Research laboratories account for up to two-thirds of an institution’s Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions. Smart Lab programs focus on improving the performance of the physical infrastructure of laboratory spaces. In order to maintain a safe working environment a typical lab building will replace and exhaust its entire internal air-volume every 5-8 minutes. An enormous amount of energy is required to supply, heat, cool, humidify, dehumidify, filter, distribute, and exhaust this air. This process often takes place 24/7, whether or not the laboratory is fully occupied. Smart Lab programs use a combination of building design and construction standards, advanced building controls, metering, sensing, fault detection systems, integration into work order systems, and coordination with environmental health and safety programs. Smart Lab programs can yield significant energy and greenhouse gas savings through real-time air quality sensing, reduced fan speeds, adjustments to filtration and humidity control, duct and exhaust system design, preventative maintenance of HVAC systems, reduced thermal inputs during setback periods, and chemical hygiene safety assessments.
- Improved safety and performance of laboratory facilities
- Lower laboratory utility and operating costs
- Reduced energy demand, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
- Retrofitting laboratories capital intensive
- Requires advance monitoring system and focused, skilled staff
- Laboratory uses are continually changing