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Laboratory Sustainability: Beyond Fire, Water, and Air

Leslie Ashor and Lloyd Fisk, Research Facilities Design

Most laboratory related sustainability discussions focus on the energy-related resources required to operate a laboratory, such as electrical loads, water consumption, and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning loads (fire, water, and air). Yet, there are numerous strategies in any laboratory building that contribute to the sustainability goals, particularly in regards to the element Earth, or materials and resources. This presentation will focus on materials used as laboratory casework, equipment, and finishes. Images from Research Facilities Design's completed LEED®-certified projects will be utilized, as well as lessons learned from each of them. Current strategies from dozens of teaching and research laboratory projects on drawing boards and under construction will be discussed, providing an up-to-the-minute look at leading edge sustainability strategies from across the nation.

Opportunities for sustainability in laboratory casework and equipment that minimize environmental impact include:

  • Metal elements with recycled content
  • Bench top materials with recycled content
  • Rapidly renewable casework substrates
  • Certified wood substrates, veneers, and solids
  • Low-emitting paints and coatings
  • Low-emitting composite wood and agrifiber products
  • Alternative casework materials
  • Reusability and mobility of laboratory casework components

This presentation will include specific products and appropriate applications. Additional laboratory elements that are consistent with sustainable design and why:

  • ENERGY STAR®-rated laboratory equipment
  • Water-cooled laboratory equipment
  • Centralized laboratory vacuum systems
  • Centralized reverse osmosis/deionization water systems
  • Floors, walls, and ceilings

Biographies:

Leslie Ashor has 20 years of experience in the programming and design, renovation, and new construction of biotechnology facilities, manufacturing plants, corporate offices, financial institutions, and public agencies. Her experience encompasses programming through construction administration.

Ms. Ashor is responsible for laboratory programming, planning, design, and project management. She works closely with the client, users, and the architectural and engineering team to establish design criteria and develop a facility that is responsive to current needs and allows flexibility for future requirements. Ms. Ashor evaluates the client's needs and budget requirements and makes recommendations to solve the client's problem within the budget constraints.

Lloyd Fisk has over 11 years experience in the planning, design, documentation, contract administration, and overall project management of education, research, and private industry facilities. His experience both as a laboratory consultant and as an architectural designer gives him a broad range of knowledge concerning research facilities.

Mr. Fisk is responsible for laboratory programming, planning, design, and project management. He works closely with the client, users, and the architectural and engineering team to establish design criteria and develop a facility which is responsive to current needs and allows flexibility for future requirements.

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