Kastner staff attended the S-Lab conference on 18th September at Bristol University. Along with over 250 other delegates from all over the country they listened to speakers covering a wide range of aspects of laboratory design, the talks ranged from the design of some of Bristol’s newest laboratory buildings down to some of the latest features and designs of laboratory furnishings – hygienic fittings, hatches for pharmaceutical applications, fume cupboards and laboratory benching.
Of particular interest was the talk by Wendell Brase of the University of California, who revealed the significant savings in energy expenditure that the university have achieved through efficient laboratory design over the past three decades, since 1990.
Wendell Brase explained that laboratories are typically energy hungry – the university found that two thirds of the campus energy usage was from the laboratories, with one third supplying all the rest of the campus, administrative offices, residential etc. After a “Smart Lab” retrofit, the savings were greater than expected. By reducing the air change rate by 50% they achieved 80% energy savings. Co-benefits of the refit included improved safety, cleaner indoor air and a quieter working environment.
He also pointed out that in California the climate is very moderate – laboratories in the UK will be likely to have higher heating costs and will save even more.