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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): 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): 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): 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): Rudd
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, BSC
Publication Date: October, 2014

Report describing solutions for supplemental dehumidification in warm-humid climates. 

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

The purpose of this measure guideline on ventilation cooling is to provide information on a cost effective solution for reducing cooling system energy and demand in homes located in hot-dry and cold-dry climates.

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): Chasar, Withers
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: February, 2013

Research study analyzing measured energy savings from a moderate retrofit by comparing post-retrofit performance with measured pre-retrofit monitored data.

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): 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): Ueno, Lstiburek, Bergey
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2012

Research study examining the performance of existing multifamily ventilation central systems and explored alternative solutions in retrofit situations.

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): 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): Shapiro, Magee, Zoeller
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: February, 2013

Report including an overview of the buried duct research and information the retrofit methodology used to install and test the three existing duct systems, including short- and long-term data collection.

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

Information sheet describing refrigerant charge.

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): Rudd, Lstiburek, Eng, Ueno
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: February, 2005

Research study identifying the best performing, most energy-efficient and cost- effective techniques to provide controlled mechanical ventilation and humidity control in hot- humid climates with thermally efficient building envelopes.

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): Stetcher, Allison
Organization(s): IBACOS, NREL
Publication Date: November, 2012
Report discussing instrumentation methods and field operation characteristics of two GSHPs in test houses, including a comparison between the manufacturers listed COP values and the COPs calculated from field data.
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, 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): 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): 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): Steven Winter Associates
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: January, 2010

Information sheet about HVAC equipment design to maximize energy efficiency in the hot-dry climate zone.

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): Choi, Ludwig, Brand
Organization(s): PARR
Publication Date: August, 2013
Report about results of 10 test buildings in Chicago, studied to identify best practices for methodology, typical costs, and energy savings associated with steam system balancing.
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. 

Author(s): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: February, 2012

Report describing the equipment selection of a split system air conditioner and furnace for an example house in Chicago, Illinois, as well as a heat pump system for an example house in Orlando, Florida.

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

Information sheet offering general recommendations on supplemental humidity control and outlines viable system configurations.

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

Report providing performance results of a home's heat pump water heater and whole-house dehumidifier over a six-month period.

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

Research study that utilizes EnergyPlus equipped with the moisture capacitance model to analyze the indoor relative humidity in three home types.

Author(s): Christensen
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2012

Document on the development of two simple in-home efficiency test methods that can be used by technicians, researchers, or interested homeowners to verify the correct operation and energy efficiency of a homes air conditioning and heating equipment.

Author(s): Ridouane
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: January, 2012

Document about development of recommendations to help residential HVAC designers select optimal supply inlet size and system operating conditions to maintain good thermal comfort in low heating and cooling load homes.

Author(s): Booten
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: June, 2013

Case study providing homeowners guidance on installing window air conditioners.

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