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The Next Generation of Cooling Solutions for Laboratories

Paul Leonard, PE, Kling

Using 100 percent outdoor air systems to condition laboratories and provide fume hood make-up air is a standard system design. However, in labs that are cooling load driven, this system results in conditioning outdoor air to provide cooling for the lab only to be exhausted. Even if variable air volume (VAV) systems are optimized, this still results in a very energy-intensive system. There are many laboratory applications that can be satisfied by alternative methods while maintaining required ventilation. For example, a low solvent and low fume hood density biology laboratory can be served by a dedicated outdoor air system and local sensible cooling systems. This presentation will look at a current project in design where a conventional VAV system will be compared to a chilled beam and dedicated outdoor air system. Differentials in first and operating costs will be presented, along with equipment selection and control strategies.

Labs21 Connection:

This dedicated outdoor air and chilled beam system contributes not only to long-term energy savings, but also to initial construction cost savings. This minimizes environmental impact from reduced materials of construction (not only mechanical systems, but also general construction, as less building height is required). It also minimizes environmental impact with respect to energy for the life of the building. This presentation will also highlight a technology that is widely used in Europe, and has wide applications in the United States, but is seldom used. This presentation will look to widen the knowledge of this system and hopefully expand its application, resulting in even more efficient operations of new and renovated buildings, furthering the goals of not only Labs21 but also LEED™ and others.


Paul L. Leonard, PE, is an Engineering Design Principal with Kling. He has been employed at Kling Lindquist since 1993. Mr. Leonard's experience includes a wide variety of engineering systems for a wide variety of research and pharmaceutical laboratories, vivarium facilities, pharmaceutical production facilities, central utility plants, computer facilities, and office spaces.

He has the overall responsibility for setting global engineering criteria, developing systems, providing engineering and economic study data, and coordinating activities with other disciplines, outside agencies, and the client.

Mr. Leonard received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University in 1987. He is involved with ASHRAE and ISPE. He has also been a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 1988. He can be reached at


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