February 7, 2023 - Damon Woods, Director, at the University of Idaho's (UI) Integrated Design Lab (IDL) provided an update on the current debate over energy codes in Idaho and the lab's work on indoor air quality and insulation. Under the state's zero-based rulemaking process, nearly 80% of the effective 2018 IECC energy code was slated for removal. While that proposal has seen major revisions and has been put on hold, there is an ongoing discussion of how the energy code might be implemented differently in the coming cycles. One major point of discussion is around air change rates and envelope tightness testing. In 2021, the UI-IDL researched the energy impacts of increasing air change rates in buildings versus other COVID mitigation strategies including enhanced filtration and UltraViolet irradiation. Surprisingly, certain applications of UltraViolet irradiation are expected to reduce building energy costs over the course of the year. The lab is also conducting research on natural-fiber insulation products in collaboration with a company that has recently established a manufacturing center in Idaho.
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