Breaking Down Barriers Moving Beyond Prescriptive Codes and Standards to Achieve Deep Energy Savings in the Laboratory Environment

Wendell Brase, University of California, Irvine

Do you ever fee like you have your hands tied by local regulations that hinder your ability to think outside the box when the desire is to push the line on sustainable laboratory design and operation? Often code and standards are either ambiguous, based on outdated rules of thumb, or subject to overly conservative interpretations by the local AHJ. In developing their Smart Lab program, the University of California at Irvine ran up against these same barriers. Fortunately, through strong leadership and the ability of the University to establish their own guidelines, the University was able to go beyond these prescriptive standards and develop new methodologies that are performance based that not only optimize energy consumption, but also increase safety and sustainability in their labs. The Smart Labs program was so successful that the new California Energy Code, Title 24, has now adopted several of these strategies as requirements for future laboratory design and operation for the next generation of laboratories constructed within the state.

Learning Objectives

  • How to recognize an opportunity to challenge existing codes and standards to improve energy efficiency and sustainability in lab design and operation;
  • The importance of putting together a team of stake holders and the attributes to look for when putting together the team;
  • What steps need to be taken to provide confidence that the performance based design is acceptable to all stake holders; and
  • A description of the laboratory exhaust initiatives that were developed at UC Irvine that have now been adopted into the latest Energy Code for the State of California.


Speaker biography coming soon.


Note: I2SL did not edit or revise abstract or biography text. Abstracts and biographies are displayed as submitted by the author(s).