Tocris Bioscience

Overview and challenge

Based in Bristol, Tocris Bioscience (a subsidiary of Bio-techne) required the conversion of an industrial unit into a new, 765 M2 laboratory space in order to expand its capacity. The new laboratory had to meet the exacting standards of the US based parent company, and energy-efficiency was a significant criterion.

The solution

Tocris selected laboratory design and equipment supplier Köttermann to undertake the project; their old laboratory featured Köttermann equipment installed 20 years previously, so they had confidence in the longevity of the company’s solutions.

Köttermann in turn chose TEL to supply VAV controllers for the fume cupboards. TEL is its preferred supplier of VAV equipment, on account of the quality and competitive price of its products, as well as its service.

TEL’s AFA1000/E VAV controllers automatically adjust airflow according to need, decreasing the volume of air extracted when the cupboards are not in use, providing a more energy-efficient solution than CAV controllers.

Fifty nine fume cupboards were installed in the new laboratory, each featuring TEL’s controllers, fitted with volumetric sensors and adaptors to provide extract data for the building management system. TEL attended the site for commissioning.


Since the new laboratory was completed in December 2015, its energy consumption has been only 50% greater than that of the old one, even though the new unit is three times the size of the former and contains more than double the quantity of fume cupboards.

TEL’s VAV system also contributes to minimising heat loss by limiting the volume of extracted air, helping to ensure the comfort of the laboratory workforce.

TEL’s controllers dealt well with Tocris’ atypical extract fan configuration. The lack of balancing actuators meant that some cupboards were subjected to particularly high pressure, but the controllers maintained control of face velocities.

Said Köttermann’s head of projects, Pete Collins: “The Tocris project was a large-scale installation with an unusual extract set-up, which TEL dealt with beautifully.”

Added Tocris’ director of chemistry & operations, Karl Swift: “TEL and Kötterman worked in partnership to deliver an energy-efficient laboratory that met our needs precisely.”

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