All posts by Tina Dilegge


UW IDL Launches Partnership Initiative

The Integrated Design Lab (IDL) has launched its Partnership Initiative, a mechanism to unite leading design and construction firms around a shared research vision to advance the highest performing built environment in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

The Partnership Initiative will work toward three goals: establishing an Advisory Board to help guide the IDL’s strategic direction; ensuring IDL’s research and technical work is informed by and addresses the most pressing challenges faced by project teams; and developing a shared research agenda to be implemented by graduate research assistant (GSA) students from the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. Participants in the Initiative will contribute to the IDL, supporting the lab in its role as a technical, research, and educational resource for design practitioners.

“The initiative will help formalize our engagement with the design community, and ensure that there is strong continuity between our research and current design practice,” said Chris Meek, Director of the Integrated Design Lab. “We’re excited to work closer with leading design professionals to improve building performance and reduce building energy consumption in a meaningful, lasting way.”

The Partnership Initiative includes different membership levels, providing an opportunity for all members to guide and leverage research focused on emerging design technologies and methods.

“Partners will also have an opportunity to shape tomorrow’s design leaders,” said Heather Burpee, Director of IDL Education and Outreach. “They will have direct access to uniquely qualified job candidates positioned to transform the market.”

The IDL is currently accepting membership applications and will convene the Initiative’s first annual Advisory Board meeting in Summer 2017.

To learn more about the Partnership Initiative contact Chris Meek or Heather Burpee at 202-616-6566.


UW IDL Partners with City of Seattle on Federal Grant to Increase Building Energy Efficiency

The University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab (UW IDL) is partnering with the City of Seattle to develop and implement a three-year program that supports Seattle’s Building Tune-Ups ordinance, an initiative to roll-out mandatory energy tune-ups for commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger, beginning in 2018.

UW IDL’s work with the City of Seattle is part of a $1.3 million grant from the Department of Energy’s Commercial Buildings Integration program – a federal effort to significantly cut energy waste from buildings across the nation. The City’s project team – headed by the Office of Sustainability & Environment – was one of six national award recipients and includes the UW IDL, Seattle City Light, the Smart Buildings Center, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The UW IDL will work with the project team to engage building owners, managers and vendors to develop market expertise and accelerate the voluntary implementation of energy efficiency improvements in Seattle’s small and medium commercial building stock – buildings that will be subject to phased mandatory tune-ups beginning in 2020.

The Building Tune-Ups legislation is a key component of Seattle’s Climate Action Plan, a roadmap to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, which includes an ambitious target to reduce 45% of commercial building energy emissions by 2030.

More information on this grant can be found here. Please contact UW IDL Program Manager Tina Dilegge for questions or comments.

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UW IDL shares research at ACEEE summer conference

The University of Washington’s (UW) Integrated Design Lab (IDL) was recently selected to present its research at the 2016 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. On behalf of the UW IDL and collaborators, Christopher Meek, IDL Director, and Julie Kriegh, Principal of Kriegh Architects, attended the biennial conference in Pacific Grove, CA, which brought together building, utilities, design, government, nonprofit, academic and business professionals from around the world to discuss the climatic impacts of buildings, and technologies and strategies for reducing building energy use.

Meek and Kriegh presented three research papers, including a campus pilot study supported by the UW Sustainability Office. The study applied a Building User Audit Procedure (BUAP) tool on the UW campus to account for the cultural and behavioral factors that influence building energy efficiency. The study found that UW campus occupants (students, faculty, and staff) are a considerable source of energy use; however, they are well-positioned to and interested in making pro-environmental choices that would significantly reduce energy consumption. This highlights the importance of providing building occupants with targeted resources and tools in order to encourage daily, actionable behaviors that positively impact climate change.

