Research Reports

No albums or photos uploaded yet.

0-0 of 0 Items
BSC File RR-9901: Air Distribution Fan and Outside Air Damper Recycling Control
Energy efficient homes are inherently airtight and require ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality. Recognizing this fact, two building code jurisdictions, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development and the State of Washington, require mechanical ventilation for homes.
BSC File ECMAScript program RR-9801: Vented and Sealed Attics in Hot Climates
Sealed attic construction, by excluding vents to the exterior, can be a good way to exclude moisture-laden outside air from attic and may offer a more easily constructed alternative for air leakage control at the top of residential buildings.
BSC File ECMAScript program RR-9905: Air Pressure and Building Envelopes
Understanding the significance of the complex flow and pressure distribution problems created by the interaction of the building envelope with the mechanical system and climate can lead to changes in building design, commissioning, operations, maintenance, diagnostics and rehabilitation.
BSC File RR-0301: Unvented Roof Summary Article
This article was written to tie together and summarize the various papers on unvented conditioned cathedralized attics found on our website.
BSC File RR-0203: Relative Humidity
What relative humidity should I have in my home? Seems like a simple enough question. However, the answer can sometimes be difficult to understand.
BSC File Octet Stream RR-9701: Measurement of Attic Temperatures and Cooling Energy Use in Vented and Sealed Attics in Las Vegas, Nevada
Traditionally, building codes have required that attics of residential buildings be vented. The ventilation requirement varies between one square foot of net free ventilation area per 300 square feet of attic floor area (1:300) to one square foot per 150 square feet (1:150).
BSC File RR-0404: Roof Design
Roofs can be designed and constructed to be either vented or unvented in any hygrothermal zone. Air barrier systems are typically the most common approach, however, air pressure control approaches are becoming more common especially in cases involving remedial work on existing structures.
BSC File RR-0303: Ventilation and Air Leakage
Buildings leak water and air, which is normal and unavoidable. Therefore, designers should not fixate on preventing leakage, i.e. making buildings “airtight.” Because even if all cracks were sealed, buildings have doors and windows.
BSC File RR-9904: Unvented-cathedralized attics: Where we've been and where we're going
Current work is focusing on the performance and durability of unvented-cathedralized attics in hot-humid climates with both tile and asphalt shingle roofing.
BSC File RR-0005: Transfer Grille Sizing
Sizing information excerpted from “BA-0006: Discussion of the Use of Transfer Grilles to Facilitate Air Flow in Central Return Systems.”
BSC File Troff document RR-9912: Discussion of Ventilation System Energy Performance and Cost
An hourly simulation study using DOE2.1E was conducted to determine the annual difference in energy consumption between various ventilation options in different climates.
BSC File RR-0701: Whole House Ventilation Systems Options—Phase 1 Simulation Study
A comprehensive literature review was made to investigate whole house ventilation system options, various simulation and engineering analysis tools and techniques, and baselines for comparing the current project results.
BSC File RR-0206: Foundations—Moisture Resistant Construction
Builders for many years have put mechanical equipment and ducts in non-living spaces such as crawlspaces and attics primarily to save valuable floor space.
BSC File chemical/x-pdb RR-0103: Water Management
This is a concise overview of the principles and steps to follow when dealing with water from the foundation to the roof.
BSC File RR-0403: Air Barriers
Air barriers are systems of materials used to control airflow in building enclosures. They typically completely enclose the air within a building.
BSC File RR-0408: The deKieffer Bypass
Construction practices have improved and the HVAC systems need to improve with them. The deKieffer Bypass relieves air pressure in rooms without compromising sound or light transmission.
BSC File VCS/ICS calendar RR-0304: Central Fan Integrated Supply Ventilation—The Basics
The simplest, most effective, and most economical way to introduce fresh air in homes with central forced air systems is to use the central fan to pull in and distribute a controlled amount of outside air.
BSC File RR-0407: Installing a Window with Building Paper on OSB over Wood Frame Wall
Details on how to install a window using building paper as the drainage plane.
BSC File Troff document RR-0107: Drywall, Wood and Truss Uplift
Wood moves. Drywall does not move. Interesting problem. The more you attach drywall to wood, the more cracks you have. Easy, attach the drywall to less wood, and, in a way, that allows the wood to move.
BSC File ECMAScript program RR-9909: Drainage Planes and Air Spaces
Every exterior cladding system needs an air space and drainage plane for performance and durability. This article presents the right materials and spaces for most exterior claddings—brick, stucco, and wood, metal and vinyl lap siding.
BSC File RR-0004: Air Barriers vs. Vapor Barriers
Most of us are not aware of just how differently these two barriers work in building assemblies. This article makes the differences as clear as the polyethylene film that should (or more likely should NOT) be in your walls.
BSC File RR-0209: Mold Testing
Although this article is titled "Mold Testing" it actually tells you why testing for mold is usually not needed.
BSC File RR-0105: Brick, Stucco, Housewrap and Building Paper
The manufacturers of housewraps have for years promoted the fantasy that water vapor in wall assemblies only moves one way – from the inside out.
