Toward the Net-Zero Lab: A Pathway to Carbon Reduction Strategies for Research Facilities

Brian Smiley, HOK
Max Driscoll, HOK

Labs are traditionally carbon-intensive. Addressing total carbon in lab design is becoming increasingly urgent in order to mitigate climate change. This presentation will review the results of a research initiative completed by HOK that addresses the climate impacts of lab design through the lens of operational and embodied carbon.

Presenters will address the following questions regarding operational carbon:

  • How do you find big reductions in ventilation and air change rates though fume hood and lab planning strategies?
  • How do you balance risk and carbon reduction using air quality sensing technology?
  • How do you implement incremental strategies for further carbon reduction?

Presenters will address the following questions regarding Embodied Carbon:

  • Which types of structural bays and facade systems have the most impact on carbon reduction?
  • What are the vibration implications of each structural system?
  • Is a hybrid structural system an effective way to balance embodied carbon and vibration?
  • What are the next steps for concurrent evaluation of operational and embodied carbon for zero-carbon lab design?

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the magnitude of operational and construction carbon in typical lab facilities and the importance of tackling the issue to meaningfully address climate action; define the knowledge and construction practice gaps in the lab sector and the need for better benchmarking and data collection;
  • Identify progressive design measures to incrementally reduce the in-use energy consumption and how the assessment process can help us make better choices;
  • Explain how material selection can reduce embodied carbon in principle and how combining these principles with structural vibration requirements presents a particular challenge with lab buildings; and
  • Describe the importance of working closely with structural engineers as part of the life cycle assessment process to ensure vibration criteria is tested against a life cycle impact assessment.

Biographies:

Brian is a Senior Project Architect & Sustainability Leader at HOK Philadelphia with 25+ years experience leading teams in the development of award-winning science & technology projects. Brian has extensive experience with high performance design and is the current Chair for the Committee on the Environment for AIA Pennsylvania.

Max is a seasoned practitioner of sustainability with 20+ years of experience. He is currently the regional leader of HOK's Northeast sustainability team based in New York, with experience on projects ranging from the World Trade Center, a Sustainability Strategic Plan for Purdue University, and the LEED Platinum NRDC headquarters renovation.

 

Note: Abstracts and biographies are displayed as submitted by the author(s) with the exception of minor edits for style, grammar consistency, and length.