11

Dec

Tips for January 2019 Energy Code Changes

Written By:  Lilly Liang

On January 1st, 2019 NC Energy Code changes will go into effect. The new year is only a few weeks away so it is important to start making changes across the board, now. We noticed a few builders currently struggle to pass code and wanted to make sure everyone is able to pass with the changes impacting North Carolina.  These are key reminders that can impact your duct blaster and blower door results.

Biggest Change in the NC Energy Code are the Duct Leakage Requirements:

  • The Total AND leakage to outside is current required to be 6%. As of Jan 1st, total will need to be 5% AND leakage to outside will need to be 4%.

The energy code changes can be difficult for builders because the code requirements are becoming more stringent. Your leakage to outside is very important to understanding if your conditioned space is leaking to unconditioned space. No one wants to condition the outdoors! That’s just asking for an increase in energy costs for the homeowner. If you are currently struggling to pass code, the changes are only going to make it more difficult. Our building science experts are great at knowing what areas will provide a big impact in lowering those numbers.

We are here to help you. Performance Point team is sharing our TOP 3-4 tips for meeting duct leakage requirements under the new 2018 NC Energy Code in the new year. With the help of ENERGY STAR, we have displayed CORRECT (left) and INCORRECT (right) photos to show how to increase your chances in meeting the new Duct Leakage Requirements.

Tips and Tricks:

Caulk or seal the duct boots to sheetrock or subfloor

Mastic connections in ductwork

Seal any penetrations/seams in the air handler setup with mastic and tape or silicone – like drain lines, linesets, connection points of furnace to evaporative coil, etc.

Overall, the photos display proper practice and implementing our tips will increase your chances in meeting the new Duct Leakage Requirements under the 2018 NC Energy Code. They are intended to assist builders in understanding the requirements of the NC Energy Code. With our help, each builder will have higher chances of getting a good number on their duct blaster and blower door test. Please contact us if you have more questions about the Energy Code changes at info@theperformancepoint.com

11

Oct

Boat Day

Written By:  Lilly Liang

Performance Point, a full-service energy efficiency contractor in the Carolinas, has been an industry leader for 10 years now. In the past couple of years, we’ve had tremendous growth with clients and employees.

Today, we have over 30 employees including field and office staff. We will likely hire more field raters early next year as we continue to grow.  We know it’s important to provide a sense of community within our team – both in the field and the office. For a team bonding event, Susie Redfearn planned our 3rd annual Boat Day . As the Single-Family Account Rep, I was able to join a boat day and get insight on what our team members thought.

Team events are important especially since our field inspectors do not see each other every day. “That’s why getting all of our team members together is so vitally important to the strength of our company. The administration team at Performance Point prides itself on its efforts to provide team building activities for its staff,” says Jeremy Price, Charlotte Regional Manager.

Jeremy has been on the team for over 5 years and offered his boat for our team outing. Thanks to our scheduling team, aka Marcus Byrd, we were able to get the raters’ schedule to fit a Boat Day and still serve our clients. During my Boat Day, I had the chance to ask Jeremey his thoughts on the Boat Day. “The time together, and the conversations among the group were remarkable! I know that I speak for everyone in saying, I cannot wait for our next team building excursion,” he said with a grin on his face.

“Socializing and making friends at work is one of the best ways to increase productivity, communication, and transparency” states Susie, Manager of Strategic Initiatives. She did a great job coordinating the event.  She strategically grouped everyone by location, picked dates that worked well for everyone, and took lead on keeping the team on the same page with details regarding the event.

When I asked the field team their opinions about working at Performance Point; it was a consensus that the flexible hours are their favorite part! “I love the flexible scheduling” said Rodrigo who was recently promoted to Raleigh Regional Manager. Matt Jackson recently joined the team two months ago. He’s already in the field on his own and says he’s always doing something different. In the video below, you can also see a live testimony from Rodrigo and Matt.

For a glimpse into our Boat Day adventures, check out the video below. It’s only one minute long. Thank you to everyone for their hard work and hope you all had a great time cruising on Boat Day 2018.

Performance Point Boat Day 2018 from Lilly Liang on Vimeo.

14

Sep

The Breakdown on ERI

The Breakdown on ERI 

By:  Lilly Liang

The Energy Rating Index (ERI) is one of the many important changes in the construction industry. If you’re panicking and asking yourself, “how does it work?!” Luckily, we are here to break down the facts for you.

 

What are the current compliance options?

