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.


IDL Selected to Produce Materials Matter Educational Series

The University of Washington Integrated Design Lab, in partnership with the Carbon Leadership Forum, and Health Product Declaration Collaborative have been selected to develop “Materials Matter,” a professional education series for sustainable building materials sponsored by AIA Seattle and AIA National. This interdisciplinary team brings deep technical and education expertise in delivering professional education to the building industry in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Materials Matter series will provide members with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the health and environmental impacts of materials and knowledgably approach the material selection process. The initiative is part of AIA Seattle’s ongoing commitment to provide the architectural community with the tools necessary for designing healthy, sustainable buildings.

The Integrated Design Lab (IDL) is operated by the Department of Architecture in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington. The IDL is a self-sustaining service that includes interdisciplinary faculty, staff, students, professional collaborators and partner organizations.


University of Washington IDL

The Integrated Design Lab brings together faculty and students of the UW College of Built Environments to conduct research towards the advancement of knowledge and policies that support healthy and efficient buildings. The knowledge and expertise developed at the IDL are used to provide guidance and technical assistance to partners throughout the building industry.

The Carbon Leadership Forum

The Carbon Leadership Forum is and industry-academic collaborative focused on providing research and education to understand and reduce the carbon (and other environmental impacts) ‘embodied’ in buildings, building materials and products through the use of environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) data and methods.


The Health Product Declaration Collaborative

The Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC) is a non-profit, member organization whose mission is the support the HPD Open Standard, which is an industry-standard for the technical reporting of the material contents and health information associated with building products

AIA Seattle

AIA Seattle provides the architecture community with resources and relationships to make a difference through design. AIA opens doors, provides connections, keeps members and the public informed, and demonstrates a commitment to great design as the key ingredient for livable, sustainable places.  AIA Seattle’s work on sustainable design has included creation of the educational series “AIA+2030” and “Getting to Zero.”  AIA Seattle is a chapter of the American Institute of Architects.


Design meets health: UW College of Built Environments, School of Public Health chosen for AIA Design and Health Research Consortium

Congratulations to Heather Burpee, who will represent the College of Built Environments as part of a new national initiative seeking to translate research on how design impacts public health into architectural practice.  Together with Andrew Dannenberg, Affiliate Professor in the School of Public Health and Urban Design & Planning, she has been selected to join the American Institute of Architects’ multi-school Design & Health Research Consortium.  Over a three-year period, the AIA and the Architects Foundation will provide support for the new members, promoting local and national partnerships and the sharing of knowledge.  
Their work focuses on health in the built environment, including using Seattle’s Bullitt Center — the greenest commercial building in the world — as a test laboratory and serving on the steering committee of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, a sustainability initiative in a densely populated Seattle neighborhood. 

Daylight Consulting Project Featured in Architectural Record

A luminance rendering showing the relative levels of light reflected by various surfaces in the room.
A luminance rendering showing the relative levels of light reflected by various surfaces in the room.

“An oasis in a crowded city center, the Gohar Khatoon Girls’ School in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh Province in northern Afghanistan, was built under the auspices of two American aid organizations, which brought together a U.S.-based design team, Afghan construction crews, and local government in a unique collaboration to restore and elevate a battered educational infrastructure for young women.”

-Architectural Record, January 2016.

The Center for Integrated Design’s  Michael Gilbride served as the daylighting  consultant for the project. Read the full article on Architectural Record’s website.

