Saving Energy in an Existing Lab

Michelle Ruda, BR+A Consulting Engineers LLC

Existing laboratory building's energy usage can be 10 times that of an existing office building, or even more. In order to combat building energy usage, the industry needs to shift focus from only new buildings and target the existing building stock. This session will go through a case study of an existing 500,000SF laboratory building that saved over $100,000 per year by revising the building controls while maintaining their safety standard. Learn about the approach taken, project savings to date, and lessons learned.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be able to identify potential energy conservation measures at the room level in an existing lab
  • Participants will be able to summarize the energy impact of airflow reduction in a lab
  • Participants will be able to justify creating an unoccupied operation of laboratory and laboratory support spaces separate from the occupied operation.
  • Participants will be able to illustrate the importance of room level control within laboratory buildings


Michelle Ruda has over 7 years of experience in the fields of HVAC Engineering, Energy, and Sustainability. As both an HVAC Engineer and Sustainability Coordinator at BR+A, she has been involved in the engineering of HVAC systems, energy modeling and sustainable project management. Michelle is a LEED Accredited Professional, an active member of the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and serves as Secretary of the I2SL Benchmarking Working Group.


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