Laboratory Utility Consumption: How Much Is My Lab Using?

Paul Lemestre, Research Facilities Design

University research laboratories can be some of the largest consumers of utilities on campus. Utility loads include direct electrical energy consumption, indirect energy for building process systems, along with natural and manmade resources. Understanding how individual laboratories contribute to the overall building utility consumption can be complex and difficult to quantify. These costs can greatly affect the operational budgets of individual research groups, academic departments, and campus facility departments. Understanding utility consumption for laboratories can be the first step in controlling operational costs, reducing energy consumption, and reducing the environmental impact associated with research operations. Design strategies and project examples will be presented to illustrate opportunities to quantify utility consumption for Owners to assist with occupant awareness and behavioral changes to reduce impacts from laboratory operations.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the different types of utilities used in academic research laboratories.
  • Understand utility sources and costs.
  • Design techniques to quantify laboratory utility use.
  • Reducing environmental impact through awareness of laboratory utility consumption.



Director of Engineering, Research Facilities Design

Mr. Lemestre is the Director of Engineering and a Mechanical Engineer for Research Facilities Design, a 25+ person laboratory consulting firm specializing exclusively in the programming and design of science facilities. He has more than 20 years of experience as a Mechanical Engineer in design, construction, and operation of facilities. His experience with laboratory design includes design of cleanrooms, process piping systems, process exhaust systems, laboratory piping systems, and HVAC design for laboratory ventilation systems. Mr. Lemestre holds a BS in Aeronautical Science & Engineering from the University of California at Davis and a Masters in Business Administration from San Diego State University. He is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer in 28 states and is a certified LEED Accredited Professional. Mr. Lemestre is a former United States Naval Nuclear Submarine Officer.


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