Building Conservation Efforts
The responsible use of all forms of energy and the good health of the University of Idaho and local communities are high priorities of the university, which is committed to environmental, economic and social sustainability. One of the ways U of I fosters these priorities is by developing sustainable building standards for new buildings and major building renovation projects. Sustainable building standards yield cost savings through reduced operating costs; help to provide a healthy and productive environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors; and contribute to the university’s goals of protecting, conserving and enhancing the region’s and state’s environmental resources.
The University of Idaho has incorporated specific precepts, strategies, and technologies related to sustainable building design in the design and construction of each facility recently identified and completed under the current Long Range Campus Development Plan (LRCPD). Architectural strategies such as siting based upon environmental determinants, daylighting, solar shading of glazing and sustainable materials are incorporated in facilities such as the Idaho Student Union Building, Student Recreation Center, and Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratory. Mechanical systems are designed to be efficient — often exceeding Idaho State Energy Code requirements — and make use of strategies such as heat recovery, Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), zoning, location of intakes based upon environmental determinants and digital controls. The following sections identify recent and ongoing efforts to incorporate sustainable building practices at the University of Idaho.