Managing Lab Equipment With Your Building Automation System

James Coogan, Siemens

Laboratories are special facilities in many ways. From floor plans and siting, through ventilation and utilities, the scientific purpose drives the functional requirements. Following that thought farther, we look at the equipment that fills the space, and turns it from a building to a facility. This includes freezers, refrigerators, incubators, etc. Such equipment is crucial to the mission, but maybe not managed by the facility operations group and likely not integrated into the Building Automation System.

This talk presents new approaches to integrating lab equipment and managing it through the BAS. ‘Managing freezers' means something different to each stakeholder. To the scientist, it's ensuring correct storage conditions. To the facility staff, it's avoiding unscheduled service or replacement. To the sustainability manager, it's getting a handle on energy use to achieve long-term reductions. Each is looking for a different kind of information, available in a different context.

The BAS puts lab freezers in the context of other features of the facility so that we can manage the overall operation. The same thought process applies to other scientific equipment, exposure control devices, HVAC systems and utilities.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the different stakeholders concerned with lab freezers and other equipment. Learn the ‘hot buttons' for each.
  • Learn the technological options for integrating lab equipment to the building automation system.
  • Engage all stakeholders in sustainability by delivering useable information the right context.
  • Learn to specify the appropriate user interfaces, data access, and connectivity to maximize utility of the BAS for all stakeholders.


Jim Coogan, P.E., is a Principal in product development and applications at Siemens Building Technologies. In 30 years designing controls for mechanical systems, he has contributed to products ranging from room controllers to Internet-based interfaces. Jim has chaired several ASHRAE Committees, and was recently added to ASHRAE's list of Distinguished Lecturers. Mr. Coogan participates in programs with the I2SL and the Lab Safety committee of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.


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