IECC Performance Path

Taking the Performance Path: The ERI/HERS Index for Designers and Builders

This full day session reviews Building Science principles as they relate to the Performance Path option in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).  The course explores the ERI/HERS as a tool to successfully design and build houses that comply using the Performance Path option, while meeting the minimum prescriptive code requirements of the 2015 IECC. Participants will spend the last part of the session reviewing energy rating software and manipulating construction assemblies to see the effect of energy scores.

  1. Introduction and Review of  Building Science Principles including:
    1. The house as a system
    2. The human factor – occupant comfort and health
    3. Overview of thermodynamics
    4. Thermal and air barriers
    5. Mechanical systems
    6. Applied building science – preview on how building science relates to IECC and ERI
      1. Envelope
        1. Air leakage testing and ventilation
        2. Insulation (R-values) and window specifications (U-factor, SHGC)
      2. Mechanical Systems
        1. Efficiency options
        2. Combustion safety considerations
  2. Overview of 2015 IECC
    1. Mandatory requirements
      1. Envelope testing, etc.
      2. Tightness requirement requires ventilation
    2. Compliance options
      1. Prescriptive
      2. Tradeoffs
      3. Performance (ERI)
    3. Contrast ERI to prescriptive and tradeoff approaches
      1. Stringent prescriptive envelope requirements make prescriptive and tradeoff paths more difficult than in past
        1. materials choice, incorporation of innovative technologies, more certainty of energy performance
        2. More stringent envelope requirements reduce available tradeoff options for builders
      2. Illustrate planning and designing using the ERI/HERS and the prescriptive path
    4. Overview of how ERI is determined
      1. Review the HERS Index and ERI and the historical uses of these scores
      2. Detail what ERI meets 2015 IECC: Baseline requirements, climate zone considerations.
  3. Demonstrate use of REM rate and EnergyGauge software to determine ERI/HERS and investigate how changing materials and features impact the rating score.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand basic building science terminology and principles as they relate to the International Energy Code.
  2. Comprehend the methods used in calculating an Energy Rating Index
  3. Understand the implications of different climate zones and building assemblies on the Energy Rating Index
  4. Attain a working understanding of the major approved energy rating software packages used in calculating an energy rating.

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