Comparing Performance of Ventilation Control Designs
for High Containment Laboratories
Jim Coogan, Siemens Building
Performance of space pressurization designs for high
containment (BSL-3 and BSL-4) laboratories was studied through a
combination of mock-up tests and dynamic simulation models. Performance
data for several pressurization systems are presented. Variations
include the type of air valves, the type of air flow sensors, and
the control sequence and tightness of the laboratory envelope. The
study concentrated on solutions currently favored for high containment
laboratories. Comparing the results will help designers select a
pressurization system appropriate to the hazards and requirements
of a particular space.
Using dynamic computer models along with tests on
a physical mock-up greatly enhances the utility of each tool. The
mock-up results refine and verify the model. The model extends the
range and flexibility of the mock-up tests.
Lab designers are aware of their pressurization options and of
general guidelines for selection. They lack design data that they
can use to apply the solution most appropriate to the lab at hand.
These results will help designers quantify anticipated performance.
As such, it gives engineers the terms to discuss pressurization
with the safety professionals focused on risk assessment.
Jim Coogan, P.E., is a Senior Principal in product development
and applications for Siemens Building Technologies. He has 25 years
experience designing microprocessor-based controls for mechanical
systems, with 15 of those spent in the HVAC industry. Jim has served
as chairman of ASHRAE Technical Committee 1.4 Controls and has been
an active member of TC 9.8 Laboratory Systems. Publications include
technical papers on room pressurization and laboratory system commissioning.
He has participated in development of HVAC control products ranging
from simple room controllers to Internet-based operator interfaces.
Jim earned his S.B. in mechanical engineering at MIT in 1980.
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