Fill in the search criteria to search the database or view index of all documents.

climates

Very Cold - A very cold climate is defined as a region with approximately 9,000 heating degree days or greater (65°F basis) or greater and less than 12,600 heating degree days (65°F basis).

Cold - A cold climate is defined as a region with approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) or greater and less than approximately 9,000 heating degree days (65°F basis).

Mixed-Humid - A mixed-humid and warm-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 4,500 cooling degree days (50°F basis) or greater and less than approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis) and less than approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) and where the average monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45°F during the winter months.

Hot-Humid - A hot-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis) or greater and where the monthly average outdoor temperature remains above 45°F throughout the year. This definition characterizes a region that is similar to the ASHRAE definition of hot-humid climates where one or both of the following occur:

  • a 67°F r higher wet bulb temperature for 3,000 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year; or
  • a 73°F or higher wet bulb temperature for 1,500 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year.

Hot-Dry/Mixed-Dry - A hot-dry climate is defined as region that receives less than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis)or greater and where the monthly average outdoor temperature remains above 45°F throughout the year.

A warm-dry and mixed-dry climate is defined as a region that receives less than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 4,500 cooling degree days (50°F basis) or greater and less than approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis) and less than approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) and where the average monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45°F during the winter months.

Marine - A marine climate meets is defined as a region where all of the following occur:

  • a mean temperature of the coldest month between 27°F and 65°F;
  • a mean temperature of the warmest month below 72°F;
  • at least four months with mean temperatures over 50°F; and
  • a dry season in the summer, the month with the heaviest precipitation in the cold season has at least three times as much precipitation as the month with the least precipitation.

information

Building Science Insights are short discussions on a particular topic of general interest. They are intended to highlight one or more building science principles. The discussion is informal and sometimes irreverent but never irrelevant.

Building Science Digests provide building professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds with concise overview of important building science topics. Digests explain the theory behind each topic and then translate this theory into practical information.

Published Articles aare 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.

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

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.

Building America Reports are technical reports funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America research program.

Designs That Work are residential Case Studies and House Plans developed by BSC to be appropriate for residential construction in specific climate zones. Case Studies provide a summary of results for homes built in partnership with BSC’s Building America team. The case study typically includes enclosure and mechanical details, testing performed, builder profile, and unique project highlights. House Plans 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.

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 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 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. Longer guides and manuals include background information to help facilitate a strong understanding of the building science behind the hands-on advice. 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 and 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. 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.

Designs that Work
The current owners of this 1993 Colonial style house purchased the home in 2003. After living in the house for several years, they started planning a project to make improvements that would better...
Cold
Designs that Work
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell bought the land on which to build the Westford House from the town of Westford for $1. Habitat then partnered with Building Science Corporation, the community...
Cold
Designs that Work
The Westford Habitat House is a 1,400 square foot, one-and-a-half story single-family house with three bedrooms, two baths and an 816 square foot basement located in Westford, MA (Cold Climate). It...
Cold
Designs that Work
Homes built prior to 1980 make up 80% of the housing stock in the United States, and are responsible for a majority of the residential energy use in the country. The Architecture 2030 goals call for...
Cold
Designs that Work
In 1986, Pulte Homes in Tucson was plagued by customer complaints and even law suits for construction and material defects in their homes. Today, customer satisfaction is above 90% and the Pulte...
Hot-Dry/Mixed-Dry
Designs that Work
When the owners of this bungalow-style home in Quincy, Massachusetts originally decided on a major expansion, significant energy improvements were not part of their plan. The National Grid Deep...
Cold
Designs that Work
BSC collaborated with Greencraft Builders in Prosper, TX on a 2008 prototype house called the Greenspoint House. This house demonstrates the energy efficiency and durability upgrades that Greencraft...
Mixed-Humid
Designs that Work
The Pontiac, MI house is a 1,260 square foot, one-and-a-half story single-family detached house with three bedrooms, two baths and an 816 square foot basement located in Pontiac, MI (Cold Climate)....
Cold
Designs that Work
In the first part of the text, which describes the Basic Cold Climate House, you will find a step-by-step explanation of how we applied climate-specific design and building science principles. The...
Cold
Designs that Work
Building Science Corporation (BSC) collaborated with ICI Homes in Daytona Beach, FL on a 2008 prototype house called the Showcase House. This house demonstrates the energy efficiency and durability...
Hot-Humid
Designs that Work
ZETA Communities is a startup company that has a mission of building energy efficient and/or net zero modular houses at costs competitive with local construction. They recently completed their first...
Marine
Designs that Work
This is a first foray into Building America-level performance for the builder, Jim Pepitone and his company, Ark Ventures, LLC. Building Science Corporation (BSC) supported Ark Ventures on the...
Cold
Designs that Work
The owners of this circa 1800 Victorian have been postponing renovation and performance upgrade for years in anticipation of a major change in the household structure. With the likelihood of an...
Cold
Designs that Work
The owners of this single family home initially set out to remodel the basement into conditioned space and upgrade the heating and water heating systems. Working with a builder oriented toward high...
Cold
Designs that Work
Phase II is a continuation of a charitable residential community in New Orleans called Project Home Again. Project Home Again is a not-for-profit organization that is overseeing the construction of...
Hot-Humid
Designs that Work
Project Home Again is a not-for-profit organization that is overseeing the construction of 20 affordable and energy efficient single detached residences in Gentilly, New Orleans. The project is...
Hot-Humid
Designs that Work
The Green Dream 2 is a single-family home built on the site of a hurricane-damaged house that stood for 3 years before being demolished by the city of New Orleans. Staff and students from Portland...
Hot-Humid
Designs that Work
The Green Dream 1 house is a joint project between Catholic Charities Archdiocese New Orleans’ program Operation Helping Hands (OHH), the Louisiana State University AgCenter’s Louisiana House...
Hot-Humid
Designs that Work
The Cameron Parish Demonstration House is a 1,250 square foot, one story single-family house with three bedrooms and two baths, built on piers and located in New Orleans, LA (Hot-Humid Climate in a...
Hot-Humid
Designs that Work
The current owner purchased this bank-owned and unoccupied home in 2010 with the intention of conducting significant energy performance improvements prior to occupancy. The National Grid Deep Energy...
Cold

Pages