BSC File PS document RR-0106: Problems with Housewraps
The primary function of a housewrap or building paper is rain penetration control. It is not air infiltration despite what the manufacturers say.
BSC File Pascal source code RR-0211: Mold—Causes, Health Effects and Clean-up
This article briefly repeats some of the information in the other mold articles but also includes information on how to prevent mold in residential structures.
BSC File RR-0308: The How and Why of Your High Performance HVAC System
A concise explanation of how a high performance HVAC system works in a high performance home.
BSC File RR-0409: Painting
Exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet radiation) and moisture are the major factors affecting the durability of paint coatings and the durability of the substrate.
BSC File RR-0412: Insulations, Sheathings and Vapor Retarders
Two seemingly innocuous requirements for building enclosure assemblies bedevil builders and designers almost endlessly: keep water vapor out, let the water vapor out if it gets in.
BSC File RR-0410: Vapor Barriers and Wall Design
Good design and practice involve controlling the wetting of building assemblies from both the exterior and interior and different climates require different approaches.
BSC File ECMAScript program RR-0210: Mold Remediation in Occupied Homes
This article provides both general guidelines for mold remediation as well as specific guidelines for the typical locations where mold is most often found in houses.
BSC File backup file RR-0208: What You Need to Know About Mold
This article answers your questions about mold, what it is, where it grows, how it spreads, how can I prevent it.
BSC File Octet Stream RR-9906: Air Handler Leakage Testing: Sierra Air Conditioning, La Vegas, Nevada
Duct leakage is a concern in the HVAC field, due to energy consumption, pressure balance problems, bypassing of the filter by leakage air, and contaminant draw from unconditioned spaces.
BSC File application/x-troff-ms RR-0108: Unvented Roof Systems
Unvented roof systems can be safely used in many different climates. In cold climates, insulating sheathing must be added exterior to the roof sheathing to prevent condensation on the underside of the roof sheathing.
BSC File RR-0411: Vent on Venting
Just about everyone in the building industry can be guilty of using building terms loosely, and a prime example is with attics, roof assemblies.
BSC File RR-0901: Thermal Metrics for High Performance Walls—The Limitations of R-Value
This document summarizes the theory behind thermal insulation and building system heat flow control metrics and presents a literature review of selected research into this area.
BSC File RR-0104: Solar Driven Moisture in Brick Veneer
Brick is a reservoir cladding, meaning that it absorbs and stores water (rain) when it becomes wet. In some homes, with brick veneer cladding systems, mold contamination has occurred within exterior wall cavities. In some homes, wood decay at bottom plates has also occurred.
BSC File object code RR-0503: Rainwater Management Performance of Newly Constructed Residential Building Enclosures
A performance review of residential assemblies in the central Florida (Orlando) area during the three hurricanes in August and September 2004.
BSC File RR-9910: Wood Durability
The general principle of building durability has two components: buildings should be suited to their environment and the laws of physics must be followed. We tend to ignore the first and find the second inconvenient.
BSC File RR-0603: Impact Resistance of Advanced Framed Wall Systems with Insulating Sheathing as the Primary Sheathing
Advanced framed wall systems that use a stud spacing of 24 inches on center and eliminate the plywood or OSB sheathing from the wall and replace it with insulating sheathing is a type of enclosure assembly that has been designed to be energy efficient combined with efficient material use.
BSC File RR-0906: Field Monitoring and Hygrothermal Modeling of Interior Basement Insulation Systems
The research reported in this paper is aimed at increasing the understanding of the hygrothermal performance of interior basement insulation systems by a combination of field monitoring of four assemblies and one-dimensional computer modeling.
BSC File ECMAScript program RR-0803: Volatile Organic Compound Concentrations and Emission Rates in New Manufactured and Site-Built Houses
Concentrations of 54 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ventilation rates were measured in four new manufactured houses over 2-to-9.5 months following installation and in seven new site-built houses 1-to-2 months after completion. The houses were in four projects located in hot-humid and mixed-humid climates. They were finished and operational, but unoccupied.
BSC File RR-0406: Face Sealed vs. Drainable EIFS
Exterior insulation and finishing systems (EIFS) are inherently defective and unfit of use as an exterior cladding system where moisture sensitive components are used without a provision for drainage or in locations and assemblies without adequate drying.
BSC File RR-0905: Modeled and Measured Drainage, Storage and Drying Behind Cladding Systems
This paper documents the experimental methodology, details, and results and discuss how this information can be applied to modeling drained wall systems. Practical applications and research questions arising from the work are presented.
BSC File RR-0907: Ventilated Wall Claddings: Review, Field Performance, and Hygrothermal Modeling
The balance between wetting, drying, and safe storage is critical to the long term performance of building enclosures. Where wetting cannot be controlled to acceptable levels, safe storage and drying become critical.
BSC File RR-0912: Spray Polyurethane Foam: The Need for Vapor Retarders in Above-Grade Residential Walls
This report is available from the Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association ( It is reproduced here for convenience. A common question encountered by SPF applicators, building designers, and code officials is the need for an additional vapor barrier or retarder. Experience by many contractors and some consultants suggest that special low permeance layers such as polyethylene are rarely needed in many types of walls. Theory indicates that closed cell foam is sufficiently vapor impermeable to control diffusion condensation and that low-density open-cell foam applications may require additional vapor diffusion control in some extreme environments. However, the need for, and type of additional vapor control layers remains unanswered to many.
