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Laboratory Energy Savings Design - A Case Study

Paul Gibson, TKG Consulting Engineers, Inc.


TKG will share how we anticipated HVAC operating costs for a given facility with greater accuracy utilizing our database of existing facilities to refine computerized cost models. Our presentation will also show how we evaluate different HVAC systems for new laboratory facilities by comparing the need of the new facility with those of previously designed laboratories. The information analyzed will include the number and type of hoods required, heat generation due to people and equipment, hours of operation and building envelope considerations. The presentation will summarize the outcome of different HVAC system options for first costs, operating costs and payback. The analysis will conclude with the actual energy usage of three different facilities and offices designed.


TKG will show overall capitol and operations expenses for Research and Development Pharmaceutical facilities. This will include actual first costs for mechanical system installed in a multitude of facilities from start-up to current large scale Research and Development facilities. There are a number of cost sources and savings ideas that will be shared including local utilities rebates for energy efficient design, to customized diversities for equipment and utilities sizing that will be shown to keep overall cost down based on actual facilities.

Systems being shown in our findings will include variable air volume systems, energy efficient chilled water plants, piped utilities and building control strategies. Actual cost for these systems and operating costs will be outlined with a simple payback analysis shown for all systems. Part of this overall equation will also include the importance of proper commissioning, so that energy efficient systems that are installed operate at their premium efficiency.

Labs21 Connection:

As engineers striving to provide the most cost effective energy efficient systems, it is our goal to provide as much information as possible for the laboratory design community. The more information that is shared among peers and associates, the more educated the end users become. It is important to take the "whole building" approach, including building envelopes, building mass and site orientation, daylighting, electrical usage, and mechanical systems. The project that we designed for Pfizer (which will be used as part of our Case Study) was the first laboratory building in San Diego, CA that received a maximum utility company energy rebate based on its' extremely energy efficient design. In addition, other renewable energy systems include reclaimed water for cooling tower use.


For over twenty years, Paul Gibson, P.E., has been providing mechanical and electrical engineering solutions with an emphasis in energy efficiency and optimum system operation. Paul was educated at State University at New York in Air Conditioning Technology, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in Environmental Engineering. This, coupled with an early (brief) career as a service mechanic and three years with Carrier Corporation, have helped diversify his background. Mr. Gibson has directed and supervised engineering for R&D Laboratories, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facilities, Medical Facilities, Hi-rise Residential Buildings, various remodel and new construction projects as well as commercial office complexes.

Some projects include: San Diego International Airport - Lindbergh Field; University of California - San Diego, California; California State University - San Marcos, California; Kaiser Permanente Medical Center - San Diego, California; The Scripps Research Institute - La Jolla, California; ISIS Pharmaceuticals - Carlsbad, California; Cytel Corporation - San Diego, California; Telios Pharmaceuticals - San Diego, California; Aselsan Microelectronics Facility - Ankara, Turkey; Merck Pharmaceuticals - San Diego, California and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, California.

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