March 2021 - 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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In spite of all 2020 had in store, IDL had a productive year. We hosted 26 public lectures to a total of 370 local professionals and worked directly with over 15 different architecture and engineering firms to impact over 385,000 square feet of buildings. Two of our graduate students (Lyndsay Watkins and Kelsey Ramsey) led the team that won the grand $10k prize at Boise start-up week! We’re enjoying our ongoing research on printing 3D construction panels with wood pulp, patenting an infrared thermostat, doing professional outreach to new firms, and analyzing the energy impact of COVID-19 on buildings.

Change in Leadership

The Integrated Design Lab is happy to announce our new interim director Dr. Damon Woods! Dr. Woods is honored to take the helm at IDL as interim director for 2021. From his start as a summer intern at IDL nine years ago to now, working at the lab has been a source of inspiration and pride. After finishing his master’s at Boise State, Damon joined the IDL as a full-time PhD student from 2013-2018 focusing on thermal comfort, energy modeling, and radiant systems. During that time, Damon was fortunate enough to receive mentorship under each of the previous directors: Kevin, Elizabeth, and Ken. Damon hopes to continue the traditions of applied research, innovative education, and community engagement, which have been hallmarks of the IDL ever since its inception in 2004 under Ken Baker and Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg. Damon’s three main goals for the lab in 2021 are to:

  • Support more architecture and engineering students at the lab so they can bring the principles of integrated design into practice.
  • Expand the lab’s research avenues so that the IDL can provide Idaho’s design firms relevant insights on emerging building technologies.
  • Establish new partnerships with both industry and government so that together we can help build a more sustainable and resilient future for all Idahoans.

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    A personal note from Ken Baker. Folks, it has been a pleasure working with you and the IDL staff over the past two and a half years. Becoming the Interim Director of the IDL was not anticipated but, as my very last public sector job (yes I plan to retire this summer), it has been a very satisfying experience. Working with our youthful and highly talented staff was truly a highlight of my career. I am impressed to the extreme with the talent, the dedication and belief in efficiency and sustainability I have seen in all of our staff. They bring their best every day.

    As one of the five founders of the IDL, I have always believed in and supported the Lab. I am especially happy that we were able to build the amount of masters student interns to four over my tenure and that Damon will add to this number. Providing graduate engineering and architectural students with the opportunity to learn and apply the kind of real-world experience that will provide value to the design industry was a founding goal and my personal chief reason for supporting the creation of the IDL.

    I can’t say enough good things about our new Interim Director. Already incredibly skilled, Damon is always working to improve himself and the Lab. Through his dedication, people oriented style and applied knowledge of energy efficiency, I believe the IDL will thrive. All of us at the lab are 100% behind him.

    I’m very thankful for you, our clients, patrons and University of Idaho support system. I very much appreciate your good work.


    General Updates

    The Integrated Design Lab's office, The Idaho Water Center, is still closed to the public until we are directed it is safe to open up in-person operations. Therefore, during social distancing the IDL will be working in-office and providing what services we can. For a list of our services available during the COVID-19 Pandemic, please see below. This is subject to change at any time as we adhere to social distance requirements from our multiple sponsors.

    For the first half of the year we will be continuing our webinar format with all lectures being open for anyone to attend. We will re-evaulate the lecture format.
    To view the lecture schedule please: Click Here
    We are excited to kick off the first half of BSUG! The first BSUG will be held on March 24th and will focus on radiant systems research by Carlos Duarte – Postdoctoral Scholar UC Berkeley.
    Details and registration links will be sent out this week.
    We are still offering our services for projects during this time, however, all requests must be through email or phone. Furthermore, all meetings will be via Zoom webinar, no exceptions. 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
    We are continuing our contact-less drop-off and pick-up procedures with the appointment only system. You must have an appointment scheduled to use the Energy Resource Library, no exceptions will be made.

    To use the Energy Resource Library, please fill out a proposal as you normally would and you will be contacted by a Lab employee to schedule your appointment within 1 to 2 business days. During this time same day request will not be fulfilled. While the Lab has made exceptions to the processing time in the past with these new procedures we are unable to do so, we apologize for the inconvenience. For more information about using the Energy Resource Library, please visit:

    New Employee

    Please join us in welcoming our new employee; Jason Talford

    Jason graduated from Boise State University with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering with an emphasis on energy efficiency systems. He is excited to keep his roots in the treasure valley by pursuing a masters of mechanical engineering with the University of Idaho in Boise and is looking forward to a career focused on the communities he calls home.

    Our last engineering intern, Jubin Mathai graduated with his masters this spring. Jubin took a job at University of New Hampshire (he was also offered a funded Ph.D. position at University of Ottowa). We wish the best of luck in his career pursuits.

    New Lunch and Learn Topics

    We have three new topics that we are creating this year for Lunch and Learn. The first two deal with ASHRAE standards. Standard 36 – High Performance Sequences of Operation for HVAC Systems & Standard 209 – Energy Simulation-Aided-Design. The third topic will discuss the LEED V4.1 Daylighting Credits. We will be posting descriptions and learning objectives for these courses on our website in the coming weeks.

    BSUG Update

    We are excited to kick off the first half of BSUG! The first BSUG will be held on March 24th and will focus on radiant systems research by Carlos Duarte – Postdoctoral Scholar UC Berkeley. The lecture will focus on a simulation study investigating the feasibility of coupling cooling towers/fluid coolers with high thermal mass radiant systems in US climates.
    In addition, the second BSUG will take place on April 28th and be presented by Ian Molloy. Ian will be discussing the recent developments utilizing the same analytical model as Insight but EnergyPlus through OpenStudio for the engine. More details about this lectures will be sent out via the BSUG newsletter.
    The remaining BSUG lecture will focus on the following topics:

    Passive Design Strategies – Climate Design Tools

    Early Design Workflow

    Data Visualization

    LLLC’s Live Demo

    Air Quality for Energy Efficiency

    If you know someone who you think would be a good presenter please let us know by emailing Dylan Agnes at

    Things we're excited about in 2021

  • Installing Luminaire Level Lighting Controls in our office at the Boise campus.
  • Continuing our research on 3D cellulosic printing of building panels.
  • Participating in INL's Center for Advanced Studies (CASE) summer visiting faculty program and their Innovative Energy Systems working group
  • Thank you for all of your support throughout 2020. We’re excited to embark on a new year together!

    Integrated Design Lab

    The Water Center, 322 East Front Street