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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): 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.

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): 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): Dentz, Conlin, Holloway, Podorson, Varshney
Organization(s): ARIES, Levy Partnership
Publication Date: March, 2014

In multifamily and attached buildings, traditional duct sealing methods are often impractical or costly and disruptive because of the difficulty in accessing leakage sites. In this project, two retrofit duct sealing techniques - manually-applied sealants and injecting a spray sealant, were implemented in several low-rise multi-unit buildings....

Author(s): Arena
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Report analyzing design heating loads in superinsulated buildings

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

Report about ventilation system design, including central fan integrated supply (CFIS) system, made up of a 6-inch outdoor air intake duct connected to the return side of the air handler with a fan cycling control to make sure the fan runs a programmed minimum amount of time.

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

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

Author(s): Woods, Kozubal
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: October, 2013

Report presenting a parametric analysis using a numerical model of a new concept in desiccant and evaporative air conditioning.

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): Burdick
Organization(s): IBACOS
Publication Date: December, 2014
Report outlining the issues with using existing ducts with a new low-load HVAC system, which reduces throw at supply registers causing decreased mixing of supply and room air, leading to potential thermal comfort complaints.
Author(s): Building Science Corporation
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: May, 2009

Brochure with details on HVAC duct air sealing.

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

Brochure with information about ducts in conditioned space.

Author(s): Vieira, Parker, Gu, Wichers
Organization(s): FSEC
Publication Date: January, 2009
Document comparing simulation results from a modified version of the EnergyGauge program to include various HVAC runtime strategies.
Author(s): Cummings, Withers
Organization(s): BA-PIRC, Florida Solar Energy Center, FSEC
Publication Date: December, 2011

Research study describing experiments run in an unoccupied 1600 ft2 house to evaluate the delivered performance as well as the relative performance of a SEER 21 variable capacity heat pump versus a SEER 13 heat pump.

Author(s): Ridouane
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2011

Research study evaluating operating conditions required to maintain uniform mixing, within high performance homes, under both heating and cooling conditions.

Author(s): Maxwell, Berger, Zuluaga
Organization(s): CARB, Steven Winter Associates, SWA
Publication Date: July, 2014

Report outlining research that helps inform best practices for air sealing multi-family buildings in the Northeast.

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): 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): 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): Hendron, Rudd, Anderson, Barley, Hancock, Townsend
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mountain Energy Partnership
Publication Date: October, 2008

Report about field testing that characterizes the uniformity of room-to-room ventilation air distribution under various operating conditions by examining multi-zone tracer gas decay curves and calculating local age-of-air.

Author(s): Winkler
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: March, 2012

Presentation on Improving Air-Conditioner and Heat Pump Modeling.

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

Information sheet describing refrigerant charge.

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): 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.

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