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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.

22 records found.
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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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The Building America Quality Control Checklist has been developed by Building Science Corporation as both a guide to assist in the transition to high performance home building, and as a simplified...
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This appendix contains Building Science Information Sheets that provide more information for specific inspection points on the BSC Building America Quality Control Checklist. Each Information Sheet...
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John Straube
High performance precast concrete enclosure walls stand apart from most "rainscreen" walls in several key respects: how they control rain penetration, how they provide airtightness, and their...
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A. For climate zones 4 through 8, the 2006 IRC requires that insulation be installed on the basement walls if the basement is conditioned, or if the basement is not conditioned insulation must be...
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A. The Code provides specific prescriptive guidance on cladding attachment and allows you to attach cladding at 24” centers. In the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) cladding...
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A. There are two ways that this can be accomplished: A ventilated roof assembly An unvented attic assembly (a.k.a. “compact” assembly or “hot roof”)   Ventilated...
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A. Yes, in certain cases. In climate zones 1, 2, 3, 4A, and 4B a vapor retarder is not required regardless of the use of exterior insulation (Section N1102.5 Moisture control – Exception 2)....
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A. For some portion of, or for the entire exterior wall, the answer can be yes, depending on the design. The code provides options for houses that are in wind zones less than 110 mph. Braced wall...
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Betsy Pettit, Ken Neuhauser, Cathy Gates
The purpose of this guide is to provide useful examples of high performance retrofit techniques for the building enclosure of wood frame residential construction in a cold and somewhat wet...
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Alex Lukachko
BSC’s Quality Assurance Roadmap outlines the approach to quality assurance in the construction process as recommended by Building Science Corporation for new residential construction. Seven...
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Joseph Lstiburek

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