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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
RR-1014: High-R Walls for the Pacific Northwest–A Hygrothermal Analysis of Various Exterior Wall Systems
This report considers a number of promising wall systems that can meet the requirement for better thermal control. Unlike previous studies, this one considers performance in a more realistic matter, including some two- and three-dimensional heat flow and analysis of the relative risk of moisture damage.
2x6 wood frame wall 24" o.c. Fiberglass or cellulose cavity insulation XPS insulating sheathing Furring creating a minimum 3/8" ventilation gap/drainage gap behind cladding ...
2x6 wood frame wall at 24" o.c. Cellulose cavity insulation OSB sheathing with integrated water resistive barrier 4" mineral fiber insulation boards Furring creating a minimum 3/8"...
2x4 structural interior wood frame wall at 24" o.c. Cellulose cavity insulation Cellulose insulation in gap 2x3 exterior wood frame wall at 24" o.c. Cellulose cavity insulation Fiberboard,...
2x3 interior wood frame wall at 16" o.c. Fiberglass or cellulose cavity insulation 2x4 exterior wood frame wall at 16" o.c. 31/2" high density spray foam (SPF) cavity insulation Plywood or OSB...
2x6 wood frame wall at 24" o.c. Fiberglass or cellulose cavity insulation Glass-faced gypsum sheathing Liquid applied water control layer Exterior EPS insulation Drainage gap/channels...
2x6 wood frame wall at 24" o.c. Fiberglass or cellulose cavity insulation 2" high density spray foam OSB or plywood sheathing Housewrap Furring creating a minimum 3/8" ventilation gap/...
ICF inner and outer faces; typically EPS, and less commonly cement wood fiber Cast-in-place concrete core Furring creating a minimum 3/8" ventilation gap/drainage gap behind cladding...
6" metal studs No cavity insulation Gypsum board sheathing 4" mineral fiber insulation boards Metal hat channel creating a minimum 3/8" ventilation gap/drainage gap behind cladding ...
2x6 interior wood frame wall at 24" o.c. Fiberglass or cellulose cavity insulation 2x3 cantilevered wood frame wall at 24" o.c. Substrate for spray foam 41/2" high density spray foam Minimum...
OSB interior and exterior panels EPS insulation core typical Furring creating a minimum 3/8" ventilation gap/drainage gap behind cladding Introduction This overview summarizes SIPs...
2x6 wood frame wall at 24" o.c. Spray foam cavity insulation OSB or plywood sheathing Housewrap Furring creating a minimum 3/8" ventilation gap/drainage behind cladding Introduction...
2x6 interior wood frame wall at 24" o.c. 2x3 exterior truss Cellulose cavity insulation OSB or plywood sheathing Housewrap Furring creating a minimum 3/8" ventilation gap/drainage gap behind...