April 2024 Newsletter


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The University of Idaho’s Integrated Design Lab in Boise is dedicated to education, outreach, and technical support for high performance energy-efficient building design.

Click Here to visit our website!

Hello Everyone! I hope your year has gotten off to a great start. I have some updates about the IDL as well as a few upcoming lectures. Please see below for more details.

We have 16 lunch and learn lectures available but they are going fast, request one for your firm today.
May 1st, 2024 - Improving the Building Energy Modeling Experience with Open-Source Tools by Eric Ringold.
Technical Design Assistance is available for in-person or Zoom web call. Have a project you need help on or maybe a question about code compliance? Let us know! To request technical design assistance please fill out a request form:Click Here
As part of Idaho Power's new construction verification program the Integrated Design Lab reviews all projects applying for the daylight harvesting incentive. To request a review please fill out a review request:Click Here
To use the Energy Resource Library, please fill out a proposal and you will be contacted by a Lab employee to schedule your appointment within 1 to 2 business days. Same day request are available but customers must receive a verbal confirmation from the IDL for your request to be fulfilled. We would also like to remind you that we do offer training and tutorials for tools in the ERL. Please call or send an email to set-up a demonstration.

For more information about using the Energy Resource Library, please visit: http://www.idlboise.com/about-erl

Lunch and Learn


To request a lunch and learn for your firm please fill out this request form Click Here
Each year the IDL develops a series of lunch and learn topics for presentation to professional Architecture & Engineering firms. The topics reflect best practices in energy efficiency design and are provided over a lunch hour – we provide lunch. Attendees receive 1 AIA CEU as well as a certificate to verify attendance. The classes marked with (HSW) qualify for Health, Safety and Welfare credit.
To view all lecture topics -Click Here

Envelope and Window Design for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
Understanding the critical role of envelope design in determining heating and cooling loads, this lecture delves into various energy-efficient design metrics, and their sensitivity analysis to discern their impact effectively. Participants will gain insights into passive envelope design measures aimed at increasing energy efficiency through strategic leveraging of orientation, shading, thermal properties, and building shape considerations. Additionally, the lecture offers insights into the window glazing properties such as U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), Visible Transmittance (VT), and emittance. Special emphasis is placed on the advantages of Low-E Glass, particularly in colder climates, enhancing participants' understanding of how such features contribute to energy conservation. Geared towards architects and constructors, this session offers resources for deeper exploration and understanding of envelope design's pivotal role in energy efficiency.

Available June 2024

Existing Building Commissioning
In this lecture, we embark on an exploration of continuous commissioning in building management, unraveling its profound impact on energy efficiency and sustainable operations. We begin with a clear definition of this integral concept and its underlying processes, ensuring a solid foundational understanding for all participants. Through insightful case studies, successful commissioning initiatives are showcased, providing tangible examples of proactive management strategies that maintain building systems finely tuned over time, cut down on wasted energy, and boost energy efficiency. Beyond its immediate impact on energy efficiency, commissioning proves to be a cornerstone for early issue detection, thereby preventing potential system degradation, enhancing equipment lifespan, and reducing the likelihood of costly breakdowns. This lecture provides valuable insights into the benefits of proactive maintenance strategies.

Available September 2024

Networking Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLCs)
Description coming soon but will cover the following questions: I have LLLC hardware but I don't know how to connect to the software. What settings do I use to balance energy efficiency and occupant comfort? How to communicate with IT staff about a lighting network? How to map lights to an environment?

Available June 2024

The IDL will hosting 4 hybrid lunch and learn where you attend in-person at the Idaho Water Center or online via Zoom. All lectures are Noon to 1pm MST.
  • April 3rd - The Architect's Business Case for Energy Performance Modeling
  • May 8th - High Performance Classrooms by Damon Woods
  • August 22nd - Luminaire Level Lighting Controls by Dylan Agnes
  • November 7th - Existing Building Commissioning by Farnaz Nazari

  • For more information, please visit: http://www.idlboise.com/content/lunch-and-learn

    Hybrid Lecture May 8th - High Performance Classrooms by Damon Woods


    Student enrollment in Ada County is projected to grow by 1,000 students per year for the next ten years and at least six capital projects are planned in the West Ada District alone to meet this demand. This session will cover a variety of issues facing the design of an efficient, healthy, and productive classroom environment. A quick look at the state of the last 50 years of school design will give an introduction to the problems faced by designers. This session will highlight several case studies of high performance schools in the Northwest to address daylighting, natural ventilation, and integration of mechanical systems. Each passive strategy will be addressed in detail with regional examples and performance research.

    In-Person Registration:Click Here

    Online Registration: Click Here

    BSUG Update

    We have a lot of exciting topics we hope to bring you this year! They include the following: Passive vs. Mechanical Design Strategies, Heatpumps for Cold Climates, High Performance Envelope Design, Introduction to Parametric Modeling and Analysis using Grasshopper & Ladybug, Performance Modeling for Early Design, Electrification in Cold Climates, Embodied Carbon, and OpenStudio Scripting.


    Current building energy modeling tools offer unprecedented opportunities for developing custom workflows and integrations with general-purpose programming languages. However, these tools can be intimidating to modelers without extensive programming experience. This talk will explore one modeler's experience integrating programming into building energy modeling practice, and demystifying the open-source tools and resources to get started expanding your modeling capabilities.

    In-Person Registration:Click Here

    Online Registration: Click Here


    BSUG Blog

    The purpose of the BSUG blog is to continue conversations about past topics of interest as well as to discuss new and emerging technologies. This year's topics include continuing our parametric series, CBECS 2018, and HVAC Load Calculation - Tips & Tricks.

    Understanding School Energy Use in the Mountain West - Breaking down the latest commercial building energy consumption survey for educational facilities

    The purpose of identifying Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) trends is so that users can more accurately forecast energy consumption, set energy goal targets, design workflow or policies, and make informed decisions about energy trends. This blog is an in-depth look at educational facilities within the Mountain west region. We will use the data available to explore the energy trends of Elementary Schools, High Schools, Preschools/Daycare, Other classroom education buildings, Middle/Junior Highs, and Multi-Grade schools (any K-12).

    View full post

    Cracking the Code - Understanding Air Tightness in Idaho Homes

    While it is no secret that most Idahoans benefit from some of the lowest cost energy in the country, it might surprise you to know that not all Idaho residents benefit equally. We explored the effects of air tightness in homes, and how the current Idaho Energy Code (IEC) could be financially impacting households.

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    Luminaire Level Lighting Controls - Technology Training

    Are you interested in learning more about advanced lighting controls? Or maybe you struggle to convey the potential of advanced lighting controls to clients? The installation at the IDL is intended to act as a showroom for this emerging technology so we can demonstrate the range of programming and user input that is possible. In addition we also be exploring the different ranges of energy savings that are achieved through various layers of programmatic control.
    The manufacturer of our LLLC lights, Cooper Lighting, along with Idaho Lighting Solutions, provided 50% of the lights for free. The rest of the lights were purchased with help of a Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance grant.
    If you are interested in attending an in-person training and demonstration please contact Dylan Agnes.

    Integrated Design Lab

    The Water Center, 322 East Front Street