Laboratories create a very interesting challange. Various codes, standards, and industry guidelines require high air exchange quantities which have a huge energy impact. Engineering HVAC systems for laboratories to significantly reduce the impact of high air flows makes each project a unique challange.
Our laboratory engineering has included both large and small scale projects, and both new and retrofit challanges. Please contact us for a list of projects.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Western Laboratory
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) maintains a San Francisco laboratory for evaluation and processing of evidence in support of their operations. This regional facility requires not only stringent laboratory standards but also evidentiary processes in handing of all evidence. Security is also paramount due to the nature of the evidence. The GSA selected a method of leasing an existing building for a complete interior gut-out and subsequent configuration as a laboratory.
STAN was responsible for the engineering of the complete infrastructure for the project. The 42,530 square foot building is divided into approximately 55% lab space, 25% evidence security space, and administration and support areas.
The laboratory and evidence spaces required precise HVAC with strict performance standards for fume hood exhaust, air changes, pressurization, temperature, and humidity. A Phoenix laboratory airflow control system was used in conjunction with a Strobic fume exhaust system and a 100% outside air handling unit. Controls were integrated between all systems to meet the
stringent lab standards. Occupancy sensing is being utilized to greatly reduce air flows and thus energy use when the labs are unoccupied. Lighting is controlled based on daylight illumination levels and occupancy. All laboratory plumbing systems, including multiple gases, were engineered.
The administration spaces were engineered for optimal energy use, with effective yet efficient lighting under both dimming and occupancy control. The HVAC system for all non-laboratory spaces is a Variable Air Volume (VAV) reheat system, designed and controlled based on thermal load and occupancy.
Central plants were designed and provided for heating water, chilled water, compressed air, domestic hot water, and purified water. The heating water and chilled water plants consist of multiple boilers and chillers piped in primary/secondary pumping arrangements. The purified water plant includes both reverse osmosis and deionization systems, as well as constant recirculation pumps.
Engineering included all aspects of HVAC, plumbing, electrical power, lighting, fire alarm, security, and technology. Overall construction cost exceeded $34 million with the engineering systems representing $12.5 million of the total.
AHC Campus Laboratory Energy Savings Projects
University of Cincinnati, Ohio
The University of Cincinnati’s focus on reducing energy use has identified four significant opportunities to reduce chilled water, heating, and electrical usage and demand. Four laboratory buildings totaling 214,327 square feet have been identified for a $2,275,000 retrofit to current laboratory standards to reduce energy use.
Each of the laboratory spaces has a 24-hour-per-day air flow of 12 to 16 air changes per hour. For the majority of the hours, the laboratories are unoccupied. The project includes changes required to reduce air flow rates to 8 air changes per hour when occupied and 4 air changes per hour when unoccupied. The energy savings potential is huge.
Molecular Cellular Biology Building
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota selected STAN and Associates as the Commissioning Authority for this project based on our extensive background in complex HVAC Systems and Controls for laboratory spaces.
This is a significant building of approximately 230,000 square feet with roughly 80% laboratory and vivarium space and the balance in office and
support space. Mechanical systems were complex and featured temperature, humidity, and pressure control through DDC. 100% of the building mechanical and electrical components and systems were included in the commissioning. The total cost to build the facility was approximately $74,600,000.00.
Acting as the Owner’s representative, we performed a complete review of the design beginning at the schematic phase. The commissioning plan was incorporated at the time of bidding to enhance contractor participation. As construction progressed, all HVAC systems, controls, and electrical systems were commissioned with documentation of results and participation in the fine tuning of building operational aspects.
The engineering required field verification of all spaces to include space dimensions, air flow calculations, and loads from lights, people, and equipment. In addition, for each space the equipment and associated flow rates are being documented to calculate mass balance in all modes of operation. Air handling unit performance and changes to zone and air handling unit control sequences are being incorporated to enhance performance and reduce reheat energy significantly.
The CARE/Crawley retrofit is complete. The energy use of Care/Crawley has gone from the second highest on campus to dropping out of the top ten! As the engineering progresses on the other buildings, the new design versus the existing is being fully modeled to calculate anticipated energy savings. The modeling results will be used to prepare grant applications.
Engineering changes include upgrade from analog to digital Phoenix controls in some spaces, installation of occupancy sensors, and recalibration and balance throughout all spaces. In Kettering Labs, current exhaust is from over 80 separate exhaust fans, all of which are at the end of their useful life. All of the fan loads are being combined into a plenum fan exhaust system. Based on the new configuration and reduced air flows, this will significantly reduce energy use and maintenance.