Reading University

Saving 343 CO2 tonnes a year and £90,000 financial savings

Overview and challenge

Ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world, Reading University is a global University that enjoys a world-class reputation for teaching, research and enterprise.

As part of a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 35% by 2016, the university required an upgrade solution to its chemistry teaching laboratory fume cupboards.

The energy team at the university tasked TEL with providing a solution that would not only cut energy costs but also ensure the safety and comfort of operators.

The solution

Between December 2013 and January 2014, TEL fitted variable airflow volume (VAV) controllers to the 44 existing fume cupboards. These automatically adjusted the airflow according to need, reducing the volume of air extracted from the cupboards when not in use and therefore reducing the overall energy consumption.

During the upgrade project, TEL also improved energy efficiency by fitting fresh air bleed controls to the 24 extractor fans to which the fume cupboards were connected. Further improvements were made by installing air room controls on the air handling units servicing the laboratories.

The benefits

Reading University has enjoyed immediate benefits as a direct result of the work undertaken by TEL. The initiative has generated significant improvements in the thermal comfort of the laboratories, keeping them warmer than they were beforehand. Most importantly however, the upgraded ventilation and control systems in the laboratory fume cupboards are on track to save the institution 343 CO2 tonnes a year and £90,000 in annual energy bills.

The University’s energy manager, Dan Fernbank, said. “TEL demonstrated that sustainability can go hand-in-hand with safety and comfort, providing the case for a rollout of fume cupboard improvements; a working group has now been established for an estate-wide review.”

The success of this upgrade project has led to Reading University being shortlisted in the prestigious Green Gown Awards – the second such nomination for a University working with TEL.

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