August 2022 - 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.

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The Integrated Design Lab's office, The Idaho Water Center, is open to the public for in-person operations. It has been a long and eventful journey but we have finally arrived at the moment where we can resume our 'normal' operations. We look forward to seeing you face to face again!

This month's newsletter will be focused on our return to in-person operations. Our first in-person lecture of the year will be a BSUG session on Benchmarking Buildings, EnergStar, and DDX with Dylan Agnes. Even though this year's fire season hasn't been on par with the last couple years we still wanted to publish our BSUG Blog for this quarter, Residential Indoor Air Quality with an emphasis on wildfire. You can find a link to the full article below. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and severe wildfire seasons the past couple of years we have expanded air quality sensors and meters in our Energy Resource Library. We would be happy to demonstrate these tools if you need assistance. All of our other programs will be starting up this month, such as, Lunch and Learns and Luminaire Level Lighting Controls Technology Training so please stay tuned for details as they become available.

We are back to in-person operations! During our downtime we have been researching some intersting topics like, Ultra Violet Germa Air Irridation and LED Technology's Impact on Savings and Efficiency. Please contact us if your firm is interested in a Lunch and Learn session.
We're back from our summer break! Join us on August 24th - Benchmarking Buildings, EnergyStar, and DDX. This lecture will in-person as well as a online webinar.
To request technical design assistance please email, call or 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.
Lastly, we have been developing pre-made tools kits and step by step guides for using those kits and are please to announce that they are ready for use. To view the tool kits please visit:
For more information about using the Energy Resource Library, please visit:

New Tools on the Block

FLIR C3X Thermal Camera
The FLIR C3-X compact thermal camera is an affordable, professional inspection tool for building, facilities maintenance, HVAC/R, electrical repair, and other troubleshooting applications. Featuring a thermal camera, visual inspection camera, and LED flashlight, the powerful FLIR C3-X makes it easy to identify hidden problems. Built-in FLIR Ignite cloud connectivity allows direct data transfer, storage, and backup, so images are always available on all your devices.
MX1104 - Data Logger
The HOBO MX1104 multi-channel data logger measures and transmits temperature, relative humidity, and light intensity data wirelessly. It also includes an external analog input to attach a variety of additional sensors. This self-contained wireless data logger lets you use your mobile device and Onset’s free HOBOconnect app to access data, at any time, over a 100-foot range via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. You can configure the logger, read out data, view data in graphs, check the operational status of loggers, configure alarm notifications, and share data files – all with no dedicated equipment beyond a mobile device.
Purple Air PA-II
The PurpleAir PA-II is an air quality sensor that measures real-time PM2.5 concentrations for residential, commercial, or industrial use. Built-in WiFi enables the air quality measurement device to transmit data to the PurpleAir map, where it is stored and made available to any smart device. AVAILABLE BY REQUEST ONLY.

New Lunch and Learn Topics


Ultra Violet Germa Air Irradiation
With the arrival of COVID, there has been a surge of interest in Ultra Violet Germicidal Irradiation. During our research, the IDL found that UV systems can actually save on operational costs by reducing fan energy. Attendees will learn about the different UV technologies available, the strength needed to kill pathogens in air streams, and how to minimize the energy used to run these systems. This lecture will draw from leading researchers such as William Bahnfleth, who chaired ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force. By installing UVGI systems in front of cooling coils, these can help prevent microbial growth and ensure better airflow throughout the building. With building occupants increasingly mindful of airborne contaminates, it’s important for architects and engineers to be aware of these systems and how they can be integrated into a building.

Thermal Energy Storage Systems

Thermal Energy Storage Systems (TES) are gaining popularity as a way to mitigate peak energy use. This lecture will explore the use of things like ice-storage and ponds to minimize chiller and boiler use. This technology can be paired with ground-source heat pumps, radiant systems, and natural ventilation. Idaho typically has large temperature swings between the high and low temperatures (sometimes up to 30 F), which makes our state especially suited to shifting when heating and cooling equipment should operate. By understanding more about TES, engineers and architects alike can design unique configurations that can increase efficiency and enhance resiliency in their buildings.

LED Technology's Impact on Savings and Efficiency
We will examine the effect LED technology has had on energy savings, control strategies, and future implications with continued efficient lighting technology. As lighting technology becomes more efficient it will adjust codes, incentives from utilities, and energy efficiency standards. More importantly, it will change the cost benefit analysis regarding lighting, control strategies, and occupant comfort. The LED revolution for lighting is not done and, in this lecture, we will discuss the current state of LEDs as well as the direction we are going and what we might find when we arrive.

