I2SL Workshop: Safely Cut Your Laboratory Energy Use in Half

The University of California (UC), Irvine's goal of cutting laboratory energy consumption by half was met with initial skepticism, both within the campus and beyond. Since the mid-1990s, the campus had been designing its energy-efficient laboratories in accordance with the principles now assembled in the Labs21 Tool Kit. Most of these laboratories outperformed California's Title 24 energy efficiency standards by 25 percent, and some had attained Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold ratings. Now, however, in order to reach UC's policy goal of substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, an additional 50 percent energy efficiency improvement was needed. Impossible?

A new stem cell laboratory that managed to beat Title 24 by 50.4 percent triggered skepticism: Would actual results match the energy model's predictions? Was the incremental cost exorbitant? Could it be done again? Could a retrofit project prove as feasible and successful as new construction? Is a "smart laboratory" as safe as one that applies established best practices? Is a smart laboratory too complex to maintain? Is the technology too "bleeding edge?" Can we afford to keep a smart laboratory smart? Can a smart laboratory retrofit pay for itself in a state with lower energy costs than California?

This workshop will address all these questions based on the results of 11 projects now completed as part of UC Irvine's Smart Labs Initiative, a comprehensive program that integrates state-of-the-art air quality sensing, reduced exhaust stack airspeeds, reduced duct and plenum airspeeds and static losses, sharply reduced lighting power-density, efficient heat exhaust for equipment, and elimination of energy-robbing HVAC acoustic attenuators. A full complement of holistically integrated efficiency factors is necessary to attain 50 percent efficiency improvements.

Attend the workshop and learn how you can reduce your energy use—and your carbon footprint—whether building new laboratories or retrofitting older ones. Participants can expect a discussion that departs sharply from the status quo; the Smart Labs Initiative challenges established best practices.


Wendell C. Brase, University of California, Irvine

Matt Gudorf, University of California, Irvine

Marc Gomez, University of California, Irvine

David Kang, University of California, Irvine

Fred Bockmiller, University of California, Irvine


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