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Fume Hood Controls and HVAC System Sizing for a New Chemistry Laboratory

Scott Sepsy, P.E., Princeton University
Russell Campbell, P.E., Campbell Engineering

Princeton University is currently developing contract documents for a new 260,000 square foot chemistry laboratory. This building will include teaching and research laboratories, an atrium, auditorium, and other support spaces. A major focus for the mechanical engineering team, since the project inception, has been the type, quantity, and control schemes for the fume hoods and the air systems serving these hoods. An earlier iteration of this project was previously described in a poster session at the Labs21 2006 Annual Conference.

In arriving at the current design scheme, the team has looked at various hood types on the campus and measured hood usage patterns with presence detection. Different hood control schemes and diversity factors, informed by measured usage patterns, were integrated using life cycle cost analysis. This presentation will review the various control schemes that were studied and the data collected on the campus that was used in the design.

These control scheme decisions and allowances for future growth, operational changes and central utility plant capacity are factored in to the equipment sizing. Different sizing factors are applied to different system components due to ease of modification and probabilities of future changes.


Scott Sepsy, P.E., has worked at Princeton University since 1986 and been manager of mechanical engineering since 1992. Prior to that, he worked for five years at Werden Associates Consulting Engineers in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Scott has been active in ASHRAE since 1982, serving on various local and society committees. He has worked on a variety of project types including research laboratories, historical buildings, rare book archives, food storage facilities, and athletic facilities, to name a few. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Russell C. Campbell, P.E., is the principal of Campbell Engineering & Associates, with offices in Rochester, New York, and Yardley, Pennsylvania. He has 27 years of experience as a field engineering and design specialist in HVAC and mechanical systems and is engaged in providing investigation, testing, balancing, design, and corrective design services for laboratory, institutional, industrial, and commercial facilities. He has worked with Princeton University over the last 27 years on a variety of laboratory and other facilities-related projects. Mr. Campbell has a degree in mechanical engineering from the College of New Jersey and is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

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