The creation of sustainable, high-performance and efficient buildings is growing in importance for companies and governments around the world for both economic and environmental reasons. In particular, laboratories are the focus of many of these reduction efforts as they are some of the largest consumers of energy due to the specialized equipment and ventilation systems required for safety and compliance.
Consider this: buildings are currently the largest consumers of energy on the planet, accounting for a staggering 42 percent of energy usage worldwide and generating approximately 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to a typical commercial office building, the average laboratory facility uses 10 times more energy per square foot, with some laboratories accounting for as much as 100 times more energy use.1 While much of this is due to specialized equipment, a significant amount of energy consumption—up to 80 percent—is due to ventilation systems.2,3
While much attention is focused on air supply and conditioning, exhaust systems have traditionally received the least amount of attention in terms of energy optimization because they only make up one part of the ventilation system. However, exhaust energy comprises up to 40 percent of a ventilation system’s energy use, and as much as 30 percent of a laboratory’s energy consumption, presenting a significant opportunity for laboratories to realize operational energy savings as well as more sustainable operations.
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