BATC scored a key victory on one of our top 2015 priorities when we gained the commitment from the MN Department of Labor and Industry to coordinate the build-out and promotion of an energy code performance path.
Energy Code Performance Path
New to the code this cycle, the performance path will allow for energy modeling of a home pre-construction. If the simulated performance of the home is at or below the established energy line, a builder gains project flexibility and sets the stage for a streamlined energy code inspection/enforcement process.
The Performance Path in the Current Code Wasn’t Usable
The Minnesota Energy Code currently has a performance alternative, but the software used needed to be updated. BATC will be working with a ratings software company to ensure that our new code can be modeled. DLI has pledge to assist with this effort.
Legislative Action Progressed this Issue
Rep. Vogel introduced HF 1977 which was included in the House Jobs & Energy Omnibus bill. The bill would require DLI to enter a rule making process to create an Energy Rating Index (ERI) for performance path compliance. After concerns were raised by DLI and others, BATC worked with DLI to establish an alternative way to achieve our performance path objectives without entering into a rule making process.
What Trade-Offs are Available for Builders Meeting the Energy Performance Standard?
Builders may now change certain code-required insulation levels, as long as those changes still performed at or below this Performance Standard.
Some trade-off examples are: – R-20 in wall and rim joist cavities
– R-49 attic insulation
– .32 U factor windows (fenestration)
– Hot water pipe insulation
When Will this Be Available and Where Can I Learn More?
We expect that this will be available for use this later Summer. BATC will likely hold training sessions when the modeling software and reports are ready for use. DLI has committed to doing the same for the building official enforcement community.
Read the letter to BATC from DLI commissioner Ken Peterson here.