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

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

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

Article describing how to properly manage condensing HVAC equipment.

Author(s): Winkler, Christensen, Tomerlin
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Report documenting the measured performance of six residential ENERGY STAR vapor compression dehumidifiers.

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): Walker, Stratton
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California Energy Commission

Guidance on performance of current diagnostics as well as a draft test method for use in future air flow evaluations.

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): Less, Mullen, Singer, Walker
Organization(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

This research study used pollutant measurements, home inspections, diagnostic testing and occupant surveys to assess IAQ in 24 new or deeply retrofitted homes designed to be high performance green buildings in California.

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: March, 2012

Presentation on Improving Air-Conditioner and Heat Pump Modeling.

Author(s): Holliday, Martin
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: March, 2003

Article in Energy Design Update describing the cost and savings benefits of electronically commutated motors (ECMs) for HVAC equipment.

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): Home Ventilating Institute
Organization(s): Home Ventilating Institute
Publication Date: September, 2015

Publication describing the requirements and procedures for the certified performance ratings program for residential ventilation products administered by the Home Ventilating Institute.

Author(s): Home Ventilating Institute
Organization(s): Home Ventilating Institute
Publication Date: September, 2013

Publication specifying HVI’s prescriptive procedures for testing and rating airflow of residential ventilation products in accordance with ANSI consensus standards.

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): Home Innovation Research Labs
Organization(s): Home Innovation Research Labs
Publication Date: December, 2017

Fact Sheet describing the need for supplemental dehumidification, dehumidifier configuration options, and design considerations.

Author(s): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: April, 2012
Website blog with guidance about calculating heat-loss.
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): 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): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: May, 2013

Website with consumer information about residential heat pump systems.

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): 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): 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): FESC
Organization(s): FESC
Publication Date: October, 2014
Website providing information about the Gossamer Wind Series Ceiling fans, conceived by Danny Parker at the Florida Solar Energy Center as a means of realizing the energy efficiency and comfort potential of ceiling fans.
Author(s): Calwell, Horowitz
Organization(s): Home Energy Magazine
Publication Date: June, 2001
Online article describing how ceiling fans are one of the most popular and generally well regarded of all home energy efficiency features.
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): 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): 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): 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): 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): Vieira, Parker, Fairey III, Sherwin, Withers, Hoak
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: September, 2013

Research study outlining savings from reducing air infiltration, with and without the addition of mechanical ventilation, using two identical laboratory homes designed to model existing Florida building stock.

Author(s): Parker, Kono, Vieira, Fairey, Sherwin, Withers, Hoak, Beal
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: June, 2014

Research report assessing the moisture and cooling load impacts of airtightness and mechanical ventilation in homes in hot-humid climates.

Author(s): Williamson, Aldrich
Organization(s): CARB
Report on field monitoring of inverter-driven ASHPs in Zone 6-climate homes.
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): 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): Martin, Fenaughty, Parker
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: January, 2018

Report outlining how Smart ventilation controls (SVC) balance energy consumption, comfort, and IAQ by optimizing mechanical ventilation operation to reduce the heating and/or cooling loads, improve management of indoor moisture, and maintain IAQ equivalence according to ASHRAE 62.2.

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): 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): Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): DOE, EPA
Publication Date: January, 2013

Information sheet about the benefits of purchasing and installing ENERGY STAR rated fans and ventilation products.

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): 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.

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