Energy Targets: Labs, Architecture, and the Campus Conundrum

Andrew Cherry, Flad Architects
Thomas Vu, Affiliated Engineers

Energy Use Intensity (EUI) targets can provide a useful guideline for the design and construction of new buildings; however, for many lab types, the target values used are not reflective of the program's air change requirements, fume hood airflows and density, or energy-intensive processes. Efforts to achieve these targets can also be hindered by competing design factors, especially on academic campuses where the most impactful design decisions for energy use (building size and orientation, for example) are already set by a campus master plan. This session will explore the program layout and architectural design options available for academic or other campus lab facilities and weigh their impact across multiple lab types using a recent academic research lab footprint as a base model.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the role of EUI targets in planning and design for labs;
  • Target and prioritize program and architectural design attributes with greatest impacts on reducing energy use in lab buildings;
  • Provide general strategies to optimize lab program layout and orientation based on energy usage; and
  • Suggest alternative lab energy metrics that provide equalized comparisons between lab buildings.


Andrew Cherry is a project architect with over a decade of experience in the planning, design, and delivery of facilities for teaching and research, with experience spanning all phases and scales. As a member of the project team, Andrew works to incorporate design criteria, regulations, best practices, and complex systems into innovative solutions.

Tom Vu is a project engineer with over a decade of experience in mechanical systems design and energy modeling for complex institutional and research facilities. As an energy engineering analyst, he has developed and designed targeted energy conservation strategies in support of cost-effective, sustainable building systems.


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