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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): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: July, 2014

This Standard establishes the minimum requirements to evaluate a residence with regards to energy efficiency, water conservation, occupant comfort, and indoor air quality.

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: January, 2013

Standard providing nationally recognized, manufacturer-endorsed set of inspection tasks for HVAC maintenance.

Publication Date: January, 2016

Document detailing the requirements, roles, and obligations for participants in an organized effort, ensuring that HVAC installations comply with the ANSI/ACCA 5 QI – 2010 (HVAC Quality Installation Specification) QI Standard.

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): American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Organization(s): American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Publication Date: January, 2017

Code establishing the rules of safety relating only to pressure integrity for the design, fabrication, and inspection of boilers and pressure vessels during construction.

Author(s): Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute
Organization(s): Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute
Publication Date: April, 2009
This directory contains the I=B=R Ratings for cast-iron, steel, aluminum and copper boilers, baseboard and finned tube radiation, indirect-fired water heaters, effective as of the date of this publication.
Author(s): Gifford
Organization(s): American Boiler Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: January, 2004
Part 2 of an article discussing how to maximize two-pipe steam systems.
Author(s): Flothow
Organization(s): Energy Efficiency for All, Steven Winter Associates
Publication Date: November, 2015

Report describing strategies to improve the aging steam heating systems in New York City to improve energy efficiency, reduce oil and gas usage, and cut maintenance costs.

Author(s): Schoenbauer, Bohac, Huelman
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, University of Minnesota
Publication Date: July, 2016

Report describing combined space- and water-heating (combi) systems using a high-efficiency direct-vent burner. 

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): Poerschke, Beach
Organization(s): IBACOS
Report onhow space-conditioning systems are operating in the field and if these systems are meeting required standards.
Author(s): Poerschke, Beach
Organization(s): IBACOS
Report onhow space-conditioning systems are operating in the field and if these systems are meeting required standards.
Author(s): American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Organization(s): American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Publication Date: January, 2012

Standard covering requirements for the assembly, installation, maintenance, and operation of controls and safety devices on automatically operated boilers directly fired with gas, oil, gas-oil, or electricity, having fuel input ratings under 12,500,000 Btu/hr.

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): Woods, Kozubal
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2013

Report presenting a parametric analysis using a numerical model of a new concept in desiccant and evaporative air conditioning.

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): Yee, Baker, Brand, Wells
Organization(s): PARR, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
Publication Date: August, 2013

Report using pre- and post-system upgrade data to analyze the energy savings associated with Iowas HVAC SAVE program for space heating.

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): Architectural Energy Corporation
Organization(s): Architectural Energy Corporation
Publication Date: November, 2011
Article describing RESNET guidance on evaporative coolers.
Author(s): Mohalley
Organization(s): Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (ACHR) News
Publication Date: December, 2016

Article describing benefits of ECM motors and how they can be installed as retrofit motors in HVAC equipment.

Author(s): Brand
Organization(s): PARR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute
Publication Date: March, 2012

Expert meeting identifying installation practices that provide the best installed efficiency for residential gas furnaces, explain how AFUE and field efficiency can differ, and investigate the impact of installation practices on the efficiency and long-term durability of the furnace.

Author(s): Christensen, Fang, Tomerlin, Winkler, Hancock
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mountain Energy Partnership
Publication Date: March, 2011

Information sheet with an analysis of mini split heat pump systems.

Author(s): Spitler, Fisher, Cullin, Xing, Lee, Rees, Fan
Organization(s): Oklahoma State University, De Montfort University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2011

Report describing a project aimed at developing validated models and design tools for foundation heat exchangers.

Author(s): Mittereder, Poerschke
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: November, 2013
Report presenting a cold climate project examining and alternative approach to ground source heat pump ground loop design.
Author(s): Butler
Organization(s): Energy Vanguard
Publication Date: January, 2011
Article discussing the advantages of using heat pumps instead of furnaces in high-performance homes.
Author(s): Gifford
Organization(s): American Boiler Manufacturers Association
Publication Date: June, 2003
Article describing how to use radiator inlet orifices optimize two-pipe steam heating systems.
Author(s): Dentz, Henderson, Varshney
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: September, 2014

Report summarizing the status of a central hydronic heating system project in multifamily housing at the conclusion of the 20112012 heating season.

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): Winkler
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2012

Presentation on Improving Air-Conditioner and Heat Pump Modeling.

Author(s): Brand, Yee, Baker
Organization(s): PARR
Publication Date: August, 2013
Report examining the impacts that common installation practices and age- induced equipment degradation may have on the installed performance of natural gas furnaces, as measured by steady-state efficiency and AFUE.
Author(s): Winkler, Booten, Christensen, Tomerlin
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2013

Report providing information about laboratory testing of four residential window air conditioners.

Author(s): Hart
Organization(s): ASHI Reporter
Publication Date: April, 2009

Article describing how to properly manage condensing HVAC equipment.

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

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

Author(s): Springer, Dakin
Organization(s): ARBI, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: March, 2013

Document targeting home performance contractors who are relatively inexperienced with HVAC systems, HVAC technicians who can benefit from recent research on AC system faults and diagnostic methods, and program managers who may apply this information in structuring successful HVAC tune-up programs.

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): Arena
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2014

Report providing step-by-step instructions for heating contractors and hydronic designers for selecting the proper control settings to maximize system performance and improve response time when using a thermostat setback.

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

Report about evaporative condensers, to provide information on a cost-effective solution for energy and demand savings in homes with cooling loads.

Author(s): Brand, Rose
Organization(s): PARR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute
Publication Date: October, 2012

Document covering installation of high efficiency gas furnaces.

Author(s): Johnson
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: September, 2013

Research study outlining results of monitoring a low temperature heat pump.

Author(s): Siegenthaler
Organization(s): Delmar CENGAGE Learning
Publication Date: January, 2012
Book with indepth information about hydronic systems for residential and commercial buildings.
Author(s): Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Organization(s): Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Publication Date: January, 2007
Report discussing the benefits of modern evaporative cooling systems for use in hot dry climate zones.
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): 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): German, Hoeschele
Organization(s): ARBI, Davis Energy Group
Publication Date: December, 2014

Report evaluating mechanical AC precooling strategies in homes as a method for improving the load factor by shifting cooling operation from on-peak to off-peak hours.

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.

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): Anesi
Organization(s): Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (ACHR) News
Publication Date: December, 2014

Article describing how replacing PSC motors with ECMs can boost bottom line and improve customer comfort.

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