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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): Springer, Dakin, Backman
Organization(s): ARBI, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: July, 2012

Research study estimating potential energy savings relative to conventional ducted air distribution, and identifying equipment requirements, costs, and barriers.

Author(s): Beach, Dickson, Grisolia, Poerschke, Rapport
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: August, 2017

This report describes an air distribution system composed of a series of uniformly-sized ducts that terminate in rooms throughout the home and return to a central manifold, similar in fashion to a “home-run” cross-linked polyethylene plumbing system. With a well-designed manifold, each duct receives an equal static pressure...

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: December, 2013
Standard outlining industry procedure for sizing residential duct systems.
Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: June, 2009

Standard providing guidance on how to select, size, and locate the supply air diffusers, grilles and registers, and the return grilles.

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: May, 2018

Technical manual from ACCA outlining correct methods for residential zoning.

Author(s): National Air Duct Cleaners Association
Organization(s): National Air Duct Cleaners Association
Publication Date: January, 2013
Standard providing industry-backed information for assessing new and existing HVAC systems, evaluating and verifying the cleanliness of HVAC system components, preventing job related hazards and guiding the cleaning and restoration of HVAC systems to a specific level of cleanliness.
Author(s): Air Diffusion Council
Organization(s): Air Diffusion Council
Publication Date: January, 2013
Standard for use and reference by designers, architects, engineers, contractors, installers and users for evaluating, selecting, specifying and properly installing flexible duct in heating and air conditioning systems.
Author(s): Air Diffusion Council
Organization(s): Air Diffusion Council
Publication Date: January, 2013
Standard that sets forth the specific methods of testing flexible air ducts used for indoor comfort heating, ventilating and air conditioning applications.
Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Document providing guideance and considerations for duct design in an energy efficient house.

Author(s): Dentz, Conlin, Holloway, Podorson, Varshney
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: March, 2014

In multifamily and attached buildings, traditional duct sealing methods are often impractical or costly and disruptive because of the difficulty in accessing leakage sites. In this project, two retrofit duct sealing techniques - manually-applied sealants and injecting a spray sealant, were implemented in several low-rise multi-unit buildings....

Author(s): RESNET
Organization(s): International Code Council
Publication Date: February, 2016

This Standard provides a consistent, uniform methodology for evaluating the airtightness of building envelopes and heating and cooling air ducts and the air flows of mechanical ventilation systems.

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

Brochure intended to provide readers with a working knowledge of residential heating and cooling duct systems.

Author(s): Gilbride, Baechler, Hefty, Hand, Love
Organization(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2011

Report providing information about energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) equipment options to help homeowners cut their energy use, reduce their carbon footprint, and increase their homes comfort, health, and safety.

Author(s): Sullivan
Organization(s): Earth Advantage Institute, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
Publication Date: June, 2011
Training manual on how to locate ducts within conditioned space and compact design.
Author(s): National Air Duct Cleaners Association
Organization(s): National Air Duct Cleaners Association
Publication Date: January, 2013
Manual showing duct cleaning contractors how to identify the different types of insulated air ducts, how to open each type for access by cleaning equipment and personnel, how to close and seal openings after cleaning.
Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: October, 2013
Report summarizing one year of monitoring and analysis of a space conditioning system at maintaining temperature and relative humidity levels in a test home.
Author(s): Cummings, Withers, Kono
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC

Report on variable-capacity air conditioning and heat pump units.

Author(s): McIlvaine, Beal, Fairey
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: October, 2014
This study focuses on the design, construction, and performance of the interior chase approach as implemented by five different builders in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida
Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: December, 2014
Report outlining the issues with using existing ducts with a new low-load HVAC system, which reduces throw at supply registers causing decreased mixing of supply and room air, leading to potential thermal comfort complaints.
Author(s): North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
Organization(s): North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: January, 2010
Information sheet with HVAC duct insulation, testing, maintenance and performance information.
Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2009

Brochure with details on HVAC duct air sealing.

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

Brochure with information about ducts in conditioned space.

