Decarbonization of Modern Laboratories

Gurdaver Singh, Guttmann & Blaevoet

The Natomas Phase-2 and 3 science building is located in the Los Rios Community College American River Campus. The project comprises Geosciences, Physics, Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry, and teaching labs. The project is currently in design to achieve LEED Gold and all electrical systems to help the college reduce its carbon footprint.

The presentation will define the different uses of energy in a lab project. We will discuss the challenges faced by designers to reduce its carbon footprint and consider all-electric buildings. We will look at the technology available for an electric lab building design. We will discuss heat pump technology and what to look out for when selecting the right heat pump and discuss the different types of heat pumps available and strategies on how they can be implemented in a cost-effective manner to reduce a lab's energy use and carbon footprint.

Our presentation will identify opportunities and benefits and give real-life examples of techniques used to decarbonize the modern-day laboratory. We will focus on sustainability, energy use, reheat, decarbonization issues associated with the architecture and building services for this type of facility and how to overcome hurdles, challenges, and myths. We will provide an examination of the pros/cons of salient decisions made to deliver an appropriate solution based on process needs, client requirements, environmental health and safety issues, essential facility requirements and sustainability goals.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand energy use for laboratory design;
  • Understanding the challenges of decarbonization and all-electric design including different climate zone;
  • Understand heat pump technology and learn about how to select the appropriate heat pump for your requirements; and
  • How to integrate new technology and approach to minimize energy use, reheat and make a cost-effective case for decarbonizing your lab design.


Gurdaver Singh brings over 30 years of experience and passionate about using effective project management skills to deliver projects on time and within budget. A strong proponent of sustainable design and decarbonization strategies, he has an effective track record of delivering cost-effective low-energy all-electric building design including labs.


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