Integrated Design Labs: Q1 2024 Updates


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Welcome to the Q1 2024 Integrated Design Lab Newsletter.

Each quarter, we’ll deliver updates and highlights of the transformative work accomplished by our Integrated Design Lab (IDL) network partners.

University of Idaho IDL

  • The UI IDL is conducting a comprehensive lifecycle impact analysis to ensure that the pursuit of lower carbon emissions does not compromise the thermal performance of commercial building products, which could lead to increased carbon emissions in the long run.

Montana State University IDL

  • The MSU IDL received an award from ASHRAE to conduct a study that evaluates the capabilities and effectiveness of building lifecycle analysis tools. The study will include a gap analysis of the cutting-edge software currently employed in the building industry for lifecycle analysis and cost assessments.
  • The MSU IDL recently completed a research project that evaluates measures to help cold-climate buildings maintain healthy indoor air without significantly increasing energy consumption.

University of Oregon IHBE/Baker Lab

  • To accelerate the decline of carbon emissions, the UO IDL is working in collaboration with UO Assistant Professor Alexandra Rempel, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Intelligent Medicine to harness untapped climatic resources to support direct solar heating, natural ventilation, and radiative and evaporative cooling.
  • The UO IDL is conducting research to develop a mass-timber panelized façade that serves as a deep-energy and seismic-retrofit system suitable for low-rise commercial building applications. The interdisciplinary research team is composed of architectural faculty at UO, structural engineering faculty at Oregon State University, and construction professionals at Swinerton / Timberlab.

University of Washington IDL

  • UW IDL Director Chris Meek participated in a Seattle 2030 District panel discussion with representation from code officials, contractors, and utilities. The panel focused on the programs, policies, and laws governing sustainability, the Washington Clean Buildings Act, incentives and other opportunities, strategies to manage costs, and solutions to problems faced by building occupants.
  • UW IDL Co-Director Heather Burpee presented snapshots of luminaire level lighting controls (LLLC), very high efficiency dedicated outside air systems (very high efficiency DOAS), and secondary glazing systems to an audience of multifamily architects and developers, directing attendees to BetterBricks resources for more information. She also provided expert content on decoupled systems for the Healthy Buildings podcast hosted by Oxygen8.
  • Teresa Moroseos and Chris Meek led a UW Architecture graduate course that introduced detailed parametric energy simulation and climate analysis tools and methods to students with minimal energy simulation experience. Students learned how to incorporate energy simulation methods early in their design process to reduce operational energy, minimize peak heating and cooling, and improve human health and comfort.
  • For the BetterBricks Industry Voices series, Chris Meek conducted an on-camera interview with Chris Gilmore, a nationally recognized lighting controls expert with VECA Electric. The interview covered many aspects of LLLC, including best practices and innovative strategies in design, construction, and operations.
  • The UW IDL is partnering with Integrus Architecture to help Seattle’s Aki Kurose Middle School achieve exceptional energy performance by combining exemplary façade materials, advanced lighting controls, and high efficiency heat recovery/heat pumps.
  • In collaboration with Solarc Energy Group and NBBJ, UW IDL provided technical assistance on a project at the Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center Campus. This project is a joint venture of Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and Indian Health Service to create a new healthcare campus serving the region surrounding Sitka, Alaska. UW IDL’s project scope includes energy evaluation, strategy development, energy modeling, and LEED evaluation and compliance.
  • Heather Burpee collaborated with Mazzetti and DIALOG to author the forthcoming “Decarbonization of Hospital Buildings Design Guide” for ASHRAE and the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE). She has presented this material across the country, including at Clemson’s School of Architecture, in Mazzetti’s Bending the Climate Curve webinar series, and at ASHE’s Planning Design and Construction conference.
  • For the Pacific Northwest Building Training Assessment Center (PNW BTAC) project, the UW IDL was awarded a grant through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the US DOE. The PNW BTAC aims to fill two market gaps in building performance improvements: 1) a trained workforce, and 2) inclusive access to benchmarking and strategic roadmaps for energy efficiency and decarbonization, especially for disadvantaged communities.
  • Chris Meek, Teresa Moroseos, and UW Architecture Professor Tomás Méndez Echenagucia are creating a report for the Urban Land Institute to provide designers, owners, and policymakers with a lifecycle carbon view of building investment, including by assessing the embodied and operational carbon tradeoffs of various building envelope conditions, such as cladding material, amount and type of insulation, and type and extent of glazing.

Washington State University ID+CL

  • Working with NEEA’s Extended Motor Products program and the Hydraulic Institute, the WSU IDL has developed and deployed a training module for academic audiences. The course content leads students through BetterBricks case studies and Hydraulic Institute blogs, expert-led assignments, and exercises to calculate pump efficiency in buildings.
  • In partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Dodge Construction network, the WSU IDL is conducting research interviews and surveys for a study focused on the nationwide workforce of industrialized practices. This research will help us further understand the state of the construction industry, opportunities for growth and advancement of off-site construction practices, and outcomes that will impact the country’s construction labor market.
  • The WSU IDL developed and distributed an Energy and Comfort Survey that was supplemented by additional interviews with select survey participants to complement and revisit work completed in 2020. The first iteration of this university-wide engagement took place during pandemic work-from-home guidance and will be used to comparatively investigate occupant energy-use perceptions, comfort, and engagement motivators. This year’s survey and interviews will:
    • Utilize the feedback to shape future engagement with the student body in addition to staff and faculty of WSU building occupants.
    • Build a baseline to identify and track shifts in energy conservation attitudes and behaviors, as well as perceived comfort, from 2020 and beyond, with additional surveys forming a trend of longitudinal evaluation.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of WSU's Energy and Comfort campaign over the past three years of engagement with targeted building occupants on WSU's Pullman campus.
  • A WSU IDL graduate student, Sierra Wilson, is conducting research that explores the correlation between occupant perceptions of comfort and energy use in a cross-laminated timber housing case study that emphasizes resiliency, low-income housing, and energy efficiency. Her work has garnered a great deal of praise, including:
    • An AIA Cote award nomination.
    • The Architectural Research Centers Consortium King Medal for 2023–2024.
    • External scholarships from the Northwest Chapter of the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality and The Building Industry Association.
    • WSU scholarships for her high-quality portfolios and studio projects.
    • Conference presentation at the Interior Design Educators Council Conference in New York City.
    • A 2024 AIA Spokane Student Design Awards nomination for her studio design of a health clinic.
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