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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: January, 2011

Standard covering equipment sizing loads for single-family-detached homes, small multi-unit structures, condo­miniums, town houses and manufactured homes.

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

Standard covering sizing strategies for all types of cooling and heating equipment, as well as how to use comprehensive manufacturer’s performance data on sensible, latent, or heating capacity for various operating conditions. 

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): Natural Resources Canada
Organization(s): Natural Resources Canada
Publication Date: April, 2014
Web resource with information for consumers about air source heat pumps.
Author(s): Puttagunta, Shapiro
Organization(s): CARB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: April, 2012

Report about two test home evaluations that provided valuable data about the true in-field performance of various building mechanical systems and LAMELs.

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): Building Performance Institute
Organization(s): Building Performance Institute
Publication Date: January, 2016

The following combustion appliance safety inspection must be completed to determine if fossil fuel-fired appliances are operating safely under a depressurized condition.

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): Cummings, Withers, Kono
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC

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

Author(s): AHRI
Organization(s): AHRI
Publication Date: January, 2012
Online database with efficiency information about residential HVAC systems and commercial refrigeration equipment.
Author(s): Roth, Sehgal, Akers
Organization(s): FCSES
Publication Date: March, 2013
Research report with results from field tests in two homes in Austin, Texas, from October 2011 to June 2012 to evaluate the comfort performance of ductless mini-split heat pumps
Author(s): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: June, 2012

Online reference containing general information about geothermal heat pumps.

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): Martin, Withers, McIlvaine, Chasar, Beal
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: February, 2018

This report evaluates the performance of variable-capacity comfort systems, with a focus on inverter-driven, variable-capacity systems, as well as proposed system enhancements.

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): 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): Cullin, Xing, Lee, Spitler, Fisher
Organization(s): ASHRAE
Publication Date: January, 2012
Journal article presenting a preliminary map detailing the feasibility of foundation heat exchangers in the US.
Author(s): Cullin, Xing, Lee, Spitler, Fisher
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2012

Study characterizing how foundation heat exchangers (FHXs) used in residential  ground source heat pump systems represent a potential cost savings due to their lesser first cost over other types of heat exchangers.

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): Williamson, Aldrich
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA

Report on field monitoring of inverter-driven ASHPs in cold-climate homes.

Author(s): Williamson, Aldrich
Organization(s): CARB
Report on field monitoring of inverter-driven ASHPs in Zone 6-climate homes.
Author(s): Xing, Cullin, Fisher, Shonder, Im
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Article describing a numerical model that can be used to size foundation heat exchanger (FHX) systems.

Author(s): Hughes
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2008

Report investigating the status of the geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry and technology in the United States, assembling GHP energy savings potential, identifying key barriers to application of GHPs, and identifying actions that could accelerate adoption of GHPs.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: January, 2012

Website with information about ENERGY STAR criteria for geothermal heat pumps.

Author(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Organization(s): ORNL
Publication Date: May, 2014

Website with general information about geothermal (ground-source) heat pumps (GSP's).

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): Im, Liu, Monk
Organization(s): Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2011

Website article discussing the economics of ground source heat pumps.

Author(s): Karr
Organization(s): Washington State University Extension Energy Program
Publication Date: March, 2011

Factsheet describing the uses and benefits of ground-source heat pumps for affordable housing, assisted living, dorms and hotels.

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
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
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): 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): 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: 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.

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