This engineered approach to code compliance is becoming more popular as builders understand its benefits.
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When it comes to energy code compliance, the performance path is the road less traveled, but that’s changing as builders learn more about its advantages.
The prescriptive path, historically the more common approach, has the builder adhere to a specific set of construction details and get them confirmed by an inspector. “It has been our experience that the majority [of builders] go prescriptive,” writes Ekotrope, a company that makes energy simulation software.
The prescriptive path long made sense for many builders: there’s no need to change architectural designs or purchasing processes. The move to performance started in 2009 when the code began mandating R-20 walls for the prescriptive path, which would have required builders to upgrade from 2×4 to more-expensive 2×6 walls.