New information on air leakage testing, technical updates, insulation, climate, and measure and strategy guidelines is now available through a free series of publications offered by the Department of Energy's Building America program.
Building America has been a source of innovations in residential building energy performance, durability, quality, affordability, and comfort for more than 15 years. The research program partners with top U.S. home builders and and other industry companies to bring building technologies and resources to market.
Building America publishes technical reports, case studies, and other resources to help boost energy efficiency in new and existing homes.
Building America's Publications Library offers an extensive collection of technical reports, measure and strategy guidelines, case studies, and other resources to help boost energy efficiency in new and existing homes.
Recent publications include:
Air Leakage Testing and Air Sealing in Existing Multifamily Units
This report describes envelope air sealing that was included in the retrofit of a 244-unit low-rise multifamily housing complex in Durham, NC. On average, total leakage was reduced by nearly half, from 19.7 ACH50 to 9.4 ACH50. Important air leakage locations identified included plumbing and electrical penetrations, dropped ceilings/soffits, windows, ducts and wall-to-floor intersections. Specifications and a pictorial guide were developed for contractors performing the work.
Building America Summer 2012 Technical Update Meeting Report
This report summarizes key findings and outcomes from the Department of Energy's Building America Summer Technical Update Meeting, held on July 24–26, 2012, in Denver, CO. This meeting served to create a forum to discuss issues related to energy efficiency in housing—specifically nine critical challenges without current definitive guidance—and to define recommendations from the Building America program for housing industry stakeholders.
Measure Guideline: Basement Insulation Basics
This guideline is intended to provide good practices for insulating basements in new and existing homes. Several insulation systems are described in this guideline, including a list of systems that work well, comply with current codes, and can be practically implemented by builders and contractors.
Strategy Guideline: Mitigation of Retrofit Risk Factors
The Alliance for Residential Building Innovation (ARBI) Building America team is currently developing strategies designed to promote and achieve increased energy savings and promote upgrades in the energy savings in the residential building retrofit sector. Through its experience implementing pilot programs for residential energy efficient retrofits in California, ARBI has developed guidelines focused on promoting and achieving realistic energy savings.
Building America has also updated several of its guides for specific climate zones. New guides are available for the following climate zones:
The program also offers a Guide to Determining Climate Regions by County. Users are advised to update their bookmarks to use these latest energy-saving climate guides.