secondary cladding attachment location exterior to the insulation.

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

Brochure with information on installing cavity insulation.

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

Brochure with information on installing cavity insulation.

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

Article outlining the casuses and solutions for ice dam problems.

Author(s): Natural Resources Canada
Organization(s): Natural Resources Canada
Publication Date: October, 2013
Information sheet providing links and resources for insulating basements in cold climates.
Author(s): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: March, 2011

Information sheet presenting techniques for installing cellulose insulation.

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

Brochure with details on insulation and air sealing.

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

Guide provides information about enhanced thermal enclosures and performance.

Author(s): Dickson
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2013

Document designed to explain the issues and concerns with conventional ventilated crawlspaces and to outline prescriptive measures for improvements that will create healthier and more durable spaces.

Author(s): Parker, Kono, Vieira, Fairey, Sherwin, Withers, Hoak, Beal
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: June, 2014

Research report assessing the moisture and cooling load impacts of airtightness and mechanical ventilation in homes in hot-humid climates.

Author(s): Levy, Dentz, Ansanelli, Barker, Rath, Dadia
Organization(s): ARIES Collaborative
Publication Date: March, 2016

Through field-testing and analysis, this project evaluated whole-building approaches and estimated the relative contributions of select technologies toward reducing energy use related to space conditioning in new manufactured homes.

Author(s): Baker
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2013

Research study developing baseline engineering analysis to support the installation of thick layers of exterior insulation (2 in. to 8 in.) on existing masonry walls and wood framed walls.

Author(s): Gunderson
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Publication Date: May, 2018

Home Innovation Research Labs studied the extended plate and beam wall (EP&B) system during a two-year period from mid-2015 to mid-2017 to determine the wall’s structural performance, moisture durability, constructability, and cost effectiveness for use as a high-R enclosure system for energy code minimum and above-code performance...

Author(s): Ojczyk, Huelman, Carmody
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: May, 2013

Expert meeting report describing the need for greater understanding of foundation systems including moisture and insulation issues.

Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: January, 2010

Information sheet with tools for estimating payback of adding additional insulation to your house.

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

Fact sheet describing principles of insulating steam distribution and condensate return lines as an effective way to prevent energy loss.

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

Information about dense pack, cellulose insulation.

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

Information sheet about crawlspace insulation, including installation details.

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): 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): 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): 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): Straube, Smegal
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: March, 2009

Report considers a number of promising wall systems that can meet the requirement for better thermal control.

Author(s): Smegal, Straube
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: August, 2013

Research study describing a number of promising foundation and basement insulation strategies that can meet the requirement for better thermal control in colder climates while enhancing moisture control, health, and comfort.

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.

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): 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): VonThoma, Ojczyk, Mosiman
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR
Publication Date: April, 2013
Report focused on foundation insulation R-values for cold climates and the design, construction, and performance implications.