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Renovating Laboratories for Safety and Efficiency

Jim Coogan, P.E., Siemens Building Technologies

The green building movement emphasizes the recycling and reuse of materials. What about reusing whole buildings? That's what happens when you renovate your aging laboratory facilities. Renovation projects may save energy and operating costs, may improve laboratory ventilation and safety, and may reduce the impact of laboratory exhaust on the surroundings. Sometimes the combination of benefits achieved is hard to predict. Much depends on the starting conditions, which often include surprises.

With an emphasis on ventilation and control, this poster will examine renovation issues and decision criteria. Special attention will be paid to the way decisions of what to replace affect performance of the final system.

This poster continues the Labs21 record of challenging traditional obstacles to energy efficiency. In the context of a retrofit project, it will re-examine air flow control assumptions to increase opportunities for flow rate reductions.


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 the development of HVAC control products ranging from simple room controllers to Internet-based operator interfaces. Jim earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980.

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