Laboratory Control Systems: A History of Independent Testing

Justin Garner, Engineered Air Balance Co., Inc.

High-speed laboratory control systems and components have been in the marketplace for almost three decades with some technology unchanged during that time period. As HVAC systems gravitated toward variable volume for energy savings, the control of laboratory ventilation systems had to undergo a significant evolution in technology. As these new systems were developed, the engineering community looked for an independent source that could verify the manufacturer's claims for performance data. Through collaboration with major laboratory owners and designers, a third-party testing protocol was developed that has become a standard in the industry. Engineered Air Balance is the only independent company to have tested all of the major laboratory control systems currently in the marketplace according to a standard procedure.

This presentation will discuss the history of high-speed laboratory control systems, the independent testing protocol developed over a decade ago, and a summary of the various data collected by technology type (not manufacturer). One size or technology does not match all lab applications. The data presented will help the target audience discern which technologies perform better in different scenarios based upon safety and energy performance goals.

Learning Objectives

  • Gain a basic understanding of the history of laboratory controls over the past two decades and the major strategies employed by the industry for pressurization control in laboratories;
  • Gain an understanding of the history of third-party testing of high-speed laboratory control systems and why this testing was developed;
  • Gain a basic understanding of the various considerations when choosing laboratory control devices in wet laboratories with fume hoods vs. other applications that do not require high speed controls; and
  • Have a basic understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the various technologies currently in the marketplace for high-speed laboratory controls based upon over a decade of independent testing.


Justin Garner leads the Houston office of Engineered Air Balance Co., Inc. as Branch Manager and is Vice President of the company. He has over 19 years of experience in building commissioning and testing, adjusting, and balancing of HVAC systems.


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