  • The Prescriptive Path: If you choose the prescriptive path in the code, you can look at the prescriptive tables in the energy conservation code and install the R-Values listed. For clear majority of new homes in NC, the 2018 NC Energy Conservation Code this will require R-15 walls and R-38 ceiling insulation.
  • Total Building UA Trade-off: This is the methodology REScheck is built on. REScheck is a total UA trade-off software tool used to demonstrate compliance with energy code requirements As the name suggests this only allows tradeoffs to the building envelope R-Values and window U-Values.
  • Energy Cost Compliance Option: This is full energy simulation (REM design, REM rate, Ekotrope, Energy Gauge, and so forth). This works by comparing the simulated energy cost of a code-built home to the simulated energy cost of the as-built home.  If the simulation shows the as-built home will use the same or less energy as the code-built home, then it passes.  This report must then be signed off by a Registered Design Professional.
  • Energy Rating Index (ERI): In the most recent versions of the IECC, there’s another new path, the ERI. The ERI requires the same level of detail as the Energy Cost Compliance Option but can be performed by a HERS Rater instead of a Registered Design Professional.  The ERI works by comparing an Energy Index calculated according to the 2018 NCECC.  One down side of the ERI is that it has an R-Value “backstop” that does not allow you to go any lower than the prescriptive R-Values spelled out in the 2012 NCECC.

How does the ERI benefit me?

Generally speaking, the ERI is less expensive to implement than following the Prescriptive Path for Energy code compliance.  This is true because an average house will cost $400-$600 to upgrade insulation, but the ERI will cost less to perform.

For builders, using spray foam the ERI will not allow you to go as low as R-19 on the roof deck so the Energy Cost Performance Option will be your best bet.

In addition to less cost, the ERI will allow your Energy Rater to generate a HERS index for the home which can be a helpful sales tool.  If your Energy Rater participates with the Assure Performance program you can also get an Energy Cost Index and projected utility costs for the future homeowner.

How do you get an ERI?

Through modeling and inspections done by a third-party verifier (Ahem…Performance Point), you can get an ERI. The ERI option uses appliances, HVAC, and more, in additional to the envelope features.

“When we are all familiar with doing the performance path, and when we do the performance path, then we have our standard reference home and we have our model home. It’s the same thing. When we look at this, we have our ERI reference home. This is the one that if we built it exactly to what the code required, it would use this much energy,” said Shirley Ellis, a member of the ICC Board of Directors.

Energy Rating Index to show the minimum requirements for each climate zone.

 

Who are you going to call? Performance Point!

On January 2019, the 2018 NC Code will go into effect with the 2012 IECC Code standards. That’s only three months away now so lets be ahead of the curve! We can help you avoid cost of the new energy code by doing the ERI instead. ERI is a good option for those who find it difficult to meet the new standard.

Performance Point has been in the industry for over 10 years now and we always stay updated in recent changes. It can be difficult to completely understand the ERI performance path so please contact us if you have any questions – lilly@www.theperformancepoint.com

Additional Resources:

RESNET ERI F.A.Q. – https://www.resnet.us/uploads/documents/RESNET_Energy_Rating_Index_FAQ_Factsheet.pdf

ERI Webinar Transcript – https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/becu/ERI_Webinar_Video_Transcript.pdf

REScheck – https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/becu/REScheck%20Basics%20Webinar%20Video%20Transcript.pdf

12

Jul

ANSI, RESNET, and ICC collaborate to publish RESNET 380 for HERS Raters and RFI’s

RESNET, a non-profit organization to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient, requires any building permits given after July 1st, 2018 to be tested to the RESNET 380 Standard. The main goals of 380 include increase flexibility by adding more test options and keeping everything more uniform.

RESNET partners with ANSI after ICC cracks down on the Chapter 8 standard. ANSI, also known as the American National Standard Institute, focuses on creating and governing U.S. standards. It is good for RESNET to partner with ANSI because it provides more legitimacy for the standard.

The most notable changes include differences in what is considered infiltration volume within the envelope space and conducting multipoint blower door test instead of singlepoint testing.

Infiltration Volume – The sum of the Conditioned Space Volume and Unconditioned Space
Volume in the dwelling unit, minus the volume of:
· Floor cavities that have Unconditioned Space Volume both above and below
· Unconditioned wall cavities
· Attics
· Vented crawlspaces
· Garages
· Basements, where the door between the basement and Conditioned Space Volume is closed
during enclosure air leakage testing
· Thermally isolated sunrooms

From this point forward, Crawlspaces, attics, and basements are only included in infiltration volume when there’s an access door or hatch between the adjacent volume and conditioned space are open (if the hatch is vented and interior access) during the Blower Door test.

