Information Sheets

High R-Value Wall Assemblies

BSC has undertaken a study for the US DOE's Building America research program to identify and evaluate residential enclosure assemblies that cost effectively provide 50 percent improvement in thermal resistance. Details regarding water management, air management, vapor management and thermal management are described in the following sheets. Look for future wall, foundation and roof case studies.

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Building America Quality Control Checklist Appendix

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 is a one or two page document that can easily be printed for use on site or attached to a trade scope of work or contract.

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Info-001: Residential Best Practices Criteria

This list contains some of the basic characteristics that should be met in all high performance homes. It has been used as our baseline criteria for all of BSC’s Building America projects.

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Info-101: Groundwater Control

Water managed foundation systems are different from waterproofing systems. Waterproofing relies on creating a watertight barrier without holes. It can’t be done.

Info-101: Groundwater Control - Read More…

Info-110: Soil Gas Control

Soil gas moves through holes due to a pressure difference. Since we cannot eliminate the holes, the only thing we can do is control the pressure.

Info-110: Soil Gas Control - Read More…

Info-201: Common Advanced Framing Details

Advanced framing, as the name implies, means using the lumber intelligently in wood framing. This information sheet will explain the essential basis for advanced framing and some of the more common advanced framing details.

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Info-301: Drainage Plane/Water Resistive Barrier

All exterior claddings pass some rainwater. Siding leaks, shingles leak, brick leaks, stucco leaks, stone leaks, etc. As such, some control of this penetrating rainwater is required.

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Info-302: Pan Flashing for Exterior Wall Openings

A pan flashing is an element installed below every window and door designed to collect and direct any water that may leak through or around the opening back out to the exterior.

Info-302: Pan Flashing for Exterior Wall Openings - Read More…

Info-303: Common Flashing Details

The fundamental principle of rainwater control is to shed water by layering materials in such a way that water is directed downwards and outwards out of the building.

Info-303: Common Flashing Details - Read More…

Info-304: Integrating Deck Ledger Board with Drainage Plane

Maintaining drainage plane continuity at deck ledger locations provides a particular challenge.

Info-304: Integrating Deck Ledger Board with Drainage Plane - Read More…

Info-305: Reservoir Claddings

Reservoir claddings are materials that absorb and store a portion of water that falls on their surface. Drainage must be provided behind reservoir claddings.

Info-305: Reservoir Claddings - Read More…

Info-306: Interior Water Management

This information sheet will present examples of strategies to manage risks of liquid water sources occurring on the interior of the building.

Info-306: Interior Water Management - Read More…

Info-310: Vapor Control Layer Recommendations

The current International Residential Code (IRC 2009) provides excellent guidance for the installation of vapor control layers.

Info-310: Vapor Control Layer Recommendations - Read More…

Info-311: Vapor Open Assemblies

Vapor barriers were originally intended to prevent assemblies from getting wet. Incorrect use of vapor barriers is leading to an increase in moisture-related problems.

Info-311: Vapor Open Assemblies - Read More…

Info-312: Vapor Permeance of Some Building Materials

Good design and practice involve controlling the wetting of building assemblies from both the exterior and interior and different climates require different approaches. This chart lists some common vapor permeance characteristics.

Info-312: Vapor Permeance of Some Building Materials - Read More…

Info-401: Air Barriers—Airtight Drywall Approach

Several steps must be taken to create air barrier continuity at the perimeter of drywall assemblies, at all penetrations through the drywall, and, finally, in areas of the enclosure without interior drywall.

Info-401: Air Barriers—Airtight Drywall Approach - Read More…

Info-405: Sealing Air Barrier Penetrations

Most air barrier systems will require supplemental air sealing to seal around penetrations.

Info-405: Sealing Air Barrier Penetrations - Read More…

Info-406: Air Sealing Windows

As a component of the air barrier system, the connection between windows and other air barrier components is critical to the overall air barrier performance.

Info-406: Air Sealing Windows - Read More…

Info-407: Air Barriers—Tub, Shower and Fireplace Enclosures

To create an effective air barrier in a building, it is first necessary to cover the big holes.

Info-407: Air Barriers—Tub, Shower and Fireplace Enclosures - Read More…

Info-408: Critical Seal (Spray Foam at Rim Joist)

The rim joist, band joist, or any area that connects building components, are particularly problematic to air seal properly.

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Info-500: Building Materials Property Table

This table presents some of the key technical properties of many of the most common building materials.

Info-500: Building Materials Property Table - Read More…

Info-501: Installation of Cavity Insulation

This information sheet will address the installation techniques important to the effective performance of cavity insulation.

Info-501: Installation of Cavity Insulation - Read More…

Info-502: Temperature Dependence of R-values in Polyisocyanurate Roof Insulation

Polyisocyanurate insulation is a common commercial and residential roof and wall insulation. It has one of the highest R-values per inch of thickness among common insulations. However, labeled R-value differs from in-service R-value for many insulations. Building Science Corporation (BSC), and others have been examining this difference. BSC has found significant thermal performance differences between different manufacturers of insulation products and significant differences based on in-service temperature. The following discussion relates to BSC’s work to date with polyisocyanurate roof insulation.

Info-502: Temperature Dependence of R-values in Polyisocyanurate Roof Insulation - Read More…

Info-511: Basement Insulation

Basements need to be dry for reasons of indoor air quality, pest control, and durability of the building.

Info-511: Basement Insulation - Read More…

Info-512: Crawlspace Insulation

The crawlspace is insulated to control heat flow and to minimize cold surfaces that can condense water and elevate local relative humidity.

