information

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.

88 records found.
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
The perfect wall is an environmental separator—it has to keep the outside out and the inside in.  In order to do this the wall assembly has to control rain, air, vapor and heat. In the old days we...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
Buildings today are hollow and multilayered with numerous air gaps or void spaces. Chases, shafts, soffits and drops abound. Everything is connected to everything else, typically unintentionally....
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
Ever wonder how we can build a 50 story glass tower that doesn’t leak, but we can’t seem to build a two-story house that doesn’t leak? The answer is a little bit of counter intuitive thinking.We...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
For a bunch of supposedly clever folks we sure do dumb things. One of the big ideas of the past couple of decades or so is to keep the heat out during cooling and keep the heat in during heating....
BSI
John Straube
When I see a fully glazed, floor-to-ceiling commercial or institutional building, I see an energy-consuming nightmare of a building that requires lots of heating and cooling at the perimeter just to...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
* Credit to architect Edward Mazria: I think he said this first, if he didn't say it first he sure says it well.Many “green” buildings don’t save energy (see “MIS-LEED-ING” sidebar). Why? They have...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
The reason we go to Kentucky for bourbon and not to Pennsylvania is because of the Revolutionary War debt. The new republic started off in a lot of debt because of the Revolutionary War. I know it...
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
I love wine. People think that I must know something about the stuff because I drink a lot of it. I don’t really know that much, but I do know what I like: red, and French and with a cork. Most of...
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
John Straube
The environmental crisis, and hence green building design, revolve around a wide range of issues: habitat destruction, stormwater run-off, air pollution, climate change, and resource use. However,...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
So what do you do when you have an old building and the walls aren’t doing their job? What do you do when the walls look bad, leak and are falling apart? You give them a face-lift. We’ve been doing...
BSI
John Straube
The future of energy is particularly unclear at present. Will the cost of oil rocket back to $150 per barrel or languish at $40? Will the cost of clean renewable energy generated by photovoltaic’s...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
Joseph Lstiburek's classic list of building practices not recommended for hot-humid climates. This list was first posted on Building Science Corporation's website in 1997.10. Vented Attics and...
Hot Humid
BSI
Armin Rudd
This Insight is an excerpt from Armin Rudd's "Ventilation Guide." This publication can be ordered online from www.buildingsciencepress.com. Experience is a great teacher, but much bad experience can...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
Civilians seem to think that we have the technology to go into a space, do a test, and determine what is in the air. As simple as that sounds we can’t do it. We don’t have the technology.1 You...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
You have got to love salesmen. They figure things out way before physicists, usually before engineers and certainly before greenie weenies. Harry Tschumi and Les Blades,1 a pair of salesmen from...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
Now I am a simple kind of guy. I just bet that a roof with a couple of hundred bullet holes probably leaked I wonder what all those holes did to the roof at the Superdome? Just asking.I remind...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
Energy security is pretty easy to get a handle on—don’t buy oil from the Middle East, Russia, Nigeria and Venezuela. We don’t need it anyway. We have plenty of energy right here in good old North...

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