Call Now1.800.265.1914

"Prescriptive Path" VS "Performance Path" when Building a New House

November 18, 2016

Today, when it comes to energy efficiency, most national building codes prescribe two paths for compliance. And while it's true that many project managers will typically follow the "prescriptive path", there are many project managers who have discovered that the "performance path" is the more cost-effective of the two - and with far better long term outcomes for the building owner. As the name implies, the "prescriptive path" requires a builder to satisfy a certain standard - like a requirement to install a pre-specified R-Value in an exterior wall or attic cavity. On the other hand, the "performance path" would require an entire building to perform up to a pre-specified standard. As it is, the "prescriptive path" is the simpler of the two, and can be realized by simply accommodating building code requisites. The "performance path" is the more complicated route, and requires a more sophisticated execution - but the resulting savings are far more substantial. For builders, whether residential or commercial, many building codes and energy codes are just mandatory - every building must comply, and without question. Once mandatory provisions are accommodated, the remaining codes can be satisfied with either "prescriptive" requirements or "performance" requirements. Quite importantly, the "performance path" must demonstrate that annual energy performance is better, or at least equal, to the prescriptive path. Industry statistics do not yet show preference levels, but anecdotally, most builders go with the "prescriptive path". Industry statistics aside, the "performance path" has proven itself to many homebuilders, simply by practice. They save thousands and thousands of dollars in building materials and construction costs. But clearly it takes more work and effort up front - from fully assessing potential energy efficiency, to installing high performance products that deliver better return-on-investment. Moreover, by employing high-tech tools and "energy modeling" software, it's possible to measure short-term energy performance, and long-term energy savings - it's well worth the extra effort. In Canada, the "performance path" (as articulated by Natural Resources Canada) simply requires a building design to consume no more energy than a design based on the "prescriptive path". Assessments and comparisons are easily modeled with specialized software simulation tools that gauge energy efficiency outcomes before building commences. In this way, energy usage can be measured for heating and cooling systems; lighting and hot water; and even ventilation. Here, the bottom line is to design and build to an equivalent (or better) standard as the "prescriptive path". When it comes to residential home construction, a professional approach means doing it right the first time. And for a builder using a "performance path" to ensure superior energy performance, the extra work and effort translates into dollar savings. For energy experts like Great Northern Insulation, there is no other way. As Canada's largest full-service insulation company, GNI works with builders and architects to ensure the optimum in energy efficiency for every type of building envelope. And when it comes to the "performance path" approach, builders can rely on GNI.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Southwestern Ontario

7035 Industrial Drive
Comber, Ontario
Canada N0P 1J0

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Muskoka, Haliburton, Northern Ontario

1027 Elwell Park Road
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Canada P1P 1R1

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Central Ontario

29 Ferndale Industrial Drive
Barrie, Ontario
Canada L4N 9V5

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

103 North Port Road
Port Perry, Ontario
Canada L9L 1B2

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA & South Central Ontario

450 Industrial Dr,
Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Eastern Ontario

1035 Moodie Dr #1,
Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


259 Campbell Street
Sarnia Ontario
Canada, N7T 2H3

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Niagara Region

6260 Don Murie St
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 0B4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.


Best of 2017

From reputation to responsiveness, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thanks to everyone for the great ratings! 

HomeStars 2018

Best of 2018

For the second year in a row, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thank you again to everyone!

Homestars Best of 2019 Award

Best of 2019

For the third year in a row, HomeStars ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

Homestars Best of 2020 Award

Best of 2020

For four years now, HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

Homestars Best of 2021 Award

Best of 2021

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2021.

Homestars Best of 2022 Award

Best of 2022

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2022.


GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Enenrgy Savers

Energy Saving

Energy saving and energy efficiency is easier than one might think. Great Northern Insulation helps to identify performance issues, while taking advantage of improvement opportunities.

100% Canadian

100% Canadian

Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

Foam Masters

Do it right the first time
- with foam mastersTM

WALLTITE® ECO™ is a high-performance system, professionally installed by certified and approved specialists. Its C.C.M.C. approved (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) - with product quality guaranteed - and with installation by highly trained experts with the technical know-how to do the job right, the first time.

Insulthane Extreme

Insulthane® Extreme

For the ultimate in high performance spray foam insulation, Insulthane® Extreme is the professional choice for residential, commercial, and industrial application. With improved thermal performance over other products, Insulthane® Extreme has an exceptionally low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Considered environmentally friendly, this next generation spray foam insulation is non-ozone depleting, and exceeds specifications of other HFC product alternatives.


3MTM products.
Quality + Performance = Savings

3MTM energy-saving products are designed to keep warm air in, and cold air out, while keeping energy bills down. Products optimize energy efficiency in buildings and homes; improve indoor environment for occupants; and effect the reduction of seasonal energy costs. 3M products are authorized for LEED credits (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).


Baeumler ApprovedTM
Professional, Certified and Insured

Baeumler ApprovedTM gives you peace of mind when connecting with contractors, trades and home service providers. All Baeumler Approved members have demonstrated high quality work for customers and other trade professionals. Members must also have Workers Compensation, liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 and prove professional certification.

Holmes and Holmes

Holmes and Holmes


Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.


Enbridge Incentives

The Energy Conservation Program provides incentives of up to $1,600 to customers who achieve energy efficiency and fuel savings – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.


Great Northern Insulation proudly abides by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct set by RenoMark™.


We are Verified & Bonded by eRenovate. When you choose to proceed with our services through their platform, you receive the gaurantees set forth through their program.

As Seen on Love It or List It

The GNI crew have been featured installing insulation on Love It or List It - have you seen our logo in an episode?

Please, enter a valid value

Incorrect values!