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.

28 records found.
Recommended Freeze-Thaw Risk Assessment StepsBuilding Science Corporation has worked with project teams on a wide variety of masonry retrofits, from houses to large buildings, including historical...
Freeze-Thaw Risk: Material Testing Back to Recommended Freeze-Thaw Risk Assessment Steps In many projects, the risk is not clear from inspection alone. Material testing is the next step in...
Freeze-Thaw Risk: Repair/Retrofit, Maintain and Monitor Back to Recommended Freeze-Thaw Risk Assessment Steps Each retrofit project is unique: the building’s features and historical...
Freeze-Thaw Risk: Hygrothermal Modeling Back to Recommended Freeze-Thaw Risk Assessment Steps There are cases where hygrothermal modeling is simply unnecessary. For example, materials testing may...
Freeze-Thaw Risk: Site Visit Back to Recommended Freeze-Thaw Risk Assessment Steps Inspection by a building scientist can often identify existing moisture problems (due to rainwater, rising damp...
Freeze-Thaw Risk: Prototype Monitoring Back to Recommended Freeze-Thaw Risk Assessment Steps In some cases, the risk of adding interior insulation is still not clear enough even after materials...
Freeze-Thaw Risk: Site Load AssessmentBack to Recommended Freeze-Thaw Risk Assessment StepsMost of the moisture that masonry walls must deal with comes from wind-driven rain. Unfortunately, the...
CP
John Straube, Christopher Schumacher, Peter Mensinga
This paper is from the proceedings of the Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XI International Conference, December 5-9, 2010 in Clearwater, Florida. This paper...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
"linings and warmth . . . "1 How do you insulate uninsulated masonry buildings on the inside? Carefully. There I go again with the obvious. It is trickier to do it on the inside. But it is often...
BSI
John Straube
In traditional mass walls, e.g. a wall of solid masonry or earth, the resistance to rain penetration was only one aspect of enclosure performance (Photograph 1). Heat flow was also controlled by the...
BSD
John Straube
Materials It is common to classify materials in different ways. For example, organic materials are based on carbon and hydrogen molecules, whereas mineral-based materials are based on molecules with...
BA
Kohta Ueno, Randy Van Straaten, Christopher Schumacher
There are many existing buildings with load-bearing mass masonry walls, whose energy performance could be improved with the retrofit of insulation. However, adding insulation to the interior side of...
CP
Kohta Ueno
Load-bearing masonry buildings are a significant portion of the existing building stock; however, adding insulation to the interior side of walls of such masonry buildings in cold, and particularly...
CP
John Straube
This paper describes a fully instrumented large-scale mock-up completed in a southern Ontario private school to allow direct comparisons between insulated and non-insulated walls with a focus on the...
Cold
CP
Kohta Ueno
There is a large existing stock of uninsulated mass masonry buildings: their uninsulated walls result in poor energy performance, which is commonly addressed with the retrofit of interior insulation...
BA
Betsy Pettit
This Measure Guideline describes a deep energy enclosure retrofit (DEER) solution for insulating mass masonry buildings from the interior. It describes the retrofit assembly, technical details, and...
CP
John Straube, Christopher Schumacher
This paper examines methods of using hygrothermal models, primarily WUFI, to assess the impact of energy efficient enclosure upgrades on the durability of historical buildings. Means of producing...
BSD
John Straube
Introduction Reducing the energy consumption of buildings has become increasingly imperative because of the combined demands of energy security, rising energy costs, and the need to reduce the...
Subarctic ArcticVery ColdCold
BSD
Joseph Lstiburek
Confusion on the issue of vapor barriers and air barriers is common. The confusion arises because air often holds a great deal of moisture in the vapor form. When this air moves from location to...
BSI
Joseph Lstiburek
You can’t replace experience and judgment with lab tests and a computer simulation. But when you add lab tests to the experience and judgment and have an adult supervise the process, you might...

Pages