Center for Integrated Design

Annual Report

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Today, more than ever, our world needs research and data-driven decision-making. We appreciate our work with you during this unprecedented time to help shape a healthy, productive built environment for current and future generations.

Letter from the Directors

As a self-sustaining arm of the University of Washington’s (UW) College of Built Environments, the Integrated Design Lab (IDL) interconnects research, advocacy, and education to shape tomorrow’s design leaders, and help our stakeholders break new ground in sustainable design practice and accelerate long-term market transformation. The past academic year marked a pivotal period for the IDL, as we worked to support an energy efficient, healthy built environment in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. As the building industry elevated its commitment to environmental stewardship, the IDL stayed busy engaging with the design community on high-performance building technical assistance projects; shaping educational and research initiatives; onboarding and training new research students and staff ; traveling to share our recent building performance research; expanding knowledge through Bullitt Center tours; and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at the UW’s Department of Architecture.

This period was also a time for reflection at the lab. We have evolved significantly from our time as a small technical assistance group in the early 90s – back when today’s sustainability standards were mere ambitious ideas. With each project, we learn more about buildings as interdependent systems and appreciate how each piece works in tandem to achieve better performance. As we continue to expand our knowledge and experience in high performance building design, our core services have grown to address a broader range of building issues and components. We also continue to unpack questions and lessons learned through research projects and educational programs that help us translate our findings back to the design community.

In stride with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), the building industry, and our technical and utility partners, the IDL seeks to bridge academia and the building industry in a mutually supportive role to promote sustainable design, but our work is far from done. We persistently ask ourselves and our stakeholders how we can work better together to meet the challenges and opportunities posed by a rapidly evolving, often complex energy efficiency and building performance space.

– Christopher Meek and Heather Burpee

Read more in our 2016-2017 Annual Report.