Meeting the Energy Code Using the Performance Path

This course is approved by AIA (1 HSW/LU) and ICC (0.10 CEU).
Using the performance path to meet energy codes offers many benefits to builders, designers and code officials. APA Engineered Wood Specialist Matt Brown presents Meeting the Energy Code Using the Performance Path; a one-hour presentation that focuses on the advantages to performance-based energy code compliance, pathways to comply with energy codes and the impacts of different materials and systems on energy efficiency. The presentation identifies cost-effective ways to meet the energy code. Note: Do not navigate to YouTube if you require a certificate. A downloadable certificate of completion is available only when this webinar is viewed on this webpage in entirety, after completing a brief quiz and questionnaire.

Approximate length: 1 hour.


Webinar Participant Questions and Answers

If the performance path requires testing after the building is constructed, what happens if the test fails?

Most testing companies are going to conduct a pre-drywall inspection to ensure good test results. The code currently doesn’t have any flexibility with regards to the Air Change per Hour (ACH) requirements. Code proposals, both at national and state hearings, have been submitted to give flexibility in the Performance and ERI paths by allowing higher air leakage rates provided the energy loss is accounted for in the energy modeling.

Does the energy code require an energy rater?

The performance paths do not specifically require an “Energy Rater”. In this presentation the term is used generically to reference HERS, BPI Raters or other energy professionals and testers.

Can you use a high-performance fiberglass batt to meet R20?

Yes. For the prescriptive compliance path, high density fiberglass, cellulous and spray foam can achieve an R-20 in a 2x6 wall cavity. Also keep in mind that by using the performance and UA – tradeoff compliance paths there is also a means to comply that may not require an R-20.

What happens to the “California corner” when more studs are required at shear walls?

In most cases, the California corner is not an issue in shear walls, however, should a conflict arise, the structural needs would outweigh the energy savings. The code itself states the space shall be insulated with a material having a value of R-3 per inch. In some scenarios there may be no space to insulate.

In Climate Zone 3a under the ERI method, could an R-13 wall insulation be used?

Yes, using the ERI path an R-13 wall is permitted in Climate Zone 3. However, it still must meet the backstop of the 2009 IECC, Table R402.1.2. Going below the R-13 would not be permitted.

Can a wall, roof or floor system be rated by the system’s U-value as opposed to its R-value?

Yes the U-factor table in R402.1.4 can be used in lieu of the R-value table.

What credit is available for Radiant Heating Systems on performance in Climate Zones 4 to 7?

That savings would need to be modeled based on the home type and system type being used.

If a mechanical closet is built in the attic and connected to the conditioned space, could it be insulated to frame wall R-values to be considered in conditioned space?

Yes, insulating and enclosing the furnace in its own room in the attic would make it in conditioned space.

Can you provide the title and author of the performance path cost study?

The source is Fact Sheet, RE-188-13 Adding a Rating-Based Compliance Path to the IECC by the Leading Builders of America (as retrieved from

In Climate Zone 3a (2015 IECC), we have issues w/slab insulation not being required. What is being done to accommodate those climate zones in terms of meeting compliance?

Slab insulation is not a requirement in Climate 3. When slab edge insulation is used, the Performance or ERI paths recognize the additional energy savings, which can allow flexibility in building design.

Where can I find the list of software that can be used for the performance path compliance? Is it the same list as the software that can be used for the ERI Compliance Path?

A list of DOE approved software for the performance simulations can be found at For the ERI path, a list meeting the requirements of RESNET/ANSI Standard 301 can be found at

Can you please explain why this guide does not consider the potential energy savings from fenestration? It seems like it's a missed opportunity for cost-effective energy savings.

In the first version we focused on exterior wall assemblies, attic/duct systems and a few mechanical options. Future updates may include window and fenestration savings. As mentioned in the guide, the assemblies and systems selected do not represent a comprehensive list of potential tradeoffs.