A new exhibit opens at the Discovery Commons at the UW Center for Integrated Design

Nexus - ZGF exhibit opening gathering
Nexus – ZGF exhibit opening gathering

The “Nexus” exhibit, developed by ZGF Architects, showcases eight of the firm’s revolutionary examples of high-performance design ranging in size and scope from mixed-used buildings and healthcare facilities to a large-scale Ecodistrict plan. The projects demonstrate ZGF’s commitment to stewardship of the natural environment and resources as well as the creation of built environments that foster and support high-performance people. The exhibit features two groundbreaking net-zero energy projects—the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, California and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Headquarters in Agoura Hills, California—both of which employ sustainability strategies such as on-site harvesting of solar energy, natural ventilation and daylighting, and the integration of high-efficiency building systems to optimize performance. Each of the highlighted projects responds to their individual environment with a wide range of approaches to long-term sustainability, demonstrating ZGF’s philosophy that excellence should be reflected in every aspect of a building—its fit within the community, its function and relationship to users, and its use of resources. ZGF, an award-winning architectural, planning, and interior design firm with over 500 employees nationwide, is an industry leader and pioneer in sustainable design with over 65 projects that have been, or are registered to be, LEED-Platinum, -Gold, or –Silver certified.

The exhibit’s featured projects include:

• Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Headquarters, Agoura Hills, CA
• Federal Center South Building 1202, Seattle, WA
• J. Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla, CA
• Rocky Mountain Institute, Office Building, Basalt, CO
• Seattle Children’s Hospital Building Hope: Cancer and Critical Care Expansion, Seattle, WA
• State of Washington, 1063 Block Replacement Project, Olympia, WA
• SW Ecodistrict, Washington, DC
• Twelve | West Mixed-Use Building, Portland, OR

To visit the exhibit, and the Bullitt Center, please visit for various tour and event options.

AIA Seattle – Getting to Zero Workshop Series

Getting to Zero logo

Getting to Zero, a comprehensive, cutting-edge curriculum, builds on the success of the AIA+2030 series and responds to the expressed needs of Seattle AIA members who wish to move to the next level of delivering high performance buildings. This innovative four-part series will focus on leading participants through the next target of the 2030 Challenge – 70% reduction – and beyond. Through case studies, presentations, and panel discussions, participants will explore both the technical skills and cross-disciplinary approaches essential for the design, construction, and operation of net zero energy buildings.

All sessions will take place at Seattle City Hall, 8:30am – 1pm.

  • Nov 7 Market Realities & The Value Proposition for Net Zero Energy Buildings
  • Dec 5 Integrated Design & Process for Net Zero Energy Buildings
  • Jan 9 Building & Operating Net Zero Energy Buildings
  • Feb 6 Long-Term Operations for Net Zero Energy Buildings

Speaker Line-Up: Joel Loveland | Mark Frankel | Heather Flint Chatto | Molly McCabe | Ray Johnston | Jesse Anderson | Mark Garff | Ginger Garff | Elizabeth Rinehart | Mike Hatten | Jim Hanford | Margaret Sprug | Justin Stenkamp | Greg Belding | Casey Schuchart | Chris Faul | Angela Faul | Amanda Sturgeon | Chris Meek | Tom Marseille | Jack Avery | Patrick Brunner | Lisa Petterson | Matthew Braun | Judith Heerwagen | Rob Harmon

Heather Burpee speaking at AHCA Seminar

Targeting 100, Achieving High-Performance in Hospital Design

September 23rd at 8am in Orlando, Florida

Ms Burpee will present some of the exciting and paradigm changing work she has been doing in the area of reducing the energy consumption of Hospitals through the program Targeting Targeting 100!

Targeting 100! is grounded in the local realities of hospital design, construction and operation in each region. The UW’s research team at the Integrated Design Lab met with over 200 stakeholders in a series of workshops held in each of the six study regions with the goal of getting on-the-ground feedback on the project’s preliminary findings and on the best region-specific approaches to achieve deep energy savings and balanced capital investment.

As part of her work with the IDL, Ms. Burpee has established thorough research on energy efficiency of hospitals working with leading architects and mechanical engineers to establish goals to radically reduce energy consumption in this building typology, while maintaining high quality healing and work environments. This work bridges practice, research, and education with collaboration between practitioners, faculty, and students.

In the past three years, Ms. Burpee has traveled extensively in Northern Europe studying innovative design and its applicability to design practice in the United States. This research included collaboration with leading experts in sustainability in Stockholm, Sweden and several international architecture and mechanical engineering firms in Scandinavia.