The Prescriptive Path Technical Standard

How to build an energy efficient home under the Prescriptive Path

If you’re new to the New Homes Program, the simplest way to get started is with the Prescriptive Path. To participate in the Prescriptive Path, include 10 mandatory energy saving upgrades in the design of your new home to receive a $1,200 rebate from Efficiency Manitoba.

How to apply

We make applying for the Prescriptive Path rebate easy. Simply incorporate the elements from the Prescriptive Path Technical Standard into the design drawings for your new home. Before construction starts, apply for approval by sending your design drawings along with an application form to Efficiency Manitoba.

It’s very important that the 10 required upgrades are clearly incorporated into your design drawings. You can read more about what specific upgrades are required in the list below.

The Prescriptive Path Technical Standard: 10 Energy Efficient Upgrades

In this section we’ll run through the 10 mandatory Prescriptive Path upgrades and give you examples of common assemblies or approaches accepted by the New Homes Program.

Important Note: Consistent with the Building Code, R-values are effective, not nominal values. Effective R values represent the actual thermal resistance of an assembly, including all materials, and taking into account any thermal bridges which impact the performance of the assembly.

1. Attic insulation of R-58 effective

We accept any building code compliant approach to achieving R-58 effective attic insulation.

2. Exterior above grade wall insulation of R-17 effective

We accept any building code compliant approach to achieving an R-17 effective wall assembly, including 2×4 and 2×6 wall assemblies.

Accepted examples of assemblies:

  • 2×6 @ 24” o/c with R-22 batt
  • 2×6 @ 16” o/c with R-24 batt
  • 2×4 @ 24” o/c with R-12 batt and 1.5” XPS on exterior
  • 2×4 @ 16” o/c with R-12 batt and 2” EPS on exterior
  • ICF (insulated concrete form) walls; minimum 4” EPS or XPS
  • SIPs (structurally insulated panels)  with 4” EPS Type 2 core

If you’re unsure if your proposed assembly will meet our requirements, we suggest using an effective R-value calculator.

Here are some helpful resources:

3. Basement insulation of R-18 effective

Similar to above-grade walls, we accept any building code compliant approach to achieving an R-18 effective basement wall assembly.

Slab on grade systems will be reviewed for insulation detailing.

Concrete floors with radiant in-floor heat require a minimum sub slab insulation of R-19 effective.

4. Header (rim joist) insulation of R-18 effective

This is commonly achieved through the application of spray foam in the headers, foam and/or batts, or a combination of interior and exterior insulation. When you’re using only spray foam, it must be applied at least 3.5 inches in thickness.

5. Triple pane low-e argon windows with low conductivity frame and warm edge spacers

  • Window inserts in a door are not included in the window requirement.
  • Patio doors are treated as large windows, so the triple pane requirement applies.
  • Basement windows under 6 ft2 are acceptable as dual pane low-e argon.

6. High efficient heat recovery ventilation (HRV) rated SRE 65% or better at -25°C.

Before ordering your equipment, remember to verify the manufacturer’s literature states an efficiency of SRE 65 % at −25°C.

7. HRV advanced controls

HRV controls integrated into smart thermostats are eligible if shown to be operating the HRV at the time of the completion evaluation. Controls should have the ability to operate the HRV in standby mode (no low speed fan) or intermittent operation (20 minutes per hour) and still run if required by the dehumidistat or the bathroom controls.

8. LED lighting throughout

All common use areas including the kitchen, living room, entryway, main hall, bathrooms, and exterior locations must use  LED lighting. LED lighting replacing the equivalent of 25 non-LED sockets is also acceptable.

9. Tested air tightness of less than 1.5 air changes per hour (ACH) at 50 Pascal pressure

We provide a third party air tightness test at the completion of your project.

If this is your first application, we recommend you also request an air tightness test at the pre-drywall stage to identify any potential problems before drywall is installed.

For tips on how to prevent air leakage, check out the Canadian Home Builders’ Association website or Natural Resources Canada website.

10. A minimum of two (2) upgrades from the following list:

  • Attic hatch gaskets and anchors (interior)
  • Exterior insulation at rim joist
  • Thermally broken door sills
  • Orientation optimized low-e window coatings
  • Slab edge thermal break: minimum 1″ rigid insulation between footing and slab or 2′ wide ‘skirt’ over footing, detailed in drawings.
  • Solar ready design (solar-ready trusses and wiring chase)

When filling out the Prescriptive Path application, please indicate which upgrades you’re undertaking.

For more information, please contact us.