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

This article addresses the issue of undercutting bedroom doors to provide return airflow from bedrooms resulting in risks such as insufficient airflow, pressure imbalance, energy-inefficient loss of conditioned air, condensation within the wall, and moisture durability issues.

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

Information sheet about transfer ducts and grilles.

Author(s): McNamara
Organization(s): NYSERDA
Publication Date: December, 1995
This report describes the results of a multiyear research project that investigated the energy savings attributable to thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) installed on one-pipe steam distribution systems.
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. 

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

Information sheet about buried ducts.

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

Website with consumer information about duct cleaning.

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

Presentation providing information about correctly installing ductwork in new and existing homes.

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): 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): ASHRAE
Organization(s): ASHRAE
Publication Date: June, 2014
Describes methods for testing duct systems to determine their performance under standard conditions.
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): 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): 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): 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): 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): Guertin
Organization(s): Fine Homebuilding Magazine
Publication Date: July, 2011

Central return designs require an open pathway between the room and the heart of the house where the return grill is located.  

Author(s): Moyer, Stroer
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2007
Report summarizing approaches to addressing duct leakage in hot humid climates.
Author(s): Raymer, Moyer
Organization(s): Tamarack Technologies, Florida Solar Energy Center
Publication Date: July, 2006

Correcting pressure imbalances in your HVAC system can result in a healthier, more efficient home.

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

Brochure with information about ducts in conditioned space.

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

Brochure with details on HVAC duct air sealing.

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): Puttagunta
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: August, 2010

Document providing design guidance and software tool information for forced-air HVAC systems.

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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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 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: May, 2018

Technical manual from ACCA outlining correct methods for residential zoning.

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: December, 2013
Standard outlining industry procedure for sizing residential duct systems.
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): 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.