BSUG Update

On August 24th Dylan Agnes will be presenting Benchmarking Buildings, EnergyStar, and DDX.


Benchmarking is a method for measuring a building’s energy efficiency by comparing its energy use to other buildings with similar functions (commercial office, school, warehouse, etc…). Benchmarking allows owners to take a snapshot of how there building is performing currently in regards to energy consumption and then compare the performance to other buildings to infer if improvements can be made. In addition, software developed by the Government or organizations, AIA and AHSRAE, can be used to further evaluate a building’s performance. Software, such as, EnergyStar’s Portfolio Manager will assist with tracking a building, sharing information, performing data analysis, setting goals, and meeting those goals.

Register for In-person: Click Here

Online Registration: Click Here




Residential Indoor Air Quality

Across the past decade we have made great strides to increase the air quality across the United States. Through environmental regulations and better technologies air quality is rarely a concern for many states. However, this trend of increasingly healthy air does not extend to the North-Western states. The primary cause for this is a natural disaster unique to the dry and mountainous region: wildfires. Between the months of July and September wildfires burn millions of acres of land. While these fires are dangerous, they are often remote and can be contained with effort. However, the smoke produced by these fires can spread freely affect much larger areas than the fire alone.

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Tips and Tricks for using Insight's Daylighting Analysis

Before we get started, I would like to provide some background on daylighting. Daylighting is the “controlled” admission of natural light into a building for the purpose of illuminating a space. Whereas, daylight harvesting is the “controlled” admission of natural light, into a building for the purpose of reducing electric lighting and energy (kWh). For either purpose, daylighting design is defined in a range.

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Parametric Modeling and Analysis

The biggest bi-product of the 21st century is not plastic, CO2, or precious metals but rather meta-data. Meta-data provides information about other data, or “data about data.” Meta-data is being created every second in today’s built environment. Not just through an occupant’s phone or computer, but also from the buildings themselves via control systems or information portals that assist managers. This meta-data can be analyzed and utilized in parametric modeling within the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry.

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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.

To learn more about this you can email us for a demonstration or view a past lecture on the topic here:

A Partnership Toward Sustainable Insulation

U of I Team Helps Develop New Local Hemp Products
Not everyone would turn to hemp as an environmentally friendly building insulation material. But that is what University of Idaho’s colleges of Art and Architecture (CAA) and Natural Resources (CNR) are working toward, alongside the Ketchum-based company Hempitecture. The company needed solid research on their hemp products and it engaged CAA’s expertise in designing sustainable and energy-efficient buildings and CNR’s knowledge of natural materials’ properties. Together, the team hopes to design a product that will save home builders money, revolutionize the building industry, grow the local economy and help the environment by maintaining a minimal carbon footprint during production.

Our Research Assistants Grow Up So Fast

Tyler Schram
“As an architect, you are designing buildings and spaces for people to inhabit, and the structure has to be relatable to the people that experience it. It has to fit its surroundings and it has to support sustainability,” Schram said. “Those experiences, to me, are the links between architecture and people.”
Schram, who is graduating with his master’s in architecture from the College of Art and Architecture, believes sustainable development is key to the future of architecture. Many of his projects throughout undergraduate and graduate school allowed him to focus on the topic. During his time at the U of I, whether designing schools abroad or an entryway for his local park, the Boise native learned how to redesign neighborhoods to grow sustainably and help communities connect to residents.

Idaho Energy Codes - Update

The energy efficiency requirements for buildings are on track to be removed in Idaho. The Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses (DOPL) has undertaken the Zero-Based-Rulemaking process this year to eliminate all requirements that are not specifically life-safety related. As such, they have proposed removing the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2018 provisions regarding commissioning requirements, mechanical, water heating, and lighting efficiencies, among others. One can see the proposed HVAC rule changes on the DOPL website and in this document:

Specifically, one may note the proposed redlines on page 7 of the document - the International Energy Conservation Code where sections c to o are proposed to be deleted. This includes both commercial and residential efficiencies. Idaho would become one of a few states that would not have a minimum energy code.

DOPL is currently seeking feedback on these proposed changes from those in Idaho’s HVAC industry. Comments from individuals and companies are due by August 16th and can be emailed to Tim Frost and Michael Hyde at and

Integrated Design Lab

The Water Center, 322 East Front Street