Author(s): Vieira, Parker, Gu, Wichers
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: January, 2009
Document comparing simulation results from a modified version of the EnergyGauge program to include various HVAC runtime strategies.
Author(s): Cummings, Withers
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2011

Research study describing experiments run in an unoccupied 1600 ft2 house to evaluate the delivered performance as well as the relative performance of a SEER 21 variable capacity heat pump versus a SEER 13 heat pump.

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): Arena
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: January, 2013

Expert meeting held to review and discuss results and future plans for research to improve the performance of hydronic heating systems using condensing boilers and baseboard convectors.

Author(s): Johns Manville
Organization(s): Johns Manville
Publication Date: January, 2008
Information sheet providing detail about hand fabrication of a one-piece straight duct from a 48" x 120" x 1" thick (1.22 m x 3.05 m x 25 mm) sheet where the total inside duct dimensions equals 112" (2.84 m) or less.
Author(s): Air Diffusion Council
Organization(s): Air Diffusion Council
Publication Date: January, 2010
Standard providing a comprehensive approach to evaluating, selecting, specifying and installing flexible duct in HVAC systems.
Author(s): Dentz, Henderson
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: April, 2012

Report evaluating the relative effectiveness of various control and distribution strategies to improve hydronic space heating performance in existing low-rise multifamily buildings

Author(s): Moyer, Stroer
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2007
Report summarizing approaches to addressing duct leakage in hot humid climates.
Author(s): Winkler
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2011

Report proposing mini-split heat pumps as a new retrofit option to replace resistance heating in the Pacific Northwest.

Author(s): Ueno, Loomis
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation

Report on the long-term performance of mini-split heat pumps.

Author(s): Fonorow, Jenkins, Thomas-Rees, Chandra
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: October, 2010
Document presenting a cost effective method that was used by four builders in the Gainesville, FL area to construct interior ducts in over a dozen site built homes.
Author(s): Shapiro, Zoeller, Mantha
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: August, 2013

Document covering the technical aspects of buried and insulated ducts (BEDs), as well as the advantages, disadvantages, and risks of BEDs compared to alternative strategies.

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): Arena
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: May, 2013

Document intended for designers and installers of hydronic heating systems interested in maximizing the overall system efficiency of condensing boilers when coupled with baseboard convectors. It is applicable to new and retrofit projects.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: October, 2013
Report providing guidance on how to implement a compact duct system inside a plenum truss bulkhead of a one-story, slab-on-grade home.
Author(s): Aldrich, Puttagunta
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: December, 2011

Report descibing the sealing and insulating of HVAC duct systems in new and existing homes.

Author(s): Chasar, Withers
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: February, 2013

Research study analyzing measured energy savings from a moderate retrofit by comparing post-retrofit performance with measured pre-retrofit monitored data.

Author(s): ASHRAE
Organization(s): ASHRAE
Publication Date: June, 2014
Describes methods for testing duct systems to determine their performance under standard conditions.
Author(s): Arena, Faakye
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: October, 2013

Research study using modeling to determine optimal combination(s) of components/pumps, high efficiency heat sources, plumbing configurations and controls that result in the highest overall efficiency for a hydronic system.

Author(s): ACTO Rubber Products Inc., Air Diffusion Council
Organization(s): Air Diffusion Council
Publication Date: March, 2011
Presentation about proper installation of flexible ducts.
Author(s): Shapiro, Magee, Zoeller
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2013

Report including an overview of the buried duct research and information the retrofit methodology used to install and test the three existing duct systems, including short- and long-term data collection.

Author(s): Moyer, Stroer, Hoak, McIlvaine, Chandra
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2008

Document presenting results from testing HVAC duct system design incorporating a high-side supply register.

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): Wei
Organization(s): TRC Energy Services
Publication Date: October, 2014
Report proposes high performance duct measures for inclusion in California Title 24 building energy efficiency standards for 2016.
Author(s): Shapiro, Aldrich, Arena
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: July, 2012

Report describing procedures for increasing sensible efficiencies through increased flow rates across the air handling unit and increased indoor coil sizes.

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