Today on the Reschexpert blog we want to discuss a current development in the way that Rescheck Web Operates. When opening Rescheck Web earlier this week many users noticed a new message on their Reschecks that is the color red and explains some details about how slabs will be treated. We want to look at this message in depth and discuss what it means for Architects, Engineers, Designers, Homeowners, and Contractors as they create Reschecks in the future.
The new message displayed on Rescheck Web Rescheck Reports regarding the slab input is as follows:
“Slab on grade tradeoffs are no longer considered in the UA or performance compliance path in Rescheck. Each slab on grade assembly in the specified climate zone must meet the minimum energy code insulation R-value and depth requirements.”
What do I think this means? First, if your local building department or state has slab insulation requirements you will no longer be able to skip those. In the past, on a home you could add additional insulation to walls, ceiling, windows, doors, etc that would increase your total score and make up for an un insulated slab. This would allow you to sometimes insulate the slab with less than was specified on code by beefing up the insulation in other places. This was what was lovingly referred to in the world of Rescheck as the “Trade Off Approach”. Apparently, with this new message on all slab Reschecks, this is no longer the case. You must go by the local code for slabs. Although the trade off approach still works for other components like walls, windows, doors, ceiling, and subfloors. For now.
The largest impact I see is for additions. Some homeowners have a concrete patio, or garage they are looking to add livable space by improving. Now if they are on a slab, they would have to retroactively add insulation to the sides or under the slab before beginning construction to their addition. If you have ever forgotten to locate a plumbing pipe or drain in a slab, before construction, you know how difficult it can be to add materials underneath a slab after the slab is poured. So this presents a whole set of issues for Rescheck additions. If access is available to the sides of the slab you might be able to add the insulation there, then again, maybe not.
Overall, this message about the Slab in Rescheck that appeared on Rescheck Web will allow people to build more efficient homes. States and jurisdictions have local slab insulation requirements because they know that pipes will freeze, homes will waste energy, and homeowners will be unhappy if they are not followed.
Thanks for reading the Reschexpert blog on the new slab error Message appearing on Rescheck Web Reschecks.