The Challenge of Designing a Lab With New Energy Code Requirements

Michelle Fennell, Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers

More than 20% of states have adopted the latest energy code, IECC 2015, with other states planning to make the change. Massachusetts and other states have also adopted their own more stringent requirements, often referred to as a Stretch Code.

As States rush to adopt the latest energy code, many aspects of the building design are impacted. In this session we will go through some of the biggest challenges that face laboratory design related to the code requirements. Specific project examples will help to illustrate the impacts and potential solutions for new laboratory building design and existing laboratory building renovations.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be able to identify the difference in energy code requirements for a new building compared to a renovation
  • Participants will be able to recognize the specific items in the code that require changes in a laboratory building from normal building practice
  • Participants will be able to navigate specific solutions to the energy code requirements for laboratory buildings
  • Participants would be able to choose the code that will apply to their project's scope of work


Michelle Fennell has over 8 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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