Implementation in Parallel Shortening Turnkey Lab Re-commissioning Project Timelines A Case Study

Brad Newell, B2Q Associates, Inc.
Chris Schmidt, B2Q Associates, Inc.

Recent projects with a University provided the opportunity to build upon an established approach to optimizing campus-wide lab buildings. The strategic approach of first performing go/no-go scoping audits of multiple lab buildings to identify good candidates for controls and hardware optimization, followed by a focused lab airflow study of selected labs and lastly project implementation and commissioning was built upon by utilizing an implement in parallel approach to help meet two short project deadlines in a series of lab optimization projects. The implement in parallel approach leveraged progress issues reports to coordinate and implement short lead time issues while longer, more in-depth energy efficiency and building optimization measures were being evaluated. This allowed for a comprehensive building re-commissioning study to be completed while not slowing project implementation by waiting for a final report and implementation plan to be drafted.

These projects utilized a multi-step, multi-disciplinary team approach that led to a shorter overall project timeline, lower overall costs, increased lab safety, improved building performance and resulted in considerable energy reductions. The multi-disciplinary team approach was the key to project success. This team included engineers, commissioning agents, certified industrial hygienist (CIH), ATC and TAB contractors and University Stakeholders. Critical to the success and efficiency of this process was the involvement of the University EHS and lab Pis—without their involvement, and buy-in, these projects would not have succeeded as well as they did. The buildings covered under this approach were 2 and 4 years old and were recommissioned with new controls and setpoints while replacing all failed controls hardware. This process was completed in an efficient, effective manner due to early and continuous involvement of key University Stakeholders and multi-disciplinary team of qualified contractors. The University was left with overall safer, higher-performing lab buildings with an overall 30% energy reduction.

Learning Objectives

  • Increase awareness of the importance of a collaborative team approach as a main driver of the success of lab safety and energy optimization projects building the right team.
  • Understand the complexities and moving parts of implementation and study projects running in parallel and how to leverage each phase for project success.
  • Improve ability to identify, develop, implement, and maintain a successful lab energy efficiency and optimization project by taking a step-wise and multi-disciplinary approach.
  • Identify potential areas for unsafe and energy intensive operations in lab facilities.


Brad is a Project Manager with B2Q Associates and is a mechanical engineer with a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, with a focus in industrial building energy efficiency. He has over 4 years of experience working in energy efficiency, controls systems, project oversight, implementation and commissioning.

Chris is a Vice President of B2Q Associates and is a mechanical engineer with a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Dayton, with a focus in commercial and industrial building energy efficiency. He has over 16 years experience working in building efficiency, HVAC mechanical and controls systems optimization, re-commissioning, and project management.


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