Cut energy use in the lab

Published: 22-Jul-2011

Energy consumption in laboratories, particularly from moving, heating or cooling air, makes it difficult to meet carbon targets. The S-Lab programme has designed an audit guide to assist in reducing energy use by addressing the design specification of ventilation systems and fume cupboards and instituting a monitoring strategy

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Laboratories are energy guzzlers and prime targets for efficiency measures to cut costs and carbon footprints. S-Lab, working with energy consultants on some ground-breaking audits, has found out where most lab energy is spent.

Laboratories consume large quantities of energy – often three to four times more than offices per square metre. In research-focused universities, for example, they can therefore account for up to 60% of non-residential energy consumption, making it impossible for the universities to meet carbon targets without taking major action.

To improve our understanding of where energy is used and to identify opportunities for improvement, S-Lab, together with consultants Energy & Carbon Reduction Solutions and KJ Tait, have undertaken detailed pilot audits at five university labs: Biosciences Building (Liverpool); Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre (ECRC); Department of Biology (York); Department of Chemistry (Cambridge); and Department of Chemistry (Manchester).

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