Implementing HVAC Control Stategies at Labs in the UK

Brad Cochran, CPP, Inc.
Malcolm Tait, KJ Tait Engineers

This presentation will report on innovative HVAC control strategies which have been successfully applied to legacy life science buildings on both the supply and exhaust side in the United Kingdom.

The University of Cambridge's Department of Chemistry is a 300,000 sq.ft laboratory research building which was constructed in 1957 and has undergone many refurbishments. The Building had the largest energy consumption profile in the Estate. Applying an innovative variable volume flow control approach to the fume exhaust systems has resulted in annual energy savings approaching 150k per annum.

At an existing Pharma Research Site, near London, the HVAC Supply & Exhaust Systems serving the Vivarium were subject to excessively high static pressures, which had been built up over a long period of time. Following investigative surveys, a number of innovative measures to reduce the static pressures using low loss bypasses, by up to 30%, have been implemented, which have resulted in significant energy savings.

Learning Objectives

  • What HVAC Control Strategies are currently being implemented within the UK to save energy and increase health and safety.
  • How retrofitting existing laboratory exhaust systems to VAV control can not only safe energy but can increase static pressure control.
  • As laboratory buildings get older there is a tendency to increase static pressure in both supply and exhaust systems to "hide" maintenance issues. This leads to a building that becomes less and less energy efficient over time.
  • Just assuming that the laboratory HVAC system is operating correctly can lead to inefficiencies and possible health and safety issues. These systems should be routinely evaluated and updated, as needed, to ensure that they continue to operate at peak performance.


Brad is a Registered P.E. with over 25 years of experience in dispersion modeling of laboratory extract systems. Brad has helped define new design techniques to minimize the energy requirements for laboratory exhaust stacks by utilizing VAV technologies. He has successfully designed and employed VAV exhaust systems for over 50 laboratories throughout the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He has authored and presented several papers on laboratory exhaust design.

Malcolm is a Director with KJ Tait Engineers. Malcolm graduated from South Bank University and has a Masters Degree in inter-disciplinary design at the University of Cambridge. He has been with KJ Tait for 23 years and has specialist design expertise in the field of Higher Education and the Bio-Tech Sectors. Malcolm has long standing relationships with the University of Cambridge, University of Southampton and the array of Scottish Universities.


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