Center for Integrated Design

Discovery Through Research

The Integrated Design Lab carries out research to advance knowledge and policies that support the healthiest and highest performing buildings and cities. It measures and analyzes modeled and actual building performance data in order to influence the building industry’s understanding of how to radically improve the design and operation performance of buildings. Our performance research includes energy efficiency, daylighting, electric lighting, occupant energy use behavior, human health and productivity in buildings, and advanced building management systems.

Learn more about our research areas and work examples:

Building Energy Performance

The IDL analyzes building data and examines what impacts energy use – from code and incentives to design and human behavior.

Part of this work includes comprehensive operational energy performance documentation and data measurement and verification of the Bullitt Center, a five-story net-zero energy urban office building in Seattle, WA, which achieves performance goals through multiple integrated strategies incorporating technologies, systems, and human behavior. Data collection includes evaluating end-use energy, renewables, passive systems operation, light and comprehensive plug-load management and tenant engagement. IDL led the implementation of device-level data acquisition for commercial office equipment in service of the Bullitt Foundation’s innovative green-lease program.

Work highlights:

Occupant-Behavior-Driven Energy Savings at the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington (2016) – publication

Metered Energy Efficiency Transaction Structure in Ultra-Efficient New Construction: Pay-For-Performance at the Bullitt Center in Seattle, WA (2016) – publication

Building User Audit: Capturing Behavior, Energy, and Culture (2016) – publication

High Performance Buildings: Building Change (2016) – publication

Living Proof: The Bullitt Center (2014) – publication

Tsinghua University Partnership – ongoing international research collaboration

NEEA Commercial Code Enhancement – ongoing research project

UW IDL Partnership Initiative – new design firm research collaboration

Health Design

The US Department of Energy estimates that buildings use approximately 50% of the total energy consumed in the United States today and produce a similar proportion of the greenhouse gases; hospitals as a building type use the second greatest amount of energy in the US. With growing attention to climate change and interest in achieving the 2030 Challenge, we are working toward the goal of significantly reducing energy consumption in hospitals. Using energy simulation tools and existing precedents, we are developing tools that aid our partners in achieving groundbreaking energy goals that can meet or exceed the 2030 challenge.

High Performance buildings embody both energy efficiency and superior interior environmental qualities. The hospital workforce is a chronically stressed population making life-or-death decisions working 12+ hour shifts. They often work without a glimpse of daylight, a view from a window or a place of respite from this chaotic environment. High-quality healing environments have been well recognized and established for patients and continue to be a critical part of design parameters. Attributes such as daylight, view, green space, and fresh air are imperative components to high performance hospitals, adding to the quality and health of the built environment. Incorporating daylight, views, and fresh air into hospitals requires a re-evaluation of the traditional building form and geometry, especially in traditionally deep-plan diagnostic and treatment facilities.

European examples provide a roadmap to energy efficiency and also present examples for incorporating excellent indoor environmental qualities into the hospital environment. The IDL draws from these precedents to demonstrate how quality drivers can be incorporated in hospitals, providing more comfortable environments for patients, visitors, and staff while also using significantly less energy.

The IDL’s Targeting 100! research provides design, delivery and ownership teams with tools to meet the 2030 Challenge in hospitals with very little additional up-front capital investment.

The Integrated Design Lab works with design teams and healthcare system partners in the Pacific Northwest. Our aim is to provide an integrated project delivery and operations approach that increases the quality of the work and healing environment and significantly reduces energy use in healthcare settings. The IDL also serves as a teaching and research lab for the University of Washington Department of Architecture.

For more information contact Heather Burpee.

Work highlights:

Health in the Built Environment: Testing Health Impacts of Green Buildings (2016) – publication

Health Impacts of Green Buildings (2014) – publication

Targeting 100! 2010 Pacific Northwest Full Report -publication

AIA Design and Health Research Consortium – research collaboration

Daylighting and Lighting

Daylighting, Windows, Dynamic Shading, and Lighting Systems

The Integrated Design Lab provides academic and applied research in the area of windows, daylighting, solar control, and visual comfort. This includes primary research focused on visual comfort and the experience of daylight in buildings, dynamic shading systems, emerging window technology, and electric lighting and controls. We have extensive experience with lighting and daylighting system performance audits and user experience surveys. Further, we provide project-based research for design teams in the Puget Sound Region and nationally with a focus on daylighting design, building system performance analysis, with an aim to support and shape design teams’ vision and to raise the bar for building performance and professional practice in the area of lighting and integrated design. We have experience on a broad range of building types including commercial, institutional, educational and industrial projects. We have extensive expertise in the simulation and analysis of both instantaneous and annual daylighting performance and electric lighting and controls integration and with the simulation and performance dynamic shading and façade systems. The lab includes a library of glazing and material samples, light redirecting technology, window coverings, and solar control products.

Facilities for Physical Models

Our facility includes a tilting earth heliodon, mirror-box overcast sky simulator, along with an array of digital simulation tools, photometric measuring equipment, data acquisition systems and tools for specialized photography. Access to the Materials and Daylighting Lab (MAD Lab) is by appointment and is located in Gould Hall on the University of Washington campus.

IDL research in the area of daylighting, windows, and solar control components has been funded through partnerships with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Energy (US DOE), New Buildings Institute (NBI), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Tacoma Power, Seattle City Light (SCL), and numerous building owners and designers.

Work highlights:

The Bullitt Center Experience: The Light Dynamic – Measured Performance of Lighting and Daylight Systems (2016) – publication

LD+A: Mystery through Daylight (2013) – publication

Daylighting Design In The Pacific Northwest (2012) -publication

LD+A: A Guide to Daylighting Success (2011) -publication

Advanced Daylighting Guide – Daylighting Examples (2010) – publication

Dynamic Solar Shading and Glare Control for Human Comfort (2010) – publication