NEW HOME CODE COMPLIANCE

While energy codes vary from state to state, in general there are two different compliance paths that can be followed to determine if a new residential construction project meets your state’s energy codes.

Most contractors, builders and homeowners unknowingly take the “prescriptive path” method of meeting their state’s energy code. However, as many homes are including advances in energy efficiency products, materials and methodologies contractors and homeowners may experience building inspectors who state that their home does not meet energy code when in fact the home’s actual energy performance will far exceed that of a home that meets prescriptive path energy code methods.

In cases such as these taking the “performance path” of meeting energy code will satisfy your building inspector and ultimately allow you access to a Certificate of Occupancy.

The Two Compliance Methods:

Prescriptive Method

The Prescriptive Method has pre-assigned minimum values such as; thermal resistance (R-value), thermal transmittance (u-value) and solar transmittance (SHGC), for each component of the building. This approach is quick and easy to use, but many users find it somewhat restrictive because the requirements are typically based on worst-case assumptions and all requirements must be met exactly as specified. Energy code compliance using the prescriptive method is usually not the most cost effective path to follow to achieve energy code compliance.

Performance Method

In order to follow the Performance Method you must consult with a RESNET energy auditor who will provide the necessary reports demonstrating that your project meets or exceeds this path of energy code.

REScheck, RemRate and EnergyGauge are examples of programs that a certified RESNET energy auditor may use which will ensure verification of Louisiana’s current 2006 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) Performance Path Calculation and satisfy your local building inspector or code enforcement agency.

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