Payback: A Guide for Effectively Implementing Energy Saving Technologies in Various Laboratory Environments

Philip Walter, The Clark Enersen Partners
Shawn Diederich, The Clark Enersen Partners

Thanks to great advances in building system technologies, we can reduce energy consumption in laboratories on a much greater scale than ever before. HVAC control systems, including centralized demand control ventilation, offer great energy savings potential. In addition, highly efficient LED lighting, combined with sophisticated control strategies, can greatly reduce lighting power densities and energy consumption. The challenge is implementing today's best technologies effectively. Installed systems must not only reduce energy, but should provide a reasonable payback. This can only happen by gaining an understanding of the unique characteristics of different laboratory types and their distinct building system requirements.

A recent energy grant submission, and subsequent science building renovation for The Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla, will be utilized as a guide for evaluating and implementing energy saving technologies across multiple laboratory types.

The guide will cover general lessons learned and supporting data for implementing centralized demand control ventilation (CDCV) across multiple wet and dry laboratory types. It will also include full photometric and energy analysis of lighting systems, with examples of laboratory spaces where lighting systems achieve lighting power densities 50% less than those mandated by current energy codes.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand which energy saving technologies payback in a short period of time.
  • Identify the factors that drive energy consumption in different laboratory types.
  • How to design an LED lighting system for maximum energy savings and performance.
  • Design lighting control strategies that payback without sacrificing personnel safety.


Phil has been involved in all aspects of electrical engineering design for laboratory projects. He has participated in all facets of science facility projects including grant preparation, planning, programming, design and documentation. Phil strives to provide flexible engineering solutions that balance functional and economic constraints, promote inter-disciplinary research, and are also energy-efficient and environmentally sound.

Shawn has been involved in all aspects of mechanical engineering design for laboratory projects. This includes extensive experience in plumbing/piping/heating/ventilating/air conditioning design. His project experience includes University Instructional & Research, Animal Research, Pharma & Biotech and Analytical & Diagnostic Facilities.


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