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Designs That Work House Plans are developed by BSC to be appropriate for residential projects in specific climate zones. They are fully integrated construction drawing sets that include floor plans, framing plans and wall framing elevations, exterior elevations, building and wall sections, and mechanical and electrical plans. Please note that house plans are posted as examples of high performance housing designs and are not to be used for construction. For more information, see the note on the title page of the plans.

Enclosures That Work are Building Profiles and High R-Value Assemblies developed by BSC to be appropriate for residential construction in specific climate zones.

Building Profiles are residential building cross sections that include enclosure and mechanical design recommendations. Most profiles also include field expertise notes, material compatibility analysis, and climate challenges.

High R-Value Assemblies are summaries of the results of BSC's ongoing High R-Value Enclosure research — a study that BSC has undertaken for the US DOE's Building America research program to identify and evaluate residential assemblies that cost-effectively provide 50 percent improvement in thermal resistance.

Guides and Manuals are "how-to" documents, giving advice and instructions on specific building techniques and methods. Some, such as the Review of Residential Ventilation Technologies, cover multiple examples within a general topic area. Others, such as the Guide to Insulating Sheathing, are focused on a particular concept and its applications. Longer guides and manuals include background information to help facilitate a strong understanding of the building science behind the hands-on advice.

In addition to these longer standalone guides, this section also contains two quick, easy-to-read series. The IRC FAQ series answers common questions about the building science approach to specific building tasks (for example, insulating a basement). The READ THIS: Before... series offers guidelines and recommendations for everyday situations such as moving into a new home or deciding to renovate.

Information Sheets are short, descriptive overviews of basic building science topics, from duct sealing to reservoir claddings. Through illustrations, photographs, and straightforward explanations, each Information Sheet covers the essential aspects of a single topic. Common, avoidable mistakes are also examined in the What's Wrong with this Project? and What's Wrong with this Practice? mini-series.
Information Sheets are useful both as an introduction to building science and as a handy reference that can be easily printed for use in the field, in a design meeting, or at the building permit counter.

Published Articles are a selected set of articles written by BSC personnel and published in professional and trade magazines that address building science topics. For example, our work has appeared in Fine Homebuilding, Home Energy, ASHRAE's High Performance Buildings, The Journal of Building Enclosure Design and The Journal of Building Physics. We thank these publications for their gracious permission to republish.

We are passionate about building science and welcome new opportunities to share information. If your publication needs content about energy efficiency, durability, or other aspects of high-performance building, please contact us at info@buildingscience.com.

Research Reports are technical reports written for researchers but accessible to design professionals and builders. These reports typically provide an in-depth study of a particular topic or describe the results of a research project. They are often peer reviewed and also provide support for advice given in our Building Science Digests. The most recent documents posted are at the top of the list below.

Conference Papers are peer-reviewed papers published in conference proceedings.

Building America Reports are sponsored by Building America, part of the U.S. Department of Energy.

79 records found.
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Meeting Energy Star® levels of performance is one of the criteria for constructing homes to Building America levels of performance—defined by Building Science Consortium and others. Homes...
BA
Insulating basement walls can be safely accomplished by assessing the moisture conditions of these walls and applying some basic "building science" to the design process.    
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Joseph Lstiburek
Conditioned crawlspaces perform better than vented crawlspaces in terms of safety, health, comfort, durability and energy consumption. Conditioned crawlspaces also do not cost more to construct than...
BA
Jonathan Smegal, John Straube
The following report is an excerpt from the 2010 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. Many concerns, including the rising cost of energy, climate change...
BA
Kohta Ueno, Joseph Lstiburek
Successfully executing strategies to control bulk water for foundations is critical for building durability, indoor air quality, and creating acceptable conditions and/or living spaces within the...
BA
Kohta Ueno, Joseph Lstiburek
Basements can account for up to one quarter of the typical energy consumption in a house. Therefore, insulating foundations is a critical measure for achieving high performance buildings. This...
BA
Kohta Ueno, Honorata Loomis, Daniel Bergey
Transformations, Inc. is a residential development and building company that has partnered with Building Science Corporation to build new construction net-zero energy houses in Massachusetts under...
Cold
BSD
John Straube
Driving RainDriving rain is typically the largest source of moisture for the above-grade building enclosure.  Hence, control of rain penetration and absorption is a fundamental function of the...
BSD
John Straube
The Nature of the Building EnclosureBoth the above-grade and the below-grade portions of the building enclosure are part of a physical system involving three interactive components: the exterior...
BSD
Joseph Lstiburek
Keeping the Groundwater and Contaminants OutThe fundamentals of groundwater control date back to the time of the Romans:  drain the site and drain the ground. Today that means collecting the run off...
BSD
Joseph Lstiburek
Drainage planes are water repellent materials (building paper, house wrap, sheet membranes, etc) that are located behind the cladding and are designed and constructed to drain water that passes...
BSD
Joseph Lstiburek
IntroductionAir flow in buildings is complex, time dependent and multi-directional. The understanding of air flow through and within buildings has been based on the requirement for continuity of...
Hot HumidHot Dry/Mixed Dry
BSD
Joseph Lstiburek
Durability FailuresIn the last twenty-five years we can point to the following list of notable building industry failures:Table 1: Notable Building Industry Failures 1980-2005Taken collectively,...
MarineVery ColdColdMixed HumidHot HumidHot Dry/Mixed Dry
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
Here is a pop quiz for you folks that are bored of Jeopardy. California is desert. Florida is a swamp. We build concrete slab-on-grade in both places. Which place has more slab moisture problems?...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
Crawlspaces stink, they rot, and are just plain icky. Photograph 1 shows the modern crawlspace, which is a forest of water droplets on the underside of fiberglass batt insulation. The exposed wood...
Mixed HumidHot Humid
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
Water causes enough trouble by itself, but when we add salt we go to a whole different level, especially where porous materials are concerned. What is the deal with porous materials? Simple, porous...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
It’s pretty easy to deal with new basements. They are not hard to insulate. The majority of them do not leak or smell and the buildings on top of them are generally not rotting.1 If you want a...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
How hard can it be to insulate a flat sheet of concrete? I mean you only have three choices – on the top, on the bottom, or on the edge. OK, you might have some combination of the three as well.Ah,...
NEWS
Joseph Lstiburek
How hard can it be to insulate a flat sheet of concrete? I mean you only have three choices – on the top, on the bottom, or on the edge. OK, you might have some combination of the three as well.Ah,...
NEWS
Joseph Lstiburek
Ballast is necessary in ships for stability, balance, trim and to otherwise keep them upright because the alternative is not pleasant. The amount of ballast necessary varies based on the type of...

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