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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): International Code Council
Organization(s): ICC
Publication Date: April, 2011

Internationally, code officials recognize the need for a modern, up-to-date mechanical code addressing the design and installation of mechanical systems through requirements emphasizing performance. The International Mechanical Code®, in this 2009 edition, is designed to meet these needs through model code regulations that safeguard the...

Author(s): Polly, Gestwick, Bianchi, Anderson, Horowitz, Christensen, Judkoff
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: April, 2011

Report describing an analysis method for determining optimal residential energy efficiency retrofit packages and applies the analysis method to a 1960s-era home in eight U.S. cities.

Author(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Organization(s): Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Publication Date: January, 2011

Standard covering equipment sizing loads for single-family-detached homes, small multi-unit structures, condo­miniums, town houses and manufactured homes.

Author(s): Koser, Uthe
Organization(s): NYSERDA
Publication Date: August, 2011
Report investigating implemention of advanced power strips for entertainment and home office electronics would reduce energy consumption across the residential market.
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): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: July, 2011

Website article interviewing the inventor of the Larsen truss, a history of its use, and a discussion of its advantages and disadvantages.

Author(s): Polly, Kruis, Roberts
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: July, 2011

Report describing methodology to assess and improve the accuracy of whole building energy analysis for residential buildings.

Author(s): American Society for Testing and Materials
Organization(s): American Society for Testing and Materials
Publication Date: January, 2011
Standard covering the minimum performance and acceptance criteria for an air barrier material or system for framed walls of low-rise buildings with the service life of the building wall in mind.
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): Straube
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: February, 2011

This report will review, and summarize the current state of understanding and research into enclosures with higher thermal resistance, so-called “High-R Enclosures.” Recommendations are provided for further research.

Author(s): Judkoff, Neymark, Polly
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: December, 2011

Document about testing software predictions of retrofit energy savings in existing homes.

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

Presentation about advanced framing techniques.

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

Report about the fundamental concepts that must be understood at the planning or initial nspection of existing homes regarding surface and ground water management.

Author(s): Bianchi
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: July, 2011

Report summarizing the key opportunities, gaps, and barriers identified by the national laboratory white papers discussing long-term 50% energy reduction goals.

Author(s): Green Building Advisor
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: January, 2011
Document containing a 3D drawing (CAD) of advanced framing details.
Author(s): Maguire, Earle, Booten, Hancock
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mountain Energy Partnership
Publication Date: October, 2011

Report about a hybrid condensing water heater (thermal efficiency = 0.973, energy factor = 0.95) installed in an occupied home in Sacramento, California, and monitored for one year to determine the actual in situ efficiency.

Author(s): Straube
Organization(s): Building Science Corporation
Publication Date: October, 2011

This digest provides the background for designers to select the insulation levels need to reach specific levels of condensation control.

Author(s): Carpet and Rug Institute
Organization(s): Carpet and Rug Institute
Publication Date: July, 2011
Downloadable fact sheet covering carpet-related topics including Indoor Air Quality, Asthma and Allergy, Cleaning Products, and Environmental Sustainability.
Author(s): Britt, Baechler, Gilbride, Hefty, Makela, Schneider, Kaufman
Organization(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Kaufman Heritage Conservation
Publication Date: February, 2011

Document providing a resource to help contractors renovate historic houses, while addressing issues such as building durability, indoor air quality, and occupant health, safety, and comfort.

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): Case, Booten
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: November, 2011

Document presenting a simple starting point to determine the most cost-effective Energy Savings Measure Packages (ESMP) for existing homes to achieve 15% and 30% savings in 37 locations across the United States.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: January, 2011

Document outlining building science principles about air flow, heat flow and moisture flow in homes.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: November, 2011

EPA's market report about residential clothes dryers.

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): Architectural Energy Corporation
Organization(s): Architectural Energy Corporation
Publication Date: November, 2011
Article describing RESNET guidance on evaporative coolers.
Author(s): Stecher
Organization(s): IBACOS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: July, 2011

Expert meeting held to discuss simplified space conditioning systems in low load homes, including the relationship between advanced thermal enclosures, space conditioning systems and comfort.

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): Fang, Christensen, Barker, Hancock
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mountain Energy Partnership
Publication Date: June, 2011

Report describing a simple and general way to generate a House Simulation Protocol (HSP)-consistent internal sensible and latent loads in unoccupied homes.

Author(s): Air Barrier Association of America
Organization(s): Air Barrier Association of America
Publication Date: August, 2011
Standard specifying a water-resistant fluid-applied air and vapor barrier in exterior wall assemblies.
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): 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): Georgia Department of Community Affairs
Organization(s): Georgia Department of Community Affairs
Publication Date: January, 2011
Georgia state's minimum standard energy code, including state supplements and amendments.
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): 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): Department of Energy
Organization(s): DOE
Publication Date: January, 2011

Document providing supplemental information for code enforcement professionals about header hangers in bearing walls.

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s): EPA
Publication Date: November, 2011

This report describes the health effects of secondhand smoke.

Author(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Publication Date: August, 2011

This manual is designed for state and local healthy homes programs that are working to reduce secondhand smoke exposure in multiunit housing. The manual provides field-tested strategies, recommendations, best practices, and tools. 

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): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: November, 2011

Information sheet presenting the correct methods for building an insulated cathedral ceiling.

Author(s): Holladay
Organization(s): Green Building Advisor
Publication Date: March, 2011

Information sheet presenting techniques for installing cellulose insulation.

Author(s): Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Organization(s): PNNL
Publication Date: January, 2011

Report providing information about techniques and approaches to improve the efficiency of recessed lighting.

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): Dobson
Organization(s): Home Energy Magazine
Publication Date: May, 2011

Article describing how insulated siding can save homeowners energy by providing continuous exterior insulation. 

Author(s): Bailes
Organization(s): Energy Vanguard
Publication Date: April, 2011
Information sheet discussing the downside to recessed can lights.
Author(s): Sparn, Hudon, Christensen
Organization(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: September, 2011

Report presenting lab evaluation of five heat pump water heaters available in the US market today.

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): 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): 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): 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.

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