College of Art and Architecture
phone: (208) 885-4409
fax: (208) 885-9428
College of Art & Architecture
University of Idaho
835 Pine Street
Moscow, ID 83844-2461
Dedicated to Energy
Lighting the Way of the FutureYou may have heard the term IDL around town. It stands for Integrated Design Lab, a part of the University of Idaho’s College of Art and Architecture. The IDL is located in downtown Boise and it is dedicated to the development of energy efficient buildings.
Even before businesses started looking for cost cutting measures, they were looking for a way to save money and become part of a movement to cut the carbon footprint. The University of Idaho-Boise’s new Integrated Design Lab – part of the College of Art and Architecture -- has become instrumental in making that happen; its mission is to develop energy efficient buildings. Thanks to the leadership of Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, the facility has played a part in developing 90 percent of the state’s energy efficient buildings.
A recent ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark IDL’s new lab space opening saw attendance by Idaho Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce President Bill Connors and University President Duane Nellis.
Generous grants supported development of IDL’s new lab space. From 2004-08 the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance also known as NEEA provided the majority of IDL funding, but in 2008 Idaho Power began funding the IDL in a significant capacity and now represents approximately 50 percent of IDL contracts. NEEA represents about 30 percent of IDL contracts and the New Buildings Institute and other clients comprise the remainder. Idaho Power recently established a three-year scope of work (2010-12) and the IDL is nearing a new contract with NEEA (2010-14).
Since its inception, IDL’s energy efficiency projects have expanded to include a wide range of energy use and building issues. Ada County has 10 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings; IDL worked on nine of those. The projects include Banner Bank, the Boise Water Center, the Barber Park building, and the Meridian Weed and Pest building. IDL’s work reached across the state. To date, University of Idaho students, faculty and staff have worked on more than 200 energy efficiency projects around Idaho.
The bricks and mortar may be different from when the lab first opened in its original location back in 2004, but the idea is still the same. In the lab, architects and engineers work together to make their buildings more energy efficient and the work spanned both new construction and major renovation projects in Idaho and across the Pacific Northwest.
The Boise firm, CTA Architects and Engineers, worked with the University of Idaho IDL to build the state’s first higher education “academic building” to achieve LEED status. The new College of Southern Idaho Health Sciences and Human Services building achieved LEED Gold status. The partnership between CTA and IDL helped the building to achieve an energy performance rate 50 percent more efficiently than a typical energy code-compliant building.
This is approached through research, education and outreach efforts with students, owners and professional design and construction teams to transform design and construction practice and keep pace with the milestones of the 2030 Challenge. Those who utilize the resources available through the IDL will design and construct buildings that are more comfortable for people, require less energy to maintain and operate and enhance the health and productivity of inhabitants.
“I think that we can say with a good confidence level that the work of the lab [IDL] has helped transform or is beginning to transform the way things get designed and built,” says Van Den Wymelenberg, lab director. “This is attributable to the welcoming and innovative design engineering practitioners in Idaho, their long-term commitment to continuous improvement, and the important funding from organizations such as NEEA and Idaho Power to support the University of Idaho IDL in collaboration with these practitioners.”
The University of Idaho is honored to provide energy efficiency leadership in the Treasure Valley. Its impact has made significant changes in the way businesses move from old practices to sustainable entities.