Top 10 Energy Code Issues Found in the Field

10 common problems found during the NC energy code field study:

knee wall

1. Knee Wall Provisions

  • Inadequate coverage
  • Improper materials – not an air barrier
  • Incorrect number or type of fasteners
  • Improper framing that allows air to move through the insulation
slab insulation 

2. Slab Insulation

  • Missing insulation
  • Insulation not in contact with the slab
  • Improper attachment of insulation with the slab
  • Insulation damaged during installation
  • Poor finishing details

3. Lighting

  • Fewer than 75% high efficacy bulbs
  • Fixtures selected for which high efficacy bulbs are difficult to find

4. Ductwork Sealing and Design

  • Excessive leakage from air handling unit and connections for supply and return plenums
  • Takeoffs not sealed properly
  • Supply boots not sealed properly to incoming duct or to the floor
  • Toe kick registers cannot be sealed
  • Filter boxes that are not sealed
  • Wall framing used as return and unsealed
 air sealing 

5. Air Sealing and Air Barriers

  • Dropped soffits/ floor systems
  • Floor cavity under knee walls – missing blocking or poorly sealed
  • Chases
  • Garage-to-house connection
  • Porch roof to house connection
  • Wall top plate
  • Incomplete backer intended to cover the insulation
 floor insulation 

6. Floor Insulation

  • Insulation not in contact with air barrier
  • Insulation not well secured
  • Missing insulation around ductwork, electrical wiring and fixtures, plumbing, and other locations
  • Incomplete coverage under cantilevered floors 
 wall insulation 

7. Wall Insulation

  • Insulation has gaps, voids and/ or compression
  • Poor installation around electrical wiring and boxes
  • Missing or loose insulation at band joists
 attic insulation 

8. Attic Insulation

  • Missing attic insulation card
  • Missing attic rulers
  • Attic insulation batts with gaps and voids
  • Missing weatherstripping around attic hatches or stairs
  • Missing or poorly attached attic hatch or stair insulation
  • Site-built knee wall doors not insulated to R-5
 ee cert 

9. Energy Efficiency Certificate

  • Certificate missing
  • Certificate not fully filled out
  • Certificate not signed by builder, permit holder, or registered design professional

*Download a fillable Energy Efficiency Certificate 

 ladder framing 

10. Beyond Code Best Practices – Advanced Framing

  • Orientation of blocking creates a bridging effect at:
    • Ladders at T-wall intersections
    • Joints in sheathing
  • Corner framing interferes with insulation
  • No insulation in headers

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