drive various actuators that are used to quickly operate
dampers for supply or exhaust ducts, constant or variable
volume devices, fume hoods, sun shades or security access
points. These are available in all types of configurations;
in linear, rotary and pneumatic actuating forms and from
a large number of suppliers. They’re also available for use
on UL-listed smoke control dampers and combination fire/
smoke-rated dampers. Traditional electronic and pneumatic
thermostats can also provide accurate and reliable temperature control solutions for ducted air, hydronic, fan-coil
units and heat pump applications.
Metering or monitoring should be performed on all
energy and utility-related devices within the research lab.
This includes primary electricity sources, natural gas, water,
steam, hot and cold water sources, chilled water sources
and condenser water. The electrical demand for all HVAC
(heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems should
be monitored, along with the fuel supplies for each, such
as fuel oil, natural gas or electricity. For heated or chilled
supplies, the supply and return temperatures of the liquids/
gases should be measured, along with the flow rates and
All water supplies should be monitored, such as those for
pure lab water systems, irrigation, personal hygiene, glass-
ware washers, vivarium cage washers, make-up systems for
aquatic tanks and even sprinkler systems.
The measurement points for these systems should
provide enough information to the BAS to support verification of the sustainable design features. Whole building
energy modeling should be performed as early in the construction phase as possible to analyze and understand the
exact energy and water consumption data points. Specific
monitoring intervals in the operational phases should be
predetermined and agreed upon by all design and construction personnel. Continuous real-time measurements
may not always be necessary to ensure sustainable operation. In these cases, the time interval between measurements will need to be agreed upon so that an average
energy and resource usage can be reliably determined that
meets the sustainability criteria.
It’s important that baseline “non-sustainable” energy and
water use values be obtained so that the sustainable feature
implementations can be compared and evaluated to that
baseline data. The overall measurement criteria, measuring
specifications and measurement device characteristics should
be documented into a plan to understand and confirm the
predicted system performance created in the initial design.
New sensors are constantly being developed for specialty research lab applications, often by students in
academia. Students at the Univ. of Washington, Seattle,
for example, in the Ubicomp Lab created specific devices
for sustainability sensing. Their electrical device energy
usage with a single plug-in sensor device, or ElectriSense,
provides information to a whole home (or research lab)
by determining which electrical appliances are on and off.
Their GasSense device is similarly a single point-of-use
sensor for determining the natural gas activity throughout
the home (or research lab). Another device is their WAT-TR, which provides self-powered wireless sensing of water
activity in the home (or research lab). Obviously, these are
non-commercial devices without a history of reliability
testing, but they do indicate a level of sophistication that
sensors are approaching.
Success of "Green" Lab Projects
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
Limited Experience, Unsuccessful
Limited Experience, Successful
Strong Experience, Mostly Unsuccessful
Strong Experience, Mostly Successful 18%
How Do You Know You've Created the Best
The system has to be verified with an outside consultant
who is an expert in “green” energy systems, and you can
also monitor the energy bills.
Measuring energy usage and user satisfaction over time—1
to 3 years.
There is no “best” for all circumstances, but it can be best
for the organization at the time.
Best can be making the best “green” decisions with the
available budget. It's also best if everyone knows about it
so they can tell the “green” story of the company.
Meeting or exceeding specified targets/goals.
Lower energy use/ft2 and fewer people/sample running
samples would be 'better'.
Meeting the expected LEED certification level and seeing
reduced energy costs compared to older labs with similar
Increased throughput and productivity, reduced operation-
al expenses and reduced waste generation.
Examining survey results by energy and “green” consultants
and/or government agencies.
A reduction of at least 30% in per square foot energy use.