Energy-Efficient Laboratory Ventilation Design Practices and Technologies

Did you know laboratories typically have five to ten times the energy and carbon footprint of a comparatively sized office building? This is due in part to the significant amount of outside air required in these facilities. Planners and facility managers can decrease a building's energy impact by first reducing and then better managing ventilation practices and technologies. These actions can result in a 30 to 80 percent reduction in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) energy use. The challenge is accomplishing these goals in a safe and cost-effective way, while still considering the various laboratory building requirements related to fume hoods, thermal loads, and dilution ventilation.

During this workshop, attendees will learn about a progression of different yet complimentary airside technologies and design practices that can be used individually, but are best applied collectively, to significantly and safely reduce ventilation-related energy expenses. Facts and figures will help quantify potential energy savings for regional climates and specific case studies will be presented on relevant projects such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and projects within the United States.

Some topics and technologies that will be reviewed are:

  • Variable air volume technology for laboratory ventilation and fume hoods
  • Demand based control of ventilation rates based on a room's environmental quality
  • New fume hood minimum flow standards
  • Hydronic cooling approaches, including chilled beams
  • Various heat recovery approaches
  • Ways to cut project capital costs by reducing the required size of the HVAC system

Who Should Attend This Course?

This course is recommended for, but not limited to, the following occupations:

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Facility owners and managers
  • Mechanical, engineering, and plumbing professionals
  • Project managers
  • Construction/contracting managers
  • Commissioning specialists
  • Laboratory equipment manufacturers
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)-accredited professionals
  • Safety, health, and environmental management professionals
  • Laboratory users
  • Students in any of the above-mentioned fields

While the course is open to everyone, it is recommended that participants have a basic understanding of laboratory ventilation issues or have taken the Introductory Course.

I2SL wishes to acknowledge Aircuity for developing and offering this workshop.


Gordon Sharp, the chairman of Aircuity, Inc., has more than 25 years of wide-ranging entrepreneurial experience and holds more than 25 U.S. patents in the fields of energy efficiency and laboratory controls. As founder, former president, and chief executive officer of Phoenix Controls, Mr. Sharp led the development of this world leader in laboratory airflow controls that was acquired by Honeywell in 1998. In 2000, Mr. Sharp founded Aircuity, a smart airside energy efficiency company that was spun out of Honeywell.

Mr. Sharp is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree and master's degree in electrical engineering. Mr. Sharp is a member of the Board of Directors of I2SL, the nonprofit foundation that hosts the I2SL Annual Conference and formerly cosponsored the Labs21 Annual Conference, a member of the ANSI/AIHA Z9.5 Laboratory Ventilation Committee, and a member of the ASHRAE SSPC standard 170 Ventilation of Health Care Facilities committee.


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