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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): 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): 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): Rudd
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: February, 2011

Report on whole-house and spot ventilation strategies for improved indoor air quality.

Author(s): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: November, 2010

If your kitchen has a powerful exhaust fan, it may be pulling air down your chimney or water-heater flue.

Author(s): Cummings, Withers, Martin, Moyer
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: October, 2012

Report focusing on managing the driving forces that move air and water vapor across the building envelope.

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: January, 2009
Standard technical manual with information about HVSC balancing, testing air and hydronic systems.
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): 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): 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.

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): 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): Beach, Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: March, 2014

Report describing recommendations for optimizing flexible duct, constant-volume HVAC systems using junction boxes. 

Author(s): Berger, Neri
Organization(s): Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2016

Report describing the use of passive vents as a source of outdoor air in multifamily buildings. 

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

This document addresses adding—or improving—mechanical ventilation systems to existing homes. The purpose of ventilation is to remove contaminants from homes either directly or by dilution. This report discusses where, when, and how much ventilation is appropriate in a home, including some discussion of relevant codes and...

Author(s): Choi, Ludwig, Brand
Organization(s): PARR, Gas Technology Institute
Publication Date: April, 2013

Document intending to put some context and structure around the process of balancing and tuning one-pipe steam systems to help practitioners begin to garner the potential in energy savings that this measure presents.

Author(s): Beal, McIlvaine, Fonorow, Martin
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: November, 2011

Document illustrating guidelines for efficient installation of interior duct systems in new housing.

Author(s): Lsibturek
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: January, 2017

Report describing the most cost-effective ventilation and indoor air quality solutions for multifamily homes that meet ASHRAE 62.2-2016. 

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): Dentz, Podorson, Varshney
Organization(s): ARIES, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: May, 2014

This report investigates whether mini-split heat pumps can live up to their potential for one market segment: multifamily retrofits.

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): National Environmental Balancing Bureau
Organization(s): National Environmental Balancing Bureau
Publication Date: January, 2005
Standard that includes testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) to produce design flows for air and hydronic systems.
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): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2013

Information sheet about ventilation approaches.

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

Document reviewing ventilation strategies for different climate zones and includes schematic drawings and photographs of various ventilation installations.

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): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: April, 2010

Information sheet describing refrigerant charge.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: December, 2009

Summary of available information and resources on residential air cleaners, including HVAC filters.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: August, 2009

Report providing information on mechanical, air-cleaning devices for ventilation when conventional methods are not warranted.

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): Spitler, Xing, Cullin, Fisher, Shonder, Im
Organization(s): Oklahoma State University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2010

Paper covering a parametric study of foundation heat exchanger-based ground source heat pump systems for several house configurations in a range of European locations, with an emphasis on determining feasible combinations.

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): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Organization(s): LBNL
Publication Date: October, 2014

Website with product and standards information about ceiling fans.

Author(s): Schoenbauer, Bohac, Huelman, Olson, Hewett
Organization(s): NorthernSTAR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2012

Report presenting results of a laboratory experiment studying combi systems as a mode to eliminate safety issues associated with natural draft appliances.

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.

Author(s): Metzger, Goyl, Baechler
Organization(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2017

This research paper outlines residential HVAC advanced controls and sensors. It includes a technology review, applications, maintenance and commissioning, occupant behavior and a summary of the state-of-the-art technologies for advanced controls for residential HVAC.

Author(s): Russell, Sherman, Rudd
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Publication Date: August, 2005

Document reviewing current and potential ventilation technologies for residential buildings with particular emphasis on North American climates and construction.

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

Website with consumer information about duct cleaning.

Author(s): Singh, Rider, Ngo, Butzbaugh, Driskell, Babula
Organization(s): California Energy Commission
Publication Date: April, 2014

Proposed HVAC filter labeling standard and underlying analysis by the California Energy Commission.

Author(s): Choi, Ludwig, Brand
Organization(s): PARR, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute, CNT Energy
Publication Date: August, 2012

Report addressing barriers to information, contractor resources and cost savings associated with steam balancing multifamily buildings.

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

Information sheet about buried ducts.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: June, 2011

Report about the impact on the loads when common safety factors are applied to the load calculation process using two houses that meet the 2009 IECC prescriptive path modeled as the accurate baseline.

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: June, 2013
Document covering the pros and cons of compact air distribution systems and the decision criteria that must be considered early in the whole-house design process.
Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: June, 2013

This Strategy Guideline covers the pros and cons of compact air distribution systems and the decision criteria that must be considered early in the whole-house design process. 

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