Can Commissioning Enable Lab Safety and Sustainability?

Tom Checksfield, 3Flow
Brendan McGrath, AKF Group

Ventilation in laboratory buildings can be 50-80% of the overall energy operating costs of that building. These buildings are designed to keep researchers and occupants safe. As these buildings use a lot of energy, ongoing commissioning is an effective way to validate and maintain building performance. So why is it that after several years or even months, optimized lab buildings become problematic? This presentation will look at several ways lab commissioning and retro-commissiong are adapting to the new demands for building safety and performance.

Learning Objectives

  • Hear about current obstacles to commissioning lab projects;
  • Learn how to right-size HVAC equipment and air change rates based on risk;
  • Understand why getting all stakeholders involved is important for managing change; and
  • See why developing an overall lab building management plan based on commissioning will promote safety, sustainability, and protection of return on investment for the building/project.


Mr. Tom Checksfield is currently Senior Vice President, Operations at 3Flow. Before joining 3Flow, Mr. Checksfield worked as the General Manager at Tek-Air Systems Inc. and with Siemens Building Technologies as a Senior Account Manager. Mr. Checksfield has over 30 years of experience in the HVAC, energy management, and laboratory contol fields.

Brendan McGrath, PE, CCP, LEED AP O+M, is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Commissioning Leader at AKF Group where he oversees all commissioning projects between New Jersey and Maryland. With 15 years of experience, he is an expert in new construction commissioning, as well as retro-commissioning/ongoing commissioning and energy audits.


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