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labs, more daylighting can also be brought into
the space. However, this is tricky to achieve as
low-energy MEP systems take up ceiling height.
One strategy is locating the ductwork above the
lab support spaces to free up the ceiling above
the open lab space. By pushing the ceiling heights
from 9 ft to 12 ft, or even 14 ft, this enables daylighting to penetrate 30 ft into the interior. Raising
ceilings also redefines air change rates, which may
introduce a discussion of occupied zone ventilation that should include the lab safety officer.
In general, it behooves labs to work with
their local utility to more carefully measure energy consumption, identify rebates
and incentives and replace old, inefficient
equipment. And don’t forget MEP system
recommissioning, which inevitably reveals
operational anomalies and opportunities for
pushing energy use even lower.
Overall, a sustainable, energy-efficient
lab design is about evaluating the integrated
whole, benchmarking other lab’s strategies
and using the right amount of the right equipment for the right application.
When mitigating the high cost of energy or
water, sustainable lab design is indeed “going
mainstream”, packing better performance and
return on investment.
Victor J. Cardona, AIA, VP and director of lab
planning, and George Karidis, PE, LEED AP, VP
and corporate engineer for the S&T practice, are
print by consolidating spaces.
Plans to buy new equipment or move the old
should be screened for lower-energy choices with
ultra-insulated, water-cooled, variable-output,
right-sized, shared or similar benefits.
Biosafety cabinets and laminar flow hoods
introduce additional opportunities to reduce
plug loads. Fans can be shut off and hood
sashes can be fully closed when not in use.
Additional options include activating night
setbacks for the cabinets, turning off UV lights
during down times and using HEPA filters in
place of ULPA filters that consume more fan
energy due to higher pressure drops.
To target water consumption, consider sterilizers capable of driving down water use by
40%, using process cooling water in place of
domestic water for post-sterilization chamber
cooling. Air-handling unit condensation, which
flows at a maximum during humid weather,
may be recycled as free make-up air to cooling
towers with a simultaneous peak evaporation
rate. And district steam service condensate, if
not returned to the utility, may also supplement
any year-round cooling tower operation.
Also, by providing ample daylighting, supplemental LED ambient lighting with occupancy sensors and user-controlled LED task
lights, users can cut lighting energy by 35%,
which has an indirect, but significant, effect
on reducing the HVAC energy load (Figure 3).
With greater floor-to-floor heights required to
house the mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP)
and low-vibration structural systems in today’s
air filtration and optional charcoal- or potas-
ADDITIONAL BEST PRACTICES
A number of other technologies can go a
long way in reducing energy consumption.
Below are some labs may consider:
• Low-face-velocity air handlers and
ductwork—less fan energy, less noise.
• UV-C lights to keep cooling coils clean—
lower drag, higher IAQ.
• “Active” air filters—electrically enhanced
(as opposed to electrostatic).
• Variable-speed drives on fan and pump
motors—even for balancing changes.
• Electronically commutated motors on small
fans and circulator pumps.
• LED lighting inside and out, as cost drops—
low energy, long life, dimmable.
• Exhaust stack turn-down—via modeling
and wind anemometer control.
• Extended water-side free cooling—great
with warmer, nominal 58 F circuits.
• Exhaust air waste heat recovery—enthalpy
wheels on non-hood exhaust.
• Integrated photovoltaic building components—wall panels, shades, skylights.
With regard to user strategies, it’s important
to encourage researchers to adopt a number
of different practices to reduce plug loads. For
example, a 10% reduction in lab equipment
loads isn’t unrealistic, and researchers should
consider modifying scientific methods and
chemical use, and/or decreasing their foot-
; CLEMENTS JOINS VANDERWEIL ENGINEERS
Michael Clements, PE, LEED AP, has joined Vanderweil Engineers as regional director. Clements, a professional engineer,
has extensive international experience and specializes in the
design of vivarium and lab research facilities. Clements’ expertise includes the design of BSL- 3, BSL-3E and BSL-3Ag labs, as
well as high-performance containment HVAC and controls systems. He has consulted on more than 2.3 million sf of research
facilities, including projects for the National Institutes of Health,
Penn State Univ. and the Univ. of Georgia.
;JOHN NATSIS PROMOTED TO PRINCIPAL/OWNER AT
Johnsrud Architects has announced the promotion of John
Natsis to Principal. Natsis joined Johnsrud Architects in 1995 as
the firm’s first employee and has proven himself consistently
throughout the years as a mentor to his colleagues and as a
leader in facility planning, design and project management.
With over 25 years of experience and in his new role as Principal, Natsis will continue to ensure proven results in all phases
of projects, spanning from S&T to administrative workspace,
providing hands-on leadership to Johnsrud’s projects and support to Johnsrud’s clients. Natsis’ expanding responsibilities
will include: leadership focus on new technologies and techniques for improving services and the design-build process,
business development for new and expanding markets and
working closely with Charlie Johnsrud, Principal and CEO, in
the overall management of the firm, pushing and developing
the firm’s strategic vision into the future.
;ROBIN GUENTHER NAMED 2014 LEED FELLOW
Perkins+Will has announced Robin Guenther, FAIA, an international leader in sustainable healthcare architecture, has been
recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council as a 2014 LEED
Fellow, the group’s most prestigious designation. Guenther, a
principal at Perkins+Will and the firm’s Sustainable Healthcare
Design Leader, is a long-time advocate at the intersection of
public health, restorative design and environmental stewardship. She led the design of several notable facilities including
the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and the
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Discovery Health
Center in Harris, N.Y. continued on page 26