Playing Favorites: Which Airflow Strategy Is Best for Your Lab: Constant Air Volume or Variable Air Volume?

Beth Mankameyer, Johnson Controls

Laboratory airflow systems are complex to install, commission, and manage. There are several variables to consider, including air changes per hour, relative pressure, temperature, humidity, fume hood placement and usage, and connectivity to your building automation system.

This session will explore the two main airflow control strategies employed for laboratories: constant air volume (CAV) and variable air volume (VAV), and the benefits and considerations of each strategy. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of laboratory airflow management and techniques to conserve energy from both strategies.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the differences between constant air volume (CAV) control and variable air volume control (VAV) for a laboratory space;
  • Analyze how fume hoods affect a space's overall airflow strategy;
  • Identify opportunities to save energy; and
  • Recognize which approach is best for your lab space or upcoming design project.


Beth Mankameyer is a Business Development Manager for Critical Environment Controls at JCI. Beth has 14 years of experience in the HVAC industry with nine of those years in critical HVAC. She is active in ASHRAE and CETA committees. She is a LEED Green Associate and a Construction Documents Technologist certified by the Construction Specifications Institute.


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