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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.

461 records found.
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An interview with Andy Äsk, author of "H2NØ - Mechanical Systems and Moisture Control."  Andy talks about why he wrote the book, who the intended audience is, and what they might...
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Joseph Lstiburek
Understand when to vent your roof and when not to, and how to execute each approach successfully. Reprinted with permission from Fine Homebuilding, Aug/Sept 2011, pages 68-72.   Download...
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John Straube
So-called double-façades (DF) or ventilated façades, environmental second skins, etc. have attracted great interest as modern building enclosures. Numerous examples have been built in...
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John Straube, Christopher Schumacher, Jonathan Smegal, M. Jablonka
Adhered veneers, in which masonry units are directly attached to a substrate via mortar and ties without a drainage or ventilation gap, have become a very popular finish in residential and light...
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John Straube
One-third of the energy you buy probably leaks through holes in your house. Reprinted with permission from Fine Homebuilding, pages 45-49, October/November 2012.   Download Complete Document ....
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Joseph Lstiburek
Three sprayfoam topics that might have you rethinking your decisions. This article was first published in Sprayfoam Professional, Spring 2014, pages 16-19. Download complete document .pdf
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Joseph Lstiburek
Introduction The Guide provides the background and approach for the prep work necessary prior to adding attic insulation - focusing on combustion safety, ventilation for indoor air quality, and...
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Armin Rudd
The Building Science Consortium of the US DOE Building America Program seeks to construct energy efficient, durable, and healthy homes that consume 30% less energy than conventional homes built to...
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Joseph Lstiburek
Advanced space conditioning involves the integration of a building’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system with the building enclosure or building envelope. Download...
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Kohta Ueno
This is a report describing the test methodology and results for experiments run on two test houses at the Bonita Springs development in Fort Myers, FL.The goal was to determine the effect of attic...
Hot Humid
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The NAHB Research Center reports that the “typical” home generates about 3,500 pounds of wood waste during its construction, about half of which is solid sawn lumber.  
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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...
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Here are the nitty-gritty details of photovoltaic systems. The details are meant to “de-mystify” both the technology and its economics.    
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Combo systems use a gas water heater to provide domestic water and space heating. Find out when its appropriate to use such a system and guidelines for doing it right   Download Complete...
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Just how do you most efficiently and cost-effectively cool and dehumidify inside air while maintaining sufficient introduction of outside air for ventilation?  
Hot Humid
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Armin Rudd, Joseph Lstiburek, Kohta Ueno
Twenty homes were tested and monitored in the hot-humid climate of Houston, Texas, U.S.A., to evaluate the humidity control performance and operating cost of six different integrated...
Hot Humid
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It’s an important and even driving element for each of the four case studies in this report. So, why all the heartache over this single design element?    
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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...
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High performance compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs) is not just about energy savings; it’s also about the other aspects of performance such as color rendering.    
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There are few inherent or natural links between the two (particularly in the production home setting); the connections must be either imposed (by government entities) or created in the marketplace....
ColdHot Dry
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A test form used in the Building America program to ascertain house performance and specifications.    
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This is a test form used in the Building America program to ascertain house performance and specifications.  
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Armin Rudd
This is one of eleven projects from the full report of Building Science Consortium’s research efforts for 2004. The research program is aimed towards advanced building systems that have the...
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Armin Rudd, Kohta Ueno, Joseph Lstiburek
Fourteen houses, that also met measured energy efficiency criteria, had one of the six directly- or indirectly-integrated dehumidification and ventilation systems. Three reference houses had the...
Hot Humid
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Armin Rudd
The overall goal of the DOE residential research program is to reduce average whole house energy use in new residential buildings by 30-90 percent by 2020, including homes that achieve zero net...
Mixed HumidHot Humid
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Data were collected at 43 houses from May 2000 through February 2005. The houses are located in various southern cities, including Houston, Austin, Dallas, Jacksonville, Fort Meyers, Orlando, and...
Hot Humid
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Armin Rudd
The primary purpose of this field test was to characterize the uniformity of room-to-room ventilation air distribution under various operating conditions by examining multi-zone tracer gas decay...
Hot Dry
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Armin Rudd
As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Program, a partnership was developed with a builder who had learned from experience that just building to code left a lot to be...
Hot Humid
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Peter Baker
Through the combined efforts of Building Science Corporation, The Louisiana State University, and the Catholic Charities Group, a systems engineering approach was used, that considered all aspects...
Hot Humid
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Alex Lukachko, Joseph Lstiburek
Green building is growing up in the United States.    
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Joseph Lstiburek, Alex Lukachko
Following the almost complete destruction of Greensburg, Kansas by a tornado in May, 2007, Building Science Corporation (BSC) was contracted to provide example house plans, support for the...
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Joseph Lstiburek, Alex Lukachko
Following the almost complete destruction of Greensburg, Kansas by a tornado in May, 2007, Building Science Corporation (BSC) was contracted to provide example house plans, support for the...
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The following report is an excerpt from the 2008 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. The purpose of this research project is to design and install a solar hot...
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The following report is an excerpt from the 2008 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. This summary includes whole-house performance and systems engineering,...
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John Straube, Jonathan Smegal
Many concerns, including the rising cost of energy, climate change concerns, and demands for increased comfort, have lead to the desire for increased insulation levels in many new and existing...
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The following reports are excerpts from the 2009 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. These summaries are for the following advanced system research projects:...
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The following reports are excerpts from the 2009 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. These community scale evaluations include whole-house performance and...
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The following reports are excerpts from the 2009 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. These prototype house project summaries include whole-house performance...
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The following report is an excerpt from the 2009 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report.   Download Complete Document .pdf  
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John Straube
This paper describes a hygrothermal modeling study, including all of the US climate zones, a range of interior humidity levels and numerous arrangements and types of insulation. The results showed...
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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...
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Joseph Lstiburek, Aaron Grin
The following report is an excerpt from the 2010 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. This report investigates the implementation of advanced framing in both...
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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...
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John Straube, Aaron Grin
The following report is an excerpt from the 2010 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. The goal of this research is to find optimally designed, cost effective...
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Armin Rudd
The following report is an excerpt from the 2010 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. The main focus for this research project is on the AAON heat pump system...
Hot Humid
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Armin Rudd
The following report is an excerpt from the 2010 Building Science Corporation Industry Team Building America Annual Report. The main focus for this research project is the integration of a...
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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...
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John Straube, Kohta Ueno, Christopher Schumacher
Load-bearing masonry buildings are a significant portion of the existing building stock. Given the Building America goals of reducing home energy use by 30%-50% (compared to 2009 energy codes for...
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Ken Neuhauser, Daniel Bergey, Rosie Osser
This project examines a large scale renovation project within a 500 unit, 1960’s era subsidized urban housing community. The development comprises low-rise and mid-rise structures both of...
Cold
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Rosie Osser, Ken Neuhauser, Kohta Ueno
Building Science Corporation seeks to further the energy efficiency market for cold climate, New England area retrofits by supporting projects based on solid building science fundamentals and...
Cold
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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...

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