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Utilization of Building Automation Systems and Variable Air Volume Controls to Improve Laboratory Safety and Minimize Energy Use

Thomas C. Smith, Exposure Control Technologies, Inc.

Laboratory hoods are installed to protect personnel working with potentially hazardous airborne materials. However, laboratory hood systems are expensive to install, operate and maintain. Ensuring that laboratory ventilation systems provide the required safety and operate with maximum efficiency requires accurate and reliable control of airflow. A computerized building automation system (BAS) together with variable air volume (VAV) controls can provide an effective means to regulate airflow to meet the demands of building occupants. This paper explores the use of building automation systems and variable air volume controls to help ensure proper performance of laboratory hoods and minimize the costs of operation.


Thomas C. Smith is the President of Exposure Control Technologies, Inc. Mr. Smith specializes in helping facilities achieve safe, dependable, and energy efficient operation of laboratory ventilation systems. He holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a MS degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina. Since 1985, Mr. Smith has participated in hundreds of laboratory ventilation projects and evaluated thousands of laboratory hood systems. He is a member of technical standards committees for ANSI/ASHRAE 110, ANSI/AIHA Z9.5, and ASHRAE TC9.10 and serves as a technical consultant to numerous companies, universities, and government agencies.


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