Info-512: Crawlspace Insulation - Read More…

Info-513: Slab Edge Insulation

For slab on grade construction, the slab edge represents a significant heat loss potential. This is important not only to the energy performance of a building but moisture management of the building as well.

Info-513: Slab Edge Insulation - Read More…

Info-601: Sealed Combustion

In order to ensure good indoor air quality, all combustion appliances are recommended to be sealed combustion units, as opposed to naturally aspirated units.

Info-601: Sealed Combustion - Read More…

Info-602: Ducts in Conditioned Space

The location of the duct system can have a significant impact on the overall performance of the system–both the utility use and the ability to provide comfort.

Info-602: Ducts in Conditioned Space - Read More…

Info-603: Duct Sealing

Ductwork, furnaces and air handlers should be sealed against air leakage.

Info-603: Duct Sealing - Read More…

Info-604: Transfer Ducts and Grilles

The ductwork systems in these houses are designed to supply air to the individual rooms, and to have the air return to a central return grille.

Info-604: Transfer Ducts and Grilles - Read More…

Info-606: Placement of Intake and Exhaust Vents

Ventilation system intakes must be sufficiently separated away from potential contaminant sources, and locations of dust and debris.

Info-606: Placement of Intake and Exhaust Vents - Read More…

Info-607: Refrigeration System Installation and Startup Procedures, and AC Equipment Efficiency

The performance of the cooling system is evaluated and assured through a series of measurements including: air flow, pressures, temperatures, humidity levels, and power draw.

Info-607: Refrigeration System Installation and Startup Procedures, and AC Equipment Efficiency - Read More…

Info-610: Central Fan Integrated Ventilation Systems

All buildings require controlled mechanical ventilation, or the controlled, purposeful introduction of outdoor air to the conditioned space.

Info-610: Central Fan Integrated Ventilation Systems - Read More…

Info-611: Balanced Ventilation Systems (HRVs and ERVs)

All buildings require controlled mechanical ventilation, or the controlled, purposeful introduction of outdoor air to the conditioned space. Building intentionally leaky buildings and installing operable windows does not provide sufficient outside air in a consistent manner throughout the year.

Info-611: Balanced Ventilation Systems (HRVs and ERVs) - Read More…

Info-620: Supplemental Humidity Control

High performance homes—due to superior insulation, better performing windows and more efficient lighting and appliances, can be expected to have smaller sensible cooling loads than typical new homes in the same geographic region.

Info-620: Supplemental Humidity Control - Read More…

Info-701: What's Wrong With This Project? Top Chord Bearing Truss

This series of Information Sheets discusses a specific residential construction project with framing issues in Phoenix, Arizona. Top chord bearing truss in conventional residential construction framing consumes considerably more wood than necessary resulting in extra costs of both time and materials.

Info-701: What's Wrong With This Project? Top Chord Bearing Truss - Read More…

Info-702: What's Wrong With This Project? Inset Flanged Window

This series of Information Sheets discusses a specific residential construction project with framing issues in Phoenix, Arizona. Inset flanged windows in a 2x6 wall resulted in significant extra wood around window opening.

Info-702: What's Wrong With This Project? Inset Flanged Window - Read More…

Info-703: What's Wrong With This Project? Interior Door Framing

This series of Information Sheets discusses a specific residential construction project with framing issues in Phoenix, Arizona. The issue is the interior doors framed with an excessive amount of wood.

Info-703: What's Wrong With This Project? Interior Door Framing - Read More…

Info-704: What's Wrong With This Project? Site-Made Beam

This series of Information Sheets discusses a specific residential construction project with framing issues in Phoenix, Arizona. The issue is the site-made beam made by laying framing lumber down on the flat and building it up.

Info-704: What's Wrong With This Project? Site-Made Beam - Read More…

Info-705: What's Wrong With This Project? Interior Framed Beam

This series of Information Sheets discusses a specific residential construction project with framing issues in Phoenix, Arizona. The issue is a horizontally layered site-made beam.

Info-705: What's Wrong With This Project? Interior Framed Beam - Read More…

Info-706: What's Wrong With This Project? Supporting Framing Around Windows

This series of Information Sheets discusses a specific residential construction project with framing issues in Phoenix, Arizona. The issue is the supporting framing around windows.

Info-706: What's Wrong With This Project? Supporting Framing Around Windows - Read More…

Info-707: What's Wrong With This Project? Non-Load Bearing Framing

This series of Information Sheets discusses a specific residential construction project with framing issues in Phoenix, Arizona. The issue is framing non-load bearing doors and windows the same as load bearing walls.

Info-707: What's Wrong With This Project? Non-Load Bearing Framing - Read More…

Info-708: What's Wrong With This Project? Interior Wall at Exterior Wall

This series of Information Sheets discusses a specific residential construction project with framing issues in Phoenix, Arizona. The issue is the interior wall at exterior wall connection.

Info-708: What's Wrong With This Project? Interior Wall at Exterior Wall - Read More…

Info-709: What's Wrong With This Project? Extra Window Framing

This series of Information Sheets discusses a specific residential construction project with framing issues in Phoenix, Arizona. The issue is the extra framing used unnecessarily around window openings.

Info-709: What's Wrong With This Project? Extra Window Framing - Read More…

Info-803: What's Wrong With This Practice? Unsealed Conditioning Equipment Outside Conditioned Space

The issue is the unsealed conditioning equipment and ducts located outside the conditioned space in a vented attic, unconditioned crawlspace or basement.

Info-803: What's Wrong With This Practice? Unsealed Conditioning Equipment Outside Conditioned Space - Read More…

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