23ASHRAE Seminar Recording

Seminar 40. Energy Efficient Labs: Case Studies

2015 ASHRAE Annual Conference

Laboratory buildings use much more energy than most other building types. Due to their complex nature, labs are also more expensive to maintain and operate. Laboratory safety is the highest priority. Sustainable design often leads to more complicated systems, especially in a laboratory environment. Those systems are often quite expensive and are more difficult to maintain. However, the typical laboratory project goals of delivering a facility that is safe, energy efficient, maintainable and affordable are not necessarily mutually exclusive. This seminar showcases some projects that employed innovative methods to tackle these types of issues, with surprising outcomes.

  • A Case Study in Retrofitting and Upgrading Lab Exhaust Systems from Constant Air Volume (CAV) to Variable Air Volume (VAV)
    David Rausch, Associate Member
    Retrofitting and upgrading a lab building can be a daunting task on so many levels. Especially when that building is a key contributor to the campuses research capabilities. This Case study of a 1973 vintage Chemistry building will look at some of the more interesting risks and challenges that a team of engineers had to face in order to meet the energy goals set out. Challenges like; Lab Occupancy, existing space and infrastructure limitations and most importantly, funding. We will step through the unique planning strategies used and review the outcome of a more energy efficient lab HVAC system that is safe, comfortable and achieved nearly $2Million dollars in annual energy savings.

  • Beyond LEED Platinum: A Case Study for a High Performance Laboratory Building
    Todd Mowinski II, P.E., Associate Member
    The Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) is a 220,000 sf, $90 million biomedical research facility for the Georgia Institute of Technology.  GT’s goals for the building were to decrease EUI, as compared to other similar buildings on campus, by 25%.  The anticipated decrease is closer to 50%.  The case study will review the decision making process that led to the ability to exceed the goal, including setting the design criteria and system selection.  Additionally, we will review expected vs actual performance of some of the more unique and innovative HVAC systems (dual stage run around loop, chilled beams) used for the laboratory and vivarium systems.

  • Finding the Low Hanging Fruit of Energy Savings in Existing Laboratories
    Chris Germann
    In this presentation we will explore how revisiting laboratory control 101 lead to an ARRA funded energy retrofit that returned operational savings and professor happiness to a college in South Georgia.

    University’s Lab Facility Gets High Marks for VAV Remedy

    Fixing an old problem typically brings a measure of satisfaction. Fixing one that’s not “old,” and has expensively festered from the beginning while also making a nuisance of itself adds new facets to the challenge. 

    Ultimately, the solution to a university’s vexing HVAC problem has won accolades from school administrators, students, faculty, bean counters and maintenance staff alike.

    Inside Armstrong Atlantic State University’s (AASU) two-story, 200,000-square-foot Science Center in Savannah, GA, is a network of 36 state-of-the-art laboratory rooms, classrooms and offices.  Immediately after construction wrapped-up in 2001, the buildings (supposedly) VAV exhaust and HVAC equipment showed its true colors.  The ambient noise level in the laboratories was 72 dBa and, sadly, the system was anything but VAV