Articles

Why it pays to strive for complete environment control

In any working space building managers look to control environmental factors like noise, light and temperature in order to keep employees safe and comfortable. But laboratories have the added consideration of potentially dangerous and toxic substances, which need to be controlled in order to protect the people who work in them.

Controlling the laboratory environment

Laboratory ventilation systems are generally designed as ‘full fresh air systems’. That means the amount of air extracted from them is replaced almost entirely by outside air. This process helps ensure laboratory users’ safety but it requires a lot of energy and represents a significant operational cost.

Complete environment control in laboratories focuses on ensuring research activities can be undertaken safely and productively while using as little energy as possible and protecting against physical damage to buildings and equipment.

The cost of airflow

The most energy intensive equipment in the laboratory is the fume cupboard which – as well as protecting laboratory users from splashing of substances and shattering of equipment – prevents the development of an atmosphere that can ignite, explode or become toxic to laboratory users. This is achieved by controlling the airflow into and out of them, in accordance with BS EN 14175.

The average fume cupboard exhausts between 750 and 1,000 cubic feet of conditioned air per minute placing a significant burden on the laboratory’s HVAC system and operational costs.  By effectively managing airflow, energy costs (as well as carbon emissions) can be significantly reduced.

How TEL can help you achieve complete environment control

Experts in air flow controls and monitors for more than 45 years, our products are designed to complement one another and work together to give end users complete environment control. They include:

  • AFA5000 Laboratory Room Space Controller [link through]
  • AFA4000 airflow controlling and monitoring system [link through]
  • Autosash Controller [link through]
  • AFA1000/BLD wall mounted fresh air bleed controller [link through]

By using our products, laboratory and facilities managers benefit from:

  • Minimal energy useage
  • Lower energy costs
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Improved safety and comfort for laboratory users

For example, we recently upgraded 44 fume cupboards at Reading University which is expected to generate annual energy savings of 694 CO² tonnes per year. This equates to £223,958 in cost savings and the project will pay for itself in less than four years.

Find out how TEL could help you achieve complete laboratory control and reduce your energy costs, call +44 (0) 1457 865 635