Other studies presented drew upon UW IDL’s ongoing monitoring and evaluation of energy performance and occupant behavior data from the Bullitt Center, a high performance commercial building known as the greenest office building in the world. The research papers investigated two topics: the application of a pilot pay-for-performance structure (the Metered Energy Efficiency Transaction System or ‘MEETS’) at the Bullitt Center; and how the design of a building can promote occupant-behavior-driven energy savings. The culmination of this research provides an evidence-base for constructing the highest performing built environments, which will play a key role in positively impacting human and environmental health in years to come.

As current tenants in the Bullitt Center, the UW IDL has been actively involved with the building since providing daylighting analysis and advisory services to the design team in 2011. Operating out of the Department of Architecture’s Center for Integrated Design, the UW IDL applies research, technical assistance, and works with the Discovery Commons to provide education and outreach in order to show what’s possible in building sustainable urban environments.

Research presented at the ACEEE Summer Study was supported by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) , the Bullitt Foundation, and the University of Washington Sustainability Office.

Please contact UW IDL Program Manager Tina Dilegge for questions or comments.


Bullitt Center Breathes Life into Future of Urban Sustainability

The Bullitt Center continues to shed light on what’s possible in urban sustainability, as found by the University of Washington Integrated Design Lab’s (UW IDL) ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the building’s energy performance.

Known as the ‘greenest office building in the world’, the Bullitt Center’s energy use and production has performed better than predicted throughout its three years of operation. Initially designed to achieve net-zero energy, the Bullitt Center has been net-positive energy during its past two years of operation, producing more energy than it has consumed.

The Bullitt Center’s success is attributed to the project team’s steadfast commitment to meet the Living Building Challenge, which meant designing a building with unprecedented energy performance. Adhering to integrated design principles, the team’s realized vision demonstrates the benefit of collaboration throughout the design process, and represents the potential for high impact sustainability in an urban environment.

“The attention-getting elements of the Bullitt Center—100% onsite renewable energy, water and waste management, as well as a safe, naturally day-lit and ventilated work environment built to last 250 years—follow from an equally exciting integrated design process that enabled us to move beyond the traditionally linear design, engineering and construction process,” said Craig Curtis, design partner with The Miller Hull Partnership.

“It was energizing to identify imaginative and elegant ways to beautifully express the building’s core performance functions through design strategies using a mix of existing and new technologies, systems, and materials. While in one sense we had to do more with less, we happily found that designing to high-performance targets actually opened up numerous formal design opportunities.”

Guided by the vision of the Bullitt Foundation, the Bullitt Center design team included Point32 (development partner), Miller Hull Partnership (architect), PAE Engineers (MEP engineering), Schuchart (general contractor), and the UW IDL (technical assistance). As current tenants in the building, the UW IDL has been actively involved with the Bullitt Center since providing daylighting analysis and advisory services to the design team.

The Bullitt Center is owned and operated by the Bullitt Foundation, a sixty-year-old Seattle philanthropy that strives to make the Pacific Northwest a global model for sustainable, resilient prosperity. For more information on the Bullitt Center please refer to the UW IDL’s project and publication pages.


Generating Art from Simulation

While working on a series of daylighting studies for an Atelier Jones designed chapel, the role of simulation in the creation of art came under scrutiny. The studies, performed by Michael Gilbride and graduate students Nicole Peterson and Justin Schwartzhoff, focused primarily on the size, orientation, and transparency of the skylights and sidelights bordering a cross laminated timber (CLT) sculptural piece on the north wall of the chapel. The CLT wall’s design was intended to mimic a fabric curtain and was therefore open to a variable shape. This suggested that, instead of altering the window conditions, dramatic lighting conditions could be incorporated into the piece itself. To test this, the lab pursued a mixture of daylighting simulations, parametric scripting, and genetic algorithms in an effort to generate a more perfect form for the wall. Continue reading

Diva Day 2014

DIVA Day is October 2nd in Seattle!

DIVA Day is here and is right around the corner.  DIVA is a plug-in for Rhino that performs daylight analysis and energy modelling , and the annual gathering is here and is soon.  For more information go to their website:

The IDL recently spent some time experimenting with DIVA and other Rhino plug-ins including Grashopper and Galapagos and submitted the work to the student competition.

More Information