Working with NEEA to advance energy efficiency in the PNW

The ID+CL advances innovation in practice as part of an allied regional network of university labs (UO, UW, WSU, UI, MSU) that provides technical assistance and market diffusion services to AECO building teams. The network seeks to transform design, construction, and building operational practices to advance high-performance building designs that are more comfortable for people, require less carbon and energy to construct and maintain, and enhance the health and productivity of occupants. Since 2019, we have completed several projects through the BetterBricks, Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLC), Secondary Glazing Systems (SGS), and Commercial Code Enhancement programs, advancing the body of knowledge on energy efficiency and our mission of happy people + happy buildings + happy planet.  

In the fall of 2020, we worked through the LLLC program with Seattle City Light, the UW IDL, and the Lighting Design Lab on a survey that determines preferred wall station setups for LLLC and network lighting controls (NLC) systems in buildings. To better understand user preferences, and to test hypotheses surrounding wall stations and controls for these systems, project partners developed a survey specific to modern wall stations, collecting valuable market intelligence and measuring the adoption of LLLC technologies in buildings. The ID+CL helped with development of the survey, data analysis, and reporting.

With the team, it was determined that a measure we called “lighting IQ” or a baseline for understanding a user’s experience with and knowledge of using the systems, was telling of user preferences. Overall, occupants with a high lighting IQ preferred multi-scene wall stations, with scene-specific labeling and manual dim/lower functionality. Additionally, across participants, labeling preferences are likely a function of space type and a hybrid labeling approach is preferred by most users. This collaboration with the Lighting Design Lab was not only an opportunity to collaborate with others in the Lab network but allowed the ID+CL to build relationships with all members of the team. Thank you to the UW IDL, LDL, and Seattle City Light for such a great project!

In 2020, we worked with the Commercial Code Enhancement and BetterBricks program on developing case studies for the Spokane Catalyst Building, as well as the surrounding development, the South Landing to document the groundbreaking project features. Having experience with the site through our tenant engagement project (can be seen below) the ID+CL helped collect stories, lessons learned, and information on the innovative decisions made for the project, in six detailed case studies. Huge thanks are deserved for the coordination, support, and mentorship from Avista Utilities, Emerald Initiative/Edo, and McKinstry along the way!

Click to read all the Case Studies: