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Temporary Emergency Standard Amendment: Voluntary Use of Default Values

Apr 22, 2020

RESNET Adopts Temporary Emergency Standard Amendment Allowing Voluntary Use of Default Values for Airtightness and Duct Leakage Testing for HERS® Ratings

During the national emergency caused by COVID-19 and concern over public health, RESNET is providing options to Rating Providers and HERS® Rating Companies to allow them to not have to require their certified RESNET HERS® Raters and Rating Field Inspectors (RFIs) go into the field to inspect and test homes. However, RESNET recognizes that in many areas rating services – as part of residential construction – have been deemed essential infrastructure. The decision of whether the HERS® professionals go on a job site rests with the Provider/Rating Company.

For the safety of individuals and the viability of the HERS® Industry during this national emergency, RESNET adopted an emergency interim standard amendment, Addendum 48i, that provides an alternative to the enclosures and duct leakage field testing required by Standard ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301.

Addendum 48i provides Rating Providers, HERS® Raters and RFIs a table of default values that account for the energy impact of building enclosure and air distribution systems leakage to be used in calculating ratings when the Standard ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301 tests are not conducted.

The voluntary emergency amendment allows for the following alternatives for diagnostic testing during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. The following default values by Climate Zone (see chart at bottom)
  2. Default values determined by the Rating Provider for a builder by metro-code area based on past 120 days performance (i.e. measured data from the 120 days immediately preceding the effective date of MINHERS® Addendum 48i)
  3. Other default values adopted by program sponsors -such as a building department, a utility program, or a program such as ENERGY STAR – as approved by RESNET


To review the emergency interim amendment click on Addendum 48i

IMPORTANT: The temporary option of using default leakage values is not mandatory. Individual HERS® Providers, HERS® Rating companies, utility programs, code jurisdictions, and above-code programs may or may not wish to implement this alternative procedure. This emergency interim amendment is in response to the public health national emergency and shall not be viewed as a precedent for not conducting field diagnostic testing after the emergency.

Alternatively, a Provider can deploy strategies that would limit the HERS® Rater or Rating Field Inspector (RFI) exposure at a construction site. RESNET has produced an infographic on how Raters and RFIs can limit their exposure. To download the infographic, click on How HERS® Raters and RFIs can Limit Exposure to the Coronavirus.

Another option is for the HERS® Rater/RFI to use the RESNET protocol for remote inspection of the home and come back later when it is safe to conduct the field diagnostic testing.

This interim amendment is in effect for a period of 120 days beginning on April 20, 2020, but may be revisited by RESNET as necessary in light of developments with the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 15, 2020, the RESNET Quality Assurance Team conducted a webinar on the temporary emergency procedures for remote inspections and testing alternatives. To listen to the webinar click on Revised Procedures for Voluntary Remote Inspections and Testing Alternatives of HERS® Ratings

With the adoption of the emergency standard amendment RESNET staff will develop the procedures for the use of the default values.

To keep the HERS® community up-to-date on developments addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, RESNET has posted a new webpage, RESNET COVID-19 Updates. The webpage contains RESNET COVID-19 Announcements, Resources for the Rating Industry on the COVID-19 Pandemic and General Resources on the COVID-19 Pandemic. The page is frequently updated, therefore RESNET professionals are urged to check it daily.