Crawlspaces – Crawlspaces shall be configured as follows and the position of the crawlspace access doors and hatches shall be recorded. When the access doors and hatches between Conditioned Space Volume and the crawlspace are closed, due to requirements in 3.2.3.1, 3.2.3.2.1, or 3.2.3.2.2, the crawlspace shall be excluded from Infiltration Volume and Conditioned Space Volume.

Attics – Attics shall be configured as follows and the position of the attic access doors and hatches shall be recorded. When the access doors and hatches between the Conditioned Space Volume and the attic are closed, due to requirements in 3.2.4.1 or 3.2.4.2.1, the attic shall be excluded from Infiltration Volume and Conditioned Space Volume.

Multipoint Airtightness Test – With the new multi-point blower door testing protocol, the measurements should represent the average value over at least a 10 second period. For example, raters will need to measure at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 pascals rather than the single-point test at 50 pascals. If the single-point testing is used, then it will result in a 10% penalty.

Overall, the collaboration between ANSI, RESNET and ICC is to provide a great consistency over raters discretion in the field. These changes will insure a more energy efficient and comfortable home for the buyer, and provide a greater value for the single-family and multi-family homes being created.

For more information about the code changes, give Performance Point a call at 704-563-1030 or send me an email me at lilly@www.theperformancepoint.com

Resources:

Retrotec – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0ND6cjnLhM

ResNet – https://www.resnet.us/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ANSI-RESNET-ICC_380-2016-posted-on-website-6-15-16.pdf

Duke – https://doc-14-50-apps-viewer.googleusercontent.com/viewer/secure/pdf/dsrhfj22v4kncvq89o4mc7ordfp2onv1/0m0st3m2i3m31tn6kgo9b81mr1m12ltc/1530903225000/gmail/02192288236261480595/ACFrOgCoWtbZ7Qx9T3yPfAXIMcGEe1EOYYfTYqdmSdlE45P__6sBlQQ79Azexi-Y33A6PKih_Y-NenNMiYI2aVS3V3Ra6Xkh_p-kMHIY9wz0GchNjy3YTBbku62QhTw=?print=true&nonce=mcmit76cc24ve&user=02192288236261480595&hash=2478j83ger06qtpagcd1tg73ehg0kipt

22

Mar

When Performance Meets Value

High Performance Home In-Field Demonstration Event: When Performance Meets Value

What can you do to improve the performance and value of the homes you build or work with?  Register for this free in-home demonstration event on March 27th at 2pm in Charlotte to find out!

NCBPA welcomes you to register for an in-home demonstration event with member company Performance Point, a leading home energy rating company based in the Charlotte area. Learn from industry experts what it takes to design, install and verify homes to meet energy code minimums and how you can benefit by participating in above-code programs.

This in-home demonstration event is free to attend!  Builders, contractors, realtors, appraisers, lenders, raters, students and all other interested individuals are welcomed!

The demonstration begins at 2pm with an overview of current energy efficiency minimum requirements and a conversation about NC’s new residential energy code taking effect on January 1, 2019.  Learn what changes are coming and how to meet them using cost-effective design and install practices.  After the code discussion, energy raters will speak to the benefits of performance upgrades that builders and homeowners can take on to increase comfort, health, safety, energy efficiency and market value in their homes!

Next, experts will walk attendees through the home to highlight design and installation decisions that impact energy efficiency, performance and value throughout the construction process.  Learn about proper insulation and air barrier installation, air sealing, duct installation, bedroom balancing, ventilation and more.  To complete the walk through, energy raters will demonstrate performance testing methods including duct leakage testing, insulation inspection,

whole-house leakage testing with a blower door and other practices.The demonstration wraps up with a conversation about best practices that all parties can follow to ensure that the homes they build, sell or value receive appraisals and sale prices comparable to the added performance measures and programs achieved.  Prep for this discussion by reading the last section of NCBPA’s new market report that found a 2.8% percent sale price premium for high performance homes sold in the Charlotte market!  Copies will be provided at the event.

Following the field demonstration, register to attend NCBPA’s free industry networking event being held from 5 – 7pm at NoDa Brewing Company!  All industry professionals, students and interested parties are welcomed!

When

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Add to Calendar

Where

Meet at Sales Center at 6605 Vizcaya Court
6605 Vizcaya Court
Charlotte, NC 28226


Driving Directions

Contact

Ryan Miller
North Carolina Building Performance Association
919-521-3385
ryan@buildingnc.org