Environmental Monitoring in the Modern Laboratory for Energy, Safety, and Sustainability

Kieran Donohue, CRC
Jed Thompson, University Nebraska Medical Center

All too often, laboratory facilities are not operating as designed. Whether the laboratory was never commissioned properly, or the owners end up utilizing the space in a different way than originally intended, owners and operators are left with inefficient facilities which can be costly but more importantly can be unsafe. This presentation will focus on empowering owners to understand their system at the room level.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has more than one million square feet of laboratory space located across 12 buildings; with those spaces ever evolving, they have worked with optimized systems to commission these spaces. With a variety of control systems and insufficient information there are many limitations to improving functionality and energy efficiency while ensuring safety.

UNMC has both healthcare and laboratory facilities that are deemed critical. While they are required to have local indication of their healthcare environments, they have implemented the same features for their laboratory environments. By also utilizing environmental displays on laboratories, their researchers can confidently trust the environment is in the correct state. In the modern lab pressurization is no longer the only important factor, temperature, humidity, air change rate, air quality and mode all play a part in the space operating properly.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the importance of environmental monitors and displaying information at the room level;
  • Identify what impacts can be present based on a sequence that affect laboratory environments;
  • Empower owners to have as much control of their system as they desire; and
  • Design laboratory environments to promote flexibility and safety.


Kieran Donohue is the President and Founder of Critical Room Control. Mr. Donohue has spent over 30 years developing innovative solutions that provide safe, energy efficient working environments. He has recognized and implemented technological shifts to produce innovative solutions. His work includes multiple patents and development of technology that has improved the safety and user experience of today’s critical spaces.

Jed Thompson has been an Energy Engineer at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for the last six years, where his responsibilities include designing and maintaining building automation systems for campus.


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