The Challenge of Designing a Lab with New Energy Code Requirements

Michelle Fennell, BR+A Consulting Engineers

As States rush to adopt the latest energy code, many aspects of the building design are impacted. The performance method, most often used by new construction projects, has changed significantly and has removed many of the lab specific items previously included. In this session we will go through some of the biggest challenges that face laboratory design related to the changing code requirements. Specific project examples will help to illustrate the impacts and potential solutions for new laboratory building design and existing laboratory building renovations.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be able to identify the difference in energy code requirements for a new building compared to a renovation;
  • Participants will be able to recognize the specific items in the code that require changes in a laboratory building from normal building practice;
  • Participants will be able to navigate specific solutions to the energy code requirements for laboratory buildings; and
  • Participants would be able to choose the code that will apply to their project's scope of work.


Michelle Fennell has over 10 years of experience in the fields of HVAC Engineering, Energy, and Sustainability. As both an HVAC Engineer and Sustainability Coordinator at BR+A, she has been involved in the engineering of HVAC systems, energy modeling and sustainable project management. Michelle is a LEED AP, an active member of ASHRAE, serves as the Communications Officer for the New England Chapter of I2SL and was named one of Engineered Systems Magazine’s 20 to Watch: Women in HVAC.


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