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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions

Design Guide for Energy-Efficient Research Laboratories

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Center for Building Science focuses comprehensively on laboratory energy design

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This Guide by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Center for Building Science focuses comprehensively on laboratory energy design issues with a "systems" design approach. Although a laboratory-type facility includes many sub-system designs, e.g., the heating system, we believe that a comprehensive design approach should view the entire building as the essential "system." This means the larger, macro energy-efficiency considerations during architectural programming come before the smaller, micro component selection such as an energy-efficient fan.

This Design Guide for Energy-Efficient Research Laboratories--provides a detailed and holistic framework to assist designers and energy managers in identifying and applying advanced energy-efficiency features in laboratory-type environments. The Guide fills an important void in the general literature and compliments existing in-depth technical manuals. Considerable information is available pertaining to overall laboratory design issues, but no single document focuses comprehensively on energy issues in these highly specialized environments. Furthermore, practitioners may utilize many antiquated rules of thumb, which often inadvertently cause energy inefficiency.

The Guide helps its user to: introduce energy decision-making into the earliest phases of the design process, access the literature of pertinent issues, and become aware of debates and issues on related topics. The Guide does focus on individual technologies, as well as control systems, and important operational factors such as building commissioning. However most importantly, the Guide is intended to foster a systems perspective (e.g. "right sizing") and to present current leading-edge, energy-efficient design practices and principles.

  • Overview
  • Architectural Programming
  • Right Sizing: Choosing an Energy-Efficient Design
  • Direct Digital Control (DDC)
  • Supply Systems
  • Exhaust Systems
  • Distribution Systems
  • Air Filtration
  • Lighting
  • Commissioning

Labs for the 21st Century

Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21) is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Labs21 is a voluntary program dedicated to improving the environmental performance of U.S. laboratories. Labs21 is designed to improve laboratory energy and water efficiency, encourage the use of renewable energy sources, and promote environmental stewardship.

RELATED LINKS: Each chapter of the Design Guide has a set of associated RESOURCE LINKS that will connect you to related web sites.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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