BSC File SIS package RR-1014: High-R Walls for the Pacific Northwest–A Hygrothermal Analysis of Various Exterior Wall Systems
This report considers a number of promising wall systems that can meet the requirement for better thermal control. Unlike previous studies, this one considers performance in a more realistic matter, including some two- and three-dimensional heat flow and analysis of the relative risk of moisture damage.
BSC File RR-1104: Hygrothermal Analysis of Exterior Rockwool Insulation
This report is an extension of a previous analysis study titled “High R Walls for the Pacific Northwest – A Hygrothermal Analysis of Various Exterior Wall Systems”, conducted by BSC for Walsh Construction, dated June 1, 2010 that examined the predicted thermal and hygrothermal performance of 17 different wall assemblies in Portland, Oregon.
BSC File VCS/ICS calendar RR-1110: Hygrothermal Analysis of California Attics
This report summarizes hygrothermal analysis of specific attics constructed in California. The analysis was done using historical experience, published work in journals and trade publications, current building code requirements and WUFI hygrothermal simulations to assess benefits and risks associated with insulating the roof decks in both vented and unvented configurations. The majority of the configurations evaluated are well understood and have been addressed in previous published work or in the model building codes. However, the focus of this report is on modifying conventional, ventilated attics, constructed with impermeable roof shingles (with fiberglass batt insulation on the ceiling plane) by adding fiberglass batt (or netted fiberglass or netted cellulose or spray applied fiberglass) insulation to the underside of the roof deck (i.e. on the slope) while leaving the attic air space ventilated to outdoors.
BSC File RR-1207: Vancouver Field Exposure Facility: Phase III Exterior Insulation Analysis
This report compares the moisture related performance of an exterior insulated wall to the performance of two other common construction methods, side-by-side. The data presented is a subset of experimental data from a multi-phase, multi-year research project at the Vancouver Field Exposure Test Facility led by Building Science Corporation (BSC) and Gauvin 2000 Construction Limited. The analysis includes results from normal operating conditions in a high stress exterior moisture environment (typical of the Pacific Northwest climate) and under intentional controlled wettings to the interior and exterior of the sheathing. There were no measured or observed moisture related durability concerns of the wood structural sheathing when 1.5” of exterior insulation was installed.
BSC File RR-1304: Vancouver Field Exposure Facility—Phase III Construction and Instrumentation
This report describes the construction and instrumentation of Phase III of a multi-phase, multi-year research project at the Vancouver Field Exposure Test Facility in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Phase III focusses on the performance of various sheathings and claddings in a high stress moisture environment that is typical of the Pacific Northwest climate. The main research goal is to examine the performance of the various walls under the influence of intentional exterior wetting events in the drainage space.
BSC File RR-1305: Vancouver Field Exposure Facility—Phase IV Construction and Instrumentation
This report describes the construction and instrumentation of Phase IV of a multi-phase, multi-year research project at the Vancouver Field Exposure Test Facility in Coquitlam, British Columbia. The main objective of Phase IV is to determine how various configurations of exterior low vapor permeance insulation affect the moisture durability risk of structural wood-based sheathing. To assist with this analysis, the walls will be subjected to elevated interior relative humidities, and intentional controlled surface wetting of the interior and/or exterior of the OSB sheathing.
BSC File RR-1306: Vancouver Field Exposure Facility—Analysis and Comparison of HardiePlank Walls
This report analyzes the performance of walls clad with HardiePlank fiber cement siding and compares them to traditional stucco assemblies. The data presented is a subset of experimental data from a multi-phase, multi-year research project at the Vancouver Field Exposure Test Facility led by Building Science Corporation (BSC) and Gauvin 2000 Construction Limited. The analysis includes results from normal operating conditions in a high stress exterior moisture environment (typical of the Pacific Northwest climate) and under intentional controlled wettings to the interior and exterior of the sheathing.
BSC File RR-1401: Design Challenges of the NIST Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility
Trends in the United States and throughout the world have motivated builders to build low energy use and environmentally friendly homes. As materials and equipment have improved, energy reduction as a goal has increasingly been replaced with the goal of net-zero energy use. But the general approach to building energy efficient homes that has been recommended has always been the same – namely that the primary goal is to meet homeowners’ desired way-of-life while reducing energy use through available technologies and methods within the homeowner’s means. Then, on-site generation of energy is simply an alternative, clean and renewable source for the energy required after energy consumption has been reduced as much as is feasible. This approach to achieving net-zero energy homes is reflected in the ten general principles for the design of net-zero energy capable houses that are presented and discussed in the first part of this paper. In the second part of the paper, specific strategies and details are described that were used for the design of the Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF), a NIST laboratory in the form of a typical residence for a family of four that has been constructed on the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, MD. This facility provides a concrete example of a net-zero energy capable house for which the development of the design is consistent with the ten principles.
1-53 of 53 Items